4x4 M105 bed cover

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tobyS

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I'm using the M105 bed on my A3 4x4 project and want a strong frame and canvas cover. I salvaged the uprights from the sides in the picture, but they are not strong and a couple are bent where the corners attach. All in all, it seems rather flimsy and going down the road at 50, might not be all that secure.

I asked in another post about using some troop seats, making them fold down, instead I have decided to do as 59apache suggests and to stay with the fixed rack. I have enough of the fiber side boards from the troop seats to do the side rack and can probably straighten the uprights. They are an odd size that I can't find a direct tube replacement for, 1.25" x 1.75".

Has anyone rebuilt the top cover on an M105 bed with other uprights and corners? What did you use (or have seen used or think would work)? Would putting a piece of tight fitting wood inside the steel upright give it more strength and better bolt holding? Is there any alternatives to the corners? Has anyone put a peak in the top to shed water?

I could start with steel tube that is 1"x1.5" and shim the pockets, making a one piece bow. Any ideas?
 

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Evil Dr. Porkchop

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The one piece steel bows on the m103 generator trailers would be a little more heavy duty than the stock ones. You'd have to do some easy cutting and welding since they're different dimensionally.
 

tobyS

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The one piece steel bows on the m103 generator trailers would be a little more heavy duty than the stock ones. You'd have to do some easy cutting and welding since they're different dimensionally.
Yes, I looked it up and they would be heavier. With some modification, the OEM cover might work. One of the pictures I saw had corrugated steel roof. It looked nice, probably not for a road vehicle though. I may go to fireproof canvas for both the bed and cab soft top outer layer. I have inner canvas, ballistic nylon and foam sleeping mats for insulation for the cab. Maybe I should insulate the bed cover a bit too.
 

Scrounger

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While this is different that what you are planning it may give you some ideas.

We modified a M105 for use as a shop/ tool trailer for when we were in the woods. Extensions were added to the uprights to provide more inside room. Then plywood was installed on the inside on both sides and the front. This went as high as possible. Then the bows and corners were installed. Plywood was placed on top of the bows, then an extended canvas was installed. A wall of plywood was made that fitted the rear of the trailer, side to side, floor to bow. A door was cut in the center for access. The tailgate had to be open to open the plywood door.

The idea was for the trailer to look a close as possible as the other ones. The purpose of the plywood was to make it as hard as possible for things to grow legs.

The only thing we ever worried about was rolling the thing on rough terrain.
 

Weller

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"What did you use (or have seen used or think would work)?"

I didn't have uprights so started from scratch. I used a combination of wood and angle iron to make tight fitting uprights. Very solid.

Did the same on the crossbars, bolting a crossbar to the corresponding left and right upright.

I made the mistake of not joining all the bars together, which was not a big deal until I put the canvas on.

The combo of rain, and several trips hauling to the dump in the wind eventually destabilized it enough to break. I'm sure I hit a few low hanging oak branches as well.

In rebuilding, I'd still be fine with wood angle iron combo for the uprights. I'd add a support bracket at the angle of each crossbar/upright. I'd add a 1 - 2" peak in the center (which could be a wood or metal bar to span the entire length and add extra strength).
 

tobyS

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Welled, can you put a picture of the angle/wood upright?

I have some 1/4" cherry wood that helps on the m35 bed that came off and became a trailer. Even then, not tied to the cross bars they move around and let pools form just sitting, not going down the road.
 

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tobyS

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Weller....don't go to the trouble unless it's handy.

I called my steel supplier for sizes of tubing and Cole Hardwood to help me mill some ash that will fit in the uprights I salvaged. Cole will cut the ash to 1 9/16 x 1 1/8" and I will round the corners with a router. I'll soak them in oil before putting them in since it's kiln dried....should be very strong. The 2" depth of the cross member will be very strong and I'll put a 2" crown in the middle.

I'll cut 4" off of the top and get to straight metal on my salvaged uprights. The cross pieces will be new 1 1/2"x 2" tube. I'll make a joint at the top of the upright that the cross piece will fit inside, sandwiched with the wood, but removable by a bolt/pin. I'm also going to pin the upright in the bed pocket so it can't get away in a wind.
 

Weller

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For reference, here's what I used from the metal pile.

20190531_161526.jpg 20190531_161822.jpg

1st one is stock aluminum upright, 2nd is angle steel (72" long) from a king size bed frame.

20190531_161628.jpg 20190531_162113.jpg

Stock at 1.24 and angle at 1.37 (say 1.4). Too tight to fit stock but 30 seconds with a grinder to the lower 18" gets er done.

I already trashed the ones I bent up but went to the pile today and I've got more, many just under the 1.75 required.

20190531_163105.jpg

When I build out mine I'll take pics of process. Don't expect you to have bed frames lying around though. :)

Side story: My dad was a welder and never passed up on a pile of dumped roadside metal. As a kid he'd have me jump out of the car and help him load up whatever he found. Often I heard him say something to the tune of "this is perfect for..." and I'd wonder how he did it. I don't go out of my way to collect metal, but I'll drive through LA at times and can load a truck full on my way back to the woods. Helps that I have a lot of projects but it's often I say "this is perfect for..."
 

tobyS

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Weller, thanks.

I once bought a salvage bridge that was claimed to be 90 ton. It was maybe 70....so I understand having stock of supplies, especially steel.

I cut mine to 24" (-3") and put clear yellow pine inside them, 1 9/16"x 1 1/8" with rounded corners. I'm getting 1.5" x 2.0" steel for the bows and corner. I made it so the side of the tube has a pocket down in 4" one each side, 10 ga., so the bolts have a solid sandwich to clamp. Mine are definitely steel. I cleaned inside them, scraped rust and put primer and paint before putting in the wood, which was also painted.

I wanted access to the front of the bed, so left out a section.
 

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