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Discussion Starter #1
I just had my "Z" series ARE shell installed on my 2004 DC. I asked the guys about using bolts and he told me you couldn’t use them with Toyotas. He said the "rails" on the Toyota beds are not wide enough. I really hate the "J" clamps! I only had the thing a couple of days and they were already working themselves loose. So.... Looking at it I think I can drill holes from the bottom (using a right-angle drill) that will work. Although I think it will come out of the ARE shell too close to the (wall-side) edge and I won't be able to get a bolt in because of the angle of the wall to the base.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at.... Before I destroy my $2000 shell, has anybody "bolted" (any type) of shell to a late model Tacoma. I'd like to hear how you did it and if you have any pictures??

Thanks.
 

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This isn't 4X tech... Exterior folder would better suit this...

I have had my shell on since the truck was new... the J hooks have held in the most flexy situations and have never popped loose... However... the windows leak from the constant flex and I replaced them only to have it repeat again... If I did a shell again... on a 4X... I'd do it with out windows on the sides fo' sure...
 

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I've got a Z series on my ext. cab and i'm just using the clamps that the dealer installed it with. When it was first put on I noticed them working themselves slightly loose so I just retorqued them a few times for the first month or so and then I was good to go. Probably due to the shell settling a little on the foam sealer tape that goes on top of the bed rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When it was first put on I noticed them working themselves slightly loose so I just retorqued them a few times for the first month or so and then I was good to go.

Good to hear... How tight do you torque them thing?? When I tightened mine, the wrench seem to turn and turn and turn and turn... never really got tight.
 

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You may consider adding another set of clamps too, just a little extra insurance. I had a snug top on my 97, just retorqued them every once in a while..they were never very loose
 

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I have a Leer model that is similur to the ARE, but I have C type clamps (if these are J clamp I'm just retarded) that came with mine that are aluminum and if you try to tighten them too much they start to strip so be careful when really wrenching on them. Otherwise I have retorqued mine once after settling and haven't had a problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info guys. I'm still 50/50 on drilling for bolts. I'm just not sure I can pull it off without having any problems. But... Sounds like I'll be okay with the clamps. They just don't look that good and they kinda get in the way when packing stuff in.

Hopefully somebody will chime in with a "bolt" story.
 

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when I had a shell.. my j clamps came loose from off road flex quite often. For this reason and the fact I dont like climbing in and out of a shell for everything I need... the shell is now gone. I did look at drilling holes.. but Im not sure thats a great idea... I thought it could possibly cause the fiberglass to crack. I think if you baught some small C clamps and added them in the 4 corners it might help.. also putting two nuts on each j clamp helped then from working loose.. Not much help.. but its all I got.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Chargedtaco01 said:
I've got a Z series on my ext. cab and i'm just using the clamps that the dealer installed it with. When it was first put on I noticed them working themselves slightly loose so I just retorqued them a few times for the first month or so and then I was good to go. Probably due to the shell settling a little on the foam sealer tape that goes on top of the bed rails.
So... how water tight is your "Z" series?? I've had the thing for only a week when I got the first "rain" test. It leaked like a sivvvvv!! It's hard to explain, but it got in by the back window were it meets the tailgate. (right in each corner) The little rubber thing is not long enough to channel the water "over" the tailgate. So it just poured inside. Both rails were soaking wet from back to front. I guess the fabric was like a wick... and it just kept sucking in the water!! I went back to the dealer and explained (and showed) him the problem. He mentioned that there were a few "factory" defects. I'm bringing it in tomorrow for them to look at.

I'm guessing you didn't have this problem. What about your bedrug. Does that stay dry by the tailgate area??

By-the-way... I didn't bolt the thing down. The clamps seem to be holding after the first round of retightening.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since other guys have shown their homemade bed storage systems, I thought I'd post mine too. I'm a hunter/fisherman/outdoor person, so this is what fit my needs.

The top is all flat. I could sleep in there in a pinch. The left drawer has not front. This is for loading guns/fishing polls etc. Super easy to just slide them in/out without having to open up the drawer. Although it does slide open should something get stuck in the back. Or I load something other then gun cases. The drawer on the right is for misc. storage. It can be divided into two separate storage areas.... or one big one. The partition simply slides out. I also have two cubby holes left and right for other misc. storage. These are about 2 feet deep. The wheel well takes up the rest of the space. The entire "box" is bolted to the bottom of the bed with (4) bolts. The thing is solid with no rattles. I put a metal "L" bracket at the end to keep the carpet and wood from getting banged up while loading and unloading stuff. Anyway, here ate the pics. Hope this works.
 

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Dude,

I've had a Z Series on my DC for about 3 years now. I've always had leaks at the corners of the rear window, just as you describe. I've tried all manner to prevent them with extra stripping and RTV silicone and still have a minor leak. I also sealed the tailgate to cut down dust when offroad but that has no bearing on the shell leak.

The clamps will work fine. I check the torque periodically. Basically, if you can't easily move the clamp with your hand, it's tight.

BTW, I like your drawer installation. Very clean.

-Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TrailWorn said:
Dude,

I also sealed the tailgate to cut down dust when offroad but that has no bearing on the shell leak.

How'd you do that?? Damn... I didn't realize how dusty it got back there!! First time offroad I opened up and... WOW... dust, dust, dust. I've been trying to figure out a way to seal the tailgait.

BTW, I like your drawer installation. Very clean.


Thanks...
 

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The Dude Abides said:
I just had my "Z" series ARE shell installed on my 2004 DC. I asked the guys about using bolts and he told me you couldn’t use them with Toyotas. He said the "rails" on the Toyota beds are not wide enough. I really hate the "J" clamps! I only had the thing a couple of days and they were already working themselves loose. So.... Looking at it I think I can drill holes from the bottom (using a right-angle drill) that will work. Although I think it will come out of the ARE shell too close to the (wall-side) edge and I won't be able to get a bolt in because of the angle of the wall to the base.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at.... Before I destroy my $2000 shell, has anybody "bolted" (any type) of shell to a late model Tacoma. I'd like to hear how you did it and if you have any pictures??

Thanks.
i have a hybrid clamp system. basically, it's a threaded j-clamp that clamps to the bedside, but is bolted to the shell. imagine a J with threads at the top of the J. it works very, very well. has never gotten loose even after dozens of long 50-100 miles washboard roads. i got mine at bel-air shells. they are in your neck of the woods, google them. great people.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
peekay331 said:
i have a hybrid clamp system. basically, it's a threaded j-clamp that clamps to the bedside, but is bolted to the shell. imagine a J with threads at the top of the J. it works very, very well. has never gotten loose even after dozens of long 50-100 miles washboard roads. i got mine at bel-air shells. they are in your neck of the woods, google them. great people.

Cool... thanks.
 

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How'd you do that?? Damn... I didn't realize how dusty it got back there!! First time offroad I opened up and... WOW... dust, dust, dust. I've been trying to figure out a way to seal the tailgait.
Nothing's perfect, and the tailgate seal isn't, but it cuts down much of the dust entering around the bottom and sides. You should be able to find tailgate weatherstrip at most auto parts stores. See J.C. Whitney for a reference. http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/ItemBrowse/c-10101/s-10101/p-100000219914/mediaCode-ZX/appId-100000219914/Pr-p_CATENTRY_ID:100000219914
 

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I ahve a Carryboy Brand cap. my second one. It has clamps that do not work loose. A great design. Fits the lines of the cab trhe best of any cap and is completely water tight. Only availabale on the West Coast, but I ended up finding one that moved to the East Coast.
 
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