My take on a DIY cargo cover - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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My take on a DIY cargo cover

I've seen a lot of good ideas on here for do-it-yourself cargo covers, and they inspired me to create my own. I wanted to build something that was secure, easily removable, and looked good. I didn't want to see any exposed fasteners or hardware, so it would have to attach from the bottom. I built it out of 3/4" plywood, and covered it with Monstaliner roll-on truck bedliner. The side sections stay mounted to the Jeep, while the large center section can be unlatched from the underside and removed. The front edge of this cover is supported by my subwoofer box which holds two shallow 12" Kenwoods... but one could also be built with just a plywood panel instead.

Tools you will need: circular saw, jigsaw, router, sander, drill, and patience!

The first challenge was getting the plywood home! I had Home Depot cut a 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood into a 4'x4' piece, and two 2'x4' pieces, which I was able to fit into the Jeep.

The 2'x4' pieces end up becoming the side panels. Once I determined where I wanted the inside edge to sit (I lined it up with the tailgate opening), I notched out for the roll bars. I made sure to save the pieces I cut out of there, because they get used to fill in around the roll bar. This was probably the hardest part of the whole project - getting those weird curves cut out accurately. I left about 1/4" clearance around the roll bar for weatherstripping to fit into. Then I secured the plywood in place for the next step. Notice how there is extra plywood overlapping the edge of the Jeep... this will be trimmed off.

Next step: I measured between the plywood pieces clamped to the jeep to make sure they were EXACTLY where I wanted them. Then, I took a pencil and traced underneath the plywood and against the Jeep to get the exact curve of the Jeep's body. After cutting off the excess, and then notching the plywood pieces to accommodate my Trektop's tailgate bar and clamps, here is what it looks like:
These pieces of plywood will be attaching to the Jeep from the underside, and here's how it's going to happen. The fasteners are called tee nuts and they accept a threaded screw (I used 3/8"). I used the existing holes in the top of the Jeep, and marked their location from the underside with a pencil onto the plywood. There are several holes to choose from - you don't need a fastener in every one. Use ones that you can get the easiest access to... this part was a PITA for me when I assembled everything. Then I drilled the plywood for the tee nuts, and used a spade bit to recess the tee nut into the plywood.
Once installed, the tee nuts will be covered up with wood filler and sanded smooth.
The center section is supported by some 3/16" x 3" wide aluminum stock. It is attached to the underside of the plywood side panels with the same recessed tee nuts. Next, I used a router to finish the edge of the plywood... I did mine with a 45* bevel because it somewhat matches the contours of the Jeep, but a round over would probably look good also. I then cut out the center section, leaving room on the sides for weatherstripping. After filling all the tee nut recesses with wood filler, I sanded everything and did a test fit, making sure that the attaching screws that I was going to use would not be too long and push through the top of the plywood through the filler.

Next step: Monstaliner! This is a roll-on truck bedliner which I like because the texture is a little smoother than some spray-on bedliners that I've seen. After 2 coats and letting it dry thoroughly, it was time for final assembly. Here's some shots of the aluminum which the center section sits on (with weatherstripping in place), and the latches I used:


You may notice in one of the above photos that there are no seams in the Monstaliner by the roll bar. I used the small curved piece that I cut out of there originally, coated it with Monstaliner when I did everything else, attached it to the aluminum plate, and then during final assembly I touched up the joints with some more Monstaliner. I carpeted the underside of the center section, added weatherstripping where needed, installed two latches on each side, and two more which attach to the back side of the sub box:
The sub box was built out of MDF, and a piece of red Lexan was glued to the front which is almost a perfect match to the Flame Red paint on the Jeep. Since the woofers I am using are shallow 12's, the box is under 10" deep at the base, which leaves me around 24" of cargo space depth in back, which is *just* enough to get my half door uppers in there.
That's pretty much it... if I've overlooked any details please ask! Here's a couple more finished shots:


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post #2 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 01:58 PM
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Very nice. One of the nicest I have seen. Makes my bubba driveway job look really bad.

I have jeeps. I do shit to them.
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post #3 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 03:06 PM
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Looks great. Very clean.


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post #4 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 03:37 PM
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quick question, why do you use the tailgate bar
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post #5 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred1diver View Post
quick question, why do you use the tailgate bar
The tailgate bar goes with my Trektop (the rear window attaches to it). There is a lip on the inside edge of it that actually supports the rear edge of the cargo cover, and prevents it from sagging.
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post #6 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 04:14 PM
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I like it a lot. Really nice work.
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post #7 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 04:59 PM
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Nice build! You unknowingly or strategically left out any shots of the inner passenger side cargo area, where the stock sub sits. I'm interested because you're using the plastic above the cover, but it is all one piece. Did you cut the plastic off under the cover to remove the sub enclosure?

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So I guess you're calling him a dick for pointing out something dangerous, which kinda makes you a dick for calling him out and well holy fuck, it makes me a dick for calling you a dick.
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post #8 of 41 Old 05-04-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rbuckenmeyer View Post
Nice build! You unknowingly or strategically left out any shots of the inner passenger side cargo area, where the stock sub sits. I'm interested because you're using the plastic above the cover, but it is all one piece. Did you cut the plastic off under the cover to remove the sub enclosure?
I removed the stock subwoofer, and replaced it with the plastic panel from a JK with no sub. For those who haven't seen one of these, its pretty much identical to the other side.
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post #9 of 41 Old 05-08-2014, 05:16 PM
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Ah, right on. Makes sense. Any chance you have the part number and know what you paid for it? Or did you pick up a used one?

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So I guess you're calling him a dick for pointing out something dangerous, which kinda makes you a dick for calling him out and well holy fuck, it makes me a dick for calling you a dick.
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post #10 of 41 Old 05-09-2014, 04:41 AM
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Looks great.

Does the Monstaliner over wood make completely water resistant and protect the wood?


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post #11 of 41 Old 05-09-2014, 09:14 AM
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Where'd you get those latches? I've been looking...
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post #12 of 41 Old 05-12-2014, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbuckenmeyer View Post
Ah, right on. Makes sense. Any chance you have the part number and know what you paid for it? Or did you pick up a used one?
The part number is 1PU12DX9AD, this is for the panel... you will also need a new trim piece that goes behind it, by the roll bar (the one you already have will not work): 1PU18DX9AD Both cost me about $125 from MoparOnlineParts.com.
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post #13 of 41 Old 05-12-2014, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMike View Post
Looks great.

Does the Monstaliner over wood make completely water resistant and protect the wood?
Thanks!
Monstaliner claims it's impervious to any moisture: http://www.monstaliner.com/monstaliner_faq.htm#13

Sounds believable to me, I guess something that was designed to be exposed to the elements (like in a truck bed) should be waterproof... otherwise moisture would get through it and rust out whatever was underneath it.

Last edited by Latitude25; 05-12-2014 at 09:14 AM.
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post #14 of 41 Old 05-12-2014, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funfred View Post
Where'd you get those latches? I've been looking...
The latches can be found here: http://www.reliablehardware.com/smalltwistlatches.aspx

You will also need the keepers (the part that the latch clamps onto), they do not come with the latches.
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post #15 of 41 Old 06-09-2014, 10:27 AM
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A bit late but, thanks.
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post #16 of 41 Old 07-17-2014, 07:25 PM
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unreal,that is a amazing job,how do u think it would do with a safari top on in the rain?
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post #17 of 41 Old 07-18-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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unreal,that is a amazing job,how do u think it would do with a safari top on in the rain?
I dont think mine is 100% watertight... it was really hard to get those weird shaped curves around the roll bars cut out of the plywood. I have some weatherstripping in there, but I dont think I'd expose it to direct rainfall. I'm sure water would find a way to seep into there somehow. When it looks like rain here, I just leave my Trektop side panels and back window on.
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post #18 of 41 Old 08-13-2014, 08:06 AM
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This is exactly what I want to do to the back of mine, but with a hard top. Guess i need to get to my drafting table.

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post #19 of 41 Old 03-10-2015, 10:34 AM
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Latitude25,

How much would you charge to make another one of those? I live in FL and would be more than happy to buy one of those from you. Let me know.
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post #20 of 41 Old 04-11-2015, 09:05 PM
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looks way kool...
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post #21 of 41 Old 06-24-2015, 04:39 AM
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Just started.

I am attempting this project. Just bought the 1/2" plywood. I'm thinking of going side to side with 3 panels instead. You are right about the oddly shaped roll bar. I spent 2 hours trying to get it yesterday. I needed something that held its shape to but nothing worked. I almost have it now. What do you think about the side to side vs front to back?
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post #22 of 41 Old 06-24-2015, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
I am attempting this project. Just bought the 1/2" plywood. I'm thinking of going side to side with 3 panels instead. You are right about the oddly shaped roll bar. I spent 2 hours trying to get it yesterday. I needed something that held its shape to but nothing worked. I almost have it now. What do you think about the side to side vs front to back?
Side to side sounds less complex than mine was to build. I'd be interested in seeing some pics when you're done.


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post #23 of 41 Old 07-13-2015, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the inspiration! Yesterday I mounted my own take on it.
I used Duplicolor spray bedliner, buy will change to the one you used as I don´t like the texture on Mine.

I still have to put some weather striping, tie downs and thinking about some aluminum slats on top of the current ones to better protect the current finish. That and that I am using it as an excuse to learn to anodize aluminum at home.
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post #24 of 41 Old 07-13-2015, 09:50 AM
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Upon inspecting the pictures, I also have to clean the Jeep.
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post #25 of 41 Old 01-21-2016, 10:19 AM
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Latitude25--how much Monstaline did you need. Would I need a full gallon or could I get by with a quart?
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