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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 10-03-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Low Profile Cargo Box aluminum drawers 3rd Gen

Another Cargo Box idea for ya geared toward expeditioning. I like to camp but don't like setting up and tearing down tents. I built this for my 2001 4Runner.

I got tired of loading and unloading my gear. I think this will help a lot. For reference, the aluminum drawers hold as much as a pair of cargo drawers made of just 3/4" ply that is 8 inches high and 20 inches deep.

The cargo box is low enough for a person about 6 foot and under to sit upright without touching yer head on the ceiling.



Tah Dah! All done.
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ring pull and slam latch
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slides are rated at 200 lbs. Drawer is made from 1/16" inch aluminum welded at the corners to hold in liquids if they leak. Rubberized coating to help prevent things from sliding around.
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42 inch drawer yo!
The blue sleeping mattress is open cell latex 2.75 inches thick. It's very comfortable and there are no worries about it deflating.
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Edge to edge carpet
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extra side storage on both sides
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Preserved rear tie downs in case something needs to be ratcheted down. 1/8" x 2" steel flat bar going all the way under the box and bolted to the sides in case of a roll over.
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I guess this might be a good spot for a future air compressor? It was nice to be able to keep the rear power port.
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There's over 6 inches of depth under the hinged board. Again there are latches to keep stuff from flying in case of a roll over.
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1/8" aluminum sheet on a piano hinge between the cargo box and the rear seat storage.
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A little more storage for the full size axe or something.
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Used a piece of 1/8" aluminum to bolt the front half of the box down. I used the existing seat belt bolts for this. Didn't even need to get longer bolts.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Added in the Engle fridge. It's nice to be on the trail and reach back to get a cold coke.
Click the image to open in full size.

I didn't keep close track of the total cost but I'd guess that all the materials were probably about $225.

edit: I said I would report back with any problems after a few miles and trail runs and I'm happy to report that there are no major issues. It's holding up like a champ. If I had to build it again I'd make sure the slides hold the drawer open when it's fully extended. I thought these were supposed to do that but they don't. If I'm on a hill the drawers want to slide shut. Probably won't be hard to make a little brake for it but it doesn't bother me enough yet I guess.

It's now Feb 2011 and I'm happy to report that it's holding up very well and at this point I'm confident in saying that I think it's likely going to last as long as my rig does. Changes I will make when I build another cargo box.
1. Removable campsite tables with folding legs that cover the drawers when pulled out or stay nested.
2. A way to be able to open the drawer with sub-zero mittens on.
3. A drawer brake so that I choose how far to pull the drawer before making it stay in place.
4. Drawers that pull out the sides of the rear doors instead of a lift panel.
5. Another set of slides to slide the hi-lift out one of the side doors for easy access.
6. 3/16" 6061 Aluminum plate drawer faces in case I really want to slam that drawer shut.
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Last edited by glenyoshida; 02-18-2011 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:27 PM   #2
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That looks awesome. I'm jealous
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:44 PM   #3
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Damn. That's sweet. Well thought out. Thinner material, more space!
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:54 PM   #4
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Kudos to you. Extremely well executed.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
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Thanks. It's real nice to have some positive feedback.

I'll post up if there are any problems with it when I actually start to use it.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:48 PM   #6
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Dang that is nice! I wish i could get something like that in my truck! Only thing i would want to change would eb the use of the rear seat. but that is a GREAT setup you have there! wish i could have done that!
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:57 PM   #7
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Yeah nice.

Its funny cause if you want to put in these "carpet kits" you'll want to make it custom for your own needs. Mine is completely different.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:59 PM   #8
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Very awesome!...I like the compact design idea, it really saves the space the others fill up so well. Using the aluminum really saved the space and I'm sure helped keep the weight down too!

You should think about going into production! I'd order one!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
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You should think about going into production! I'd order one!!!!!!!!
So would I! something to think about...
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My thoughts on Gun control summed up nice:
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Guns kill people like spoons make people fat
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Im a firm believer in the saying "If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have them"
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:29 PM   #10
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Yea Glen is freakin awesome at this stuff, I plan to do the same thing sorta with mine, I thought about 6 inchs but im going up to 5, and im going to cherry wood finish the front and make it fit perfectly like that.

so beautiful
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Yea Glen is freakin awesome at this stuff, I plan to do the same thing sorta with mine, I thought about 6 inchs but im going up to 5, and im going to cherry wood finish the front and make it fit perfectly like that.

so beautiful
Lol...don't forget these are rugged off-road machines! They aren't suppose to have cherry wood finish! Haha....j/k! More power to ya and get some pics up when you finish!
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:15 PM   #12
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By far the best cargo box I've seen.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:49 PM   #13
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Wow! That looks incredible and is really well though out...
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:34 AM   #14
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You should think about going into production! I'd order one!!!!!!!!

That would be cool. Unfortunately I think the labor involved would probably nix the deal. The materials were relatively cheap, but as Ric can attest, I'm no speedy production worker. I like stuff precise and that takes time.

However, if anyone is really serious about wanting to duplicate this setup I'd be willing to take the measurements for ya. It really did work out sweet.

When I get the Engle fridge/freezer/warmer in there it's going to fit behind the passenger side seat and will only stick up 4 inches above the cargo floor. I'll be able to reach over and grab a Coke without getting out and will not have to move the cooler to sleep. Lazyness rules!
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:57 AM   #15
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Wow that looks great
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:27 AM   #16
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Thats the best 3rd gen cargo box i've ever seen...and i've seen them all. Very nice job! I'm definitely interested in measurements and more pictures if you have them.
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:33 AM   #17
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So are you able to used the back seat at all? Or is it completely removed. I think thats the only that would bother me about doing a cargo box like this, not having a back seat.
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:28 AM   #18
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So are you able to used the back seat at all? Or is it completely removed. I think thats the only that would bother me about doing a cargo box like this, not having a back seat.
x2. Is the back seat totally out w/ this style of sleeping platform? I carry folks around too much to leave my back seat out.

Although, I will agree with what others have said...your design looks outstanding . I have always been interested in these type of builds and I really like the low profile design of yours. I especially like how it is form fitted to your truck. Very nice!
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:33 AM   #19
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...
However, if anyone is really serious about wanting to duplicate this setup I'd be willing to take the measurements for ya. It really did work out sweet.
....
Please do take the measurements. I would like to duplicate what you have done. And I agree with another member, it's the best cargo box I've seen for this application to date.

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Old 10-04-2007, 08:04 AM   #20
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So are you able to use the back seat at all? Or is it completely removed. I think thats the only that would bother me about doing a cargo box like this, not having a back seat.
No, it's gone, but the back seat could have stayed in. In fact I designed it to be able to put them back in if I want. If you do have the seats in there then you would just need to build a platform to rest on top of the seats for level sleeping.

I thought a long time about pulling the rear seats out but after having them out for a year or so in my 94 I've only had a couple of times that it would have been handy to have them in. It's normally just me and occasionally my girlfriend. I go wheeling a lot and really like not having to load and unload all my tools.

In that little 3 inch space that the seats took up in my 94 I now fit:
Full size axe, 48inch hi-lift, flat bastard file, standard screwdriver, #2 phillips screwdriver, crescent wrench, pliers, dikes, pair of vise grips, wire cutter/stripper, Mapp gas torch, spare fuses, torx bits, hex wrenches, tape measure, fire extinguisher, spotlight, socket set, pair of tire chains, drill bit set, tree saw, parachute cord, foldable shovel, $35 back up air compressor, hitch pin, hack saw, and a hammer.

I feel kinda selfish about making it a two seater but I figure I bought the thing to wheel and after the umpteenth time of loading and unloading the heavy tools, the back seat was gone. It does crack me up a little when someone asks for a ride and I say sure but there's no back seat! lol
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Last edited by glenyoshida; 03-19-2008 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:04 AM
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