ABS Cargo Panels

CruiserTrash

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It dawned on me that I've never posted about this on Mud - maybe in a comment here or there, but never a post - so allow me to do a brief shameless pitch ... I have been making laser cut ABS cargo panels for almost two years now. They can be found on the rinky dink web shop I set up HERE.

I started by templating the original panels out of cardboard, turning that into a wood template, then using that template to cut the ABS on a table router. I then drew it in a CAD program so I could dial things in and ever since they've been laser cut. Fasteners are plastic push rivets that are the most bomb proof kind I could find - I've been through about 20 different fastener options. They remove easily, hold very tight, and my cost on them is about $2/ea. Worth every penny. I've taken my panels on all kinds of wheeling trips and abused them during daily driving duty with all sorts of loaded cargo. The ABS is difficult to scratch and the color is integral - all the way through - so there's no coating to chip off, exposing a different color underneath. Simple & effective just like a Land Cruiser.

Right now I am only making panels for 1981-1987 build date vehicles. That encompasses all 60s, plus some very early 62s (mostly those with manual windows). The panels changed slightly a few times over the years so I need a photo to determine which one is correct. Later 62 panels are in the works as well as a cheap tailgate panel. There are more expensive tailgate storage systems out there and I don't want to compete with those. These will be ultra simple covers so you have something other than bare metal there (assuming the carpet was gone long ago).

I just got a load of these from the laser cutter a few weeks ago and they're kicking around my house so I thought I would post. Maybe some folks are interested. I am happy to do custom CAD work for a fee if you want customizations. I also have some other stuff on the website - used parts/cores, and some soft goods. 100% of proceeds go directly back to funding Matilda, my daily driver 60.

In future comments I'll see if I can dig up some photos from the early days on templating and cutting ABS on the table route - a messy job.

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*Note that I do not cut the speaker holes. Way too many speaker options out there, all with different sizes. I'd be drawing those CAD files until the cows came home. Easy to do with a drill bit and a jigsaw though. Or get fancy with a router.

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CruiserTrash

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A bit more info:

For those of you with 1985-1987 trucks, these panels do NOT accommodate the storage area on the driver's side. You'll have to remove the jack holder/bracket - four bolts, one banana job, less than 10 minutes. Throw the jack and tool bag under your driver's seat like us early 60 folks.

I have panels that accommodate the Seat Belt Planet retractors.

The only color available is black. I have looked and looked for brown or gray and it does not exist unless I want to contract an ABS manufacturing facility to make a run of it just for me. Minimum entry point is around $20,000, which - as a very, very small business (it's just me) - I can't do. I've looked at other products and none check all the boxes like ABS does and I'm not willing to compromise on durability or machinability. You can paint the panels with SEM or similar automotive paint, but you'll lose the color-integral nature of the panels: if you ding them up, you'll see black under the paint. The paint introduces a point of failure in other words, and that's why I don't paint them to begin with.

I've looked at storage solutions, but I'm not there yet. There are a few other things on the market that provide storage already and I have some unique ideas to solve for that utility in different ways, but the cost will be higher. The input products I'm looking at have a price that will double my cost. That's not a huge issue, some folks will be happy to pay a higher price for storage, but I'd like to continue researching a way to provide storage at only a moderate price increase. More to follow. Maybe.

As I said above, customization is possible for an extra fee that will vary based on what the goal is and how much drafting work it's going to require. I do NOT want to get involved in customizing holes for every speaker on the market but I guess I would do it.

I'm open to suggestions and requests!
 

CruiserTrash

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@reddog90

Yes on the seat belts. The normal notch in the panels where the retractors go - which is there to accommodate a trim piece that hides the wiring harness - is enlarged for the retractors. There may be some of the bodywork visible, but the cutout should follow the contour of the retractor.

On my personal set of panels I mounted some 6x9 Rockford Fosgate speakers directly to the panel with u-clips and they held fast through daily driving and many wheeling/camping outings including Solid Axle Summit. The cutout has to be large enough for the speaker to fit in, but small enough so the flange covers the hole. Over a year with zero issues. I have had the thought to work on a reproduction of the OEM speaker mounting piece that attaches to the structural supports behind the panel, but ... ended up feeling like "why would I do that when what I'm doing works?"
 
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