"Woody" Rear Panels and Speaker Install

Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
Hey all,

Just want to share my latest project on the Land Cruiser. I wanted to replace the rotten/warped MDF panels in the cargo area (I have gaping holes in my quarter panels so they'be been exposed to quite a bit of snow and rain). Also, many of the plastic pieces that attach them had broken so I wanted a better way to attach them.

Anyway, here's what I ended up with. I'll let the pictures do most of the explaining.

1/4" plywood with deckstain. With the plywood being much more rigid than what I replaced, I took the opportunity to add a 6" speaker and tweeter in the rear.
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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
Here's the panel cut out of 1/4" plywood. I simply traced the shape from the old panel and cut it out with a jig saw.
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The speakers I chose are Rockford Fosgate R165-S. They provide cutout templates on their website which are very helpful.
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Testing out that the speakers will fit without needing to cut or relocate any existing braces.
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Test fit, everything looks good.
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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
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I had concerns about mounting the speakers on only 1/4" of plywood. So to add a little strength, I added another 1/4" ring of plywood to the back side of the panel.
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Wiring the new speakers was very easy. Just follow the wiring channel that already exists for the tail lights. I had already set up a new stereo that supports rear speakers, check out my thread about that install for reference. I used marine disconnects from Amazon to make removal of the panel easier.
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Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
I went through a few options on how to mount these. I like the idea of rivet nuts, they're a solid permanent solution but I don't have the right tool to install them. There are ways to do this without that tool but it turned out to be a pain in the a** (maybe I just need more practice?) The bolts are then inserted from the back which gives you an easy way to line up and install the panel.
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To save me some time and energy, I ended up picking up a lot of these "quick nuts" from Ace Hardware. VERY easy to install and honestly, probably just as secure. I still have enough rivet nuts to replace these, which I'll do once I muster up the energy to open this project back up.
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Twelve bolts later, the panel is ready for attachment. You can see the mix of rivet nuts and quick nuts in this pic.
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Ta-daaa! Add some recessed, stainless steel washers and acorn nuts and we're done!
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Last edited:
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
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I just reused the hardware from the original panels for the washer fluid cap.
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Someday I'll have someone reupholster these panels to match the originals. But for now, I can live with the "woody" look.
 
Joined
May 15, 2005
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6,954
Location
Ladysmith
Well done! I like the wood too. I used 1/8" mahogany in mine, havent' had time to put in my newly acquired
nutserts yet. I got a nutsert tool at Princess Auto up here in Canada, don't know what your options are but it
was only $54 including nutserts. I like the woodgrain, no need to cover it up.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
Well done! I like the wood too. I used 1/8" mahogany in mine, havent' had time to put in my newly acquired
nutserts yet. I got a nutsert tool at Princess Auto up here in Canada, don't know what your options are but it
was only $54 including nutserts. I like the woodgrain, no need to cover it up.
Thanks! Yeah, every tool I looked at was around $40-50 bucks (without the rivet nuts). Which just seemed to be a bit much for this project. Maybe if I find more projects to use it with. I'd love to see pics of yours if you have them.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
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313
Location
Montana
Nicely done. Looks great, you've got a skilled hand at the jig saw. My cuts tend to look like they were made by a drunk on a unicycle.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
62
Thanks everyone!

Now we just need to get those "gaping holes in the quarter panel" fixed....
Tell me about it. I feel like I keep taking on little projects like this to distract me from the sticker shock of what that'll cost. Maybe I need to learn to weld...
 
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