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Old 01-31-2010, 01:52 PM
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Get creative and make your own cap

This is just to show what I came up with. I needed something high enough to allow my dirt bike to fit in. It's constructed of 3/4" exterior grade plywood except for the roof sheet at 1/2" thick and the bed liner plywood at 3/8" thick.

I needed more length than the short box could provide, so the tailgate (and all related hardware) was removed. The cap extends back and encloses the rear of the vehicle.

Click the image to open in full size.

No modifications to the stock pickup box at all. Everything was constructed based on using existing holes. New brackets were fabricated from stainless and bolted on where the tailgate pivots used to mount. These brackets carry the spruce 2x8 crosspiece that supports the rear.

Click the image to open in full size.

I moved the trailer hitch connector up, it sits just left of center. A backup alarm is mounted right of center. Outboard of these are a pair of backup lights and then LED strip lights. Additional LED lights were mounted at the top corners of the cap. They are brighter than the stock tail lights and really stand out at night. (recent pic)

Click the image to open in full size.

The front LED lights are have a combined running light and front turn function. These amber ones have a higher LED count and work great.

Click the image to open in full size.

I modified my garage door so the vehicle would fit. I moved it out 6" so it was flush with the brickwork. The extra length leaves me with 3/4" to spare when the F250 front bumper is against the wall.

Click the image to open in full size.

I had to convert it to a swing door instead of it's original swing-up style. With the hardware and counterspring removed I gained the the full width of the door frame.

Click the image to open in full size.

You can tell I'm handy with tools and like to make stuff. I built new telescoping linkage so the door operates with the garage door opener.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:03 PM
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The sides of the cap provide a nice large flat shelf where I can spread out my riding gear when getting ready.

There are hinges at the top and bottom of the plywood end door. When it opens, the door swings down to form a ramp. A second piece of plywood hinges from the first to make the ramp longer. A piece of 2" square tubing plugs into the hitch to support the first section of plywood, then the second section goes down to the ground.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:14 PM
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interesting. what kind of bike do you ride?
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:30 PM
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I didn't expect anyone to ask about the bike. It's an older 550cc Husaberg with a few changes. A lot to hang on to at the end of the day when I'm tired. I use it mostly for tight trails. 5th gear standup wheelies are easy to do. Not many forest roads are straight enough to use 6th gear.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:09 PM
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very nice I've been trying to find a topcap thats cheap enough but have been comtemplating making my own. but would like it to come out in the summertime. have seen a few homemade ones that are nice. i think this spring i may try an make one! any pics of the inside?
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:26 PM
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I didn't take any pictures of the inside yet because winter came too soon for me to finish off the wiring. All the wires are just laying inside running all over the place. Too cold to add the relays and tidy it up.

The side plywood does not go all the way down. It stops just below the "shelves". A 2x4 is screwed to the bottom of the side and the shelf sits on the 2x4 and is screwed in place.

The space around the wheel wells can be used for gear storage if needed.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:38 PM
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nice husaberg. the local ktm dealer just started carrying them. i used to race motocross years ago. just picked up two bikes for my son and a dr350 for myself. feels good again.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:53 PM
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Nice job man!

That is one of those things that sounds like a bad idea but you pulled it off. Looks good and very functional.

Way to go!
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:11 AM
Forresth Forresth is offline
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If I saw that in my neiborhood, I'd expect to get a ring on the doorbell and the oppertunity to buy some "high quality" steaks.

just kidding, looks good.

sometimes you just cant find what you need for sale and you have to do something custom. getting a SRW dump body was one of those times for me.

why not a fold down ramp door?
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:20 PM
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Yes it does look like one of the seafood or steak "specials". My last vehicle looked like a mini refuse body.

Click the image to open in full size.

To make it fit in the garage with a tilt-up door, I had to lower the bike. I cut out the whole main frame crossmember at the rear and used the bumper as the rear frame tie. The bumper was a solid bar of 1" x 4" steel. Heavy mounts on the frame bolted with 3/4" allen screws made it good and sturdy. I ordered it new as a cab-chassis and shortened the rear frame horns by 6 inches.

You can see how the cut-out method saved lots of room.

Click the image to open in full size.

The old pickup opened as clam shell. The Ford has a double fold rear ramp door.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:22 PM
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I had a bit of a surprise when I was assembling the cap on the Ford. The front end didn't touch down on my gasket across the front of the box.

While designing, I used the top of the bed ribs (at the rear) as the reference. My cap is supported from the bed, not the side rails. It turns out that the front of the box is shallower than the rear by 3/8", so I had to shorten my front support posts.

So now the cap is parallel to the side rails and has 3/8" less inside height at the front. That old saying about measuring twice still holds true.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:13 PM
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Nicely done! And I commend you on your self reliance and skills.

It is so disturbing to me how NON self reliant we fat lazy Americans have become... It is very, very rare to come across anyone else willing to "do it themselves".

Heck, most towns now have stacks of ordinances and laws to penalize folks for doing their own work. One of the requirements when I bought my home was NO CC&R's preventing me from living my life.
Turns out the CITY has an ordinance against vehicles that are "non-functional" being visible from the street. I had my truck up on blocks, in my private driveway, for 4 days to swap the rear axle and had a visit from the "independence police" telling me I couldn't do that. WT????? Ben Franklin would have a coronary if he knew what his country is coming to.
Now I'm looking for a place out in the county.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:28 PM
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Time to update this post with a picture of the inside. It finally warmed up enough that I could finish up the wiring.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's a closer look at the mounting. The angled bars are captured under the front tie down points. They bolt to a cross piece that secures the front end of the bed liner plywood. Two 1" steel rods rise up to support the front of the plywood cap.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:14 PM
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That's some pretty nice work! The clearance in the garage picture looks pretty tight, how much clearance is there?
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:28 PM
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I based everything on allowing for 1/2" from the top of the cap to the steel angle at the bottom of the bricks.

This was assuming no suspension sag as the worst case. The weight of the cap dropped the back 3/4" so I had a total of 1 1/4" when empty.

It will go down more with the bike in place. I am waiting on parts to put the bike engine back together, so it may be a while before I have a final loaded clearance. I expect to have maybe 2" of space.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:28 PM
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