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Tonneau covers - Pros? Cons?

 
  #16  
Old 12-04-2011, 01:45 PM
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Alright, here it is, in its full glory...






I hope it was worth it lol... If the finance company ever decides to repo the truck, the cover just may go with it...
 
  #17  
Old 12-04-2011, 02:48 PM
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Also - depending on which section I open up, I can disconnect the lifts and fold that section all the way over so it's resting on top of the other section. By releasing a couple of spring-loaded pins, I can pull the cover completely off - not very easily, but it can be done lol...

I left the center divider out, (also held in with spring-loaded pins) for the time being, so I can crawl through and open the front section. Once I get the cable assembly fixed, I'll probably put the divider back in. There are 2 sets of holes for the divider - one to put it in the downward position and the other to bring it up horizontally so you can lay stuff the full length of the bed.
 
  #18  
Old 12-04-2011, 06:08 PM
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Nice cover!

Looks like a nice tight fit. And no more snow to shovel out of the back. Enjoy the cover! Kevin
 
  #19  
Old 12-04-2011, 09:11 PM
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A tonneau cover was the second thing that I did to my 98. I put a soft cover on that snaps and won't do that again. I really like the cover but it's extremely hard to snap in the winter time. I've since put a diamond plate aluminum tool box on my Ranger and I modified the cover to fix tight against the box. Works much better. Having a standard cab made it hard to carry anything in the cab so the tool box makes it much better. And yes, my mileage got better with the cover on...
 
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:27 PM
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Nice enough looking cover and it will surely keep your cargo dry and clean enough during the winter. It's one of those necessary evils depending on how you use the truck. I love my soft toneau which is very easy to snap winter and summer from either end. Depends on the design. I just put a topper on my winter Ranger to keep stuff dry, secure and out of the weather. Like your's it was very inexpensive and will serve the purpose it was meant to.
Thanks for the pics.

Oh, one last note for those looking for the "magic bullet" in fuel economy. Earlier on I reported 8% gain in mpg with the tonneau; which is exactly what the company advertised. On many of the Rangers that are already getting 20mpg, this only works out to 1.6mpg average. DO NOT make the mistake of buying one of these for mpg gains. With the 2.4mpg gain on my Ranger and 700 miles per week, I figured it took me 30 weeks of 1.8 gal/week gains to pay for the tonneau. (21,000 miles)
 
  #21  
Old 12-06-2011, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rackster View Post
Joe - did you see any MPG pick-up and just not as much as you hoped for? Or, the before-and-after data shows no real improvement?

Kevin
Yes and yes. My fuel economy dropped because of a shortened commute. Adding a tonneau cover didn't show much of an improvement because of the short commute. If I had the old, longer commute, I'm sure any gain there would be negligible also. Don't have much data for longer, cross country trips.
 
  #22  
Old 02-21-2012, 10:03 PM
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I have a situation like you had. I acquired one of these Ford covers off of an 03 but want to put it on a 2011 Ranger. Did the big center brackets and stake hole brackets put many scratches in the bed or on the rails? Or has the cover riding on the rails marred them? I'm a bit leary of putting this beast on a new truck. Now that you've had it a while would you recommend it? See any mpg improvement? Mine came with a Ford over the rail bed liner bought with the cover and modified for the cover. Any instructions or tips on installing this monster? You mentioned the stake pocket brackets being a pain, any pitfalls to avoid? Thanks
 
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:04 PM
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I have a situation like you had. I acquired one of these Ford covers off of an 03 but want to put it on a 2011 Ranger. Did the big center brackets and stake hole brackets put many scratches in the bed or on the rails? Or has the cover riding on the rails marred them? I'm a bit leary of putting this beast on a new truck. Now that you've had it a while would you recommend it? See any mpg improvement? Mine came with a Ford over the rail bed liner bought with the cover and modified for the cover. Any instructions or tips on installing this monster? You mentioned the stake pocket brackets being a pain, any pitfalls to avoid? Thanks
 
  #24  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:38 AM
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Well, my bed rails were already pretty worn and scratched - mostly because of the rail caps that were on it - and the fact that it was a service truck...

I would suggest getting help with positioning the cover on the bed - I did it solo but I added to the scratches in the bed in the process - if you're not careful, the latches that attach to the stake pocket brackets can drag across the paint and leave some nasty scratches... If you need to remove the cover in the future, for whatever reason, you may want help with it as it is a bit heavy and awkward... If you look at the second picture down (above - post #16), you'll notice a nasty looking scratch in the bed rail behind the front stake pocket - I did that while putting the cover on and positioning it...

Once the cover is on and adjusted, it doesn't seem to move around much at all so I don't think you'd have to worry a lot about it "rubbing" the paint - I think much of that depends on how tightly you adjust it to the bed - If you tighten it down too much, you won't be able to open it with the key so, keep that in mind - spraying the latches down with penetrating oil and putting a dob of grease on the bracket where the latch attaches helps with opening the cover...

The center brackets lock down tight against the bed rails - you could maybe put something in between the brackets and bed to help protect the paint but I'm not sure if that's really necessary - the brackets should already have something on them for that purpose...

The stake hole brackets were a bit of a pain to install. I don't think you'll have to worry too much about them marring the paint as they don't really seem to come in contact with the outside surface of the bed - they should have plastic "sleeves" that fit between the bracket and the top of the stake hole, but I left mine off as they were proving to be a pain to position... I found it's easier to remove the taillights so you can get your hand up inside the bed to help hold the bracket in place while you're bolting it in... I sheared off a bolt stud on one of the rear brackets - they seem to be made out of a rather soft metal so, I wouldn't go tightening them down too much - one of my summer projects will be to drill that stud out and run a regular bolt through there...

The guy I got it from had the bed liner that was designed to work with this cover and it had these large "T"-shaped holes where the center brackets went - I didn't have to do that with mine, but I did have to cut a slit in the liner to allow that part of the bracket that sits against the bed wall to go through...

Adjusting the brackets was a bit of an issue - you want them so that the cover is snug against the bed but not too snug so that you could still open it. The tailgate can still be opened with the cover down, but it's not easy - the rubber seal on the cover runs across the top of the tailgate and holds on to it fairly tightly.

I think I've opened this thing maybe 4 times since I put it on - I haven't been doing much hauling of anything over the winter...

I have noticed a slight increase in gas mileage - it seems to really help on windy days (which we get plenty of around here) - Lately, I've been averaging around 19-20 (mixed city/hwy miles - mostly hwy) with a 4.0L SOHC and 4.10 gears... It's not a significant mileage increase, but I've noticed it...

I've not had any complaints about this cover, so far... I've gotten quite a few looks from people - I think the overall "look" of the cover gets people's attentions.
 
  #25  
Old 02-22-2012, 02:57 AM
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I saw your bi-fold split tonneau cover in the 2003 Ranger brochure as a "Ford Dealer-Installed Accessory" for the Styleside bed. The description in the brochure is a Xerox of the way you described it. And, within their description is a mention of the "bedliner and tailgate protector" which I assume are molded from black ABS plastic.

They don't list part numbers, though... and of course, any application data would have been long-since out of date...

To be absolutely frank and honest, I believe the split bi-fold like yours is the best compromise of all tonneau designs; it offers more accessibility than the one-piece hard shell (like mine is), more security from snoopers and thieves than the roll-up canvas/vinyl models. And it retains the strength and durability inherent with a hard-shell cover.
The only drawback to the bi-fold, and it's a picayune one to be sure, is that it's not offered in body-finished color, and painting it would be a tenuous undertaking.

Pictures of my Flareside, with tonneau, for what it's worth:

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:03 AM
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Good info. Thanks for the posting.
 
  #27  
Old 08-06-2012, 12:55 PM
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I just got this exact same bi fold tonneau cover but no instructions! Have any idea of a part number or where to find instructions?
 
  #28  
Old 08-06-2012, 03:50 PM
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I was never able to find either a part # or instructions for this thing - I just laid the cover on the bed and went from there - just make sure the long section faces toward the front of the truck and the short section faces to the rear; then follow what I wrote above and you shouldn't have too much trouble installing it...
 
  #29  
Old 08-06-2012, 04:15 PM
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Thanks! Your post is very informative. These covers seem newer style & my truck is a 97 so hope it works. Previous owner also thru in the bed liner with holes cut out so hoping that helps out.
 
  #30  
Old 08-06-2012, 04:44 PM
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I don't think the beds on these changed all that much since the early-mid 90's so, it should fit your truck fine.
 

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