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Brat chrome bed trim alternatives


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27 replies to this topic

#1 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:16 PM

Project XRBrati is finally getting closer to a paint job, and thus I'm finally going to need to figure out what I'm doing to cover up that oddball pinch-weld seam that surrounds the entire bed. I have a complete set of the flimsy factory trim (less the tail gate portion), but I'd prefer to use something else, for several reasons:
1) Looks tacky, fragile and cheap (not at all "truck like")
2) Most of the factory clips are gone/broken
3) I wouldn't be able to use most of the factory clips any way, since I've filled several of the square holes in the body with structural foam.

Has anyone found any sort of thick rubber trim that could do the job?

The only thing I can think of is filling the back cavity of the trim with structural foam or bed-liner, and then cut out a groove so that it fits in place over the pinch-weld seam. Then I'd just use the screws to retain it. But that would be a timely venture, no doubt.

And even after all that, I still need to figure out a solution for the tail-gate. Here, I'm thinking about cutting the pinch-weld off entirely and then structurally bonding a diamond-plate Aluminum saddle in it's place.

Any way, there's my current thinking - I'm open to any and all ideas.

OBTW, here's a couple links to what the car looks like today.
http://img.photobuck...at-010409-2.jpg

http://img.photobuck...at-010409-3.jpg

#2 Caramanos2000

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:47 PM

Use herculiner on their, it looks sweet and if done right if almost indestructible.

#3 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:58 PM

Use herculiner on their, it looks sweet and if done right if almost indestructible.


Herculiner is a crappy 1-part product - this will be getting a sprayed-on 2-part urethane bed-liner that will outlast Plutonium. :grin:

But that doesn't address what to do with that seam. I considered cutting it out at one point, but there's just too much strength in there.

Turning my attention strictly to the tailgate for a minute, anyone ever try fitting a spoiler on one? Nothing over-the-top, just something like what you see on some Dodge trucks, like this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories

#4 monstaru

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:22 PM

i often thought about filling in the outside area to match the rest of the body to make a very unnoticable transition.and then adding tie downs along the inside .

obviously one would want to use a fiberglass product as opposed to your regular filler.

as far as the tailgate goes, there is a guy that comes on here very little that lives in my area that took a piece of poly-plastic and shaped it on a mill to fit as a tailgate trim.
if a guy had access to the right tools anything is possible.but i have not seen any sort of spoiler on the back of one.

someone made a tailgate trim piece out of diamondplate as well.cheers,brian

#5 ihscout54

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:33 PM

When I fixed mine I was going to use door seam channel type weather stripping, or a door edge gaurd. You can get the edge gaurds in a chrome finish. I ended up drilling a few holes in the chrome piece and using toggle bolts (dry wall anchors) w/ stainles screws and tightened them barely hand tight. It works fine, looks fine.

#6 Caramanos2000

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:06 PM

[quote name='DPDISXR4Ti']Herculiner is a crappy 1-part product -

I beg to differ, this stuff is amazing when properly used and will outlast your car lol. I used to for the roof and hood of my car, an interior of a pickup and some paintball equipment. :banana::banana:

#7 wallaby

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:28 PM

will be inerested to see what you come up with, i have been thinking about this too as i use 1 of my Brats for serious truck type jobs and the tacky chrome trim is not standing up to it. I had thought of some bed rails kinda like these
http://www.pickupspe...ruck_side_b.htm

but doesent the Baja have something like that.
I was thinking something more servicable as i would use it to tie stuff down etc but the therory is the same.
the tailgate wing is a cool idea - go to a shop that sells canopys - they have to remove them from the tailgate for the canopy to fit right. Dodges and late model Chevys have a similar setup that you may be able to modify

I will be watching to see what everyone comes up with

#8 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:47 PM

i have been thinking about this too as i use 1 of my Brats for serious truck type jobs and the tacky chrome trim is not standing up to it.


Right, that's the driver for this - the stock trim is really not "truck-suitable" at all - it's decorative trim.

The problem is two fold...
1) That seam is structural, so just cutting it off is a bad idea unless you significantly build some strength back into it.

2) Because the Brat bed is not flat like a typical truck bed, most all of the rail solutions won't work.

I really wish they didn't build this thing the way that they did - it's quite annoying when it comes to stuff like this. :mad:

#9 bratman18

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:06 PM

Right, that's the driver for this - the stock trim is really not "truck-suitable" at all - it's decorative trim.

The problem is two fold...
1) That seam is structural, so just cutting it off is a bad idea unless you significantly build some strength back into it.

2) Because the Brat bed is not flat like a typical truck bed, most all of the rail solutions won't work.

I really wish they didn't build this thing the way that they did - it's quite annoying when it comes to stuff like this. :mad:


You also have to keep in mind that while yes, sometimes you can get away with hauling some decent sized things for short distances, a Brat is still not a truck! It is a car in every way except for the fact that it has a SMALL bed

#10 wallaby

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:27 PM

maybe i should clarify, I am using mine more as a utility vehicle around a irrigated fruit and vege farm. works better than a ATV for the steep hillsides and handles muddy irrigated fields like a champ(even with free bald tires)
the farm(before my time) has killed a RH drive legacy and a couple of gen 1 wagons doing simmilar things.

as a result I am rarely hauling heavy loads but the pickup bed ALWAYS has stuff in it- irrigation pipes, boxes of fruit, people so having somewhere to tie down or hold on to is good.

My thought was to run a pipe (3/4" or 1") above the tacky chrome trimbolting it onto the front - maybe incorporating a rollbar/grizzly bar/headache rack behind the cab (made out of larger diameter and putting a 90 deg bend or flat plate or something at the back by the tailgate. for the tailgate it is often used as a bench so i would cover the whole inside with diamond plate and roll it over the top to cover the pinchweld.
i would be doing this right now but my welder died:mad: so i have to replace it before i can do anything

#11 Yo'J

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:48 PM

I'm a wood guy, so I would use wood as it is easily cut to any shape or size. I've had wood racks on all my cars, some shapely some more utilitarian. I've always wanted to do a wood brat camper top, resume' quality. Sleek and rounded, brightworked for sure, with phosphor bronze visible.:lol: But I still want to do a subaru boat too!:rolleyes: I guess it depends on your theme.

Nice job by the way!

#12 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:27 PM

a Brat is still not a truck!


Oh yeah! :lol:

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#13 bratman18

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:39 PM

Oh yeah! :lol:


what the hell is that?:lol:

#14 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:44 PM

what the hell is that?:lol:


http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=24401

#15 moosens

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:43 PM

Way to go Brad !! Happy New Year. Good to see you going strong on the Merkrat.

#16 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

Way to go Brad !! Happy New Year. Good to see you going strong on the Merkrat.


Hey Paul! Progress has actually been miserably slow on this project over the past 7 months. I sorta plateau'd out after Carlisle and only took some baby steps to finish off a couple minor stages. I've found a body guy now, and before I hand it over to him for paint I need to do a couple things, so that's sorta got me back on track.

#17 newsoobdude

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:20 PM

I would think after all the hard work you did making your Merkrat that you'd be able to figure something (not to be mean but that was a LOT of work you did). One idea I've had is take some sheet metal the same thickness as the body and form a "c" that is just tall enough to clear the body seam and weld in place or bond or whatever. You'd end up with no more seam and a flat top as well. Only "fun" part would be all the pie cuts you'd have to make from the roof to the bed top. Good luck and let us know what you do.
PS
The Merkrat looks absolutely SIC:slobber:!!!!!!!

#18 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:29 PM

Only "fun" part would be all the pie cuts you'd have to make from the roof to the bed top.


Yea, that's the part that makes this so much more difficult - it's not just a simple, flat rectangle like most other truck beds.

The other twist is that I'd still like to be able to use the camper top every now and then, so I don't want to build something out that makes that impossible.

#19 DaveAP

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:34 PM

I milled a piece of wood to follow the curve of the tailgate, and grooved it to fit over the seam. That's as far as it's gone. I'm not entirely pleased with the look, but I use my brat as a daily driver and it sees ALOT of things tied down on the tailgate.
I still have the trim but it was taking a beating.

#20 newsoobdude

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 02:16 AM

The other twist is that I'd still like to be able to use the camper top every now and then, so I don't want to build something out that makes that impossible.

So I've never seen the underside of a cap where it rests along the bed sides but how hard would it be to make my idea work as a "flat sheet metal alternative" to the flimsy bed trim with the step on the one edge? I was thinking replace the trim with the "c" and would think that a different rubber between the shell and trim would compensate for the step but............. Worst case replicate the trim in sheet metal (yes I know BIG PITA but......)

#21 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:06 AM

how hard would it be to make my idea work as a "flat sheet metal alternative" to the flimsy bed trim with the step on the one edge?


For the straight sections, not so difficult - might even be able to use some stock Aluminum channel. But for the shaped sections - all but impossible for a one-off piece. I don't really like the idea of a mixed bag of stock trim for the shaped sections and something else for the flats, but it might come to that.

The cap touchs the body a couple inches outside the pinch-weld seam, so as long as I don't go much taller than the stock trim, nor much wider, I wouldn't have a conflict there.

#22 newsoobdude

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:08 PM

For the straight sections, not so difficult - might even be able to use some stock Aluminum channel. But for the shaped sections - all but impossible for a one-off piece. I don't really like the idea of a mixed bag of stock trim for the shaped sections and something else for the flats, but it might come to that.

The cap touchs the body a couple inches outside the pinch-weld seam, so as long as I don't go much taller than the stock trim, nor much wider, I wouldn't have a conflict there.


Nice! I know it'd be time consuming to pie cut the daylights out of a c channel to conform to the contours of the bed but would most likely be better than OEM bed trim.

#23 pksjeep

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:46 PM

I am the fellow that Monsteroo referred to about using the plastic on my tailgate. I think material is is called HHMW plastic, it comes in black or white. It is kind of expensive to use but holds up good and the material flexes to match the tail gait profile so I could do all the machining in straight strip. On the bottom side I used a table saw to cut a groove wide enough for the pinch weld. I stopped the cut and started the cut where the pinch weld did the same. Then I cleaned up the stop and starts on the bottom with a router table. (The stop and starts keep the plastic strip in shape), I used various shaped router bits and the router table to profile the top to match the current chrome profile. The cap is slightly thicker because I was afraid it would be to thin if I matched the trim exactly. The router table did a great job leaving a good finish on the part, The Table saw finish is not good.
If you are going to make the all the trim I would change the top side profile to a flat top and use a router to make some nice radiuses on the edges. I used a brad point bit to make the counter bores for mounting the trim this left a flat bottom and a center point for drilling thru. Counter bore depth equals the thickness of the screw head you are going to use. I followed with a standard twist drill bit to finish the hole thru the material . First I used a small drill bit so I could again use a brad point bit to counter bore the bottom side to make room for the mounting hardware. After I counter bored the bottom side I opened the thru hole up to match the bolt size. I used plastic nuts from a door armrest or license. plate mount these snapped into the existing square holes perfectly. I also used stainless steel pan head screws to mount the strip on.

#24 DPDISXR4Ti

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:25 PM

I am the fellow that Monsteroo referred to about using the plastic on my tailgate. I think material is is called HHMW plastic,


Thanks for checking in and providing some details. Doing some quick searching, I'm guessing that's its UHMW plastic. Do you have any pics of what you fabricated? I'm thinking I could do it in black on the straight sections and then just paint the curved portions as close as possible matching black.

What did you do for the corners - just miter them at a 45?

Look forward to seeing/hearing any further details.

Thanks...:clap:

#25 Speedwagon

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 02:38 PM

Did anything more ever come from the ideas in this thread?




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