VY One Tonner

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VTXU8
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by VTXU8 »

You've been busy. Very handy to have welding skills. Something i'm yet to learn. But then I would need a bigger shed :D
brindo
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Western Queensland

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by brindo »

If only my welds were half decent. A mate sent me this and its pretty accurate.
Grinder Meme.jpg
Grinder Meme.jpg (16.67 KiB) Viewed 2527 times
Been wanting to make a new tray for my one tonner for quite some time now. When I originally bought it, it had an extra-long tray on it and it looked pig ugly with a lot of overhang. As fate would have it, we were loading some long sections of waste concrete in it with a Linsell hoist and ended up bending the back of the tray down by around 4”. We straightened it by loading it again with more concrete and lifting it by the tray corner with the same Linsell hoist. We had the back wheels in the air, but magically the tray was within a few mm of being straight again. But clearly had a weak point in the c purlin where it had bent. So I set about trying to find a replacement and I managed to find one of the factory “sports” trays in Musswellbrook. It was a solid 1700km drive in one day but bought it and ditched the extra-long one.

It looks a lot better but regardless of what tray is on these utes, all you get to see in your side mirrors is the tray and headboard. And it would still drag a lot of air. Over the years I had saved a few photos of some pretty neat trays that other people had made and wanted something similar. So that was the motivation for wanting to make a new one.

Plan was to make a steel frame, and use an alloy floor plank system which should be strong enough while keeping the weight down. I didn’t want to have something that looked good, but weighed half a tonne. And my goal was to have a headboard that followed the lines of the cab which shouldn’t drag too much air while improving side mirror visibility. The top of the headboard would be around cab height and when I need to use the hoop for a ladder rack, I could just bolt an extension on to it so whatever is up there clears the cab. I also wanted to drop the whole thing down closer to the chassis to lower the loading height a bit and the centre of gravity. For the rear tail light section, I was really hoping to replicate something along the lines of a HQ sedan only with 3 rectangle lights each side. I figure something like that would look pretty neat, but I was honest that is well outside my skill level, so will have to settle on something a lot simpler.

Like most things I’d made a few starts on it ages ago but it never really progressed very far. I bought the steel. Had a crack at making the tail light section. And then paid a mob to get the headboard bent up and that is when it lost momentum as it came back completely wrong. They assured me it could be bent up one piece, but what I got was a 5 piece jigsaw puzzle that wasn’t going to work. I would have been better off buying mandrel bends and piecing it together like that. But that how it sat for a while taking up room in my shed.

Then as more fate would have it, a truck got caught on the back of the ute while it was parked in the local shopping centre last year. I had parked it in my usual spot which is right out of the way, and I was actually fairly proud of how neatly I got it in between the lines for a change. But came back to find the front still between the lines, but the back end had been dragged over into the next car park. Anyway the truck driver was pretty upset, genuinely sorry and importantly had the decency to hang around. Surprisingly no real damage done. But it was the motivation I needed to get cracking on making this tray again.

Anyway, have made a start on it again. But during that time the pricing of standard ute tray floor planks has got out of hand - when I started they were less than $28 each, but are around $150 each now so will use the old floor planks from the original tray. I had a complete rethink on the headboard and cut and shut it as best I could. It’s not what I wanted, and certainly not as good as what I have seen on other trays but looks OK (from a distance). The outer frame is made and all welded up and have fabricated new mounts to set it down by 50mm. There is fairly limited scope to drop them down too much and still have clearance to the tyres. I didn’t want wheel tubs in the tray, so 50mm it is. Bought some LED tail lights and recessed them in the rear bar. They are a larger sequential indicator style - not so keen on the slim line lights that don’t offer a lot of visibility – I think you kind of need to be seen and at least these can be seen. It nothing nearly as noice as a HQ bumper would be, but it was something that I was able to achieve and still look reasonable.

Anyway this is how is currently sits. Not much to look at right now, but is a work in progress.
Ute Tray.PNG
Ute Tray.PNG (1.07 MiB) Viewed 2527 times
VTXU8
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by VTXU8 »

Mate, it looks good to me. Should look great when finished. And if plans change and you opt for something else, you could weld some bed springs on it and throw a mattress on top and chuck it in the kids room... or big kids room. :thumbup:
Last edited by VTXU8 on Wed Feb 15, 2023 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
brindo
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Western Queensland

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by brindo »

Haven’t made a great deal of progress. Been a bit snowed under work wise – probably no different to anyone else at the moment I guess.
Did a trial fit and the headboard is looking to be about where I wanted it sitting just shy of cab height. The new mounts I made though are completely wrong with the mounting holes. No surprises there really so will start again on them.

I also wanted to try to incorporate a bit of a storage area between the headboard and the cab. It won’t be very big, but it should get things like the jack, spare tyre winch handle, tie down straps and tools out of the cab. The back of it will need some recesses cut into it to clear the lumps on the back of the cab which will cut back on the useable space so have made a start on that. So far is looking OK and it’s not too heavy either yet – 2 people can lift it easily still. I suspect by far the most weight added will no doubt be in the 400 load resistors that I will need to get the LED tail lights working.
Tray Trial Fit.PNG
Headboard Storage Box.PNG
VTXU8
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by VTXU8 »

Good idea with the head board storage box! What type of door are you going to fit to it? On hinges or a sliding type setup?
brindo
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Western Queensland

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by brindo »

The door will be hinged and will just be the section of checker plate that I have cut out. Have ordered some stainless hinges and thinking a couple of t-handle locks at the top would do the trick. It won’t sit flush with the hinges, but hopefully will look OK while being functional. It won’t be water proof either, but none of the under tray boxes you can buy really are.

If I aim too high, I recon I will get nowhere. So it won’t be too elaborate as trying to keep it within my skill level.
VTXU8
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by VTXU8 »

Yeah will be pretty hard to make it waterproof. As long as it's functional and your happy with the end result. I'm modifying a tool box for my Nephew's ute atm. Low life scumbags broke into it and stole all his tools. Nearly 5g's worth and he's only on apprentice wage. They took to his Locks with a pry bar and snapped them off.

I bought him another box that has compression locks (no more secure ), but i'm adding 2 x12v deadbolts on both sides of the lid and controlled with a remote fob. Each deadbolt can handle up to 2 ton of force each. On top of that i will be hooking up an alarm and fitting a backup battery. The only way they will break in this time is with a blow torch or a grinder! I've done 2 boxes like these already. May not stop them but will slow them down and will make a lot of noise while doing so.
brindo
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:43 am
Location: Western Queensland

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by brindo »

I ended up getting some off cuts of the horse float extrusions for the tray floor at a reasonable price rather than reusing the old tray planks. These are a smooth finish rather than the ribs, but have decent load rating. I was intending of using a Ranger high level brake light but had second thoughts once I saw how much metal I would have to cut out. Have painted it in Raptor matched to the cab colour, and can’t say I am entirely happy with how it turned out - but this is purely a skills issue on my part. But bolted it all up and this is how the tray has sat for the last few months - pretty much finished other than the sideboards, which gave me some heartburn.
New Tray.JPG
For that, I needed a 225mm high alloy extrusion, and found a place in Brisbane to supply exactly what I needed. But freight was going to be a killer at over $360. So paid for them and bit the bullet, took a day off work and drove down to collect them myself. When I arrived, I found they had cut them 100mm too short.
No problem I think, just cut some more to the right length - but their saw was broken so can’t do that.
Just use a hacksaw and cut some more I thought – they wouldn’t do that either.
So I ask for a refund, and they pulled out a story that I told them shorter measurements over the phone. So can’t do that either.
Anyway worse things have happened to me, so kept my cool and left empty handed with a partial refund to enjoy a 1000km round trip for nothing. When I got home, found a google review which someone had left basically saying they can supply the alloy you want, but consistently cut it to the wrong lengths. Lesson learnt.

So after a bit of moping around, I found another place that could supply what I needed, and this time freight was a more reasonable $70. So paid for it and waited. And waited. 10 weeks later it gets delivered - to someone in Cairns thanks to a courier stuff up.
A couple of weeks later it gets delivered to me, only to find they have sent the wrong profile that needed a sealing cap which is NLA. Anyway, worse things have happened, and on the positive side at least this alloy supplier was genuinely helpful and trying to fix the mistake rather than blame it on me. And within a week after that they corrected everything and I had the right profile delivered.

So I had made the sideboards with the old profile and haven’t done anything with the new profile yet, but decided to fit the tray anyway. It’s certainly a lot heavier than the original tray, and am yet to sort the fuel filler and RH side undertray box out yet. Definitely doesn’t look as good as some of the other trays I have seen but it should be functional and do what I need it to do. It’s sitting another 50mm lower and still looks to have plenty of clearance to the tyres. There is a huge improvement in visibility and the side mirrors actually have a purpose now with the only part of the tray I can see in the rear view mirror is a little bit of the top of the tool box. Think I have run out of excuses now not to reverse park and stay in the lines.

Going for a drive, the first thing you notice (other than one of the floor planks rattling at idle :x ) is how much quieter it is in the cab, which I guess is the tray dragging less air. I have only been for a short drive on the highway, but the real surprise is that its pulling another 2-3”Hg of vacuum at highway speeds. Yet to take it for long drive, but didn’t think there would be that much improvement. It might only have another 1” Hg vacuum at 60km/hr if that, but just goes to show how much things like ute trays, roof racks, bullbars etc can affect aerodynamics. I was worried about the extra weight but potentially there might be a bit of an improvement in the fuel economy.
Anyway pretty happy its finally fitted and even if its a case of looks good from far, but far from good.
New Tray 2.JPG
New Tray 3.JPG
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Gareth
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Location: Bacchus Marsh, Vic

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by Gareth »

Love it :thumbup:
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution...
VTXU8
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: VY One Tonner

Post by VTXU8 »

What a stuff around you had. But good result in the end. Looks great.
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