cheap MOLLE / PALS gear mount

#1
If you don't have experience with MOLLE / PALS gear, I recommend you check into it. Even a quick google image search will show you there's a wide range of pouches and bags available to help organize the little things in your rig. This is a good overview of the different ways the gear can be attached: Gear Reviews

I can't take credit for the concept, just the cheaper way of doing it -> www.springtailsolutions.com/ <- this is pretty much where I got the idea from, but I would never pay $175 for the panel pictured below. If you have the cash, though, I've heard the quality is decent - mostly FJCruiser stuff with a few generic panels for Jeeps and a full cargo area system for Yukon/Tahoe

There are some fabric panels here that also hold some promise: www.smittybilt.com/gear.htm

I installed 2 bars to both rear side windows a few days ago. They're surprisingly sturdy and I don't expect 'em to ever pull out - I can rock the truck on its suspension by pulling/pushing on these without any movement from 'em.



The reason for the top bar was so I could mount a piece wire closet shelf between the two to attach MOLLE/PALS bags. As long as the wires are 1" center-to-center these bags will attach easily and securely. A few other ideas I had involved using wire a refrigerator shelf, fire circle grate, grill grate - just imagine any kind of wire shelf with 1" spacing.


This was the original finished product with the thick vertical wires bent over for mounting. I temporarily mounted it with wire ties, but it seemed secure enough that I could have left it like that. If it came loose, hose clamps would have been a good simple solution.


After a few days I realized the wires on the long span bend a bit easily, although the MOLLE/PALS gear, when properly strung up, will distribute the weight to each wire its attached to. This shouldn't have posed a problem, but I might have too much time on my hands right now. If it wasn't plastic coated I would have just added another vertical wire to brace it all up. The other problem had to do with stringing up the MOLLE/PALS gear with the wire shelf installed on the shell - there's not really enough room to work between the shelf and the window.

So I decided to build my own grate to mount my stuff on. I took off the original shelf and wire tied 3/16" round to the horizontals, this is how I kept the spacing - in effect, the wire shelf was my welding jig. I wouldn't go thicker than 3/16" for the horizontals or it would become really difficult to stretch the nylon straps enough to string up the gear. I used 1/4" round for the verticals and welded 5/16" nuts to the end of the verticals for mounting to the 1/2" conduit clamps on the window bars. The conduit clamps got 1/4" RivNuts to mount the grill. This also spaced the grill away from the window a bit more, but I still have to pull the grill off to string gear on. Here's the mount to the window bar:


My new spot for the first aid kit. This is from Condor and is mounted to the MOLLE panel with velcro. It also has a plastic buckle to keep it from coming off on its own (think "rough road"), one buckle and the pack pulls right off without having to mess around with the MOLLE straps.
 
#2
very nice. i've been contemplating doing something similar for all of the wasted space in my 4R. I don't have any MOLLE or PALS stuff yet, so that's been the delay...but there's been tons of brainstorming. I really want to do something similar to an overhead console but I'm not sure how I want to anchor it.

it's definitely something that can be done by just about anyone ...without having to fork up $175.
 

SWITAWI

Doesn't Get Out Enough
#6
Very nicely done. I think the FJ Side Rack from Springtail is better suited for a good-sized extinguisher or co2 bottle.
 
#8
rise from the dead!

i love this idea, and will be putting it to use. seems to me that the idea of BBQ grill grating would be better suited as it is built much stronger. the trick being the 1" spacing.

and grills go up for free/trash/cheap sale all the time on craigslist. ill report back with my findings!
 
#9
Timely necrothread. I recently installed expanded metal grating as part of making my truck shell a more secure place. Somewhere along the line it occurred to me that many sizes of it are MOLLE-compatible.

It does look a bit like a prison transport, but doesn't feel that way as I camp in the open desert under the stars

photo.jpg
 

robert

Expedition Leader
#11
Fourfa- how did you mount that expanded metal? Any more pictures? I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with my camper shell as the single factory handle on the back just isn't enough for the amount of camping gear that seems to always stay there.
 
#12
there's a mesh called Gridwall that comes in 2X8 panels.it's heavy guage and about 4 inch mesh. it would make a very nice cargo rack at a minimum cost. it can be found online and at display dealers.
 
#13
The windows in the Leer shell are held together by screws through the inside window surround, into aluminum in the outer window assembly. Two dozen screws hold the whole thing together. I just put another two dozen screws in between them, with fender washers for the screw heads, and metal spacers to 'headspace' the grating onto that window surround (instead of the window itself)

It's hard to see but I cut a rectangular channel in the grate so I could still operate the sliding window. That was the hardest part of the whole thing, honestly. Used a metal-cutting blade on a cheap saber saw - slow, but easy to maneuver. Tried to hit a lot of razor edges with a file. One thing I noticed - one side of the grate has razor sharp edges from the cutting process, the other is more rounded. Put the rounded side to the inside where you're more likely to touch it. I used tape and split loom with zipties to cover as much of the edge as possible.
 
Top