Tundra - Bed Rail Alternative

MotoDave

Explorer
My new Tundra didn't come with the Toyota deck rail system, and after seeing the similar setup that a few friends with Tacomas have I decided I'd do something a bit sturdier. I used L-Track, sometimes called airline seat track, cut to length and drilled to attach to the factory screw holes. The L-Track uses cleats that can be popped into place anywhere along the rail with one hand, and are rated for 2200 lbs each. In this application the 6 small M6 mounting screws, and the sheet metal of the bed sides, would be the limiting factor.

I used 3 6' sections of L-track. The side rails need an inch trimmed off, and the front is cut down to 56 3/4". The slot for the front rail is barely narrower than the l-track, so I used a chamfer bit to chamfer the edge and allow it to sit flat. This may not be necessary if you don't have a spray in bedliner.

I bought the track and cleats here: L Track Tie Down - Airline Track Cargo Tie Down Rails & L Track Straps ($35 per 6' length, cleats are $3-5 each depending on type)
I fastened it into the factory mounting holes using stainless steel M6x1.00 flat head screws, 20mm long. McMaster P/N 93395A360 ($7.99 for a pack of 25)

Note that the track sections sold by US Cargo controls are pre-drilled on 4" centers. It worked out for me that one hole on each rail matched up, the rest had to be marked, drilled and countersunk. I'm looking into other sources for the track that offer it un-drilled, which would look much cleaner without the unused holes. I'd also like to see about getting the rails anodized black, although they don't look bad in bare aluminum I think.

To mark where I needed to drill holes I used my lathe to turn the heads off of some M6x1.25 screws, and sharpened the end to a point. Screw these into the mounting holes, then hold the rail in place and tap the rail over each point to mark where the holes need to be drilled. I also made myself a couple of jigs in case I end up making more of these.







Normal tie-down loop fitting:


Threaded fitting:
 
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osidepunker

Adventurer
zombie thread...

Hows it holding up???

I am thinking about going this route for the floor of the bed. That way I can strap low stuff like coolers to the floor.
 

MotoDave

Explorer
The rails are working out well. I added a camper shell to the truck, and am using these clamps (LINK) in conjunction with the L-track threaded fittings to secure it. So far i've not noticed any shifting of the shell at all.



Bonus Feature - the ring type fittings make for a decent fishing rod holder to keep the rods out of the way of shifting cargo in the bed of the truck.



I am planning out a platform/drawer build, and will incorporate 2 of these tracks into the top surface for lashing down gear.
 

osidepunker

Adventurer
...using stainless steel M6x1.25 flat head screws, 20mm long. McMaster P/N 93395A360 ($7.99 for a pack of 25)...
Can you confirm the screw size for me? I don't think anyone makes M6x1.25. Did you mean M6x1 or M8x1.25? (My truck is in the shop for the next couple weeks otherwise I would just go pull a screw off the truck and check)

thx!
 

MotoDave

Explorer
Can you confirm the screw size for me? I don't think anyone makes M6x1.25. Did you mean M6x1 or M8x1.25? (My truck is in the shop for the next couple weeks otherwise I would just go pull a screw off the truck and check)

thx!
Good catch, M6 x 1.00 is the screw size to fit the factory bed rail mounting holes.

If you're mounting them to the floor of the bed I think you can use normal 1/4-20 screws, us cargo control sells a set of screws, nuts and washers meant for installing these.
 

osidepunker

Adventurer
Good catch, M6 x 1.00 is the screw size to fit the factory bed rail mounting holes.

If you're mounting them to the floor of the bed I think you can use normal 1/4-20 screws, us cargo control sells a set of screws, nuts and washers meant for installing these.
Thanks! Yeah I already mounted rails to the bed floor. I did use 1/4-20. Worked great! But I had to remove them cuz Im getting a half bed cage installed and they are going to cut a few holes in the bed. I can re-install the floor rails when I get the truck back. Just gotta cut them up a little.

They work so well that I am goona replace the bed side rails so that I can use the tie downs at any location.
 

Crom

Expo this, expo that, exp
The rails are working out well. I added a camper shell to the truck, and am using these clamps (LINK) in conjunction with the L-track threaded fittings to secure it. So far i've not noticed any shifting of the shell at all.



Bonus Feature - the ring type fittings make for a decent fishing rod holder to keep the rods out of the way of shifting cargo in the bed of the truck.

I am planning out a platform/drawer build, and will incorporate 2 of these tracks into the top surface for lashing down gear.
^ Brilliant! I love it. Thanks for sharing.
 

Camelfilter

Explorer
Nice!

Another option is "superstrut", available at most big box stores. They don't have the nice tie down options, but may be an easier alternative for some folks.

Nissans "utilitrac" system is the exact same internal width as superstrut, so I've used a bunch of superstrut spring nuts & hardwear for my truck bed.
 

vdeal

Observer
MotoDave,

I couple questions. Can you use devices designed for the Toyota Rail System in the L Track? I'm looking at a bicycle mount that goes in the Toyota C Channel and would like to know if I could use it with the L Track. Also, I have a drop in bedliner and I know that to install the Toyota Bed Rails you have to cut notches in the side of the liner and cut part of the front off. I don't mind cutting the notches but don't want to cut the front. Do you cut the notches for the L track and do you think you could just put it over the bedliner in the front. Thanks.
 

MotoDave

Explorer
MotoDave,

I couple questions. Can you use devices designed for the Toyota Rail System in the L Track? I'm looking at a bicycle mount that goes in the Toyota C Channel and would like to know if I could use it with the L Track.
I don't think mounts for the toyota C-channel will fit. L-track uses a round spring loaded section to secure the cleats into place.

Also, I have a drop in bedliner and I know that to install the Toyota Bed Rails you have to cut notches in the side of the liner and cut part of the front off. I don't mind cutting the notches but don't want to cut the front. Do you cut the notches for the L track and do you think you could just put it over the bedliner in the front. Thanks.
If the drop in bedliner fits flush against the bed in the areas where the factory mounting holes are, I think it would work? I'd make sure you're not trying to compress the bedliner across a gap.
 

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