Jump to content

Trex Gone - Aluminum On. Bed Decking Upgrade Project.


RandyA

Recommended Posts

The Trex decking is gone. It served me well for six years. In its place are 2” x 8” aluminum bleacher foot boards. Unlike bleacher seats they have squared edges and are physically stronger than the seat boards. You can see this in the cross section – 3/16” thick, hard aluminum.

 

cross%20section.jpg

 

Right now nothing is screwed down and the boards have not been cleaned and the holes need to be filled. The boards were cut to the needed size from 12’ long pieces using a carbide blade on a 12” sliding miter saw. The two hatch doors have been made by bolting the aluminum together and riveting on a 1” x 1” angle edging. All fasteners, cleats, and hinges will be stainless steel. The 4” x 4” pressure treated sub frame I put on in 2010 is still in good condition and intact. There was no reason to replace it. A Smart is not in the future and the current framing carries a golf cart with no issues. The existing PVC side panels worked into the change from 5/4” Trex to the 2” aluminum by using a filler strip along the top edge and 2” x 2” aluminum angle to cover the edges of the thicker decking. This made the project a little easier and less expensive. Still a fair amount of work before I can call it done but I can now see what a finished project will look like and I am pleased.

 

deck.jpg

 

The rear, which was previously just painted, has been covered with diamond plate aluminum and new LED tail lights (which the Volvo LCM does not like).

 

bed%201.jpg

 

Everything was found in surplus outlets while in Goshen, IN in August. I bought the twelve 12’ long aluminum boards for $16.50 each ($198) – that is about $2.00 a square foot. I initially thought about putting a truck bed coating on the surface but have since decided to just clean them real good and leave the natural gray mill finish. I brought back more goodies but will save what they are and how I intend to use them for a later post. Right now I have the outer band of a hurricane with a forecast of 40 mph wind and lots of rain to prepare for :( (note the standard issue Volvo propeller - it may come in handy :rolleyes: ) .

 

I look forward to my now annual trek to the surplus places in and around Elkhart. They have so much to offer at pennies on the dollar if you just take the time to dig through everything and use a lot of imagination ^_^ .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Randy,

 

Give me a call and I'll get you through the LCM issues if you don't already have it all figured out.

David, I have a couple of ways in mind to make the LCM happy but would still like to know what yours is - it's probably better. I would also like to talk with you about sourcing L-Ion batteries for another project I have in mind. I don't have your number - I guess I did but don't know where it is now. Please PM me or email professor95 at comcast dot net. I would like to talk with you. And Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found a "trick" on my truck that may also work on yours concerning the LED's and the LCM.

It appears that the LCM can "learn" when a light configuration is changed.....

When I swapped out some LED's the LCM threw some fault codes and I just ignored them.

After a number of key cycles the faults went inactive and everything seemed to work as normal.

I didn't really count the key cycles but I'm guessing it was between 5 and 10.

Don't know if this works on all of the LCM's but might be worth a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Randy,

 

Give me a call and I'll get you through the LCM issues if you don't already have it all figured out.

Well, I still have a Check on my new lights, and the LCM certainly should have trained itself by now. The lights went on at the Rally last year. The Check was not present when the lights were first installed, but then appeared after we left the Rally and has been present since. We should take a look at it at the Rally. They work great....best lights I have seen that were "stock"-like. (not add-ons to the grill).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I still have a Check on my new lights, and the LCM certainly should have trained itself by now. The lights went on at the Rally last year. The Check was not present when the lights were first installed, but then appeared after we left the Rally and has been present since. We should take a look at it at the Rally. They work great....best lights I have seen that were "stock"-like. (not add-ons to the grill).

 

Definitely--if all goes according to plan, I'll be there right around 10/1. 2009 trucks are definitely the most stubborn/slow learners, but it's an easy fix.

 

Randy--PM sent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2009 trucks are definitely the most stubborn/slow learners, but it's an easy fix.

Agree they're stubborn so we opted for the lobotomy route. Timing was good for us because we installed your bi-xenon lights before we had Volvo make some necessary computer setting changes. When we took the truck in for removal of the 65 mph governor, we had some other settings we wanted to change and it was simple to also remove the LCM error message on low headlight current.

 

Couldn't be more pleased with the lights David!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does the aluminum foot board work in the heat? As a heat sink, I wonder about them getting hot, esp when you want to put your HANDS on it. OUCH!

I really like the idea though. Great repurposing.

Don't know yet - but not deciding to put black bed coating on them was in part due to heat retention. The aluminum is sure to get hot but at least it is reflective and should stay a few degrees cooler underneath with the way it is made that will allow air flow. The old Trex composite decking would get hot too, hot enough that you did not want to put bare hands on it. The bad thing was the Trex would expand considerably and needed extra supports to prevent sag when exposed to 90+ degree heat and direct sunlight. It didn't rot, splinter or need sealing but there is only so much structural strength to a board made of recycled plastic milk jugs, sawdust and resin. The aluminum will do a much better job.

 

I do have up some surplus fire sprinkler heads and piping. Thought I might convert one of the 150 gallon fuel tanks to water and put in a pump with a temperature sensor on the aluminum decking and run the sprinklers overhead. Now, when it gets hot the fire sprinklers will spray cool water over the aluminum. A second benefit is Nancy can use the sprinkler piping to hang laundry - even dry it as we drive down the road. OK - :P NOT TRUE. But I thought it would make a good story :lol:.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes....I put on (actually David put on) all new housings with his bulbs. Definitely the way to go - polishing does not typically last long.

Coat them with urethane clear coat after polishing - may need to get a paint & body shop to do that since the product does not come in rattle cans. All other coatings like acrylic, lacquer, product wipe on's are not going to hold up, but the urethane clear will last longer than the OEM coating and will not yellow. I have David's lamps as well and am very pleased with them. The LCM on my '04 adapted to the LED high beam replacements with no problems. I did have to put 6 ohm, 50 watt resistors on the LED tail lights and turn signals. It would not learn those without the resistance of a 1157 filament lamp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When they were $500+ each from the dealer (not that many years ago), I'd be in the camp of polishing them until there were holes in the plastic, and urethane definitely prolongs the life of the polishing job as Randy points out (not doing anything afterwards will be an exercise in frustration). At least on my housings (2004 vintage Volvo housings, presumably original), the rubber trim had deteriorated, and one of the adjusters was broken. I limped along for a while with a wedge holding the movable part of the internals, and used a window molding of some sort for a while.

 

But with new housings a lot more affordable in the aftermarket, that's what I'd probably do now. If you go to Advantage Truck Parts, you can order Depo housings (like what Jack has) for $340+shipping, which should be good for a few years at least. If there's interest, I suppose I could coordinate a group buy with Advantage Truck Parts for the national rally like we did at the ECR. So long as we don't tip Gregg's Smart over in the process!

 

Everybody--whether Volvo, KW, Pete, Toyota, etc., or aftermarket--uses polycarbonate with a UV-inhibiting coating. All of the name-brand stuff should meet FMVSS108 standards against yellowing (3 years in AZ and FL), and there are some coatings that go above and beyond. But the standard addresses UV weathering assuming no physical wear or abrasion (a separate test). With enough miles, those coatings get scrubbed away, and the unprotected polycarbonate then quickly degrades--either hazing with UV exposure, or stress corrosion cracking from salt water exposure. Particularly on trucks that see a lot of mileage, and particularly on the very large gen-2 Volvo headlights, it's not uncommon to have lights the color of something you'd order at Starbucks by the time the trucks are 3-5 years old, and that's without saying anything about internal degradation, which is one of the Volvos' acute weak spots. A plastic projector in close proximity to a halogen bulb doesn't last long, particularly when the lens acts as a magnifying glass in direct sunlight. While I had pretty good experience with urethane, it would seem that there's some reason it isn't used as original equipment--I might try to dig a little more on that.

 

Randy--With those resistors, make sure you get them in good thermal contact with something metal to help dissipate the heat, ideally with some thermal grease. There are guys out there that try to use those without a good bond, and they'll go up in smoke at a nice long red light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Trex decking is gone. It served me well for six years. In its place are 2” x 8” aluminum bleacher foot boards. Unlike bleacher seats they have squared edges and are physically stronger than the seat boards. You can see this in the cross section – 3/16” thick, hard aluminum.

 

cross%20section.jpg

 

Right now nothing is screwed down and the boards have not been cleaned and the holes need to be filled. The boards were cut to the needed size from 12’ long pieces using a carbide blade on a 12” sliding miter saw. The two hatch doors have been made by bolting the aluminum together and riveting on a 1” x 1” angle edging. All fasteners, cleats, and hinges will be stainless steel. The 4” x 4” pressure treated sub frame I put on in 2010 is still in good condition and intact. There was no reason to replace it. A Smart is not in the future and the current framing carries a golf cart with no issues. The existing PVC side panels worked into the change from 5/4” Trex to the 2” aluminum by using a filler strip along the top edge and 2” x 2” aluminum angle to cover the edges of the thicker decking. This made the project a little easier and less expensive. Still a fair amount of work before I can call it done but I can now see what a finished project will look like and I am pleased.

 

deck.jpg

 

The rear, which was previously just painted, has been covered with diamond plate aluminum and new LED tail lights (which the Volvo LCM does not like).

 

bed%201.jpg

 

Everything was found in surplus outlets while in Goshen, IN in August. I bought the twelve 12’ long aluminum boards for $16.50 each ($198) – that is about $2.00 a square foot. I initially thought about putting a truck bed coating on the surface but have since decided to just clean them real good and leave the natural gray mill finish. I brought back more goodies but will save what they are and how I intend to use them for a later post. Right now I have the outer band of a hurricane with a forecast of 40 mph wind and lots of rain to prepare for :( (note the standard issue Volvo propeller - it may come in handy :rolleyes: ) .

 

I look forward to my now annual trek to the surplus places in and around Elkhart. They have so much to offer at pennies on the dollar if you just take the time to dig through everything and use a lot of imagination ^_^ .

Great ideal and makes for a nice bed. That will out last the wood for sure.

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...