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Installed UT in non UT bed w/ reinforcement

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As the title says, I finally finished installing the utilitrack rails on the 3 sides of my bed with reinforcements under the sheet metal where the two tracks come together on the side of the bed. In all, it took about 1.5 hrs. per side after my metal was cut to size. The rails are very strong and look great. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have to help illustrate this but I'll attempt to describe the process I used in case someone else finds it useful. Feel free to ask questions or PM if something doesn't make sense.

If you're going to get a spray-in liner I would recommend doing that before you install the utilitracks.

Tools needed: Mechanical fingers, extendable magnet, ¼” ratchet, ½” ratchet, box end wrench, string, ~7”x7”x1/16” metal, Dremel tool, drill and drill bits.

1. Cut/obtain/whatever two pieces of metal approximately 7”x7”. The metal I used was closer to 6 ½” square and 1/16” thick.

2. Look underneath the bed rails and locate the plastic fasteners used to hold the bed rail caps on. The fasteners have hooks on both sides that grab the hole in the bed rail. Begin removing the bed rail caps by carefully squeezing both the inside and outside of the fasteners one at a time. Note, there are two rows of fasteners. Only one can be reached from inside the bed. I loosened the outer row by pushing the inside of the fastener with a screwdriver and pulling the outside with a seal remover (similar to a dental pick). The cap is also held on with double sided tape at the back of the bed. Follow the directions in this link for locating the existing nuts in the bed.

This is a very good write-up and saved me a lot of time and headaches. With regards to the track on the front of the bed, my truck already had bolts in these locations. I only needed to drill through the sheet metal to locate the nuts on the sides of the bed.

3. Install the front and rear sections on one side of the bed by using the existing nuts. You will only have two bolts at each end of the track at this point.

4. Verify the front and rear tracks are level with the bed rail and with each other. Mark and drill the bolt holes in the middle of the bed.

5. Slide the piece of metal you cut earlier up underneath the tracks between the tracks and bed wall. Leave a small gap near the top to give yourself some wiggle room when installing the bolts. Mark the holes through the tracks on the metal. Once the holes are marked, remove the metal and drill out the holes. Make the holes big enough for the bolts to easily slide through.

6. Now you’ll need to cut a small hole on the top of the bed rail similar to a stake pocket but not as large. You’ll notice there is a ridge on top of the bed rail right above the location where the tracks will mount. Just forward of that ridge, there are two holes, one oval and one rectangle. I used a Dremel to cut a hole through both of those existing holes. The picture probably explains it better than I can in writing but I started my cut approximately ½ way through the rectangular hole and cut towards the inside of the bed stopping about 1-½” from the inside edge of the bed rail. If you go any further you’ll start cutting into the inner structure of the wall. From there I cut straight back approximately 2-1/4”. Connect that cut to the oval hole and from the oval hole straight forward back to the rectangular hole. The hole you’ve made should be wider on one side than the other. This width is sufficient for a ¼” ratchet to fit inside


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83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
7. Run the piece of string through both of the upper holes in the piece of metal as shown in the picture.

8. Crawl underneath the truck and set the metal on top of the fender liner. Be sure to place it in the orientation you want it to be fastened (inside/outside, up/down).

9. With your mechanical fingers, reach through the hole you cut in the bed rail and grab both sides of the string. Gently pull the string out of the hole. Once you have the string in hand, it’s a piece of cake to maneuver the reinforcing metal to where you need it to be.

10. Put a bolt through one of the bottom holes on one of the tracks on the bed and align it with the hole in the reinforcing metal. Note - I put Locktite on the bolts before installing them.

11. Using the mechanical fingers again, grab the outer edge of the washer and place the washer on the bolt inside the bed.

12. Place your nut in the ¼” drive socket and insert the ratchet through the hole. I had to go in sideways and carefully maneuver the socket into position over the bolt. Keep the socket pointed up to avoid dropping the nut. If you do drop it, either use the mechanical fingers or magnet to retrieve it.

13. Slightly tighten the nut.

14. Install another bolt assembly in the other bottom hole in the track.

15. At this point you can pull the string out since the metal won’t be going anywhere.

16. Install the last 2 bolts and nuts as described.

17. Line up the rails, make sure they are level and tighten all 4 bolts.

18. Clean the bed rails and the bed rail cap. Put some double sided tape on the cap and put it back on.

19. Repeat these instructions for the other side.

One of these days I'll get around to finding a good way to bolt the remaining hole in the long track to the bed and reinforce it as well. But for now, it appears to have more than enough strength to hold anything I tie to it.

83 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the compliments. I'm happy with the way it turned out and it seems to be plenty sturdy.

hooligan said:
how's about i drive to Las Cruces and have you install that for me too... :cheers:
You'd better plan on being here for the full weekend. I work slowly. Actually, it wasn't hard at all. My descriptions probably make it sound worse than it is.

As for purchasing the rails, I bought them here on TT from Chieflikalotapus. Very friendly guy and he gave me a great deal.
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