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  View original topic: HELP! hinge issues on 83 pickup fiberglass tonneau cover instal
orange914 Thu May 05, 2022 12:48 pm

Im getting the 83 road ready. Been mostly in hibernation for over a decade.


Just had paint and am installing/trying to figure out the hinge setup on a rare fiberglass tonneau cover. I don't have any info on manufacture or model. It was from a parted pickup years ago and all I have is a box of hinge parts and questions.


I'm hoping there is someone here that may have one of these or know someone with one. Maybe I can get some pictures and/or information. Suggestions to retro fitting to a newer style tonneau hinge set up?





Inside forward passenger side. Pictures to come of other uninstalled hinge parts.







inside forward driver side



Butcher Fri May 06, 2022 6:48 am

I'm certain you know, but it's got to be said. There is not a lot of strength in the sheet metal. I look forward to see how you accomplish this task

orange914 Fri May 06, 2022 9:23 am

Butcher wrote: I'm certain you know, but it's got to be said. There is not a lot of strength in the sheet metal. I look forward to see how you accomplish this task

True. Im going to lay out the pieces and take pictures. It was designed for and off a truck so...

internet search picture below


orange914 Thu May 12, 2022 7:49 pm

Finally got some pictures of this wacky hinge craziness. Makes little sense. The best I can figure from the above internet search picture is the "clock-spring" bolts to the top (short end on cover). And the pin slides in and out of the plate/bracket already attached to the underside of the tonneau cover.
Wait wuuuuut?







Butcher Fri May 13, 2022 7:17 am

What about gas struts?

orange914 Fri May 13, 2022 8:12 am

Butcher wrote: What about gas struts?

Absolutely my thoughts. I should have a $30 gas strut kit here from eBay soon.

After looking over this stone age "Rube Goldberg " catastrophe, my next venture is to find a workable hinge setup??

orange914 Thu May 19, 2022 5:25 am

Butcher wrote: What about gas struts? :o



2011 thru 18 Ford Fiesta hood hinges may be the answer


Butcher Thu May 19, 2022 8:56 am

I have no idea how much your cover weighs but many new cars hoods are aluminum. Most hoods I lift [that have no struts] and light. Most likely much lighter than your cover.

I'm no engineer but I'm certain there is some calculation that would determine the force that would be needed to keep it cover up.

The hinges look promising.

orange914 Tue Jul 12, 2022 4:57 pm

update

A little bit of in the vise pretesting to check operating clearances.



1st thing was to mount the hinge level. I ran two 3' wood rulers to use as reference points. The lower one represents the level bed rail surface plane. The top one showing angle and movement and representing the tonneau mounting surface





next I wanted to see how the rear of the mocked up tonneau would react to the hinge geometry. How close and where would the forward/front end of the cover go? How close to the front of the bed should the hinge be? How deep, long etc... would my hinge mounting bracket have to be?

By opening the hinge we checked where the tail of the cover would be no lower than it was in a closed position. We marked that intersection point.
following by measuring out the "mocked covers" line (plane) @ 5.5' away from the marked intersection (to the rear of the cap). The tail sat @ the actual installed height of 6'.








The perfect angle of 30 degrees accomplished 6 foot total lift height @ the tail or opening end of the cover. The point where the cover front lip would contact the bed left 2" of non interference room in between the bed and cover lip.

The next is the strut mounting points. Will these struts be long enough or too short? Should I mount them bottom to the front or rear of the truck?
To be continued. Same bat time. Same bat channel




orange914 Fri Jul 22, 2022 9:21 pm

I measured and calculated everything I could figure may help zero in the actual hinge location. My biggest concern is that the hinge geometry will bind the overhanging rear lip as the lid is raised.

First was to mount the hinge in the vise to map the geometry. I taped a straight edge (wood ruler) on the hinge top mounting surface. Then a fixed straight edge was to represent the fixed level surface.

As the hinge ran through its opening swing it showed how the rear portion of the cover would act from the hinge action (this is where the binding concern would be). The gap actually lifted and increased slightly as the "cover" rose. The first part of the arc the two plains gap increased slightly to then come back together and eventually cross. There didn't appear to be much forward movement until apx. half way thru full opening. Using the rear interference as a limiting factor, the open angle was brought to just under 30 degree. The intersection was the limiting factor, several inches back. This is where the approximate location of the edge/end of the cover would be. A 30 degree opening would roughly put the 5'6" cover @ just under 6' open height when opened.


I'm building a card board mock up as seen below, to test a bit more before using metal. I hope to get it close enough for just minor adjustments once the attaching mounts are done. It will us a 13" x 4" x 1/8" flat bar (creating a flat mounting surface) with an 8" long 3"x3" square tube (bringing the hinges inboard to match the tonneau hinge mount surface)













orange914 Tue Jul 26, 2022 10:39 pm

o.k., I've got some more mock ups done. I'm confirming various hinge location measurements. MOSTLY the mock up proving out operation in 1/8" steel. The pictures show (more to come) the 3" hinge mount tubing is an intermittent spacer. The square tubing is needed to space the hinges to match the gap between the covers flat premolded/steel reinforced hinge mount area. The 4" x 12" x1/8" flat bar is the truck bed plate attaching to the 3" square tube mounting surface which in turn the hinge mounts to.

The below mock up represents the tonneau cover and hinge interaction. On the far left is an angle bracket representing the cover lip. The brown cardboard represents the edge that the lip must clear.

Through the hinge geometry the test shows the overhanging rear lip ACTUALLY moves up and clears the lower raised area (0 thru 10 degrees of lift/movement). Then after being fully cleared of interference, the cover continued increasing gap while edging forward slightly.


1 Next step finish drilling/building hinge mounts
2 temporarily mount and test/adjust

0 DEGREES closed position

5 DEGREES

10 DEGREES

15 DEGREES

30 DEGREES full lift position

orange914 Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:53 am

Butcher wrote: I have no idea how much your cover weighs but many new cars hoods are aluminum. Most hoods I lift [that have no struts] and light. Most likely much lighter than your cover.

I'm no engineer but I'm certain there is some calculation that would determine the force that would be needed to keep it cover up.

The hinges look promising.

It's a new experience dealing with the atruts. Sometimes I just have to just jump in and go with my instinctive choice. In my learning curve I purchased a set with mounting brackets and designed for a compact car hood. Thru more research I discovered different compressed and extended length and lift strength from 30 to 130 lbs per strut.. although rhe original sets compression travel just made the range needed on the mockup calculations, it was more obvious that they were iway too punny . I think my next choice will be very close. They are 20 inch extended 11 inch compressed and lifting 100 lbs per strut. This doubles the length of travel over the original set giving me a bigger mounting adjustable range.to increas/decrease lift, depending on the top mounting location.







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