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Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2011-08-15          179846


I'd like to post a heads up warning to any Undercover bed owners out there, or any prospective owners.

The Undercover bed cover on my 07 Tacoma was about 3 1/2 years old when it started cracking at the hinges. The cracking was so bad I was worried it would fly off on the freeway and kill somebody so it was removed for safety reasons.

Undercover was contacted and said since it was out of warranty they wouldn't do anything for me. Since the bed cover isn't exactly a wear item you'd think it would last longer than a belt or hose. Or maybe not. They claimed that it had been subjected to "extreme force" or that it was driven with the bed cover raised up. Neither is true, but it has been driven 9 miles a day on a sometimes rough gravel road since new. The truck held up fine, the bed cover didn't. Maybe they figured people with trucks would always drive on pavement?

Anyway, if you own one of these bed covers take a good look at the hinge area at the front of the bed, both top and bottom sides for fatigue cracks. Here's some pics that will show where my cover cracked. Not sure how to dispose of it now, maybe a bonfire or sawzall.

Right hinge top:
http://www.qsolv.com/images/RightHinge.JPG

Right hinge bottom:
http://www.qsolv.com/images/RightHingeUnderneath.JPG

Left hinge top:
http://www.qsolv.com/images/LeftHinge.JPG

Left hinge bottome:
http://www.qsolv.com/images/LeftHingeUnderneath.JPG


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Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2011-08-16          179848


I'd hold it with construction adhesive.

It's inexpensive in the jumbo tubes (but you have to buy a jumbo gun). The original brand is PL 400 but there are others now. Doesn't run, doesn't shrink on drying (takes a day), and adheres just about anything to anything.

I've only seen it in putty color and it's not super easy to clean up. ....

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Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2011-08-16          179852


You may find a body shop could help you or boat shop. If all else fails consider competitor may even pay you for it to show difference between their band and this one.

I agree with your thoughts on it holding up.

Ken, you may look on the web and find there are others with this issue if they have a design problem. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

View my Photos
kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2011-08-16          179853


Undercover recommended a two part epoxy but that sounded nuts to me. Really, it's a flex fatigue problem and epoxy doesn't flex so why would that work?

Construction adhesive could work. I had an idea of fabricating some replacement metal hinges that could mount on top and bolt through the cover with big washers to spread the load. Maybe if they were made of stainless or chrome plated they wouldn't look too bad.

Or I could just junk it.

For a company that brags about the strength of their product I'm pretty surprised they wouldn't make any consumer concession for such an obvious problem.
....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

View my Photos
auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2011-08-16          179860


Epoxy would work in the same way the c. adhesive would -- locking the two together without allowing the movement that leads to cracks. But epoxy is many times the cost, very tricky to apply in large quantities (mixing large volumes heats it enough to burn you and that affects the set time), and you'd need to get the right setting-time version. If too slow, it will flow into the depressions; if too fast the first-applied will solidify before the rest of the bed's in place. ....

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Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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mikemjat
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2 Missouri
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2012-02-24          182558


Sorry to hear of yourproblem. I have owned different brands of hard tonneau covers myself. I have also worked as an installe putting these covers on trucks for over twenty years.

I have seen this happen many times with every brand I have worked on. Sometimes, but very rarely, it is a design orproduct flaw (however, this will usually manifest itself very early in the yse of the cover - like inthe first few months).

But, what happens most often is that the truck is operated with tonneau cover in the open position (usually tied down to cargo longer than the truck bed - such as lumber - sticking out of truck bed. This causes stress on the front hinges and works like bending a coat hanger back and forth. This weakens the lid and the hinge and will eventually cause the failure that you have experienced.

Unfortunately, it is not a cumulative condition and only takes one time of doing this to cause the weakening.

While you may be experiencing a product failure, in all fairness to all brands of hard tonneau covers I felt this point was worth mentioning.

I do not have a good solution to yourproblem and feel you did the safest thingyou could by removing thecover.

Good luck! ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

View my Photos
kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2012-02-24          182562


I never tied the cover down open while driving. However, I have speculated that the problem may have occurred due to the two locks that hold it down. If they are not locked by key whenever the cover is down they work their way open and the cover may well bounce up and down a bit. It never flipped open but I can see it bouncing. The key locks are a PIA and I rarely locked them. Anyway, that is my first and last bed cover. ....

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Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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Hettric
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 133 MA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2012-02-24          182563


For what it's worth, West System makes a epoxy specifically for flexible plastic (G/Flex). I have no experience with it but have been using their standard line for about 30 years.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/main.do
Good Luck
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPxqnDbdLmc&feature=player_embedded ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Toyota Tacoma Undercover bed cover cracking

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2012-02-25          182565


Mike thanks for your input but one occurance is enough for such to happen? Glad I never spent the money on one. Will be sure to pass on to my son in law who was looking to buy one. If it is tied down on say a sheet of plywood that would seem to me who has never had one to be about as solid a surface and support as the bed and it closed.
....

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