DIY cargo deck plate advice

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uncompromise

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For various reasons we’re thinking to install our own cargo deck plate full length in the back of the Pajero, with recessed logistics track so that we can make maximum use of the space. From my research, it seems like the process is to:
  1. Make a template of the area out of cardboard
  2. trace the template onto plywood and cut to shape
  3. cut channels in the plywood and attach the logistics track
  4. attach plinths to the base of the plate to account for uneven floor height
  5. bolt the plate to the floor
Since we already have all of the seats and associated hardware out, we also intend to:
  1. take up the carpet, and plug any remaining holes with silicon
  2. add insulation and sound deadening to the floor
  3. replace the carpet (it won’t be used, but I figure it doesn’t weigh much, and will help maximise insulation and minimise noise if we leave it in place)
Not having done this before, i’m looking for feedback and advice from anyone who has, regardless of the vehicle. We want to retain access to the underfloor storage, so we’re going to have to cut hatches to access that as well. Goose Gear have a unit (pictured) I’d consider buying if I was stateside, but it‘s not available in Europe, and the shipping costs are insane. But it provides great inspiration.

this is the easiest to follow video i‘ve found - different vehicle, same principle
 
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J.W.

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My only advice is to be mindful of the plywood you use if you plan to be able to still access the storage underneath. If it's thin and gets wet it can warp pretty easily which could make it difficult to access those areas. Also, weigh the deck (or at least the lumber you are using) before you install it so you'll know how much weight you added. You may want to adjust your suspension after installing it.
 

uncompromise

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Thanks @J.W. - we’ve removed a bunch of weight from the vehicle already (2nd and 3rd row seats are completely gone), so the weight gain from using 25mm Baltic birch plywood will be pretty mild in comparison (about 15kg for a 1m x 1.5m sheet). From what I see, Goose Gear plate systems are essentially birch plywood coated in bed liner. There’s a lot of work in creating the system, so that’s not a way of diminishing their value, just that I don’t want to spend that sort of money on something I can build myself. The idea of retaining access to the underfloor storage would be to cut lockable hatches into the plywood. Without access to a CNC machine, however, we might use marine hatches - i’m not confident we could cut a clean and reusable piece of plywood out for a hatch with the tools and experience we have. The hardest part seems to be lining up the OEM bolt holes so that we don’t have to drill into the floor.
 

Jay

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I positive you can get some nice cuts for the storage holes by hand if you use a battery powered dremel. Just take it slow.

I have gone pretty simple with mine as I just cut two pieces of rectangular plywood and painted them. I found no need to cut fancy around the wheel wells and so forth as the large surface It covered was good enough to tie down my fridge and storage bins.

I would love to get the goose gear system but I can’t justify the cost,........ for now that is
 
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bgenlvtex

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I have a Goose Gear rear seat delete in the Gladiator, it is very nice and I don't feel like I got robbed.

That said from a material standpoint it is 12mm Baltic Birch plywood that costs about $35 for a 5'x5' piece (don't ask me why the thickness is measured in mm and other dimensions feet), 1010 aluminum extrusion, screws and bed liner. The sum of all the materials to build it are way south of $200.

You'll want a second piece of plywood to make your hatches. Cut the hole, use a router to cut a ledge all the way around it. Then cut the hatch door and again use a router to cut a corresponding ledge.

I built my own deck in the back of the truck and it turned out very nice. Accurate layout is absolutely the key. You can mock it up in cheaper material (like osb) or you can just have confidence, measure twice and cut once.
 
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Jay

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Yea the gladiator rear seat delete is reasonable but a full rear system for the JL is 1000$ can

I have a Goose Gear rear seat delete in the Gladiator, it is very nice and I don't feel like I got robbed.

That said from a material standpoint it is 12mm Baltic Birch plywood that costs about $35 for a 5'x5' piece (don't ask me why the thickness is measured in mm and other dimensions feet), 1010 aluminum extrusion, screws and bed liner. The sum of all the materials to build it are way south of $200.

You'll want a second piece of plywood to make your hatches. Cut the hole, use a router to cut a ledge all the way around it. Then cut the hatch door and again use a router to cut a corresponding ledge.

I built my own deck in the back of the truck and it turned out very nice. Accurate layout is absolutely the key. You can mock it up in cheaper material (like osb) or you can just have confidence, measure twice and cut once.
 

justjames

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As J.W. mentioned above, plywood, even Baltic Birch doesn't like water and can warp or delaminate. A better material is MDO (medium density overlay) which is an exterior grade plywood. It is commonly known as sign board as it has a smooth, finished surface. Google it for a better description. I used 1/2" MDO when I built my drawer system for my 4Runner and it has worked perfectly. I have used 3/4" MDO for surfaces of work benches for all those same reasons but 3/4" is overkill for vehicle purposes.