The Heap. A Gen 2 Tracker/Vitara Build

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Some afternoon tailgate fabrication
Starting with some rectangular tubing and 16ga sheet.
Whipped up the main stays that will bolt to the hinges, and the center support.
Cut to profile and skeletonized. All with a focus on keeping it OEM lightweight. (y)

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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
More.

Seals are sorted. The latching side of the OEM tailgate needed some work to allow a flat tailgate to seal.
Fortunately, the OEM seal still works great with the modification.

Upper seal that seals to the hard top glass or in this case the soft top rear window bar follows a radius.
So a piece of flat stock was used to follow the contour. Should seal just like factory.

Finally. Ive gone back and forth with latch ideas. Originally I had wanted a (proper) bearclaw latch setup with release handle.
For a few reasons, I opted against it and will try out some Quick-latches.

Ive also decided against a tailgate mounted spare tire.
Instead, it will be a fold down bumper spare tire mount.

Anyhow... pics!

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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
more tailgate work.

Its tedious, and I've reworked things a bit, but its nearly ready to skin.
The outermost inner panels were applied, then after cobbling a decent sand blasting setup together it was blasted.

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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Then I started doing the math. From the beginning Ive been on the fence whether or not to haul a full size matching spare.
Should I beef up the tailgate to haul a spare, should I build some sort of hinge down or swing-away carrier bumper for it, or just not run one...

The math won out. It will be considerably lighter and less complicated to simply beef up the tailgate.
So after a quick spray of copper based weld-thru primer/sealer, I added some additional channel steel into the tailgate.

With luck, these should beef up the tailgate enough to carry a heavy full size spare, as well as provide plenty of strength to bolt the carrier to.

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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Next up before any more tailgate fab work, it to sort out the full size (31-10.50) spare.
Looks like the factory mount will work, though I may reinforce it a bit.

This spare makes this rig look absolutely tiny.... :ROFLMAO:

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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yeah, for those that care, this is the project absorbing any "free" time lately.
Trying to wrap up the work left on the place I built for my folks.

This weekend we knocked out more than 800sq ft of the nearly 2000sq ft deck.
The deck is a KD select-struc doug fir deck. Fitted tight to minimize drip/debris thru the deck over the carport area.
Alternating and rounded over butt joints, the bulk of it being nailed with 16 penny galv ring shank nails and butts predrilled and screwed.
Every board received two kerfs to minimize twisting/cupping, will be sanded with a floor sander than saturated with SunFrog deck oil.

Its a pretty monster deck, and the installing the deck surface alone looks like it will be 200+ man hours.
Then I have the railing, all 180 linear feet of it.
THEN I have all of the sanding and application of the oil.

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burt

Observer
Stay tuned...

Fall 2023 is Tracker time :cool:

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Nice. I pretty much got as far as a body lift and some Craigslist mudders on mine but it’s been a hoot. Puts a smile on anyones face that takes a ride in it. Gets driven in the dirt almost every day with very little tinkering
 

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