How to: - +07 bed side hook blank/eliminator plate build!!!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to: +07 bed side hook blank/eliminator plate build!!!!

Prefix for threads which are instructional.


June 19, 2017
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City, State
Carson CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2009 ST Adrenalin
I've got the thirst for cleaning up the side of my Adrenalin's bed, make it clean. I don't really use the hooks since its pretty much a city truck and the tonneau cover never comes off. Searches for such an item have revealed others wishes for the same solution that doesn't quite exist. So I dug into it to see what I would need to make my own.
Initial plans were to measure up the existing hardware and then create a CAD model of a plug that would fill the void after the hook was removed. Turns out that the hook is actually a 3 piece assembly; there is the hook, a center structural piece, and the base support. This is a write up for how to modify the base support to create a clean-looking hook eliminator.


The parts you will need are the disassembled hook base support and two new screws, metric M6 - 1.0 x 30mm (Home Depot). The stock screw is very long and will be too long to reuse. Additionally, a flat head that can sink in and create a smooth look is preferable.



So the base support has two spacer protrusions that give the hook its elevation from the surface of the bed side and allow it to stay ridged when pulled on with help from the mounting bolt. These will need to be removed, and I used a basic hand saw to cut them off. I didn't worry about damage to the surface, as the next step was sanding away imperfections anyways.



After removing both protrusions, you might realize at this point that there is no going back and you have ruined the piece and if you want the hooks back then you need to find a junkyard! Also, you get to look at the sad fill job done when they were injection molding these parts in china. Voids, I tell ya!


Any good quality product is 90% prep, so now its time to sand you pretty little heart out. I have some good sandpaper ranging from 80 grit to 600 from Lowes with the tacky backing that is wet sand friendly. Stick it to anything that has a good flat surface, like a countertop or acrylic sheet, and step through the grits until you have a uniform surface. I stopped at 400 grit, need to give the paint something to hold onto.

The next step is to prep the piece to hold your hardware. This was the hardest part of the job, as i don't have a drill press, sturdy vice, or countersinking bits. I hand carved countersunk holes into the part to accommodate the screws with my dremel. It took a lot of eyeballing, but turned out alright.




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Now, back to the prep! I did 3 layers of primer, with proper curing time and wet sanding in between to achieve a perfectly flat and smooth surface. I did not do this for the first one, and my sanding lines were obvious and brought my family shame. The primer fills in the little imperfections and helps get rid of the gator skin texture that the plastic is molded with from the factory. Don't forget to hit the heads of your bolts with the 80 grit. Sand the heads with a cross hatch pattern to provide maximum surface area for paint adhesion.




Since my STA is black, I hit the parts with a nice gloss piano black enamel paint. One light coat followed up with a second heavier coat gave me a nice mirror finish without too much work or risk of overspray. Really, when it comes to spray paint, the directions on the can won't steer you wrong!


The finished product fulfills my desires and doesn't look too shabby. I could plug the bolt holes up, mask off the area and hide it all with more paint, but I think that isn't nessissary. There is definitely a cleaner look that is possible to make, but this was a pretty easy build that qualifies as a weekend project.



Happy making!

Pics finally! That's creative, definitely a cleaner look. Regarding FB, they have infuriated many, many people. To pull the plug on third party image posting without notification or warning is appalling. Agree it costs money, but from free to $400 a year is laughable. Countless forum tutorials with blank pics from FB through the years. They're now almost useless now, IMO.

looks good would be a cheap fix to get rid of the hideous hooks. i plan to weld in some plates when i repaint the truck after i do the the hood. blending the 2013 gt500 hood-vents into the sta hood. clean up the hooks and i have found a way to lower the truck about 4inches with no issues. talking to a local shop to do a fiber glass rear valance for the bumper for true duals with quad tips. topped off with sonic blue paint and 22 in chrome wheels should look boss when its done. and talking to a guy who has 6piston brembos and 4 piston on the back.

fiber glass rear valance for the bumper for true duals with quad tips.
Oh man, I will need to see your set up when finished. I cant stand the single exhaust, need symmetry! I was searching for the Adrenalin exhaust tips to just branch off a second pipe after the muffler. haven't found anything yet.

call me a ahole for doing it but i found a set of new axle back z06 take offs and cut off the tips for a total of $50. ill be running custom headers into a generic xpipe where the resonator is into dual borla xr1s then under the rear around the spare and out. should sound wicked with the comp muthr thumpr cams. thinking about some cut outs to .