bed extender tips | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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bed extender tips


Elite Explorer
November 6, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Des Moines, Iowa
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01,'02, '04 Sport Tracs,
I know there are numerous threads about bed extenders, but I thought I'd share what I've done.
I recently bought my '02 Sport Trac and scored a bed extender for $52 on craigslist a few days later. The extender was missing a locator pin, and my truck had never had a bed extender installed, so it didn't have the pivot (striker) bolts. I went to Advance Auto for the striker bolts, but didn't know which ones I needed. They run just over $8 each there. So I went to the salvage yard and got door striker bolts of different lengths off 3 different vehicles for about $1 each. The ones I used were from the rear passenger doors of a '95-2001 Explorer/Mountaineer, and they fit perfectly. As someone said in another post, you can screw the bolts in without tapping the holes, but it's tough going. I got 1 in that way, but the other just wouldn't go, so I bought a 10mm - 1.50 tap. You can buy the tap individually for $5 or so. I turned it with vice grips as the tap didn't work with the handle I have. Tapped the hole and the 2nd bolt went in easily by hand.
As for the locator pin - new ones are over $50 each - a 3/8" bolt will slide through the holes. I used a 3/8 x 5 1/2" carriage bolt because it has threads the whole length, and for the larger head to make it easier to pull out. 4 1/2" is probably long enough. 6" is too long. I slid the bolt through the extender and ran a nut onto it as I ran the bolt into the hole in the truck bed. There's a thread on here about making the extender theft proof. This won't lock the extender in, but if you run the nut snug up against the extender and tighten it a bit with a wrench, it will at least take a wrench and enough time to remove - especially with the long bolt- that a thief won't be as likely to run off with your bed extender.
Just my 2 cents worth.

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Nice ingenuity :thumbsup:

Thanks! I couldn't see paying as much for 1 pin as I paid for the bed extender. When you don't have much money, or don't want to spend a lot of money, you have to get creative.

If it's installed correctly and your tailgate is locked it IS theft proof.

Nice write-up!:thumbsup:

unless its in the open position lol.