Modified Pickup Toolbox


I've got an older steel pickup dual lid toolbox that I've been hanging on to for years. I don't like toolboxes that sit above the bed rails like this one, so I was thinking of cutting about 8" out of the middle and bolting it to the bed floor of my Tacoma or just cut it in half, cap one of the open ends and use it like that. I went from a K2500 Suburban to a single cab Tacoma, so I'm having a hard time trying to figure out a smart storage solution to carry my tools, recovery gear, extra parts/fluids, etc that I normally carry in all of my vehicles.

Before I chop it up, I was wondering if anyone else has any ideas that I haven't thought of or considered.

The toolbox is very similar to the one pictured below....


Expedition Leader
i had a weatherguard box in my truck for a while. took it out and stashed everything behind the seat. the box limits what you can put in the bed if the truck is your daily driver. if it's bolted to the floor, there is no possibility of sticking long stuff under it. although maybe you have racks and it's a non issue.


Mine's a reg cab, so interior storage is very limited. I plan on building a bed rack, and I'm also buying a camper shell soon. I'll use the rack when farting around locally, and the shell when going on trips, and nothing in the bed but the toolbox for everyday use. I'm thinking of just cutting the toolbox in half and capping off & welding up the open end, then weld some feet on the bottom that I can use to mount the box to the bed floor. I'm thinking of building a heavy duty pin mount, similar to a hood-pin, so it's easily removable, but I can also put a lock on the pins to keep it secure. I think half of the box, or a little more than half will be enough space to store my everyday stuff like basic tools, some small spare parts, some recovery gear, a small jack, some spare fluids, etc. In my last rig (Suburban K2500 3/4-Ton 4x4) I used a Contico SUV Tuff Bin that stored everything I needed with a little room to spare behind the 3rd row seats. It worked great in the Suburban, but I don't think it's secure enough to put in the open bed of the truck. I think half the toolbox is about the same amount of space as the Contico, so it should work out.


I bought a Knaack box that fit inside the bed sides for years. It was very handy for camping-I could fit my gear and mattress in it and it kept everything dry and dust free. I sold it many years ago when I started buying slide in campers.


I'd like to find a box kinda like this to mount to my roof rack. Ultimately I should probably save my pennies for a expedition-type trailer but for now, I keep looking at cargo options that all fit inside or on top of my XJ.


Seems like it would be a lot easier to buy one that doesn't sit above the rails than modifying one. Maybe sell this one an CL ans use the money to buy one you really want, or put it up for possible trade?

I too have a standard cab truck and can fit a lot behind the seat. Tools, gear, etc. I often take it to the store and can fit even more behind the seats such as clothing, groceries, etc.

Also, you could find a tool box or job box that is low profile and use it in the bed.

Also, I like my tools inside the cab. Out of sight out of mind for thieving hands...


I plan on building a bed rack, and I'm also buying a camper shell soon. I'll use the rack when farting around locally, and the shell when going on trips, and nothing in the bed but the toolbox for everyday use.
That sounds like a lot of changing the truck around. Waisted time & energy... I say, set it up one way, the way that is most likely to benefit the way you want to use it. Do you need the rack to haul stuff for work in it? If not, I'd say get the camper shell, leave it on, and you can use anything for storage. Your old Tuff Bin, if you still have it.


I've already started modifying the box. I cut it in half, in the section between the two lids, then scribed the newly opened end onto a piece of 16ga steel, cut it out 1/2" bigger all the way, notched the corners and bent the edges over with the brake and welded it up solid. I'm making mounting tabs and a few other things for it and should have it buttoned up and installed permanently in the next week or two after a coat of paint. It took all of 30 minutes from start to finish. Why didn't I buy something that I could just bolt in? Well, because I already had this and I have the tools & equipment to easily repurpose it to my liking.

Leaving the camper shell on, or the bed rack on all the time isn't an option for me. My truck bed gets loaded with all sorts of random things on a weekly basis, so I need things to be interchangeable and useful. One day I could be loading a bunch of tree limbs in it, the next a Ford Y-Block V8 engine, or a Ford Model A chassis hanging over the tailgate. Everyday use will be an bare bed, short trips get the bed rack, long trips get the camper.

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