STEP 1 - Getting Started
Preparation is obviously the most important step, the following list is for the tools you'll NEED for a successful project:
1.) Something to mark off the area to cut - masking tape works great or you can use a Sharpie.
2.) Cutting tools to cut the holes any one of there will do.
- Plasma cutter,
- air grinder
3.) Accordion Boot to seal the opening that you've just cut
4.) A hole saw - perfect for both starting a cut and doing the four corners to round them out – this helps immensely when applying the boot
5.) Tarp or blanket to place inside your vehicle to help clean up metal shavings
How do I Mark the area to cut?
You need to tape off the area for the best reference for cutting. You’ll want to take some GOOD measurements for each wall and then use the tape to mark the area. Measure twice cut once…I’m sure you’ve heard that before. It is recommend you start .5” up from the bottom of the bed floor since the boot needs material to grip onto.
How big do I cut the hole?
This is completely up to you. A bigger cut yields the advantages of having more air flow into the cab as well as being able to slid a box into the cabin if you so desire. A smaller cut is more stealth and easier to weld back up if you decided to sell your truck.
Note – keep the metal patches you cut out of your truck as you or someone else can easily weld them back into place if you want to return it to “almost” original condition.
What tool is the best one to use for cutting?
There area variety of tools that can be used to cut the opening which included a rotozip, air grinder, sawzal and hand drill with grinder attachment. The fastest tool is the rotozip. With a good bit it will sail through the metal like butter.The sawzal is the 2nd second choice followed by the air grinder and hand drill. For control definitely the air/hand grinders…since they’re slower its easier to control their movements. The rotozip was 2nd followed by the sawzal in last place, mainly because the blades bend a lot and its hard to cut through one wall at a time with it because of motion the blade takes and extreme forces.
What is accordion boot?
An accordion boot is a thick rubber gasket mainly used for toppers or ventilation on trucks to join to separate compartments that would be exposed to the outside. The edges of the boot have metal clips in them that help grip onto the metal. For a conventional cut-through a boot that is 2.5-3” wide is more then enough. This will be compressed when applied and since the boot can easily stretch to 2x its compressed width you’ll have more then enough for bed travel. Click here to order
STEP 2 - CUTTING AND APPLYING THE BOOT
Ok now that you have masked off your area you want to cut and get all preparations out of the way. PLEASE take it slow and make nice straight cuts.
It is important that you make YOUR CORNERS ROUND. The boot can’t fit into 90deg corners because of its thickness and metal grips. Rounding your corners allows it to seamlessly attach to the metal making for a better seal and less hassle. Use a hole saw to get perfect circles and it starts the cuts for you.
Time to apply the boot. First thing you need to do is make sure the metal edges around the hole are smooth, if they are make sure to clean them up a little as you don’t want to slice into your boot. Also, if you haven’t noticed there are ribs on the back wall to increase structural stability. Getting the boot on these just takes some patience and shouldn't take you much longer then 30-40 minutes.
STEP 3 - FINISHED?
Try to get the box as close to the bed wall as possible, making a good seal is vital for output. You want to force all the pressure that your subs create into the cab and not allow any to escape into the bed. This will sound better by not allowing vibrations from the bed or other objects to color the sound because they can't reach your ear but also it will be louder because all of the pressure is in the cab instead of floating around the bed of your truck where it can escape through the many tiny cracks here and there.