Springtail Solutions M-PAC rack and bags
 


Background:

I needed more places to store items that I need easy access to without having to open the tailgate, open the rear glass, and then scrounge through the cargo box in the back.

I ordered this from Springtail Solutions

 

The First step was unpack everything and lay it out for a photo shoot.

Hardware bag, rack, and a flashlight holder.

Also included but not pictured yet are the big cargo bag, a small pocket with top flap and a bag for misc doo-dads that fits between the seat and door sill (rocker)

 
Attention to deal is second to none... sharp corners do not exist ANYWHERE on the rack.
 
 
   
Flashlight holder
   

Hardware bag. 6 self tapping screws and 4 velcro "dots"

Velcro is used to attach the rack to the tailgate while marking the mounting holes.

   
Dot attached to the back side to each corner
   
To mark my desired mounting location, I attached a long strip of masking tape along the top edge of tailgate.
   

Next I placed a few marks on the tape, then drew a line with a straight edge.

I placed my marks at 1 1/4", 1 1/2" and another (not shown) at 1 3/4" from top edge of tailgate.

I decided on 1 1/4" from the top.

   
I attached the big cargo bag to give me a better visual reference when choosing my mounting height on the tailgate.
   

I cut the other half of velcro dots apart, then stuck them face down to the dots on the rack before peeling off the backing paper.

   
 
   

I marked the center of the tailgate - it was 17 3/4".

Then I marked the center of the rack, peeled the backing paper off the dots, then readied the rack for final positioning. I centered the rack on the tailgate, then realized centering it is NOT good.

Pic shows final position, about an inch or more left of center (towards the passenger side).

   

Had I centered it, the driver's side would have been sitting up high instead of in this recessed area, shown here.

This shows the final location of rack, sitting IN the recessed area to the left of the tailgate latch enclosure.

   
I slipped a piece of tape in behind each mounting hole and stuck it to the tailgate
   
Then I center punched each mounting hole and drilled the holes using a 1/8" bit. You could use a smaller bit because the screws have a cutting tip on them, but Iwas concerned about breaking a screw with any force required to cut threads in a smaller hole.
   

This is the bottom of the tailgate.

Inside the tailgate there's a C channel structural rib to strengthen it where the tire bumpers are mounted on the outside, one near the bottom and another near the top.

The two circled areas indicate where the C channel is spot welded to the tailgate. My bottom holes were placed such that they didn't go through where both layers of metal were up against each other, they went through one layer, then there was a gap, then they hit the C Channel. On one bottom hole I broke a drill bit as it hit the second layer and skewed downward since the metal it hit was "angled" and my hole ended up going through at an angle.

Of course even with all my pre-planning, I didn't realize there was a rib inside the tailgate until after I drilled a few holes, and had trouble with one of the bottom holes.

While doing this write-up and looking at all the spot welds and hole locations, I see that ideally I should have gone lower or higher with my rack mounting position.

   

This is the top. The two black dots are my holes with a daub of caulking in them to seal up around the hole and prevent corrosion of the bare metal on the tailgate (the holes).

You can see the spot welds here also.

If you went higher with the rack, you'd hit the sweet spot and go through both layers of metal on all 6 mounting holes.

   

Lesson learned.... place a small piece of electrical tape on the back side of each side mounting hole, then poke the screw through before attaching the rack to the tailgate. Mount it using the two side crews first.

This pic shows a top mount hole and one side mount hole. Notice that you can access the top mount hole and get the screw in it from the front, but the side screw needs to be poked through first, from inside the rack, BEFORE you you position it up against the tailgate, then you can access it through the hole with a screw driver.

Putting a piece of tape in place helps to hold the screw in the hole as you maneuver the rack in to position and start to secure the two side screws.

As always, don't tighten any screw until they are all in place.

The bottom and top screws are easily access from the front of the rack and don't require the tape technique I just described.

   
Another view of the top and side screw locations
   
Once the screws were in place and secured, I mounted up the bags. There's endless combinations to the way bags can be mounted, because so many sizes of bags and pouches are available.
   
 
   
 
   
Drop the straps down though the gris at the top, then fish them out at the bottom
   
Side view
   
PALS webbing on the big bag.
   
Top of the big bag
   
Here's where I attached the small pocket to the big bag. The back of the small pocket has PALS webbing too, so you can interweave the straps between the two bags, though this photo doesn't show that concept
   
Straps are interwoven between the two bags' PALS webbing.
   
Quickfist clips are attached to the metal backing plate using high quality PEM nuts
   
3 D cell Maglite
   
Here's another option - this would make a perfect area light if setting up camp after dark.
   
 

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