: Just thought I would introduce myself
04-30-2006, 07:25 AM
My name is Chris and I am from Cincinnati Ohio. I got my Ridgeline 2 weeks ago and couldn't be more satisified. I traded in my 94' BMW 540i for the Ridgeline mostly because I was sick of fighting the BMW every time I came back from Lowe's or Home Depot. It just wouldn't hold anything. I was sick of bumming rides from others when it came to buying a sheet of plywood. I'm much better now and really don't miss the power of the 540i like I thought I would. The Ridgeline is plenty fast enough for me.
I previously owned an 84 Accord and still have my 88 Honda Accord. I was one of the original 25 members and moderators of the 3rd generation Accord website 3geez.com. That message board now has 6500 members the last time I looked. I am not really active over there as the crowd has become younger and I have gotten well... older. I'm not so fast and furious anymore and that is the the direction that board has taken.
I am a DIY'er at heart and this seems to be be the perfect vehicle for me. It's part car, truck, & SUV but is totally suited to my needs.
Anyhow, I have been busy modifying my Redrock Pearl Ridgeline to my own tastes. The modifications I have made so far are:
-Added black terf bars
-Painted the grille black
-Added window vent visors
-Added trailer hitch and wiring
-Added 120 Volts AC with plugs in front and back seat
-Made my own DIY hard tonneau cover from scratch.
Here are a couple of pics from my camera phone so the quality is kind of low but it gives you an idea of what my truck looks like.
04-30-2006, 08:37 AM
Sweet ride Chris...Welcome! Good to have ya here...:D
04-30-2006, 09:08 AM
We love any pics of Ridgelines. I am glad to see you are a truck owner that can handle carrying your material home from Lowes or where ever. Sorry to say that I am the type of person that is amused by folks like you trying to put lumber in your cars and then driving home like a very limber person bending around everything in your car so you can see. ( I was gonna say "contorshanist" but I can't spell it) Anyway Welcome to ROC!
04-30-2006, 09:10 AM
Man, I love that blacked out front grill Chris! Congrats on your new ride and a warm west coast welcome to this great club. Drive safe and keep on posting!
04-30-2006, 11:17 AM
Welcome Chris , enjoy the ride through this site and of your RL .
04-30-2006, 12:41 PM
Welcome to the ROC ChrisM! We are glad that you found us. I read your very well reasoned excellent post on the thread about body wrinkles. It certainly sounds like you will be bringing a great deal of knowledge, experience, and perhaps most importantly common sense and reason to the ROC. God knows that lately we could use all of the help that we can get!
Once again, welcome!
04-30-2006, 12:48 PM
Welcome, Chris. Love the job you did on the Tonneau cover. Please tell us more about it.
05-01-2006, 06:29 AM
The construction of the tonneau wasn't really that hard once I got all of the details worked out. You can buy almost all of the parts at your local Home Depot and Lowes, the other misc parts can be bought over the internet from Parts Express. Here is a parts list of what I used.
7 1x1x1/16 8 foot aluminum channels from Lowes
2 sheets of fiberglass for bathrooms from Lowes
2 sheets of 1 inch thick rigid insulation from Home Depot
1 can formica glue form Home Depot
1 48" hinge from Lowes or Home Depot
3 rolls "D" channel rubber insulation
2 gate sliding locks from Lowes.
1 box of short large head self tapping screws
2 packs of 3 inch "L" brackets from Lowes
4 or 5 small titanium drill bits
5 yards of pebble grain speaker vinyl from Parts Express
1 $.4.11 metal cutting blade from Lowes for my compound mitre saw.
4 corner clamps from Harbor Freight at 99 cents each.
The construction is pretty straight forward. You make 2 frames for the tonneau cover. The front frame is about 17.5" X 55" and the rear section you lift is 55" wide and tapers to 53.5" and is about 40.5" deep. The corners are all cut at 45 degree mitre angles. You then fasten the parts together with the 3" L brackets to form the frames using the corner clamps. The corners should be totally square on the front section and the back should be as square as possible. The hardest part was getting the taper right on the larger section of the tonneau since it tapers from 55 to 53 1/2 inches. These frames at this point are very flimsy since there is not a middle section supporting them. I then layed the frames on the sheet of 1" insulation and made an inprint of what I needed to cut out. I then trimmed the sheets of insulation to fit tightly in the frames. The insulation is made by Dow and is called super tuff-r and is the 1" thick variety. The 2 parts should then be semi rigid. I then covered each side of the aluminum frame/insulation with formica adhesive and coated the flat side of the figerglass sheets with the formica glue. Allow to dry for about an hour and then apply the fiberglass to the insulation/aluminum frame. You will only get one shot at this as this stuff is permanently bonded on your first application. Once the fiberglass meets the insulation, there is no seperating them. You can only do one side at a time. I used the initial applications on the sides that have the aluminum channel exposed over the insulation. This was my "out" side. Make sure you cover the aluminum as well as the insulation on the frame with the formica adhesive and coat well for maximum adhesion. I used the scraps for the inside of the tonneau cover as you will not have enough left over to do 1 piece lamination of the insides of both parts unless you buy an extra sheet of fiberglass. At $30 each, the fiberglass is the most expensive part. I trimmed the fiberglass with a Roto Zip and a lamanite trim router bit. After both sides of the insulation/aluminum frame are laminated, the cover becomes very rigid. It is so rigid in fact that I can sit on the cover when it is closed without it flexing and I weigh about 200 lbs.I used the extra aluminum channel left over to create mounting points by taking sections and mounting them inside the finished hardened tonneau. You cover the outside of both sides individually with the pebble finish speaker vinyl using the formica glue which will not soak thru and leave enough extra to cover 8 inches rolled over to the inside. I then attached the hinge to connect the 2 parts together. I used an extra piece of vinyl to cover the hinge. The whole thing is held down by sliding window locks which are very similar to the channel locks used on other tonneau cover companies.
The garden gate locks are what I used to hold down the back side of the cover. I will post inside and close up picks of the cover after work because I picture is worth a thousand words. My tonneau is mostly weather tight without really trying. I will make it water tight after I put the insulation around the frame rails I mounted to the bed. I used it in the rain last night in a thunderstorm and there is less than half of a cup of water in the bed without really trying to waterproof it. I'm very happy with the results. The best part is that if you trim the rails correctly in the back, it will not interfere with trunk operation. You can also remove the cover "on the fly", fold it in half at the hinge an put it in the back seat with the seats DOWN and use the bed. I can remove my tonneau cover in less than 3 minutes and have it in the back seat in 1 more minute. The whole thing weighs about 50 lbs by my estimation. The whole project runs at about $350 US and took me about 12 hours over 3 days. The longest part is waiting for the formica glue to dry. I will try to put an actual "how to" together in the near future. My description here is kind of an abridged version of the construction.
05-01-2006, 06:53 AM
And he comes complete with instructions. WOW!! Very cool. "Hey Todd...Oh Todd...can we go shopping?" :D
Welcome to the ROC family Chris, glad to have you here with us. I too read your post in "body wrinkles" and I am glad to have you a part of our family. Keep on ROCing!!
05-01-2006, 06:56 AM
Very nicely done ChrisM! It looks great and it sounds like it will work great as well. Excellent post too. I look forward to seeing your pictures. 'Ya gotta love the ingenuity and the craftsmanship. Very well done! Thanks again!
05-01-2006, 07:26 AM
Impressive, Chris. Looking forward to more detailed pictures. Thanks.
05-01-2006, 07:27 AM
Great job on the tonneau cover! Way to take something and make it your own, dog!!! Oh Ah wait... That's my American Idol speech!!! :eek:
Seriously - Welcome to the ROC and look forward to many more intelligent and well thought out posts.
If I didn't already have the OEM tonneau cover I'd be using your guidance to build one. Not because I'm a great DIY'r, but because I'm basically cheap...
05-01-2006, 10:41 AM
Glad to see someone else love their Ridge as much as I do ,thought I was alone as I've only seen a few around Saint Louis. :) :)
I bought my Ridge in May of '05(as soon as I could put everything together, bought the 5th one Huey's sold). I traded in my Ford Exploder (YES EXPLODER) after terrible service from dealer. I was looking for some replacments for the "discontiued" side steps (they started to peel at the weld joints) I purchased from my dealer and found ROC (THANK GOD). I had done searces before on the web but only found ROC several days ago. My Honda service rep ordered in some new Westin nerf bars for me since I did not like the Running boards. Props to Huey's Honda in Saint Louis. They took an awkward situation and made it right. I'm writing this sitting in the waiting room as they remove the Running boards I tried but did not like.
I will post some photos as soon as I have a chance. When I found the Ridgeline it was the perfect application for my job. I can lock my photography equipment in the trunk and no one knows it is there, where in an suv(explorer) all you have to do is look in the back window.
Love just about everything about my Ridge, with it had keyless entry pad on outside, but I solved that with the Davstar keybox(make sure you have the addional baseplate). I mounted it on the drivers side front tiedown, unless you know where to look you will not see it. It comes with a black rubber cover that blends in perfectly. Also had the Harmon Karden Drive and Play installed works pretty good, but gets FM bleed from radio stations in certain parts of the city. Well got to go my Ridge is ready, will check in later.
05-01-2006, 06:11 PM
I don't really have time to start my "How To" tonight due to a long day at the office but here are a couple of pics I snapped with the trusty camera phone a few minutes ago. I really wished I had taken pics during construction I didn't. The only part of the project that was a real dissapointment to me was the plastic corners I put on the back edges of the cover. They didn't come out the way I envisioned them. I'm looking for replacements.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I will try to answer them the best I can.
Thanks for all of the nice encouraging comments.
05-01-2006, 06:34 PM
She looks great! Welcome!
07-11-2006, 10:38 AM
So now you have 2 trunks - sweet.
and I agree ~ welcome to the family. (i'm live in Northern KY btw) ;)
07-12-2006, 12:34 PM
Chris, would you mind explaining how you implemented the AC outlets in your Ridgeline?
07-21-2006, 05:42 PM
Chris, would you mind explaining how you implemented the AC outlets in your Ridgeline?
I got a Monster power inverter from Partsexpress.com which I mounted under the drivers seat. I also puchased one of their video game outlets which is an outlet that you can mount in the bottom of the back console. I ran the wire from this outlet to the Monster power inverter under the front seat. It works quite nicely and generates enough electricity to power a 27" TV. The inverter has 2 outlets which allows me to plug something in under the seat and something in the back. I used the inverter the other day to power my hedge trimmers to trim all of the bushes at one of my businesses. I ran the trimmers for about 45 minutes and the inverter never got warm. Here is a really bad picture of where I mounted the back outlet. You have to be very careful or you will not have room for the attached wires in the console.
Sorry it took so long to answer your question.
Have a nice day.
07-21-2006, 07:11 PM
Welcome to the rock family. Great looking pictures.
11-06-2006, 03:29 PM
This rocks! I might have to do this. I get great satisfaction doing home builds and saving a few bucks in the process. The only thing I'd do differently is add threaded rod with a channel between the two gate latches along with some mechanism that I could squeeze with my thumb and pointer finger to release the latches rather than the chain. It's purely a preferencial piece that would "clean up" the underside of the panel.
Thanks for giving me yet another opportunity to put off working in the yard or organizing the garage. :D