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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!
I have a 1965 el camino malibu driver and am looking for ideas on how to turn the lift panel / smugglers box into useful storage. I’ve been looking hard through the forums and on the internet in general but just keep turning up the same results. It either old threads or references to the same 3 videos on YouTube of the guy with the actuator and neon lights. I’m looking to do something simpler. Manual actuators probably and a trunk like dome light. Not sure if there are any recent developments/example towards this solution or if i need to completely reinvent the wheel?
Any ideas would be welcome.
Thanks!
Jay
 

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Hey Jay,

I'm sorry you missed our 60th celebration get-together this past weekend. I sold a 65 smuggler's box cover there.

BTW, if you haven't been told, WELCOME TO THE GROUP from another 65 driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Jay,

I'm sorry you missed our 60th celebration get-together this past weekend. I sold a 65 smuggler's box cover there.

BTW, if you haven't been told, WELCOME TO THE GROUP from another 65 driver.
Oh man! Doesn’t it figure? I’m sorry I missed it too. I was watching it online though. It looked like a great get together.

Do you have access to your box from the bed or behind the seat or both? I’m trying to decide how to handle it. My car is in pretty much original shape but this is one modification I wouldn’t mind making.
 

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Hi everyone!
I have a 1965 el camino malibu driver and am looking for ideas on how to turn the lift panel / smugglers box into useful storage. I’ve been looking hard through the forums and on the internet in general but just keep turning up the same results. It either old threads or references to the same 3 videos on YouTube of the guy with the actuator and neon lights. I’m looking to do something simpler. Manual actuators probably and a trunk like dome light. Not sure if there are any recent developments/example towards this solution or if i need to completely reinvent the wheel?
Any ideas would be welcome.
Thanks!
Jay
Found this on another site:
126841

126842
 
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I did my lid similar w/ 3/4 box tubing but I used electric acuator w/ switch in cab (summit). It can be set to auto open and close to a selected height. I used brass piano hinge (2) and 1/4" stainless screws and nuts to bolt to cab and welded hinge to panel. I used black marine grade weatherstrip for around box that conforms to bed when closed. tony
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did my lid similar w/ 3/4 box tubing but I used electric acuator w/ switch in cab (summit). It can be set to auto open and close to a selected height. I used brass piano hinge (2) and 1/4" stainless screws and nuts to bolt to cab and welded hinge to panel. I used black marine grade weatherstrip for around box that conforms to bed when closed. tony
Hi Tony!
Thanks for the pictures. This is really nice! Do you like the single actuator rather 2? Does the weatherstripping keep out the water? Did you add the plastic smugglers box or was it original to your el Camino? This is a really nice design. It looks like you’ve built out your rear cab wall under the package shelf. Did you do this as well? Thanks again!
 

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Hi Tony!
Thanks for the pictures. This is really nice! Do you like the single actuator rather 2? Does the weatherstripping keep out the water? Did you add the plastic smugglers box or was it original to your el Camino? This is a really nice design. It looks like you’ve built out your rear cab wall under the package shelf. Did you do this as well? Thanks again!
One actuator is plenty strong but you must have the 3/4 square stock welded in to transfer the load across the panel. Smugglers box is original and I wanted to keep it. Inside I did built it by using wood bracing along back wall and under shelf and used/ cut up two brand new door panels on MDF (speaker material). If anyone wants more detailed pictures of two builts just ask. Last, no to rain/water but my plastic bed plugs are drilled out and metal mesh screen glued in to stop any mice or whatever from getting in.
thanks for compliment.Tony
 

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One actuator is plenty strong but you must have the 3/4 square stock welded in to transfer the load across the panel. Smugglers box is original and I wanted to keep it. Inside I did built it by using wood bracing along back wall and under shelf and used/ cut up two brand new door panels on MDF (speaker material). If anyone wants more detailed pictures of two builts just ask. Last, no to rain/water but my plastic bed plugs are drilled out and metal mesh screen glued in to stop any mice or whatever from getting in.
thanks for compliment.Tony
One more thing Jay actuator is 12 volt. its not a compression clylinder like other pictures.
 

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One actuator is plenty strong but you must have the 3/4 square stock welded in to transfer the load across the panel. Smugglers box is original and I wanted to keep it. Inside I did built it by using wood bracing along back wall and under shelf and used/ cut up two brand new door panels on MDF (speaker material). If anyone wants more detailed pictures of two builts just ask. Last, no to rain/water but my plastic bed plugs are drilled out and metal mesh screen glued in to stop any mice or whatever from getting in.
thanks for compliment.Tony
I'll be tackling the behind the seat speaker build after I get some patch panels welded in and painted. Any pics of you builds would be a great thing!

Steve
 

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I'll be tackling the behind the seat speaker build after I get some patch panels welded in and painted. Any pics of you builds would be a great thing!

Steve
ok steve, I started w/ pc of mdf under shelf epoxy glued in, then i bought two unique attachment gizmos for 4x 4 that is bolted to raised part across back wall, watch length of bolt so you do not hit rear wall. then the hard part cutting mdf to fit back wall and corners. you'll have to use corner pcs as templates and shave bottom to fit inside metal lip. heres some pics. oh yeah the 4 x 4 was trimed in my table saw. you have to duplicate the angle of back wall. the gizmo is a type of fasener that a 9/16 or whatever size the center is to attach 4 x 4 to back wall and on collar there is 4 small holes where you can drill and rivet fastener to metal. forgive my typing pecking w/ left hand after right shoulder surgery. this should help as I started w/ nothing but idea. tony
 

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Excellent idea! I can see how that works well and is sturdy. The gizmo metal thingy you used is called a RivNut. I've got an assortment of those and love them. The do come in handy. So after you epoxied the upper shelf boards, attached the middle with RivNuts, you screwed your panel directly to the wood using upholstery screws and washers. I don't work with wood enough to have come up with that idea....but was thinking about using aluminum instead. I like your idea and will start on the 'Tony Mod' to the back wall after the patch panels. Thank you Tony!
 

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Sorry about your shoulder surgery...I've been delaying having my left shoulder probed for issues as i've wrecked it several times over the past 35 years of working. Question.....How did you program the linear actuator to have open and stop points? I'm also doing that project as well! Sorry for bugging you so much!
 

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Excellent idea! I can see how that works well and is sturdy. The gizmo metal thingy you used is called a RivNut. I've got an assortment of those and love them. The do come in handy. So after you epoxied the upper shelf boards, attached the middle with RivNuts, you screwed your panel directly to the wood using upholstery screws and washers. I don't work with wood enough to have come up with that idea....but was thinking about using aluminum instead. I like your idea and will start on the 'Tony Mod' to the back wall after the patch panels. Thank you Tony!
when i finally got mdf done and panels mounted you can use a wood screw that fits the factory trim rings that screw bottom of door panels on. it then will look kinda factory but screws will be in differant area where wood is. the wood for shelf should be cut long enough for mdf to slip in between wood and edge of shelf. gives you another mounting area for screws.
 

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Sorry about your shoulder surgery...I've been delaying having my left shoulder probed for issues as i've wrecked it several times over the past 35 years of working. Question.....How did you program the linear actuator to have open and stop points? I'm also doing that project as well! Sorry for bugging you so much!
when you buy the linear actuator it comes w/ a programable box that I hid in corner behind plastic panel. the instructions that come with it are very easy to follow. If I remember this am I'll be going up to shop and I'll get you the part # so you can pull it up at Summit.
 

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when you buy the linear actuator it comes w/ a programable box that I hid in corner behind plastic panel. the instructions that come with it are very easy to follow. If I remember this am I'll be going up to shop and I'll get you the part # so you can pull it up at Summit.
Jay, Here is actuator info purchased thru Summit - AUTOLOC Linear Actuator w/ motor control module, LAD 8 SKU 141902 or you can look at AUTOLOC.com I found it was cheaper thru Summit. The Lad 8 will give you power and length of travel for lid. Its easy to wire and there tech line is good. If you look at pic of my smugglers box you'll see a small chain coming thru left side. That is for Emerg release in case you lose pwr you will be able to shut or open lid. I found a bunch more pics of both projects so if you want them I can email them to you. Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jay, Here is actuator info purchased thru Summit - AUTOLOC Linear Actuator w/ motor control module, LAD 8 SKU 141902 or you can look at AUTOLOC.com I found it was cheaper thru Summit. The Lad 8 will give you power and length of travel for lid. Its easy to wire and there tech line is good. If you look at pic of my smugglers box you'll see a small chain coming thru left side. That is for Emerg release in case you lose pwr you will be able to shut or open lid. I found a bunch more pics of both projects so if you want them I can email them to you. Tony
Hi Tony!
Yes. Please. I would very much like to see your pictures. Sorry I took so long to reply. Medical issues stalked my project but I’m back at it again.
I appreciate all the help! Jay
 
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