Original Project Date: March 2006
I explain how I securely mounted a large toolbox above one of the wheel wells in the rear cargo area of my HUMMER H2.
The HUMMER H2 SUV has a pretty decent amount of rear cargo storage space. When I got my 2003, the spare tire, which is a full-size wheel and tire was stored inside the cargo area as you can see in picture #1.
I quickly made more space back there by installing an aftermarket spare tire carrier that swings out. I’ll write that project up some other time. The result is what’s shown in picture #2.
Now, since having a break down situation a few years ago where I needed to use a second car to go buy tools and supplies to do a road side repair, I’ve always tried to carry tools and supplies with me. These can get heavy and just stowing them loosely in the back is a bad idea. In a sudden stop or crash they may start flying around and hit me or one of my passengers. So this is just not an option in my opinion.
For a while, I kept a storage box with a top in back put the stuff in there and anchored it with a webbing strap to one of the tie downs you can see in the pictures. This was fine, but everything I needed to haul something in the back, it was in the way. Plus opening it required removing the strap that was wrapped around it.
I finally decided to use some of the space over the wheel wells to mount a storage container. I figured mounting on the driver’s side would be perfect as there were solid anchor points left over unused from when I removed the interior spare tire carrier. I asked around on the h2source.com forums and got a good suggestion from H2Finally. The discussion thread can be read here.
I basically copied H2Finally’s idea, but with a different toolbox. The toolbox I chose was black steel Craftsman box with dimensions 24.25″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″(available on line only). It’s completely rectangular and has thin edges and thus wastes very little space. Here’s what I did:
Here’s the driver’s side cargo area:
Making a Level Surface
The wheel well cover isn’t level. In order to mount a toolbox over it, I needed to level it out. I cut wedges from a block of closed mini cell foam that I originally purchased from NRS to make some custom kayak seats from.
I opted to use two wedges because it was easier to cut plus it would leave access to the bin to store little things.
Solid Anchor for the Toolbox
If couldn’t just set the toolbox up there. That would be more dangerous than leaving my tools randomly scattered around the truck.
I bought a 1/8″ thick, 1 1/2″ wide, 36″ long strip of aluminum that I picked up in the metal by the piece section of a local home improvement store. Then I folded it to fit along backside of toolbox.
I drilled a hole to mount it using the bolt that holds the top of the tire jack (right side) which was where the front of the interior spare tire carrier used to be anchored. I pushed the toolbox into it to establish the bend point in the back left, then folded it again to align with the rear anchor point that the interior spare tire carrier mounted to. Then I drilled three holes in the strip, two on the long edge, and one on the short edge on the left side. I filed these holes square to accept some 1″x1/4″ carriage bolts which will be inserted into the back edge of the toolbox to hold it in place.
Note that I trimmed the strip on the left end to that the rear lift gate can close without hitting it. A hacksaw (recommendation: use goggles. I broke a blade and it hit me in the eye, ouch) will do the cut easily and a file to smooth off the edges/points.
Also, I used several washers behind the strip on the right to ensure it sits out from the trim a little bit and then I put several strips of foam tape along the back side of the strip to reduce scraping of the trim over time.
Mounting Toolbox to Aluminum Strip
I used wingnuts secure the toolbox on the carriage bolts mounted through the aluminum strip in the previous step and still allowme to easly remove the toolbox if necessary.
I drilled holes in the toolbox to accept the carriage bolts from the aluminum strip. This is the view on the inside.
Here is the toolbox with the top closed
and with the top opened. The top nicely folds up into the recess for the rear driver’s side window
Because the toolbox is all metal, it rattled a lot. So I threw some shop towels in with the gear I placed inside, and put some furniture slide strip material along the edges of the red tray that sits in the top. The lock on the center latch rattles a tiny bit, but as I didn’t plan to ever lock it, I wedged some putty in it to eliminate that rattle. Still the center latch has some free play in it, so I just leave it open and use only the side latches.