Another Take On Rear Door Tables

Another Take On Rear Door Tables

If you have been around the 4wd industry for, lets say more than a month or so; then I’m pretty sure I can hear a collective groan right now: “not another bloody drop down table!”. IF I was unaware of the incredible example about to be unveiled, I would probably be doing the same myself.

The rationale behind my plan for a rear door table is that it should not be too heavy or bulky and try to keep the thickness as close to that of the original door card. The door card got damaged and went missing long ago, and I wanted to replace it with something easy to clean (as a kind of splash-back if you will).

nissan-patrol-door-table-diyStarting by giving the door a good clean up is a good idea. Removing the Butyl tape (that sticky black stuff that holds the plastic sheet on) was the worst part of the job. In my case, I took the chance now to run a wire from the cargo area through the door with the other wiring to power a piece of LED strip stuck along the top of the door. My kitchen light!

See those cavities in the door? Perfect place to hide your less often used spares such as radiator hoses and wheel bearings. Just be sure that whatever you stick in there doesn’t foul up the door mechanism or she’s stuck closed forever!

nissan-patrol-door-table-diy-4wdA piece of galvanized sheet metal forms the new door skin ($30 from Bunnings as the salvage yard didn’t have any). Lots of measuring twice and cutting once applies here to get a good fit. Use screws to hold it in place so as you can get to your spare parts if they’re needed, but be careful to avoid the voids and wiring in the door. A bit of foam tape which you can see on the car step will prevent rattles.

nissan-patrol-door-table-diy-4wd-2Now; what to make the table from? Plywood is too thick and bulky for my liking, again a dig around the salvage yard should turn up an appropriate material. In this case, aluminium sheet about 2 or 3mm thick is the choice, and while not as sturdy as a piece of plywood it’s plenty sturdy enough. We attach this to the door with 3 cheap hinges from Bunnings. The hinges are riveted to the table, and screwed into the car door. Use screws with the lowest profile head possible, too large and they may not allow the hinges to fully close.

nissan-patrol-door-table-diy-4x4Now you just need to limit how far the table drops and support it. If you haven’t guessed already; I hate rattles. So lengths of chain were out of the question. I opted for wire rope; a length on each side. You can purchase joiners as well (need I say where?) and these can be crimped with a pair of vise grips if you have tough hands.

The last step is finding a way to hold the table up when not in use, and has so far proven to be the hardest. Elastic is the way to go, again to prevent rattles and with the small mass of the table it will hold quite tight. However packs of elastic loops and toggles that you might use on a ute tonneau only come in separate packs as far as I can find at a total cost close to that of the entire project! Oh well, this idea has floated around in my head for the last 3 years, so I’m sure the ocky straps I chose to use will hold the table in place for at least another three.

nissan-patrol-door-table-diy-4wderProject completed! Cooked up lunch in the driveway just to prove a point. Isn’t that just the dandiest thing?!


Alex Garner

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  1. 4WDing Australia
    August 31, 20:33 Reply
    Nice work mate. You can never have enough space to put stuff on the back of your fourby.
    • Woodsie
      October 19, 07:33 Reply
      You can buy single loops and toggles from clark rubber
      • Alex Garner
        October 19, 16:57 Reply
        That's awesome! Thanks for sharing that Woodsie, I'll be shooting by and grabbing some of them very soon :)
  2. Tom
    May 21, 23:19 Reply
    Thanks Alex, love your instruction. Want to built that table like you did !! Do you have the sizeof the back plate ? Cheers Tom
    • Alex Garner
      May 25, 18:12 Reply
      Hey Tom, I don't have the size of the back plate handy, I do know I got the galvanised sheet pre cut in that size from bunnings, it's a little smaller than the door but it was close enough.
  3. sid
    October 18, 14:10 Reply
    How did you screw in the galvanised sheet into the door? Nutserts in place of the trim panel fittings?
    • Alex Garner
      October 30, 10:24 Reply
      That's a good idea! If I had a nutsert gun at the time I would have gone for that. But no, I just drilled small pilot holes through the sheet and into the door, then applied some metal screws :)

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