Installing Rear Roll Pan & Hidden Trailer Hitch Kit - Go With The Roll
For the mounting holes on...
For the mounting holes on the roll pan, we measured in 1 inch from each side and marked them as the two outer mounting holes. We then measured the distance between these holes to find the center of the roll pan, and marked a hole there as well. Each half was once again divided, for a total of five mounting holes; one in the center and two on each side of the center. All the holes are 1⁄2-inch down from the top.
After drilling the holes in...
After drilling the holes in the roll pan, we held it up to the back of the truck to mark the holes we would drill in the panel below the tailgate. We lined up the top edge with our predetermined line on the masking tape at the edges, and folded over some business cards to even up the gap between the quarter-panel and roll pan on both sides. Then the holes were transferred to the sheetmetal behind them.
This is the part we always...
This is the part we always hate-drilling holes in sheetmetal. Seal the hole with a dab of silicone after you drill it.
From underneath the truck,...
From underneath the truck, a fastener is installed in the side flanges to keep the roll pan anchored flush with the back panels. Without the screw in each side, the roll pan will move around a lot if it is only anchored along its top edge. Street Scene provided enough sheetmetal screws to mount the roll pan, but we upgraded them to panhead machine screws with Ny-lock nuts on the back (arrow). We were concerned with the sheetmetal screws loosening up over time; that won't be a problem with the Ny-lock nuts.
This is the license plate...
This is the license plate light included with the Street Scene kit. It splices right into the existing wiring harness with no problems.
We were originally going to...
We were originally going to go with a really cool, black anodized, lighted license plate frame from a street rod company, so we didn't cut the holes in the roll pan for the kit-supplied light. Then we were told that a flip-frame license plate has to flip up so the cops can still read your plate when looking down on it. The light built into the aluminum frame only allowed the frame to flip down because it came in contact with the top edge of the recess in the roll pan. This required the kit-supplied light. Because the roll pan was in place, we had to drill a series of small holes, lying on our back, and connect-the-dots with a small hacksaw. It was at that moment we remembered exactly why we hated working with fiberglass. Street Scene does supply a template, but we couldn't use it with the pan already bolted on. Had we just installed the kit per their plans, there would not have been any difficulty.
This illustrates how the license...
This illustrates how the license frame flips up out of the way. The flip frame is a standard hidden gas filler style found on older cars. The spring it came with was so stiff, though, that it was actually bending the metal frame. We didn't want that kind of pressure on the fiberglass panel, so we removed it, and will replace it with a hardware store-supplied spring.
From underneath the truck,...
From underneath the truck, you can see how the tailpipes were moved outboard by TMEC. You can also see that except for choosing a smaller-diameter tire, there really isn't another option if we want to keep the spare under the bed and out of sight.
The curves of the roll pan...
The curves of the roll pan make it look as if it was designed specifically for the Dakota, rather than a universal application.
Here's the reason we chose...
Here's the reason we chose the hidden hitch mount-the Mopar Performance bike rack. The hitch is plenty strong enough to haul any trailer we'll ever tow with the truck, including a flatbed with a car on it. With the solid tonneau we have on the truck, we didn't want to damage it by loading and unloading bikes for trips to trails and parks. The MP bike rack is a complete kit, and includes a cable for locking up the bikes. The upright swings down, out of the way, with the bikes still on it, for access to the tailgate and the truck bed.
A Perfect Image
8025 Anderson Rd., Suite J
Street Scene Equipment
12691 Monarch St.