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Truck Tool Box Repair by William


When I picked up this beast of a truck in 2009, it came with a tool box from TSC in it. I don’t usually much care for tool boxes, they rattle and tend to not work very well if they were abused. This one was abused and among other things. I have a lot of pictures for this article, but I didn’t take pictures of all the repairs I did, but you should get the jist of what I was doing.



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You can see here that it looks okay, until I messed with it and a latch broke, so the pass side would not latch. This was unacceptable, so I attempted to fix it.


This is the passenger side latch that broke. I drilled out the rivets and tried to figure out how to fix it. It’s a simple design. A post with a latch that is mushroomed out on one end to keep it from coming out of the handle. I’m not really sure how to explain it better than that. You can see where the pieces connected, and it simply pulled though and no longer would stay in. With this one being broke, I checked the otherside.


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This one was broke the same way at one time. It was also having trouble shutting, so I decided to investigate that as well. They welded a bolt onto the handle and assembled it back together. Trouble was, the bolt was not strait.

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So, What do I do? Of course, I try to bend it, oh oops. Well, I immediately scratched that project and moved on to bigger and better things just removing the tool box all together to reveal 3 holes on each side. Somebody must have forgot how to measure.

All was good for this project still till something happened. Where I was keeping it ended up not working out very well. The person, to whom I don’t say anything good about, smashed it with the tractor to show how awesome they are I guess. I took pictures of it right away in case some junk was tried to be pined on me, and packed stuff up and got outa there. Here is what happened.

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I know it doesn’t look to bad, but it is. Its aluminum, so it breaks easy under certain stresses. The next pictures are a bit harder to see due to the fact it was really late, and its hard to hold things and shoot with a 10 lb camera.

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This gives you a bit more of what got smashed.

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You can see the damage to the frame of the box in the first picture there. That’s not the only break, but the only one I noticed that night. The second picture shows the dent in the lid.

I really should have some pictures of this all finished up and fixed, but I was drinking Barley Pop and forgot to bring out the camera. I used some hammers and a torch to heat the metal up and hammer it back into place the best I could. Then I used some braising rod to braise the 5 cracks that I found where the seams had busted or welds had broke. Now, the hard part, the handles, those things are broke still!

A trip down to the hardware store, a long one in case your wondering, got me for 18 dollars in parts to fix 2 of these. I had come up with the idea on how to fix them from the welded bolt, but decided to do it the right way. I picked up some low profile, or button headed, cap screws. They fit right in though the hole, and I only had to slightly modify the handle to allow it to move properly. Two different bushings to make things work, and some washers and a nut. Strange sizes of the parts made them costy. Plus I purchased extras incase I got carried away. To the parts!

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These are all the parts minus the latch and the handle, and then all of them in the next picture. Lets get it assembled.

tbrepair_1016 First I took the one bushing that is next to the screw in the picture above, and pressed it into the hole on the latch. It was a pain, but a C-Clamp did the trick, then I cut it off with a coping saw. Managed to get my finger on the second one if your wondering, and boy are they sharp. The inside of this bushing is threaded. A wild guess on it to use that, but it paid off.

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First insert the bolt, then on goes the nylon bushing. The spring works off this bushing, and it keeps the latch from squashing the spring. It was a bit to thick, by a small amount really, so I used the good ole cement to file it down for a few seconds. You can see this bushing in one of the above pictures stuck on the latch.

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Next you argue with the spring as you thread on the latch, due to the threads in the bushing, and finally get it together, you hope, to find out you missed the spring and have to start over. Once you get the spring setup, you throw on the washers and the nut and grab the driver. You might notice I used a big and a small washer. The one is a 1/4 inch washer which was wider than the other one, but too big of a hole inside, I needed that spacer to not accidently pop out. It helped in the long run though with how it ended up actuating. I sprayed some fluid film on the bushing before I tightened it anymore to help it move, the fluid film will stick in there really good and keep things working.

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You might not understand this one, but I saw that the spring had been sitting in a more loaded position on the part, so I loaded the spring next. In the first picture, the spring is resting on a stop for the latch. So I used the needle nose pliers to push it to its correct location.

tbrepair_1025 I tightened things down until, well, really it only tightened so far and would spin after that, any tighter and the latch wouldn’t work. With all the washers, the whole pin spun instead of just the latch, which will keep everything tight the way it is setup. I dotted on some thread locker to keep it together. It will soak in the threads and keep it tight.


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I noticed the actuator and the latches were not really lining up well and it was wearing groves in the actuator. So I beat them with a hammer till I was satisfied and celebrated with some Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. Kettle Cooked of course!

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Alright, almost done, time for some locks. The locks were the pricey part of the spend, but worth it. Stay outa my stuff! I don’t have a fancy camera to catch people like Brett. The levers were to long on the lock, and none that came with it were quite the right size.

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I just hit it with the bench grinder, and dropped it on the ground and it popped right off.

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I gathered the parts I would use and figured out what to do. Harder than you think! Really, it is!

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I decided to use this crush ring to help keep it tight, and for looks. I figured out which way I needed to index the keyway on the lock as well, which was down for me.

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The pictures don’t show it as well as I would like, but I crushed the ring down when I tightened the lock in.

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I added the indexer to correspond with the keyway the way I needed the lock to turn after I lined it up on the outside the way I wanted too. Then added the tab and the whatever you call that washer. They always make me think of boats for some reason.

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Some thread lock for the nut for the keyway, and some thread lock for the nut that holds the lock in. Almost done, sorta.

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I lubricated the cylinders with some fluid film, which allowed them to turn and work better. This stuff is awesome in locks!

tbrepair_1042Okay, so here are the finished latches, but we are technically long ways from done. They are not doing much sitting on the ground.

So, lets advance forward in the magical world of technology till tomorrow so we can rush around to get the other stuff we forgot and get it together.





The gaskets were not so hot on these, so I racked my brain and came up with some packing material.

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I traced it with a marker, then I free handed the inside line to correspond with how the older gasket worked.

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Totally forgot to take a picture. I took all these on my phone by the way, they turned out pretty swell. Now, we have to run to the store, because during this whole project we forget that we don’t have any pop rivets and no pop rivet gun either. So, fast forward an hour.

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Stupid camera phone. The flash made this hard to distinguish. I pushed two rivets in first to line up the holes, then I snapped them in.

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All right, we got it in. I failed to mention that it is pouring outside and I’m glad I have a garage to work in. Then I noticed something.


I have a strong tendency to de-badge things. Then I had an idea and rushed to the tool box. I brought back some sand paper, tape and some elbow grease.

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I started to sand and then realized that it will be hard to sand next to that logo, and I want to keep it. I used some clear tape to tape it so I could see what I was cutting.

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It is really hard to tell in the pictures, but I cut the tape around the logo so I could sand around it. Then for the finishing touch, I brought back the brushed aluminum look with a stainless steel brush. Lets get things lined up.

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This had to be perfect to work, so I measured it out and drew some lines.

I really wish there was a way to create more suspense with this, but its the internet, you could have just skipped all the way to hear and ignored everything else.

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There is the cherry on top.  I reattached it to the box and added 2 more rivets on top to help keep stuff from getting stuck up there.
Now for some High Quality shots to top it off for everyone. I went and got the good camera for this, and upped the quality for the post.

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Yea, repeats, trying to show off that brushed aluminum awesomeness.

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Once I got the thing bolted in and the latch pins readjusted the second time.


I hope this helps to inspire anyone out there who has something that is a bit broken or bent up to get it back into working condition so you can enjoy it again.


Brett said...

Hey, I have the fancy camera because someone keeps picking my lock!

rolling tool chest said...

It was nice to receive many useful facts in this review.

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