: installed an Auto-cover tonneau on my 06 ext



ross_g
07-09-09, 11:47 PM
ok so here is how it went on scale of 1>10 10 being hardest this is about a 4>6 depending on your ability.
electrical there are only 2 wires to connect a power and ground the rest is assembled.

The tools you you will need are.

1; 4 and 5 mm allen wrenches
2; drill and 1/16 bit
3; torque wrench
4; philips screwdriver

Items needed not included

1; 12 gauge wire aprox 17 ft.
2; heat shrink style butt connectors
3; zip ties for wireing
4; denatured alcohol or adhesive remover
5; painters tape
6; dish soap
7; 1 extra person

1;first thing you want to do is remove your panels or soft tonneau and all factory mounting hardware.
2; remove gutters and end drains ( see pic ) keep safe all will be reinstalled but the drivers side gutter.
3; run power wires from power source to bed (see included instructions)
4; clean the top of the bed with alcohol or adhesive remover (spend time here this is important) let dry
5; install weather strip ( do your best to keep this straight slow and steady wins the race here)
6; put painters tape on the ends of the bed (see pics)
7; soap up the new weather striping use your finger to lube the rail (also very may be most important)
8; grab extra person take tonneau from box and slide into bed. There are C shaped grooves on each side of the new toneau that will go like a clamp down the bed rail (the first part my be a little hard you will be bending over some rubber mouldings when you are past that its a piece of cake to slide in place remember the soap)
9; adjust the top so as to install the 8 bolts and washers (DO NOT TIGHTEN just thread in a little)
10; connect power and ground to motor.
11; raise cover slightly install shims lower cover completly.
12; adjust tonneau so it is square close midgate close tailgate make sure it is closedand lined up.(you may need to adjust tailgate.)
13; When you have the top square tighten the mounting bolts on the top to the frame.
14; install your switch where you would like it. (near the tailgate would be best)
15; install the motor and install the included zip ties for the wireing tie up wireing.
16; reinstall your gutters and ends (the drivers side gutter will no longer be used)
17; you may need to adjust your tailgate do so now.
18; clean your roof where the bumper will sit. remove tape and put cover all the way up take a long knife and cut zip ties. close tonneau you are done (put away your tools)

here are the pics in order I hope
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1050.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1035.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1079.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1036.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1037.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1041.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1040.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1054.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1056.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1084.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1085.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1086.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1055.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1058.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1060.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1072.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1073.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1062.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1063.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1064.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1069.jpg
I couldnt take pictures of the tonneau install as I didnt have enough hands
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1070.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1075.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1074.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1087.jpg
all done
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1076.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1077.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1078.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh194/rossmanma1/avalanche/Auto%20covers/IMG_1088.gif

Now that the cover is installed we had very hard rain last night and I am happy to say water tight. All the cardboard from the box was in the back all dry.

I feel it would only be fair to note the pro's and cons off the various covers available for the avalanche and ext as I believe I have had them all.

1; most common the 3 panels


pro's

1; safe secure lock the gate your stuff is safe
2; full access to mid gate
3; you can remove just 1 panel for tall items in bed.
4; comes as standard equipment
5; has gm warranty

con's
1; fades faster than the cladding
2; almost always leaks between panels
3; hard to store

2; soft tonneau

pro's

1; lightweight
2; easy to store
3; easy to remove
4; does not leak for the most part
5; comes as standard equipment
6; has gm warranty

con's

1; made of vinyl not much security
2; on a cold day next to imposible to put back on
3; access to midgate little more complicated but not hard.

3; power soft tonneau

pro's

1; easy to use remote control press a button top slide about half way hold but it opens 3/4 of the way
2; light weight
3; has its own light
4; has escape button 1 press opens cover
5; gm warranty

cons

1; vinyl lacks security
2; only exposes about 3/4 of the bed when open.
3; blocks midgate when open
4; has to be unbolted and removed to use full bed (storage issue's)
5; realy poorly made (i opened mine up to find out why it wouldnt close.) System used 2 electric motors that turned a worm gear rope (only way I can explain it) that was held in place with a thin plastic cover. the plastic cover had warped and let the rope of its track. Prior to this failure a bracket on the drivers side desighned to have the cover pop up to have the vinyl overlap had broken. This was the 3rd tonneau this truck has had.
6; $1000 option

4; Auto cover hard power tonneau

pro's

1; real quality feel and look
2; seems watertight
3; heavy duty hydraulic pump
4; fairly easy install
5; stores out of the way
6; full access to midgate
7; has 3 year warranty
8; supper easy to use
9; fast


con's

1; Roof bumper kinda ugly and the cover does touch my roof rack (I am going to play with this I have some ideas)
2; Even though it seals well I think i would like to see a latch in the down position possibly to the factory latches.
3; You loose the drivers side rain gutter ( I am told it is no longer necassary but what do I do with it now)
4; It requires adjustment of tailgate (not a big deal but it is a tight fit)
5; kinda pricey but if you price them all out to buy new it falls right in line.(not really a con)




To all that have the the above bed covers please feel free to add your 2 cents. If anyone knows of any other bed covers (not snugtops) please let us know about your experiance's


All in all I think that this Auto cover will be the best top of them all. I am so far very pleased with this cover I will keep you up to date as time goes by.

ross_g
07-09-09, 11:49 PM
the pics wont come up here check this link http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,112416.msg1758493.html#msg1758493

luxurylife33
07-10-09, 12:45 AM
Dont take it personal, but whats the point of this cover?

ross_g
07-10-09, 01:16 AM
Dont take it personal, but whats the point of this cover?

If you had read my write up it would explain your question but I will shorten it up for you.

It makes life easier.

Here is what its all about
The 3 hard covers that come with your truck are hard to remove hard to store they leak and take up an awful lot of room in the bed when not in place.
If you put lots of things in the bed as I often do the hardcovers often get taken out and put aside.

In my avalanche I took the hard covers out and put in a soft tonneau. It was lighter and easier to use didnt leak as much. However it was hard to reinstall when cold and on more than 1 occasion was opened by someone other than me.

When I got my escalade it came with a power soft tonneau it was broken when I got it I brought it to the dealer the told me the top had been changed twice prior for similar problems. The top they tried to get was broken in the same place as were 2 others they tried to get. I researched covers and found this It looked neat so I put out a Q&A on the Avalanche web site they said it was the way to go. Since the purchase and install on 7-08-09 I have opened it a dozen times to put stuff in the bed and it works very well.

So if you never use the bed of your truck you dont need this. However I would then need to ask the question why did you buy an ext?

I hope that clears it up a little Sorry I am a bit long winded.
Happy Motoring.:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:

luxurylife33
07-10-09, 02:08 AM
Interesting....

I need a pickup bed too. What I do is mobile auto reconditioning - paintless dent repair, bumper scuffs, leather repair, dash repair, wheel repair, etc. I have a trailer for most of the tools and equipment, but I like to keep my paintless dent tools in the back so when i go on strictly PDR jobs, as I often do, I do not need to bring the trailer.

As for me, i just stack covers 2 & 3 on 1 ( i believe that the order, 1 being next to the window). I dont really need them off when I drive so I guess I wouldnt need the power cover. I'm in the back of the bed about 40+ times daily about 5-6 days a week and never had an issue with functionality. Never had a single leak. (knock on wood)

I guess for contractor work or jobs that require the entire bed everyday, it makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

Dan

PS, I was looking for pick-ups only and found a lot of good deals, i figured why not get the best looking/running truck out there.... I havent looked back since... Picked it up with 70k, 2003 for only $14k. Mint, not a scratch or dent. (Although I dented the QP a few months back, it has since been repaired.... no more original paint :( )

luxurylife33
07-10-09, 02:17 AM
very interesting, after reading again how one of the cons of the stock bed covers is that it leaks water, I dont know anyone with this problem, i guess i got lucky.... and watch tomorrow it will rain and ill find a leak

ross_g
07-10-09, 09:59 AM
very interesting, after reading again how one of the cons of the stock bed covers is that it leaks water, I dont know anyone with this problem, i guess i got lucky.... and watch tomorrow it will rain and ill find a leak
Put a piece of cardboard in the bed of your truck during a rain storm see how dry it is after. They have made many improvements to the 3 panels since 02 but there are still issues.
There are numerous articles on water leaks on the avalanche web site. Since the Avalanche sold many more than the ext there are bound to be more articles.
As for myself I bought my avalanche new back in 02 and fought with the chevy dealers on numerous occasions about a water leak between the panels 1 & 2. I bought a brand new soft tonneau of ebay and it worked out realy well but there were issues there also. I just bought my 06 ext it came with a power soft tonneau not bad but issues. So I got this it works realy nice. It is made of some realy good quality parts made in the usa and for me seems to be the best option.

ross_g
07-10-09, 10:21 AM
Interesting....

I need a pickup bed too. What I do is mobile auto reconditioning - paintless dent repair, bumper scuffs, leather repair, dash repair, wheel repair, etc. I have a trailer for most of the tools and equipment, but I like to keep my paintless dent tools in the back so when i go on strictly PDR jobs, as I often do, I do not need to bring the trailer.

As for me, i just stack covers 2 & 3 on 1 ( i believe that the order, 1 being next to the window). I dont really need them off when I drive so I guess I wouldnt need the power cover. I'm in the back of the bed about 40+ times daily about 5-6 days a week and never had an issue with functionality. Never had a single leak. (knock on wood)

I guess for contractor work or jobs that require the entire bed everyday, it makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

Dan

PS, I was looking for pick-ups only and found a lot of good deals, i figured why not get the best looking/running truck out there.... I havent looked back since... Picked it up with 70k, 2003 for only $14k. Mint, not a scratch or dent. (Although I dented the QP a few months back, it has since been repaired.... no more original paint :( )

When you stack the panels you may scratch them and you cant travel with the panels stacked. However there have been many that have made ways to do just that and very good ways indeed. To each his own on your prefference I have owned an Avalanche since they came out in 02 and I just got tired of trying to figure out what to do with those panels.

If you would like to get alot more information on things to do to your truck try the web sight http://www.chevavalanchefanclub.com No offense to this site but there is alot more activity there.

reply to your p.s.
I also believe that as far as trucks go the ext and avalanche are some of the nicest most versatile trucks out there. You truly do need a truck some that buy these do not. I am sorry to hear about your paint but as body and paint guy you know if done right you will be the only 1 that knows.


Bottom line for me was I like cool things. I dont need 22inch wheels I dont need a programer I dont need half the things I do to my truck but whatever makes your truck yours is your choice. If you choose to keep your truck stock thats your choice however if you want to paint it pink and put a stripper pole in the back thats your choice also.
So enjoy your truck and do or don't do whatever makes you happy:thumbsup:

ross_g
07-10-09, 10:22 AM
I am so long winded

digitalcaddie
07-10-09, 11:14 AM
if you want to paint it pink and put a stripper pole in the back thats your choice.

I never thought of that. I don't have an EXT so my stripper pole would only work for midgets....SWEET.

ESCALADOR
07-10-09, 12:36 PM
I never thought of that. I don't have an EXT so my stripper pole would only work for midgets....SWEET.

:postpics:

zerocarpileup
07-11-09, 05:03 AM
Bad ass man. you thinkin about painting them?

ross_g
07-17-09, 12:00 AM
Bad ass man. you thinkin about painting them?

I think they might look kinda stupid in white. I like the way the black looks as long as it doesnt fade I will leave it alone.