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built one for my hilux myself, comprised of two sides approx 2ft highxthe length of the bed, and the headboard.
the frame was 1.1/2inch angle, the frame had holes drilled in the same place the holes on the lip of the truck bed liner, so bolts with wingnuts fix it in place(just remove the liner bolts and put longer bolts with wingnuts).
the head baord then bolted onto the standard A frame at the back of the cab, and then bolted to the new sides. had another length of angle straight across the top about 3 ft from the cab to keep the sides from flapping about again, wingnuts securing it, and a length of angle, at the rear of the new sides, from the top corner of one side, to the bottom corner of the other side, again, wingnuts-the two lengths created basic geometry-triangulation, and meant that the sides diddnt move a mm when driving.
to fill in the gaps, i had wire galv mesh, then thin ply on the inside when needed.
still got the frame somewhere, will take photos if it helps?
ive got a hilux truckman top that i was going to cut most of the roof out of then add a removeable metal bar at the back to maintain rigidity
be carefull to get the cuts dead straight, or it could look awfull!
why not bolt two hinges at the front of the cutout, bolt two tabs at the back, and linch pins, so the top folds up out of the way??? understand that???
or going off your idea:
from my experience if you only have one support bar across the top, the sides will still flex like a rhombus shape-RHimage, stick a removeable bar across(LH image) to create triangulation-i gaurentee it will not flex then!
the black is your original bed, red the truckman sides youve left, grey is support bars.
hope this helps