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Exterior, Bodywork, Paint and Glass Beauty is only 4 coats deep...

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  #1  
Old January 13th, 2014, 08:37 AM
adamfgarner adamfgarner is offline
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Default Help me make my bed...

Hello gents!

I don't post a lot though I do like to read your discussions and such...I have been working on a '63 long bed...one of my issues is that my body lines are "janky"...part of that problem is that someone before me put in a plywood bed and did a poor job of it so the bed doesn't sit right...I would like to re-do the bed with planks in the proper style, however according to diagrams I have seen for the kits it looks like some planks are wider than others and I would like to get them milled right...if I can get a good guide or template I can probably fashion a bed myself for less than $200...I would be glad to share any successes I have.
On a side note this truck had ten leaf springs as opposed to the seven the 1500 was factory equipped with...the added three were thicker but seemed of the same age (dealer installed)...I just got done taking them off to accommodate a better ride (it was stiff and lost traction easily)...anybody else have any stories of dealer upgraded suspension etc? My truck has the dana60 and 12" brakes all the way around also.....be well and thanks in advance for any tips or help.
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Old January 13th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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FetchMeAPepsi FetchMeAPepsi is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Longstepper or wideside?

Longstepper is 3 1/8",7 7/16", 7 7/16",5 7/16",5 7/16", 7 7/16",7 7/16",3 1/8"

Wideside is 6 3/8" cut in half for the wheel well, then 7 7/16",7 7/16",7 7/16",5 7/16",5 7/16 7 7/16",7 7/16",7 7/16", then another 6 3/8" cut for the wheel well again.



Like the teacher said, show your work! I'd like to see pics of it. I just had my BIL cut my boards for Christmas. haven't seen them yet!


Edit: I just saw that you needed more than the widths of the boards. If you have one of the old boards you can get an idea of the wonky way they cut them for the strips, but here's a pic of the dadoing (right word?) needed for the parts that have a strip touching them:





The channel cut down the middle is 1/4" deep on the right and 1/4" wide. The channel on the little raised side on the left is 1/8" deep if that makes sense.


EDIT 2: I changed the pic to show it better. For longbeds the boards should be 97" long except the ones you cut for the wheelwells. I don't have the length for those but you should be able to measure the length out pretty easily. Sorry bout that.

EDIT 3: OOO I found it. It's 34 1/2 inches long in front of the wheelwell, then 25 inches behind. BOOM!
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Some people are like slinkys. Not worth much but funny as heck when pushed down stairs.
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Last edited by FetchMeAPepsi; January 13th, 2014 at 01:11 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2014, 01:05 PM
adamfgarner adamfgarner is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Thanks Pepsi!...I am assuming that a "wide side" is a standard bed and a "long stepper" the step bed...???...if that's the case it's a wide side long bed....thanks and great info!....it is 3/4" material right?...and is there a gap between boards where the metal ribs go?....

I will get you guys some pics - keep in mind that I already have a few months of cleaning this beast up, painting and gettin' her running good; so anything that looks good in the photos is my doing not a "before" shot...still needs body work, some fine details and I'd like to replace the springs and exhaust....I have scoured the entire exterior with Comet (twice), scrubbed and painted the interior with a two-tone "hammered" metal paint....cleaned and painted the engine, added some HD Chevy wheels, Holley carb, HEI ignition,re-cored the Harrison radiator, new brakes (drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, hardware, reservoir), fixed some leaks (gas, rear-end) scraped a bunch of gunk off my underparts etc.......

Last edited by adamfgarner; January 14th, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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Old January 13th, 2014, 01:17 PM
adamfgarner adamfgarner is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Alright Mr. Fetch....just posted a few pics under the "album" category under
" '63 Jimmy".....thanks again...will post pics of the before and after bed job...some goon sprayed bed liner crap all over the steel sides....tsk, tsk
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Old January 13th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Hey I updated my post. Its a little rambling now but I think it has everything you need to cut boards now.

Great looking two-tone truck! You got push bars with chrome bumper too! I haven't seen one of those in a while. That goon that sprayed your truck might have been me. I'm spraying bedliner on everything lately. I swear I put some in my coffee the other day. I probably sleepwalked over and gave it a good coating

Thanks for the pics!
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Some people are like slinkys. Not worth much but funny as heck when pushed down stairs.
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Old January 13th, 2014, 08:37 PM
jrmunn jrmunn is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Adam - Since you mentioned it, this is a chance for me to let people know that using plywood is one of those seemingly good ideas that brings on a whole set of new problems, even if one keeps the bed straight, that make the use of planks a much better option. I know because I did it.

When I removed my old, falling apart original bed, I could see that there is a long, unsupported stretch at about the middle of the bed. Since plywood is strong in all directions and would sit on the high points of the frame at each side of the bed next to the unsupported center, I figured it would provide a stronger end product. And I think it has.

But using plywood while keeping the look of the original bed requires cutting it to fit (plus remembering that it needs to go far enough under the bed sides and tubs to provide support and bolt holes), cutting grooves in all the right places for the rails, and drilling holes of the correct size in all the right spots ahead of time. I can testify that this is a measurement nightmare (especially at the edges). Also, an 8 foot long sheet of plywood is shorter than the pickup bed, so an end spacer is needed. And, worse yet, I am not much of carpenter.

Then one has to worry more about water getting into the plywood because of both delamination and swelling. This requires much attention to painting top, bottom, sides, and holes - and then re-painting the bed to prevent leaks. Planks do not delaminate, sideways swelling is handled by the space between planks, and planks do not have much lengthwise swelling.

So the bottom line is that using plywood in a 6066 bed is not worth the trouble, or the maintenance, that comes with it.

If I had it to do over, I would have a new cross-member welded between the frame high points for planks to sit on and that could be used to install a center ball for pulling goose-necked trailers. This would probably get in the way of putting mufflers in the stock location, but mine was already moved forward years ago by a long forgotten muffler shop and seems to work fine under the front part of the bed as long as it isn't hitting the emergency brake cables.

There are other things to think about that go along with a bed replacement, like rust treatment and control, or if one wants to use the pickup for pulling trailers. But these are for a different thread, and this post is already too long.

jrmunn
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Old January 14th, 2014, 10:39 AM
adamfgarner adamfgarner is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

...good points all...on this note what is the best way to replace the bed? do I have to remove it entirely or can I do it with the bed in place?
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Old January 14th, 2014, 11:43 AM
jrmunn jrmunn is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Adam,

I did not have the space to but the bed body pieces down if they came off, so I only considered replacing it "in place." But keep in mind that the body pieces at the front (on my truck) are supported by the bed, which is supported by the steel frame pieces under it. On my truck, the rear parts of the body are supported by the heavy duty bumper that is bolted to the frame.

You can take the bed wood out, but the body needs to stay on the steel frame supports, and needs to be pinned to them to keep body panels from sliding off one side or the other. Also, you need to start by taking off the "rods" ahead and behind the rear wheel that keep the panel stiff, since the distance from the body panel to the steel support will change when the bed wood is removed.

If you want to keep the body panels "in place" and remove the frame supports for rust removal and painting, you will need to replace the steel supports with something else to hold the body up. I used two 6 foot long wood 2x4's on their side ahead of the axel bolted to the frame to hold up shorter pieces of 2x4 pinned under the side panel. I was working alone, so this can be done by one person taking out the steel supports one at a time and replacing them with the 2x4 supports and temporary spacers under the panels. All of this needs to be done one step at a time.

It is hard to give a more detailed description, since each bed is going to be a little different and how deep to get into rust removal and other repairs depends on the situation and individual decisions. You get a different perspective and information from looking down on the frame where you can see parts exposed that would be easier to work on before replacing the bed.

Getting all the bolts off can be a real challenge - some are very hard to get a wrench or socket on - and the bolts will be loose if the wood underneath is rotten. To make this even more interesting, my old rail bolts had square headed nuts that didn't fit my available sockets. The difficulty in reaching some bolts gets even worse when trying to put nuts on the new bolts.

I was lucky that my original rail bolts were rib-necked, so I could twist (break) off the old 1/4 inch bolts. Of course, the flip (unlucky) side of this was finding rib-necked bolts to replace them. The side panel bolts are larger, and needed much WD40 to get them unscrewed - I ended up borrowing a small bolt cutter to remove the ones I could reach with it. A bolt cutter could also be used to remove rail bolts if they can be lifted.

Good luck - If my experience was typical, this will be an adventure.

jrmunn
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Old January 14th, 2014, 12:54 PM
adamfgarner adamfgarner is offline
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

Thank you for the detailed and lengthy response....I have noted the points you made and not thrilled to have my concerns validated by your experiences...I may try to remove the bed from the frame...with a little help from my friends...that way I can do a good job on rust proofing under the bed...I will need to wait a few weeks to tackle this as it sounds like me truck will be down for a few days....it's great to have others who know these trucks and can help a brutha' out git'n'r done!
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Old January 14th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Help me make my bed...

That's what I did, Adam. I did it myself with my teen daughter helping leverage a plank. It's not a job you wanna do alone. Much easier with a cherry picker if you can beg, borrow, or steal one. Harbor freight has them for $200 shipped. I've been eyeing it for the last few weeks. Probably going to pull the trigger in a few days lol.

All the details are in my build thread about the removal. I think not counting the fender wells it was just 4 bolts and a bunch of UMPH!
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Some people are like slinkys. Not worth much but funny as heck when pushed down stairs.
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