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Metalwork: Bed
We started the fitment of the bed on the S-10 frame by assembling the bed sides together and turning the bed upside down. Then we bolted the new AD-Engineering brackets to the bottom of the bed.
Next we flipped the bed and brackets and attempted to fit them to their proper location on the S-10 frame. After we fit them to their proper location, holes were drilled into the frame to secure the brackets.
Since we live in South Texas, we decided not to put a wooden bed back in the truck. But we wanted to preserve the look of a wooden bed, so we came up with a compromise. We decided to make the base of the bed a steel plate, but cover the steel plate with the original bed strips, and then coat the entire bed with some spray-in liner to protect everything. Here we are starting to make the framework to hold the steel bed floor. Notice we are still using the bed support brackets from AD-Engineering.
Test fitting the new bed front, rear cross sill, and tailgate. Everything seems to fit pretty good.
Before pulling the bed sides back off again to complete the bed frame, I went ahead and marked the spot welds in each of the two bedsides that holds on the bed strips. These were rusted off and needed to be replaced.
After drilling out each of the spot welds in the bed sides, we wire brushed all the rust away, and then treated the area that the bed strips weld on top of with a good coat of Rust Encapsulator.
Ahh, the bed framework is FINALLY completed! It took a long time to measure, cut, weld, and grind all 27 pieces of 1"x1" square tubing.
... from another angle.
Then we took a 4'x8' piece of 12 gauge steel and cut it to fit the bottom of the new bed frame.
The completed bed bottom made of steel and covered with the original bed strips. What you don't see in any of these pictures is the 200+ holes that I had to drill in the steel sheet and the bed framework in order to bolt down the bed strips in their original location.
Here is another picture of the completed bed. I think it looks pretty good and it should look even better once we coat the entire thing with a spray-in bedliner.
Another picture of the completed bed, but this time from the underside. Everything has been wirebrushed, treated for any leftover rust, and painted with black epoxy paint. Looks pretty good.
Instead of trying to repair the 4 stake pockets in the bed sides, we decided to make patch panels and weld the stake pockets smooth. Here is a picture of one of the stake pockets after the damaged steel has been removed.
And here is the stake pocket after I put in the new patch panel and grinded it smooth.
Someone who owned the truck before us had also drilled holes into the top of the bed sides to bolt on anchor hooks to secure loads. So we had to remove the rusted hooks, and patch the holes that were drilled into the bed sides.