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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start off with saying that I often end up f-ing up the sides of my truck bed a good 5" down from the top of the bed rail. I am about to have a spray in bed liner installed and told the shop I wanted the liner extended about 5" down the outside and the plastic caps removed. They responded that the bed rails were full of holes and wouldnt look right so....I decided to take care of that.

I have always hated the plastic caps on these trucks and it wont be too long before I tear them up, and never have a good place to attach ratchet straps....so I opted to go overkill.
I dont recommend anyone else doing this stuff unless you have the balls, equipment and skills....but if you are feeling froggy and want to jump, here it goes.



Here are the OEM caps


The cheap caps just snap in, and heres a shot of the holes.


Started with 4.5X82X.25 mild...cost was 20$

Use the old caps as templates


Use your plasma cutter....or torch...bandsaw or jig saw (last option would suck) to cut out the form.


Used a 60 grit flap on the 7"


Remove the cutting marks with the grinder.


Measure hole placement, make sure to compensate for tool boxes. I would of moved my holes about 1" closer to the outside to avoid the clearance issues I had with the "double wall". This wasnt a problem....but did add a few more needless minutes. The rear most hole aligned with the OEM hold down hole, the others you will need to mark the bed rail and use a hole saw or plasma to allow for bottom nut clearance (below).



Purchase a few big eye bolts (*these are 15/16). I opted for 6 but 4 would work fine also. Drill holes just slightly larger then the major diameter of the threads. Screw the nut to the bolt (this will align the nut and hole), and weld it up. I used my MIG but whatever you have will do.
****just be careful you weld your nuts to the correct sides, you will have mirror R&L, if you weld them to the wrong side you nuts will be on the top of the rail and you will have a bunch of work to do to fix it.****



After you heat them up remove spatter balls and paint the underside with rust preventing paint.



Remove the paint from the lip of the rail on both sides, clamp the plates and burn them in starting with 4" spacing on low voltage (the bed is made from paper thin metal, and you will burn through). I didnt compleatly weld both sides opting for about 1" weld spacing both sides....it should be well enough to pick the truck up with the eye bolts. Make sure you use welding paper or other method to protect the paint from spatter.



Here are the rails with the bolts installed. They easily unscrew when not being used.

This isnt complete at this stage. I simply got tired of f-ing with it and didnt have any body filler I will use to fill the gap made from the lip on the plastic cap and the flat plate.

Once the bed liner is sprayed, you wont see a transition.

~JH
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


After scuffing the paint and hitting it with a tack cloth I applied the first layer of Pepto to flush the plate with the bed. It will have a zero transition between the top of the bed rail and the bed side.



Here you can see the Pepto is feathering out. Its only about 1-1.5" from the top. The liner will extend 4ish inches.



You can almost see how the sides of the bed will contour to the top. In truth this will look really cool if you were to color key the tops of the bed rails to the body....you could sure get away with less then .25 plate!


I only have to fill a few low spots and its off to the bed liner place tomorrow!

~JH
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Will the bed liner stick to the filler puddy?
Better than to paint.



Heres a shot from yesterday. I have to put random BS in my truck every other day. This is light in comparison to much of the crap that goes in there.



Here is how it looks now.
The shop was really pleased in how it turned out.....and, in truth when I explained what I had done they were concerned that it wasnt going to look right. A few had already talked about doing this to one of their clients work trucks and took pics to hang in the shop (*bastards didnt give me a discount however.....).

Funny thing is that they refused to do the tailgate until I pulled the cap off it and fabbed a plate in the same fashion. (I had intended on leaving it OEM). Their response was that if I am going to do it....I might as well finish it!!!!



I am really pleased with how it turned out, looks tough....but I know its not for everyone....after all....some people use their trucks as grocery getters and 4wd soccer vans. LOL

This was going to be the end....but the tail gate will get its treatment in the next few days.

~JH
 
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