So I found that the sheetmetal rails that go across the frame that are spot welded to the bed are rotted out. So I took my flame wrench and VERY CAREFULLY cut off the heads of the 6 bolts holding down the bed. Disconnected wiring and the 2 safety cables and she was ready for lift-off.
I brought my trusty old tractor over with a chain and a 2x6x8 and was able to lift off the bed. Proceeded to make some very nice scratches on the back of the cab. oops should have put a sheet of plywood in between.
I went to work on the frame removing all the scale and loose rust I possibly could. I immediately broke a brake line when I just touched it with by scraper. I was able to replace the line and reinstall it in the orginal brackets with ease while the bed was off.
I removed the tail lights and the wire harness so I could still run my truck. fabbed up a 2x6 and plywood mud flaps and I was cruising again.
I checked out the spare tire winch ( I have no spare) cycled it to the ground and greased up the cable and wound it back in. I priced out a new one at the dealership ($138) Mine is ok. the crossmember however is a different story. I will be adding more unistrut to the frame to carry a spare tire- when I get one.
Later came back and installed a new trailer hitch as mine did not have one. The previous owner must have removed it, I can see that they had a lift gate on the back. (holes in various places)
I bought 3 cans of the expensive undercoating ($16 each) and blew threw that with out fully covering all the places I needed to. So went and purchased the cheaper stuff (4 cans at $5 each) and blew through 3 cans finishing up the back end of the frame. I still need to get cab corners and such but I can do that later.
I made some repairs on the bed using UNI-STRUT purchased at Home Depot. I fabbed up some new rails and bolted everything together.
I used factory replacement bed bolts and clips ($85)
Sealed up bare metal on the underside of the bed and was ready for installation. I put a small sheet of plywood against the back of the truck cab and started the process.
Trusty tractor lifted and manuvered the bed into place. Proceeded to bolt bed down with lots of never-sieze on the bolts, which made it go good. needed a T-50 Torx socket. Mine happened to be 3/8 drive and it was easy.
After tightening the bolts I realized I did not line up the bed with the cab. loosed the bolts and gave it a shove. all is well.
Reinstalled lighting and wire harness adding trailer hitch plug. I used a whole saw in the chrome bumper, sealed the raw edges with liquid electrical tape and added undercoating from behind.
I plan on using "tiger hair" water proof fiberglass to patch up the holes in the bed that were created frome the plastic liner (now removed).
Well thats about it. If this is something you have been thinking of doing I would Highly recommend it. I had a tractor to help me but I think 3 or 4 guys could lift it up and someone drive out from under the bed - would work too.