As you can see, my bed and frame were in need of some serious repair. Since I bought this truck, I've been doing a ton of work to it. So far, everything has been maintenance or essential mods to the drivetrain. This time around (other than the hutch and harpoon mods) I decided to start work on some of truck's structure itself. Bear with me, I'm learning to use photobucket for this post
Here's the ol' girl going in for surgery. She looks brave
Pulled the bed off and got it flipped over. My floor was in pretty good shape except a couple of spots. The rhino liner did an excellent job of protecting the top and and even though some of the metal had completely rotted away underneath, it didn't fall through or separate. I haul gravel and firewood a lot and you would think there would've been holes torn in it from the weight with no metal underneath for support but it didn't.
Closeup of rhino liner from underneath, if you look at the bolt hole, you can see there's no metal to the left, just rhino liner
Frame had a lot of scale which I removed the old fashioned way, chipping hammer, some scraper blades, and a wire grinding wheel.
The spare had been laying in the bed since I bought the truck since the factory holder had rusted to the point it wouldn't hold it. Soooo I just cut it out of there :thumb:
Cleaning the frame getting it prepped for the Rustoleum Rust Remover. I found a case of 8 bottles for $35 on Amazon which was awesome because this stuff was $12 a bottle here at Home Depot.
Stopped at this point to do the hutch and harpoon mods using a kit from strictly diesel. I found the kit to be complete and the instructions to be excellent. The only issues I ran into here were: the hose clamps were narrow and had two of them strip out, and I had one of the studs on the filter head bracket break loose while tightening the nylock nuts for the filter head. It wasn't a big deal and I had the welder out already so I just welded it back to the plate. With the bed off, this takes less than an hour to do total and it made my engine run so much better. I live 6 miles up a creek in a 40 mph zone, you literally can't hear the engine cruising at 40. For the first time since buying the truck, I can hear tire noises :hehe:
Here's a close up of what the rust remover does. Treated on the right, nothing on the left:
I let the rust remover sit overnight, it says 4 hours on the bottle but I was getting tired. This is a lot of work folks.
Here she is morning of day 2, no paint yet, just rust remover
Got a coat of paint on. I used Rustoleum Professional glossy black. Walmart had the big cans of it on sale for 3.27. I've had really good luck with it on other projects. It lasts a long time and will stand up to thick coats without cracking. I have a homemade flag pole out of iron pipe in my yard I used this stuff on in 2005 and it still looks like it was chromed yesterday.
Had one little spot that was rusted out in the crossmember for the fuel tank. I cleaned it up and welded new metal there. Nobody will ever see it, but it makes me feel better knowing I got the rust stopped. You can also see my amazing arrow drawing skills in this one :hehe:
Got back on the bed. Fabbed these floor support braces from sheet steel. Wasn't very hard, but it was time consuming. Getting the measurements was nervewracking because it was hard enough to flip the bed over to work on it with the limited help I had. If I had more help available, I would've liked to put the bed on after each one was made and see what it looked like. There was an F-450 on the lot (I did this over the 3 day weekend while our shop was shut down) so I had a truck to look at to get an idea of what these braces should look like and get their measurements. You can also see the backup beeper on the right. It's a WOLO, was less than $12. It's one of my favorite mods because people like to get right up on you in a drive thru, and when you got a 4 door long bed dually, sometimes you gotta back up a time or two. If that doesn't work, I just get on the PA. :wink:
Here's the new spare tire mount. I made it out of channel and all-thread. I built a big wing nut for underneath. Would've been nice to have a winch on it, but I'll use a ratchet strap and it'll be ok. Not bad for next to nothing. It's all made from scrap from other projects.
I added backup lights using the trailer reverse light circuit. They were $11 at walmart, 55w and bright. Sprayed them black and mounted them in the existing holes in the bumper. I'm really happy with them, but I'm worried about tearing them off. If I do, I'll think of something else then. They are pretty bright and flood more than I thought they would.
I was also considering how to make mudflap mounts in this one, but decided I was tired and wanted to spend some time home with the wife and kids. Sometimes you gotta know when to stop or you start making mistakes or some strange mods you don't even know why you did them to start with :hehe:.
Got the bed back right side up and mounted. The bed went on with no problems. I was really surprised. The rear crossmember turned out to be a little bit tall (Around 3/16"). I tightened the bolts from front to rear and got the bed to sit like it should. It sits on the frame really nice and looks original and I forgot to take a final shot of the truck. I'll snap one I promise :doh:
After all the maintenance and mods I've done over the past 6 months to this truck, I think it should last a long time. 2 days this week, it's started perfectly with the engine oil temperature gauge (Edge digital gauges) reading 12 degrees. I've also went from 12.68 miles per gallon empty, to 15.84. I made a 119 mile trip last night with around 1/2 cord of oak for half of it and got the 15.84 mpg calculated off filling up at a pilot station and then returning a few hours later and using the same exact pump with air temp close to the same. I have a 6637 filter to put on the truck, but my wife wanted to make me a cover for it like one of Pete's before I put it on the truck. I hope it'll help even more because the programmer and 4" exhaust really need some air to work properly.
Next on the list is pulling the turbo and changing all the O rings and installing a billet compressor wheel and boost fooler. I have oil in the engine valley and it's making me crazy.
Anyhow, hope this was at least interesting to look at, if not helpful. I'm really thankful for all the good info on this board even more appreciative now that I know how much time it takes to take all these pictures and put a writeup together. If there's any way I can help or answer any questions, please let me know.
:beer: I need a cold one just typin this much LOL EDIT: I'm not the portly fella in the tight coveralls that was my helper for part of the build so just keep those beer gut comments to yourselves 8)