My 81 ford has a major rust problem in the rear bed corners, and a little over the wheel wells. I plan to repaint it this fall in AutoBody at school, and figured I would save time to buy a new bed. And then I got to thinking, well, if I buy a new bed, I might as well make it into a short bed. Has any one done this, and if so please let me know what I'll need to do. I think I'll just have to bolt the shrt bed over my rear tires, and cut the frame and reweld into place. I know I will need new driveshaft, exaust. Any other suggestions would be appreciated greatly. Thanks Jared
ok, i'm gonna do some measuring and see how many differences there are, and if the difference is in the front of the wheel well, i might try it if i can find a cheap bed, but i dont know yet.Thanks for your responses.
The wheelbase is 16" shorter on a short bed, and, you will find the extra 16" between thefront bed bolts and the bracket the parking brake cables hook into. On a FlareSide, the bed is 18" shorter overall, but, that's just in sheetmetal, the frame is the same from the axle back.
And, Steve, don't say it can't be done.... It can, it's just not something the average do-it yourselfer can tackle. I'm planning on chopping my F250's chassis again and making it into a short bed... I started with a 155" wheelbase, and, will finish at 117", unless I feel like building a Bronc.... LOL
Hey, thanks alot, i thought it could be done, but didnt know if my facts were strait. I'm planning on doing this in Auto Body class at my highschool. If i cant find a short bed, i may just buy patch panels to fix the rust, but this may be more work than the short bed,lol. Thanks alot,..Jared
A friend of mine done this to one of there trucks. To complete the work You'll have to shorten the Frame in front of the rear end channel and you'll have to take some off the end of the frame. How much i don't know, I just watched them do it at times while i was there. so it can be done.
I have seen One guy in my home town with a super cab long bed but with a short bed it had a half foot gap between the cab and the bed but it did work. Plus a buddy of mine took a 83 longbed chopped the frame and made a swb stepside
ok, i planned on just taking the extra frame out from in between the cab and bed. My dad used to have a 72 ford that was made into short bed, and it was taken out here. couldnt tell it was ever a long bed.
81: on the 80-up trucks, you have to cut between the front set of bolt holes for the bed and the axle kickup, if you drop the bed on, it won't bolt up at the front, well, you don't have to, but, it's alot easier to use those holes for measuring.
Just a thought - Do you have a swing bearing in your long bed? I have cut down the frame before, removed the swing bearing and made just one driveshaft. Gotta rework the parking brake cable, brake lines and gas lines, then double up or wrap up the wiring. The gas lines all depend on if you have one or two tanks, of course. You have the right idea, though, measure and mark, and even do a little layout first - you can do it.
just be prepared for quite a bit of work and unsuspected surprises. Me i would just find a good replacement bed with little to no rust and use that instead. It will take a buddy and an afternoon or so to do the swap then you can paint away.
I would think you could just take brake lines gas lines, etc. from a short bed and put them on there or better yet look for a short bed truck that could match the cab frame... but idk I'm new at this.