1979 f150 4x4 short bed. I live in Michigan and the yards tell me I am looking for a needle in a hay stack here and if I can find one else where it will cost major bucks to replace the whole bed. Other than the floor it is solid. LMC price for the floor is 349.00 I am not looking to make this truck a show truck. It will be used as a truck not a Lincoln. Weld in diamond plate? weld in what ga sheet metal ? cut floor out of later mod truck? any Ideas appreciated .
I had the same issue doing bodywork on mine last summer. I bought it with a bed full of wet leaves and unfortunately that was a more solid floor than what was underneath. My sides were fine though like yours.
Some info that might be helpful from my experience: If some parts of the floor are OK, I'd reccomend cutting out the bad sections and doing patches, and by patches I mean you can have one 4 feet long, I did, and you can get 4 by like 2 foot I think patches with the ribbed Ford bedfloor pattern from either Summit or JCwhitney for like 25$ a piece. I thought about doing the whole floor, but some problems I ran into were, the floor is alot of the structure of the bed, and if you take the whole thing out, the rest may just fall apart. Also, the floor is welded to all the crossbars underneath, and tearing up the whole thing, from rusty weakened crossbars will be horrible and can also do damage.
I'd say as long as you can weld, put some patches in, even if it needs to be half the floor. Mine came out really nice.
I have a sheet on hand left over from a old factory that was closed in Detroit. its not in good shape slightly bent, heavy aprox 350 lbs. Thinking about wood but it would be humped up above the rest of the bed would be diff for shoveling out manure ect.
I'm using a sheet of 14 gage steel tread plate. luckily the center section was bad and not the outer parts by the fenderwells.
it's 49" between the outers so i got a 4X8 sheet for about 40$ from the steel shop. they actually measure out to about 49" so i bent up the lip that sticks down where all the spot welds were up to meet the new sheet.. filled with weld it looks fine.i took the bottom braces off and transfered them over.
it's not quit as stiff as the old corrugated steel but once i get the bed back on my truck it'll be fine.
plus i think it will look pretty sweet when i get it line-x'd
This might be the dumbest idea you have ever heard, but I have seen this done on a half cab bronco. Get a couple of road signs, cut to fit your bed floor weld them in and add some bracing from the stock bed cross members if they are rusty. It sounds crazy, but it will never rust, and the metal is more than thick enough, and if you look around, you can probably find some road signs for free.
No mine wasn't too much of a pain. Another tip is that u should save and try not to bend the old rusted holey bed sections you cut out, and then when you size up the patch panels, you can just lay the old one on top of the new one and trace around it, and then cut along that line and get a perfect fit.
I have weld bead around all the patches now since that would be a week of grinding to get rid of, but unless you really need to slide really heavy flat bottomed things around inside your bed regularly the little welds won't be a problem.
Alex thanks for the tip on the patch panels found them at Jc whitney 16x48 31.99 ea. will be ordering as soon as I measure the bad areas. Thank you this seems like the best idea. JCW guarantees the fit and is purchased by the year and make of truck.They are 20 ga.and are made to fit over the rotted out areas. What did you use to cut the new panels?
I second that one 4x4 Bart. I am thinking of using body panel adhesive to put the patch panels in the guys in paint and body work seem to like the stuff. It is said that it is as strong as welding less clean up an no metal distortion. Any one here use it?
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