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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

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Old 03-25-2010, 11:20 AM
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LARIAT 85 LARIAT 85 is offline
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1985 Bed Side Repair or Replace Dilemma?

OK, first off, know that I know NOTHING about paint and bodywork, so don't expect me to see the "obvious."

My 1985 short bed is in need of some minor (I think) repairs. I have some innocent looking "bubbling" on both lower rockers that have been there for about 10 years that do not seem weak at all and have not gotten any worse. The paint has not even broken or cracked yet. And on the driver's side, there is large vertical dent toward the back, right above the bad rocker on that side.

I was told by two different body shops that the dent could be pulled out, but that both lower rockers would need to be replaced. After doing some research and searching the local junkyards, I came up with a few options:

Option 1: Pull the dent out, and replace the lower rockers on both sides with patch panels.

Option 2: There is a truck bed in a local junkyard that is in good shape where mine isn't that I can cut out the material that I need and just replace the dented area and both lower rocker panels with OEM sheet metal.

Option 3: I found a complete bed in another junkyard that has two perfect bedsides, even in my same exact color, that I can buy. The thing is, the box floor and tailgate are really rusty, whereas mine are in perfect shape with no rust at all. I was thinking I could just buy the complete bed and replace both entire bedsides. How do these bedsides come off? Is this more trouble and expense than options 1 or 2?

I am going to be repainting this truck in the next year, so I really want a solid truck done right. Will all of these options turn out the same result? Will one be more trouble/expense than the others? Which one would you choose?
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1985 Ford F150 XLT Lariat
*302: 0.060 over, CompCams 31-230-3, "Thumper" E7 heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, Autolite 4100-4V, Duraspark II, Thorley Tri-Y headers, Flowmaster 40 true duals
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:25 PM
SoCar72 SoCar72 is offline
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Will you be running with a bed liner?

If the #3 bed is just rusty, you can strip it down, and repaint. If there are any visible imperfections, the bed liner will cover them. You could go with a spray on liner; that'll cover many sins. If the inner sides are in good shape but the floor is trash; replace it with your floor, then repaint. If you keep the sheet metal patch welds in the interior of the bed, you'll risk fewer visible imperfections. That is if you'll be doing the work vs. a body shop. If you'll be taking it to a body shop, go for the cheapest initial option.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:05 PM
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It depends on how bad this bubbling is.If it hasn't broken paint,it doesn't sound too bad yet.It may even be as easy as grinding it down and throwin a little body filler on it or somethin along those lines.But,that dent poses the other problem.

#1 Choice -If your talkin about Jap Patch panels from LMC,then I say no to #1.

#2 Choice-This would probably be cheapest.However,you will be cutting the stuff out at the junkyard,which can be a pain since your limited on tools and space.

#3 Choice-Most likely the most expensive,however you can buy the bed,take it home,and pull the panels off in comfort and with as much room as you need.

Do you have any pics of the bubbling and dents?I think that might help out alot.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCar72
Will you be running with a bed liner?
Welcome to the boards, SoCar72!

To answer your question, no, I will NOT be running with a bed liner.

The tailgate, bed floor, and inner sides of the #3 bed have obviously been used and abused. There is a BIG dent in the back of the bed and I found a few small rust holes in the floor. Mine is in almost perfect shape here. Inner bed sides look bad too. But mine is in great shape here, because my truck has had a bedliner since new. For some reason, the #3 bed has almost perfect outer bedsides (skins?) while mine has damage there. I guess you just can't win 'em all.

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Originally Posted by Fordzilla80
It depends on how bad this bubbling is.If it hasn't broken paint,it doesn't sound too bad yet.It may even be as easy as grinding it down and throwin a little body filler on it or somethin along those lines.But,that dent poses the other problem.
No broken paint. The "bubbles" have remained the same for the last 10 years or so. And I checked, and it has not come through the other side; it doesn't feel "crumply" or compromised either.

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Originally Posted by Fordzilla80
#1 Choice -If your talkin about Jap Patch panels from LMC,then I say no to #1.
NO Jap patch panels for me. I will either cut what I need from the junkyard, or get some decent AMERICAN STEEL from someplace else.

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Originally Posted by Fordzilla80
#2 Choice-This would probably be cheapest.However,you will be cutting the stuff out at the junkyard,which can be a pain since your limited on tools and space.
The cheapest? That's good to hear. This is an old country junkyard with lots of room, and my father-in-law will be doing the cutting.

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Originally Posted by Fordzilla80
#3 Choice-Most likely the most expensive,however you can buy the bed,take it home,and pull the panels off in comfort and with as much room as you need.
How much can I expect to pay for a full bed in the condition I described? I took a look at the bedsides, and they appear to "wrap" around to the front of the bed. How do the outer bed sides come off from the rest of the bed?

I will try to get some pics of the damage soon.
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1985 Ford F150 XLT Lariat
*302: 0.060 over, CompCams 31-230-3, "Thumper" E7 heads, Edelbrock Performer intake, Autolite 4100-4V, Duraspark II, Thorley Tri-Y headers, Flowmaster 40 true duals
*AOD transmission
*2wd, 3.55 gears
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:11 PM
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Well,if the other sides are sound and it doesn't seem like the structural integrity has been weakened,i'd say grind some paint off and see how deep the bubbles are,and see what exactly is behind the paint.That way you can see the true extent of the rust.If it's not bad,i'd say some body filler or even new USA patch panels would be your easiest and cheapest bet.

Down here,beds are anywhere from 100 to 200 bucks.That's why I consider it the most expensive.

If your rust is severe as well as the dent,I would say go for #2,but grab the whole bedside for both sides.As far as I can tell,the bedside does wrap around,but only about a few inches.It's most likely spot welded on the front.I'm not sure about how the back is held on,i've never really looked.I think i'll do that tomorrow though,i'm kinda intrigued on it.

However,some junkyards might complain about you tearing apart a bed,they might say take the whole bed or take nothing.I'm not sure how your junkyard is.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:15 PM
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I strip alot of cars, and the metal I cut off gets used for patch panels, the new metal repair panels are just too thin and difficult to weld. I'd rather just make m own piece out of the correct thickness metal.

Well the best way I found to see how bad the rust is is sandpaper, and usually a grinder. In order for it not to rust up again you have to make sure you get all of it off. If it is just some surface rust and a little scaling you might get lucky and not have any holes which a metal based filler would do the trick and some paint. I just don't like alot of plastic fillers since they are porous and prone to collecting condensation. But they do make some that are resistant to that.

As far as the dent are you able to get at it at all from behind? I like to pound out the dents from behind rather then pull them out, and you always work your way into the dent, if you pound just where the dent is it will not be pretty. So outside in usually works.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:15 PM
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