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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Looking for ideas straightening 57-60 Styleside bedfloor

 
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:17 PM
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Looking for ideas straightening 57-60 Styleside bedfloor

My bed floor is a bit of roller coaster with big dips between each cross member. I thought for sure a floor jack and 4x4 would fix it, but it just lifted the truck. I did get it to move a bit by having two kids and a wife jumping in the bed, but is still need a bunch of work.

I now have the bed off and I'm thinking of just flipping it over and work it out with a 2 x 4 and mallet.

Has anyone done a similiar repair and how?
 
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:51 PM
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Are you going for a stock restoration or a modified? The reason I am asking have you thought about just cutting out the floor and replacing it? One member with a '48 F-1 used the floor from a modern truck for the floor in his truck. It rurned out really nice.
 
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:37 PM
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These are all metal beds correct? (they're not my years so I'm not sure on the styleside)

Couple ways to go about it. A 2x4 and a mallet can work, you'll need to work both sides to get it to go straight usually. The metal tends to bow if you just do one side, anything that needs to be fixed should have the convex side facing you (like a bubble) not the concave side (like a bowl). Best to do small hits and slowly fix the whole length than trying to smack it right where it should be at the end with your first blow, start at one end and work your way to the other, don't start in the middle of the bow or you'll get ripples/creases . Remember the waves come from the metal being warped and thus need to be lengthened or shortened slowly, if you do it all at once you will get ripples or folds. This will not be an hour job to come out decent.

Also heat works, it will remove any paint though, and it can be a bit tricky to learn. Heat expands an area, rapid cool shrinks and area. You'd want to heat past the size of the bump you're trying to fix, it's a subtle art and honestly usually not my first choice. I'm a 2x4 and mallet kinda guy (probably cause I'm a blacksmith, lol)


Are you just looking to make it straighter right now, or are you planning on making it in finished quality? If you're looking for a finished quality, you best bet maybe to find a new piece, course that depends on the condition. It's going to take time or money to fix it.

Personally I would hammer it out. Do a row/length and stop before you get too tired of doing it. It's going to take some hours and if you try to do it all at once it's very likely that you'll burn out with it and start doing too much too fast (which leads to ripples, anger and generally a sore thumb). I'm not saying to baby it, but you don't want to take a 4lb sledge to it and give it all you have, I guess best way to express this idea is to not move the steel more than 1/4" in a single blow. The warp causes the metal to be slightly thinner and slightly thicker, going slow helps to even it out, going too fast or rather trying to get it all in one shot, tends to cause things to get ripples or creases.

Course I haven't seen it, I have no idea what kind of problems it has, it could be something I'd look at and go "well heck, all you have to do it hit it here and it's done in a 5 minutes" or it could be in need of a lot of work. My reply was mainly tuned on this thing being decently warped, at least 3" of bow trying to be fixed. Take it slow and if you find you need to go faster, go faster. Might be able to hammer it out in no time.

Also, if you're mallet is too large for the indents to be hit without risking hitting the edge, use another 2x4 and smack that. That you can go to town on as it disperses the hammer blow better, well if the piece is about a foot long... a 1" piece will have the same problems as a hammer, lol. A wide dowel or piece of anything could prove handy to have for a handle on the piece you're hitting. It's a lot easier if you don't have to reach out or risk hitting yourself sometimes.
 
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:32 PM
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The floor metal is going to be stretched, quite a bit from your description. It will take major patience and lots of work to shrink it back. If you try to metalwork it back to straight and level without shrinking, it will just push the sides or front panel out. I'd cut it out. If you cut it out and flatten it, then you could cut the edges to eliminate the "growth" and weld it right back in.
 
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:43 AM
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Bed Straightening

Why not ask an expert:

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[email protected]

IIt sounds like it may take major work, you only want to do it once.


</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:52 AM
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I agree with Bob, I think the easiest way would be to replace the floor. You could either order a new floor (most of the vendors sell the bedfloor center section) or find a good used bed and cut the floor out or just replace the whole bed.

I used the bedfloor from a 2005 GMC to fix my 1949;


Bobby
 
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:39 PM
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I think I'll start with the 2x4 and move to cutting it out. If I'm not happy with it then I'll go for the replacement. Seems everyone has step side stuff, but the for styleside they just have patch panels. The idea of using something from a newer truck never crossed my mind and may be the route I'll take.

Thanks for the advise

Brian
 
 
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