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Old 09-13-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
Bucksaw
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Thumbs up Started My Flatbed Build

Well, if anyone who owns a 2014 or newer RAM 2500 and has thought about changing those tall bedsides for a nice flatbed, you may have been told that to make it work you would have to add some spacers to clear the factory suspension/gooseneck cross member, which would raise the bed floor a total of about 8" above the stock height. I was also told by my local dealer that a flatbed on a 2500 with the coil rear suspension was not possible, then he tried selling me a 3500 cab and chassis. Well, that was all it took for me to accept the challenge.

I didn't want the bed floor any taller, and I didn't want to settle for having to climb on my tire to get something into my bed. So, I officially began the build today. We are working this build as a county fair project, so the kids helped me pull the bed and square the frame. That's about as far as we got today because the rest of our materials aren't coming in until tomorrow. Hopefully they will come early so we can get some work done. Will update pictures tomorrow.

P.S. Our show date is Oct. 13th, so wish us luck.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:42 PM   #2
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Subscribed.....good luck on the build and please post many pics
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:45 PM   #3
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I've seen lots of single wheel new dodges with flatbeds and they all look normal. Is this a specific brand of flatbed that you were told this?

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:46 PM   #4
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I will do the best I can. Im not really good at keeping up with pics, but I will get them when I can remember. If there is anything specific you guys want to see, just let me know and I will do my best to get some good pictures.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:46 PM   #5
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Feel free to ask any questions if this is your first build, I used to work for a welding shop that built a lot of flat beds.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #6
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Following along sounds like i great project
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I've seen lots of single wheel new dodges with flatbeds and they all look normal. Is this a specific brand of flatbed that you were told this?

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They look normal, but to mount them is a hassle. The frame rails are not straight nor parallel like on the older models, or the 3500s. Also, with the cross member in the way, they have to be raised to clear. I see them all the time too, same body style and all, but most all the ones I have seen are all 2010 - 2013 and still have the leaf spring suspension. I know this because Im not afraid to crawl around under someone else's truck if its in a parking lot somewhere ; although I do check ot make sure nobody is around to think Im up to no good . The kicker is for the 14 and newer. I have seen a couple of them with the coil rearend at some livestock shows, but they were tall, and the headache rack stuck up above the cab so far it looked odd. Im not sure if there is a company out there making them to fit these trucks, but I haven't found it if there is. The dealers I have talked to are some local guys that sell Neckover and Gooseneck.

The main reason I didn't search real hard for a factory build bed is because I like to build stuff like this, and I cant afford to buy one.

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Old 09-13-2016, 08:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bucksaw View Post
They look normal, but to mount them is a hassle. The frame rails are not straight nor parallel like on the older models, or the 3500s. Also, with the cross member in the way, they have to be raised to clear. I see them all the time too, same body style and all, but most all the ones I have seen are all 2010 - 2013 and still have the leaf spring suspension. I know this because Im not afraid to crawl around under someone else's truck if its in a parking lot somewhere; although I do check ot make sure nobody is around to think Im up to no good. The kicker is for the 14 and newer. I have seen a couple of them with the coil rearend at some livestock shows, but they were tall, and the headache rack stuck up above the cab so far it looked odd. Im not sure if there is a company out there making them to fit these trucks, but I haven't found it if there is. The dealers I have talked to are some local guys that sell Neckover and Gooseneck.

The main reason I didn't search real hard for a factory build bed is because I like to build stuff like this, and I cant afford to buy one.
I got ya. Now you say that I did see a dodge the other day where the headache stuck way up above the cab. I thought it was the wrong bed or something. Makes sense.

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Old 09-13-2016, 11:48 PM   #9
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Just keep the front to rear rails setting on the frame. The posts that stick up and out from the frame are very prone to cracking. It's not a great picture but you can see how I do it so the weight of the bed is on the frame. It also keeps the bed height lower as well.
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:39 PM   #10
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Here is what we eventually got to yesterday. mounted up the LED tails temporarily to keep me legal, sort of.



Its hard to tell from this picture, but the frame rail is not straight. It bends and crooks in and out.



Here is the cross member I have to work around. It sticks up about 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" depending on which side you measure from. I cut my main rail 2" to clear it and there is plenty of clearance for the cross member and the wire loom on the driver side. This is also going to be one of the mounting points for the bed as I am utilizing the gooseneck cross member to tie it all together.



Those 4 bolts (5/8") will hold a plate that ties into the bed, so the gooseneck cross member will be an attachment point.


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Old 09-14-2016, 07:40 PM   #11
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Here is the basic frame we got accomplished over the last 2 days. We would have gotten more but the metal delivery truck didn't get here until after lunch, and all my shop classes are before lunch. But, the good news is we can get a good bit knocked out tomorrow.

The frame is upside down in this picture. The left side is the front, and the channel iron bolts to the factory front bed mounts. The back mounts (on the right) bolt into the three factory receiver hitch mounting holes. I figure if its strong enough for the factory hitch, it will be strong enough for my needs, especially with the extra attachment points Im integrating. You can also see the clearance cuts to clear the factory cross member. My plan is to reinforce that spot with some 2x3 tubing welded on top of the relief cut to restore the rigidity of that section.


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Old 09-14-2016, 07:57 PM   #12
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Default Started My Flatbed Build

Better get something to cover those tires for the time being! We ran one of my dads work trucks without the bed for like 1/2 day and busted out the back glass


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Old 09-14-2016, 08:54 PM   #13
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That thought has crossed my mind several times over the last 2 days. By tomorrow afternoon it SHOULD have fenders on it, if all goes to plan. Bought some 36" trailer fenders that will cover the majority of the tire. May even extend them to cover the whole tire if I can find some 16g scrap.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorgrizz27 View Post
Feel free to ask any questions if this is your first build, I used to work for a welding shop that built a lot of flat beds.
Got my first question for you. Do you guys integrate the factory fuel filler neck of us aftermarket ones?
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:46 AM   #15
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Just a thought but now might be a good time to think about separating the DEF and fuel fillers to avoid accidentally adding DEF to your fuel tank
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Just a thought but now might be a good time to think about separating the DEF and fuel fillers to avoid accidentally adding DEF to your fuel tank
Don't have to, its a HEMI!
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:53 PM   #17
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Will be watching. Nice to have extra hands!
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Got my first question for you. Do you guys integrate the factory fuel filler neck of us aftermarket ones?
On my flatbed. Looks like they made it longer by cutting it and sliding a bigger hose over JT and hose clamped it.

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Old 09-15-2016, 07:39 PM   #19
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Well, I tried to get some pics loaded, but the wife took my phone charger today and my phone ran out of juice before I could get some updated pictures. I took some of what we started with today, but I will have to get more tomorrow of how we ended up.

Just to tease, we did get most of the cross supports in and mounted the fenders. But, I only tacked one fender in and forgot to weld it in, so I hope it holds until I get back to school.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:15 PM   #20
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Got enough of a charge to upload what pictures I did get, but it was too dark to go take more.

Here is the front mount. The grade 5 bolt is just for mock up because the hole on the driver side of the frame is smaller than the passenger side so my 5/8" grade 8 wouldn't fit. Had to settle for a 9/16" grade 5 for today.



Rear mounts using factory receiver hitch mounting bolts and new grade 8 nuts.



Here is the last pic I got before the phone pooped out. Got the cross braces in and the fenders mocked up. Still have a long way to go.

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Old 09-15-2016, 08:19 PM   #21
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I know I need another cross bar behind the axel, but do you guys think I need another one in the front? Its a 24" gap, so would that be too far? If I put another one in there it would be a 12" center, which seems too close to me, but is 24" too far?
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:36 AM   #22
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The couple I built were 12" on center with 3" channel.
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:42 PM   #23
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The couple I built were 12" on center with 3" channel.
Oh, well, I hope 16" isn't too far because that rear brace is already welded in. I will go back and add the one in the front.
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:48 PM   #24
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New pics of today's progress. The air compressor went down so we couldn't cut the bed sides. So, we welded in the braces and the rub rail to stabilize the fenders and check their fit. Then we added the hitch and began working on the rear. Just hope we can get it all done and painted by Show Time.









Still have a lot of bracing to do, build the tool boxes, doors, sides, cut the floor, build the headache rack, and then finish weld everything in and clean up all the welds. Then its Got to be cleaned and prepped for paint, then wired for lights. Whew!!! Got a long way to go.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:09 PM   #25
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Looking good.

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Old 09-16-2016, 07:12 PM   #26
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Man that's look nice
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Oh, well, I hope 16" isn't too far because that rear brace is already welded in. I will go back and add the one in the front.
Bet your fine. These were for landscape trucks so they needed to be over engineered.
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:33 PM   #28
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Bet your fine. These were for landscape trucks so they needed to be over engineered.
Yeah, most I'm gonna haul is a 4-wheeler, some feed, or a couple lick tubs.

Do production beds use 1/8" floor plate or 14g? Thinnest I could get was 1/8", but I don't think I would have wanted to go thinner.

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Old 09-16-2016, 10:05 PM   #29
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Looking good man, I think you are about par with the 1/8". Looks like it's going very well. Are you going to leave the fenders solid like they are or will you trim some of the inside edge off? You guys might need to build a flatbed for a '12 dodge next year...
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:58 PM   #30
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I haven't decided on the fenders yet. Just seems like such a shame to cut them all off because they run about $25 each. But, I can see them building up with mud and stuff during hunting season.

For the right price, we can hook you up.
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:30 AM   #31
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1/8 should be fine.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:12 PM   #32
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A little more progress today. Just trying to get a jump on next weeks chores so the kids will have something to do next week. Hopefully the air compressor motor will be in Monday, so we can get the plasma back up and get the sheet metal cut for the toolboxes and get the kids welding them up, and remove the bed and flip it over to get the underside welded as well. Then its on to the headache rack and trying to figure out what the heck I am going to do about that fuel filler neck.

Here is what I got done today.







Added some beef to the rear hitch. I hope its strong enough.





You can see in the next pictures that the channel iron we used for the bumper bowed because of the heat of putting the receiver hitch in. Not sure what we can do about that aside from cut it off and start over, but we really don't have time for that.







The next question is, do we leave it flat, or cut a gooseneck channel in it? I know the pros of having the gooseneck channel, but what are the cons?

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Old 09-17-2016, 08:30 PM   #33
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You can put a porta power and some heat on the bumper then I think I would do some more bracing on the bumper for the hitch.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:35 PM   #34
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I prefer them flat. Not a big fan of channels. They both have the pros and cons
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:42 PM   #35
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Quote:
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You can put a porta power and some heat on the bumper then I think I would do some more bracing on the bumper for the hitch.
Seriously? Its tied in with 2 pieces of 2x4 tubing and a piece of 4" channel. You don't think that would be strong enough? How else would you brace it? I want to make sure its gonna hold what I put behind it.

I plan on adding some to the receiver tube itself to add strength and a place for safety chains. Gonna try putting the rosebud to it next week to see if we cant straighten it out. May have to make some relief cuts around the receiver tube so it doesn't distort.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:01 PM   #36
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I would just add some more braces from back side of receiver tube up to the main frame rails of the bed to keep the bumper didn't torque more is better to me when pulling a trailer the build looks good by the way.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:42 PM   #37
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Not done yet? I want to see the completion of this, but don't know if I'll live long enough
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:30 AM   #38
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Could be talking out my rear but what if you heated the hitch area and tried taking the bow out with a bottle jack?

Leave it while it cools or even tack in a brace till it's done?
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Not done yet? I want to see the completion of this, but don't know if I'll live long enough

Man, you're more impatient than I am. I thought that was pretty good progress for a bunch of high school kids and 1 teacher, working 2 hours and 15 minutes a day (3 class periods), on a custom build that requires design time.

Patience grasshoppa. It will get there.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:23 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackerbox View Post
Could be talking out my rear but what if you heated the hitch area and tried taking the bow out with a bottle jack?

Leave it while it cools or even tack in a brace till it's done?
Yeah, thought about that. That's basically what Trailean3 was talking about.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:44 PM   #41
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Looking good
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:28 PM   #42
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Seeet


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Old 09-18-2016, 01:43 PM   #43
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good work my friend
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:40 PM   #44
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I wouldn't put a channel in it. They're pretty inconvenient if you ask me. Just a trap door for your gooseneck


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Old 09-18-2016, 06:21 PM   #45
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we built one for show last year. Wish I had pics of it here at home. I'll try and remember at school tomorrow and post a pic.


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Old 09-18-2016, 07:02 PM   #46
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Quote:
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I wouldn't put a channel in it. They're pretty inconvenient if you ask me. Just a trap door for your gooseneck


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That's what Im thinking.

I was thinking today that I might should have rethought the tapered tail because I don't know if I can get 4-wheeler ramps on it with that taper to it. Didn't think about that until this afternoon. Usually I just use a golf cart on a trailer, but as I don't have a car any more, I was going to use a little Suzuki 250, but I will have to figure out a way to get the ramps to sit on the bed first.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:03 PM   #47
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Quote:
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Seriously? Its tied in with 2 pieces of 2x4 tubing and a piece of 4" channel. You don't think that would be strong enough? How else would you brace it? I want to make sure its gonna hold what I put behind it.

I plan on adding some to the receiver tube itself to add strength and a place for safety chains. Gonna try putting the rosebud to it next week to see if we cant straighten it out. May have to make some relief cuts around the receiver tube so it doesn't distort.
Put a hydraulic bottle jack on that channel iron and block it up to the frame above. Use it to straighten that channel...THEN...put some heat on it. She should lay right back down.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:39 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucksaw View Post
Seriously? Its tied in with 2 pieces of 2x4 tubing and a piece of 4" channel. You don't think that would be strong enough? How else would you brace it? I want to make sure its gonna hold what I put behind it.

I plan on adding some to the receiver tube itself to add strength and a place for safety chains. Gonna try putting the rosebud to it next week to see if we cant straighten it out. May have to make some relief cuts around the receiver tube so it doesn't distort.
The last bed I had Had a piece of 3/8 plate welded to the back of the drop down and bolted in where your 3 bolts hold the bed to the frame.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:43 PM   #49
Perkins7581
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Looks good can't wait to see it finished!
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:57 PM   #50
Bucksaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Moser View Post
Put a hydraulic bottle jack on that channel iron and block it up to the frame above. Use it to straighten that channel...THEN...put some heat on it. She should lay right back down.
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Originally Posted by Osceola View Post
The last bed I had Had a piece of 3/8 plate welded to the back of the drop down and bolted in where your 3 bolts hold the bed to the frame.
That's the plan. Both of them. Im gonna try to get the channel straightened, but Im not sure how much I will get out of it since its already welded pretty solid on the outsides. Not sure how much those pieces of tubing will let it move, but we are gonna give it a shot.

That plate you makre out is on my to-do list. I will be adding another mount on the outside of the truck frame to sandwich the frame and tie into the hitch. Im also thinking about adding to the existing mount and tying it to the hitch as well Should give plenty of lateral support and some extra strength when towing.

Last edited by Bucksaw; 09-18-2016 at 08:02 PM..
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