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Old 03-31-2020, 09:51 AM   #1
cebra
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Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I am still unsure why people spend $450 for a Brothers Shortbed Conversion kit. I mostly duplicated the kit for about $75. The only missing items is the template to idiot proof where to cut. It isn't difficult 12" out of the flat under the cab and 8" off the back, there are even bumper bracket holes on the back that guide the 8". Here is the parts list to duplicate:

(Expensive Route)
Frame Stiffeners: Summit Racing CLP-6372RFS $40
Parking Brake Cable: Classic Parts 71-761 (varies by Trans) $14
Brake Line: Classic Parts 71-830 $45, I just did auto store lines and bent myself
Hardware: Tractor Supply Grade 8 Bolts, Nuts, Washers, Lockwashers (need 40x 1" or so 3/8" bolts) maybe $15

(Super Cheap Route)
Frame Stiffeners: Use 12" Piece removed split longways and welded back together
Parking Brake Cable: $10 Rock Auto (SWB Intermediate)
Brake Line: Auto Parts Store $10
Hardware: Same as above $15

Steps I Used (I didn't remove the bed, there are better instructions available on here but I am going to run through them generally as I did it as I think most people are paying the $450 for the kit mostly to get the template but it is really not necessary)

1. If pre-purchased stiffeners, mark a line down the middle, drill 2 bolt holes on top, 2 on bottom, and 4 in side...on each side of line
2. Remove bumper, measure 8" and cut (I used a grinder with a cut-off wheel
3. Remove fuel, brake lines, wiring under cab attached to frame rails and remove driveshaft
3. Mark 12" back from rivets on rear cab mount to frame
4. Measure ~8" forward of the line made in step 3 and draw line
5. Measure 12" forward of the line made in step 4 and draw line (both 4 and 5 need to be in a flat part of the frame)
6. Do "X" measurement to points in front of #4 and behind #5
7. Support cab, frame under cab in front of line in #5, and frame under bed behind line in step #4
8. Drill out/grind off rivets for cab support and remove
9. Make cuts on lines #4 and 5
10. Push rear frame forward to meet frame under cab
11. C-clamp in frame stiffeners
12. Measure same spots used in step #6 and align as needed
13. Drill holes through stiffeners through frame and bolt in
14. Remeasure X and tighten down
15. drill holes marked in #3 and bolt in cab supports
15. get driveshaft cut down, reinstall brake line, parking brake cable, wiring etc.
16. Weld in frame stiffeners and cut made
17. Reinstall back bumper
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Last edited by cebra; 03-31-2020 at 09:58 AM. Reason: change info
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:57 AM   #2
cebra
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I know there were some issues with the Brothers kit (grade 5 hardware breaking and one cab support template off a 1/2") that may be resolved now but it is the reason I didn't go that route.

This takes about 4 hours to do, to me it really wasn't much more difficult or time consuming than replacing a heater core or window regulator on these trucks.
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:48 AM   #3
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

Quote:
Originally Posted by cebra View Post
I know there were some issues with the Brothers kit (grade 5 hardware breaking and one cab support template off a 1/2") that may be resolved now but it is the reason I didn't go that route.

This takes about 4 hours to do, to me it really wasn't much more difficult or time consuming than replacing a heater core or window regulator on these trucks.
I used the kit in 2017 and was absolutely baffled how they went through all the process of R and D and ended up 1/2" off for the cab mount holes.
If you take out 12" then that hole moves 12" not 11 1/2"!
seriously unbelievable.
Otherwise it was super easy but certainly over priced for what it is.
Mark
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

Nice writeup cebra. I agree that it's not worth the money when essentially all you're doing is taking out 12" from under the cab and 8" off the back and replacing the brake cables and front to rear brake line.

Measure three times, cut once, and another way of being really precise is to cut short of the lines and then sneak up on them with the grinder.
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

Looks real easy if you have any welding exp. at all.I wouldn't straight cut the frame for the 12" piece removed, it's better to cope the frame into each other, I would also put in a piece of flat bar on the inside of frame maybe 12"s long to box in the frame.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:11 PM   #6
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I straight cut mine but did box it as you mentioned, I did not install the bolts as described because I felt comfortable just welding mine. The bolts add some support and allow you to drive the vehicle to get it welded if you do not have a welder. You can get as much on there as your are comfortable with really. I have seen straight cuts with no frame stiffener (full pen welds), frame stiffener welded in, frame stiffener bolted and welded, fully boxed in frame, full box + fish plate on outside of frame, etc.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I straight cut mine bolted it back to get her with a piece of c-channel about 24” long or so. Then had a buddy weld it all up for me. Easily stronger there than it was before.

I don’t have any pics of the shortening all welded up. So I added a few of the notch. Same guy. Excellent work.
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

Quote:
Originally Posted by YBNORML View Post
Then had a buddy weld it all up for me...
...Your buddy can weld
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:02 AM   #9
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

Could you show where you drilled the holes on the Summit frame stiffener? Thank you
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:54 PM   #10
richards72chevy
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I don't know how to post videos but some one on YouTube just moved his rear end forward then wacked off the back half of his frame.No welding.He said it worked out!
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Old 01-30-2021, 10:21 AM   #11
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

DD Speed shop on youtube did the no weld short bed conversion if any one is interested in looking it up.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:16 AM   #12
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I was curious as to how they did it.....it's a Chevy, but with leaf springs....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqguJcnbHyg
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:25 AM   #13
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

I've done this the straight cut route as well as the Stacey david way. It certainly is easier when the cab is still on to straight cut it. That being said, I feel better about the offset cuts with the cab off. (See my build thread). I use a long gusset welded in solid that spans the weld and ties it all in on the back cab mount. I don't expect much flex in that area, but mine is a 4wd and any offroading might create some. Cutting any factory engineered frame is an undertaking that should be done carefully and with a lot of thought.
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Old 01-31-2021, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

subd
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Old 02-22-2021, 02:04 PM   #15
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Re: Brothers Shortbed Conversion for under $100

If I understand correct this method would not require the cab to be removed, as stated in the brothers instructions. Also I assume the reason you drilled out the cab mounts was to bolt in the C-channel as the brother kit does.

Does this drawing represent your measurements and cuts?

Thanks for the right up, I really didn't want to pay the $ for the brothers kit and was about to get a c-channel from a fab shop. Your solution seams ideal.
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