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Old 05-08-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
daveshilling
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Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

So I have some options here.

1. Shorten this longbed using instructions on this forum. It's "free" and the patina matches. I can MIG weld okay. I'll still have a crunchy fender

2. replace the bedsides with shorter bedsides, keep the other parts... ta-da, shortbed?

3. Sell the longbed to someone who wants a sweet vintage trailer and just wait until a shortbed comes along, hopefully a red one.


Throw me some opinions one any of these options, I'm not sure what to do.

(Option 4 of course is keep the longbed. Its so long though, and the extra foot of space in my suburban garage would be nice. Also resale value is higher with shortbeds, and I wouldn't mind losing less money when it sells someday. )
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:05 PM   #2
NorCalGal
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

I vote for #1, do it yourself and save the money for something else.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:19 PM   #3
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

If you think you can do it, you can!

Why spend the money on repop shortbed sides or on buying a used shortbed if you have the skills and the time?

If you have hot pants to just get moving on the project by buying the sides, I totally get that. That same feeling cost me a lot of money on my truck.

Believe me; having just "finished" my truck - to the degree any truck is ever done - you still have LOTS of things to spend money on going forward.

PS: Just to let you know, longbeds can be made to look really good. Here are a couple excellent examples:
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:44 PM   #4
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

I vote option #1. It is easy to put more into these projects now they will ever be worth. I think I passed that point a while ago and I don't have paint yet.

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Old 05-08-2019, 08:59 PM   #5
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

The trick is cut out the spot welds and move the stake posts after you cut the bed to length and spot weld the posts back on just like original. That beats the tar out of cutting a slice out of the bed and trying to weld it back together.

I'm thinking you have to do it on both ends of the bed to have it look right like the ones Dan showed. I've seen a couple that the guys left the back long on and they look a tad odd sitting next to one that is proper.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:02 PM   #6
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

i vote to shorten what ya got...
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:55 PM   #7
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
If you think you can do it, you can!

Why spend the money on repop shortbed sides or on buying a used shortbed if you have the skills and the time?

If you have hot pants to just get moving on the project by buying the sides, I totally get that. That same feeling cost me a lot of money on my truck.

Believe me; having just "finished" my truck - to the degree any truck is ever done - you still have LOTS of things to spend money on going forward.

PS: Just to let you know, longbeds can be made to look really good. Here are a couple excellent examples:

I sorta do have hot pants. I want to finish this truck while my grandfather is still alive so he can ride in it. Granted if I can get the bed done in decent time and farm out some of the work to a shop, I might make it by this Christmas.

I think those are 7 foot beds. I have an 8 footer. It's not pretty.

Consensus seems to be shorten it, so we'll figure that out. On that note... why not blow it apart, shorten the bedsides, then reassemble? The go-to post here shows bracing the bed and doing it all as a one-piece job.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:23 AM   #8
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

I don't remember that "go to post" but what I suggested in post 5 is the simple and least stressful way. You will have to get some spot weld cutters but they aren't that hard to find. Spot welds mean a whole lot less chance of warpage too. You will have to drill the holes for the bolts to hold it together with the front panel at the front but will have the stake posts as a guide so that doesn't require a tape measure.

Blowing it apart shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and once you get the hang of it cutting the spot welds out shouldn't take that long especially if you have the bed sides laying flat on saw horses or a bench. One of the TF guys should be able to give you exact reference points and measurements to shorten the bed sides.

Leaving the rust on the bed sides and calling it patina and putting it back together might be the way to get done so your grandfather can ride in it and if you tire of that look you can always redo it later. That might mean you can actually have a short box all bolted back together sitting on saw horses in a weekend or less.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:26 AM   #9
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

ive shortened several beds...on the IH, I took 12in from the front, and 6in from the rear
best thing is get a game plan and have at it...
youll need to cut front and rear...so determine how much needs to be removed from each end..
like stated get a good spot weld cutter..
I would tack weld some tubing x-braced style on each end of the bedsides, inside the part of the bed you need to keep..just to keep everything from flopping around on you
id remove the stake posts from both ends
only do one end at a time
remove the bed front and rear cross sill, depending on which end you do first
think about how the tailgate latches before you cut the back end.
you have a wood floor so that helps simplify things
you don't have raised panels in the bedsides so that makes it easier
you can do away with the stake pockets as well when you cut the ends off..no need to keep those
once you cut the bedsides itll be simply spot welding it back together..
then youll need to shorten the frame ,between the wheels ,by the same amount you cut from the bed front
then clip the rear of the frame by the same amount you cut from the back of the bed
And also shorten your driveshaft
its a little easier than it sounds
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:08 AM   #10
Jesse Z
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Cut it.

Several advantages: 1) get it done right now, no waiting. A decent short box may not appear for months or years! 2) it's cheap to free. 3) Like you said, the patina matches.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

That looks like a 9 foot bed that you would need to shorten both ends to make into a short bed if you kept the fender holes where they are. A lot of options.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
I don't remember that "go to post" but what I suggested in post 5 is the simple and least stressful way. You will have to get some spot weld cutters but they aren't that hard to find. Spot welds mean a whole lot less chance of warpage too. You will have to drill the holes for the bolts to hold it together with the front panel at the front but will have the stake posts as a guide so that doesn't require a tape measure.

Blowing it apart shouldn't take more than a couple of hours and once you get the hang of it cutting the spot welds out shouldn't take that long especially if you have the bed sides laying flat on saw horses or a bench. One of the TF guys should be able to give you exact reference points and measurements to shorten the bed sides.

Leaving the rust on the bed sides and calling it patina and putting it back together might be the way to get done so your grandfather can ride in it and if you tire of that look you can always redo it later. That might mean you can actually have a short box all bolted back together sitting on saw horses in a weekend or less.

This is the one : http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=323615

As mentioned in another comment above, he braces the bed so its not flopping around and such. Am I missing an obvious reason why its not better to blow the bed apart and do the bedsides vs. keep the cab intact and brace?

I appreciate the resounding push to cut it! What the hell, I'll cut it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:00 PM   #13
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Dave

Did you already shorten the frame? Did you follow the instructions from that post http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=323615

Did you run into any problems?
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:48 PM   #14
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

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Dave

Did you already shorten the frame? Did you follow the instructions from that post http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=323615

Did you run into any problems?
No, haven't yet.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:23 PM   #15
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Cut it, I did.

This was a long box. I set the bed up on sawhorses and boards and cut sections out of the front and rear and then butt welded the bedsides back together. Did one end at a time, both sides at once, lots of clamps. It was the quick way to do it and worked great. A lot less work than moving the stake pockets as long as you're confident in your welding. After welding and metal finishing nobody could tell except I didn't bother to fill the center stake pockets.
I cut and welded the frame too, and then used the cut-out piece to reinforce the frame from the back side.
Sorry no pics of the process and no measurements off-hand, it was over 15 years ago. It's still on the road and still looks great so I would say it's a good way to go...
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:30 PM   #16
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

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Cut it, I did.

This was a long box. I set the bed up on sawhorses and boards and cut sections out of the front and rear and then butt welded the bedsides back together. Did one end at a time, both sides at once, lots of clamps. It was the quick way to do it and worked great. A lot less work than moving the stake pockets as long as you're confident in your welding. After welding and metal finishing nobody could tell except I didn't bother to fill the center stake pockets.
I cut and welded the frame too, and then used the cut-out piece to reinforce the frame from the back side.
Sorry no pics of the process and no measurements off-hand, it was over 15 years ago. It's still on the road and still looks great so I would say it's a good way to go...
You did a great job, too! Since I wont be metal finishing or repainting, a big bare metal seam might be a bit unsightly..I've seen them done really well with an experienced hand and a TIG. I have neither )=
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:37 PM   #17
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Maybe this is a bit radical but could you not cut a section out under the wheelwell limiting the visible cut area to only the rail and slightly below and then cut the flat parts on either side of the wheelwell to match the wheelwell radius? I may be way off base but just a thought.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:08 AM   #18
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

I bought a new complete stepside bed, tailgate, and fenders, it looks great and less work for me. I prefer original factory sheet metal but my truck needed new front fenders and bed when I got it so that’s the path I took. I don’t regret the bed and rear fenders but the front fenders have gap issues and that drives me nutz.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:50 AM   #19
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Other than the fact that you will be saving thousands of dollars$$ -Look at it like this: Once you are finished with your truck and you are at your first car meet up /truck show with your newly built truck ...Will you tell all of the folks gathered around your truck " Check out this new bed that I purchased.. its on pg 347 of this parts catalog!" Or would you rather tell the story of how you Cut, fabricated and then welded all of that sheet metal to make it a cooler short bed truck? LOL

In all seriousness I always look at it like anyone can purchase new parts off the shelf and bolt them together but modifying what you already have takes balls,lots of patience and some skill.+ it saves money

If you are in a hurry - and money is no issue- buy the mar-k bed. i hear nothing but good things about their beds.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:15 AM   #20
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Well me being handicapped means doing what works,is better for me. I wish I could stand on my legs all day and cut and grind a fender or bed. I made the decision this year to get my truck back on the road before I get worse and can’t drive anymore. I attended a show last month where a guy bought one of those new Fleetside beds and it looked great. Whatever works for you.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:27 PM   #21
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Check out my build. I shortened my frame and bought a set of short bedsides and steps. Used my original front box panel, rear sill and tailgate.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:56 AM   #22
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Re: Shorten vs. new bedsides vs. find a shortbed

Thanks for weighing in, gents.

To clarify one point, there will never be a situation where I buy a Mar-K bed or any new sheetmetal whatsoever. I have kids and I park in a small garage. I wont be painting this, or any truck. I would be trying to hunt down an OG red shortbed. I already let a red short fleetside slip by me. whoops.

If I could find original red paint short stepside bedsides, then it would be a done deal. Thats the dream, I find an old pair for $200, swap over everything else, sell my long bedsides, and be done. But that could take 2 years, maybe more.

So here is the plan at this point. Cut the bed. If it looks great, great! If it looks terrible, drive it anyways and then wait until I score some bedsides.
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