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Old 06-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
tcb-1
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Thumbs up Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

some of you may have read my air ride build thread a few months back. in it I said that the next point of contention was to raise the bed floor. when the bags are aired out, the differential is 2-3' above where the original bed floor is, so it's time to figure out a viable solution. so for you mini notch/stepside guys, this is for you.

first the bed had to be functional. I will be transporting old british iron, so the bed is going to be used and abused.

second, it had to look bone stock. I'm talking sun weathered original board wood and metal strips that have seen their better days.

lastly, the floor had to be mobile. all of my air ride is under the bed. I wanted to be able to access the air ride components without dismantling the entire bed....... or having to lay on the asphalt if something goes south.

so after many designs drawn out on paper I came up with a solution. Enjoy.

first of all, the stepside bed is maybe easiest out of all bed types to raise the floor in. there are no fender wheels to modify which means a straight lift without cutting the inner bedsides.

I started the process by gutting the bed. this gives you a good idea how GM did it 40 some odd years ago. forget trying to save the original hardware, it's usually toast. save the bed wood and metal strips if your going for the original look.


next step is to head to your favorite metal-by-the-foot shop. I ordered (2) strips of cold rolled rectangle .75" x 1.5". this will be used where the original bed wood met the bedside angles. this is also a good base for your bed if you plan on hauling over 500lbs.

this pic shows the strips installed and bolted to the bedside angle & cross members.


now come the bed frame. I will post the plans to it later this evening or tomorrow. sorry Shane!!

a friend of mine whose a great welder and I mocked up the final design. remember, this frame is built for hauling weight and it is over built imho. you can take the general plans and reduce the cross member size for the same effect, if you going only for athestics.


install the frame back in the bed and lay your boards and strips out and matchmark the holes on the strips to the angles underneath them. this is an IMPORTANT step to layout the strips and wood inside the bed. (the plans I will be posting matches the locations for a swb stepside bed strip).

paint. I used Rustoleum Industrial semi-gloss. this stuff is tough, and looks good after drying.


give one of the forum supporting vendors an call and order a bed bolt kit. (order a cheap set if you plan on rusting the heads, like I did. oh yeah, I plan on doing a tutorial on rusting bolt heads this week. again, I'm going for an original look.)

install the bolts and nuts through the strips and tighten. some of the holes that are in the bed wood was filled with cutdown bolts and Gorilla glued in.

viola! 5" raised bed floor. you can go higher or lower by substituting the 5" x 2" side angles. the possibilities are endless since you now have doubled the useable space under the bed...... and the bed is still there and can be used. what a concept. for me, my 1949 Yard Patrol mower, my mortar slash tool chest, and an old Standard Oil can graces my space out back.



oh yeah. white bumper now. thanks Keith!!
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Last edited by tcb-1; 06-27-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

very cool.. not a stepside guy but thats a nice truck....
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:34 PM   #3
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

The bed floor and the bumper look great!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:15 PM   #4
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

It just keeps getting Better and Better!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:10 AM   #5
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Man your truck is sweet!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

sell me the rotary mower ... my Bermuda sod will love me and thank you!

looks great ... now where are my dimensioned plans?
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

truck is looking great, can't wait to see it in person.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:26 PM   #8
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

looks awesome. simple, looks original and still completely functional.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:43 PM   #9
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Wow very nice! Any pics of it at ride height?
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:46 PM   #10
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

You have been busy, That looks good.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #11
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Love it. Great job.

Did you decide to keep the FJ rims? They look right at home on there.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Doug, that looks great. I like how you kept the weathered wood.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #13
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Doug, that looks amazing; killer work!

You should bring that thing to Des Moines this weekend...
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

heading south for the 4th Nato. going to check out Don's K5 and maybe swing by Keith's on the way home to pick up a set of seats. surprise Keith!
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:27 PM   #15
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Well... we'll be thinking of you and I guess we'll have to check out that thing in September.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:27 PM   #16
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Quote:
Originally Posted by northern 85 View Post
Wow very nice! Any pics of it at ride height?
ride height:
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:30 PM   #17
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcb-1 View Post
heading south for the 4th Nato. going to check out Don's K5 and maybe swing by Keith's on the way home to pick up a set of seats. surprise Keith!

Sorry,... but I will be in Des Moines with Nate at the Goodguys show.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:49 PM   #18
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolife99 View Post
Sorry,... but I will be in Des Moines with Nate at the Goodguys show.
ah poopy! I wasn't sure if I was coming home through Columbia or not.

have fun guys!!
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The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:35 PM   #19
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

That is a nice simple and effective way to do it! Makes me wish I had kept my stepside bed.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:07 PM   #20
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

Like said before, it gets better and better and better! Love the old floor still!
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:11 PM   #21
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Re: Raised Bed Floor for SWB Stepside: (Final Stage of My Air Ride Saga)

awesome truck like the color
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