Making the bed
The first picture shows the truck as it arrived at the shop. It doesn’t look to bad, but you can see in the second photo there was some damage … too much damage to try to repair.
The third photo has Chase (in red) and me working to remove the bed side. The side isn’t heavy, but because it is made of plastic it is rather floppy and hard to handle, especially when you have to raise it up over your head to detach it from the truck. Having two or three sets of hands makes handing something like this much easier.
The fourth photo shows the truck with the side removed. It’s sort of like looking at it’s underpants, except not as embarrassing.
After removing the bedside, we installed the new, freshly painted, bedside by doing everything in reverse. In the fifth photograph we have raised the panel over our heads, inserted slot “A” in channel “B”, and with a little beating and banging to make everything line up, lowered the side into place. The result is in picture number six.
Then came the fun part, fitting the bed around the wheel well. Where getting the side off the truck was easy because it just pulled loose, putting it back required a little more finesse. You can see in picture seven that I am using a pair of flat bladed tools used to remove pins to walk the edge of the bedside into place. Chase is pushing and pulling as needed to have the lip of the fender slip into place. I’ve done so many of these trucks that it isn’t hard to do … I’ve learned all the little tricks to make it go smoothly, but it took as long to fit the fender lip into place as it did to mount the entire side of the truck.
After bolting the bedside down I added the finishing touch … reapplying the 4 x 4 sticker on the fender. This another one of those tasks that seems harder than it is. Because the sticker has all the body lines marked on the backing, it was a simple matter of a few squirts of water, align the arrows and notches, and pull off the backing. Pictures eight and nine show the process.
The last photo, number ten, show the truck all cleaned up and ready to go to the beach, which is where it is headed as soon as it leaves the shop.
It’s a good thing we got the truck in and out today … everyone wants to look good at the beach, and this truck is looking its best indeed.