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Hi men I have a 1986 long bed and need a drivers side bed side . Found a local short bed with a couple of dents for sale. What has been done on the easiest to change the beds? Will the rear axle slide forward on the short frame , yes I do about the unibody construction . First time caller long time listener.. thanks for your help

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19 hours ago, STROKERACE said:

Thank you for your reply , I am in Huntington WV.. Just 5 hours from Pittsburgh I can contact locals if they go to your city or area. I can not get to my truck ,but I thought the bed and frame would un bolt behind the cab for a easy swap. I have not been under the truck .

The bed does unbolt but the frame is too long for a short bed.  I can't imagine the holes would line up and it would look goofy since you'd have a 8" gap between the cab and bed to center the wheel well.  You could do some Fab work to make it fit (moving axle forward, cutting the rear of the frame shorter, relocating every mounting point) but would be way more work than it's worth IMO.  Would probably be easier to cut the frame rails off a short bed and replace the back half of the truck, but again would be a ton of work for what you are trying to accomplish.

 

If it's just one bedside that's bad, just replace the bedside.  It's just some cutting and welding and you'd get to clean everything up while the bed was off, plus it would save a bed from the scrapyard.  If the bed is bad all around it would be worth your time finding a replacement bed that's the correct size.

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Dzimm,Thank you for your response I was starting to think no one new the answer or cared about my concerns . At 66 I ask questions before anything . Your response is my decision it is so hard to find parts locally could I just use the local bedside,with out freight charge with no rust ?. My bed is full of rust spots , I hate to cut up a good short bed , I guess the price with freight for the new side is close to the same ,thanks again for your help. Stroker

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I remember the Trucks TV show cut down a long bed C10 pickup to make it a short bed. If I remember correctly they even cut the bed down. The work involved in that was so extreme, even though they made it look doable by normal humans I can't imagine taking on that type of work because their original premise was that the short bed C10 looks better and is worth more money, I couldn't see justifying the work and cost to get a short bed. Just to shorten the truck to fit the short bed or to shorten a long bed to fit a short frame would be a huge undertaking. 

 

Also, this site is made up of a great number of knowledgeable people who don't judge but give great advice and also a lot of people like me who marvel at the work others do. I think a lot of people may have seen your original post and thought your project is out of their league. I think Dzimm wrote what some probably thought, make the work as easy and inexpensive as possible. Good luck!

 

Buck

  

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11 hours ago, STROKERACE said:

Dzimm,Thank you for your response I was starting to think no one new the answer or cared about my concerns . At 66 I ask questions before anything . Your response is my decision it is so hard to find parts locally could I just use the local bedside,with out freight charge with no rust ?. My bed is full of rust spots , I hate to cut up a good short bed , I guess the price with freight for the new side is close to the same ,thanks again for your help. Stroker

We definitely care, it's just hard at times to give answers, especially when we are going to say don't do what you are thinking of doing.  It took me reading your question a few times to come up with an answer that wasnt just don't do that.  

 

I definitely know your pain on finding parts locally, these trucks don't exist around here.  Your best bet is to get under it and see how bad it is on the inside and go from there.  The new bedside would be nice since the seams would be hidden and would replace it all in one shot but shipping wouldn't be cheap and could get damaged since it's so large.  

 

For my truck I used front XJ fenders for the wheel arches since they are suprisingly close to the correct arch and cut up a clothes dryer for the sheetmetal to rebuild half of a bedside piece by piece, it was the same thickness and galvanized so less prone to rusting.  I'm not a body man though so it's not perfect but much better than holes everywhere.  If yours is patches of rust, you may be able to just do small patches with some sheetmetal.

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