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  #1  
Old 03-04-2014, 07:10 PM
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Mars Mars is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Apr 24, 2010
Location: North Cincinnati
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Bedside replacement questions.

Have any of you guys ever replaced bedsides on one of these J trucks?

I have the typical seam rust.

I know my bed has some bondo in it but I really don't know how much.

Should I just patch?

Would it just be easier in the long run to replace the sides?

Should I try and source a new bed?

I'm not a body man, but I'm not scared to try

Mike
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:16 PM
joe joe is offline
 
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Rotted panel seams are a difficult/expensive area to fix correctly. I wouldn't spend a dime on it till you figure out how much Bondo is in the box. I don't know of anyone that sells box panels for the townside boxes. Zack at ZMJeeps used to carry panels for the thriftsides. Be worth asking him for maybe a lead.
Can't tell from here but you being in OH there's a good chance there's more Bondo than metal in the panels. Once you figure out where and how much bondo you got get an estimate to fix it all correctly. Likely more than you paid for the truck. Depends on your desired goals and wallet I guess, but these rigs aren't valuable, in demand collector vehicles. Easy to drop more money into them than they're worth especially in the rust belt cause rust is a never ending battle out there you can't win no mater what magic juice spritzers you spray on it. Best of luck but resign yourself you may end up looking for a used box from far away. If it's just a work beater truck you might be better off just continuing with the previous bondo theme. Yeah it'll likely look like crap and won't last but "may?" look better for a couple years. I lived in MI and know what you folks have to live with: rotted metal, rusted broken bolts etc etc. I learned after awhile the salt always wins and better sometimes to just step back, take a deep breath and punt and just drive it till the wheels fall off. Yup done that too. Lost the left front wheel in a turn when the A-frame broke off on an old Falcone. I've long ago moved from the rust belt and won't now buy a rusty rig period.
Not what you wanted to hear but I'd go over the ENTIRE truck and see what you're dealing with, then decide what your budget is, spare time willing to deal with fixing rust(forever) before diving in.
Best of luck.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2014, 08:28 PM
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Tornado230 Tornado230 is offline
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Rust at the seams on the outside is not the end of the road for the box.
The only reason to replace would be if the main structure is shot, such as the sides being loose, causing trouble opening and closing the tailgate.
I repaired my J-20 in 1988, just going through at a few places now.
I have NOS bottom pieces for the right side, the piece from the front of the box to the wheel well and the piece from the wheel well to the end of the box. I also have good used bottom pieces for both sides.
The upper part can be repaired using door skins (same profile as the box).
There's a trick to the repair that will make it last.

E-mail for more info or give me a call @ 610 944 7537.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:35 AM
threepiece threepiece is offline
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As Tornado says above, if the support structure is solid there is no reason to discard the bed if you are inclined to do some work.


The outer panels are of a simple shape, they are basicly flat with straight bends. The flange around the flair is curved but a form made from a piece of particle board or hardwood can be easily made that would include all the features you would need to make a one piece patch panel.

If you have a welder, some basic hand tools and inclination there is no reason not to make an attempt.

If you or anyone wishes to discuss the process feel free to contact me.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:33 PM
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Mars Mars is offline
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Well Z&M has sides listed, as Does BJ's.

Considering the side marker lights on one side were bondo'ed over leads me to think there is probably quite a LOT of mud in those panels.

That being said, the box is REALLY solid and the underside is pristine, this is a southern Kentucky truck and has been off the road for at least a decade.

As far as a rust belt truck does she's above average.

Threepiece I'll shoot you a PM. I'm a noob welder and I could use all the advice I can get on making panels.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:36 PM
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KaiserMan KaiserMan is offline
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I would use glue vs welding. No chance of distortion and it's VERY strong. That's the route I'm going with the box on my 69.
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2014, 05:29 PM
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Mars Mars is offline
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Glue?

Cut out all the rust and glue new bedsides on?
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2014, 06:22 AM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars
Glue?

Cut out all the rust and glue new bedsides on?

The main issue with glue is that you need to flange the panels to make the new panels stay in place.

You can just cut out the rusty steel and butt weld the new steel in. The advantage of buying the new bedside material for this is that the curves and corners of the bed sides are already the right size for replacement. And the new bedsides eliminate the seam along the outside edge of the bed, I believe.

If it were me doing this (and I may eventually), I would buy a 4x8 sheet of 19 ga steel from my local steel supply and attempt to make the replacement patches. This thread http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=182565 has a lot of discussion of making and welding replacement panels.

Also, if your existing bed is really rusty, you can consider finding another bed in better condition. That's what I did for my J10 - though the replacement bed also has its issues. For me, I am willing to do some work on the replacement bed, so it does not have to be perfect. But it does have intact flares and only a few patches in the bed, and little seam rust. So it's a big step up from the lace doily flares on my J10.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2014, 10:57 AM
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Mars Mars is offline
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That thread on garage journal is amazing, I've been reading that all morning.

I think I understand what you're saying.

My bed is nearly perfect inside the box and it has a good solid gate.
The flares are also perfect.

I'll give making and installing the patches myself a try. Worst case I cut it back out and try again. Or have to do bedsides anyway.

Mike
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2014, 08:00 PM
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mrtazwrench mrtazwrench is offline
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BJ's has door skins that could be used for patches, I may be doing that, but it looks like my build may end up being a super short bed on a wagon frame if my build gets to that point.

http://www.bjsoffroad.com/prod-1374.htm
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2014, 03:01 PM
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Mars Mars is offline
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Hey good call!
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