When I bought the truck I thought the truck bed was in good shape. There were a few spots with primer, but I didn’t see any signs of rust. At some point in time the truck had two small saddle fuel tanks installed in the bed so there were two fuel doors I wanted to weld patch panels on to conceal. I just cut some pieces of metal out, put it behind the fuel door opening and welded the new panels in place. After a couple light coats of Bondo it was as if they never existed.
Then I got the grinder out to see what was behind the primer. Both rear bed corners were hit and repaired at some point. The driver’s side wasn’t too bad and I managed to straighten the metal and make the repair. The passenger side was another story. First there was more than 1/2 inch think old Bondo somebody used to fill the damaged area rather than straightening the metal first. The bed corner was in really bad shape.
I knew there was a business that made some patch panels for these old Sweptline trucks and they did offer the bed corner panels, so I orderd one for $95 and waited for it to get here. When it arrived I cut the old bed corner out, cleaned everything up and sanded and primered the areas I could get to including the back of the patch panel before moving forward with the repairs. When I set the new bed corner in place I immediately noticed it was about 3/8 of an inch wider then the existing corner.
It was too late to turn back now so I decided to cut the patch panel in half, overlap it and weld it to make it fit. It made the repair job more difficult and more time consuming, but it eliminated dealing with the old bent up bed corner.
My plan is to do all the work on the bottom half of the truck bed while it’s off the truck with easy to access. Then I’ll put the bed back on the truck, make any repairs to the top half, prime it and get it to paint.
When all of that is finished I can fabricate the rear bumper and start on the exhaust system.
Auto Education 101