After our C10 project snowballed from a mild cruiser to a full-blown show truck, our goal still remained the same: to somehow keep as much of the truck looking and working like a truck as possible. The independent rear suspension was a major part of the plan. It's not because we think a truck is supposed to handle like a sports car, but because the fixed position of the driveline meant that we could keep the bed floor as deep as we wanted while still laying the rockers on the pavement with an adjustable airbag suspension.

C10s always look great laid out on big wheels at truck shows, but the moment you walk to the rear of the truck and see how far up the bed floor must be raised in order to cover up the stock solid-axle arrangement, the truck starts looking much less like a truck and more like a pool table. This is because the wheels can move upward by 1 foot into the bed when the air is released from the 'bags in order to lay the truck on the ground. Once you set up a C10 or any other truck to lay out on big wheels, you're going to lose much of the space within the bed. Our C10 doesn't suffer from this problem, so after the suspension and chassis work were completed, we were able to build a new bed floor with plenty of depth. Since we also wanted the floor to look cool, we went to a pro shop to have the work done.

Sheetmetal can be a bit daunting to work with. When welding thin gauge metal, it's easy to burn big holes in it. Additionally, if you want something better looking than flat pieces of steel welded together at 90-degree angles, you're going to need more than a die grinder, tin snips, a MIG welder, and the knowledge to work them. Scott's not only has the best tools in the business, but there's a crew of no-nonsense guys who can shape metal quickly and beautifully. After conferring with Justin, the owner of Scott's, we decided to build a flat bed floor with some new flat side panels and rounded corners. We also opted to ditch our tailgate and rear bumper, in favor of a new tailgate skin/roll pan combo from Grant Kustoms. This is pretty standard fare for a show truck, but we also wanted a few other trick items in the mix. We wanted to build compartments into the rear of the bed to hold tools and a cooler, and we wanted the compartments to be hidden with a set of trick, flush-mounted doors. The finishing touch, and what really will make our bed stand out from the masses, is the idea of reusing the factory rear wheeltubs and extending the body line of the tubs into the inside paneling of the bed. We didn't even know if it was possible to put the body line into the rounded corners of the bed, but Scott's pulled it off with ease. Here's a look at the tools and techniques the shop used to fill the gaping hole in our bed with style and functionality.

Part One: Rough In The Floor
The floor build began with the construction of the support bracing, which was MIG-welded together from 3/4x3/4x0.120-inch wall square steel tubing. The tubing was spaced 3/4 inch above the suspension bulkheads to provide as much room above without the worry of the floor hitting anything below. The bracing extends fore and aft, eventually contacting the factory inner bed walls for maximum support.

Part Three: Tailgate And Sides
It's time to install the tailgate skin. Grant's combo roll pan/skin part was a near-perfect fit to the bed sides, and the body lines were in the right spots. The piece only needed minor grinding along the side edges to make it fit between the bed sides.



The Final Word
As you can see, even the best of us miss some minor details. By extending the wheeltubs downward, they grew wider and ended up covering up a portion of our compartment lids. This wasn't a big deal because we needed to do some additional patch work on the floor anyway. So, we just recut the lid and then welded the offending portion back to the floor. Essentially, all that was left now was to cap the rear portion of the bed where the tailgate skin met the inside panel and weld the whole bed together, permanently. We're still undecided if we'll take the time to grind down all of the welds and paint the inside of the bed or just wimp out and spray a bedliner inside. Stay tuned for more sheetmetal mods on our '67 in an upcoming issue of ST.

SOURCE
Grant Kustoms
Oroville
CA
Scott's Hot Rods
www.scottshotrods.com
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