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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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For those interested, I thought I would share my experience shaving the stake holes in my bed. A little quick history on my truck. I purchased the truck from a dealer in early 2004, and am the second owner. The original owner was the worst type of farm fabricator. He did lots of hokey things, including a homemade gooseneck hitch and roll-on, color match bed liner. I've been doing a lot of cosmetic work on my truck lately, and finally had the time to address the bed.

The color theme of my truck is silver with black trim / accents. The goal is for the overall look to be super clean and minimal. In the 17 years that I've had this truck, I've never used the stake holes, so I decided to shave them while I was stripping the bed of the old liner. Obviously this modification is not for everyone, and I did leave myself an out which I will detail later.

1.) Both sides of the bed rails had several holes drilled in them from the previous owner's homemade bed caps. Those needed to be filled in addition to the stake holes. I made some small round blanks, and then plug welded the drilled holes. For the stake holes, I happened to have some 1.5" x 1/16" flat strap laying around. This ended up being nearly perfect for blanks to fill the stake holes. Put a protective covering over the rear window to protect the glass from slag splatter while you are welding (this is double true if you are using flux core, which I was not).

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2.) Using an angle grinder, grind down the welds to be slightly lower than the finished sheet metal. I did this in two passes, first with an 80 grit disk, and then finishing with a 120 grit disk. Don't worry about filling any of the low spots, as these areas will be smoothed over with body filler.

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3.) Using the body filler of your choice, skim the patched areas with a light coat of filler and wait for it to harden. The bed rails also had several dents from years of use, so I filled these areas at the same time. Once the filler has hardened, use an orbital sander with a 220 grit disk to sand off the excess filler. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until all the low spots have been filled to the same height as the finished sheet metal, and everything feels smooth to the touch.

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4.) Once finished with the body filler, thoroughly clean the sanded areas of dust. Mask off the appropriate areas of the bed, and spray a light primer coat over the filled areas. Let the primer coat dry. Use a spray bottle to spray a small amount of water on the primered areas, then use a block sander with 400 grit wet sandpaper to wet sand the primer coat. The final result should feel smooth to the touch, with no visible high / low spots, or any abrupt edges that have not been properly feathered. I will be spraying the tops of the bed caps with black bed liner, so the finish sanding did not have to be as perfect as if the bed rails were being painted.

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Smooth, flat, and ready to be sprayed with liner.
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Continued
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Article 2/2

5.) You may have noticed by now the complete mess of holes in the center of my bed. The previous owner mis-drilled his first attempt to locate the ball for the gooseneck hitch, and ended up drilling a second hole 馃槺. He tried to hide his mistake by bolting a square cover plate over everything. Terrible. I took the time to weld all these holes closed, and fix any other imperfections in the bed.

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6.) When I decided to shave the stake holes, I knew I was filling in useful anchor points . So I left myself an out. In each of the stake hole pockets, I made use of the factory holes in the bed, and welded in 1/2" nuts. There are a total of six 1/2" nuts, one for each stake pocket. The nuts can serve as anchor points if I want to bolt in D rings, or other attachment points. Also, if I ever do find that I need stake holes in the future, I will simply fabricate a sub-frame that accommodates stakes, and bolt it to these attachment points. Simple.

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7.) I was originally going to spray the bed liner myself. However, after calculating the cost of all the necessary supplies, I was within 80%+ of the cost of having the local Line-X shop spray my bed. The amount of quality etch primer I needed is what drove my price up. Normally I do all my own work and outsource nothing, but this was one instance where I didn't mind paying a little extra for the convenience. Needless to say, they did a great job!

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Thanks for reading, and I hope you find this information useful. If your truck doesn't already have a bed liner and you are looking to try out your welding and body work skills, this is a great introductory project. Enjoy!
 

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Article 2/2

5.) You may have by now noticed the complete mess of holes in the center of my bed. The previous owner mis-drilled his first attempt to locate the ball for the gooseneck hitch, and ended up drilling a second hole 馃槺. He tried to hide his mistake by bolting a square cover plate over everything. Terrible. I took the time to weld all these holes closed, and fix any other imperfections in the bed.

View attachment 923557


6.) When I decided to shave the stake holes, I knew I was filling in useful anchor points . So I left myself an out. In each of the stake hole pockets, I made use of the factory holes in the bed, and welded in 1/2" nuts. There are a total of six 1/2" nuts, one for each stake pocket. The nuts can serve as anchor points if I want to bolt in D rings, or other attachment points. Also, if I ever do find that I need stake holes in the future, I will simply fabricate a sub-frame that accommodates stakes, and bolt it to these attachment points. Simple.

View attachment 923558


7.) I was originally going to spray the bed liner myself. However, after calculating the cost of all the necessary supplies, I was within 80% of the cost of having the local Line-X shop spray my bed. Normally I do all my own work and outsource nothing, but this was one instance where I didn't mind paying a little extra for the convenience. Needless to say, they did a great job!

View attachment 923559

View attachment 923560

View attachment 923561


Thanks for reading, and I hope you find this information useful. If your truck doesn't already have a bed liner and you are looking to try out your welding and body work skills, this is a great introductory project. Enjoy!
Very nice !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, I appreciate that!
 

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Very nice. A lot of thorough work there and a fantastic result.

My entire truck paint is getting tired, when it's time, I'm having Line-X to their Ultra on the entire thing. Stuff is awesome as a full truck coating, have seen a couple trucks with it in person, hard to tell it's not paint until you get up close since the Ultra for the body doesn't have as high peaks and valleys as their bed coating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the nice words!

That will look great on your truck. I went with their Ultra coating as well. The owner of the local Line-X shop has his truck fully coated in place of the paint, just as you're planning. It looks fantastic.
 

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Thank you for the nice words!

That will look great on your truck. I went with their Ultra coating as well. The owner of the local Line-X shop has his truck fully coated in place of the paint, just as you're planning. It looks fantastic.
Awesome! Yeah stoked to just take a pressure washer to it and call it a day. Not to mention no more worries about beating it up during mountain shuttles/out in the woods.
 

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Very slick, very clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the nice comments!
 

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So clean!

Well done!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you kindly!
 

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I鈥檝e seen several complete bed-lined trucks and they always look awful.
it鈥檚 also really hard to ever fix it. Hopefully it鈥檚 just a beater truck already.
 

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I鈥檝e seen several complete bed-lined trucks and they always look awful.
it鈥檚 also really hard to ever fix it. Hopefully it鈥檚 just a beater truck already.
What?
You ever seen a full line x truck (ultra) professionally done from a franchise owner that does GOOD work? It's immaculate.

Handles plenty of abuse. Much more than paint or clear coat can handle.

Yeah, when backwoods Joe paints his DIY bedliner over the mosquitos and swamp mud on his peeling clear coat, it's going to look and performs like dog-s.
 
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