The following is an update post on the truck bed progress.
We took the truck in Tuesday and gladly said goodby to the old bed. A couple of days later, we got an update on the bed removal. The bed was made in two parts. The front part of the bed pretty much covered the back part of the fuel tank and cap. It was only about 18-24" long. The main part of the bed (about 10' long) contained all the compartments and the hitch. We knew the bed was pretty rusted and not in good shape, but what JW and Allen found surprised all of us. The hitch was only attached to the bed, not the truck frame (called rails). Even more disturbing, it seems that the the bed was attached to the frame by just one bolt! (there were also two small screws attached somewhere, but I don't think they were big enough for consideration) So here we were, pulling a 20K pound trailer with one bolt holding the bed to the frame!
This wait here in TN has been long and we weren't planning to spend this money right now, but we are thankful we did this now rather than later. (It would seem that Susan's dream about the bed coming off the truck on the highway wasn't so cooky after all!)
The bed old on our truck:
The hitch being removed (you can see that the doors and lights have already been removed):
What you should be seeing here is a picture of the old bed, lying in the yard next to the shop. I purposely took the camera with me when JW took us to see the truck, but I never pulled it out to take any pictures. Rookie mistake!
The new bed framing has begun. Here is the truck bed frame with boxes ready to be attached to one side.
JW said it looked pretty good under the bed. Another big sigh of relief.
As soon as the bed is fitted, we will get the truck back while the bed is finished (off the truck) and painted.
Quick Update 9:00 PM:
We got the truck back this evening! JW and his crew got it to a point where they could remove the bed from the rails and he brought it home. He already attached the hitch to the rails (a total of 22 bolts - Susan counted!) Now our job is to clean up the rails and paint all metal before the bed goes on. It will go back in shop sometime after this weekend to get the completed bed put on. She looks a little naked, but it is good to see her again!