Plans for box to bed conversion

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by jackie c, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    ontario
    Hi. I would like to know if any one has plans or advice for me to remove the box off of my 4x4 1987 Chevy 1/2 ton, and replace that with a flat bed with maybe removeable wooden side and end panels. I am a welder so I can remove and fab up anything. Thanks all in advance :D
     
  2. I removed the box and installed a flatbed on a Dodge I had at one time. I went "above the wheels" and made the deck completely flat and 9 foot in length. A completely flat deck will obviously have to be higher to clear the tires and your suspension travel... I suppose it depends on what you plan on hauling, how you'll get the load on and off and if you want the deck as low as possible. I used angle iron to extend the rear of the frame and mounted the stock bumper 1 foot back... but if I were to do it over again, I'd just leave the length at 8 foot. I used those round trailer lights mounted on simple steel plates. Obviously, the frame on the truck is not parallel to the ground, so you can either use the existing box "risers" or use them as a template to create new risers. I made my risers out of layers of 2x6... 1/2" threaded rod countersunk through the risers and the frame. I believe I had 4 risers which spanned both frame rails, one at each end and two in the middle. Depending on your gas tank, you may have to either modify or replace the filler tube. My deck was just pressure treated 2x6 with an angle iron frame around the perimeter... I fab'd a headache rack and front wall from steel and steel grating/mesh (that diamond looking mesh stuff). I used eye bolts in many locations on the sides of the deck and the front wall to use for strapping down loads.

    Overall, the flat deck worked very well. At the time, I was moving mostly smaller machines and parts... I never did install sides on the rack.

    cheers,
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    To gain the necessary measurement to make the flat bed appear level, streach a string under the door and measure upward same as if you were laying concrete blocks. Also consider adding a solid metal rod to each side of the cross members near the edge just under the edge of the bed. This gives you a continous rail to tie down anything.

    I have also found that a 4 height trailer hitch is very helpful, just make the front portion of the reciever pivot and the rear portion fitted with 4 sets of holes via a pair of 2 by 6 box tube risers to each side of the reciever. 16, 18, 20, and 22 inches above the ground works well and of course the arc of the keeper pin must be drilled very correctly in the flat sides of the box tubes.

    Edited to add; the reciever insert equiped with 3 ball sizes allows you to pull allmost any trailer you encounter, plus if you carry a ag tab insert with a 3/4 inch hole it will be useful , as is a pintle hook.
     
  4. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    561
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    ontario
    Thanks guys, very helpful. I'll be adding this to my winter projects list.