Quick update from Ronnie at C10 Talk about his latest project. Be sure to check out his podcast.
One of the biggest trends I see today in our truck scene is long bed conversions. It makes a lot of sense, and the writing has been on the wall for many years now. Short bed trucks are getting harder and harder to find and there are still longbed trucks that are in decent shape. It also helps that companies like Brother’s Trucks make parts to make the entire process so much easier, #LTSC372, #CBK72SF.
A little over 10 years ago I started my first longbed conversion on a 1971 Cheyenne C10. It was done a little different. There was no Youtube video to watch the step by step process or a prefabbed templates. I did have the truck forum that explained a lot and gave me the courage I needed to make it all happen.
Fast forward 10 years and I will be cutting my second long bed down. This time it’s a 1976 GMC. The process itself should be pretty close to the same except a few changes.
After removing the bed itself the fuel tanks will be removed for two reasons – on a Squarebody they are hanging off each side that will need to be accessed and cut. The longbed fuel tanks are also longer and will be replaced with shorter fuel tanks (#RGT8116 or #RGT9116).
Because this truck (Orange Slice) has a unique paint scheme I want to keep as much paint as possible and I will be keeping the stock bed sides. Kyle Oxberger of Metal Ox Fabrication out of Peoria, AZ has mastered the art of cutting down bedsides. Kyle will be taking on the task of shortening them and preserving the original graphics as much as possible.
I will then shorten the frame down by cutting 14” out of the center section (behind the cab) and 6” from the rear. On the 67-72 era trucks its 12” from the center section and 8” off the rear.
On my first conversion I went with what is called a “Z” cut versus a “straight” or “angle” and then reinforced it with an internal “diamond or fish plate”. On my current conversion I will be doing a “straight” cut and reinforcing it with a “diamond or fish plate” as well.
Of course another option is a custom made chassis or you can find a donor short bed chassis. One thing that is nice about having a donor is you can get the entire chassis prepped and ready to transfer the body over later. This will obviously take more time and a lot more garage space.
So if you have always wanted to have a short bed truck, and you are only able to afford or find long beds out there, don’t worry with the help of Brothers, YouTube and a few friends you can convert that long bed over in a weekend and be back on the road by Monday.Ronnie – C10Talk.com – @C10talk