This kit is used to convert a long bed Chevy Pickup into a short bed. The reason we made this kit is because, as you would expect, classic trucks are getting harder & harder to find. The much desired short bed C10’s might be hard to come by and are usually more expensive than the long bed version. Since everything about the front end of the pickup is exactly the same, it makes for a great option if you’re looking for the short bed style and turns out to be a fun project (especially now that we’ve made this kit).
Here is Toshi Akatsuka’s longbed. This is the perfect example of a C10 that needs a little work, but is a great affordable place to start your project.
BROTHERS short bed kit consists of two thin-walled C-channel templates, two 3/16-inch walled C-channel inner brace, hardware, e-brake cable, and rear brake line (not pictured). The template is clearly marked with numbered holes that are used to locate and attach the template to the frame, lettered holes used to locate the new rear cab mounts, pilot holes used to locate the C-channel’s mounting points, cut lines for all three necessary cuts, and another numbered hole that will serve to locate the rear bed mount once the end of each frame-rail is trimmed
Before we start cutting, there are a handful of items that need to be removed or modified. Since the entire rear suspension setup will be moved forward 12 inches, the two-piece driveshaft will be removed and added to the scrap pile along with the rear brake line. The exhaust will need to be removed and modified or replaced. Emergency brake cables are also removed and will be replaced with shorter items. Note the fuel line that has been moved away from the frame-rail. Special attention needs to be paid to the fuel line at all times if it’s not removed.
Next we’re going to remove the bed.
Before we make a single spark, the truck is set on jack-stands so that when the rear half of the chassis is removed, the rest of the truck remains stable.
An additional set of jack-stands are used to support the rear of the cab as we’re going to be removing the rear cab mount…
… as well as the front bed mount. To do so, the head of each rivet is chiseled off and then punched free.
The templates are designed to bolt to the chassis using existing holes (labeled 1), removing any guesswork when it comes time to make the cut.
Before we do so, however, a series of six pilot holes need to be drilled into each frame-rail. These will serve as mounting points for the C-channel inner brace.
Using a reciprocating saw, the first, forward cut is made using the etched line in the template.
Once both sides are cut, the rear portion of the chassis is simply rolled back out of the way.
The templates remain attached to the rear portion of the frame so that the second cut can be made.
With the second cut complete, we’ve successfully removed the extra 12 inches from the wheelbase. Next, the six pilot holes are drilled larger to suit the 3/8-inch fasteners for the C-channel inner brace.
Next the template needs to be used to drill the new cab mount holes. To do so, the top and bottom needs to be trimmed to clear the rivets holding the crossmember in place. Another set of pre-cut, etched lines mark the portion to be removed.
There are eight holes total, labeled either “A” for 1963-1966 or “B” for 1967-1972 trucks, that are used to locate the new rear cab mount. Using the front most pair, the template is aligned with the rear two holes from the original cab mount. The location of the rear pair of holes on the template are then transferred to the chassis.
The cab mount is then bolted in place using these new holes and then used as a template for the rear pair.
Here, the cab mount and C-channel inner brace are both attached to the rear half of the frame. Note that the two front holes from the original cab mount location are used to attach the inner brace.
Next, the two frame halves are rejoined via the inner brace and welded together.
Out back, we need to trim 8 inches from the back of the frame and drill a handful of holes. Flush with the back of the frame-rail the template is used to transfer the location of the rear bed mount hole as well as to scribe the cutline.
A watchful eye and a steady hand and the chassis conversion is complete.
Before the bed is set in place, we slid the new, shorter brake line between the rails and snugged up the fittings.
Akatsuka’s original bed was pretty beat, so instead of trying to cut and weld it back together, he opted to purchase new sheetmetal from BROTHERS. We were definitely thankful as the new panels fell into place and fit great. Because the bedsides are double walled, this makes cutting and splicing the bed back together a lot of work. Nearly 20 linear feet worth of welding is required as is a few hours of bodywork, depending on one’s skill.
With the new short bed in place, Akatsuka’s work truck is starting to look a lot sharper. Now, about that stance and those wheels and tires…