have had many people ask why I would shorten my bed and I
suppose there are many reasons. First off the overhang
on the longbed trucks is just too much for any real wheeling.
Some people take the approach of cutting the bottom of the
bed and putting in a bulletproof bumper but I chose to simply
get rid of the overhang. I now have even less overhang
than the shortbeds. I did not want to lose the opportunity
of putting on a campershell so I chose to shorten the bed
to length of the shortbed. This is also the very minimin
length in order to keep a spare under the bed in the stock
location. If you go any shorter you will have to cut
the back of the bed so that the frame can stick out.
Marking the cut
This is by far the most important step, take your time
here. I don't know the perfect method, I took a lot
of time and still did not get it righ on. I decided
the best location was to cut starting at the point that the
fender ends its radius, this left the body mounts and the
most support, and covered the bottom part of the cut with
the plastic fender on my 83'. I took a square along
the trim line that extends down the bed and then drew a line
up to where the deck of the bed is. From there I drilled
a hole into the bed on both sides and then ran a tight string
along the inside if the bed, any straight edge will do.
I took out the spray paint and sprayed the string so that
when I removed the string it left a straight line. I
used a long framing square to mark the sides, I believe the
total length of the cut ot section was 11 3/4 inches.
Making the cut
This step is almost as important as marking the cut, choosing
the right tool makes all the difference. I first that
I was going to use a sawsall till I saw how straight they
cut. I have heard many different stories on the right
tool for the job but the tool for me was simply a jig saw.
I went out and bought a $50 jig saw that had a shield out
front with a mark on it that kept my cuts extremely straight.
Welding back together
an extreme rookie welder I don't have a lot of experience
to share here, my method was a lincoln wire feed welder with
tack welds every couple inches on the inside then the outside
and a complete weld along the bottom of the bed and the top
of the rails. The metal will warp on the sides if you
get it hot and continue a bead, of coarse you are pretty good
if you can do that since the truck metal is paper thin.
This step is possible the most tedious, it took me months
and I am still not done. No real secrets, just a can
of Bondo, and some sanding with a sanding block starting with
a rough sandpaper and working finer. I found a can of
paint at my local auto store that was pretty close to hold
me off till this winter.
getting the weld right I have had no problems with this setup,
If you use this setup or another like it please let me know.
If you have done something similiar in the front I would also
like to know since that is on my to-do list. I am in the process
of moving so when I dig out all my pictures again I will provide
some better pics..
Update - I could not be happier with the bob job.
Since I did it I have made numerous trips to the Rubicon and
through the little sluice, and up the soup bowl as well as
a killer trip to Moab and the "pirate trail", Iron Mountain
Road, the Fordyce Creek trail (Sierra Trek), and more! I still
want a wrap around bumper in the rear and I may just plate
the side of the bed with diamond plate but I am very happy
with the setup, no problems to tell of. I have yet to
try a campershell on it but I did cut it to fit one.
I have yet to find anyone that cut theirs in the same spot
as me (most cut at the back) but I really think the spot I
chose is the best, all the lines of the bed still work out
perfect and you do not lose any body mounts, you only strengthen
the bed by moving them closer together. If you plan on doing
serious wheeling then the bob job or a flatbed is the only
way to go. I may eventually go with the flatbed but I am happy
with what I got for now..
Update - Not
sure if you can call it an "update" since I no longer
even have a toyota bed but I have recieved some information
from others that have bobbed their beds. I hope this helps
and if you have any information to provide please do!
following was submitted by [email protected]
just did the same thing to my roomates 1980 toyota longbed
last night, few thigs I did differently though-
I think the entire cut we made on his was 19 1/2 inches, he
wanted it "hellof short" Done deal, I said. I started by cutting
the bed off to length, meaning about 6" forward of the leaf
spring mounts, eliminating the rearmost bed mounts completely.
We then cleaned up the edges on the bed. I kept the lines
fairly straight by using a tape measure to draw two lines,
one at the forward cut on the bed.and one where I planned
to splice the parts together. I measured from the front edge
of the bed towards the back in several places and then used
masking tape along my measurements, marking them (exactly
as you did) with spraypaint.
used a "punch/flange" tool I got at harbor freight ($49.99,
btw) to flange the sheetmetal so that the sides would lap
about 1/2 inch on the inside of the bed and then used the
same tool to punch holes on the inside edge of the flange.
we trimmed the rail and the lower part of the bed so that
the floor would also lap and punched holes in this also, about
1" apart.. This is the same way I splice quarter panels on
cars at work and is a lot stronger than buttwelding.
a bit of alignment grinding and making inserts for the top
rails to weld in underneath the rails we stuck it on there
and spotwelded the whole thing on there through the holes
we punched using a mig welder. By putting a wet rag on the
outside of the flange you can minimize the warpage caused
by welding the thin metal on the bedsides and keep the bondo
patch fairly thin.
lopped off the 6 or so inches of frame that was sticking out
past the tailgate this afternoon. The tailgate is now flush
with the rear shackle mounts. looks cool. It turned out pretty
well, unless the back of the truck is hit by a missle I don't
think it will ever come off there again until he decides to
make it even shorter.
truck was a 1980 and belongs to Chris Fakes. The roll pan
waas so mangled that chopping it off seemed like the best
idea, he plans to add a wrap around bumper made out of 4"
channel sometime this winter while the rocks are all still
covered with snow and the rest of the truck is bashed so badly
that chopping any of it off will save huge amounts of bondo-time.