Can I fix this by cutting out and only replacing outer?

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justhorns

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My almost perfect truck needs some work. I'd Like to cut only the outer panel off the bed and weld in a bought patch panel or outer panel complete. . See photos. The inside is so nice, I'd like to keep this original bed.. These are older photos, but I could not pound out these 17 year old dents. The door dent just popped out. The black paint was rust preventative and has now been painted over

Or does somebody have a cheap bed around Colorado?

Ralph is an 81 250-6 3 speed.
 

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waterpirate

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Outer panels are available, LMC ect. It will take a fair amount of skill and body experiance to pull that panel replacement off. It is doable but if you have not done a weld on panel replacement before, a friend that has or a shop will be your new bestie.
Eric
 

justhorns

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I’m just retiring from my retirement business of classic car repair. But I had a body man! John retired and the new guy is a $&@“. I have a welder, but really stink at it. I want to learn on MY truck. It may take a while, but I’ll have learned.
 

fast 99

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It could be fixed but I would get a replacement panel. That ding has stretched the metal quite a bit. Side boxes are long and basically flat. Waves will show. The shadows in the second picture show it is bent to within a foot of the cab and all the way to the top rail.
 

Scott91370

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As easy as bedsides are to replace I'd unbolt it and put a new one on.
 

Grit dog

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A new bed Side, or a new Bed?
Just a bed side. But even after spending $600-800, you’d be comparing that against a lot of hours of bodywork and likely not a great end product.
Unless you literally have endless time on your hands, a great deal of skill and a rare or irreplaceable piece of sheetmetal. Or no budget an availability, replacing the panel is the best option.
That said, you’re in CO so there’s a great chance of finding a rust free bed that only needs minor bodywork for the same or less than a new panel.
Up here a straight rust free bed like that would fetch $500 tops.
Buddy got a straight 8’ bed for his 72 for $800 and that was from a guy who sells 67-72 parts for profit.

Nice part is, you can remove your bed if you find one close and plop the new one on with a couple bolts and drive it home
 

OldBlueDually

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In my opinion, a few different ways to do this, and depends on what you want your outcome to be when completed. You could replace the side as mentioned above. You could also replace the whole box with another white one if you found one somewhere, and basic tools to replace it, or of a different color & spray the new one white. Then sell yours off to re-coop some money-->I would do this first if I were in your shoes right now. I agree with @Grit dog

I have the tools, so for me personally, I would not be afraid to be working the crap out of that steel to get it back into shape.....I am strange in the fashion of trying to prove to myself doing countless hours of crap to fix something that probably isn't worth the time :anitoof:

Simple dent puller anyone can make: 16d nails to use as studs to tack weld on & a vice grip with a modified handle---remove the threaded clamp adjustment, put in a long piece of threaded rod, have a drilled out steel tube to use as a hammering handle, double nut the end to keep hammering handle in place & use for adjusting the clamp to the nails.
 

Grit dog

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Definitely a time vs money vs will vs skill vs…..balance.
Being in the Mtn west, the prospects of finding a good bed, plug n play is pretty strong I feel.
Takes the sense of adventure and accomplishment or frustration out of it though lol
 

justhorns

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Thanks all (so far) I tried straightening it last year. No luck that metal was bent way out of ever coming back. The choices I see are welding in a patch panel, replacing the entire panel, or a bed swap. This bed is so nice inside (and I have a crane in the back) that I think I'm going to eventually get a complete bedside and replace it. I guess there is cutting where the bedside meets to top side of the bed, front of the bed, and around the taillights. Then weld top and ends, and bolt the inners. If a bed comes up before I start cutting, then thats the way I'll go. I was kinda fancying picking up a bed and bringing it hope atop the bent one.. Maybe put boards in the pockets and then dropping new on top upside down . That would be kinda cool. Adventure, that's what you call it.
 

TotalyHucked

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One thing to keep in mind about welding in repair panels, there's a high risk of warping the panel and also 10x the amount of finish work before painting. Me personally, I'd replace the bedside, whether it's a new one or a good original. Other than the 2 tack welds on each rear post, the whole thing bolts together. Since yours doesn't have a gas door on that side, we've got those in stock right now:

 

justhorns

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As you can tell, I'm not looking for pretty, but just capable of using it as a truck. It runs great, has only 80,000 or so miles on it in 42 years (someone stole the dash out of it about 3 years before I bought it from family friends.) The carfax showed all service since new and I could see where the speedo was noted as no longer accurate (about 57K miles and 5 years ago. I've been fixing what needs it, and the other big project moving forward is removing the 6's integrated head, and replacing with 70 Nova head, a 4 bbl on new intake and exhaust. I already have the new (used) head down at the machine shop (found through another Squarebody guy who was great to ship that heavy monster from Washington). Also have the Edelbrock carb I'm going to use. Waiting for the head to be completed before ordering the intake and headers. I will detail that project here once it begins.
 

justhorns

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Oh, and maybe a set of 15" rally wheels, eventually. I'm now on a fixed income..
 

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