Retrofitting a 79-87 bed on a 73

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iflyfisher

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Ken
Truck Year
1973
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
Hi Folks,

I am starting work on my Dad’s 73 K20 Fleetside. The bed is in pretty rough shape and am mulling options. Rust is typical but not terrible. I could cut out and replace the worst sections. But I’d still be left with an inner bed banged up from years of hauling wood. I don’t think I would spend the money to replace all the inner panels. Another option is to find a replacement bed. I know a later model bed will fit the earlier models, but I read the tailgates are different. Can I fit a 73 style tail gate on a 79-87 box?

Another issue is the fuel door. But I not sure I am as concerned about that as the tailgate.

Oh, while I am asking, any issue in using later gen doors on earlier gen other than interior trim panels not fitting?

Thanks for the help.

Ken
 

bluex

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1978
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C15
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I had an 85 bed on my 78 for a while. It has a 75 bed on it now. The tailgate will work but you'll have to use everything associated with it on the new bed. You'll also have to cut the notches in the bed for the guide tabs. I have a nice oe 77-80 gate that's been on both beds now.

Fuel door use everything that matches the year of the bed. Be aware the fill neck size changed in 81 and if you're single tank they also swapped from pass to Dr side.
 

sidschev

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sidney
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i have 84 doors on my 77 . i bought my new to me 84 for parts ie i was gunna use the bed for my 77 but the fuel door is on the left side so that prompted me to get the 84 up and running. oh ya i also have 84 fenders on my 77 as well. i had bought a complete 84 truck that had a blown engine and wrecked bed for parts ....its long gone to scrappers now.
 

iflyfisher

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Location
So Utah
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Ken
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1973
Truck Model
K20
Engine Size
350
@bluex, Thanks for responding. I found a fairly clean bed from a later gen square body. My 73 has dual tanks, so I'd also have to deal with adding a fuel door to the other side. I was thinking later last night and this morning that perhaps I should just weld in the patches for my existing bed and go with it. The inside of bed is pretty dinged up, but the metal is still pretty solid except for one area. I could drop in or spray a bed liner, and toss on a tonneau cover (if one can be found to fit), and not worry about how the bed metal looks. I could save the bed until last and perhaps I'll find an early gen bed.

@sidschev, Thanks for confirming. I read the later gen doors have the cut outs for power windows, which might make converting mine to power easier.
 

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