Introduction: Custom Pick Up Truck Bed
Runner Up in the
Wheels Contest 2017
My dad and I built him a custom flatbed for his 2000 Toyota Tundra out of wood. Neither of us is really tooled or experienced in working with metal so once the change is mad from the metal of the frame to the wood , then the construction is much the same as building a deck. and it is easier to repair , and just plain cool
Step 1: Cut Off the Old Bed
First we needed to get rid of the old pick up bed. this one had some major rust spots and big holes in the fenders and the bottom of the bed itself, this is one of the reasons my dad wanted to replace the bed. On the 2000 Tundra there were six bolts that needed removed they were so rusted on there and we did not care about reusing or trying to save the old bed so we just cut everything off with an angle grinder. In order to break the bed loose from the frame we just placed a floor jack under one side then the other pressing up until the bed was loose, then since we had access to it we used a cable and tractor with a front bucket to life the bed off.
Step 2: Fix Up the Truck
Now with the bed off it's a good time to fix up the truck if it has any issues , in this case my Dad decided to have it repainted and get new wheels and tires , and have an Android head unit installed , and we sanded down the frame and primed it to prevent any future rusting
Step 3: Build a Frame for the Deck
The key to this project is the transition from metal to wood , our frame is made of two parallel 4x6s pressure treated which run long ways on top of the frame and we counter sunk some large lag bolts through the beams and into holes we drilled in the frame. The bolts had washers on both ends and threadlocker as this will be vibrating alot.
Once the main beams are attached it's all carpentry like building a deck. Our long beams are the two 4x6s , these are crossed by 6 4x4s also pressure treated, we notched both to accept each other so we had a flush surface and stronger joints, these cross beams were glued and lag screwed together
Our new bed was longer than the old this the old bumper came off and we replaced it with a pressure treated 6x6 the we attached under the last 4x4 with lag screws and glue
Step 4: Wire Up Lights
This is probably the most complex step in the process just because it takes some trial and error to get third party universal tail lights to play nice with the Toyotas wire harness. For us we got two new tail lights a new license plate Light and this rope light turn signal all from Amazon all with poor instructions , so in order to do some trial and error wiring I used wire nuts to hook everything up and test real quick. After everything was working I went back and hooked everything up with butt connectors and heat shrink tubing and wrapped it all with electrical tape to keep it weather tight
Step 5: Add Decking
Now just lay your decking of choice on top we used regular decking boards which were just sealed with polyurethane they were laid long ways and screwed down , then some nice edge trim was put on all the way around and it was done
Step 6: Expand and Customize
As the bed is now it's just a simple flatbed but in the future we are planning on installing some tool boxes and some tie down anchors , the nice thing about the wood bed is you can pretty easily add to or change the design , for example you could stain the bed or paint it any way you want or lay the decking in a cool pattern herringbone for instance, we are also planning on building some custom tool boxes and drawers into the bed itself , and in the future if it gets damaged we can replace individual boards
Overall this was a really fun project and my dad will get alot of use out of this for hauling building materials and it was easier then we thought it would be
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