Truck Beds — Dealing With Damage
Truck beds that actually get put to use often end up with one kind of damage or another. It’s easy enough to just turn over your pickup to a body shop for repair. The problem with that approach is the price tag. What about tackling a bed repair project yourself? Here are 5 approaches to do-it-yourself truck bed fix-up.
Especially if rust is the villain, complete replacement of the damaged bed floor works best. For many popular trucks you can buy the truck floor in sections. That way you just cut out the bad part and graft in the new. The new panel can be attached with rivets and then puttied in to match the existing panels. A better way is to simply weld in the new sections and then prepare for paint.
One powerful tool for dealing with rusty metal is chemical rust converter. Made by several companies, these compounds are a paint on coating that actually changes rust to a different material. What you end up with is a primer coat after the reaction takes place. Then just paint on the finish coat right over the prime coat produced by the rust converter.
Getting rid of rust requires some serious steps if you don’t take the chemical converter route. Simple sanding may often not be enough, since the rust may hide in dips and flaws. That’s why the best alternative for rust elimination may be blasting, sand blasting that is. That process air blasts abrasive material to beat back the rust. The problem is that more than just rust gets blasted away. Blasting can blow away even sound metal too.
Luckily, an internet search will probably show that you can get your paint with the proper paint code in spray cans or in small quantities by the bottle. That way when the bed damage is corrected, the painting can be done with correct paint.
Roll On Bed Liners
Covering the damage means the actual repair need not be quite so professional. Any repair should produce a sound rust-free surface. But if you cover the surface after the repair, the actual repair appearance doesn’t much matter. That’s where a simple roll on bed liner or another bed cover provides the finished appearance to cover the repair.
Truck beds take a licking over time when pickups actually do hauling jobs. Fixing the damage can be left to the pros or you can tackle it yourself. The do-it-yourself solutions may be good enough and far cheaper.