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Bed Side Day

So, today I decided to head over to the shop and start mocking up some of the body panels on Adrenalin Fix to take a tally on what parts I do and don't have in order to see what parts I still need to purchase.

I had already brought home a tone of parts from when I bought the truck, but they were just that.. parts. Some were for my truck, and some actually weren't. Some were ready to put together, and some need work or even the nuts and bolts to hold them all together.

For some odd reason, I decided to start with the bed of the truck. Ever since I bought the truck, the bed has never been actually on it and everyone has been giving me a hard time about how long my truck is going to be. Yes, it is the Longhorn edition. Yes, it is an 8 and a half foot long bed. Yes, yes, yes.. I bought it for that exact reason. I need a long cargo bed to carry a multitude of things, including handcycles that are almost 8 feet long.

Upon getting to the shop and opening the big bay door, you can see both of the bed side panels leaned up against the back wall, stretching up and up towards the ceiling. Now, each one of these monster panels is still original from 1972, so that means real sheet metal, and they are heavy. I clear a path to get to them and plenty of room on the floor to lay each one down, as I figure the only way to get them down to the truck is to drag them.

As I move the first one out into the open and begin to lower it, I lose my grip and the end swings down and glances off the top of my head landing flat on the concrete with a loud crash. Now, mind you, none of the body work has been done on them yet, so I am not so worried about scratches and dents. All that will get worked out soon. I am however worried about the dent it just made in my otherwise thick scull. A little bit of blood and a bell well rung, but no serious damage. And the body panel looks just the same, so I drag it down the wood ramp and over to the truck to get ready to muster up my orangutan strength to lift this bad boy up onto the support rails.

I lifted one end up and pushing from the other end I was able to get the panel on all of the support rails and laying flat. Back up the ramp to get the other side. This time no falling, no crashing, no banging and no bloody body parts. Success! All the way down the ramp and on to the truck. I also grabbed the freshly stripped front bulkhead panel that bolts to the sides to hold everything together.

I had already ordered a whole new bolt kit for the bed from LMC Truck ( so I should have everything to put it all together. I know I don't have the hardware to mount the tailgate yet, so that is going to stay all new and shiny in the box.

Assembly of the panels and parts is quite the interesting puzzle of "tab A into slot B", but you need 3 arms to hold everything together while you line the bolt holes up to do so. This proved to be an interesting challenge for me, especially when tab A weighs 200 pounds, and slot B is a bit rusted and corroded.

After a few hours' worth of wrestling, dropping and cussing, I was able to get a fair bit of the bolts in and holding things temporarily in place. And now that it was basically dark out and no overhead lights, it was time to call it a night. I must say, she is going to be a long one, but she sure is starting to look like a truck, finally.