As much as I hate to beat a dead horse and ramble on using what could be the most played-out clich of all time, I'm gonna go ahead and type it: You gotta crawl before you walk. (You think there was one too many clichs in that sentence?) As it turns out, though, those few words pretty much sum up anything we do, including customizing your ride. I'm sure bodywork and mild customizing is something everyone has thought of, but figured they'd rather not try due to the fact that it's intimidating and you could seriously damage some vintage sheetmetal. But here at CCT, we say if you wanna try it, go for it-just start small.
Oftentimes, one of the first things to go under the knife on a custom classic truck is the roll pan. There's just something about the look of a clean rearend. Not to mention that this is probably the easiest body mod on a truck that drastically changes the view from behind, and because of that this is the perfect place to start honing your customizing skills. Unlike other custom jobs, such as shaving the door handles or filling bed stakes, when it comes to molding a roll pan, you don't have to cut or shape one piece of metal. Instead, all you have to do is buy an aftermarket Sir Michael's 18-gauge U.S. steel metal roll pan, put it in place, and mold. It's about as basic as customizing gets.
For those of you who have installed a Sir Michael's roll pan, you know how easy it is. However, if you never have, let us break it down. Sir Michael's roll pans come ready to install right out of the box. They're already formed to fit the truck, so all you have to do is remove the rear bumper, place the roll pan in place, align it with the bottom rear quarters of the bed, then weld it in. The pan is welded in by welding in the seam between the pan and the bed. After that, it's just a little bit of bodywork and then off to the paint shop.
Is it really that easy? To be honest, pretty much. The hardest part about the job is actually welding up the seams, but with a little bit of skill and practice, it's not too bad. However, if you're unsure about your welding skills, stop by the metal yard and grab some sheetmetal. Then cut the sheetmetal, leave a gap about the size of the seam in the truck, and practice welding up the seam. Once you think you've got the hang of things, bring it in for the real thing. Oh yeah, by the way, molding your roll pan is a pretty generic procedure, so no matter what kind of truck you have, it's going to run parallel with this install. And the best part is, Sir Michael's makes a roll pan for just about every year, make, and style of truck out there. Not to mention Sir Michael's even has several options for their roll pans, such as taillights, offset license plate housing, smooth pans, and more.
We started with a truck with...
We started with a truck with a bolt-in Sir Michael's roll pan installed. Just because it says bolt-in, the bolt-in pans from Sir Michael's can be welded up as well. If you look hard, you'll notice the seam between the bed and pan once the pan is aligned. It's about an eighth of an inch or so, nothing too major to weld up. If your truck doesn't already have a roll pan, all you have to do is remove the bumper and align the pan in place.
Because we don't plan on repainting...
Because we don't plan on repainting the entire bed, we're just going to paint the pan and spot in the bottom of the bed. We masked off a little above the pan to be sure not to damage the paint that will go untouched.