When it comes to customizing classic trucks the possibilities are endless. Some like to maintain a stock appearance with mild modifications, and some . . . well some have ideas that spawn from the deepest part of one's imagination. When it comes to my views on Project Get Shorty I'm all over the map. Some stuff I want to be unique only to the '71, while other touches I like to fall under the "Is that factory?" category.
It's been nearly a year now since we assembled our LMC Truck bed with the Bruce Horkey Wood & Parts bed wood kit. However, although we assembled the bed some time ago, we never actually sat it on the truck. (Not the smartest way to do things, but hey, that's how it worked out.) When we finally slapped the bed on the truck it was apparent the bed restricted the stance we were after, due to the fact the rearend housing hit the bed wood before the bumpstops bottomed out. Long story short, a little reworking was in order if the truck was to sit where I intended it to.
Bed clearance is something many truck builders deal with. Oftentimes we see people cutting out a hole in the bed surrounding the rearend housing. Other times people cover the hole with some sort of extended wheel tub, or bridge if you will. All of those options are viable, however, my view on this particular subject is to keep things looking intact and factory issue. The only way to accomplish this mentality is to raise the bed floor. More work yes, but anything worth doing the right way is always more work.
In order to achieve the stance I was after, and maintain that factory look between the bedsides, raising the floor is my only option. I decided three inches would give me plenty of clearance to drop things down. The three inches would also allow ample clearance to ensure nothing gets tore up going down the road. I also decided to ditch the entire factory bracing (cross sills), and mounts, and built my own inner bed workings. (I find it easier to start from scratch than to modify everything else to fit.) I accomplished this using none other than simple materials one could pick up at any metal yard. Check it out.