With the F-1 project winding down nicely, it's come time to sort out all the little things prior to rolling her into the booth for the paint and bodywork to begin. Among those little things were the front nerf bars I did a few months back, as well as the A/C install last month, and the rear bumper story in this issue. I've got a few more styling cues and tricks up my sleeve before it's time to start squirting color but I'll leave those to a future issue.

As I've said before, the theme for this truck was late '50s custom, similar to the old shop trucks often found out front of muffler and body shops back in the day. That said, this story fits right into my theme, as the addition of custom exhaust was extremely common back then and for pickup trucks the ultimate custom exhaust treatment was to fit a pair of bed side pipes. Whether functional or fashionable, they can definitely add a bit of flair to an otherwise lackluster backside.

For the F-1 though, the bed side pipes are going to be 100 percent functional with the exhaust exiting the headers, passing through the short mufflers and hooking a right, over the framerail and out the side of the sheetmetal. From there it will travel up and over, down the bedside, and out the back. Running the exhaust like this not only increases the ground clearance as it alleviates anything hanging down under the chassis, but it also negates having to run the exhaust out and over the rearend, dodging springs, shocks, and in some cases, a battery and gas tank. The straight shot down the side of the bed is all that's required once the two bends are mated.

Like the rear bumper and front nerf bars, I'm using 304 stainless steel to fabricate the bed side pipes for the same reason I used it on the aforementioned. Once finished, it'll be a simple job for the polishing shop to get 'em nice and shiny and it'll be easy to keep 'em looking that way. A little elbow grease and a dab of polishing compound is all it will take to bring back the shine if they ever start to go dull, something you can't really do once a chrome finish goes south.

Fabricating the pieces for the pipes was fairly simple since I started with the required bends and tubing from Classic Tube. From there it was a simple matter of taking a few measurements and TIG welding the sections together. Two welds on each side, then it was a matter of welding on the attachment studs and I was off and running. Within the afternoon, I had both sides done and installed, not bad for a day's work.

Of course, this is only half of the exhaust install, as I've yet to install the collectors, mufflers, and turnouts to connect everything up. Once the truck starts getting disassembled for paint, I'll go back and finish up under the cab so I don't have to do it lying under the truck. Keep your eyes peeled for that story in an upcoming issue. Until then, read on to see how I built a set of '50s-style bed side pipes.