So, my flatbed has some rust through. The cross-members (wrong term? lateral supports from edge to edge) are almost totally rotted out. The metal surround is OK and repairable for the bit of rust through they have. I've been looking around, emailed Mar-K, etc for where I might be able to get parts to repair mine, but have come up empty. Is my only option to find someone getting rid of a flatbed and scrounging for parts, or does someone out there make repro pieces? I really like the rounded corners and the "beaded" surround, I've had people suggest just putting a modern flatbed on it, but that kind of ruins the aesthetic I think.
My thoughts if parts aren't available:
1) Get some sheet steel and weld up new cross members. (or find someone who could bend them up out of one piece?) 2) Cut out the rot from the surrounds and a) weld in new sheet metal, b) find steel tube to match and weld it on to replicate the beading (fill, shape, paint). This would obviously be super tedious, but I'm not having any luck finding parts, so I'm trying to think of alternatives
An additional factor is I'd liked to widen the bed by ~4-5 inches so I can fill in where the previous owner cut out the bed rails to "fit" the duals. This would mean wider cross members (not a big deal), but more to the point, would require cutting and extending the rear surround to add the extra width.
What are your suggestions, bolters? Appreciate any other angle I might not be thinking about.
That is a great looking flat bed. in my opinion, you should do whatever it takes to save/reuse the "beaded surround" of the bed. Any decent fabrication shop should be able to replace the crossmembers. After owning a number of trucks with standard pickup beds, I now find that I much prefer flatbeds. Of my 4 trucks, 3 are flatbeds; a 1956 3800, a 1959 3800, and a 1979 C30. Good luck in your quest to save the flatbed.