I'm planning to replace the bed wood in the '47 in the near future. However, the front bed panel is bowed (see attached picture). The panel is solid and doesn't appear to have any rust on the lower edge. Do you think I could straighten the panel or should I just go with a new reproduction panel? It appears that a made in the USA panel is available as is a foreign reproduction panel. I really hate to discard the original front bed panel, but I will if I have to.
As you can see, the PO used some 2 X 6 boards for the bed and it's time to do it right.
Since your removing the boards, you should be able to remove the front panel to try to straighten it. You’ve got nothing to lose. First try placing it on the floor supported by 2x4’s on both sides, bow side up and step on the high spots. Use a straight edge to check frequently. Try bouncing on it a bit. If that doesn’t work, find something that is stiff like an I-beam, large angle iron, welding table top or a stout wooden board (2x8 - 2x10, etc.) to take the place of the floor and support it like you did on the floor but instead of standing on it, use large c-clamps. To straighten the dents in the top rail, find something metal (cylindrical or a pipe if you can find one that fits) that just fits inside the and as you pass it thru, it will get stuck where the dents are. Use a hammer to tap it back into shape using the cylindrical metal object as a dolly. You might have to drive it thru as your tapping to remove the dents.
If all else fails, you can always buy a new one. Good luck and have fun!
1952 Chevrolet 3100 Project Journals ‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters “Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube 12v w/ Alternator
Here is my take on truck beds. THEY ARE TRUCK BEDS. What you have is called character. It isn't all dinged up by a thousand blows from loose cargo. Unless you plan on taking it to SEMA, I wouldn't do a thing to it, nor even consider replacing it. I do not believe that you can take the bow out of the top rail without making things worse. One other thing. Having that bow in the tailgate will draw prying eyes away from any other flaws which may be on your truck.
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Here's what I used to get the roll on my bed sides round again. Photo 1 [flickr.com] photo 2 [flickr.com] photo 3 [flickr.com] That's a slide hammer with a big ball bearing welded on the front adapter. Phak1 and Justhorsenround have the right idea for taking the bow out. Although I'd start with a foot rather than driving over the center. You'd be surprised how much bow you can get out with a #12 boot planted firmly in the middle.
Kevin First car '29 Ford Special Coupe #2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up. Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com] Busting rust since the mid-60's
Coming from such an esteemed member of the ODSS, a compliment of that nature is one to be cherished by a humble Heartland Stovebolter for an extended period of time. Thanks, you made my day!
Originally Posted by 52Carl
Nevertheless, yours is a beautiful truck as is.
Thanks for the pics and ideas to clean the front bed panel up. It looks like that would do the job. Maybe, I'll give the #10 boot a try, gently of course..........sometimes you just gotta work with what you have!
Originally Posted by klhansen
Although I'd start with a foot rather than driving over the center. You'd be surprised how much bow you can get out with a #12 boot planted firmly in the middle.