The process to install a bed is straight forward. Take off your bed if you have not already done so. The following assumes you are installing a flatbed with the same or similar width as your truck’s frame width. If the widths are different you will need to bolt down cross members perpendicular to your frame that extend past your frame’s width overlap the main channels on the flatbed.
There are two main issues to overcome when installing a bed. Three, if you don’t have a way to lift the bed. The first is making sure you can fill fuel and the other is leveling the bed over any objects extending over the truck frame. Remember nothing should get welded to the truck’s frame. Bolt all brackets to the truck frame with 5/8″ grade 5 bolts.
Remove your existing bed if you still have a factory bed on the truck. Take note of how the fuel fill hose is routed from the tank to the filler cap. You will need to model the factory setup for the fuel hose. An engine lift, fork lift or front end loader is very handy here. If you have access to car hoist, lift or gantry crane, your life will be so much easier to remove and install a bed. Don’t worry if this all looks to difficult, as we have factory trained service centers to install the bed for you for around $500.
The next steps are the hardest. Basically you will need to bold down brackets to the frame that the flatbed will get welded on to. You can use angle iron or small sections on square tube. Remember you will need to bolt down these brackets to your frame. Confirm the brackets are tall enough to raise the bed over any objects or frame humps. The following steps show more details.
Get all the brackets installed using factory frame brackets or frame holes. Don’t drill extra holes in the frame.
This frame has antler frame brackets that our new angle bracket mounts will get bolted to. This frame does not need to be raised over the frame to clear any objects. If you notice the frame sweaps lower near the cab. Some frames are straight behind the cab and have a hump over the rear axle. Keep in mind the bed needs to clear the fuel fill hose. You might need to raise the bed this this case.
Attach the fuel filler lines and any other hoses. Make sure you can connect the wiring harness to your truck. Once this is done, weld the brackets onto the flatbed. If you are not comfortable with your welding skills just tack the brackets on enough to drive your truck to a welding shop to have them make structural welds on all the brackets to the flatbed.
Bolt a brace similar to the picture that will butt up to the tow hitch. Remember the flatbed will be already sitting on the truck frame at this stage.
Set the flatbed on the frame. Add additional brackets where necessary to mount bed on frame and adjust the bed till you feel its centered and plumb. Three brackets on each frame rail is a minimum. We will have one last bracket to add for this installation for the tow hitch.