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Old 10-13-2003, 07:34 PM
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Need a hotrodders help on wheel tubs

I drive a '99 Chevy silverado, and recently had a full air suspension installed. We cut my rear wheel tubs out because when the truck sat down, the tires would hit the sharp edge on the seam where the inside and outer fender wells met. I went to a few trailor supply places today and the larges fender I could find was 32" long. I need them to be at least 36". I've seen the tubs from Summitt and Jegs, but have heard mixed reviews about them. Would the steel tubs work for my application? If they were tack welded in, along with a sealant all the way around, would I have any problems? The bed will be getting a spray in liner, so I don't want to worry about welds breaking and the tubs popping up throught the liner. Thanks for any help you can give.

T. J.

and incase anyone was wondering, here is a pic of my truck.


Last edited by chevyman992002; 10-13-2003 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 10-13-2003, 08:58 PM's Avatar
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If you go to a local heating and cooling contractor you can tell them what you want and they can cut a shape for you and then form a "Pittsburg" seam on it, then take it home and assemble it and install on the car, this way you can get a heavier gauge metal and maybe talk them into bead rolling a design into it while its being made.
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Old 10-13-2003, 11:00 PM
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I would...

just go to my local steel supplier and look thru the cutoff/remnant pile for some 24 gauge sheet.

I'd be looking for a piece that's twice the width of each tub, and as long as the circumference of the tubs, for the curved parts. I'd also be looking for a piece about 37" square, to cut the corners off and make up a 37" diameter circle. This circle would then be cut in half, making the tub sides.

Why 37" for 36" tubs? Pick up some 1" thick hardwood (rock maple would be ideal, does'nt have to look nice, must have no voids), and a sheet of 1/2" plywood. Make a circle on the plywood that is 36" diameter, and cut it out. Cut the circle in half. Now cut your hardwood into lengths and butt them together over one half of the circle so you have them touching, edges together, and covering the half circle. glue and screw these to the half circle, and then flip the piece and cut the hardwood so it follows the curve of the plywood. Now, take a router with a 1/2" rounding-over bit and route the hardwood along the curve, this makes a nice curved edge. Finally, re-cut the curve on the other half circle so it is a half-inch smaller along the curved side. If you place it atop the hardwood, it should show no gap between it and the hardwood, and let the 1/2" curved radius show equally all around.

You now have a hammerform buck to roll the edge of your metal over. Put a tub side on the hammerform so it overlaps equally around the curved side, and the straight edge lines up flush. Put the top on the same way, you'll see the metal showing that needs hammering over along the curved edge, then clamp it together with a bunch of C-clamps. More is better, you do not want the steel moving at all.

Start at the middle of your curve, and work towards the ends. Work the metal down gradually, just bending it along the 1/2" radiused edge a portion at a time. If you have a flatface bodyworking hammer it works well, I like to use a homemade 'slapper' made from an old file. Smack the edge down with the broad, toothed face of the file. The file teeth help to gather the metal as you roll the edge down over the form.

The file may work out well for you, it does'nt matter if it leaves tool marks as you will be bedlining, and you can remove them or leave them, no difference in the bedliner application. I know because I shoot bedliners at work all day long. The most sanding/bodywork I do is to knock out the worst of the dents so it's fairly smooth (if the bed is dented in the wheelwells), then scuff with a 36 grit D/A disc, acetone wipedown, then shoot.

Done this way, your tubs have a nice curved edge instead of a sharp corner, looks much better visually. Do all your welding of the side to the strip on the inside, and the welds will not show up under the liner application, who cares if the weld is inside the wheeltub, nobody will see it anyways...


Last edited by DrChop; 10-13-2003 at 11:20 PM.
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