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Old 04-02-2011, 10:25 PM
GNP GNP is offline
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Replacing Pickup bed boards for 1955 Chevy

Please give me advice on how to replace the plywood currently in my 1955 Chevy model 3100 short bed with the 8 newly purchased oak boards. Thank you, GNP

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Old 04-03-2011, 01:58 AM
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If you have new boards that are already cut and grooved for your '55, it is a fairly straightforward installation, provided you have all the parts and pieces.
Under your plywood, do you have the metal strips that run the length of your bed (fore-aft)? If you have these strips and their hardware (carriage bolts) then you will be able to unbolt them all, pull up the old rotted wood, and lay down your new oak pieces. Align them with even spacing, and reinstall the metal strips, making sure that the edges sink into the grooves in the wood. Then you just reinstall the hardware and tighten up the bolts (not too tight...you don't want to split/ruin your new oak), and you have a beautiful new bed.
*I would advise using some type of good sealer on the wood prior to installation though, especially on the bottom side that is exposed to the road. Get something waterproof or water-resistant, and use several coats to let your new wood last as long as possible.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:26 AM
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The boards you purchased may need sizing to fit your bed (length) since most kits are for different lengths and models of beds. If you purchased the stainless strips, you may have to mark and drill your own holes which need to be filed from round to square to hold the carriage bolts. I don't know how the 55 Chevy bed floor is assembled, but from other beds I have refloored, you may have to remove a piece of sheet metal from the tailgate end to fit the boards under a lip on the headboard and the sheet metal you remove will serve as a lip over the wood on the tail gate end. If there is not a lip there, you may want to bend up a piece of stainless and install it to protect the board ends.

Can't over emphasize sealing and finishing the boards all the way around. Do this after sizing and fitting the boards because you can not seal the ends and edges after installation and you will have rotten wood after a couple of years and get more experience of installing bed wood.

Trees
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:00 AM
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check out http://www.mar-k.com/ for info on this
read their site, download their instructions and read them.
the wood is easy to cut if you have a table saw.
they also have good prices for the strips and angles.

if your truck is stock, there are certain widths for each board.
no finish will look good on bed wood after a couple of years
even if you park inside all the time.
if it ever gets wet it will peal up at the strips.

if your not stock anything goes.
i used trex decking from home depot on my 58.
stock is 8 boards, 7 strips. my bed has 9 boards, 8 strips (and mini tubs and a trunk).







also check out the 55-59 chevy truck thread in this forum.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:26 PM
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Chevy Pickup Model 3100 1955 Series 1

Thank you for the information. It was very helpful. I was afraid I would have to take off all the strips before I could remove the plywood bed. It looks like I can remove the outside bolts and angles and the whole bed can be lifted out.

I already have the 8 oak boards, pre-cut and grooved. I already finished them. I stained them golden oak and put on 4 coats of marine varnish, both sides.

GNP
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:17 PM
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8 bolts hold the bed on.
snip the taillight wires and it lifts off.
you can assemble the whole bed before installing it.
i chose to hide the bed bolts; a.k.a. the hard way.

55 to 59 chevy truck owners we hang out here.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:32 PM
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Chevy pickup 1955 short bed step side

OGRE,

That sounds pretty simple. I am retired and it is hard for me to do much crawling around under my truck. I think with the help of my neighbor teenager, we can do this. thanks again, GNP
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:41 AM
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I have used a Danish boat finish on my bed floors with very good luck. Unfortunately, EPA has done it in and it is no longer available. The finish on my pickup has been on for 11 years and still looks great. Though the truck is garage kept, it is driven normally 9 months out of the year and sits outside most every day and is used to haul things as well. Look in my journal, titled JBs 37 Ford Pickup and you can see the pictures of his bed that was finished with the replacement Danish boat finish. Both mine and his called for 8-12 coats with a minimum of 24 hours between coats and I think that may have been the secret to longevity besides the superior product. You may want to sand yours and apply another 4 coats while you are prepping the bed.

Trees
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