In the final pictures the panel is painted with basecoat & clearcoat, and the end panels fitted and everything set in place and wired. The panel is fastened in place and final results shown with final appearance, with backup lights on and running & stop lights on. 3rd brake light functions with tail lights and bed roll lights as stop and turn signals, along with running lights. Things really worked out well, and the back of the PU looks a lot better, and safer. Really like the LEDs.
The panel is now all fabricated and gets ready for paint with sanding, cleaning and priming. At this point I'm wondering if all the time and expense is going to work and look as good as I figured it would. Paint will make all the difference.
In this series of pictures the panel has the holes cut for lights and the lights fitted. Also the fabrication of the two small escheons for the backup lights from 1/8" aluminum. I had to drill shallow holes for the backup light escuteons, and grind a tap flat and use the drill press chuck to tap the threads square to the back surface. I then screwed a the machine screw in until it was well bound (in only two threads) and super glued the union. I gently used my jeweler's saw to cut the head off the screw and used a nylock nut to fasten it in.
These are some shots of the first cardboard pattern layout and the cutting of the bent panel for the 3rd brake LED unit. Also included are two pictures of profile cuts on bent panel blank. I used a variable speed sabre saw with a super-fine blade, and made sure I had good support for all the cuts. The blue dye got all scrached-up, but the scribed lines are still there. I couldn't resist using the off-cuts for fillers. Really neat to limit the waste on materials.
I've been running my '40 PU for about five years so far, and I just wasn't happy about how the back of it looked under the bed. Finally I mocked-up my concept in poster board, and kept modifying it until it fit the way I wanted. The idea was to use the extra length of the 5 stainless bolts that hold the double “Z” stainless finish trim at the back end of the wood, and to fasten the panel right next to the back of the rear bed roll. It was made with a 3/4” lip to the inside, and projected to about 4" below the roll, right up against its back side. At that point it would take a bend that would meet the front of the rear crossmember at its front bottom corner, and take another bend to leave it running parallel to the crossmember, and running slightly beyond it. There were complicating things like the bumper braces to fit around, and I found that they had slightly different fits on the right and left sides. This was going to be a complex job of fitting to get the professional look it would need to look right. You can read the whole story at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Rq3r2UaYnYsSpBsdzBzJjVtgdcXO5nMpfLNySLfPM0/edit#