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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will try to be brief..... I bought a 1995 C1500 to be my daily driver and to restore a bit.... it only has 80,000 mikes and the box was replaced by the previous owner with a new box... I have now spent two years replacing the fenders and doing a ton of cosmetic fixes on it.... and as winter approaches, I want to work on the next poor area of the truck; the cab corners. However, I don't have the ability or work area I once had so the circumstances means I am not going to do a pristine job but I want it to look decent. I watched enough videos to see how the box/bed is removed from the truck but I simply do not have that ability. My garage has an enclose ceiling so I have no kind of hoist and I don't have a cherry picker. Like always, that leads to a MacGuyver plan B..... I would like to run this by everyone to see who has done this and if I am missing something or if there is a plan B I should consider.... and yes, money is an object as well..... so please, don't refer me to a body $hop..... I have restored a ton of vehicles and I know I need to get that box up high enough to have access to the cab corners to cut them away and spend a ton of time prepping them and then welding the new corners in place as well as grinding, cosmetic bondo, seam sealer after primer, and then paint.... lower the box back in place and call it a day. To do this, I was thinking of removing the eight bolts holding the box on the frame, removing the gas filler tube assembly enough to simply jack up the front of the box about one foot to give me the room on both side to do this work. Is there any reason why that would not work? I think I can do this myself with my floor jack etc..... Any comments/suggestions appreciated.... Thanks so much.... Now.... was I brief? LOL
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Race it, Don't rice it!
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It'll work out fine.
I did this just last year replacing the fuel pump for the third time on the same model. I went about 2 foot up on the front to the the access on the tank. We also cut a access panal for future pump replacements. The rubber bed liner covers it all up.
I used a overhead crane but a floor jack and cribbing would be fine too. Just make sure it can't fall on ya.
A jackstand between the frame rails and bed or wood cribbing is advisable.
 

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Lifting the box isn't the sticky part ,supporting the box safely so you can work around it is the sticky part . You used to be able to get wood scraps at a construction site ('after asking ) with the price of lumber today , I don't know ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys.... and yes, I have considered the wiring harness and a grounding wire strap that is supposedly somewhere as well... I will make sure to look everywhere before attempting to move this box higher in just the front area... and then even with that, I will do it VERY slowly so I don't run into an unexpected twist/cable tie somewhere of another wire or something..... Ironic, that when I looked at a listing of the procedure on a professional website that used a Haynes book/manual for advice, it said this could be done in 30 minutes..... hmmmm I like the idea of a hole cut in the box for access to the top of the fuel tank/fuel gauge and sender also.... maybe with a metal flap over the top but I have a bedliner in there now so maybe I will just skip that for now.... and yes, the gas gauge is goofy and typical Chevy.... fill it up and it reads "full" and takes forever to move off the F but once the needle does start moving it drops towards the E like a rock..... but that is not the issue.... PS.... this cannot be the original box for this truck... it was just way too pristine with no Minnesota rust.... or dents or scrapes..... So the good news is that maybe the eight bolts etc. are going to be easy to remove with no problems???? Did whoever use antiseize when they replaced it? And there is one more concern mentioned in some of the videos and anecdotes below them..... Some guys could not get to the bolts because they have a trailer hitch.... and yes, I added a mammoth trailer hitch to mine to pull my fishing boat... so that might be a challenge as well.... to be continued and once again, thanks for all the insight and suggestions.... Dennis
 

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my MacGyver plan was 4 guys and a case of beer. it with do wonders getting the bed off your truck. the bed of my 58truk sat vertical on the front panel of the bed on a couple 2x4s for a couple years during my restore. going back on was similar, with 4 guys, nobody busted a nut. we had cardboard between the cab and bed to keep from nicking the paint, we had to thread the receiver hitch through the roll pan goin in. most of my fab was in my shop with 8 ft ceilings, the finish paint was at a bud's shop

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Another trick is to either remove the rear bumper completely, or remove all bracket to frame bolts except the very front one, and pivot the bumper down, out of the way. Once this is done, (along with everything you mentioned previously, wires etc), you can slide the box back until the box hits the tire. Remove the wheels and you can go back much further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ogre.... very nice looking truck!!! I am not as concerned the plan is not to take this truck to that level... I just want a decent looking daily driver that doesn't show rust...... The plan when I bought it a few years ago was to work on it over time while using it to pull my small fishing boat trailer and I think I probably pulled the fishing boat trailer too many times... although, I did spend some quality time with smaller projects... front fenders, rear bumper, bed coating and after that was done, I found a "free" bedliner on Craigs.... it looked like junk but was it? Amazing how it cleaned up to look new... painted the topper to match the truck and that is one of the benefits of having a white truck.... also replaced the topper screws with stainless steel screws ... pricey but no regrets.... put in new carpeting and did the rug doctor thing on the seat... my welder and the rug doctor were the two best buys I have made in the last 20 years.... Then did all the mechanical... battery of course and a new radiator, water pump, and brake lines..... So it's all good... but arthritis and age make any kind of ambition tough.... poor me.... but I might find the time this winter to just start in trying to remove bolts one at a time and putting them back with anti-seize and when ALL of them have gotten this treatment, I should be able to get that box up high enough to work on the cab corners... I have some more experimenting to do there, but noticed in one video, the guy cut the new corner at the recessed part of the trim on the new cab corner and I question why he didn't go way above or way below the recessed area on the install????

And one more question for anyone who has done this... As I look inside the cab corner, it appears as if the previous owner might have sprayed in some expanding insulation foam or something.... quite a bit of it as a matter of fact and that will all have to come out after removing the old rusted metal..... but did Chevy do that or did the previous owner spray in this crap?

PS.... Anybody got a recommendation for a "poor man's seam sealer?" I know Eastwood stuff is good... but this is being done on a budget....... ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ogre.... very nice looking truck!!! I am not as concerned the plan is not to take this truck to that level... I just want a decent looking daily driver that doesn't show rust...... The plan when I bought it a few years ago was to work on it over time while using it to pull my small fishing boat trailer and I think I probably pulled the fishing boat trailer too many times... although, I did spend some quality time with smaller projects... front fenders, rear bumper, bed coating and after that was done, I found a "free" bedliner on Craigs.... it looked like junk but was it? Amazing how it cleaned up to look new... painted the topper to match the truck and that is one of the benefits of having a white truck.... also replaced the topper screws with stainless steel screws ... pricey but no regrets.... put in new carpeting and did the rug doctor thing on the seat... my welder and the rug doctor were the two best buys I have made in the last 20 years.... Then did all the mechanical... battery of course and a new radiator, water pump, and brake lines..... So it's all good... but arthritis and age make any kind of ambition tough.... poor me.... but I might find the time this winter to just start in trying to remove bolts one at a time and putting them back with anti-seize and when ALL of them have gotten this treatment, I should be able to get that box up high enough to work on the cab corners... I have some more experimenting to do there, but noticed in one video, the guy cut the new corner at the recessed part of the trim on the new cab corner and I question why he didn't go way above or way below the recessed area on the install????

And one more question for anyone who has done this... As I look inside the cab corner, it appears as if the previous owner might have sprayed in some expanding insulation foam or something.... quite a bit of it as a matter of fact and that will all have to come out after removing the old rusted metal..... but did Chevy do that or did the previous owner spray in this crap?

PS.... Anybody got a recommendation for a "poor man's seam sealer?" I know Eastwood stuff is good... but this is being done on a budget....... ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The guy in the how to video ground paint to reveal bondo on the bottom of his cab corners until he came to good metal he could weld.... he then chose the recessed area to cut the old corners and new corners to weld in.... in the picture, the red line shows where he cut and chose to weld... why? Would it make more sense to cut above or below that recessed area assuming there is good metal? Either the green or blue lines? Thoughts? or am I just being paranoid on this....
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If I recall correctly, a plastic baffle encased in foam is located near the indent line. Cutting the foam around it with a snap knife is how to get it loose. The decision of where to cut may have been to end up above or below the baffle. Making the cut within the indent might be to make the seam easier to hide. My first choice would be the green line since the smallest fix is probably desired.

I don't know any roll-your-own seam sealer recipies, thats the kind of thing street rodders do. Shouldn't be much call for seam sealer on this job though. I used 1K sealer to reinstall foam baffles when I did crash work.
 

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Oh and I didn't see a video link either.

Removing the rear bumper and sometimes hitch also, then moving the bed back, is how we got access back in my day.
 

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First buy a can of pentrating lubricant and soak those bolt from the top and bottom.
The longer these can soak the better.

Remove your bed bolts and get some 4x4's that will span just the frame rails. A 4' 4x4 's are often enough.

Unplug your taillight harness and taillight harness ground if not on the harness plug. Both located under the drivers taillight.

Remove the gas cap and then the filler neck bolts.

Remove the bed bolts.

Get a thick blanket/sleeping bag and drape it between the cab and bed. Use the wipers to hold it in place. Throw another over the bumper or remove the bumper completly(soak the bolts first and dont forget the license plate lights).

These let you bump the cab without much concern.

Remove your bed bolts and climb into the bed. At the bottom 4 corners of the bed are D rings these attach to the main supports and are where you want to lift. You can use the bedside stake pockets if you have a plastic bed thing. But those D rings won't stress the bedsides and are perfered as it lets you keep the lift lower and also lets you remove the tailgate.

Now grab a 2" ratchet straps and go corner to corner. Then go corner to corner again forming an X. Use a 3rd strap(with 4th next to it from the center of the bed at the rear just hook it at this point(if the tailgate is attached snake the strap(s) hooks down then slide the hook(s) up before closing the tailgate.

These 2 straps let you tilt the bed by tightening one and loosening the other.

Jack the truck up and remove the tires setting it down on jack stands.

Now slide the cherry picker to the longest setting and lift it so it is just above the straps. Then attach your back straps and wrap a 5th strap around the hook and X. Lift a bit till the X has tension then hook both center straps to the chain links.

Lift more (slowly) until the bed is a inch or so off the frame.

You can now easily remove your filler neck and filler neck wires.
The bed may shift slightly as you do this.

Once those are disconnected you can lift the bed 5 or so inches, use the center straps as you lift to tilt the bed and keep it level, slide in the 4x4's, then set the bed down on the 4x4's.
Leave the cherry picker attached in case something shifts it will catch it. But you want the bed on the 4x4's.

The 4x4's let you slide the bed back in a controlled manner a good foot(mind the bumper). That should be plenty of room to play with the cab corners. Depending on your fuel tank going a bit further back may expose the fuel pump.
Great time to do the pump or at least install new pump rubber/clamps.

Everything is reversed to install.
 

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As for patch, cut anywhere that you have good metal. It will never hurt to cut way up if you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi.... sorry for not being clean about a video.... I watched three of them and all of them were decent to a point... you know how You Tube "how to" videos get..... I believe the guy said he used the indented area so that he could more/less hide the new welded seam... He first did the obvious and ground the paint/primer off to reveal previous bondo fixes and worked his way up the cab corner until he found decent weldable metal.... I have not done this yet but I don't think mine are all that bad as you get up to the indent and yes, I would prefer to do the lowest line too.. the green line..

One other thing I might just try for a better than average fix is to borrow my friends tool that bends sheet metal so you can overlap a fix.... then glue the new cab corner in..... cosmetic bondo and be done with it without touching the box at all... I have used this technique before on a 1927 Chevy pickup that was a basket case.... it worked extremely well... How long it would last I have no idea but..... this isn't going to be anywhere near show quality and I don't want it to be... a 20 footer daily driver is just fine...

Tomorrow I will back the truck up on ramps and crawl under to "see the sights..." Since this box is not the original and looks like it was a new box I am hoping that the bolts are easy to remove... Then I need to look at the trailer hitch also... I installed it a few years ago and if I remember it was simple... four bolts.... but I would rather not remove it either... the rear bumper was "fixed" while it was on the truck... easy weldable metal patch, cosmetic bondo after grinding prime and paint so removing that MIGHT be an issue....

Anyway..... I have all winter.... and most of the spring before fishing season opens so this may take some time.... and during the winter in Minnesota I have LOTS of time....

Thanks for all the information..... Now it's time to crawl under the truck....
 
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