Finished a few days back.
Not particularly excited, seems like just another thing done, with more to do. Truck is already needed to haul fencing material.
The final fit was pretty good. The truck frame actually varied as much as 1/4 inch in width from cab to rear bumper. And portions were slightly convex on the channel web. Old stuff, whadya gonna do?
Had to use help to lower and position the bed without slamming into the cab.
Were some minor fit issues. My fault. I overlooked a piece of plate added to the bottom of the rails as a web which reduced clearance by 3/16". Lift the thing off again, and get out the grinder I don't normally carry a payroll out here, and screwups are nerve wracking. The meter's runnin'. Another fencing project is in progress, and had to pull the fella off tearing down fence to work up in the yard.
All mounts were bolted full torque to the truck, the bed lowered, and the welds done with the bed on the truck.
I would have preferred to tack the stuff, pull the bed and tacked mounts off the truck, and weld the whole thing up. Due to the variances in the frame width, and the gaps it created between the bed rails, and the mounts, it wasn't feasable
The filler metal would have contracted without any restriction, and the mounts never would have fit the truck once the bed was reinstalled. It couldn't be avoided.
The actual finish welding was another good exercise in technique. A good learner I guess
I've been using 3/32 uphill, because at this stage of the game it's easier for me to control. The problem is the fast burnoff rate.
The issue here was the large number of obstructions. Axles, spring packs, overhead clearance, exhaust pipes, etc.
While your bod might be comfortable, and your hand free with a full 14 inch rod at the beginning, things change. I ran into problems actually running out of room for my hand to move, or my body to move. Oooomph. 3/32 burns down pretty fast
Time to switch to 1/8 for everything. Another thing to get used to I guess.
Underdcut was also an issue. I'm not pleased with it, but there it is. Less or equal to AWS standards, but still excessive in my book. I was a little hesitant to hold too long against the thin channel as opposed to the thicker plate. You see the results
Also I got a lil' kick in the butt from someone who is better than me at this. I need to start grinding all my metal. Always have just hit it with a cup brush and called it good. The wetting action would have been better, and I would have been happier. Ok, ok..........I've been spanked. LOL
It's comin' along, three steps ahead and two back
Between 8 mounts there's 72" of weld, and including the DOT bumper there's 16 bolts (9/16, and 3/4 grade 8) holding the bed to the frame. I really don't believe it's goin' anywhere soon. I took special care not to locate any mounts near a crossmember, this stiffens the frame, and it can't flex torsionally like it was designed to. A little note to y'all that may have to do this one day. It's a perfect world thing, and sometimes can't be avoided.