Bobbing a Toyota Truck Bed


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tbob01.jpg
The bobbed '92 bed on my '84 pickup

At first glance, a Toyota truck with a bobbed bed looks a little out of place.   Many people ask "Why?". The first and foremost reason for chopping up the sheetmetal of a perfectly good truck is the increased departure angle.  Anyone who has wheeled a Toyota truck on severe terrain will tell you that they are constantly hitting their bumper or worse, the rear of their bed!

I decided to chop off my bed after GSMTR (the Great Smoky Mountain Trail Ride) '97 where I saw an '89 Toyota pickup with a bobbed bed. After talking with the guy for a while, I realized that this was something that I could easily do to my truck. This modification has not only improved the off road manners of my truck, it also gets me out of having to haul stuff for people!


tbob03.jpg
Marking for the first cut!

I started out by removing all of the lights in the rear (tail lights, license plate lights). After I had all of the lights out and all of the wires disconnected from the rear of the truck I proceeded to measure and mark off where I wanted to cut. When marking where to cut you must be very careful to cut at the right place. If you cut too far forward you will end up running into the flare on the wheel well, and if you cut too far back you will not be able to re-use the rear mounting point on the bed. I only marked the first line off before cutting and marked the second line by scribing off of the first. The keeps you from having problems in case the original measurements are off.

To mark the first line I tied a string around the outside of the entire bed and ran masking tape along the string.  I was now ready to make the first cut!

tbob04.jpg (18297 bytes)
Cutting off the first section

To cut through the bed I used a right angle grinder with a cut off wheel. I found this to be the best way to cut with the tools that I had available. Each cut took me about 30 minutes.

One thing that I learned through this is that safety glasses are very important. I have never been a big fan of them and find it very annoying when they fog up, get dirty,or fall off of my face. I ended up at the eye doctor on Sunday morning because I refused to wear them. He had to go into my eye with a tool that looked and sounded a lot like a dentist drill to remove the metal chips!

tbob05.jpg (19936 bytes)
After the first cut

I found that 11" was the magic number. This put the rear-most bed mounts right where the next set forward used to be. This is less than many people have chopped off of the rear of their Toyota, but I found it to be the best compromise between looks, bed space, and amount of modification to the truck.

tbob10.jpg (12983 bytes)
Welding it back together

I then proceeded to weld and grind for what seemed like an eternity. I accomplished the welds by cutting 3" strips of the 11" piece that I had cut out. I tacked these strips in behind the bed walls so that I would have something to weld to. I then slid the rear of the bed over them and seam welded the two pieces together. I am not positive if this was the best way to do it, but it worked relatively well for me. I used my cheap little gasless MIG for the welds, and it worked quite well.

tbob12.jpg (21938 bytes)
The "finished" product - Still no body filler!

I was told by other people who have done this that everything lines up well. As you can see in the picture it does not line up on the indent or at the bottom of the bed. With more cutting and grinding I was able to blend in the bottom pretty well. I have not put any body filler into it at this point, all I have done is weld, grind, and spray with some spray paint to hold me over till I decide what to do with the rest.

After I was done welding, cutting, and grinding, I undercoated the bottom of the bed to protect against rust. Undercoating is much easier if you take the bed off of the truck (30 minute job).

I really did not like the look of this on the '92 extended cab. It looks better on a standard cab truck of that body style. I have since transferred this bed to my '84 extra cab where it looks great!

View sketch of entire process.


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