LMC Bed Box Assembly for an F100 Flareside

By Ryan Manson  –  Photography by the Author

Sourcing the components to assemble a pickup bed using new parts has never been easier. Whether swapping out from a long wheelbase chassis to a short or Fleetside for Flare, all the sheetmetal and related components are available to get that old pickup in shipshape thanks to companies like LMC Truck.

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01 Here's the aforementioned Short Bed Conversion Kit from Classic Performance Products
Here’s the aforementioned Short Bed Conversion Kit from Classic Performance Products (PN 6772LBFSK) that we used to convert our ’71 Ford. If you’re looking to do a shortbox conversion on your truck, check them out, they likely have a kit for you.

Read More: Modern Tech & Old School Hammerforming

In fact, the plans for our ’71 Ford F-100 project included both of those changes, with the shortbed conversion already handled courtesy of a Shortbed Conversion Kit from Classic Performance Products (CPP; PN 6772LBFSK).

02 A bed wood kit of kiln dried Red Oak from LMC Truck will be used as the foundation of our bed
A bed wood kit of kiln-dried Red Oak from LMC Truck will be used as the foundation of our bed. Each board comes milled to accept the wear strips and the rear endcap, with the two outer boards receiving additional operations required for proper clearance of the bed side flanges. A set of stainless steel bed strips was also purchased.

With the foundation laid, we contacted LMC Truck with a laundry list of items necessary to build up a new Flareside box. Assembling the components is fairly straightforward but there are a few things that help keep things “aligned.” Many of the components rely on one another in order to attain a square assembly. Cross sills straddle the framerails and provide support for the entire affair. The fenders bolt to the bedsides, which then rests on two perimeter bed wood planks. The front bed panel attaches to the two bedsides and rests on the front cross sill. Out back, the tailgate is flanked by a pair of hinges. If any of the panels are out of square, misaligned, or racked, fitment of the rest of the components suffers.

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03 Here the detail of one of the two outer planks can be seen
Here, the detail of one of the two outer planks can be seen. These allow for flush fitment of the bed side flange and rear endcap. Also note the milled section where the wear strip will rest.

We started the bed assembly by mating the bed side panels with the rear cross sill, held loosely in place as well as a few carefully placed spacers to hold the panels off the other cross sills until we’re ready to install the bed wood. The front panel requires attachment to the bed sides by either hardware or spot welding, but it doesn’t come ready for either of those operations. For now, we’ll be using one of the threaded fasteners at the top of the stake pocket at either side that it does come equipped with to mate the three panels loosely together. Fenders were added next and we hit the ground running. CTP

04 The perimeter boards are installed first as they serve to support the bedsides
The perimeter boards are installed first as they serve to support the bedsides.

 

05 Each board is carefully slid in place until the flange and milled section are nice and flush
Each board is carefully slid in place until the flange and milled section are nice and flush.

 

06 The gap between the milled edge of the plank and the bedside flange is then made to be consistent along the entire length
The gap between the milled edge of the plank and the bedside flange is then made to be consistent along the entire length. This ensures the two components are fairly square with one another.

 

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07 The gap between the milled edge of the plank and the bedside flange is then made to be consistent along the entire length
The gap between the milled edge of the plank and the bedside flange is then made to be consistent along the entire length. This ensures the two components are fairly square with one another.

 

08 Two fasteners mate the top of the bedside and front panel at the angled section near the top of the stake pocket
Two fasteners mate the top of the bedside and front panel at the angled section near the top of the stake pocket. Down the side, however, our new panels lack any form of attachment, so we either drill and fasten with hardware or spot weld the two together. Since we’ll be disassembling for paint at a later date, fasteners it is. The gap between each bedside and the front panel is established first.

 

09 It helps to use some sort of spacer or shim during this process to ensure the gaps between all the panels remain consistent
It helps to use some sort of spacer or shim during this process to ensure the gaps between all the panels remain consistent and things can’t move around while we drill the holes for the side fasteners. These fancy billet spacers are made from space-age polymers, just kidding, they’re collet wrenches for a couple 4-inch grinders we had laying around and just happen to be the desired thickness to establish our panel gap.

 

10 With the panel alignment checking out things are clamped up tight and the drilling can commence
With the panel alignment checking out, things are clamped up tight and the drilling can commence.

 

11 While we tighten the fasteners our fancy spacers are used once again to ensure the gaps are kept consistent
While we tighten the fasteners, our fancy spacers are used once again to ensure the gaps are kept consistent.

 

12 With the sheetmetal components sorted we can begin to finalize the bed wood assembly
With the sheetmetal components sorted, we can begin to finalize the bed wood assembly. First, the spacer comes out once again to finalize the location of the perimeter planks before the bed side flange boltholes can be marked onto the boards for drilling.

 

13 Each board is removed and drilled individually so as to not disrupt the assembly any more than necessary
Each board is removed and drilled individually so as to not disrupt the assembly any more than necessary. Note the use of a piece of sacrificial backer board to help alleviate any breaking out from happening on the back side of the hole.

 

14 Once drilled each perimeter plank is replaced
Once drilled, each perimeter plank is replaced …

 

16 It's important to check for square as assembly progresses as any racking of the panels can seriously disrupt the final product
It’s important to check for square as assembly progresses as any racking of the panels can seriously disrupt the final product. The tighter the specs are kept now, the better the result will be later.

 

17 Our bed wood kit consists of a sextet of similarly sized inner boards
Our bed wood kit consists of a sextet of similarly sized inner boards in addition to the two perimeter boards already installed, so installation of the remaining boards goes pretty quick as there isn’t any special order of assembly to be followed.

 

18 As the boards are placed so are the stainless strips and a fastener or two simply dropped in place to keep things from moving around
Our bed wood kit consists of a sextet of similarly sized inner boards in addition to the two perimeter boards already installed, so installation of the remaining boards goes pretty quick as there isn’t any special order of assembly to be followed.

 

19 As the boards are placed so are the stainless strips and a fastener or two simply dropped in place to keep things from moving around
Since we established the gap between the front panel and the perimeter boards using our super-spec shims early on, as the bed wood installation continues. It’s simply a matter of placing the boards and scuff strips and sliding them forward using the shims as a stop.

 

20 An even consistent gap has been achieved between the sheetmetal panels
The result? An even, consistent gap has been achieved between the sheetmetal panels as well as the end of the bed wood boards, scuff strips, and front panel.

 

21 Our bed wood kit is installed the front panel attached and all the fasteners are tight
Our bed wood kit is installed, the front panel attached, and all the fasteners are tight except for the few that mate the rear stake pocket and the furthermost cross sill.

 

22 the goal is a consistent gap on both sides then those lower fasteners can be tightened
The reason for this is so the tailgate can be installed and the rear opening between the two bedsides can be adjusted to suit. Once again, the goal is a consistent gap on both sides, then those lower fasteners can be tightened, effectively wrapping up the sheetmetal assembly on our short Flareside box.

 

23 the goal is a consistent gap on both sides then those lower fasteners can be tightened
The reason for this is so the tailgate can be installed and the rear opening between the two bedsides can be adjusted to suit. Once again, the goal is a consistent gap on both sides, then those lower fasteners can be tightened, effectively wrapping up the sheetmetal assembly on our short Flareside box.

 

24 The endcap covers and protects the rear ends of the boards and finishes off the backside
The endcap covers and protects the rear ends of the boards and finishes off the backside.

 

25 running boards from Smoothie Fab
Since we’re talking about a Flareside bed, it’d be remiss if we didn’t mention these neat little running boards from Smoothie Fab that we’ll be using.

 

26 attach via a handful of fasteners that mate the ’board to the fender the bracket and the front cross sill
They come with a pair of heavy-duty mounting brackets and attach via a handful of fasteners …

 

27 running boards from Smoothie Fab
… that mate the ’board to the fender, the bracket, and the front cross sill.

 

28 That's a wrap on the bed assembly for our now shortbed Flareside Ford all made possible by aftermarket parts courtesy of LMC Truck
That’s a wrap on the bed assembly for our now shortbed, Flareside Ford, all made possible by aftermarket parts courtesy of LMC Truck.

Sources:
Classic Performance Products
(800) 522-5004
classicperform.com

LMC Truck
(800) 562-8782
lmctruck.com

Smoothie Fabrication
(704) 736-9407
smoothiefab.com

Tech Center updated 9 28

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of LMC Bed Box Assembly for an F100 Flareside.ctp february 2024

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