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Need help picking size of sheet metal...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fortcollinsram, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    What thickness of sheetmetal is *roughly* the same strength in terms of load bearing capacity as the stock "ribbed" bed? I need to replace my bed bud don't want to shell out $$$ for a OEM bed panel. I was thinking 16gauge for the entire bed and floor pan with all the mounting areas for the body, rear bench seat and front seat plated with some some more 16ga or maybe 14ga....


    Any thogughts on this...


    My truck weighs enough as it is. Otherwise I would do 3/16" plate all over...

    But I would like to keep the weight down a bit...

    Chris
     
  2. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

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    if you wanna use sheetmetal, you pretty much HAVE to rib it (or used ribbed metal). The General doesn't use ribs in sheetmetal because it looks good. Its the 3 dimensional shape that gives the floor strength.
     
  3. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    That's correct. Without the ribs, if you use it for any localized loading (i.e. something besides plywood sheets and the like) it *will* swag. To even get close you would need much thicker and heavier sheet. Kinda hard to compare, like apples and oranges. The ribbed will dent in a smallish area, where thicker wouldn't, but it would take much thicker not to swag between supports, or lots of supports, or both.

    FWIW, I used part of my old truck bed to make the "bed" of my truggy. It's hard to beat that stuff for light AND strong. The front floors are 18g sheet with 1/4" "beads" rolled into it to keep it from tin canning.
     
  4. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    as others have stated, you need the ribs for sheet metal.
    you can buy a half a bed sheet from jcwhitney, its the full lenght and split down the middle. buy one for the left and one for the right. i think they are like $50 each
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    One more thing. Instead of buying OEM, if you want to save a buck or two, try to find a bed (or tub for K5) that has serious external rock rash or other damage to the outer skins. Most people will GIVE you an old tub they have replaced, and junk yards will often sell them really cheap, especially if they know you do business with them regularly. To them, it's just taking up space till they "crush out" and get $2.00 for it if they are lucky...

    Not long ago I had an almost perfect (and I mean almost as in it looked like the day it was sold) tub. I wound up cutting off the bed sides and selling the rest for scrap. The bed was perfect, not a dent except in the front foot wells where an engine block had been setting, and it was totally rust free...
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Find a local sheetmetal shop. Tell them you want a sheet of 18-16 gauge beaded. You will probably need a sheet of 5x10.

    I will tell you right now the price of sheet metal (like all steel) is expensive. A sheet of 5x10 in 16 gauge will weigh in at around 120+ lbs if I remember correctly. Beading will cost you more too.

    16 gauge is pretty stout unbeaded, beaded should be plenty heavy. Hell 18-20 gauge beaded should work too and save some weight and money.

    Harley
     
  7. fortcollinsram

    fortcollinsram 1/2 ton status

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    Harley,

    is the beading something most sheet metal shops can do? If so, what size bead should I get and how far apart down the sheet? Also, do you think it would be beneficial to run the beads in BOTH directions?

    Thanks man,

    Chris
     
  8. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Most (all?) beading rollers can't roll beads that cross. And most steel stores won't be able to bead it, at least not the ones I deal with. You'll probably need a sheet metal fab shop of some sort. Street rod, racing, etc. can all do that stuff...

    I think the factory floor is 18g, maybe even 16g, it's pretty thick. So it will take quite a bit heavier to get equal strength flat, or even beaded. And bead rolling will not be as strong as the factory rib unless you put them pretty close. Quantifying that will take someone with more knowledge than I have to say what it would take to be roughly equivalent.
     
  9. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    They usually bead down the 10 foot. I think my machine runs 4 or 5 beads about 10-12" apart. You will have to call your local shop and see if they can do it. Beads are usually about 1/4" wide, but the bend adds alot of rigidity to the metal.

    You can't run beads in both directions without overlapping beads. This will cause the bead to crush and weaken the metal. Run the beads along the long axis of the metal like a standard pickup bead has them run.

    My shop only has the ability to bead in one size, and I don't know if anyone else can run different beads. You might be able to get a shop to put some bends in the metal if they have a press brake.

    Talk to the local shop. As long as the manager isn't a total jerkoff he should be able to tell you what would work best and what options are available threw his shop.

    I don't think you will find alot of shops that will carry or work on anything more the 16 gauge. We can cut 14 gauge but we never stock any and never have orders for it. 14 ga is overkill anyway and is to heavy. You might as well use 1/8" plate if you want to use 14ga.

    If you are going to run supports under the sheet then 18-20 gauge beaded should work well.

    Harley
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Harley, never thought to ask but, where do you work? I might have to pay you a visit for some sheet work. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  11. vw62rag

    vw62rag Registered Member

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  12. duece21

    duece21 1/2 ton status

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    (Hijack) VW are those bags or is that just a big a$$ body lift under there?
     
  13. vw62rag

    vw62rag Registered Member

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    thats a 3 inch body lift, i figured since im doing all this work i might as well put a body lift in..?
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have re-floored a few friends K5's with a sheet of metal corrugated roofing--they make it with ribs very similar to the factory ones,but they dont line up exactly perfect--no good if you want a show truck--but most of the ones I fix are so rotted they just want a floor back in it so they can use the truck.I got those roof panels at a metal building manufacturer free from their scrap pile--you can buy it cheap at farm supply stores like agway too,and its galvanized so it will outlast the rest of the truck. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  15. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [caugh] 1/8" diamond plate [/caugh] /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     

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