How to Install a Wood Bed in a 1965 Chevy Truckby Mark Morris
Weighing in at a little over 3000 pounds, the 1965 Chevy truck came in two basic body styles; a shortbed step-side with large flared fenders, and a longer bed fleet-side. Either model was available with a wood bed. Restoration kits for wood beds are available pre-cut for most common models, including the 1965 Chevy. The kits make short work of replacing the floor boards and come with chrome bolt strips and hardware.
Tap the bolts up from the bottom of the bed with a hammer to lift the bolt heads above the old boards. Cut the heads from the bolts with a reciprocating saw. Tap the bolts back down to drop underneath the truck.
Pry the bolt strips from their grooves in the bed boards with a pry bar. Pry the boards up from the metal frame with the pry bar. Sand the frame with 100 grit sandpaper to remove rust. Spray a coat of primer on the metal frame members. Allow the label-recommended drying time.
Start bed installation with the outside boards. For step sides, these boards come in one long piece and fit under the edge of the trim strip. Pry the strip up lightly as needed for a smooth fit. For fleet sides, the edge boards are fitted in four short pieces on each side, two behind the cab and two at the end of the bed directly in front of the tailgate.
Position all of the floor boards according to the diagram that comes with the bed kit. Space the boards approximately ½ inch apart, with the bolt holes in the metal frame between the boards.
Fit the bolt strips between the boards with the edges seated into grooves along the long edges. Slip a carriage bolt through each hole in the bolt strips, seating the squares on the undersides of the bolt heads into the square holes in the strips. Fit bolts through each hole in the outside trim strips.
Thread a washer and nut onto each bolt from the underside of the truck. Tighten the nuts with an impact gun.
Items you will need
- Reciprocating saw
- Pry bar
- Bed restoration kit with hardware
- truck image by Jan Will from Fotolia.com