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Instructions for Installing a Wood Bed in a 1966 Chevrolet Truck

by Mark Morris

"The Ballad of the Green Beret" was at the top of the Billboard charts and Elizabeth Taylor was walking away with top honors for best actress at the Academy Awards when the now classic 1966 Chevy was rolling off the line in Detroit. Now, almost half a century later, the 1966 Chevy has earned its place among classic trucks. No rebuild of a classic 1960s Chevy truck would be complete without a new wood bed kit, including chrome bolt rails.

Step 1

Cut the heads from the old retaining bolts with a reciprocating saw. Make the cut on the bottom side of the bed, pulling the bolts down with a claw hammer as needed. Drive the bolts up through the bed with a hammer, pulling them free from the top side with the claw end of the hammer.

Step 2

Pry the old boards and bolt strips up with a pry bar. Install the new boards starting at the outside edge. Slide the two long boards under the trim strips along the bedside for step-side trucks or fit the four cut pieces around the wheel wells on each side for fleet-side trucks. Pry the strip up slightly as needed to fit the boards smoothly. Tap gently with a rubber mallet if needed.

Step 3

Position the remaining four boards for step-side installation or six boards for fleet-side. Gap the boards approximately ½-inch apart to accommodate bolt strips. Fit the bolt strips into the grooves along the long edges of each board, one in every joint between boards.

Drop a bolt through each hole in the bolt strips, tapping it to set the carriage head in the square hole to prevent it from spinning. Thread a washer and nut onto each bolt from the underside of the truck and tighten them with an impact gun. Set the clutch carefully to avoid over-tightening, which will cause the bolt strips to crease.

Items you will need

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Replacement board kit
  • Bolt strips with hardware
  • Impact gun

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