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Gauge Steel for Pickup Bed Frame?


I need to order retangular tube for a frame in the pickup bed to hold the battery box and a 10 gal. fuel cell. I'm not sure what thickness is best (14ga, 11ga, 3/16", 1/4").
Also I want to use diamond plate for the pickup bed floor and don't want to get it so thick I can't cut it with a cut off wheel (16ga, 14ga, 12ga, 1/8", 3/16", 1/4").
Any help would be appreciated.
It would depend on how much weight you plan to put in the bed. I would go with at least 3/16. If you use steel the diamond plate will be heavy. Weight is also a consideration for the diamond plate. If you are going to carry any weight at all that would bounce around I would go with at least 3/16. I am building a flatbed for my T and I'm thinking of using 1/4" aluminum diamond plate. This will keep the overall weight down. I will have plenty of cross members to support it and I will have tie downs in the corners so that I can secure everything and keep bouncing to a minimum. I will be attaching it with screws so if it it does get dips and dents in it I will be able to replace it without too much difficulty. I don't plan on carrying anything more than a couple of pieces of luggage or maybe my golf clubs once in awhile. At least that's my plan as it stands today.

I just reread your post. If you are only using the bed for the battery and tank 11 gauge would probably be okay. If everything is attached to the bed there won't be any bouncing. The only stress might be at the weld where the bed frame attaches to the rest of the chassis. Aluminum plate would be okay too. If there is a cross member under the battery and the tank there won't be any give in the flooring so it should stay straight. If I remember correctly my Speedway T had an 11 gauge chassis. I had the 20" bed. I built a plywood box to fit inside the bed, glassed all of the corners and seams and hung the gas tank off the end of the chassis attached to the pywood. It held up fine.
Bill...Where you going to fasten the bed frame to the chassis or build it as part of the chassis?

I was going to attach the bedframe to the chassis. If I'm able to remove it, I will be able to remove the body easier if needed.
I'd go with 1"x2" 12ga. tubing. Build the perimeter first and then add a cross member every 12" or so.

The one I built for my '29 rpu dosen't have a frame under it. I made all the pieces from 16ga. cold rolled. The only parts not hand made are the tailgate hinge straps.

The bottom

The inside

The front panel and left side

The tailgate and right side

Notice the holes in the skirt. They are to bolt the box to the frame. If you want to add a frame for the bed, this is where it should go.

Al it's more like master tinkerer. That's nothing anyone else could do. It was a really fun project. Now I just have to decide what to do with it. I have some one interested in the car but wants a small flat bed on it. Trailer maybe?

chuckt said:
Trust me Al, that pick-up box looks a whole lot better in person than it does in the pictures!!

I think the pictures look great, however your comment that it looks better in person doesn't surprise me at all... My pictures on the other hand are the exact opposite! :D

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