Brothers Trucks 1967-1972 Sheet Metal Replacement

03/01/2016

Brothers Trucks 1967-1972 Sheet Metal Replacement

03/01/2016

The body on this ’67 Chevy was ruined after an accident. The left bedside, right front fender, and both bumpers needed replacement.

In addition to the wrinkled body parts, rust had eaten through a fair amount of metal on the front panel of the bed. It would have to be replaced, too.

Fortunately, reproduction sheet metal for ’67-72 Chevy pickups is readily available. The new bedside is registered as an official GM Restoration Part and is a duplicate of an original unit.

Its complete assembly consists of an outer skin welded to the appropriate inner support structure and comes coated in electro-static black primer.

All bedsides come with an opening for the side-marker light, which will have to be filled to be “correct” on this ’67 pickup.

Likewise, the front bed panel and front fender are exact duplicates of the original pieces.

It’s usually a lot easier to bolt on these new parts than it would be to repair rust or damage on the originals.

While we were replacing parts, we figured we’d upgrade the hood to a cowl-induction version. This is another relatively simple bolt-on piece.

The cool thing about ’67-72 Chevy Fleetside beds is that all the panels simply bolt together.

You’ll find a row of carriage bolts along the side and the front of the bed floor, five bolts holding each bedside to the front panel, and another row of bolts along a lip inside the wheel well.

With all of the hardware removed, the bedside could be lifted off the bed. To make things easier, all work was done with the bed off the truck.

Here’s an inside look at the damaged bedside. The rear section was so mangled that it had to be cut away before the bedside would come off.

The worst damage to the bed floor was in the left rear corner.

This section was massaged back into shape without too much trouble.

Here’s another look at the rusty front bed panel.

With the left bedside already off, it only took the removal of about a dozen more bolts (along the bottom and the side) to take off the bed’s front panel.

Unbolting the front fender was pretty straightforward, but it seemed like each time we thought we had removed all the bolts we would find a half-dozen more to take out. At this point, the hood had already been removed, too.

When all the bolts were finally out, the fender was simply lifted off.

Since a full paint job wasn’t in the cards yet, we only worried about having the back sides of the panel prepped and painted. This will make things easier when the truck is finally ready for paint because the body parts won’t necessarily have to come apart again. Since the parts were already coated with a durable primer, they were merely sanded with a scuff pad to prep them for paint.

Then they were sprayed with the color of choice.

When the parts came out of the paint booth, it was time for re-assembly. The front bed panel was the first part to be bolted back in place.

The original carriage bolts were re-used along the front edge of the bed floor, while the original hex bolts were employed along the right vertical edge

Next came the new bedside, which slid into place without a hitch. As you can see, we found that a couple of 4×4 tires provided an adequate work surface for the bed.

Once again, bolting the new bedside in place was pretty straightforward–five bolts at the front of the panel, and a row of carriage bolts along the edge of the bed floor.

Moving around front, the new fender found its place on the truck.

Bolting it on was another simple task.

The bumper was easy to fit, and we got it on with no problems.

It was finally time to bolt-on the new cowl-induction hood. This is easier with two people, especially when you consider that it usually takes several adjustments to get the alignment just right.

With the tailgate and taillight back in place on the bed (and the bed back on the truck), the Chevy is almost back to its original state. The opening for the side marker light will be filled at a later date when the pickup goes in for paint.

The front end sure looked a lot better once everything was bolted back together. A body shop will eventually have to fine-tune the alignment of all the panels, but even here it looks good. The cowl-induction style hood is a welcome addition to the design of the ’67-72 Chevy/GMC body.

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