Thanks for purchasing a Bed Rack Weld-Together DIY Kit, you're in for what I hope is a fun and rewarding time, building the rack yourself - getting the utility and satisfaction of doing it yourself.
Oh, and a cost savings!
Checking that you got everything
When you receive your kit, you should have the following parts. If you don't, contact me and I'll be happy to work it out with you. Except for part (G)▮, these parts will be sized correctly, but may need some prep (deburring and beveling) for best results before assembly.
- ▮(A) 2 pieces of angle iron - either 2 x 1½” or 1½ x 1½” - for the feet
- ▮(B) 6 pieces of 1x2" rectangle tubing for the legs
- ▮(C) 2 pieces of 1x1" square tubing for the side rails
- (D) 4 pieces of 1x1" flat stock to cover the ends of the side rails
- ▮(E) 4 pieces of 1x1" square tubing for the cross-rails
- ▮(F) 4 pieces of 1x1" square tubing for the inner web rails
- ▮(G) 2 (slightly longer, which you'll cut to length) pieces of 1x1" square tubing for the inner web rails
- mounting hardware (4 bolts, 4 nuts, 8 washers)
Building the rack
Note: When building the bed rack, tack everything well first and check fitment on bed before fully welding all seams.
- Build the platform first. On a flat surface, start by tacking the outer-most cross rails (E)▮ to the two side rails (C)▮. Note that there should be 1" of side rail (C)▮ extending beyond the location where cross rail (E)▮ intersects.
- Ensure that the platform border is square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner - each diagonal should be the same length. If they are not, persuade the border into position using clamps or your favorite hammer.
- Using two inner web rails (F)▮, determine position of the middle two cross rails (E)▮ and tack the two cross rails (E) to the side rails (C)▮.
- Tack the four inner web rails (F)▮ into position, centering them between the side rails (C)▮.
- Measure the distance between the middle two cross rails (E)▮ and cut the two custom length inner web rails (G)▮ to this length.
- Tack the two custom length inner web rails (G)▮ into position, aligning them with the previously tacked inner web rails (F)▮.
- Position the two feet (A)▮ so as shown in the diagram, and ensure the following:
- If the angle has a longer edge, that edge should be vertical; the shorter edge should be horizontal.
- The feet are level front-to-back and side-to-side, and parallel to each other, so that they will sit flat on your bed rails.
- The distance between the outer faces of the angle will fit snugly between your bed rails when the top of the angle rests on the top of the bed rail. This measurement should be approximately 57.25".
- That the feet are secure and will not move during the remainder of the build.
- Ensure that the tacked-together platform is centered front-to-back and side-to-side with the feet (A)▮.
- Position the six legs (B)▮ between the feet (A)▮ and side rails (C)▮ as shown, aligning the outer edge of the outer-most legs (B)▮ with the outer edge of the outer-most cross rails (E)▮ and centering the middle leg (B)▮ between the other two legs (B)▮. Note: it is a good idea to support the tacked-together platform with something the appropriate height (approximately 7.75") to make this process easier.
- Tack the six legs (B)▮ into position.
- Tack the four pieces of flat stock (D) to the four open ends of the two side rails (C)▮.
- At this point, the rack should be secure enough to test the fit on your truck. Place it on your bed rails and ensure that:
- It sits flat on the bed rails.
- It fits between the rails without pushing them out or pulling them in.
- The top of the bed rack is flat (or at least close-enough-to-parallel to the bottom of the bed).
- Once you're satisfied that the rack is generally put together correctly, remove it from the bed of the truck.
- Tack each joint so that there are at least 4 tacks per joint. Note: this will help to prevent movement during final welding, but you still need to be careful about how much heat you introduce at any given time.
- Weld all joints, being careful to alternate locations regularly in order to keep the heat in a given area down.
- Grind all of the welds, as desired. Note: At least all of the welds on the top of the rack platform should be ground flat, so that anything placed on the rack (RTT, etc.) will sit flat on the platform.
- Drill two holes in each foot (A)▮ to accept the mounting hardware. Note: ensure that you drill the holes in a location where the bolt, washer, and nut will have clearance on both the bed rack and truck bed rails. This is generally closer to the bottom edge of the foot than the top.
- Prep, paint, and mount the rack on your truck.
Great work, and enjoy!