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Sept. 20, 2007..Hinges!!

10" Strap Hinge Modified!

I felt the pickup bed needed more support so I added a length of angle to bolt to the next bed support.

The S10 rear frame cross brace, that is holding the hinge support from resting flat against the top of the frame was later removed and replaced with steel tubing.

Dec. 8, 2007

I want to make the pickup box as light as I can and still have a useful box for light loads and maybe to haul a small generator. I began by drilling 1/4" holes where I am going to radius the corners, then, using a cutoff wheel in my angle grinder I cut out the pieces. I an trying to maintain some structural strength, so when the bed is lifted it will not twist out of shape. I also cut the inner panel from the tailgate. The total weight removed from the bed and tailgate was 35 LBS.

The weight of the plastic "under the rail" bedliner with the tailgate cover was 43 LBS. Well, I didn't save any weight by chopping up a perfectly good pickup box! Hindsight!!

I ordered a set of Gas lift Struts with an extended length of 36.38", contracted length of 21", with a lift rating of 60 LBS, from Lift Supports Depot.com. In hindsight I should have ordered a higher LBS rated lift, but I could not find one with the total length of close to an extended length of 36".
I experimented with several different mountings and decided that the best support I could get from these lifts was when they were as close to being vertical with the bed tilted up as possible. I put our bathroom scale between the battery box frame and a support board and the scale read a weight of 60 LBS. That means each lift would need to hold an additional 30 LBS, or lifts rated at 90 LBS each.
I found at Surplus Center.com has lift supports that would have worked with my needed 90 LB lift, For a very good price! More Hindsight!

The lift looks good except that I need to reinforce the bed area where I attached the 13 mm. lift ball stud.

Dec. 18, 2007

I ordered 2 gas lifts from Surplus Center.com to put at the front of the pickup box to help to lift the box up from off of the hood latch pins. The lift supports push 60 LBS lift (30 LBS each side), so that the bed holes around the pins do not get in a bind as I lift the bed, as it is prone to twisting enough to make it hard to lift over the aluminum hood pins. I drilled a couple of holes, one trough the battery frame bracket and one directly below it through the S10 frame. I secured it with a nut.
The plastic ends of the lifts will unscrew from the cylinder and the rod making it easy to mount the lifts through the 1/4" holes. I cut the top socket off just above the threaded plastic to give a flat surface to push against and also to give me the clearance needed when the bed is down.

Feb. 8, 2008

I removed the 60 LB. lifts and replaced them with 90 LB. gas lifts from Surplus Center.com, these lifts are 2" shorter, but they hold the bed up perfectly! I redid the top mount at the bed flange and added a support to keep the rail from bending with the pressure of these new lifts.

Apr. 4, 2008

The new 90 LB lifts installed and doing a great job of efforlessly lifting and holding the bed up!
Because the lifts are 2" shorter, I want to redrill new lower lift holes in the S10 frame to get the bed up farther and save some damage to my head when I am doing maintenance.

This was a good time to complete the installation of the hinge pins.
The hinge pins are 7/16" cap screws, the Heavy Duty nuts are threaded tightly to the end of the treads, locking the nuts in place.
For added safety I also drilled the bolts, behind the nuts, and put cotter pins through them.

Apr. 18, 2008

I warmed the plastic bed liner with a heat gun and pressed the pin trim plates down into the hot plastic and secured them with sheet metal screws that go down into the metal truck bed.

July 29, 2008

One of the small 30 Lb. lifts has gone "flat", because of the metal around the lift rod scratching the rod and causing the lift seal to leak.
I removed both 30 Lb. lifts and drilled out the metal around the lift rod and pushed a plastic bushing made from plastic toilet supply tube.
This plastic tube bushing will protect the lift rod from damage in the future.

Dec. 8, 2008

I bought a couple of 6 ft. pieces of 1/8" x 3/8" flat steel strap, and Rick, at Snake River Auto Body, used then to make a cross brace to sturdy up the bed from twisting when it is lifted.
I used Stainless Steel blind rivets, "pop rivets" to attach it to the front of the pickup box.

Dec 11, 2008

Both of the of the small 30 Lb. lifts have gone "flat"!
I think it is because of dirt getting around the rod seal causing the lift's seal to leak.
Note: As per McMaster-Carr Supply, To avoid loss of force, you should store and install gas springs rod-end down!
I removed both 30 Lb. lifts and drilled out the metal around the lift rod to 5/8" and mounted the Lifts upside down, hoping this will protect the seals from a future failure from dust and dirt getting around the sealing area.

Dec 30, 2008

With the onset of the very cold weather the 90 Lb. gas springs have lost enough gas pressure that they will not hold the bed up. :-(
So, I made a bed support rod out of an old fiberglass push broom handle.
I used a fiberglass handle because of the fact that if it ever came unclamped it would not short out any on the batteries near it.
I used a clamp style broom handle holder, that I bought at Walmart, 2 for $1.69, and attached it to a brace under the bed floor.
I cut the broom handle to a length that held the bed full up position, and put a couple of bends in a 3/16" rod in the end of the broom handle.
I drilled a 3/16" hole in the bed to insert the rod, the bends prevent that end from coming out of the hole when it is in clamped storage position.

To finish I painted the under side of the bed and wheel wells with gloss black spray paint.

Next Air Springs & S-10 Conversion EV Vehicle Weights.

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