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  #1  
Old 05-25-2009
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Pondering on the Dovetail

Well, I just got back home from Windrock, and yet again have more damage on the passenger side of the bed. Every time I have ever harmed it it has just been barely. a few more inches of clearance would have prevented 99% of it all. So heres what Im thinking....

I want to Dovetail the bed roughly 8" I know it isn't a lot, but if I do this I should be able to run a step side tailgate. Also, I don't really need a bumper, I have my hitch, so I was thinking about building a roll pan, or getting a smooth one off ebay for a step side ranger, and cutting 2 5.5" round holes about an inch apart and running dual 5" Diesel style tips out the back right in the center. I may have to do some trimming on the frame to do this, and I will have to remove the spare tire stuff (like it would do any good anyway), but otherwise, it should be just fine as far as the fit goes.

What do you guys think? I dont want this to be a botch job or look stupid. It has to look great and be very functional. I need to be able to haul stuff, thats why I have a truck, so again, 8" is about all I would want to do. That would give me 4 more inches on each side.

Also, for those of you who have done it, what would be the best approach? Anything I should be aware of?
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2009
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Do it! I think it looks sick and I would do it but I have no reason to do it.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2009
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do it minus the 5 inch tips that wouldnt look right/cool
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2009
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your bed/cab gaps are gonna be all weird, and the bed is going to stick out a little where it meets the cab..

12" isn't too noticable, but 8" like you said would allow you to run a step side gate and not cut the old one down.
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Old 05-26-2009
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Sounds like a great idea. Can't wait to see how it goes.
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Old 05-26-2009
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8" would be sweet. just enough to be effective yet not crazy like a massive dovetail. plus being able to run the stepside tailgate would be awesome
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2009
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IMHO, your truck is way to pretty to be doing that too... Just trim the fenders up higher, roll the lip and call it good... i'm assuming the damage is front tire to fender, and not from objects?
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Old 05-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stRanger View Post
IMHO, your truck is way to pretty to be doing that too... Just trim the fenders up higher, roll the lip and call it good... i'm assuming the damage is front tire to fender, and not from objects?
why would you assume that?
rocks aren't forgiving.

imo, having been there, done that.. cut fenders look stupid w/o the dovetail
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2009
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I'm fully aware rocks aren't forgiving, the way he worded it made it sound like he had tire/fender issues.... not fender immovable object issues...

i think hack fenders when done right look fine, no need to take out 5" if it isn't needed... different strokes for different folks
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Old 05-26-2009
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i have 3" taken out.. and the tire can go completely up into it.. but it looks dumb just sitting there haha
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2009
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With the amount of overhang that a ranger has, you are going to eventually demo that roll pan. Why not make a nice functional tube bumper?

OR you could bob the bed as well....

But IMO don't do the diesel tips, they belong only on a shade blower.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2009
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its been covered in 10 threads, its useless to bob a ranger, you do all that work an only gain a few inches, not like a toyota that you can hack like 11" off of.. we have really long leaf springs
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Old 05-26-2009
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Huh, didnt know that. I knew we had long ones, but not that long. Oh well time to link it!
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2009
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yea go look at your truck, look at the tail light compared to the shackle mount.

yota springs are considerably shorter i think. My friend took 11"(?) off his 94 taco.
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2009
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I have minimal tire to fender issues... They rub the flares slightly and have rubbed the paint off on the inside of the flare, you can see it, but it doesn't bother me at all. When people ask, they get "its that way because I actually wheel this truck believe it or not, and the massive rear flex allows the tires to rub there..." My issue IS with fender to immoveable object contact. I was aware that when you pull the back of the bed together, the gap between the bed sides and the cab grows, but I was unsure about how much? I already have like 1" there, and don't want too much more b/c it would look stupid. I thought about doing mine a little different, although it would take a lot more work... heres my idea. Completely remove the bed. Then remove the front wall of the bed. Cut the bed in half right down the middle, then draw a straight line from the edge of the front cut to 4" over (towards the tail light) at the rear and cut this out. tack weld everything back together. This would leave me with the floor making a point ( ^ ) at the front and a ^ shape at the rear. I would cut the front off so that it is straight again, and then weld the front wall back in. I would possibly try to use the front part of the floor to fix the rear ^ to make it straight, or a) make a new piece from 3/16 plate to fill it in, or b) just leave it alone and not worry about it. I may have to relocate the mounts on the bed or frame (no big deal, I have a nice Hobart MIG welder that can handle that), but I was thinking that it would allow me to eliminate any extra gaps between the bed and cab. It would also move my fender wells slightly forward and help prevent tire rub. The only down side I can see is the extra work involved. What about this idea? do you guys think it is worth it? I really don't want funky body lines, thats what I meant when I said it has to look great... Or should I just do the ole 2" hole saw/ sawzall down the front and center method?

With the 8" removal, I could not only run a step sidetailgate, but also a bumper, although I think the dovetail with the tips would look good. Ive got to get that exhaust out of the way as well, but I dont really want dumps under the truck because that causes resonation, and I want it quiet in the truck like it is now. I wouldn't kill the roll pan because the hitch would be under it... but I may just do the regular stepside bumper idea.

Finally, as far as bobbing the bed, It isn't worth it unless you ditch the leaves and do a 4 link with coils out back, like was mentioned, you can only get 2-3" before your leafs are sticking out from under the bed... and Im not ready for a 4 link. Its not only that though. When you bob the bed, that means lots of body and paint work. With a dovetail, there is no highly visible areas that need paint, just the bed floor and bottom, and in my case if I do my idea, the areas where the front of the bed attaches. But still, none of these areas can really be seen from the outside of the truck, and a can of white spray paint would be good enough to cover the welds.

Now what do you guys think? I just need this to look really good and professional. Like someone said, the truck is just too pretty, but its so much fun to wheel. I am tired of putting dings and scratches on the bed, so that why I want to dovetail it, sorta preventative maintenance, so to speak.
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2009
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oh, its worth linking it.. maybe not JUST so you can bob it.. but its worth it.

no axle wrap, better departure angle, you can put the axle where every you want it.. but it is a lot of work. I know you know this, i'm just rambling again.
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2009
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If you really want it to look good, don't dove tail it.
I haven't seen a single one that I would say looks "good."

Why not make some sliders and a rear bumper similar to this...

It would look a hell of a lot better, offer protection and a lifting point.
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2009
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what does dovetailing look like, pics anyone?
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2009
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mine was a pretty big hack job. but heres the idea. narrow the back

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here's my buddies Taco, i think it came out real nice.

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  #20  
Old 05-27-2009
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the way you plan to do it tyler, imo, would make it look the best b/c you could basically set your body lines really easy compared to the holesaw method. plus it would be an original way to do it most likely and we both know you like completely custom and original. i know we/ve talked about it in person and looking at the truck so its prolly easier for me to give an opinion.
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2009
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Thanks Ben, you do have a better idea on what I am talking about. My biggest concern in the gap between the bed and cab. It can't grow... If I have to move the mounts or drill new holes in the frame, so be it. But I just can't allow this to be a hack job.

Brian, just so you know, I do have sliders. I don't think I have ever posted pics of them up, but they are there. I have gotten bed damage above the sliders before... Also, on this past trip, that tube bumper would've done no good. The damage was caused by a rock sticking out. It hit the bed about 8" in front of the tailight and scaped all the way into the light and slightly broke it. Luckily, the scratch wasn't to the metal and I was able to get most of it buffed out, and the dent isn't oo bad either. My point is; the only way this couldve been prevented would be with the dove tail. Im not saying the bumper is a bad idea, only that the real solution is to have both.
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2009
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[QUOTE=99ranger4x4;1346873]
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that flex is right up there with beards on that backhoe track
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2009
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tyler you should get some new pics up. I think the idea sounds good, just go for it. You are either going to do it or not, we wont have that much push in your discision will we
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2009
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here is my suggestion, take 8" out of the whole bed like from front to back down the middle 8" that way it would almost be the styleside bed but without the fenders.

just a suggestion.

cuz you could still use the bed as a functional bed well as the tailgate from the styleside/stepside.

you know what i mean?
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2009
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that actually sounds like it would work but i think that he wants the body lines to flow like normal almost and just slowly move inward the closer it gets to the back that way it still looks factory from the side. but moving it all in 8 in. sounds like an alternative.
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