Toyota Tacoma Fiberglass
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This article covers the installation of Glassworks
bedsides onto a 5-lug 1998 Mini Tacoma but should apply to any model
Tacoma. I chose to install these onto a stock bed rather than bolting
them to a bed cage. Because I won't be running a tailgate with the
rear bumper I am planning on installing, I didn't bother re-installing
the tailgate hardware. This article will cover the driver's side installation
which is trickier due to the gas door.
4 ½" die grinder, and a lot of cutting wheels (I
went through roughly 15 metal cut off wheels)
Miscellaneous screwdrivers, sockets, combo wrenches
Dremel w/ cut off wheels (good for the tight spots where you
don't want to slip and hit the cab, etc)
Cordless drill with assorted bits
Step 1: Removing the rear bumper
||Unbolt the two factory bolts from
each side of the frame.
Step 2: Removing the gas door
Remove the gas door, and the catch basin from the factory bedside.
There should be 2 bolts for the gas door and 4 screws for the catch
: Removing the inner fender and bed supports
Remove the inner fender well as well as the front and rear
bed supports. To get the fender well out of there you will
need to pull out 5-6 factory plastic rivets with some needle-nose
pliers. You won't re-use these, so just toast them to get
em outta there.
||After these are removed there
should be a few bolts at the back of the wheel well that hold
the fender-well in place, remove those. Then you just slide
the fender well out of the wheel well. Remove the front bed
support bolts and save the support and hardware, since you can
reuse these later.
Step 4: Taillight removal
||These are held on by 4 screws, unscrew,
and disconnect the light bulbs from the back of the taillight.
Mine have a harness that goes to all the bulbs, so I just disconnected
that. Set these aside for now, and make sure you save the 4 bolts
that hold the taillights on. Once these are removed, along with
the gas door and the bed supports/wheel well, you are ready to
Step 5: Cutting the stock bedside
This is the scary part. Now you have to take the die grinder
and cut into your perfectly good bedside! (My driver side
was dented already, so it was a bit easier for me) I chose
to make the 1st cut at the rear taillight section. When you
make your first cuts, be conservative, if you cut off too
much you're bummed, but you can always cut off more! Then
I made another vertical cut at the front of the bedside. There
is a section of the wheel well that is attached to the bed,
so you will need to cut the lip of the wheel well as well.
||Once these cuts have
been made, you are ready to cut the top of the bedside off.
Basically just cut along the bedrail corner from the front of
the bedside back to the taillight. It also helps to peel the
bedside away as you cut.
||Once you have removed
the main portion of the bedside from the truck, you will need
to remove the support that you cut off from the wheel well.
It is spot welded to the bed in 3 spots, but you can either
drill them out or pull it off by rocking it back and forth until
you pop the spot welds.
||Once you have all
this off the truck it is time to do some cleanup. You will want
to cut off the excess material at the front of the bed (a more
time consuming way to get the skins off the bed would be to
drill out the spot welds and peel it off, so if you keep that
in mind when you are cutting this is a helpful guide as far
as what you can or can't cut off). To cut the excess material
off the front without hitting the cab I found it helpful to
make a cut at the top of the bed and bend this whole section
back away from the cab (this also helped to get the bedsides
on the bed later).
||You will also need
to cut the top of the bed rail off as well as about ¼"-1/2"
of the inner bed rail (using the skinning advice here is also
only cut off what would be removed if you were to
drill the spot welds and skin). I also cut off the portion of
the bed that seals it up when the tailgate is closed. You don't
necessarily have to, but I did on the first side, so I cut it
off on the other side to make it match.
Once you have cleaned everything up it should look like the pictures
below. If you want to do a really nice job, grind all of the cut edges
smooth and hit these with some touch up paint to prevent rusting.
: Installing the bedside
| I got mine on by sliding the taillight
section of the bedside over the back corner of the bed and massage
it into place. If you have cut off enough material at the taillight
section, you should be able to get the taillight section to
snug up to the bed with a small to moderate amount of force.
|Make sure the front lip of the bed
is bent back so that you can slide the front lip of the bedside
around the front of the bed. When I went to shove the bedside
around the front of the bed I noticed that the top front of
the bed bulges out a little bit.
|Instead of taking the bed off the
truck and massaging the bulge out, I just cut a small half circle
out of the bedside in order to slide it around the front of
the bed without putting too much stress on the fiberglass. Once
you have the bedsides on the bed, check the body lines to make
sure they aren't sitting to high. If they are, you might have
to take them off and cut the bed rail further down, or clean
up the area at the front of the bed rail. Once you have the
bedsides on the bed and the body lines are lined up, you will
want to check that the bedsides are level, and the only way
to really do this is to eyeball it. Once you have decided they
are lined up, and exactly where you want them it's time to bolt
:Bolting the bedsides in place
| I used 3 bolts along the bed rail
and measured the distance so that the holes are an equal distance
apart. For the bed rail bolts I used a set of 5/16 bolts and stringers
that were polished stainless steel from Bob's
Stainless Fasteners . These were a little more expensive than
basic bolts from home depot but gave it a nice finished look.
You will also want to bolt the bedside down at the back of the
taillight section, you can use a ¼" bolt, and there
is already a hole through this part of the bed, so just drill
through the bedside and bolt it down.
Step 8: Installing the taillight
| Now you will want to install the taillight.
First, hold the taillight up to the taillight hole to make sure
it fits snugly. You may have to trim small notches out of the
bedside tabs to get everything to mount up. Once the taillights
are in place, use a small drill bit and drill holes in the bedside
tabs using the taillight itself as a template. Remove the taillight
and increase the size of the hole to just smaller than the screws
that hold the taillight in place (that way you won't splinter
the fiberglass when installing the taillights). Now reattach the
taillight bulbs and install the taillight. Now you can bolt the
rest of the bedside in place. I used 3 bolts on the inside bed
rail, and 1 bolt at the lower portion of the front of the bed.
: Securing the bedside
|Once the bedside is bolted in place,
you can use the stock front bedside support with minor modifications.
Re-install the front bed support but move it further out by
only using one of the two factory bolts and bolting the inside
hole on the upper portion of the bed support to the outermost
factory bolting location on the bed.
||You can line the lower bed support
hole up with the bedside and drill a small pilot hole to mark
the spot on the bedside you need to drill. Then enlarge the
hole to ¼" and re-use the factory bolt to secure
the lower portion of the bed support.
||You may also drill a hole in the underside
of the rear taillight support to secure the rear portion of
the bedside. Use a ¼" bolt here as well.
Now you're done with the first side! The passenger side will be tons
easier since you have one side under your belt, just repeat all these
steps except for the gas door removal and you're finished!
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