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Projects Most appealing bed length?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fourspeedwagon, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. I'm laying out a custom length bed (box) and thought I knew how long it would be.. One of my buddies- who has done a lot more hot rod than me - claims the rear fender should be centered on the bedside. I was thinking a bit less length after the fender than ahead of it.
    So-- is there a H.A.M.B. recommendation?

    I know someone can always pull out a pic of the example to prove everything wrong, I'm just curious about a "rule of thumb"
    Thanks guys- Greg
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 711

    from okc

    Pure aesthetics really...
  3. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 1,580


    It all depends on what style of truck you're building.
    clem and Barn Find like this.
  4. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

    Rusty is right I feel you have to look at the whole enchilada, the stance, chopped, channeled etc.

    Here's a Flathead powered 36 Dodge pickup I built in 08 but have since sold, it has the shorter bed behind the wheels that you refer to, it was a 40 Ford 1/2 ton bed that I cut 33" out of the center. FullSizeRender.jpg IMG_0088.JPG
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  5. car doctor
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 478

    car doctor

    I shortened the bed on my willys 17 inches. 2016-12-10 15.41.29.jpg
  6. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,471


    You need to mock it up, step back and take a look. I bought a sheet of tempered Masonite and did a couple of variations of height and length for my Diamond T pickup. What I thought would look good, looked like crap in the flesh. My truck is "traditional" in the sense that it looks like a 3/4 or one ton pickup, which is what it is. I ended up with a bed length of just under 7 feet on the floor, the tailgate is canted forward, and it's just over 4' wide. It depends IMG_1743.JPG IMG_0079.JPG the style you're shooting for, but you really ought to do a mock up, with whatever fenders you're going to use, to see.
  7. I second the mock up, use card board if you have to. Maybe a thought about how you are going to use it also. Show only, storage, covered/open, hauling motors, parts, bikes etc.
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  8. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,539


    Yeah, mock it up with cardboard and sleep on it for a week. You'll know at the end of the week. I personally prefer balance, a third from the firewall forward, a third for the cowl and cab & a third for the bed. That being said, different styles sometimes call for different proportions. When all is said and done, do what feels right to you.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Donut Dave and fourspeedwagon like this.
  9. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,753

    from Tampa, FL

    I like it a tad longer at the back, but there are all kinds of positions that look good (most of the time). Perhaps dead even is the worst? Gary
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  10. Original 1932 Ford bed,IMHO they are too long and out of proportion.


    My 32 Pickup with a custom bed.

    [​IMG] HRP
    Mikel50, Montana1, DdoubleD and 3 others like this.
  11. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,257

    from Berry, AL

    I vote wheel centered, like on Danny's truck. Keeps everything in proportion most of the time.
  12. Makes sense. I didn't want to taint the discussion with what my truck is before I got some responses. It's more in line with flynbrian48's than a regular rod.
    I'm working on the bed for my 51 gmc one ton. It'll be a swap meet/parts hauler but I want it to look good and proportional. Would've had a 9' bed originally but I'm not going with that. I'm ready to pull the axle forward from its spot if that's what it needs to place the fenders right- and I suspect it will.


    Whatever I do it'll be better than the flat deck. This is an old pic- bodywork is finished and it's in primer currently waiting for me to finish the box.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,672

    jimmy six

    I don't like my feet to hang over the edge :p
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  14. e z i
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 563

    e z i

    Here's how I did the bed on my 3800. It ends at the frame rails.
    Plenty of room for the guard dog to roam... IMAG0168.jpg
    MO_JUNK and fourspeedwagon like this.
  15. jeffd1988
    Joined: Apr 12, 2016
    Posts: 537


  16. jeffd1988
    Joined: Apr 12, 2016
    Posts: 537


    [​IMG]. Here is my truck of coarse it a 3/4 ton but man I love it like this because I can be the one that Cary a full size ply wood without hangen over the edge. Just to see all what is going. I post a pic of that hello coe that was at my local car show and I liked it the way it is
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  17. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,656

    Bandit Billy

    My favorite bed length is about 3 hours and 59 minutes. Any longer, call a physician.
    Mikel50, Dino 64 and fourspeedwagon like this.
  18. torana
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 25


    On 32/33/34 ford pickups I like the length of the bed to be around the same as the hood.

    I also find the height of the car makes a difference as well. Eg if a tray is shortened but the ass of the car is in the air it looks a bit to cartoon like for me.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  19. My COE is the shortest wheel base that they did way back in 1941, it's a 101".
    This suited me fine as I wanted a little pickup truck. The bed is 7ft long and 5.6" wide, it's what I wanted. To much overhang at the back I think looks out of context with the vehicle ,but each to there own, it's good we all think on different lines it makes interesting viewing.

    image.jpg image.jpg
  20. Donut Dave
    Joined: Jul 9, 2007
    Posts: 347

    Donut Dave

    As Fleetside66 said: Sleep on it for a week or so, this may keep you from wasting time and disappointment!!
    Some time when you build it at home you are limited to the length of the equipment available (IE: 48" break) #01.jpg #02.jpg
  21. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    I am liking longer beds these days. An 8' step side stands out, since most are only 6'.

    Are you keeping the duals? Are you keeping the original spokewheels? It would be cool if you could. Double-wide fenders on a truck like that look really cool, but you need 8' of bed in my opinion to make it look legit.

    I have seen early 50's GM trucks put on a late model chassis where they move the rear fender back to match the new wheelbase. That left more space in front of the fender than behind. I like the unique look. It's very functional-like a camper special designed to spread some load to the whole truck instead of just the rear axle.

    Lastly, I remember going to swap meets in a Mazda b2000. It's a bummer when you are limited in what junk you can buy because you have a tiny truck bed.
    jeffd1988 and fourspeedwagon like this.
  22. Thanks guys- lots of good here.
    Barn Find, yes I'm keeping the duals and wheels. As I'm feeling out the length and fender placement I'm also working on width. It may end up a bit wider than standard to cover the wheels and then it'll get wheel tubs in the bed for the inners. "Camper Special" is probably a good way to explain what I'm going after. The factory 5.38 gears swapped for 4.11s and dealing on a 302 to replace the smaller Jimmy 6 currently in it.
    Here's a pic of it today with the body squared away.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  23. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,672

    jimmy six

    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  24. Grab a hot chic and lay down in bed cut to fit.;)
  25. I personally use the 20 foot rule unless I am building something that I have either built before or have taken measurements from one that I like. Mock it up, step back 20 feet and give it a good hard look. If it doesn't look right change it.

    A car or truck has to look right to you, not to me, unless of course I am a judge at a competition and you are kissing my ass.
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  26. Yes and the owner rarely gets to see it going down the road.
    Unless you have some big department store windows to drive by

    I like the golden ratio, with less behind the wheel and more in front.
    Also apply the ratio to bed length vs front bumper to cab back with the bed being longer.
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  27. That ratio works in nearly every instance. It is visibly appealing. ;)
    fourspeedwagon likes this.
  28. Vicky-- like 2:1? Just using round numbers but a foot behind the fender and 2 feet ahead or not quite that high of a ratio
    This rig is a mule that'll have to have a useable bed but I'm sure I'll do another pickup soon. Definitely agree with HRP in that the factory deuce bed looks out there.

    Edit-- sorry, the link didn't appear on your post Vic but it's tagged onto Beaner's.

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