I am getting really close to installing the replacement bed. The driveshaft is back in. The shop even painted it black for me.
And I am wanted the cab to look a little better before I install the bed, so I pulled out the paint last night and covered a little more sheetmetal and rust with a decent looking Pacific Blue. I know it is a short term solution, but if the crappy paint job can buy me a few years without having to fork over $$$ for body work, then it is fine with me.
I still have some painting to do on the cab. But I don't really consider the replacement to be a permanent fix for the bed. One day I would like to put another stepside longbed on the truck. The replacement bed is still mainly in the original gold and white paint, but one outer bedside is primer grey. And it may stay that way while it is on my truck.
All of this is OK, since I am trying to fix this truck up to use around town, not to have a show truck. A lot of guys build good trucks that look awesome from 10 feet away, a "10 Footer". Lots old trucks look really good from further away, they might be "20 Footers". I am hoping my truck at least turns out to be a decent looking "20 Yarder"
An aside: After all of the work yesterday, I could not resist taking the truck for a spin around the block. No bed, no tail lights of any sort. But you know I was laughing all the way.