Finall, an update!
So i removed the galvanized storage box for the ramps, and started removing the original frame rails from the truck bed
...but then this happened during a storm:
So i lost a couple weeks while i cut those trees up, got rid of the stump and brought in dirt to fill in the hole and re-grade the yard. So with that done, i was able to resume my work on the bed. So...
Both frame rails are removed now:
Looking at the construction, the I-beam cross members sit inside the outer frame instead of flush with the bottom of them:
...which means the frame rails sat on 1/8" spacers so theyd contact the i-beams. Since the rails are getting replaced/moved outboard i had to remove these as well
So previously i had bought a 25' stick of 5" 6061, which i had cut down to two 9' rails (plus a remnant for cross members)
...so that gets me to this morning, when i triple checked the frame rail width on the F250, set my new rails in place, and tacked them down!
I made all new gussets for every i-beam just like the bed originally had, made some spacers out of 1/8" plate, and started welding. I bought the spool gun for my machine, and after tinkering a bit started welding. I think ive got it dialed in ok? First time mig welding aluminum, i think the welds look good.
I have the rails fully welded so i started welding the first gusset before stopping for the day:
Tomorrow morning ill be back out there- hoping to finish welding this gusset (plus get the other 11 all done as well). Im not sure about the verticals yet, so im gonna have to set some scraps up and practice that a bit before i start welding on the bed.