Hi All -
So, to proceed with the camper solution
, I decided I needed to get that spare out of the bed first (a result of this
). Ordered a nice used replacement on eBay for about $50 and thought (don't laugh), easy-peasy. Only 4-12 mm bolts to undo, drop the broken winch, bolt up the new.
Here's the problem, the bolts, of course, won't budge. And the usual bag of tricks I rely on when I run into this are severly limited given how little room there is where the bolt heads sit above the chasis rail and below the bed rail.
When I saw this, I thought to myself, "this can't be right": The only way to completely remove these bolts from the truck is to take the bed off?? At least on mine (more on this below).
So now I'm thinking of just getting a grinder with cutoff wheel or sawzall in there to lop off the tops, drop the winch, and bolt up the new one with the bolts going up
through the winch and into nuts where the bolt heads are now. Seems like that should work, no?
But here's what's nagging me.
Should there be more space in there? Enough to slide the bolts out of those holes w/o having to resort to removing the bed i.e. has my bed sunk down (due to rust)
This is kinda critical at the moment given that I just found a slide-in camper (yes, one of these
) that's kinda hard to pass up (my original solution before I decided to go DIY). But it's gonna be bad if there are Bed Problems lurking underneath that I might not be aware of.
It's also making me wonder if I shouldn't pull the bed liner to check the bed (never done this) before I pull the trigger on the camper on Friday (?) It only weighs 700 lbs (dry) but it's gonna be on the truck most of the time and get jostled around quite a bit overlanding.
Bottom line question: Is the bolt head clearance in the pic above the same as everyone else's?
Or is this a red flag that my bed may not be in great shape?