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All-Pro Off-Road’s Flat Bed Conversion Kit – Part II

 

All-Pro Flat Bed Conversion

Last month we brought you part I of the All Pro Off Road flat bed conversion, where we stripped Danny Pitt’s Toyota mini-truck down to the frame, in order to build the frame and core structure of the All Pro Offroad flat Bed Kit. As reported, we spent several days cutting, measuring, torching, welding, measuring, notching, grinding and of course, measuring.

We left off with a maze of DOM tubing that resembled a jungle gym, which made up the foundation of our conversion. With the all of the tube work complete, it is now time to add the floor, sides and a few other components to finish up this project.

Building The Wing Floors

The All Pro Flat Bed kit doesn’t come with any flooring, so you’re on your own to fab the bed floor, bed-sides and wing floors. We made cardboard templates for each side so that we could get the shapes perfect. You’ll have the option of flush mounting your wing floors, or setting it on top. We chose the latter for simplicity and strength.

With the templates finished, we transferred the shape to some flat, diamond-plate steel that we purchased at our local steel shop. We then broke out our trusty plasma cutter (you can use a torch) and carefully cut out the shapes. With the floors cut out, we carefully smoothed out the edges with a right-angle grinder. We then set the diamond plate wing floors onto the flat-bed wings and stitch welded them into place.

Building The Wing Floors
Time: 2.5 Hours
Tools Needed: right angle grinder(s), soap pencil, plasma cutter, welder, diamond plate / flat plate steel
Difficulty:

Tracing the cardboard templates to the diamond plate steel

Using the plasma cutter to cut out the shape of the wing floors

Smoothing out the edges of the wing floors before we welded them into place

 

 

Building The Bed Floor, Bed Walls and Taillights

 

 

All-Pro Flat Bed Conversion

Building the bed floor and bed sides were just about as easy as the wing floors. We decided to notch the bed floor so that it would fit around the vertical tubing, where it will be welded to the frame. You can also allow the vertical tubes to sit on top of the bed floor, but we wanted the vertical tubes to be welded to the frame for extra strength. We also decided to split the length of the bed walls in two, so that they could be set flush with the face of the center, main vertical downright tube (See picture). This allowed us to keep the bed walls straight, instead of bowing inwards because of the center downright tube. With the floor and the sides measured, cut and set in place, we tack welded everything in place.

One of the harder parts of this portion of the build was cutting the new cross member to accept the taillights. We purchased our taillights at a local auto parts store, and since they didn’t come with any templates, we were on our own to make a bunch of conservative cuts. Our taillights are press-fit units with thick rubber gaskets, so it took some time (even with the plasma cutter) to cut and file the openings until they were precise.

Building The Bed Floor, Bed Walls and Taillights
Time: 5 Hours
Tools Needed: right angle grinder(s), plasma cutter, hand files, level, welder
Difficulty:

Trimming the bed floor to fit the various shapes of the down tubes

Making the taillight openings

Welding the bed sides

Welding the bed floor

 

 

Gussets, Tie-Downs and Finishing Touches

 

 

All-Pro Flat Bed Conversion

As mentioned, we plan on using the bed of our All Pro Off Road flat bed kit as we would use any truck bed. This meant that we would need a tailgate to keep items from flying out the back during our off road trips.

We made our tailgate from scratch and had the hole thing fab’d up in about 2 hours. We used 1″ square tubing, but you could make yours out of round tubing if you’d like. We started by measuring the distance between the rear-most main runners near the cross member, then determined that we wanted the height of the tailgate to match the height of the wings. We fabricated a simple rectangle with two vertical supports. We also notched the main rear runners to accept some tabs that we welded in, and then frenched in a matching set on the tailgate as well. Next we drilled holes through both sets of tabs so that we could secure the tailgate with clevis pins. Later well French in a set of hinges.

To really finish off our All Pro Off Road flat bed conversion kit, we put a call into our friends at Blue Torch FabWorks once again, to have a custom fuel cell made. We had them make a fuel cell that would fit perfectly with the flat bed kit and was plumbed for fuel pickup, return and vent as well. The polished aluminum, tig welded fuel cell, sports mounting tabs, and a large d-ring removable filler cap. This fuel cell will allow us to replace our leaking OE fuel tank that is, by design, under-protected. As you can see, Blue Torch created a masterpiece, which we’ll feature in another article soon.

Gussets, Tie-Downs and Finishing Touches
Time: 4 Hours
Tools Needed: right angle grinder(s), welder, 1 ½” hole saw bit, drill, hand files, paint
Difficulty:

These are the two types of Blue Torch FabWorks gussets we chose

Welding one of the gussets to the cage

Testing one of the beverage-opening gussets    😉

A flush-mounted tie-down

 

Optional Tailgate and Fuel Cell

 

 

All-Pro Flat Bed Conversion

As mentioned, we plan on using the bed of our All Pro Off Road flat bed kit as we would use any truck bed. This meant that we would need a tailgate to keep items from flying out the back during our off road trips.

Blue Torch FabWorks Custom Fuel Cell We made our tailgate from scratch and had the hole thing fab’d up in about 2 hours. We used 1″ square tubing, but you could make yours out of round tubing if you’d like. We started by measuring the distance between the rear-most main runners near the cross member, then determined that we wanted the height of the tailgate to match the height of the wings. We fabricated a simple rectangle with two vertical supports. We also notched the main rear runners to accept some tabs that we welded in, and then frenched in a matching set on the tailgate as well. Next we drilled holes through both sets of tabs so that we could secure the tailgate with clevis pins. Later well French in a set of hinges.

To really finish off our All Pro Off Road flat bed conversion kit, we put a call into our friends at Blue Torch FabWorks once again, to have a custom fuel cell made. We had them make a fuel cell that would fit perfectly with the flat bed kit and was plumbed for fuel pickup, return and vent as well. The polished aluminum, tig welded fuel cell, sports mounting tabs, and a large d-ring removable filler cap. This fuel cell will allow us to replace our leaking OE fuel tank that is, by design, under-protected. As you can see, Blue Torch created a masterpiece, which we’ll feature in another article soon.

Optional Tailgate and Fuel Cell
Time: 1 Hour
Tools Needed: Chop saw, welder, right angle grinder, level, miscellaneous hand tools
Difficulty:

Framing the home-built tailgate

Tacking the corners

Another view of the tailgate during the framing process

A view of the frenched latches

A shot of the pre-skinned tailgate

The Blue Torch FabWorks fuel cell

Note the -8 Anodize AN fittings, roll-over check valves and large d-ring style fill neck

Another view of the fuel cell

 

 

The Final Product – Our Thoughts

 

 

Before - All Pro Flatbed kit The All Pro Flat Bed Kit is an amazingly well designed, do-it-yourself kit that most hobbyists can do themselves. You’ll need some metal working and fabrication skills, but you don’t have to be an expert, especially if you take your time and plan on killing 3 or 4 weekends to build it. If you’re a fabrication lightweight, I would suggest getting a more experienced person to at least give you a hand – you’ll need an extra set of them anyhow from time to time on this project.

 

There aren’t any instructions with this kit – who the hell reads them anyhow? The upside is that when you build it, you’ll be creating something relatively unique. The downside is that you’ll need to look at pictures of how other people made them and make some judgment calls. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. After - All Pro Flatbed kit

 

The flat bed kit added a LOT of strength, safety and great looks to our project Toyota. It’s exactly what this truck needed to set it apart from the masses of other mini’s on the trails. So, in our minds, this is the perfect kit if you are looking to keep the functionality of a pickup bed, add some safety and strength for your off road adventures, and have something so strong that if you bash it into a rock, you don’t have to worry about body damage. The Blue Torch FabWorks gussets and custom fuel cell (which was quite affordable I might add) really put this kit over the edge.

So, if you’re ready to get your monkey awn, build a sweet rolling jungle gym, and go from zero to hero, be sure to give All Pro Off Road and Blue Torch FabWorks a call.

A Few Shots of the Final Product

All-Pro Off-Road
541 N. Palm Ave.
Hemet, CA 92543
Phone: 951-658-7077
Fax: 951-658-2375
Email: sarah@allprooffroad.com
Web: www.allprooffroad.com
Blue Torch FabWorks, Inc.
P.O. Box 8367
Dothan, Alabama 36304
Phone: 866-RCK-CRWL
Fax: 334-699-1004
Email: sales@bluetorchfab.com
Web: www.bluetorchfab.com

About Rick Webster

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