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RobG
05-01-2008, 03:01 PM
Until I get around to getting a 4500 or 5500, I plan to build a flatbed for my current truck.

How much higher is the deck of the flatbed compared to the deck of the stock bed (I know the 4500/5500 don't come with a bed; I mean the bed on a 3500). Anybody know?

Based on my own measurements, for a flatbed that's 96" wide (the same width as the tires on a 3500 DRW), it looks like I'll have to go up 4". This would be from using 2x4 box steel for the sides of the flatbed. Did I measure right?

To figure this out, I measured the space from the bump stop to the leaf spring and subtracted the thickness of the helper springs. That measurement is around 6.5 inches. This is so the outer tire doesn't rub the flatbed.

I don't mind going up 4" if that's what it takes; what bothers me is adapting my B&W Turnoverball hitch. B&W tells me I should remove the Dodge-specific hitch and replace it with a $150 weld-in piece that they sell, which includes the pin/latch and stuff.

Thing is... is welding this thing into the flatbed going to result in something a strong as the big, beefy Dodge-specific one I have now? I use the Companion 5th Wheel Hitch with it.

The plan was to use 1/8" thick steel... 2x4 box for the outsides and probably the crossmembers too, then run 2x2 box to prop it up the rest of the way (since the stock bed sits about 2" above the framerails). The deck material would be steel diamondplate. I would set the crossmembers down slightly so the diamondplate would be flush with the outer frame.

Any input is appreciated! :)

Rob

Colo_River_Ram
05-01-2008, 09:50 PM
I see your in Reno..always leave some room for some extra clearance(you might want to upgrade tire size) and tire chains...

Machinos
05-01-2008, 09:53 PM
Dodge has really detailed guides for upfitters (which is basically what you're doing) somewhere on their website. I'm not totally sure if it'd cover a truck that originally came with a bed, but if the 3500 C&C frame is the same as the regular, with-a-bed one then it'd be applicable.

RobG
05-02-2008, 01:48 PM
Good idea on the tire chains...

Also good idea on the upfitter's guide... I need to find that.

Thanks!

Rob

Colo_River_Ram
05-02-2008, 09:05 PM
Rob,

I broke down and went broke myself today!!! I signed a contract on a 5500 4x4 Sterling I am going to build my own bed to..so I will post the pics as I go it might give you some Ideas..

Here is a link to the builders guide for the chassis and cab models..

http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/2008/dm/dmmo.pdf

Ford Convert
05-03-2008, 11:26 AM
I don't mind going up 4" if that's what it takes; what bothers me is adapting my B&W Turnoverball hitch. B&W tells me I should remove the Dodge-specific hitch and replace it with a $150 weld-in piece that they sell, which includes the pin/latch and stuff.

Thing is... is welding this thing into the flatbed going to result in something a strong as the big, beefy Dodge-specific one I have now? I use the Companion 5th Wheel Hitch with it.

I have a Hidden Hitch turnover hitch that was through my regular box. I went to a flatbed that has a 12" x 12" trapdoor on a piano hinge and stuck with my hitch. My theory is that I didn't want to use a flatbed with the hitch integrated into the flatbed. This didn't require me to ensure that my flatbed is connected to the frame well enough to withstand a 30K load. With a factor of safety of 2 this means it would need to be designed to 60K. That is well beyond my trust in my welding!!!!! This way I still have a manufactured hitch, installed per their specs and I don't have to worry about the tow rating of the deck. I also used the factory receiver hitch for the same reason.

The only issue I can forsee is using the 5th wheel attachment since the "receptacle" will now be about 4 inches below the level of the deck. I converted our 35' 5th-wheel to gooseneck, but I know there are lots of reasons why many people don't. I had to go 4" higher with the flatbed than the box floor because of all the reasons stated by others (2001 2500). I have gone two years with a tire upsize, chains, fully loaded (2 ton) and I am glad I didn't do any less. Another option I see on many decks is they are designed for the tire to tuck up inside the frame of the deck similar to a wheel well. Mine also has 2x4 tube around the outside so the stake pockets are inside of that and I would stick with that.

Wayne