with K.C. Murphy
Maybe you have a rather unattractive interior. Its seen some better days, the paint is long worn through, youve patched some rusty holes, and youd like to disguise some sins of the past. On the other hand, you may have a rust-free tub which you would like to preserve.
Xtreeme Bedliner will suit your needs Properly applied, it will give the interior of your truck a new finish which is not only functional for high-abuse situations, but looks great too.
One of my favorite things about having the bed liner is the ease of cleanup after a trail run. Since my trail rig is also my ride to work, keeping the interior presentable was a constant battle, specifically the carpets. The bed liner gives the truck a finished look, eliminating the need for carpeting. A nice set of carpeted floor mats dresses up the floorboards, and are easily removed before the fun begins.
This project is not as difficult as it seems however it does require much attention to detail and plenty of elbow grease. I would not advise trying to do this in one day, but I suppose it could be done if you had the stamina. I dont.
WHAT YOU GET: Upon opening the box shipped to you, you will find:
- Can of chemical a
- Can of chemical b
- Bag of texture bits
- Can of reducer. (note: This can will double as the spray-gun reservoir).
- Schutz gun (to be used with the air compressor)
WHAT YOU NEED: In addition to the supplies shipped to you, I strongly suggest the following:
- Air Compressor
- Masking Tape I use the blue or green kind.
- A few cheap plastic tarps
- A stirring stick
- An old bucket. The one you have in the back of your garage with the tiny crack in it or broken handle will do nicely. This is the I might need it someday event.
- Sandpaper, 180 grit or rougher.
Rookie Hint: For both of my trucks, I used sanding sponges purchased in 12-packs from Harbor Freight. They seem to last longer than sheets of sandpaper which tear and clog, and feel more comfortable to use. Youre going to do a LOT of sanding.
- Old clothes that you can throw away afterwards. If you have the option, wear something a little tight-fiting. More on this later.
- Funnel (this can be improvised with the top half of a 2 liter bottle
- Crummy small paintbrush
- Respirator (this will come in handy for painting as well)
- Rubber gloves (always handy to have a box in the garage anyway for really messy projects)
- Old sponge from the kitchen sink
The bed liner kit includes a sheet of easy-to-follow instructions which I urge you to read in addition to this article, particularly regarding the specifics of mixing and compressor settings.
Begin by removing everything from the truck. Unbolt the seats, remove the boots and cover plates from the shifters, and the seat belt latches. Basically, everything you can find that is removable that you do NOT want covered in bed liner, remove it.
Rookie Note: To make a nice clean division line, I removed the targa and set it aside, This will make for a clean break between lined and not lined areas.
Youll probably want to give the inside a quick washing as well this will help you see where youre working. This is about when you curse me for not telling you to remove the drain plugs in the previous step. Ha ha, gotcha.
(If you have no floor plugs, you can purchase them from Figmo at www.roadlessgear.com for a very reasonable cost. These will help keep the water OUT when driving through rain and snow, as well as keep any unwanted hot or cold drafts from coming in while driving)
On the floor of our beloved trucks is a layer of soundproofing stuff. Youll want to knock all this out so that the bed liner can adhere to the metal surface. If you have the option to choose, do this part of the project on a cooler day; this will make the stuff more brittle and will come away from the floor in layers instead of clumps. Wearing eye protection, use gentle hammer taps with a chisel. Youll be amazed at how easily the stuff pops right off.
Now were going to wash the truck with a vengeance. Using soap and a brush or sponge, clean everywhere. Get the corners, up under the ledge, everywhere you intend to spray.
Darth Vader time. Put on your gloves and respirator (follow the manufacturers instructions) and get out the solvent and the old sponge. Once again, rub down all the surfaces you expect the bed liner to adhere to. This step will remove any oils and waxes and such that will prevent proper adhesion.
Once this is done and youve rested your hands, its time for what we here at Team Rookie say is the worst part: Sanding. If you have a friend youve helped move a time or two, or picked them up at the airport time and time again, this is when you get to cash in.
Grab the sanding sponges, start on one end, and sand everyplace you just solvent-wiped. Read this carefully: YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY OVERSAND. No need to remove paint or get down to bare metal we just need to scuff up everything. There can be no surface left unscuffed the bed liner simply will not stick to an unsanded surface. It will bead up as if it were rain on a freshly waxed car hood. I missed a patch about half the size of a dime and it was painful to see the wet bed liner pulling away whenever I sprayed.
After youve recovered from all that sanding, give it another solvent rub-down. This will pick up the sanding dust as well as pull up any oils from your skin and stuff you missed earlier.
What were doing here is covering any area you do NOT want covered in bed liner. When deciding where to mask, bear in mind that the bed liner in spray form has all the properties of smoke there will be a floating mist which will find its way into the oddest places.
Rookie Hint: Use Aluminum Foil to cover the pedals, E-Brake handle, and gearshifts.
Use the plastic tarps to cover the outside of the truck, hood, and dashboard. I threw some old bed sheets and tarps over the tires too just to keep things neat.
Creativity Time! As with many other points to these trucks, there is generally no one correct way to do things when it comes to expressing personal style. While masking my trucks, here are two custom decisions I encountered and you may want to consider them as well:
The Bed Ledge: I ran my masking tape along the panel where the top snaps attach. This made for a nice protective coating on the upper ledge since this is an easily scratched area.
Another place to consider is the rocker panels. These are usually a trouble area cosmetically and a textured layer of bed liner can help disguise some blemishes. We did one truck with bedlined rocker panels, and the other with bed liner extending to the outside edge of the door area and everyone agrees the rocker panel version is much better looking.
Screw Holes. Theyre everywhere. Plug all the holes you intend to keep using with little bits of masking tape rolled up. Afterwards youll still need to use a tap to clean out the threads, but this makes things a lot easier later.
Mixing the Bed liner
One thing to keep in mind is that once you start this step, theres no turning back, so make sure youve got everything ready. Check your compressor fittings and air hose length and do a dry run around the truck, making sure you can reach everywhere your heart desires. One of my mess-ups was getting the stuff all mixed up and ready to go, then realized I had the wrong quick-connection end on the shutz gun.
Rookie Hint: Put on your crummy tight-fitting clothes at this point. As you spray the interior, you may have a tendency to drag a shirt sleeve or pant leg across a wet area. Take creative precautions beforehand to avoid accidents like this.
Get dressed up in your goggles, gloves, and respirator and get ready to mix up the greatest bed liner ever.
In the old bucket, mix Part A, Part B, any color tinting if included, reducer, and rubber particles with the wooden stir stick until things are smooth looking.
Bear in mind you only have 30 minutes until the mixture is unsprayable no need run a marathon, but dont stop for lunch either.
Youre not really putting down separate coats as one might do with paint instead consider this many thin cumulative layers. There is no need to wait for each coat to dry just keep spraying until the mixture is all gone.
Your first layer is not meant to cover the exposed body only to give it a dirty look. Continue around the truck, starting at the drivers side and work your way around to the passenger side, and back again. Again, plan on making about 900 really thin coats as opposed to two thick ones. If you glop it on too thick, the excess will pool and run and lead to an odd looking surface since the texturing will sink to the bottom of the mess instead of remaining suspended in the thin layers.
Rookie Hint: As you are preparing your next bottleful, have your helper look at your work, checking for spots you may have missed. My helper used a flashlight to point me towards where I had missed areas. Its hard to see with a critical eye while wearing goggles, a respirator, and tight clothing.
As you make your way around the truck, watch for low hanging sleeves and such if there is a mishap, use the crummy paintbrush to smear some on the damaged area. If you try to re-shoot the blemish youll end up with a puddle.
Once youre done shooting, give the newly-sprayed body just a little time to cure during this time clean the gun and anything else which has bed liner on it which you do not want coated permanently.
Now that the bed liner has a thin dried skin, start removing the masking CAREFULLY making sure not to drag masking tape or other scraps across the wet surface,
There, now, that wasnt so bad, was it?
I would recommend leaving the truck alone until next weekend and make sure everything cures properly. Reinstall the seats and such and youre in business!
As always, Figmo will be more than happy to answer any of your questions regarding this or any of his other fine products if there are further questions.
Tell him the Seasoned Rookie sent ya!
MurphLife is Good