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My best friend saved and saved and bought a brand new Chevy 4 x 4 3/4 ton HD Duramax w/6 speed tranny.

He has had this truck perhaps 6 months and really takes care of it. He was talking to a dealer and the dealer informed him that no matter what is on the placard stating its heavy duty or in literature saying its HD its justs a step above a standard pickup and not really what GM classes as a HD truck by any means.......its general transportation with the ability to haul something. You have to get up in the solid front axle types for GM to consider it a HD truck........

Then he was inside his pickups bed, and placed his hands (palm down for support) on the bed rail, and swing himself over the side. He had a large ATV in the bed, so it was easier to swing over the side. He evenetually had to crzwl back up to unload it, and noticed two huge depressions on the top rail.......could not for the life of him figure out where they came from. Went ATV riding, and once again he used the bed side for support to exit the bed of his truck. Gets to the house and once again he now sees 4 depressions in the top of the bed on the sides. Now he gets to thinking, it only had two when he put the ATV back in the truck, he knew nothing fell on it, and now two more depressions show up after yet again loading his ATV. Turns out you can just lean on the top of the side of the bed and the metal is thin enough and soft enough it will deform. He showed me what he had done without putting any excessive pressure on the bed like he would have when he swung over it, and now he has 5 large depressions, and they won't push back up. Now that is really pathetic. We walkedon my beds sides top section both of us together, and swung in and out of my 97 GMC and it never flexed, however his truck just look at it wrong and it deforms the sheetmetal. He carried it to the dealer, and in the process of their body shop manager looking at what he was telling them happened, and getting a more or less, we can't control what they are made of only how they function and look, he sort of plopped back against the rear doors skin and it promptly buckled in about 2 inches, right in front of the body shop fellow. Its really sad that simple pushing by a hand will cause an American made top of the line vehicle buckle up like this did. He went on the lot and looked at some others, and it was not a problem to deform their tops with simple hand pressure. GM says its not a fault that was caused by them, and he damaged his vehicle, which he is not argueing happened, his gripe is how thin and soft this steel skin on the vehicles really is. He is a sheetmetal guy by trade, and works on aircraft with skin as thin as .020" and it does not deform as easlily as what we determined to be thicker than 27 but thinner than 24 sheet steel what the truck is made from. Thats right in the catagory of cheap roofing material commonly sold in home builder supplys. It relies on all the stamped portions to make it strong, but the bed itself and doors really do not have much in the line of stampings to reinforce it.

I really feel sorry for him, as he scrimped and saved for a long time to get the money up to buy this truck and its so very fragile its like its formed of lead.

I assume most others are like this too, and perhaps its why Ford and others install that plastic formed top rail cover so you do not see the deformations, and to help sp[read out the load and cover up their engineering screwup on metala thicknesses just to save a buck. I think perhaps save some money and get a made in Mexico tractor or truck is not all that bad of an idea, as the darn UAW workers and engineers sure don;'t know how to make one thats not so touchy!

The days of using top rail tie downs and standing on the top rails are over I guess.its only for looks not function in todays world.

Even his tie down hooks welded lower in the bed have all started to pull outwards, and its only a matter of time until they break or crack in the welded area.
 

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That is a shame i haven't looked at any as I'm not in the market to buy right now. I know my 97 Dodge don't do that or it would have happen long ago. Well theres only one thing to do and thats get some alum diamond plate side rail covers to hide it.
 

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Man that is a shame!!!!! I don' t think they will give him back his money either!!!! I don't know if Ford or Dodge are any better anymore!:mad:
 

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My 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 is like that too but not that sensitive to deforming. They build them like that to make them lighter and conform to fuel economy CAFE standards. It is inexcusible!
 

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Not just for fuel economy but also so they can have a controlled crush zone in an accident. The older gm pickups were based on the 1988 and were stronger than the new ones. The 87 and down were the same body as the 73, stronger still.
Even the chrome bumpers aren't as strong, more like a moulding than a bumper.
This is why "paintless" dent removal is so popular. It can only work on the newer thinner bodies. Another reason is because
many people were getting hurt in accidents when their smaller cars were colliding with pickups and suvs. So eventually the pickups will be as cheesy as the cars nobody wanted.
 

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I found that having either a Rhino Liner or a Linex Liner sprayed in the pick up bed to include over the side rails to the edge of the outside fender on top added a lot of strength and rigidity. I went with Rhino Liner but I hear both are good.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finger prints in your sheetmetal, thats a good one.........

previously he had a Dodge 4WD in 3/4 but had nothing but auto tran problems.

Anyway he had considered having rhino liner applied to include the top of the bed rail and extend along the top edge perhaps an inch or so, but the place stated that the Rhino liner will only add to skuff proofing absorb some dings and dents, but its nly as good as the metal its applied on, and more than likely will only help mask or hide from view the shadow created by these depressions, but they will still be there. So from what I gather he is going to have Rhino liner applied to include the bottom of the bedrail and add those bed rail protectors. He popped off his factory installed tail gate edge protector and was in for the shock of his life. All he has ever done was load up lumber and structural steel on occassion with the tail gate up. It lookes like someone played a tune on the tailgates top edge with a ball pien hammer. Its nothing but a mass of dents and deformations from what he hauled, but the plastic edge protector is undamaged. All that plastic edge does is hide the deficiency in metal thickness. original concept of those tailgate edge guards was toprevent paint scuffing etc, now its a whjole new concept hide the dents from mediocre sheetmetal thickness.

I had been contemplating a new pickup, but considering how little I use mine anymore and with how the newer ones are made, I'll stick to my 97 GMC............and still be able to use the top rail to tie things down to.
 

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Hi
My friend has a new 4X4 Chevy PU. I checked his last night and it seemed strong. I pushed on the on the bed rail and it did not give. Possibly bad batch of sheetmetal?
Rodster
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by Rodster
Hi
My friend has a new 4X4 Chevy PU. I checked his last night and it seemed strong. I pushed on the on the bed rail and it did not give. Possibly bad batch of sheetmetal?
Rodster
Ok, next time your at your friends, get inside his bed, place your hands on the bedrail and push up and swing yourself out and over the bed onto the ground. Put your hands between the section the stake pockets are in, not on a stake pocket, but more to the middle and away from the stake pockets. More than likely where the balls of the palms of your hands are will deform and if you look along the edge you will see it very easy. Looking at it straight on its not noticeable, but still there. My friend weights between 175 and 190 so he is not overly fat. I would not think its a bad batch of sheet metal as it would seem pretty strange all that bad sheetmetal wound up on his one vehicle, and considering there are punches that stamp these parts out for left and right sides and assemblies, and each one is fed with its own coil stock of sheetmetal. Odds just are not there to have all those bad pieces wind up on one truck.

If you try it again do so at yur own risk ;-) I'd hate to tell h im you were checking to see if it deformed easy and have it deform on him.
 
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