DIY Electric Car Forums banner

S-10 Tilt Bed - what to do with bumper?

4790 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  bjnkm
Hi everyone,

We're elbow-deep in our S-10 conversion and it's going great so far. The rest of the parts are enroute and will be here before the end of the month. Very exciting!

We're putting a tilt-bed system on the S-10 (long bed). The basics of it are very straightforward. However, the rear bumper is a little more tricky. It doesn't look like the bed can tilt up with the bumper in place. We want to maintin the original bumper mounting system for safety (it will be driven by students after all ;-) ).

Can anyone shed some light on how this is approached?

Thanks a bunch,
1 - 1 of 11 Posts
Here's what I did. I bought a 97 S10 EV, (GM built, not a conversion), with no batteries. Since I can't get the original batteries, I'm going with different ones. I'll only be using the lower half of the battery box so I'll have access to the batteries from above, and needed to tilt my bed. So after staring at the underside for hours, I realized a possibility that just looked too easy. (and it was!)

The short version. Attach the bumper brackets to the bed, remove the 2 forward bumper bracket to frame bolts, leaving the last bolt as your pivot point. Remove all of the bed bolts. Now, the bumper and bed swing together.

Long version.
Only parts needed are 2 pieces of 1.5" box tubing, 20" long. (I used un-a-strut, which is 1.625"), and 6 -3/8"x2" bolts. Put the piece of box tubing below the bed support and on top of the bumper bracket on the outside of the frame. The 20" piece will catch the last and next to last cross supports in the bed. Mark the bumper bracket where it contacts the box tubing. Also locate and mark the front of the box tubing and drill a 3/8" hole to catch the bed support. (This is the hardest part). Weld a 3/8" nut to a bendable rod, like 1/4" all thread. You have to push the nut into the open end of the bed support and line it up with the hole you drilled in the bed support. Hold it in place and insert a 2" x 3/8" bolt in the front of your box tubing. Remove the 3 frame bolts and the 2 bumper bolts and remove the bumper bracket. The bracket will come off but the box tubing will still be under the bed, held by the front bolt. Now that the bumper bracket is out of the way, drill 2 more 3/8" holes, about 2" apart, through the box tubing and catching as much of the rear bed support as possible, but leaving enough clearance for the bolt. Remove the front bolt and box tubing. Weld the box tubing to the bumper brackets using the marks you made. Drill the 2 rear bolt holes through the bumper bracket, using the existing box tubing holes for alignment. Re-install the welded assembly to the bed supports and attach the 2 rear bolts, through the bracket, the box tubing and up through the bed support using nuts and lock washers. Re-install the 2 bumper bolts attaching the bumper to the bracket, and here's the key to all of this. Install ONLY the upper rear bumper bracket to frame bolt, leaving the other two out. This is your hinge bolt. I double nutted it to lock it in a slightly loose position.
Repeat for the other side.
This is the way I did it but I think it would work better if you were to first locate and mark the box tubing to the bottom of the bed supports, completely remove the bed and weld the box tubing to the bed. Set the bed in place on the frame. Now you drill and bolt the bumper brackets to the box tubing, leaving out the two bolts in the frame. This way, you could replace the brackets in the event of a fender bender.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.