Worst “Mod” I’ve Done: Aftermarket Bed Bolts

MAMiller44

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Just a PSA. I replaced 4 bed bolts with aftermarket ones a year ago, replaced 2 with factory ones. Used anti-seize properly and here’s what they look like. I’ve been spending all day cutting, grinding, and meticulously trying to lift and lower the bed for access to get the aftermarket ones out which are of course on the center mounting points which is nearly impossible to deal with in this situation.

The problem is that aftermarket bed bolts still use the factory nuts, and the metals corrode like crazy together. Moral of the story…if you go aftermarket bolts, modify the mounting points to accept aftermarket nuts of the same and make sure you have a friend if you have to loosen/tighten in the future. I’m going back to the factory ones and just continuing to plan to throw them away with each use. The bolts and nuts are cheap from Ford at only $3-$4 a piece.
 

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Jakenbake

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I know looks can be deceiving, what thread pitch were your new ones? They do “appear” different than oem.

I am running 1/2-13 grade 8’s. The ones I could I have a Nylock on and the ones that go into the frame I tapped new frame clips for the 1/2-13.

I have not had any issues yet, but I do pull them somewhat regularly and they get anti seize as well.
 
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MAMiller44

MAMiller44

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I know looks can be deceiving, what thread pitch were your new ones? They do “appear” different than oem.

I am running 1/2-13 grade 8’s. The ones I could I have a Nylock on and the ones that go into the frame I tapped new frame clips for the 1/2-13.

I have not had any issues yet, but I do pull them somewhat regularly and they get anti seize as well.
Same threading. Yea I guess regularly working them would help but then you also run the risk of breaking the factory nut/clip.
 

isis

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Galvanic welding. I had that happen on my Cadillac when a body shop replaced my valve stem caps with stainless steel. The stems were on tpms sensors and aluminum. Broke every one of them After one winter.
 

V6Raptor

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Where did you get the aftermarket bed bolts?

When I replaced my bed bolts, I bought some from KHC and was successful installing them closest to the cab. When it came to the center ones though, they broke the nuts when I was torquing them which caused an absolute headache. Ended up replacing the nuts and getting new OEM bed bolts for the middle.
 
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MAMiller44

MAMiller44

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Also the OEM bolts are 'one time' use as they are stretch bolts IIRC.
So are the nuts, they are not fully welded on the clips so they are likely to break off upon removing. I had 1 of 4 break off the first time I removed them. This is the only issue you typically face with the factory hardware, but once you figure out how to get a hold of each nut, they still come off with relative ease. This time, all of the aftermarket bolts were completely seized on them which was way worse of an issue.

Galvanic welding. I had that happen on my Cadillac when a body shop replaced my valve stem caps with stainless steel. The stems were on tpms sensors and aluminum. Broke every one of them After one winter.
Yup, exactly. That’s why I mentioned in the first post if you NEED to go aftermarket for the length, just take the time to make modifications to use bolts that are the same material/grade. The benefit to the factory nuts is that they’re still removable and mostly accessible. It would be nearly impossible without two well communicating people to use a normal nut though lol
Where did you get the aftermarket bed bolts?

When I replaced my bed bolts, I bought some from KHC and was successful installing them closest to the cab. When it came to the center ones though, they broke the nuts when I was torquing them which caused an absolute headache. Ended up replacing the nuts and getting new OEM bed bolts for the middle.
Mine were KHC, again the issue is not the bolts themselves. It’s that they are a different material than the nuts and this causes horrible corrosion.
Sorry if I missed it, but what was the reason for replacing them?
if you need longer ones to mount a rack or some type of carrier to. This was my use but I actually didn’t need longer ones. There’s gotta be a solid extra 3/4” on them to play with. This is why factory ford supplied accessories that need additional space between the bolt head and bed still use the factory bolts. People will also say it’s for ease of future removal having a bolt head instead of a T50 Torx bit but you’ll run into this issue if you actually do that. Just get yourself an impact T50 1/2” drive bit and you’ll be good.
 
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Ellison3

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Galvanic welding. I had that happen on my Cadillac when a body shop replaced my valve stem caps with stainless steel. The stems were on tpms sensors and aluminum. Broke every one of them After one winter.
That’s what they call “dissimilar metals”. The two different metals exaggerate the corrosion of the hardware.
 

Ellison3

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I know looks can be deceiving, what thread pitch were your new ones? They do “appear” different than oem.

I am running 1/2-13 grade 8’s. The ones I could I have a Nylock on and the ones that go into the frame I tapped new frame clips for the 1/2-13.

I have not had any issues yet, but I do pull them somewhat regularly and they get anti seize as well.
They do look slightly different.
 
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