Well, I completed my project for a total of about $50. This is my first writeup, so please bear with me
Necessary for this project are--
-6' length of 2x2" angle iron
-2 6" stainless handles
-2 3/8" dia. bolts/nuts
-4 3/16" bolts /washers/nuts
-power drill with a 3/8" and 3/16" metal cutting bits
-a pair of 55w fog lights (or any other aftermarket lights)
I started out with buying a 6' angle iron
I next measured and cut the angle iron to fit the width of the entire bed top (60.5”—it almost reaches to the outside of my drop-in bedliner on each side). Then I notched out a 3.25” section on each side of the bar with a sawzall. Used a grinder to smooth/even out the cut area.
Then I dryfitted the angle iron to see what I was up against with the position of the future mounting holes
Next, it was time to drill the holes. I initially felt around under the top of the bedsides at the front of the bed and realized that there was an opening in the “inner” element of the 2-piece bedside. I used this as a starting point for where to drill the mounting holes in the bedsides. I drilled one 3/8” hole on each side exactly 4-3/8” back from the front edge of the bed.
After drilling the bed holes, I drilled 5 3/8” holes in the top of the angle iron. 2 mounting holes—1 hole 1” in from each side. 2 holes for mounting my 55w fog lights—1 hole 6” in from each side. And finally 1 hole about 1’ in from the left side for mounting my CB antenna later down the road. Then I drilled the 4 3/16” holes to mount the handles in the rear facing edge of the angle iron.
Next, I sanded the bar down with 220 sandpaper, then sprayed the bar with Duplicolor Truck Bed Coating.
After the bedliner spray had cured, I mounted the lights and handles on it. To ground the lights, I found it convenient to just have the built-in ground wire ends bolted to the bar on the outermost handle bolts. After everything was tightened up, it was time to mount the bar to the bed, using the 3/8” bolts. I held each nut in a socket extension in a bedliner opening just under the bed holes so I could put the bolts through without losing anything under the drop-in liner.
Now time to wire everything up. First I used about 3.5’ of wire with an inline fuse, leading from the engine bay fuse box through the firewall to the switch (I put this switch next to my aftermarket front light switch in my in-cab fusebox cover). 12’ of wire leading from the switch to the drivers side bed light, running back through the firewall, down near the transmission area, along the frame through openings in the bodymounts, and in between the cab/bed with a “Y” terminal at the end (I put this run in a ridged plastic sleeve to protect it from the elements). 4’ of wire from drivers side light to passenger side light.
Here’s my colorful switch setup
And that’s pretty much it. I’m happy with the outcome, as the whole bed bar/light setup doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. Can be used camping, emergency situations, running tailgaters off the road…(JUST KIDDING!)
Thanks for reading!