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DIY Bedside Removal for Fiberglass Bedsides (LT stuffs)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Coot83, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:07 AM
    #1
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    TC 3.5 LT, RCV axles, Demello sliders, BD light bar/fogs, LP6, DMZ rear, SOS skids, custom bumper, King 16" triples, Locked-on hydro rear bumps...
    INTRO AND PURPOSE FOR THIS. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FIRST STEP.

    Well guys, after seeing a few basic write-ups on bed rail caps being removed I decided to make a full fledged bedside removal tutorial for the guys wanting to throw on fiberglass bedsides onto their trucks.

    Putting fiberglass bedsides may or may not be familiar to you. On the west coast where high speed desert driving is plentiful, many long travel (LT) their rides. Traditionally, most get 4" glass front fenders to accommodate kits that are 3.5 in width as the tires will articulate more thus require wider fenders to accommodate the movement of the tires. With the rear in a long travel kit, the average number of travel is between 14-18 inches for a spring under (SUA) leaf LT kit. In order to achieve more than 12 inches of rear travel, wider bedsides will likely need to be installed so that you don't blow up your rear bedsides as they are too narrow for that sort of articulation.

    For this project, I decided to go with what many recommended and got some McNeil Racing 4 inch bedsides with the gas door cubby added on the bedside, ($30) upgrade. These bedsides are the flat version, they make a trophy truck version (mountain top look) as well. It took McNeil a total of 4 days to make these from scratch and then another 5 days to ship to the east coast (VA). This is preferred as this way the glass is the freshest possible and will likely have no possibility for warpage due to sitting in a poor way. McNeil is very professional though, so even if they had been in the shop, I would expect they would likely be ok as well.

    Ok...hopefully everyone can understand why I am doing this process as I will be going long travel in a few months and it is better to get this done now so that Im not chocking the kit later due to stock stuff getting in the way.

    OVERALL PROCESS BEFORE STARTING.

    The general process of this so that when you are following along, you will understand ahead of time. This is a itemized order of things that need to happen to get these off, order doesn't have to be followed down to the T, but how I did it.
    • Bed Rail Caps
    • Bed Rails themselves
    • Upper portion bolts by tailgate along bed rail area
    • Bedside lower reinforcement bolts
    • Tailgate "D" ring latches and support bolts
    • Bolts behind Tail lights
    • Bolts underneath Tail lights in cubby threshold (hidden by bumper)
    • Front bolts (will require shifting bed to remove these)
    • Front Braces (located next to front bolts, can do without moving bed)
    • Wheel well underlining middle insert

    WILL CONTINUE IN NEXT POST...THIS THING IS GETTING SLOOOOOOW TO TYPE.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    Biscuits and Radarninja like this.
  2. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:07 AM
    #2
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Alright, back to normal speed hahaha. Get your trusty 10mm wrench ready! Might be good to have a smaller ratchet to get some of the smaller areas if you are rolling solo to remove them like I did and could only shift your bed but so much.

    LETS START THIS SUCKER.

    1. BED RAIL CAPS - As you will notice, there are two big plastic pieces on the top of your bed sides for protection and functionality. In order to remove these, you will need to remove the two push pin bolt pieces at the front and rear of the caps. These are easy to identify, as all you need to do is locate where the bottom threshold of the caps tie into these inserts. I used a knife to get mine out which there are little slits designed into the pieces to wedge them out. I recommend taking some time to ensure you don't destroy these bad boys. Since I am going to glass, I just tore mine up since my new bedsides will not be using these or the bed caps anymore.

    Bed rail cap insert.jpg
    As you can see, the plastic insert piece is connected to the bottom of the bed rail cap. This is at the rear of the bed rail cap for orientation...this was on the passenger side as I forgot to snap a pic after I removed the drivers! Wanted to clarify so folks don't get confused about the orientation since this removal is for the drivers side.

    After removing both inserts, all you have to do is grab an end of the bed rail cap (I chose the rear) and lift up slowly. This has about 25-30 plastic clips that are all attached to the inside of the bed rail cap. This is how it looks when it is off.

    bed rail cap removed 1.jpg

    Another view...



    bed rail cap removed 2.jpg

    2. BED RAIL REMOVAL - This is exactly what you would expect, 4 STAR bolts (I believe a 6?). I am big into mountain bikes, so amazingly I had a star nut wrench set for this already in my truck! If you want to look into these, you can get them at your local bike shop, they are typically colored in green housing instead of the traditional blue that the park tool ones for normal hex wrenches are configured in. In case some folks might be interested in my tool for this...here it is on Amazon so you don't have to leave the garage!
    https://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Star-Shaped-Wrench-Set/dp/B000OZDIOQ

    Anyway, remove the four bolts and the bed rail is off, this was needed as the bedside is also attached on the top portion due to these bolts.

    bed rail 1.jpg
    Please disregard the aluminum rectangle insert as that was a remnant of my old bed rack for my RTT that is currently removed while I wait for my custom bed bolt bed rack to be fabricated.

    Removed...haha my lack of patience once again shows itself in destruction of a plastic tab!

    bed rail  2.jpg

    3. UPPER PORTION BOLTS (by tailgate) next to the bed rail - Pretty straight forward process, just wrench the two bolts. Unfortunately I didn't capture this part, but they are what are at the end of the upper bed area by the tailgate. I have bed stiffeners on mine which utilize one of the two top bolts to give a possible reference (first photo you can see the bolt to the right, which is 1 of the 2). Wrench these two bolts off with your wrench and move on.

    4. BOTTOM REINFORCEMENT BOLTS - This is located underneath inside the wheel well at the rear. You will see there is a metal triangular support that has two bolts that attach at the top of the bedside. You can remove either side of the support, I chose the top to remove so that it keeps the support there when I remove the bedside. That way it can snag on something if it isn't there. With my new bedsides, I will have to reuse these reinforcements to some degree to help keep the bottom of the bedsides from flapping around which could cause stress cracks in the glass over time.

    bottom reinforcement bolts.jpg

    Might be a little challenging to see, but they are just beyond the resi of my rear shock.


    5. TAILGATE ("D") RING LATCH AND SUPPORT ARM BOLT - I did not remove these yet on mine as my drill battery was DOA and needed to be charged. Because of this, I opted to just remove everything else for now since when I remove these items my tailgate will have no support to remain there without a drill for the new bedsides.

    This is a pic of the tail light off, you can see the side profile of the bedside portion on the outside of the tailgate latch. Notice in this picture that there are two premade holes that is to guide your tail light into its factory orientation if you have never removed them before. Note, you will need to remove the two black bolts inside the tail light area so that it can free the bedside at this area. You will need to remove your tail lights as well when you go to remove the bedside itself.

    tail light bolts.jpg


    6. BUMPER AREA THRESHOLD BOLTS AND SHROUD - If you look at the above picture, you can see I started the removal of the shroud. The picture below shows the shroud opened up so you can see the fastener configuration. When you do this, you will see a few plastic pins on top and bottom of the shroud as well as a bolt that helps fasten these together. This also shows the side profile of the tailgate latches and support bolts as mentioned in the previous step.

    tailight bolts and bumper bolts.jpg

    This is a view of the opposite inner portion of where the shroud connects so that you can see how it attaches.

    bumper bolts 2.jpg

    7. FRONT BOLTS (inside the bed/cab threshold) - This is the bitch part for me as I didn't have another amigo/bro-ski to help me move the bed. Don't worry though, this is simplistic in nature. You will remove all 6 big ass star bolts. If you don't have the socket for this, def go to the store to get a set. I want to say it was the 30 size, but on the five pack it was def the largest star nut socket that had to be used.

    In preparation for this, I removed my rear bumper which was pretty easy since I now have a pelfreybilt bumper so I just had to wrench off 12 bolts. You will have to remove your rear bumper if you want to actually get the bedside off or else you are subject to dinging it in the bumper threshold/bedside corner area underneath the taillight.

    Now, moving forward since I went solo I had to jimmy mine back and forth slowly in order to get it to shift. One thing to take note here is to open your gas tank lid and watch the neck of gas filler area. It took me a minute to realize that it was snagging up in my bedside. To help with this remedy, remove your gas cap and carefully shift your bed to get the filler neck out of its stock location so you can move your bed around a little. You will find the bed moves pretty unrestricted once you do this with the filler neck.

    front bolts pain in the ass.jpg

    I shifted mine about 3-5 inches which was enough for me to work my 5 bolts out of the front of the bedside. Once you do this to both sides, you can then just shift the bed back until the gas neck is back in its proper orientation.

    8. FRONT BRACE BOLTS - These bolts are located literally next to the 5 front bolts that you just removed. So before you shift the bed back, go ahead and take these two bolts on the bottom directly next to the vertical line of holes from the front bolt locations. To help give some reference here, the front brace is housed on the bedside just in front of the wheel well area. Also, in the previous front bolts pic just above, you can see one of them which is quite long at the bottom of the pic.

    This is a pic of the front two bolt locations. As you can see I already removed these...

    Front brace bolts.jpg

    9. Underlining Insert - This little gremlin is located in the middle of your black plastic underskirt inside the wheel well. You can either have some finesse in carefully using a screwdriver to pry the head out and then remove the body like any other push pin. In my case, I just ripped it out as we are done with these bad boys.

    Underlining insert.jpg
    This isn't the best picture, but if you look towards the middle, you should see a little hole where once again, that SOB got removed!

    This should be the last item needed to remove your bedsides! A good test to see if you got everything is to just grab the bottom and see if you can rotate the bottom out and away. For the most part, you just swing out the bedside a little bit and then walk it out from rear to front.

    IF YOU HAVE A LONG BED, YOU MAY WANT TO TAKE A LOOK OF THIS SNAP SHOT PROVIDED BY @Sterling_vH111 upon completing his bedsides install.

    [​IMG]

    He found not only two gremlins...but two 10mm bolts as well. This can always be challenging due to the tight space to get in there. This should be the final piece to get that long bed bedside off. Thanks man for providing this!

    COMPLETELY BOLT ON PROCESS! This took me about an hour or so with looking at stuff and checking constantly. If you are familiar with this tutorial I don't see how you couldn't get these off in 20 min per side. We will see how accurate my guesstimate is as I am helping a buddy swap mine on to his, so this starts all over again!

    NOTES GOING FORWARD WITH FIBERGLASS BEDSIDES

    I decided to go with McNeil as stated above, they are a strong, sturdy construction with decent fit history. This proved to be spot on. The top panel that the existing bed rails utilize has nuts attached on the inside of the bed area. This is a great start to getting these one.

    1. ORIENTATION AND PLACEMENT - When putting them on, just like with the stock bedsides, go at an angle and lay the lip on the bed top. You will have to shift it forward enough to get the front to hook into the front. Since the construction of the bedsides are off the stock ones, they have a triangular tip at the front of the bedside that this shift is needed for. With the McNeil ones, once I got it aligned, the rear fit perfectly into the taillight channels that the old bedside framework attached at.

    2. INITIAL SECUREMENT OF BED TOP AREA/HARDWARE COLLECTION - With the exception of the top portion of the bed where the bed rails were, the rest will NOT HAVE ANY NUTS to reuse. I recommend hitting up a hardware store, in my case I went to Home depot. The standard skinny bolts are M6x1.0, I pretty much cleaned out all of Home Depot's stock as there wasn't much left. For the bigger bolts that support the tail gate latches ("D" ring with two bolts) and the tailgate support arm bolts (star bolts) are M8x1.25. Home Depot has a basic nut kit for $5 that has an assortment of these as once again, they had nothing in their little tray bins.

    Notice that there is a little "box" indention in the stock bed interior. If you use the center point of this box and go up a little, you should be in line with the covered hole for the bed rails.

    Glass bed rail bolt.jpg

    The bed rail area bolted up.

    Glass bed rail installed.jpg

    3. TAILLIGHT CHANNEL - My taillight channels were a little warped, which is expected with fiberglass. When talking with McNeil, they claimed that many guys simply remove the taillight channel. This is completely do-able and wouldn't affect things, but I wanted to keep it for now. Nothing wrong removing later if needed. Due to the warpage here, I started by bolting in the top and getting it nice and snug and worked my way down. Considering the metal interior piece of the bed alone can support this area, I didn't mind slightly creaking the fiberglass as it in essence is non essential in functionality. The mind set here is to slowly drill and bolt up the holes in a top to bottom manner to get the fiberglass to slowly correct itself into the channel.

    I will snap a pic later on with the taillight off again for reference, but this is the interior tailgate channel piece I am referring to where everything is bolted onto.
    Glass tailight channel area.jpg

    4. TAILLIGHT INSTALL - Depending if you have ever removed your taillights before, you will notice that there are two bolts on the taillight channel area. After removing these two bolts, you will notice two little plastic inserts that are made to guide the taillight into two grommet holes in the stock bedsides. With the glass bedsides, only the lower area is available to actually drill for the guiding grommet to use. To get this correct first time out, I recommend ding your best to bolt up the taillight WITHOUT drilling a hole for the guide piece. At the same time, be aware of the orientation of your taillights as mine seem to be a little low to the upper portion of the taillight opening. Because of this, I drilled my holes at the highest possible point in the hole in the taillight channel for my two bolts. That way the top of the taillight can fill all of the void in the taillight opening in the bedside. After you have the taillight snug, try to mark as best you can where the guide is hitting. It can be tight, so having a small punch or drill bit can be handy here to make a little mark. Remove the taillight and then drill that hole out and give it just a little bit of room. Re-install the taillight this time, if done right, it will bolt up seamlessly and clean. If not, then you might have to sand just a little bit on the side of the taillight cavity opening along the outer portion of it that the taillight makes contact.

    5. FRONT HOLES - You will notice at this point with the rear and top secure that the bedside is quite secure since it doesn't weigh as much as a stock sheet metal one does. You can still get the bedside to slightly move around in the front though. My recommendation is to drill atleast one if not two holes in the existing holes that the original stock ones used. The difference this time is that you will have all this open space to see what is going on and you should be able to identify the holes and drill.

    6. BRACING - I was able to get this figured out with the stock bracing! The rear you might have to bend slightly to get it out of the back end of the wheel well to clear for cycling, but it bolts up just fine! You will have to make sure you keep your vertical brace as well as the stock painted bottom part that has two holes for bolts.

    This should make it pretty clear of what I am talking about...

    Glass rear bracing.jpg
    I didn't install the second bolt at the top due to the timing, but it is there in the final product!

    Glass rear bracing bolt.jpg
    This is how the holes on the bottom look like. Pretty happy with this location as it is sturdy and off the main appearance of the bedside.

    Front bracing was used with the stock bar bracing, but I had to bend them at the mid point a little. The drivers side has more bending to it compared to the passengers due to how my glass turned out. I would def recommend doing one of these at a time in regards to bending as to make sure each side is molded properly.


    Glass front brace bent comparison.jpg
    Just to show you how the drivers side was bent from the passenger side when the passenger side was still in its stock orientation.

    Glass front brace mounted.jpg
    Here is the brace itself mounted as it was in the stock location, but with the bend it can get around the side of the glass section and mount flush with the new bottom leg of the bedside.

    7. GAS TANK LID - After the bedsides are removed, you will still have to remove the lid as well as the black insert that wraps around the neck of the gas tank filler neck. McNeil only offers to add the painted cubby portion ($30) of the lid area that is made of sheet meal on the OEM bedsides. For my lid, I turned the driver's bedside over to reveal the back portion of both the sheet metal cubby and the plastic insert. You will see that both of these pieces are fastened by rivets. In removal of these rivets, I used a grinder to remove all four backings of the rivets to the plastic insert. I came to find that I wouldn't have enough room to get the grinding wheel to cut the two rivets holding the door hinge brace in place without cutting up the sheet metal cubby. To remedy this, I just used an air chisel which pops these backings off in about two seconds.

    So long story short, just use an air chisel for this process. It is small, precise, and very effective in terms of results and time. Unfortunately, I didn't capture any pics of this process, but you should be able to identify this portion after looking at your gas door area.

    Feel free to post up comments, criticisms, and concerns about my process. If you think you might have a better approach with any perspective, please help the knowledge grow and share!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  3. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:10 AM
    #3
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 EAF YO

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    :worthless:

    did you get them already?
     
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  4. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:29 AM
    #4
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Yea I got them in last Friday...figured for other guys I will create this mini tutorial to eliminate some fear about the process.

    Im slowly creating this so you might see it constantly get edited in the first post.
     
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  5. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:31 AM
    #5
    fatfurious2

    fatfurious2 EAF YO

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    will check back there. thanks!
     
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  6. Aug 7, 2017 at 7:28 AM
    #6
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    That is the write-up for now...

    @Tacomoto23, hope this gives you some insight brother!
     
  7. Aug 7, 2017 at 7:42 AM
    #7
    Caboose117

    Caboose117 foul mouthed Marine

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    smashed this, broke that, covered it up with tape and paint
    Sub :)
     
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  8. Aug 7, 2017 at 7:45 AM
    #8
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Good to see you venture in here brother. I cant remember if you got your beds on yet, but feel free to throw down any info if you want.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2017 at 9:46 AM
    #9
    Caboose117

    Caboose117 foul mouthed Marine

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    smashed this, broke that, covered it up with tape and paint
    Nah not yet
    I haven't even gotten to mess with my front fenders :bananadead:
    Still sitting in the garage waiting to get mounted
     
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  10. Aug 7, 2017 at 10:14 AM
    #10
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Ah damn that's right you are third gen...wish I could help out with that. I mounted my own fenders, but the second gen is pretty easy to tear apart.
     
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  11. Aug 7, 2017 at 11:07 AM
    #11
    TegoTaco

    TegoTaco Well-Known Member

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    More!!!
     
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  12. Aug 7, 2017 at 11:08 AM
    #12
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Weather is looking decent...thinking about getting ballsy and installing them tonight.
     
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  13. Aug 7, 2017 at 11:09 AM
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    TegoTaco

    TegoTaco Well-Known Member

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    That's what I'm sayin'!
     
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  14. Aug 7, 2017 at 2:35 PM
    #14
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Alright, turns out I missed a step...there is a front brace that has two screws per side. Gonna add that to the top later. Eating some din now and then all I got to do is pull up the passenger side bedside! Shit is going down peeps!
     
  15. Aug 7, 2017 at 6:45 PM
    #15
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Gonna update the top soon as there was two more locations that I missed, but I got both sides mounted! It was a relief to find out the top portion of the bed where the bed rails attached at had fixed nuts on the inside of the bed wall. Drilling up the tail lights and stuff was actually pretty simple and the mold from McNeil was a solid fit where it could only really fit one way.

    Already got my painting buddy prepared to receive these on Saturday to paint next week. Anyway I will update with mounting later.

    Enjoy...

    IMG_1532.jpg
    IMG_1534.jpg
    IMG_1537.jpg
    IMG_1536.jpg
    IMG_1538.jpg
     
  16. Aug 8, 2017 at 2:22 AM
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    Caboose117

    Caboose117 foul mouthed Marine

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    smashed this, broke that, covered it up with tape and paint
    Friggin fragging
    Dag gon son of a....

    Installing fiberglass sucks


    IMG_4695.jpg IMG_4696.jpg IMG_4697.jpg
     
  17. Aug 8, 2017 at 4:28 AM
    #17
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

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    Yea it does, but once you start bolting on the glass...just a beautiful thing man. Looks sick! :thumbsup:

    Those bypasses though...:hungry:
     
  18. Aug 8, 2017 at 4:58 AM
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    boogie3478

    boogie3478 Tacomaholic & Hollywood

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    Member:
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    Messages:
    23,804
    Gender:
    Male
    Northern Virginia
    Vehicle:
    14 TRD Off-Road V6
    All the mods
    Wow great stuff.
     
  19. Aug 8, 2017 at 4:58 AM
    #19
    Caboose117

    Caboose117 foul mouthed Marine

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2014
    Member:
    #135375
    Messages:
    2,546
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chad
    Kentucky
    Vehicle:
    ;IGY6 Rescue Truck
    smashed this, broke that, covered it up with tape and paint
    When I get back to Kentucky maybe you and I will have to meet half way and go wheel
     
    Coot83 [OP] likes this.
  20. Aug 8, 2017 at 5:15 AM
    #20
    Coot83

    Coot83 [OP] STATE 48 OVERLAND

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Member:
    #194134
    Messages:
    13,269
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Scottsdale, Az
    Vehicle:
    2012 Baja TX
    TC 3.5 LT, RCV axles, Demello sliders, BD light bar/fogs, LP6, DMZ rear, SOS skids, custom bumper, King 16" triples, Locked-on hydro rear bumps...
    Updated the top two posts with a FINALIZED procedure and all items addressed in the tutorial to successfully remove the bedsides.

    Pics to come for the glass bedside install to aid in reference for the install breakdown.
     

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