My dad always said that when you buy a used car you buy somebody else's problems. My Ranger is a 2003 but when we bought it only had 25,000 miles. That means at some point it sat... Well when things sit the rust monster gets to make a play for them. On the Ranger the rust monster got to the bed and in places got to it BAD. It had 3 or 4 good size rust holes and when I attacked with a screwdriver they got worse. So Monday I pulled the bed off (lousy job when working alone) and started cutting. I ended up with about 1.5 square feet of bed cut out. I'd bought a repair panel from JC Whitney and some angle iron from the hardware store. The angle iron is to remake some of the bracing underneith that had rusted. Its MUCH stronger than the origninal. The repair panel doesn't match the bed exactly but isn't too bad.
Tuesday I had to take off because I'd hurt my back pulling the bed (bad job as I said). Yesterday and today were spend grinding and welding, welding and grinding but finally all the repairs are done. The underside of the bed has been painted and then covered in rubberized undercoating. Tomorrow I'll get Randy and Chuck to come over and remount the bed (no big job with 3 guys) and then I'll paint the patch panels and coat the whole bed with Herculiner.
I used Herculiner on the Dakota 10 years ago this year and that bed had no rust inside when I traded the truck. Its good stuff and helps keep stuff from sliding in the bed. I hadn't coated the Dakota thick enough because cold weather caught me, this time I'm going to do both coats in 2 days so I should be okay.
I think the patch looks like hell but Angie says it looks good to her and anyway its way better than rust so that makes me feel good. Still I think I'll either put a piece of plywood or a rubber bedmat over it...