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Engle Bros. Fab welds in a smooth roll pan from Grant Fab

Our first step in creating a period-correct 90’s sport truck

May 26, 2020
We're finally making some moves on our recently acquired 1995 Chevy C1500.
If you recall, we picked up a pretty worn out standard cab short bed, and so far, we've only done what was necessary to get it back on the road. Then we added a smooth lid from Snug Top, which instantly improved the looks of the truck. At this point, we're ready to tear into the truck and get it looking like a respectable '90s custom. And we're going to start with one of the most popular mods from that era- the roll pan.
There were (and still are) three different ways to get that smooth back end after removing the factory rear bumper. The first way was to simply bolt in a paint-matched fiberglass roll pan, which is what most of these trucks were customized with coming out of the dealerships back in the day. The next level was to upgrade to a steel roll pan, still bolted in, but had a better look than the glass version. Sir Michaels was one of the big suppliers of this style roll pan back in the day. The least common, but best and most custom roll pan, was the weld-in variety. It was the least common, especially when these trucks were new, because they require blending of the paint, or even repainting the entire bed to get the finished product. But in our opinion, the work is worth the results.
Photo 2/25   |   When we picked up our '95 C1500, this is what it looked like out back. Bone stock, with a pretty well-bent bumper and a giant receiver hitch.
We've been friends with Bob Grant for nearly 20 years. He is a master sheet metal fabricator and has built some of the most iconic mini and full size trucks around—and some of them never even got finished! After taking some time off for personal and customer projects, Grant Fab, the custom sheet metal parts side of the business, is back in full force with custom roll pans, shaved wiper panels, tailgate fillers and tailgate skins for all the popular full-size and mini trucks.
Naturally, we called up Bob for a weld-in roll pan for our OBS project, and even though Grant Fab has several options for a license plate box, we had to go with the standard one to keep with our '90s build. We tasked our other friend, Dave from Engle Bros. Fabrication, to do the welding. It seemed like a good idea because Dave is a frequent collaborator with Bob already. We busted out the job in just a couple hours, even with the unexpected surprise we found on one of the lower bedsides. Check out the process below and stay tuned for more on our retro 90's OBS build.
Photo 3/25   |   We removed all that, and also peeled off the factory tin tailgate trim like the lid of a sardine can. Yes, that's a bullet hole on the lower left-hand corner. More on that later.
Photo 4/25   |   The Grant Fab weld-in roll pan showed up well-packed in a hand-made box, and when weren't really shocked to see that it was pretty much perfect. We were almost sad that we didn't get a one of Grant's updated license box styles, but we had to stick to our 90's theme.
Photo 5/25   |   Once we were over at Engle Bros. Fab, we gave the truck bed a quick inspection. The right side was factory fresh, but the left side had some repairs.
Photo 6/25   |   We started to grind away the paint for welding, and we were immediately met with a ton of body filler. But we'll get it straightened out.
Photo 7/25   |   Dave continued grinding the rest of the paint off of the bed where the roll pan would be welded. Then he knocked back the spot weld seam a bit.
Photo 8/25   |   We did some more grinding on the bad corner and Dave made quick work of getting it back into shape with a hammer and dolly.
Photo 9/25   |   Eventually, we realized what we were dealing with. Not only did the bumper smash into this corner, but there were also three more bullet holes hidden under the filler. Evidently, this truck was in a real-life shootout!
Photo 10/25   |   At this point, we held the roll pan up to the truck for the first time for test fitting.
Photo 11/25   |   We tried a little unflattening of the bed edges to better match the pan.
Photo 12/25   |   On the driver's side, even with all our body work the corner was still a hair crooked. Dave marked the pan from behind.
Photo 13/25   |   A very small amount of material was trimmed from the bottom edge of the roll pan.
Photo 14/25   |   At this point, we had a perfect fit and we were ready to start tacking the roll pan in place.
Photo 15/25   |   Dave held the pan in place and got a couple tack welds on each side.
Photo 16/25   |   Getting that top curve right is the highest priority. After the first round of tack welds, Dave did a little metal shaping to make sure it was perfect.
Photo 17/25   |   The passenger side lined up perfectly from the get-go, So Dave continued tacking the roll pan in place.
Photo 18/25   |   Once we added a few tacks across the top edge, Dave worked toe top edge of the pan until it was flat against the bed.
Photo 19/25   |   Then we filled in the tacks across the top edge of the roll pan.
Photo 20/25   |   After some cooling time, Dave made a final pass, filling in the welds on each side.
Photo 21/25   |   Soon we were on to the grinding phase of the job. Dave started out on the easy side.
Photo 22/25   |   In just a few minutes this side was near-perfect. A minimal amount of filler will be needed to complete the passenger side.
Photo 23/25   |   The drivers side still needed some work. We welded up the bullet holes, did a little more work with the hammer and dolly and ground the welds flat.
Photo 24/25   |   At this point we were ready to hit the road. That corner isn't exactly metal-finished, but it will only require a small fraction of body filler compared to what was previously there. Also, no bullet holes!
Photo 25/25   |   Speaking of bullet holes, we're still on the fence as to whether or not we're going to keep the one on the tailgate. Check back soon because we'll be doing the finish work and painting the back end of this project soon!

Source Box:

Grant Fab
Engle Bros. Fabrication