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Due to its numerous benefits, many truck owners consider the truck cap a wonderful addition to the truck. It could also get damaged at some point and you will start thinking about replacement.
One of the things that many people do when they want to replace their truck cap is to interchange it, especially if they have one that is not useful presently. It is then a dilemma at that point to know if the truck cap is interchangeable.
Since there are different manufacturers and models of trucks, you should know that there will be different sizes of truck caps. Are you wondering about the one that would fit easily on another? Well, the truth is that being from the same manufacturer doesn’t mean that they will fit. Keep reading for more information.
Examples of truck caps that are interchangeable
Many trucks have been produced by Ford, Toyota, and other automakers. This doesn’t mean that the truck cap of different trucks from the same manufacturer will fit. The following are some of the examples of truck caps that are interchangeable.
Ford is a popular producer of trucks. The company has produced some trucks that have similar truck beds while some do not.
This implies that interchanging the truck cap of the truck requires that you know the size of the truck bed before you go ahead to do so. A little change in size could affect the installation of the truck cap.
Ford 150 and 250 that were produced from 1980 to 1996 have identical truck beds. This simply means that their truck caps are interchangeable. For instance, if you own a 1980 F150, you can easily interchange the truck cap with the one produced in 1995.
There was a change in the design of some of Ford’s trucks from 1997 to 2003. F10 that was released within this period has a wider front. This simply means that the truck cap of F150 produced before 1997 will not fit on the ones produced from 1997 to 2003. However, the truck bed of F250 produced within the same time maintains the same design until 1999.
Another generation of Ford trucks was released from 2004 to 2008. The design of the F150 and F250 trucks that were produced look a bit different but they have similar bed sizes to the generation before them. This means that the truck cap of a Ford truck produced from 2004 to 2008 will fit perfectly on any Ford produced from 1997 to 2003.
Moreover, changes also occur in the Ford trucks that were produced from 2009 to 2014, 2015 to 2020, and another change from 2021 to date. Therefore, if you intend to interchange the truck cap of any Ford truck, you should know the years of production and see if they fall to the same generation.
You don’t have any problem when you want to interchange the truck cap of Mazda trucks, especially the ones produced after 1993. This is because all of Mazda’s trucks that have been produced from 1994 to date have identical truck beds.
However, there is a change in the design of the truck beds of Mazda trucks that were produced from 1998 to 2006. The trucks produced within this period have narrow rails. Within this generation, Mazda produced trucks that have different sizes of beds.
For instance, the trucks produced from 1983 to 1993 have three different sizes. Some were produced with long beds, others with short beds, and the rest have the regular bed patterns. Nevertheless, the good news is that the truck cap will still be interchangeable with older and newer models of Mazda trucks.
Just like the other trucks that have been mentioned, trucks produced by Chevy also experienced different generational changes. Trucks that were produced within the same generation have similar truck beds and that means that the truck caps are interchangeable.
For instance, the generation of Chevy trucks that were produced from 1973 to 1987 has a unique feature that differentiates them from other generations. Their beds were rectangular before the modification began in 1988.
The next decade is for a generational change in Chevy’s trucks. Trucks produced within this period are not designed in the usual rectangular shape truck bed. Another generational change occurred from 1999 to 2006.
The next generation has a different bed shape and design from the previous one. The affected trucks here are the ones produced from 2007 to 2013. The next generation was the ones produced from 2014 to 2018 and the last generation is the other produced from 2019 till date.
Interchanging the truck caps from different manufacturers
From the examples highlighted above, you might think that interchanging truck caps is limited to trucks from the same manufacturer. You can also interchange the caps of different manufacturers but some conditions must be fulfilled. The following are some of the conditions.
You might not be able to judge the compatibility of the truck caps of trucks from different manufacturers by merely looking at them. You need to know the size. It is recommended that you measure the truck bed to be sure. If the sizes are the same, there is a high chance that it will be possible to interchange them.
The similarity in size is not the only thing that will determine if the truck caps are interchangeable. You should also consider the dimension of the truck bed. For instance, they might be of the same sizes but different designs. Make sure that every part of the truck bed is compatible before you interchange the truck caps.
How to install the truck cap on your truck
Did you know that you can install the truck cap yourself? Before you do so, you need to have all the necessary tools with you. Some of the tools you will need are safety gloves, C-clamps, air drills, and others. Moreover, the task is not something you can finish within a few minutes. Below are the steps you can follow when you are ready to do it.
The surface is important
Installing the truck cap on your truck is not what you can do on all surfaces. For your safety and that of the truck, the surface must be flat before you start the process. If the surface in your home is not flat, you should drive to a flat location. Afterwards, you should make sure that the truck is properly parked.
Use wheel chocks
You will be working at the back of the truck, you need to take some precautions. One of the things you should do is to get wheel chocks and then apply them on the front wheel. You need to do this before you start the installation.
Place the truck cap
Once the front wheels have been secured with chocks, you can then put the truck cap on the truck. Lifting the cover from the floor alone might not be easy.
You need the assistance of someone. You can ask your friend or any of your close associates for assistance when you want to do this.
Nevertheless, if you will be doing this alone, you can use a cherry picker to lift the truck cap. It is recommended that you open the tailgate of the truck for easier access.
Place the C-clamps
At this point, you should get 4 C-clamps and place one each at the corner of the truck cap. Afterwards, you should mark the areas where the truck cap will be secured to the truck bed.
If you will be installing a new truck cap, there might be a need for you to drill holes into the mounting surface of the truck cap. You can then secure the truck cap to the truck bed with bolts. Nevertheless, make sure that you torque it to the recommended level.
Test the job
You have not finished the installation process until you are convinced that you have done a perfect job. To do this, you can start by closing the tailgate and the window of the cap. Afterwards, you should get a hose and spray the truck cap with water for a few minutes.
You can then open the window to check if there is no leakage. You have successfully installed the cap if there is no leakage. In a situation where there is leakage, check the tightness of the bolts. You can repeat the testing. Once you are through with the installation, you should remember to pack the tools you use and tidy the place.
You should be able to install the truck cap successfully with the steps highlighted above. However, if there is still water leakage after a series of testing, you should consult an expert. Doing this will resolve the crises and could also help prevent future problems with the truck cap.
The truck caps of the same models of trucks are easy to interchange, provided they are produced in the same generation. Nevertheless, you can also interchange from another generation or manufacturer, provided they have similar features.