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Old 11-16-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default F150 5.5 Ft Bed Rails and Bull Hook Installation +FAQ

NOTE- I know there aren't any pictures or dimensions in the post, I'll put those in later tonight. It'll make much more sense then, I promise.

Ok, so this seams to be discussed often, but I had a hard time finding out info about this, so I figured I'd just do a little write for everyone.

Facts:

-The 5.5 Bed Rails Have Stake Pockets- 2 front and 2 Rear
-The Bed Rail Caps Do not have pop outs for stake Hooks
-The underside of the Bed Rail Caps do not have cutting guide lines for the stake pockets
-There is aproximately a .3 inch gap/space between the front of the bed rail (on top) and the front of the bed rail cap (inside)
-There is aproximately a .25 inch gap/space between the back of the bed rail (on top) and the inside of the bed rail cap.
-There are a ton of cutouts on top of the bed rails, so if you don't use the bed rail caps it will look UGLY!
-It's very hard to remove the bed rail caps without breaking off the clips that hold them on, so if possible, keep them on the truck


So, that being said-Bull Ring Tie Downs are made for the F150-

Part # 4003: A Pair of Retractable SS Hooks with a SS Top Plate
Click the image to open in full size.

Part # 4001: A Pair of Retractable SS Hoos with a black plastic top plate
Click the image to open in full size.

You'll need to purchase 2 pairs of whichever style you choose.

Now. With the bed rails on the 6.5 ft bed, they have removable plastic pop outs to install the hooks. The way they are designed, the top of the hook's plate is just slightly raised from the cap's top plane, here's a picture to show:

Click the image to open in full size.

This is great, but unfortunetely the 5.5 bed rails caps do not have this feature (Thanks, Ford ).

But you can install the hooks on your 5.5 in bed!

It's pretty simple.

First, you need to find some .25 inch thick PLASTIC (no wood, preferably not metal either) material. The denser the better. Shouldn't be too hard to find some at the local hardware store.You can use this to make the shims for the front and back, or if you want you can also try to find .3 inch thick for the fronts in order to not suck the bed cap down a bit (Not sure why the cap has a bigger gap up front). I had some .3 inch plastic laying around, so I used the for the front and then used a belt sander to make the shims for the rear .25 inches.

Now, take the sheet and draw out 8 rectangles that are ##mm x ##mm. Then, using a scroll saw, cut them out.

Picture

Now, you need to outline another rectangle on each of the 8 pieces, so that it is ##mm from each of the short sides and ## from one of the long sides.

Picture

Using the scroll saw again, cut out the now outline smaller rectangle. You can throw it away.

Set those Aside for later.

Picture


Now, you need to cut out the holes in the bed rail caps themselves. You can see aproximately where the stake pocket holes are by looking at the inside corners of the beds. (You can also look at the following pictures to get an estimate). You can tap the top of the bed rail cap to double check where the holes are.

Once you find the holes, make a pilot hole with a small drill bit. Then, you can use a dremel with a small "textured metal bit" to cut a rough outline of the hole (it's pretty easy to see where the hole edgese are).

However, I used an RC Car body reamer to make about six holes where the stake pocket is. You bascally press it in and then turn. Make's perfect circles- pretty useful for other stuff too. Then I cut it out with these tiny lexan scissors- Just less melted plastic to deal with. Here's a link to them on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dubro-Produc...item27cc60104c

Then, use a grinding stone to smooth the edges so it's the same dimensions as the stake pocket hole, like so:

picture

Now, get the shims you made earlier out. On all the holes you can use 1 whole shim on at least one side. Smear some shoes goo on the top of the shims, and then slide them in careflly so the fit around one side of the take pocket. Press down on the cap to firmly stick them in place. If you mess up, use a flat head screwdriver lever them out and try again.

There are small ridges underneath the cap near the holes that are about .25 in thick. You can do one of two things- Either cut them out from around the hole with a small xacto knife and then slide in a whole shim (made earlier), OR cut the shims so that you use just a corner part, or straight part, to fit around the hole , while still using the ridges as partial support. Almost all the pressure will still be on the plastic shims either way, so it doesn't really matter.

Here's an example of the shims with 1 cut shim and 1 hole shim:


Now, simply insert the bull hooks at an angle, and put in the screws! I reccomend tightening them partially, making sure they're straight, and then tightening all the way. I made sure I pusshed mine as far as I could away from the truck bed to give space for my cover.

Here's the finished product. Very sturdy, no warping of the plastic, and there's still enough room to mount a Bak Folding Cover with NO INTERFERENCE!



Anyways hope this helps, would have made things much easier for me when I did mine. I ended up ruining 1 rail cap by cutting the hole the size of the bull hook plate, in order to have it try to sit flush. This doesn't work, as it will be completely under the bed cap and looks horrible.

-MD
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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Awesome! Looking forward to seeing the completed how-to.

Might add only the rear ones to mine since my tool box will sit over the fronts.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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Yeah it will be much better with pics. I feel like the rears are most useful, but I'm glad I have all 4 too. I wonder if the Bakbox sits flush with the covers or not, that way u could still use all 4 of them and gave a tool box.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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Muggydude, Good write up ... looking forward to pics
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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=

Click the image to open in full size.
=

I had these on my old truck ( 2011 fx4 eco-boost) and tried to remove them to put on my new truck but could only get one set out.I think the problem was that with the salt from the winter they got oxidation and would not come up so I put the one set in my new truck and sprayed white lube on the post so I should have no trouble when I need them.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Bull Rings and F150 Short Beds

Bull Ring F150 Short Bed News...

In March 2014, BullRingUSA.com is coming out with a fix for the 5-1/2' bed install. The kit includes a special router bit that easily cuts the hole to a perfect match of the stake pocket hole opening underneath.

The company claims the new Bull Ring will now fit inside the cut and be flush with the rail cap. (great for all tonneau covers) The new part includes a lower spacer insuring a flush fit all around.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckTalk View Post
Bull Ring F150 Short Bed News...

In March 2014, BullRingUSA.com is coming out with a fix for the 5-1/2' bed install. The kit includes a special router bit that easily cuts the hole to a perfect match of the stake pocket hole opening underneath.

The company claims the new Bull Ring will now fit inside the cut and be flush with the rail cap. (great for all tonneau covers) The new part includes a lower spacer insuring a flush fit all around.
Do you have a link to an article about this?

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:39 AM   #8
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I always thought it was stupid the 5.5' bed didn't have the stake pockets marked out. It's still a truck. We still haul, therefore we need the anchor points. The ones in the bed don't always work. I would be very interested in a kit that helped me with the install and keep everything flush. That's the main reason why I bought a BakFlip.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Hi Heretic,

There is no link available but I work for BullRingUSA.com and am aware of the engineering going on right now for this fix. It looks really good!
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckTalk View Post
Hi Heretic,

There is no link available but I work for BullRingUSA.com and am aware of the engineering going on right now for this fix. It looks really good!

Any idea when the kit will be available?
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:07 AM
 
 
 
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