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Mule bed


Travis
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Okay another project i plan on doing.

The bed has a few rust spots starting on it, so i figure i'd better get the jump on it. Also i've always to put a bed mat in it to protect it, Kawasaki sells one, but for $70 AND it's fairly thin, i think about 5/16" ( i know some of the mats for the newer FXT's are 3/16") maybe less. so here's my plan.

Strip the paint in the floor of the bed, expose raw metal, sand and brush any rust away, apply  POR15 to kill the rust, then once that dries go over with the spray of rust reformer to prevent rust (maybe). Tractor supply sells those horse stall mats, my dad just bought one, they seem to be about 9/16" thick, maybe more. cut to dimensions, ( 40 3/4" wide X 34 1/2" long) Now, the way i figure on fixing the mat to the bed is this:  once i have the mat cut to dimension, drill through the mat and bed and bolt it down with carriage bolts since the heads are more or less flat. do one in each corner, nut and lockwasher on the underside.

ONE quart of POR15 covers 96 SQ FT, so i think a pint may be enough for my bed.....

and it looks like this one will be the right size.... https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/utility-rubber-mat-black-4-ft-x-3-ft-x--frac12-in?cm_vc=-10005

What should i do differently? Thoughts?

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travis  do you have a power dump on your bed ? the horse mats are heavy ....  really heavy,  and the mat may retain water and dirt under the mat.  we just paint ours every other year.  and the other thing about the horse mat is stuff will not slide when you dump them.  

 

 

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No dump assist, I'm pretty strong ;) . Plus, once the angle  of the bed gets to a certain point, the weight assists with the dumping and the tilt of the bed tilts to almost vertical.. But i  rarely carry anything to dump, just firewood in the winter, tools and feed buckets in the spring and fall. I also want something thick enough that can protect the bed from gouges and scrapes, But you do have some good points. I will think about it.

 I also thought about using those spray cans of bedliner.... but i read so many mixed reviews, i didn't know if it would be worth it or not.

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I like the idea of the stall mat. But if the mule is left out in the weather, then I think water will definately cause problems with rust underneath the mat. If it's kept under a roof, then I think it'll be okay. As long as you can easily pull the mat out. So you'd need some kind of quick connect type fastener. 

Because you'll need a way to pull that mat out. You'll occasionally need a way to clean under it. Or to let it dry if it gets wet. But there's always the possibility that if it's heavyweight rubber. That it'll stay in place. No fasteners needed.

Mine has the OEM poly bedliner. It works well enough. 

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I plan on prepping and coating the bed floor with POR15, supposedly kills and stops rust... It needs it after 20 years.. I thought about water getting under it... I actually cut the mat today and fits perfect all the way around..

I'm thinking about using a black caulk or sealer around the edges. But that would inhibit removal

Right now it stays under a tarp, but a shed for it is in the near future... I

I may come up with a way to use preexisting holes drilled in the bed for load fastening for a quick release though...

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Let that mat sit there for a couple weeks. See if you even need it fastened. If you don't use the dump, there should be no reason to need it fastened. And it might just form fit and be fabulous. I guarantee that you'll need to get under that mat. Especially if you fasten it down permanently. 

I put a plywood bottom in and old wagon that I pulled behind a four wheeler. That was what I used before the mule. That plywood bottom didn't need to come out often, but it did need to come out. 

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13 hours ago, Travis said:

I plan on prepping and coating the bed floor with POR15, supposedly kills and stops rust... It needs it after 20 years.. I thought about water getting under it... I actually cut the mat today and fits perfect all the way around..

I'm thinking about using a black caulk or sealer around the edges. But that would inhibit removal

Right now it stays under a tarp, but a shed for it is in the near future... I

I may come up with a way to use preexisting holes drilled in the bed for load fastening for a quick release though...

would not calk it at all, you would need a way for the water to drain out

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