Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck?

Posted by: 360view

Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 09:12 AM

The Thursday Wall Street Journal is reporting that
GM is aiming to have an extremely light weight carbon fiber cargo box
for its 2019 model year pickups that will get a weight reduction comparable to Ford's glitch hobbled aluminum pickup body parts.

Which is the better overall method:

Aluminum body panels and cargo box
Or
Carbon fiber cargo box and Saturn-like plastic body panels?
Posted by: Stanton

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 09:51 AM

The problem with any "composite" is it doesn't have the flexibility to take a hard hit. Drop a toolbox into a composite bed and you end up with a bad crack instead of a dent. Maybe they'll include a box liner in the deal !!!
Posted by: Neil

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:02 AM

Whatever they do will drive the cost higher that's for sure. Want to save weight? Try downsizing the size of the truck.

Most people here with new trucks don't put anything in the bed. Construction workers, who actually use their trucks, usually drive a 95 Ford with 3 different tires and no tailgate. Their boss, the GC, are the ones who have new trucks with 20k worth of accessories, and they don't do anything that involves getting dirty.
Posted by: feets

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:24 AM

Trucks have become too large but with the mentality surrounding them the first company to downsize is going to lose.

My 92 D250 is what I consider "proper" size. The last generation Dakotas were pretty close. The current leviathans are way too large and with the 24" deep beds (mine is 18" deep) you can't get to low items in the bed without dropping the tailgate.
I can drop some 2x4s in the bed of my truck and reach over the side to retrieve them. You can forget doing that in today's trucks. The tailgate has to come down and you'll likely have to break out the "man step" to get in there.

I still think that the outer body panels should be made like a smart car. Flexible plastic is cheap to replace, available in body color, and light dents pop out on their own.
Posted by: Θάνατος

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:43 AM

I have zero problems getting things out of my truck, from the sides or the rear and it's a 4x4 to boot.
Posted by: Rhinodart

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:45 AM

Make mine steel or forget me ever buying another one. Had my 2015 regular cab Ram 4x4 next to my 96 regular cab 2500 long box and my 1992 regular cab short box next to each other last week and the 2015 looked like a damn semi compared to the others... eek
Posted by: 360view

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:46 AM

When my brother's "mid sized" 2016 Colorado is parked right next to my 1995 Ram we can easily see they are practically the same size. I can vividly remember that my first impression of the 1994 Rams were that they were "too big" compared to the fully capable previous years.
Posted by: RoadRunner

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:48 AM

I have an aluminum truck. And I use my bed. I also have a spray in liner. I have had transported loads of gravel, sand, dirt, and trees. Also loaded it up with engine parts, and took 2000lbs of scrap brake rotors, drums and other heavy metal pieces to the scrap yard this past spring. Its holding up no different that the bed in the last truck which was steel. In fact, I think better as I think this spray in liner is a bit thicker. I can say I am not one for hanging parts three feet in the air and dropping them into the bed. I think the commercials are ridiculous in that regard.
Posted by: sp392

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:50 AM

GM used to offer a composite box, but look at the warping!

https://youtu.be/MxhMH7bd3BY?t=4m57s
Posted by: jcc

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:59 AM

Originally Posted By sp392
GM used to offer a composite box, but look at the warping!

https://youtu.be/MxhMH7bd3BY?t=4m57s


Warping with CF/epoxy is many factors less then resin/FG composites, almost no comparison. And there is a distinction between "plastic" and "composites". The big problem not yet mentioned, CF, unless used in main structural components (ie not truck beds), will add little to any crash integrity compliance ( it shatters) if the CF is used in thicknesses for the stated purpose of reducing weight. And it certainly will not be cheaper, I expect.
Posted by: Θάνατος

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By 360view
When my brother's "mid sized" 2016 Colorado is parked right next to my 1995 Ram we can easily see they are practically the same size. I can vividly remember that my first impression of the 1994 Rams were that they were "too big" compared to the fully capable previous years.


When we got my wife her '15 Canyon we parked it next to her 05 Ram.

It's about 8 inches shorter and not nearly as wide. In the Ram you could lie a piece of plywood between the wheel wells, in the Canyon it has to go above the wells but is will fit between the bedsides. The Ram sat much higher too, both 2wd's.
Posted by: wingman

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 11:06 AM

Pickups from all 3 manufacturers have gotten needlessly, ridiculously huge over the years, and the prices for them have gotten equally bloated. They have turned into profit gold mines for the companies because the markup is so crazy, but people keep paying it.

And the problem is half of these people that drive them use them as daily drivers, riding around with the bed empty, towing mirrors sticking out for no reason. Then when they get to Wal Mart they still want to park in the front row and can't manage to fit them into a normal size parking spot. rolleyes

I drive an 03 Dakota daily, and it can do almost anything a 1500 can do, in a footprint about the same as an '80s full size truck.

But Dodge beat the Dakota with an ugly stick, then killed it off completely, because it was taking away from their 1500 sales...
Posted by: sp392

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By wingman
Pickups from all 3 manufacturers have gotten needlessly, ridiculously huge over the years, and the prices for them have gotten equally bloated. They have turned into profit gold mines for the companies because the markup is so crazy, but people keep paying it.

And the problem is half of these people that drive them use them as daily drivers, riding around with the bed empty, towing mirrors sticking out for no reason. Then when they get to Wal Mart they still want to park in the front row and can't manage to fit them into a normal size parking spot. rolleyes

I drive an 03 Dakota daily, and it can do almost anything a 1500 can do, in a footprint about the same as an '80s full size truck.

But Dodge beat the Dakota with an ugly stick, then killed it off completely, because it was taking away from their 1500 sales...


A modern interpretation of this would sell like hot cakes today. Same size with modernized styling. Come standard with the new turbo 4cyl 270hp/295tq hooked to the 8-speed and make an R/T 5.7L

Posted by: Orange_Crush

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 02:24 PM

Don't sing the praises of a steel bed TOO much.

The bed on my 2005 ram had several dents in it from from heavy stuff that was dropped in there.

I've seen a number of Dodge, Chevy, and steel Ford trucks with perforations in the bed due to something heavy being dropped in there.

As a matter of fact, I won't go back to a spray-in bedliner because it really does nothing to protect the bed itself, it just keeps the paint from getting scratched up.
Posted by: Neil

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 02:31 PM

I'd much rather have a Dakota than a full size truck. I waited too long to buy a used one and all that are left out there are worn out. Craigslist and used car lots have them with 225k miles including the no extra cost flaking clear coat and shredded seats and still want 5 grand or more for them. Sorry, not paying that much for a truck that's really worth no more than $500.

Any truck that is not a 1/2 ton or larger winds up in the hands of trailer park types who finish them off. Any time you see an S-10, Colorado, or a Ranger pickup it's always filthy dirty.
Posted by: DaytonaTurbo

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 04:13 PM

Carbon fiber is great in that it's rigid and lightweight, however once it hits it's yield point it cracks violently in a way that there is no real way to repair. I think the aluminum is a good idea in that it can still be cut, welded and repaired like steel. All the dodges I see running around here with rotted out rear wheels wells tell me steel is the worst of the bunch.

Originally Posted By sp392

A modern interpretation of this would sell like hot cakes today. Same size with modernized styling.


Judging by what is selling today, I would wholeheartedly disagree. People basically want a minivan with a truck box. Nobody is buying single cab trucks or would buy anything with a tiny extended cab like a 90's dakota. The big 3 basically stopped making the tiny extended cabs for a reason.
Posted by: jcruse64

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 04:52 PM

Not just Dodges rusting out. I live in KY, and I see a bunch of Ford, GM and Dodge trucks at the 6-10 year mark with rusting rear wheel wells, rusting front fenders, and rotting cab corners and rockers. We DO tend to use salt on our roads here, to prepare us for those 1/2" Snowpocalypses, though...
Posted by: Neil

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 04:58 PM

Originally Posted By DaytonaTurbo

Judging by what is selling today, I would wholeheartedly disagree. People basically want a minivan with a truck box. Nobody is buying single cab trucks or would buy anything with a tiny extended cab like a 90's dakota. The big 3 basically stopped making the tiny extended cabs for a reason.


I only like regular cab short box trucks as they look better and have shorter wheelbases so you can park and turn around. No way am I ever buying an extra cab or 4 door pickup. I throw my work ladder and small tool bag in the bed and I'm good to go.
Posted by: topside

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 06:03 PM

I'd be surprised if they really do carbon fiber; it's still an expensive material. I'd expect composite, meaning a glass-fiber-reinforced plastic.

As for new pickups, I think my '79 Chevy K10 & '89 GMC Dually will outlast me, and both are nice enough that I feel no need for one of the new gigantic $40,000-plus rigs that look like the box my GMC could've been shipped in.
Posted by: 360view

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 06:38 PM

The same WSJ article states that pickups are only 16% of the total number of vehicles sold but create the "bulk" of the $25 Billion profit of the big three.

Average GM pickup sale price $43k
Average Ford $45k

Typical profit on pickups has grown from $15,000 in late 1990s to over $20,000 today
Posted by: 65pacecar

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 07:27 PM

I have a diesel when I need to pull a trailer or haul a bunch of stuff or engine parts. For a daily driver I use a C5 Vette, but I recently inherited a low mileage 88 S-10 that I have started using as a DD and winter beater. I love that little truck, nice size for a driver and can haul quite a bit with great mileage, I used to have a 97 S-10 that I always regretted selling. GM needs to bring that little truck back, perfect small truck and entry level vehicle for young buyers or people just needing a small truck.
Posted by: Stanton

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/07/17 10:52 PM

Quote:
I can say I am not one for hanging parts three feet in the air and dropping them into the bed. I think the commercials are ridiculous in that regard.


I doubt anyone drops stuff in from three feet BUT ... I regularly carry a loads of steel in my bed and a fast stop or tight turn sends it flying to the same extent or worse than dropping something from three feet. The point is what the box can withstand.
Posted by: WO23Coronet

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/08/17 09:35 AM

I don’t see why composites aren’t used more. What makes sense to me is a steel cab and all bolt on panels composite. Would it be possible to make a box where the inner structure is steel (floor, internal walls etc) and the outer skins composite?
Posted by: topside

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/08/17 10:09 PM

WO - Yeah, it's called a Chevy Cameo, 1955-1957.

I'm sure the manufacturers look at replacement parts sales as well as build costs and complexity.
Posted by: 360view

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/09/17 08:10 AM

Would the aluminum cargo box/pickup bed of the recent F150s
be retrofitable to any Rams?
Are the widths in the same ballpark?

My fuzzy memory is that back in the 1990s a few Ram onwers retrofitted GM step side style cargo boxes onto their Rams for the look.

As these larger 3D printers evolve maybe custom cargo boxes may come up for sale.

Commercial-Industrial cargo boxes and flat beds for pickups almost always are heavier.
Posted by: HotRodDave

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/09/17 04:53 PM

The huge piece of junk 4.7 and 3.7 are what really killed the dakota, ugly didn't help but people buy plenty of other ugly trucks.

I miss the dakotas, I am driving an 11 ram now and while it is nice it doesn't really do much my 99 dakota 318 5spd couldnt do except block the view of my flatbed car trailer so its harder to back it up.

They should really have offered a 5.7 in the last dakotas without having to buy some kind of R/T package and they would have sold like hot cakes just like every other car or truck with a hemi as an option does.
Posted by: 360view

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/10/17 08:11 AM

The Congress is about to “reform” taxes,
but repealing the infamous 25% “chicken tax” on imported small pickups
is not in either House or Senate bill.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax

The Indian tractor company Mahindra apparently is setting up an engineering center in MI.

In the past Mahindra has made noises about selling their small bare bones mini pickup in the USA, but has run into emissions and airbag stumbling blocks.

I would suggest to them that they also offer a “glider kit” without engine/trans/diff/axles and let diy’ers finish them to their own tastes.

I wonder what the legalities are about selling a
1950s era style glider kit of a
Dodge Power Wagon?
Posted by: Orange_Crush

Re: Carbon fiber pickup bed, or aluminum truck? - 12/10/17 09:39 PM

Originally Posted By 360view

The Indian tractor company Mahindra apparently is setting up an engineering center in MI.

In the past Mahindra has made noises about selling their small bare bones mini pickup in the USA, but has run into emissions and airbag stumbling blocks.

I would suggest to them that they also offer a “glider kit” without engine/trans/diff/axles and let diy’ers finish them to their own tastes.

I wonder what the legalities are about selling a
1950s era style glider kit of a
Dodge Power Wagon?


It was more than noises. They had started on a dealer network and had already started on making the trucks legal for sale here in the US. To be honest, it will be a losing proposition for them unless they start actually building the trucks here.

I think you have a much bigger chance of seeing the Fiat Fullback truck being sold here since they can use their exising light truck import system that they are already using for the Promaster City (which is made in Turkey) The fullback is already sold as a Ram in the UAE and its a pretty good-looking rugged little truck with a diesel option.

It's a shared vehicle with Mitsubishi.