Ford F-250 is a part of the F-series and is a heavy-duty truck with good payload and towing capacities. However, its older models require replacement truck beds due to wear and tear and damage due to rusting.
What Year Ford F-250 Truck Beds Interchange? All models of Ford F-250 from 1999-2016 have compatible truck beds having the exact physical dimensions. Moreover, they have the same steel bodies and similar designs, making them interchangeable in any model. However, the latest fourth-generation Ford F250 models from 2017-2022 have aluminum construction and variations in exact dimensions, making them non-compatible with earlier models.
This article will guide the truck owners for the feasible options to interchange truck beds in their older Ford F250 models in detail.
What Year Ford F-250 Truck Beds Interchange?
There are two standard bed sizes available with all Ford F250 SuperDuty trucks since 1999.
The long box option having an overall length of 8-ft is standard in regular cab configuration and optional in Supercab and Crew cab configurations.
In contrast, a 6.75-ft truck bed, also known as a short box cargo bed, is available as a standard option in Supercab and Crew cab models.
Despite the same two options, 4th generation models (2017-present) have slightly different dimensions of beds and their holes’ alignment with the frame.
F250 models with interchangeable beds
Ford introduced the F250 series for its Super Duty pickup trucks lineup in 1998, and they have produced its 4 generations so far.
The first three generations have steel bodies, truck beds, and frames to give them the strength required for loading and towing applications.
Therefore, F250 models from 1999-2016 have compatible beds having matching dimensions and other requirements.
First-generation Ford F-250 (1999-2007)
First-generation F250s have steel-made beds available in 2 sizes according to the cab configurations.
The 2-door standard cab configuration has an 8-ft bed. In comparison, Supercab and 4-door Crew cab options come with relatively shorter 6.75-ft beds due to increased cabin length.
However, both designs have the provision of an 8-ft bed as an optional feature. You should know about the Ford truck generations.
2nd generation Ford F250 (2008-2010)
2008-2010 models of F250 SuperDuty trucks have similar dimensions and bolt locations as the first generation.
However, they have slight differences in the styling and fuel filler door shape. The reverse indicator lamps are slightly higher than previous designs.
You will need to make modifications in wiring arrangements and add extra wire to make new connections.
The bumper and tailgate have matching dimensions and no issues in interchanging them with previous models. However, the spare tire access hole has a different position, and you will need to cut a new spot in case of adding these beds in F250s earlier than 2008 models.
Third generation (2011-2016)
Ford has produced F250 Super Duty trucks with solid frames by increasing the gauge of steel rails.
However, truck beds have the exact physical dimensions as previous generations. In addition, there is a slight difference in tailgate and styling fenders.
Wheel arches also have slightly shallow groove depth, and the fuel filler cap has a rectangular shape compared to round one in the second generation. But its position is at the same spot.
You have to make slight modifications in electrical wiring for the tailgate and reverse lights as 2011-2016 models have changed wiring harnesses and color codes for wires.
Things to consider when selecting interchangeable beds for Ford F250
If you have an older Ford F250 and are looking for a compatible truck bed for replacement, you must check the following points and its dimensions before buying one.
The size of the truck bed is one of the key points to check for finding a compatible design. Besides checking its overall size, you should also check interior length, width between wheelbases, and tailgate size. In addition, you should know the average size of the long bed of Ford F250.
Location of the Fuel cap
You will find the fuel filler tube assembly behind a small door on the side of the truck bed. But, first, you should check for a match of the size and its position.
In case of slight differences in the design of the filler door, like rectangular or round shape, it will work.
But in case of a minor change in its position, it will not be feasible for replacement as the fuel tube and vent assembly is metallic. Therefore, it will not be flexible enough to accommodate any modifications.
Position of bolts
About 8 bolts on the Ford F250 truck bed floor secure it with the frame rails. Their exact alignment is mandatory to secure it in its place and bear the stresses of cargo transportation.
Therefore, you should also locate the positions of bolts on the new bed floor and measure the distance between them. In case of a match, it is a compatible option to interchange with the old one.
Material of construction
Ford F250 truck beds have a steel construction for models up to 2016 and an aluminum alloy body for later versions.
Therefore, you should choose from the models matching the body structure of your truck.
Although it is not a mandatory requirement, it is suitable for symmetry and matching of material with the rest of the truck body for a better look.
Body lines and fender flares
Truck beds have styling lines on their sides that match the rest of the body, including the cabin. Moreover, they have fender flares over the wheels.
Therefore, choose the product having similar styling options for coherence with the rest of the body. Moreover, its paint should also match the cabin; otherwise, it will give a strange look to your truck.
Wheel arches are a part of the truck bed having grooves to accommodate the truck wheels. Beds available in various Ford F250 have slight variations in sizes and depth of the wheelbases.
Therefore, the selected product must have a compatible design to cater to the wheels without any mechanical malfunction or friction between them.
Wiring and taillights
Tail and reverse lights are a part of the truck bed and have specific slots for their installation.
Their wiring and height should be compatible for both to interchange them. You have to modify the wiring connections in case of any difference, which is a doable job.
Rear bumper and tailgate
Bumpers and tailgates come as separate parts in plug-and-play arrangements. However, the tailgate size should match the bed size to make it perfectly fit in its position to secure the luggage.
The bumper has a hole to access the spare tire. Therefore, you should also check for the design having the exact location of the hole.
Truck Bed Liner
Truck bed liners protect their interior from scratches and physical damage during cargo transportation.
They have identical dimensions to fit on its floor, its sides, and tailgate. Therefore, beds with the same size liners are compatible for interchange.
Why do you have to replace the beds of earlier models of Ford F250 more often?
1999-2016 models of Ford F250 SuperDuty have their beds made of steel. Coats of enamel paint protect the exterior of the truck.
Moreover, automakers install filler lines made of more robust material to prevent scratches and damage its sides.
However, due to wear and tear, steel can rust and weaken its strength with time. Therefore, trucks with steel beds require replacement after 8-10 years to maintain their shape and appearance.
The latest models after 2017 have their beds made of rust-resistant Aluminium material and therefore have a longer useful life.
Why is the fourth generation F250 bed not interchangeable with previous models?
The fourth generation of F250 pickup trucks (2017 & onwards) has a lighter aluminum alloy body rather than a steel body.
It results in the reduction of the overall curb weight of the pickup by a few hundred pounds. Moreover, these are made of high-strength Aluminium, used in military applications, resulted in durable rust-free assembly yet maintaining its strength.
Furthermore, they have a difference in cargo bed dimensions from previous generations. Here is a table showing the difference of truck bed dimensions for the 3rd and 4th generation for both 8-ft and 6.75-ft sizes.
|Features||3rd generation (2016) Crew cab with a 6.75-ft bed||4th generation (2018) Crew cab with a 6.75-ft bed||3rd generation (2016) Crew cab with 8-ft bed||4th generation (2018) Crew cab with 8-ft bed|
|Overall Bed length (inches)||80.7||80.1||96||97.3|
|Floor length (inches)||67.8||68.5||66.7||64.6|
|Width between wheel grooves (inches)||51.4||51.1||51.6||51.8|
|Cargo capacity (cu-ft)||62.3||66.8||75.9||76.8|
Due to different dimensions, truck beds of F250 for models 2017 and onwards are not interchangeable with earlier models.
The table clearly shows that both have different floor lengths and widths between wheelbases, making their alignment with the truck frame difficult.
Moreover, the location of the fuel duct is also different in the latest models and requires significant modifications to adjust their bed on older trucks.
How to replace the bed on a Ford F250?
Truck bed replacement on a Ford F250 is a relatively easy job, except you have to make arrangements to lift the older one using any hoisting mechanism and place the new one.
I replaced the bed on my 2003 F250 with a 2014 model truck bed purchased from an auction by a trucking company.
First, I removed the 8 bolts on the old bed using a torque wrench. I have to cut 4 bolts due to rusting and could not open them in a usual way.
Next, I removed the bed using a ½-ton hoist installed in my garage after removing the wiring connection and screws holding the fuel filler tube and vent assembly.
Before installing the new truck bed, I cleaned the rusted frame and ran a coat of paint to enhance its life, replaced the cracked fuel lines, and made arrangements for wiring of tail lights.
Using the same hoist, I put the new truck bed on the frame using the same hoist:
- First, install all the bolts after proper alignment.
- Next, I installed the fuel filler assembly, tailgate, and bumper.
- Finally, I put the wiring harnesses back for tail lights.
Later on, I went for a test drive to check for any loosening of bolts and working of tail lights.
It took me around 7 hours without any assistance from anyone. Finally, after replacing the bed, it changed the look of my pickup to a new one, and all of its functions worked properly.
How much does it cost?
It will cost around $1500-$2000 to buy a truck bed in good condition compatible with your Ford F250 model.
Installation and other labor costs, including paintwork and transportation, will cost around $300-$500. However, you can save them doing it by yourself.