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Do-It-Yourself Bed Liner

P25097 Image Large
John Cappa | Writer
Posted August 1, 1999

Lunar-Rover Finish, Down-to-Earth Price

Step By Step

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  • To make the job easier, we removed everything from the interior--the seats, the rollcage, and the fuel tanks, the batteries, and the shifter console.

  • The body tub had some pretty bad rust areas, so we used a grinder to clean them up. For interiors that still have paint, use the scuff pad included in the kit to roughen the surface.

  • The inside had accumulated mud, sand, and something that resembled a melted toy ball. We used soapy water and a hose to wash off the grit. The unidentified gunk needed to be pried from the metal. After the surface dried we wiped it down with Xylene to make sure it was thoroughly clean.

  • Not much paint was left in the interior. This photo shows the passenger-side floor. Painting this surface would have been pointless because it’s so heavily pitted. Herculiner, on the other hand, is a textured liner, so it can fill the pits. Mask off areas you don’t want coated.

  • The paint-can opener included in the kit works well for the intended purpose, and the other end opens bottles. It proved to be so useful that we stored it in the toolbox.

  • Because the traction particles collect at the bottom and need to be mixed into the polyurethane, it’s important to stir periodically while you’re applying the liner to keep the particles suspended. Use the paintbrush to fill corners. Dabbing is more effective than brushing from side to side. It’s a good idea to wear gloves. We didn’t, and it took a few days to get the liner off our hands.

  • The roller may look small, but it makes short work of coating the inside of the body tub. Allow the first coat to dry for an hour or two before applying a second one.

  • Take off all the masking tape the moment the second coat is on. If you wait, Herculiner will bond to the tape and make removal a mess. We had used the freehand method--no tape-- and did pretty well keeping the liner off everything it didn’t belong on. Except ourselves

  • This is the passenger-side floor with the Herculiner. Not only does it look better, but now it’s protected from the elements and abuse. Once the liner dried completely it looked thicker.

  • We had doubts about Herculiner at first, but the stuff really worked. It looks as good as many professionally sprayed liners for about a quarter of the price. All that was left to do was bolt the interior back in.

It seems that everyone is having some sort of spray-in liner put into the tub of his Jeep's or pickup's bed. It also seems that the price for this service is related to parts for a lunar rover. Why does it cost so much? It's only plastic! Herculiner has an economical alternative.

The body tub of this Land Cruiser had seen better days. For several months it had been partially buried under a collapsed wall while mud and water filled the interior and gave it a bad case of rust. No amount of sanding or paint was able to curb the red devil's appetite for our foreign metal. Hard use and the fact that the 'Cruiser is parked outside without a top didn't help.

After considering the spray-in liners and our wallets, we wanted to try something different. Herculiner is a polyurethane lining that’s much more affordable, and we could do it ourselves. The do-it-yourself approach appealed to us because we could completely control what did and didn’t get coated. As for price, a kit costs about $100 and comes with a gallon of liner (more than enough for the ’Cruiser’s interior), two roller heads, a roller handle, a paintbrush for corners, a sanding pad, and a paint-can opener that also works as a bottle opener. Herculiner to the rescue!