8 Piece Step Notch Install

Text, Install and Photos by Toby Mosholder

This month we will show you how I installed the 8 piece Step notch into my 1992 C-1500. Let me start by saying this was a major decision for me. I still use my truck as a truck and cutting the bed floor out was a huge hurdle for me. But, the end result is a much lower truck that rides great.

       We start with pulling the bed off, then jack the truck up and secure it on jack stands. I put two in the front just behind the front tires. And two at the extended cab just before the frame curves up.  Finally, two more at the very rear of the frame rails.        

The first measurement you will need is the axle centerline. This is critical!  This is the most important measurement on this install. If you do not get it right then the axle will not sit in the notch properly when the truck is lowered. Measuring the distance from the rear of the frame rail to the axle, is 51.03 inches. Mark this measurement on each rail. This is called axle centerline. And will be referred to as such in the rest of the article.       

Now turn your attention to the notch plates.  Measure across the top of the side plate and find center, mark that as well. With all four side plates marked center you are ready to place two side plates on the frame and clamp. Line up the center line of the side plate to the axle centerline. I used a square to line up the two marks. The bottom of the side plates should be flush with the bottom of the frame rail.

With a level check level across the two side plates shown in above picture. Once the two side plates are level across the frame rail now check level vertically on both side plates.

Once they are level in both directions you are ready to weld them to the frame rail. When the six welds on each plate are completed let the rail cool for a few minutes while you get ready to install the top cap.With the top cap in hand set it on the outside frame rail side plate. And mark the top cap where it contacts the top of the frame rail and trim to fit flush on the frame. Place the top cap on the frame now and position where it needs to be welded in. And weld the top cap to the side plates.

After the top cap is welded in you are ready to cut the stock frame rail out. We used a Plasma cutter, but a customizer’s best friend (saw-z-all) will work just fine.

After you cut out the stock frame rail you can install the bottom cap. You may need to grind a little of the stock frame away for the bottom cap to fit properly. When the bottom cap sits flush against the side plates clamp it tight.  Weld the bottom cap to the side plates. Upon completing this weld you are ready to clean up all the welds on the notch, and move to the other side and repeat the process. -­

After both sides are installed it is time for the bridge between the notches. This eliminates twisting flex in the notches and makes them extremely sturdy. There are several different ideas people use and the most creative part of the installation. I chose to just run a single 1 3/4” chrome moly tube. Some people use this bridge to mount the upper part of there air bag or hydraulic cylinders. So the ideas are endless. Whatever you decide to install just make sure it is level and square between the frame rails.

Are you ready to cut the bed floor out? I stood the bed up on the front vertically and used the bottom of the bed to make and mark all my measurements and cuts. Using the fender wells. I measured the length and found center of the fender well and marked it on the bottom of the bed. Go measure the total length of the notch along a single rail. 

Center the length measurement on the mark you made for the center of the fender wells and mark.   Measure the distance between the fender wells of the bed and find center and mark. Go back to the frame rails and measure across the rails to get the width of the notch. Center that measurement between the fender wells and mark. On the full-size Chevy’s the frame rails taper towards the rear of the truck so you will need to measure the front and rear of the notch. Add however much space you want between the notch and bed floor.  

Double check your measurements and make your cuts. Dress the edges of the sheet metal with a rust proofing material of some kind, and reinstall the bed.

Special thanks go to TR Manufacturing in Ft. Wayne Indiana for supplying the step notch for this install. This 8 Piece step notch is available for purchase at gauge online store at this link. store.gaugemagazine.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1681

Gauge Correspondant
Toby Mosholder

Tools needed:
Tape measure

5ft metal measuring stick
Plasma cutter or
Square Grinder
Rust-proofing material


:::::: Gauge Network :::::::
Gauge Store
Slamology 2005

Advertiser Info