2014 Ram 1500: Restoring the Bed With a Line-X Spray-on Bedliner
March 23, 2015
Our 2015 Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Colorado were close to brand new when we had their Line-X spray-on bedliners applied. But our 2014 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Ecodiesel has some miles on it — over 26,000 of them.
At this point its bed is full of scuffs and scratches. Not many, mind you — we're not landscaping contractors or brick masons — but enough to make us wonder how beat up it might get after the next 26,000 miles and beyond. And we can only imagine the rust we might be seeing if we were located where they use road salt in winter or had the good fortune to live in a seaside bungalow.
The water cooler conversationalists on the testing team wondered if the Line-X spray-on bedliner treatment would be a good restorative measure. There was only one way to find out.
There are scuffs and scratches everywhere, but not enough to be alarming. It's a truck bed, after all.
Most of them go no deeper than the primer, but a few or the larger ones have exposed the bare metal beneath.
The proprietor at Line-X of Orange County told us that they apply a fresh primer coat before they spray the Line-X material if the used truck bed in question has visible rust or too much exposed bare metal.
But our truck didn't have enough truly deep scratches to warrant this extra step. They could proceed as if it were new.
The process was much the same than it had been before, but this time it took a little longer — 3.5 hours — because it was a busy day and they were juggling four trucks.
One of them was a silver 2015 Ford F-150. It was getting a black spray-on bedliner, but the owner also wanted the rear wheel wells coated. The silver does indeed draw attention to itself from in there, but the Line-X guy told me that the customer was just as interested in muting the stone-pecking noise that some dirt and gravel roads produce.
Another truck, a silver Colorado, was getting the lower four inches of its rocker panels coated along with its bed.
After they were done our Ram's bed indeed looked as new as the last two of our trucks they had sprayed. Compared to our 2015 Ford F-150, the color match isn't quite as exact, but that changes dramatically with light conditions. The metallic elements of the Deep Cherry paint on the Ram give it a chameleon tendency, and the rough surface of the Line-X material doesn't reflect light in quite the same way, either.
But we're still happy with the result. Unlike our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, which was dark gray to begin with, the consensus is this works better on our red Ram than a black liner would have. $150 better? That's open to debate.
And the scratches and scars and potential rust points are all gone. From the bed's point of view, it's as if the odometer had been reset to zero.
It turns out you don't need to rush out as soon as you buy your truck to have this done. You can wait until your next paycheck or put it on your birthday wish list. And you don't need to turn your nose up at a used truck you might be looking at just because it has a scratched-up bed, either. From where we sit, a spray-on bedliner is just as effective on a used truck bed as it is on a new one.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing