When we began this project, we decided early on that we wanted a high quality, attractive and functional service body on the back of our truck. We looked at what all of the major manufacturers had to offer. We came to the conclusion that the Grand Challenger body by Stahl was the best solution. The body has very graceful lines and completely compliments the curves of our truck. This body offers the cargo space we need for all of our rescue gear and it maintains the factory "look". In fact, the this body uses Ford truck tail light assemblies which is a huge bonus, especially since standard service body tail lights do not "wrap around" and do not offer very good oblique lighting.
We purchased this body from a local truck equipment dealer near O' Fallon, Missouri. We were underwhelmed by the staff and crew of this dealership. We felt as if they should have been wearing a lesiure suit and, hawking used cars. However, once in possession of our new service body, we headed back to the shop to begin the transformation from basic body to Ultimate Rescue Body.
We took our service body to Pro Body Works in Union, MO. The crew there bent over backwards to help us achieve great results at bargain basement prices. The first order of business was to remove all of the door latches and locking mechanisms. Next, we utilized a portable sandblaster to remove some heavy scaling around the mounting locations where the body had been left sitting on the ground at the equipment dealer. We did this ourselves to save a few bucks. It was very easy it set the stage for the experts to take over.
Once the hardware was removed, the doors and tailgate were then removed and set aside. John, one of Pro Body's employees, used a special etching primer to permanently bond with the metal and prepare the metal for painting. Now the folks at Pro Body Works began the process of sanding and prepping the surfaces of the service body, inside and out. The bed of the body was left untouched since Ameraguard is providing the spray in bed liner.