A Separate Bed

One day in January I took a 174-mile round trip drive out to Cathedral City, CA and back to pick up a used OEM Nissan Frontier sliding bed divider that I had been looking for since 2015. I was looking specifically for the earlier “Mesh” version, and finally someone local (well, close enough) was selling one, so I brought it home after a COVID-19 safe exchange of cash and some good truck chit chat. Back in the garage I inspected the divider and though it wasn’t mint, it was in good shape and I immediately began refinishing it:

Not bad, at least it’s complete with no unusual damage.

The bracket parts needed some cleaning up.

After inspecting the parts and seeing that they were in pretty good condition, I scraped away the old OEM decals from the side brackets. Next I removed the bracket hardware and wiped them down clean and free of any contaminants. Overall the brackets were in good condition; there were some parts that had some surface scratching, but nothing that a couple layers of self-etching primer couldn’t fix:

The old roller hardware is grimey, but good thing the bed divider sale included some extra bed extender brackets (with fresh, new roller hardware):

After giving the brackets a couple of thin coats of charcoal gray, I transferred over the new rollers:

Liking the gray color I chose, I then did the same process to the main bed divider – clean and inspect, then one coat of self-etching primer, followed by 2 coats of charcoal gray:

All that was left form here was to reassemble the sliding divider and install it into my truck bed:

Because of the new sliding divider, I had to remove my little shovel and the Quickfist mounts temporarily (I’ll remount them elsewhere) or else I wouldn’t be able to use the divider how I want to. I might end up relocating the shovel and the recovery boards to the bed divider itself (like I’ve seen others do before) since it seems like a good alternative. More importantly though – I could now remove the tubular bed extender and its sliding brackets that came with the truck. I used to use the bed extender as a makeshift cargo divider/organizer, but the awkward angled shape wasn’t that useful. Now with the flat faced sliding bed divider, it’s much better now when I need to separate or secure smaller cargo that doesn’t need the entire length of the bed… or for carrying my off-road gear nice and organized like this: