Question for Plasma Cutter Users

My 2500HD Chevy needs a gooseneck hitch. Unfortunately, there is a
heat shield that must be removed or a section cut out. Every shop I've
spoken with says the heat shield fasteners are installed with
something like Locktite and are almost impossible to remove.
Their parctice is to cut a section out with a plasma cutter. That
shield is 1.5" from the bottom of the bed which has a spray-in liner.
Should I be concerned about burning the paint off the bottom of the
bed or blistering the liner? I've only seen plasma cutters used on TV
or the internet.
Has anyone built their own gooseneck hitch for a pickup? I know a
flatbed is easy.
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1.5" is as good as a mile with plasma. Interpose a sheet-metal shield or weld blanket between cut and bottom if severely anal.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Agreed. One of the benefits of a plasma cutter is their very low total heat input. They give you a super hot plasma stream, but it is small diameter and cuts so fast that you don't dwell in any area very long so the piece being cut doesn't get very hot, and the thinner the material the faster you go. On painted sheet metal, the paint gets burned back less than 1/8" on either side of the cut line, and that's on the piece being cut. A surface 1.5" away from the cut will just get sprayed with the vaporized metal and that spray will have lost most of it's heat in that 1.5" of travel.
Reply to
Pete C.
When i did my gooseneck hitch, I removed the bed. There's only eight bolts holding it on the frame.
Then I bolted in a serious plate between the frame rails and made the ball hitch drop in a pocket. Then there was only a small hole in the bed for the ball. made it real nice when using the pickup for something else.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Thanks for everyone's replies.
Normally, I would do as you did, Karl. But I'm in a rush. I just bought the truck and need it in a week. How did you handle the safety chain issue? I've never seen a gooseneck ball/hitch fail; even a few that should have with the truck and trailer turned over.
Here is the one I've chosen.
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Everything is below/between the ribs in the bed. There is one drawback, though. They caution that the inverted ball may contact the differential on two wheel drive trucks with heavy loads. Kind of negates the feature of storing the ball in the hitch.
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