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Spray vs Drop-In Bedliner?

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A topic which has been beaten to death. In my experience, FACTORY bed liners are garbage. The one I had blistered, bubbled, and tore. Too many shortcuts are taken when a large number of installs need to be done versus the relatively low number from a reputable shop. I've had DIBL's on all my other trucks and had no issues. I keep my trucks a long time, personally I don't care if contaminants infiltrate under the bed liner. I beat the crap out of them. Once in, that's it, it's never coming out. It would take decades to corrode through. JMHO.
 

TheWizziard

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I have been told that drop in bed liners can hold moister between the bed and the liner, promoting rust That spry in is better. Can I hear from the experts?
This story gets repeated over and over by "experts". Some people like to be an "expert" without actually having any data in hand. I have never, in my long life, actually seen a bed with a bed liner get rusted out.

That being said, I think it has a lot to do with where you live. In a past life I lived in Erie Pennsylvania. Road salt capital of the US and it was always raining.

I now live in south Texas. Hardily ever rains and when it does the sun and heat quickly dries it up. Its 97ºF out today. A beautiful winter day.

A bigger problem here is the sun's infrared. It attacks both the spray in and drop in liners.
 
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Jeffrey Kane

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I have been told that drop in bed liners can hold moister between the bed and the liner, promoting rust That spry in is better. Can I hear from the experts?
Just traded in my 20year old 150 with drop in liner no rust!!! Purchased mod drop-in 4 MAVERICK $170.00. USED FORD POINTS AND DISCOUNT.
 

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We got Line-X sprayed in three days after we picked up our Maverick, as we wanted that bed protection right away. Our local Line-X installer did a terrific job, and we’re very pleased with it.

We are also using a tri-fold soft tonneau, which so far is doing a good job keeping out rain and snow. We have not yet had the tonneau out in a driving rain. — We expect we will get same water coming in around the edges, but not worried, because the spray-in liner is going to protect the bed.

And … We will also be putting in a Bedrug mat, to make it easier to slide stuff in and out and comfier on the knees. (Already have the mat, but waiting for warmer temps in order to apply the hook-and-loop strips that hold it to the bed and tailgate.)
 

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On a value truck, the difference in price is a much higher percentage than it would be on a more expensive truck. The $250 difference between the drop-in and the spray-in is over 1% of the total value of the vehicle, if it was a base XL. On a new full-size truck, it would be .3-.5% or so.

Go with what you can comfortably afford, and you’ll be fine.
 

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Honestly, it's a matter of personal preference. I'm going to stop short of calling the people who say a drop-in liner will rust your bed liars. However, I will say that the "worry" is way overblown. I've had drop-in liners in my previous trucks with no issues. And I have the Ford drop-in liner in my Maverick. To me, both are good options, but again based on personal preference. Here's why I prefer the drop-in, and take it with a grain of salt.

1. I like the "slippery" nature of the hard plastic. It is super easy to slide cargo in and out. Spray-in liners are like sandpaper; super rough on your hands and everyhing sticks. You may see that as a bonus for your applications. I don't for mine.

2. I think the drop-in liner looks better.

3. The drop-in liner is good and thick, I'd say about an eighth of an inch, and though it's "only" plastic that stuff is pretty much indestructible. It also can be cut if/when needed to make room for aftermarket accessories, additional tie-downs, etc. Can also be completely removed if/when desired.

4. FWIW, I am actually pretty impressed with the Ford drop-in liner that comes from the factory. It fits really nice, snug, doesn't shift, etc. I have no doubts it'll last the life of my truck, and I expect that to be a long, long time.
 
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Unlikely if you live in AZ and get a good cover!! Otherwise; maybe. LOL
Here in SoFla spring time is rain time, So is late August and September. The two week "winter" is pretty dry.
 
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We got Line-X sprayed in three days after we picked up our Maverick, as we wanted that bed protection right away. Our local Line-X installer did a terrific job, and we’re very pleased with it.

We are also using a tri-fold soft tonneau, which so far is doing a good job keeping out rain and snow. We have not yet had the tonneau out in a driving rain. — We expect we will get same water coming in around the edges, but not worried, because the spray-in liner is going to protect the bed.

And … We will also be putting in a Bedrug mat, to make it easier to slide stuff in and out and comfier on the knees. (Already have the mat, but waiting for warmer temps in order to apply the hook-and-loop strips that hold it to the bed and tailgate.)
How thick they sprayed? Have they told you how many pounds they used? And what was over all cost. Tnx
 

KdeB

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How thick they sprayed? Have they told you how many pounds they used? And what was over all cost. Tnx
Don’t know the thickness of the Line-X spray-on liner — never thought to ask — and pounds used would have no meaning to me, so didn’t ask that either.

Cost here in northeastern Pennsylvania was $575.

Advise anyone having bed sprayed to go over with shop manager or guy doing it exactly what will be sprayed in the bed, how far it will go up, etc.

And reinforce that all tie-downs, rubber grommets, bolts be removed before spraying, and that side rail bolt holes be plugged so they don’t get filled in with bedliner. And that tailgzte will be removed before spraying, and that you want the whole tailgate sprayed. (If that ‘s what you want done — apparently factory SIBL leaves bottom corners and edges unsprayed.)

Anyway, we were very happy with the job they did.
 

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I don't like drop-in bed liners because of the long-term potential for road noise - squeaking, etc. - which would drive me crazy!

When my son was in high-school, he bought a well-used Ram 1500 with a DIBL a couple of decades ago. The DIBL was moving around and causing all kinds of squeaking noises. I don't know if the installer did a poor job, or if the liner just shrank a bit in the Texas sun, but whatever! The liner was loosely fit across the bed, and could move maybe 1/8 to 1/4" back and forth. Rough roads caused it to move around enough to squeak and creak pretty loud. He removed the liner and tossed it, since he never hauled anything but air, and just couldn't stand the squeaking...
 

TheWizziard

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I don't like drop-in bed liners because of the long-term potential for road noise - squeaking, etc. - which would drive me crazy!

When my son was in high-school, he bought a well-used Ram 1500 with a DIBL a couple of decades ago. The DIBL was moving around and causing all kinds of squeaking noises. I don't know if the installer did a poor job, or if the liner just shrank a bit in the Texas sun, but whatever! The liner was loosely fit across the bed, and could move maybe 1/8 to 1/4" back and forth. Rough roads caused it to move around enough to squeak and creak pretty loud. He removed the liner and tossed it, since he never hauled anything but air, and just couldn't stand the squeaking...
Classic DIBL are just plastic tubs that are loosely "dropped" in. The Ford Maverick DIBL is a 5 piece assembly that is fastened in. Not much room for movement.
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