Cab Corner Buyer's Guide
- You can find cab corners at the lower rear of the passenger cabin, below the level of the door panel’s bottom.
- A cab corner usually comes with drain holes that let water leave the vehicle. They help keep your truck clean and dry.
- Many aftermarket cab corners use metal alloys in their construction. They're simple to make and support custom paint jobs.
- Stainless steel cab corners offer no-nonsense performance. No need to paint the body panel - just weld it in place.
- Common reasons for replacing cab corners include corrosion and physical damage.
- Clogged drain holes can increase the risk of rust and corrosion.
- It’s possible to fix corroded, rusty, or worn cab corners. However, you will eventually need to replace badly-damaged or rusted parts.
- Cab corners go for anywhere between $10 and $119 in CarParts.com.
- Make sure you get a replacement cab corner that can fit your pickup, enhances its looks, and enjoys a warranty.
It’s easy to mistake or dismiss cab corners as insignificant parts of your car. But cutting corners on their maintenance and replacement can prove more costly than you expect. Learn more about cab corners and how to pick a replacement when they get corroded or damaged beyond repair.
What is a cab corner?
You can find cab corners at the rear of the passenger cabin, the border that divides the cab from the truck bed. These body panels sit at a level below the bottom of the door panel.
A cab corner fits directly onto the frame of the vehicle. Installing a replacement corner requires you to weld the new panel in place. It’s a straightforward job for DIY pickup owners who know how to weld.
What does the cab corner do?
Cab corners share the same job as the other body panels that cover your pickup truck. They repel bad weather, harsh climates, and wayward bits of terrain from getting inside.
They also perform a more important role. A cab corner usually comes with drain holes that let water leave the vehicle. They help keep your truck clean and dry, improving its looks and preventing corrosion caused by accumulated moisture.
Cab corner materials
Cab corners share the same material as the other body panels on the truck. The most popular materials are metal and stainless steel.
Metal cab corners
Many aftermarket cab corners use metal alloys in their construction. The simplicity of producing these body panels make them very popular and widespread.
If you want to make your vehicle look unique, metal cab corners lend themselves well to DIY customizations. The stock black finish that covers these body panels offers an excellent surface for the application of a primer coat.
Once the primer dries, it can support any paint job. You can make the new cab corner match the original paint job of the truck’s cabin, use a distinct color, or create a pattern with multiple colors.
Stainless steel cab corners
Confident in your vehicle’s current appearance and only interested in replacing a corroded or damaged cab corner? Stainless steel cab corners may appeal to you.
These cab corners don’t require a coat of paint. Just weld them onto your truck’s frame, polish them to a sheen, and you’re done.
Some stainless steel cab corners bear the manufacturer’s logo and name. You can show your support for your truck’s manufacturer by fitting these branded body panels on your vehicle.
Why do you need to replace cab corners?
Because cab corners sit at the lower part of the passenger cabin, they are exposed to debris, dirt, and moisture. Their exposure to these elements wears them out quickly.
Common reasons for replacing cab corners include:
Extensive exposure to air, moisture, and salts can cause corrosion in the cab corner. Corrosive salts can originate from nature, such as seas and oceans, or have artificial origins like the salts used in de-icing roads.
Cab corners usually feature some protection against corrosion. Metal cab corners rely on a layer of anti-corrosion paint and a protective layer created by a galvanic process. Their stainless steel counterparts possess an external layer that keeps corrosive agents away from the steel.
The effectiveness deteriorates over time as the material of the anti-corrosion layer either wears out or gets damaged by an impact. Once a hole appears in its defenses, the cab corner becomes susceptible to corrosion.
The drain holes in cab corners prevent moisture from accumulating near it. If dirt or debris clogs up the holes, water will pool near the cab corner, increasing the chances of corrosion.
Cab corners can also take damage. Their position near the ground makes them more likely to get hit by gravel, pebbles, and other debris kicked up by passing vehicles.
Once a cab corner takes severe damage, either from a single heavy impact or many smaller strikes, you need to either repair or replace it.
Diagnosing a bad or failing cab corner
It’s possible to fix corroded, rusty, or worn cab corners. You can remove small patches of rust or other forms of corrosion with a sander or an anti-corrosion spray before applying a patch panel over the area.
Extensive corrosion and serious damage can exceed the ability of patch panels and repair jobs. You will eventually need to replace the rusty or broken cab corners.
How much do replacement cab corners cost?
Cab corners go for anywhere between $10 and $119 in CarParts.com. You can get individual panels, sets of two with one cab corner for each side of your truck, and replacement kits.
It may prove useful in the long run to order a set of two cab corners. Even if only one corner needs replacement, its opposite number will eventually wear out or get too rusty.
Tips on finding a cab corner replacement
You won’t lack options for replacement cab corners. Instead, you’ll want to know what parts fit your needs the most.
Manufacturers design cab corners for the frame of a specific vehicle. A panel intended to fit a Ford Ranger will probably not fit on a Dodge Ram. A vehicle can also undergo significant changes between year models, which renders a cab corner for an earlier year model incompatible with newer generations.
When searching for a cab corner replacement on CarParts.com, the filter tab can help speed up the process. Enter the year, make, and model of your pickup to find cab corners guaranteed to fit your truck.
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you can judge a person by the appearance of his pickup. A truck owner who takes pride in his vehicle will care for every component and panel, including the cab corners.
Metal cab corners offer the best options for customization. Give them a paint job that complements the rest of your truck
If you choose stainless steel cab corners, pick a color that matches the rest of your truck.
Select cab corners with warranty periods that last for at least a year. Extended warranties give you peace of mind regarding the product’s quality. And in case the cab corner gets rusty or battered earlier than expected, you can get it replaced.
Get the Right Truck Cab Corner
Because of its tendency to get rusty and dirty, there are plenty of replacement cab corners in the market. Replace your stock corners at the earliest sign of decay before it gets too ugly. Buying one should be pretty straightforward once you identify what the make and model of your truck is. Still, there are a couple of things you should still want to look at when getting new cab corners.
Cab corners are usually sold in either a metal or stainless steel finish. Direct fit through welding, both are easy and simple to install. If done properly, they will definitely look nice and neat on your truck. Here is a brief description of the two styles.
- Metal: This is the most basic and common aftermarket cab corner. The great thing about a metal corner is that it's customizable. The stock black finish prepares the part for a coating of primer. Paint over it afterward so that it matches the color of your cab to make it appear like an original part. If you want, paint it in another color for a customized look.
- Stainless steel: This type of cab corner is less tedious to install compared to metal because it already looks good by itself. Weld it on, polish it after, and you're done. Some stainless steel ones even carry the truck's make name and logo to remind people where you got your awesome ride.
Usually, each piece is sold individually to be fitted to a specific corner. Read the label and product description of the cab corner you are looking at to make sure you are buying for the right part. As a safety precaution, buy them in pairs. Not only will this save you time in waiting for the correct part to come if you happen to order one for the wrong side, but it will make your cab corners look uniform and clean.
Go for cab corners that have a long warranty period with them ? aim for 5 years. A long warranty is a sign of the manufacturer's confidence on the product. You will never predict when these will become rusty and will need replacement. This will make it easier for you to get a new one if they fail sooner than you expect.
Cut, Weld, Sand, and Spray: Replacing Cab Corners
Cab corners attract damaging water, debris, and other dirt. As these build up on your truck, the corners will get a very rusty and ugly finish ? a sight reserved only for cars in a junkyard. Spare you and your truck the horrified and disgusted looks of people by replacing these bad corners as soon as possible. Cut, weld, sand, and spray to transform your miserable truck into a sexy beast.
Difficulty level: Difficult
- Replacement cab corner
- Marker pen
- Metal snips
- Body hammer
- Angle grinder with flapper wheel
- Drill with drill bit
- MIG welder
- Body filler
- Paint primer
Step 1: Go to the part of your truck that needs a repair. Grab the new cab cover and place it over the damaged area. With a marker pen, trace the outline of the replacement on the body. Hopefully, you have a part big enough to replace all the rusty areas of the corner.
Step 2: Cut the outline with the metal snips. Be careful to not cut the inner metal panel under the cab corner. Replacement of this part, if damaged, can make things very complicated.
Step 3: Use the body hammer to clean the edges of the cut parts. Do a finer clean and trim of the edges with an angle grinder with a flapper wheel of an appropriate grade. Remember to line the replacement cab corner on the cut area to test the fit. Aim for a tight and snug fit.
Step 4: With the corner cut and clean, weld the replacement cab corner in place. The weld can be done in two ways: tack welds or spot welds. Remember to have control at the welding trigger at all times. Too much heat on the metal can warp the metals, making them unusable.
- Tack weld: Put a weld every half inch along the edges of the cab corner.
- Spot weld: Prepare the replacement cab corner first by drilling holes on the edges. Then, line the drilled replacement cab corner in place and continue with the weld.
Step 5: With the cab corner secure, it's time to fill the gaps. Prepare body filler and apply layers on the edges. Wait for it to dry before sanding the surface for a clean and smooth finish.
Step 6: Spray a layer of paint primer to prepare the cab corner for painting.
- Working with welders and grinders can be very dangerous. Make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment to prevent accidents.
- You can choose to paint the corner yourself, or bring it to a shop to get the precise color to match your truck's body color.