I decided to just take it totally apart (except the axles and springs), weld up all the old existing light holes and clean up all of the welds all over it. I installed the chrome fenders and they were a little different than the old ones so the steps had to be filled in with sheet metal. Some the step sheet metal had to be repaired after dings and dents have taken their toll.
I cut and made all new bunks for it and also made new side fender boards. I coated them all with LINEX truck bed liner before installing all new Marine grade carpet instead of home carpet. That should keep them water-resistant for awhile.
The final product came out pretty decent and I still have a few more small things to do to it like step plates for the side steps and rear steps above the brake lights, and the tie downs mounted on the rear.
I got the "D" rings welded inside the perimeter rails all the way around for a future highway cover too!