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Archive for July, 2009

Scariest Picture EVER

July 31st, 2009 No comments

scarry

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Pull-A-Part

July 31st, 2009 No comments

Talked to the guy at Pull-A-Part.  James and I are going to go out there tomorrow bright and early to see if we can scare up some door.  I might snag a door gate too if it isn’t too much trouble. Shop books are on their way, so I guess I’ll Google it.

EDIT 2014 Update:

In case you’re wondering, your chances of finding a usable door or tailgate in anywhere nearing presentable condition at Pull-A-Part are pretty much nill. Learn sheet metal repair or order new ones. Trust me on this.

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NOS Lights

July 30th, 2009 No comments

While I’m waiting on the truck to get done at the shop, I’ve been digging around for new old stock on the interwebs.  Specifically, I’m hunting down some tail lights lenses and the cargo light lens.  Been tough so far.  I’ve found some singles, but no pairs.  I supposed I could get some after market ones – but those can be really hit or miss.  At any rate, it is something to do while I wait around…..

EDIT 2014 Update: The aftermarket ones are actually pretty good these days. I ended up going that route.

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Body Work Options

July 30th, 2009 No comments

After much discussion with the wife, we’ve nailed down the final decision on the body work.  I am going to take it into the recommended shops for an estimate.  I’m going to ask that the following be done:

  • The interior of the cab and the engine compartment need not be touched.
  • I want the bed stripped properly.
  • I want the rust stopped in it’s tracks.
  • I want the body fixed where need be.
  • I want it painted.

If all that is less than around the 3k mark, I’ll have them do it.  But not if it is going to take more than a couple of months.  And not if they won’t guarantee the estimate in writing.

If I can’t get it done for that, I will invest in the equipment to do it myself.

Full marks for bravery go to my wife – who is awesome.  She is like me in that the important thing is that it be done correctly.  As soon as the truck comes back from the front end work, I’ll start making my calls.

EDIT 2014 Update:
Ok, if you’re at this point in your project let me save you a lot of time and money: do it yourself. You will never ever ever ever find someone who will do paint and body up to your level of expectation without spending an absolute fortune (and spending that fortune doesn’t guarantee you anything anyway). There is no such thing as a “daily driver” paint job that you will be satisfied with. You are far better off spending the money on the proper tools to do your own paint and body. Is it a huge amount of work? Absolutely. Does it take for frikken ever? Oh yeah. And even factoring in that, it is still your best option.

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Windsheilds

July 29th, 2009 No comments

I looked all over for someone to replace the windshield.  Finally found a place in Seymour (no one else would do it on it because of age).  Should be under $250!  Jerry’s Autoglass – and from talking with them, they know what they’re doing and can handle it no problem.

EDIT 2014 Update:
I ended up taking it to 3T Glass in Maryville, TN. I highly recommend them. Fantastic work.

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Frontend Work in Progress

July 29th, 2009 No comments

Took the truck into SHA this morning to do the frontend work.  Parts were only $160.  Way better than the $400 I was quoted at Firestone.  I’m guessing the labor will be a lot cheaper too.  I asked the guy about other people who might do body work, and he gave me the same sad story that a lot of the other people have.  “No one that they know of”.  Hopefully, the other leads will pay off.

I think I am going to attempt to strip it myself.  At least some of it.  My bud Royce and I are going to tackle the welding (Yea!) and I might get help from Dan on the paint, if I decide to go that route (Woot!  PA trip!).

Whatever happens, it’ll be an adventure.  I can’t wait till it gets out of the shop!

EDIT 2014 Update:
I ended up also having all of the bushings in the front end replaced with poly bushings as well. If you have a sloppy front end, you really have to do EVERYthing up there. Poly bushings make a huge difference.

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Possible Shops

July 28th, 2009 No comments

I may possibly have found a lead on some shops!  A friend of the family has some antique cars, and is into the whole scene.  My mom suggested I give him a call, and sure enough he gave me two contacts that he says would be able and more than qualified to do the work.  It sounds like they are just the kind of shop I’m looking for too.

I probably won’t get a chance tomorrow to give them a call, so maybe later in the week.

EDIT 2014 Update:
I ended up not going this route. I did end up trying to have the work done by someone, but in retrospect I should have tackled it myself.

Anytime anyone asks me “I have a project vehicle. Do you know of a place I could take it to for paint and body? Somewhere that will do a great job and not cost an arm and a leg?” I say “That is like me asking you where I can get a good deal on a unicorn that pukes dollar bills and shoots lasers out its eyes. Such a place does not exist. Give up.” Seriously, invest those resources in doing the work yourself. I promise it will be less painful.

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Tags and Insurance

July 28th, 2009 No comments

Tags and insurance obtained!  Tags set me back $84.00 (that included tax from the purchase).  Insurance was super cheap: $135 for 6 months!  Woot.

Truck is now legal.  Tomorrow morning – going to see about that front end work.  Only snag so far: the mechanic my family uses mainly works on Hondas and Acuras.

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Sandblasting

July 28th, 2009 No comments

Just got a call back from the sandblasting place I had checked with.  They do the panel replacement as well, so they could fix the cab corners and rot.

They also primer.

The cab will be $500.  The bed will be $450.  The doors are $100 each (plus I have to BUY the doors, which will be about $300).

$40 to buy the new cab corners.  $20 for the floor support.  $60 for the floor pan sheets.  $200 to have those put in.

All this would get me is the exterior.  So the interior of the cab will not be done.  I would have to remove all the trim and whatnot myself.  And take off the bumpers.  I do not know if this includes shooting it with primer.  I’m SURE it doesn’t include taking anything else out that they would need to.  He said they don’t usually do them on the frame – which says to me “We don’t mask anything.  These things are already stripped bare when we get them.”

That puts me at $1570 JUST to get it to the metal and perhaps primed, if they include that.

Now, the good news is that would REALLY clean the panels, so no overlooked rust.  But seeing as that is over half of my total paint budget – and it still leaves filling, sanding, and blocking and of course actual PAINT – I doubt I will be able to do it for what I was thinking.  It WOULD however leave me in a prime spot to continue the work myself.  The prep work, I could do.  I just wouldn’t want to.  That is a whooooole lot of wet sanding.

We’ll see.

EDIT 2014 Update:
Honestly, full sandblasting isn’t really viable unless you are doing a frame-off. And at that point, you’re better off just looking for a better candidate vehicle. I ended up having some stuff done by others, like floors and rockers. They did a crap job, and I wasted my money. I would have been much much better off investing in a quality welder back then and doing it myself. Live and learn.

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The Secret Guild

July 28th, 2009 No comments

I have come to the conclusion that paint and body guys are part of an elite secret society that spend all their time hiding from people looking to get some work done.  At least, that is the way it seems.

I’m taking my lunch break today to vent about it.  I’ve called at least four body shops.  NONE of them will do a full paint job.  They only do insurance work.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, none of them – and this still baffels me – know of anyone who DOES do full body jobs.  How is that possible?  Surely people come to them saying “I’d like to repaint my car”.  But all of them act like it is the craziest question they’ve ever been asked.

My friends keep saying “Why not do it yourself?”  That’s a valid question.  I’ve worked with bondo extensively over the last 15 years – some of that even on cars.  And I could get it dead straight and rust free myself – of that I have no doubt.  And it would be fun!  I would looooove to do it.  But I have several factors that are keeping me from pursuing it.

1) I do not own a welder.  And on top of that, I don’t know how to weld.  Nor could I learn to my satisfaction in a timely mannor.

2) I do not own a spray guy.  And if I bought one, I’d use it this once and then never touch it again.

3) I have no where to do it.  If I had a 3 car garage or a shed or something – I might THINK about it.

4) I certainly don’t have the time.

5) I think it might finally push my wife to the brink of insanity if I decided to even attempt it.

But the most important part is this: It would never actually get done. I know myself well enough to admit that.  Oh sure, I’d spend hours researching which gun to get, and where to find a cheap welder, and how block correctly.  And all that would be fun.  But then what would happen is this: I would get half way into it and then get interested in something else.  And there it would stay.  And I WANT THIS TRUCK.

So my only real option is to find someone to do it for me – I just wish that wasn’t so hard!

EDIT 2014 Update:
Oh hoo did I learn this lesson the hard way. I’ve summed this up in the other updates, but basically hiring other people to do your paint and body work has like a 98% chance of going totally sideways.  You WILL be furious by the end of it. And now that I’ve actually gotten my hands dirty, it really isn’t all that bad. Welding (on this thick ’70s metal) is pretty straightforward. Do a lot of reading. Also, remember this: “If the patch isn’t PERFECT before you pull that trigger on the welder, you aren’t ready to pull the trigger yet.”

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