Archive for December, 2009

Merry Christmas!

December 26th, 2009 Comments off

Wow!  I made out like a BANDIT this Christmas.  I got awesome handmade socks from the missus, AND lots of truck parts.

Looks like my wish list paid off!  Many thanks to all those who participated!  I scored a set of cab-side weather striping for my doors, a set of chrome repro mirrors (Love the look of those – can’t wait to get them on!), all 4 wheel arch trims AND new vent window knobs!  I’m stoked.

I did however also dent the bimmer in a miscalculated attempt to get her out of some mud.  But it wasn’t TOO bad, and I’m taking it to the wife’s BMW guys asap.  I am of course very very upset about it.  But hopefully it will be right as rain before too much longer.

Here is a pic of the swag! :


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Homer’s Body Shop

December 17th, 2009 Comments off

Homer’s is where I’m getting the welding done.  Mike there has been working on the panel replacement, and took some pictures.  I’m going to post them up here.

Also, we chatted about future paint options – he gave a very reasonable price!  I just have to decide what the hell I’m going to do for sure.  Cause I REALLY want to learn to paint, but…  I’m just not sure I’d ever actually get around to it.  At any rate…

Looks like it is coming along nicely!

EDIT 2014 Update:
This turned out not to be such a good move. It was a disaster. This is not a case of “oh the customer is picky” – The inner rocker literally fell off in my hand. It wasn’t even tacked on, it was just stuck up with seam caulk. Cosmetically, I wasn’t too concerned since it will be under carpet, but it was an absolute crap job structurally too. Live and learn. It will have to be redone someday.

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Surgery Begins

December 13th, 2009 Comments off

The panels are being worked on finally!  I took it in last week with all the replacement panels piled in the bed.  He is doing BOTH rockers and floorpans – so it should run ~$800, which I feel is a really good price.  I saw what he was working on while I was there (it was in primer) and you can tell he is good.  The truck is in good hands!  He is welding them in now and should have it done by Monday or Tuesday.  Very excited!  He sent me some pictures of the teardown with the doors off and whatnot.

You know, I had thought to move on to the interior right away, but now I’m thinking it would be smarter (if conditions allow) to go ahead and tackle the doors.  It would involve getting the air compressor, primer, and gasket set.  And that would be around $600 and then $150 per door.  But it would make the thing a loooot more livable.  And it would decrease the risk that this fresh work will get wet.  Also around the same time, I will have my body expert fix the dent in the driver door (if I give up on the idea of doing it myself!)  and get those awful mirrors swapped out.  Something to chew on.  In the meantime I can dream about what shes going to look like sans rust!

EDIT 2014 Update:
Yeah, the guy had bondo skills. That much is true. In the time that he had my truck though, his drunk helper stole my license plate because his car had no tags and the guy had what I can only assume was a blind ferret weld things together. Total disaster.

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Dash Pad

December 2nd, 2009 Comments off

I have lots of fun plans for the interior restoration.  The grand scheme includes spraying the interior floor with bedliner, creating LED lighting (classic lighting – not like ground effects or anything), paint, gauges, and dashpad replacement.  Lots of work.

Eventually, I want to get an actual replacement for the dashpad, but for now I figured I would try to repair it.  That turned into a huge process.  After some experimentation, I finally ended up cleaning up the edges of the cracks, sanding the whole surface to get all the old dirt paint and grime off it, and then filling in the low spots with Loctite 5 minute epoxy.  Why 5 minute epoxy?  Because it always remains a little flexible.  It never gets really really brittle.  So I did it in thin layers.  It took days.  Lots and lots of mixing, leveling, and sanding.  Then I sprayed the whole thing with truck bedliner.  It ended up looking ok – not great, but much better.  In retrospect what I should have done was get everything level, then cover all the surfaces with contact cement and rip-stop nylon.  Then covered THAT with a heat resistance thick latex paint (or bedliner).  The issue is that though the surface is very even now, the cracks most likely will reoccur on the edges of the epoxy repairs.  A layer of rip-stop would prevent that.

If you are doing this kind of repair yourself, that is seriously what you should do.  Level everything out with epoxy (or better yet, that rubber bumper repair stuff), then cover it.  THEN spray it with bedliner or whatever.

Of course, for all I know this thing is going to turn into a cancer inducing gas emitter as soon as it gets hot in the cab.  So do it at your own risk.

I also did some major changes to the vent and nameplate assembly that screws into the dash.  The dash in my truck had been salvaged out of another truck – one that didn’t have AC.  Mine does (and it will be made to work again some day!).  So I needed a plate that had AC holes that weren’t cut out with a pair of tinsnips.  So I got a donor from pullapart and used some body filler to fill in the old nameplate slot.  I resprayed the AC vents, and resprayed the assembly (it still needs a couple of coats)  Now for the cool bit – I got a bowtie off an old Lumina and a chevy nameplate off an old cavalier and repainted them – I’ll be mounting them on the assembly in lieu of  the original Silverado nameplate!

I also started the experiments with the instrument cluster.  I think I will most likely repair and replace the original gauges rather than try to create a whole new cluster.  But I do plan on two major modifications.  I am going to remove the leftmost gauge mounting locations (the non-working clock and the voltmeter).  I’m going to then use that space to mount the tach, which is currently mounted on the dash.  I’ll also replace the non-working temp gauge.  It will involve some fabrication, but not too much – most of it will be wiring.  I’m not going to keep the voltmeter.  I’ll throw a multimeter into the glovebox or something.  I’d also like to keep the oil pressure gauge if I can somehow, but I’m not sure how I’ll do that yet.

I already started by cleaning the gauges up and repainting the needles.  I will be replacing the plexiglass face also.

I will also be redoing all the dash lighting with LEDs (I ordered over 200 from China for like $4 – high intensity red and high-intensity white).

I’m going to try a new gallery out with this post.  I’m including images from the various things I’ve been working on…


EDIT 2014 Update:
This approach didn’t actually work. The epoxy cracked almost immediately. I ended up sanding it and fiberglassing the whole thing. I think it would have come out really cool, but unfortunately it is still MIA at the painter’s. So instead I’m just going to order a new one. At the original time of this post, they were about $500 but since then they have come down to $180.

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