Sunday, April 12, 2009

A journey starts with one step

His point of view

Enough already! Lets see some progress.....and pictures please.

You notice that there have been three blog entries today. That is because I am playing catch-up. I've actually had two solid weekends of tinkering with. Side note: I really need to come up with a good name. Anyway, I've got approximately 20 hours in labor over the last two weekends. Let me get you caught up as well.
  • Got all the trim removed from the body. I don't have that fancy 'race track trim'. Just plain old side molding. I've heard it referred to as 'Dent trim' due to the fact that it sits in the dent that runs along the side of the body. Sounds good to me, lets run with it. Thanks to a member of the Ford Truck Enthusiast board, I was able to locate the required bolts and learned how to remove the trim with out destroying it (see thread Here). You will want to try to reuse this if at all possible, because it's crazy stupid expensive to replace. Turns out it's not so hard to remove, if you can get to the bolts holding to the body. The piece that runs along the bed, easy enough, on bolt at the back, one in the middle just in front of the rear wheel and one at the front of the bed. Door trim, easy, bolt on front bolt on back. Trim on the front quarter panels, NOT SO EASY, one bolt at front, just in front of side marker light. I couldn't have gotten to it with out removing the grill, which was no problem for me because it was on my list. one bolt just behind front wheel, and one where the quarter panel meets door jam. Yea, that's the bugger, took me an hour just to get that one from both sides. I think the trim was meant to be removed after taking the body panels off, but I'm not ready to do that yet.
  • Other trim pieces that were not difficult to remove: wheel well, drip rail (bends really easy, I'm going to have to replace those, dang it), side emblems, tail light bezels.
  • Front grill - this was not as simple as I thought. Turns out you pretty much have to take of the front bumper to get the grill off. Again, OK with me, its on my list. Turns out the grill insert is banged up in several places, not beyond repair, but I have other ideas (think, Billet Grill). The rest of the grill is in pretty good shape but I want the chrome pieces so mine will get replaced.
  • Front Bumper - PB Blaster is your friend. There is no way I could have gotten the front or rear (especially the rear) bumper off with out PB Blaster. It's a day after working on the truck (aka, wrestling with the bumpers) and I feel like I just got hazed in a expert level spin class. I hurt. Again, another couple of hours, easy, if not more. It needs to be fixed, I would love to find a place to fix it, maybe save some $$$$$. Otherwise, its going to be replaced.
  • Rear Bumper - CRAZY HARD. Those bolts must have been put on by the Hulk. But I prevailed, and I hurt for it. It will NOT be reused.
  • Tail Gate - This is one of the first things I took off. My tailgate is in fairly good shape. Couple of spots that need some attention, but I think this will be a very good candidate for my first attempt at auto body work and rust control. I removed all the trim, including the $400 center piece with 'FORD' stamped on it. It now sits in my bed room, way out of reach of anything that could possibly damage it. I'm not sure my wife is taking to the new bedroom decorum. Had to drill out some rivets to remove the steel tail gate cap. By the way, did you notice all the black 'stuff' in the bed of the truck. Not my idea, I could have killed my FIL (Father-in-law), but it wasn't my truck at the time. Sandblaster, here we come....someday. I removed all of the ancillary pieces to the tailgate as well. A good cleaning, lubricating and polishing should fix them right up.
  • Spare Tire - No surprises here.

Immediate Needs

I've identified some immediate needs.
  • Steering Gear - is shot. It's leaking bad. Right now I need to be able to drive it at least enough to get from one side of the yard to the other. I'm going to have to replace that. Maybe I can get lucky and find one in a junk yard for the time being.
  • Rust control - Overall the body is in GREAT shape, there are a couple of spots on the bed rails that need some serious attention. While I was under the body for two hours trying to get two bolts off of the trim, I got a real good look at the bottom of the cab. There is one spot that gives me concern. I won't know what I have until I get the floor removed from the interior (next week, fingers crossed). other than that, surface rust in spots, shouldn't be that big of a concern.

Next Week

Focus on interior. Need to remove the seat and the floor mats to see what I have underneath. I hope I don't have any surprises. Not sure about the dashboard stuff yet. I still need to be able to drive it. Door panels. I think I'm going to try to make custom door panels. I'll let you know how that goes.

See you next week! (I hope)

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