Truck Project: Update!

It is way past due for a 'Truck Project' update!. I realized I had not really been keeping up on that. The truck has had a lot of work done to it, since the original post, and purchase of the truck two years ago.

During the fall of 2016 I worked on the front fenders and cleaning up the front of the truck. It isn't perfect, but it is cleaned up for sure. The spark plugs were swapped. That in itself was a project, as one of the plug shields was bent. I had to cut the shield off in order to gain access to the plug, and use an impact wrench to drive it out. Luckily, the threads ended up being fine, and a new plug went in, no problem.

The truck needed new front fenders. They were both rusted out fairly badly. I was able to find some fenders in decent condition at a scrap yard nearby, and purchased them for $30 each. I painted both fenders on the inside before I installed them, and applied several coats of GCI army green paint. I then removed the old fenders. In some cases they were so badly rusted that I had to use a cutting disc to cut them free, and then rebuild the mounting for the new fenders with my welder.

With the old fenders off, I used an air chisel (hammer) to help clear off the rusted flakes on the actual frame. once that was marginally clean, I applied Rust-Oleum automotive primer to help keep the frame from rusting. Then I applied black paint to the frame to protect the primer. This was all done with spray cans.

In October 2016 I had installed the 'new' fenders. My friend Jacob and I then taped up the windows and all the parts of the truck I didn't want to get painted. It was now time to apply the Army Green paint! This is the first time I have ever painted a whole vehicle with a proper paint sprayer. I had purchased a SCBA for this process specifically.

Wearing the SCBA (sometimes I just wore a respirator when I was doing lighter coats), I applied about 5 coats of the Army Green paint to the truck. Mostly focusing on the front portion of the truck. The bed, I wasn't sure about what I would do, so I didn't want to focus too much on it. I am still not too sure about what to do with it.

The paint job turned out well. 2 years later, the truck still looks decent. Some minor rust spots have shown up in some areas however. Nothing a little more Army Green paint can't fix however.

The Summer of 2017 saw the beginning of some work on the bed of the truck. I decided to cut off the rust around the rear wheel rim, and weld on new steel sheets. It was an interesting learning experience, welding body metal. Eventually I found a hotter weld seemed to burn through less often. Cooler, slower welding seemed to burn through a lot more often. A bit of a learning process I suppose. The end result wasn't too terrible for a first attempt at such work, with no real mentor. But... It could be better. I am debating this year if I want to do the same to the other side, or just remove the bed and build a flatbed from scratch. I probably won't do that, as I have a few other projects this year, and as long as the truck runs, I think I will maybe try to patch the rust with some sheet metal, in a similar manner, and call it a day. At least for now.