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Garage season, fall 2015

Now that the truck was small enough to fit in the garage,time had come to get it inside. As it wouldn't start in the cold weather (almost freezing), it was pushed to the garage door. Lacking someplace to mount a winch to pull it in, a battery was connected, and it pulled itself in using the starter motor. This truck is now officially a hybrid.
(September 2015)

To gain access to the floor, the bench seat was unbolted and hauled out.
Not much rust in the floor itself, but for some at the door openings.
The floor is angled towards the door openings, and water is supposed to run down into the rocker, and out through drain holes. Of course, dirt and moisture has been trapped in there areas, and over the years rust has hit.


Left: Both sides look like this. The door seal has collected water and dirt from the
         floor and the road, and the resulting rot in the tops of the rockers is easy to spot.
Middle: When cut open the rockers were found to be exactly half filled with rust and road grime.
Right: New parts were fabricated, some on a sheet metal break, and others using an assortment of hammers and shears.
(November 2015)

The new floor parts welded in. The rusty top of the inside rocker panel was repaired at this time.
Next will be the new rocker top with flange for the door seal.

If water runs down off the floor, it gets trapped inside the door seal flange. Then gets drained under it, into the rocker, and then the rocker in turn has drain holes to keep it dry. No small wonder it was half full of dirt.

The new home made rocker top was cut to length,and placed where it was supposed to go. Then it's outline was traced on the rocker, and everything inside the trace was cut away.
Holes were drilled along the inside of the new part, and it was rosette welded to the floor/inside rocker, to mimick the way the original was spot welded.
Before welding shut, the inside of the rocker was given a rust protective coat of Tectyl ML.

When everything was fully welded, the welds were ground down with a grinder, and then finished off with a sanding disk.

A few small tweaks and some cleaning up, and the area was given a coat of primer, still wet in this pic.
Even the flange for the door seal looks like it's always been there. Hopefully we'll find some generic seal material that'll work here, as the old seals are totally ruined.

Same work on the right hand side floor and rocker.
Most of the rust is cut away here, and the new parts (visible to the left) are trial fit into their respective holes. Still some cutting to do at the front most part of the door jamb.

My simple sheet metal brake really came in handy here.
(December 2015)

The hardest part to fabricate was the front end of the floor/inner rocker which had a complex shape.
After deciding how to cut out the old rust, and how to cut and weld in the new part it was pretty straight forward repair work.

The top of the rocker welded to the outer side, and rosette welded to the inner rocker.
All welds ground down smooth and a layer of primer squirted on. Now it's time to figure out how to paint the rockers so they look like they belong with the rest of the rusty and patinaed cab.

  In January pneumonia hit hard, and the truck was put on stay. A lot of work had to be done to our boat in the spring, and nothing further was done to the truck in about a year. Only some parts were collected for the project, The truck was pushed out, as the son's Dodge engine lost the oil pressure, and its engine had to be rebuilt.

Only thing done in the 2016-2017 winter was an ignition system service. New points, condenser, coil, rotor, cap, plugs and wires. It still seemed not to run on all cylinders.

During the Summer 2017 a "new" carb (Carter G2 remanufactured by Holley) was bolted onto the intake, and topped off with a tiny air filter. A brand new fuel pump was also mounted to the engine, and it was soon fired up.
At some earlier point the right hand side valve cover had been loosened to see how dirty the engine was inside, and now it was taken off as it rattled against the rockers when the engine ran.
(July 2017)

As the engine ran and the valve cover was off, one could easily see that this engine can'r be used without major surgery. Only seven rockers did their thing. The remaining one was static, so in effect it didn't lift the valve off its seat at all.

Next thing to do is to change the engine, or at least overhaul it, and putin a new camshaft.

Before getting the truck inside, the plans call for some sandblasting of the rear of the frame.
It looks awful, but it's just lots of surface rust. The frame is structurally sound, and will just need some paint, and of course a rework of the aft crossmember, as it's been almost litterally ripped off. The truck has evidently been stuck in some deep mud at some point.

Here, the cab's been covered, and the areas close to the frame taped with duct tape to prevent sand from blasting the sheet metal.
(October 2017)

The sandblaster came in form of a mobile unit.

Very simple. No transporting, and just a very small amount of sand was used, less than 100 kg (200 lbs), so it will easily be hidden in the grass next summer.
(September 2017)

The frame got a coat of primer to keep rust away until the frame is ready for paint. There's some repair work to do, some brackets for rear lights and a fuel tank, and maybe some shock absorbers.
This truck seems to never have had any shocks. Leaf springs are supposed to be cancelling bumps all by them selves due to friction, but the ride will probably improve with shocks, especially if the springs are being made softer at some point.

Back inside again, hopefully getting some more work done this winter than the last couple winters.

Just two rear wheels make for easier access to all of the frame.
(September 2017)