Tuesday, 27 March 2012

December 2011

December - The Jalopy is confined to barracks at the body shop.

My life currently revolves around paint, filler, sanding, hammering, welding and the other body shop activities. Its damn hard work, and I am only helping here and there. In the long run I am sure it will be more than worth it.


2nd December - Body Shop
Its Wednesday morning and  I am taking the jalopy to the paint and body shop. They are going to correct the alignment of the doors, hood, etc. I am not going to get her painted at this time around as the body shop is moving facilities. We are doing step one that will eventually lead up to painting. What it does give me though is some time and space in the shop to work on the bed for the next week or so.

2nd December - Electrical Wiring
I have ordered some electrical wire so that I can completely re-wire her (again). I did re-wire just a short time ago but unfortunately I didn't have enough of the same colour wire to finish the whole run so some of the wires are spliced into another colour. As you can imagine it makes it very confusing to trace down a specific wire. This time I ordered 100 ft of five different colours of wire and will do everything from scratch again.

I ordered two new headlight buckets from eBay. I'm kind of suspicious of the halogen bulbs so I want a backup plan just in case they don't work!

8th December - At last. Things are Happening Body Wise
Its finally happening. I drove the jalopy over to the body shop yesterday morning for the realignment of doors, hood, etc. They said I might even have her back this weekend. Just to have that done is major to me. I think they are going to shim under the cab to lift it off of the frame instead of it sitting directly "on" the frame. That might help the ride and driving a bit. Also, when I pulled into the bay, gas started running out (first time that has happened), and they looked underneath and thought there might be a pin hole in the gas tank.  The body shop can weld it (safely). So, that little problem reared its ugly head at the right time and hopefully I will not have the gas smell inside the cab like I used to always have.

16th December
I had a long discussion with one of the body shop guys working on the jalopy. They are very exacting and methodical (which I like), because they don't rush and don't experiment. They are true professionals that think through the exercise before they start. 

They jacked the back of the cab up so that they could get to the timbers and sliced about 1/2 inch (I think that is about 1 1/4 cm) off the bottom. The idea behind this was to allow the back of the cab to "settle" a bit downward and help realign the body. Both doors were drooping and out of alignment.   Today's plan is to remove the doors and finish realigning them one at a time. I am also having them move the gas tank from under the seat (inside the cab) and reinstalling it behind the rear end where the spare tire would hang.  This removes any dramas (and fumes) from having a gas tank under the seat, and enables me to have a small storage area for a few road tools and whatever. 

At the same time I am going to go deal with the little irritating things that need adjustment. More importantly I have decided to sand it down and paint the old gal at the same time. It will  save me money in the long run to do all this now while she is torn down and everything accessible. The Body Shop guys have extended me an invitation to come over and help work on her when I have spare time. Hopefully it will reduce some of the labour costs. 

I will be into my wallet, but I will have a new paint job and solved lots of other issues related to body alignment. I hate spending the money, but it will be done more like it should. Also I would have played a part in making the old gal purtty.

19th December
The latest on the jalopy is there is nothing to report. No one at the body shop  worked this weekend so I didn't get to get my hands dirty. I did however pay for two weeks of hourly shop hours! Ouch. . 

20th December
Yesterday one of the body shop guys came to my house and took measurements of and around my truck boot/bed so that when he installs the gas tank toward the rear of the jalopy, it will all fit nice and perfectly. We are going to relocate the gas filler cap toward the back of the bed and access through the bed instead of cutting a hole into the side of the truck. The cap will be a flush mount as you might see on a boat, and stainless steel of course! This will get the tank out from under the seat , clean up the truck a bit by not have any appendages sticking out anywhere and still make the gas fill-up neck readily available. The thing that impressed me is that he wanted to come to my house instead of asking me to bring the bed over to the shop for him to see it. Also, they have removed the doors because they were not lining up as well as they should be. Instead of using bigger screws to try to "pull" the doors tight, they actually drilled the holes out in the frame, glued dowels into the holes and when dry, will re-drill the holes in the right place so that the doors will "draw-up" the way they were supposed to do...at least in theory! It is these little things that make me believe they want to fix it right and not just make a few bucks going through the motions.

28th December
I have posted some pictures of the jalopy. She looks pretty pitiful right now but is going to be beautiful just as soon as all the cosmetic surgery is finished.

This is one of the doors with the lettering removed. I worked on this most of today, plus sanding both doors with 180 grit sandpaper. There was some body work present and we are going to have to put some of it back on, to keep the contour of the door.

The doors are both off and the seat removed. The box is covering the floor board that we put in after removing the gas tank to a safer place behind the rear axle.

This is the view from the passenger side. There is a metal box sitting on the floor that came out from behind the seat that I never knew was even in there. I am not putting it back because it cannot be accessed with the back part of the seat installed. I am going to have one large storage area under the seat now, which I may sub-divide.

The passenger side door. The lettering did not come off very easily on this one and it looks a little more rough, but it is okay after sanding it down good.

This is the driver's side door again with one swipe of body filler put on. The body filler has not been sanded yet so it looks huge. When it is all feathered in, it will look good.

Passenger side with door removed.  Note the dowel glued into the door frame and the rear panel gone.  Also seen in this picture, the spare tire holder lying across the new storage area.

The cab looks with the rear skin removed.  I am amazed at the craftsmanship of the person or persons that built this truck cab.  Everything is so hefty and reinforced.  You can also see the jagged edges where the skin was removed to adjust the cab height and alignment with the doors.

28th December - Progress is being made
Tomorrow I think we are going to rehang the doors at least temporarily. The hood comes off tomorrow also and will receive the sandpaper treatment. Wish me luck, and in the meantime some more photos. I am sure you can see the amount of detail they are going to.

Can you believe this door; it looks like the best camouflage pattern you’ve ever seen.

Kind of reminds you of your dog or cat after getting a much needed bath…a deer in the headlights look.  Poor gal has to be thinking “what the heck did I do to deserve this?”

Doors, doors, here a door, there a door……

Under the door handle we discovered some pitting and rust.  It had previously been painted over (out of sight out of mind).  Of course this didn’t solve the problem so now we are going to have to sandblast it.

Driver’s side front fender.  Dang, it looked so good under the paint.  I was just going to buff the paint a bit so it would accept the new paint.  Bondo, lots and lots of Bondo and most of it I removed.  Actually by block sanding it looked much better.  There’s a whole lotta sanding going on there and I have the sore fingers to prove it.

I know it doesn’t look that bad but it felt like lizard skin when you ran your hands over it.  I might hire my hands out, they got pretty good at “seeing” better than I could actually see with my eyes.

29th December

No, no, not the door again.

Taping and papering, getting ready to blow some thick primer that inhibits rust also.

Speaking of lizards, look at those eyes!  Note also that is very dark outside.  It has been a long day.

Oh lovely lizard with your hair combed to one side.

The first coat of primer-inhibiting green stuff.  It blows on very, very thick but fills in the tiny imperfections.  Good stuff.  Did I mention expensive stuff?

What is behind door number two?  Oh yes now I remember…it’s my wallet.

30th December
This body work is slow going and dusty. I worked very hard today sanding, sanding and sanding. Everything is done with a block of wood to make sure the lines are straight. The "real" body guys don't let anything slip by and the doors are near perfect now, which we thought were very important. The front fenders looked pretty rough when I brought it in but just block sanding has smoothed them up so much that we are going to try to get by without too much work (unlike the doors). Anyway, tomorrow they are going to re-hang the doors I hope! I know one thing, this is hard work, and secondly, I have discovered that I can see with my hands better than with my eyes!

The goal is to try to be ready for paint by end of next week, and the end of the following week have everything re-installed and drive her home.

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