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Custom touches

        January 16, 2018

        Bumpers? We don’t need no stinkin’ bumpers! The rear already had no bumper and I added a new roll pan so I am going to add a front one as well. I think it will make the truck look cleaner. Of course the pan came with no instructions. There is some modification needed to install a roll pan. I already knew I had to cut 2” on an angle off the frame where the stock bumper mounts. After I got the bumper off the first thing I noticed when attempting to position the pan was the bolts that hold the radiator deflector on are in the way. Then I had to decide if the pan should sit above or below the deflector, I went with above basically sandwiching the pan between the deflector and the grille frame. I still had to massage the ends of the pan a little. The pan is mounted as good as I can get it. I still need to add a couple supports from the pan ends to the fenders.

        January 23, 2018

        The radiator deflector was put on wrong by the PO. One of the mounting nuts is broken off inside the radiator support and I can’t fix that. The hood latch assembly hangs down below the deflector preventing it from sitting even with the frame where is should be. I ended up cutting a slot in the defector for the hood latch assembly and making a patch to cover over it. I added some brackets to the deflector to attach it to the radiator support. At this point I am ready to paint the roll pan as soon as the weather warms up.

        January 25, 2018

        Back to painting! I got the primer laid on today. At least this part is small, it took longer to clean the gun than it did to paint the roll pan! Tomorrow will sand the primer with 600 and apply the silver and clear.

        January 26, 2018

        This is the last day of decent weather for a while, rain and cold returns to Georgia tomorrow. So I need to get the painting on this roll pan done today. I fired but the heater and by noon it was a little over 65 degrees, perfect. I put on two coats of silver, waited a couple hours and put on three coats of clear. Time for assembly!

        January 31, 2018

        I finally got the roll pan painted and installed. Pretty happy with the results. No clue how this is supposed to be installed but I sandwiched it between the grill and the radiator deflector and used the tabs on the ends to bolt it to the fenders. I am thinking about getting new stainless grille surrounds and headlights bezels but they are crazy expensive. The PO painted all that body color and it was not done well.

        September 16, 2018

        The Stealth Tailgate Latches was even tougher to get the courage to do. First you have to drill a 5/8” hole in each end of the top rail and 3/16” holes in the front of the rail to secure the latch assembly. The hardest part was the 3/16” x 1” slots for the latch knobs to operate. The stainless knobs that attach to the latch assemblies through these slots allow the spring loaded assemblies to engage the bedsides. You close the tailgate, release the assemblies which leave marks in the bedsides for the 7/16” holes where the latches will engage. All in all this system is pretty cool. All that cutting and drilling made a bit of a mess on the tailgate. I cleaned up all the bare metal and shot it with POR-15.

        September 23, 2018

        Too much time on my hands, too much time on my hands!!!! I bought some halogen headlights with H4 Bulbs and built in LED turn signals. The plan is to eliminate the grille mounted turn signals and give the front a new look. After I got the grille out I realized the sheet metal insert on the bottom is different than the top. The bottom has a lowered areas where the turn signals mount. So I need to add some metal to those areas to make the opening smooth. If someone made these inserts I would just buy another top one but nobody does. The other thing I want to change is remove that huge Chevy emblem on the center bar, it is just too big and I think it looks like a brand after thought. Of course it will take some body work to smooth the mounting area since Chevy made it with some bumps, I assume to hold the emblem straight.

        September 25, 2018

        Rust, why is it always rust that slows down a project? Back in the day if an area didn’t show GM did not paint it, I suppose that is true of all manufacturers. It took a lot of time to sand the entire back of the grille body and the associated parts to get to clean surfaces and then paint it all with POR-15. But I am now ready for body work on the pitted areas of the grille body. It isn’t that bad except for a few pinholes that were rusted through.

        September 27, 2018

        After a couple days of sanding off three layers of paint, looks like the truck was originally red. I got the pinholes fixed and am ready to paint. So once again the garage needs a good cleaning. First I will shoot some etching primer and fix any low and high spots I find. My original plan was to paint all this the way it was, black for the grille inserts and silver for the grille body. But while talking to my gearhead neighbor he asked if it was all going to be silver. I had never ever thought about that, but after looking on-line and seeing many trucks painted one color I decided to go that way. Plus it will certainly be easier.

        September 30, 2018

        The headlight conversion as always with aftermarket products was not simply plug and play. The headlight buckets had to be modified for the LED harness and the H4 bulb leak proof shield. There was a little rust starting too, so out came the POR-15. The headlights work fine but I need to get a relay harness for better performance and reliability. I took me a while to remember how the original turn signals and parking lights were wired. Even though the vendor claims these lights have parking and turn signals there are only two wires for the LEDs, signal and ground. So I wired them up so the turn signals work, never run the truck with just the parking lights on anyway. The body work on the grille inserts is done so I will move on to the grille itself and hopefully get all its imperfections taken care of.

        October 2, 2018

        The main grille body had numerous defects due to the PO’s lack of skills or maybe he just didn’t care. There were a lot of pock marks I assume from rust that the PO at least had removed but didn’t finish the body work. I sanded a lot, filled them with Rage Gold, and then applied my new best friend glazing putty. After this dries overnight I will spray the body and the inserts with urethane primer and follow that with the silver and clear.

        October 4, 2018

        I hit the grille body and inserts with urethane primer. I will let that dry overnight before putting on the silver and clear.

        October 5, 2018

        This morning I once again laid on some silver paint, this time on all the grille components. I put on three coats of base, let that setup and then applied the tougher part, four coats of clear. All in all it came out pretty nice. There is one place however on one of the edges that looks pretty rough. I thought I had all those spots fixed, apparently not. I will allow this to totally cure before putting it back together and installing it back on the truck.

        October 6, 2018

        I riveted the grille inserts back on the grille. Then I installed the surrounds so the grille in now finished except for color sanding which I will wait a few weeks for the clear to harden fully.

        Now that I have the grille finished it is time to get back to the tailgate. As with most of this truck the paint and bodywork while fairly new was not done very well. After drilling and cutting on the tailgate to install the hinges and latches I decided I would fix some of the flaws in the bodywork and paint. I am keeping the inside part I painted black and getting new vinyl lettering on the back. I will repaint the entire frame work fixing some of the poor welds and paint runs the PO did. I had trimmed off the stock chain bosses when I installed the latches but now I want to completely remove all traces of those bosses. Not an easy job with my limited tools, these things are ¼” and are welded on both sides of the tailgate frame. But using a cut-off wheel, my air hammer and mini-grinder I finally got them off. To fill the holes left I made some patch plates and used 3M 08116 to bond them to the outside of the tailgate frame. I used my mini-grinder to knock down the obnoxious welds at the top of the inner frame, must have been a poorly done rust repair. The plan is to smooth out any other infections I find and contour some areas like where the top meets the inside frame and the spot welds. Then I will repaint the complete frame.

        October 9, 2018

        I received the relay harness for the H4 headlights today. There is only minor wiring need to install this. A +12v to the battery for the headlight power, hook one of the existing headlight connectors to the harness and plug in the new harness headlight connectors. The other existing headlight connector is not used. But of course there was a problem. This harness is not long enough to connect the driver side headlight mainly because of the way I have to run the harness. I was able to find a 20” extension harness to solved this.

        October 12, 2018

        Next project on the tailgate is bodywork. Lots of sanding ahead…YUK! In hindsight I probably would have been ahead if I had just bought a new tailgate. But I made a lot of modifications to this one with the hinges, latches and removing the chain bosses and don’t really want to tackle that again. There were a lot of dents and poorly ground welds I had to address. But this isn’t a show truck and I have done the best I can. It is finally ready for paint. I have to figure out how I am going to hang this beast in order to get paint on all six sides!

        October 16, 2018

        I used six feet of ½” threaded rod pushed through the new latch holes at each end of the tailgate with nuts to tighten it to the tailgate. I made a frame from a bunch of 2x4s and hung the excess of the treaded rod to the top of the frame. This gave me lots of room to get the paint gun to all six sides of the tailgate. The 1/2'” bars does bend a little under the weight but it worked great. I got two coats of primer sprayed. I will let that setup and clean up the garage again before I put on the silver and clear.

        October 18, 2018

        I painted three coats of silver and three coats of clear on the tailgate today so the hard part of refurbing it is finished. I still want to paint the inside recess black like the rest of the bed and add black letters to the Chevrolet embossed letters on the back but that will have to wait until the clear has fully cured. Of course this leads me to another issue. I removed the stock chain bosses from the tailgate so it is only logical that I also remove them from the bedside. But since the bedsides are already painted I need to be very careful and figure out how to repaint that area after I get them off.

        October 19, 2018

        I felt courageous this morning so I attacked the secondary chain bosses on the bedsides. I could not get my angle cutoff in there so I switched to the air hammer. That worked, noisy and not real pretty but they came off. I have some body work to do to get the areas smooth and then attempt to paint and somehow blend it into the already painted areas.

        October 21, 2018

        Bodywork is always a relative thing. At best it is simply filling some scratches or a little rust repair. Then there is bodywork needed because of modifications. This bodywork falls into the latter. The way the bedsides are made there are fairly large cutouts for those chain bosses to lineup. I could have just left them alone but now that the bosses have been removed even with the tailgate closed they are very noticeable. I made sheet metal plates to cover the cutouts and used 3M panel adhesive to bond them to the outside of bedsides. This still leaves a recess on the inside which I filled with dura-glass. I sure wish I had the physical ability to weld!

        October 24, 2018

        As far as painting all this I have decided I can paint the entire rear stake pockets stopping at the outside corners behind the rear fenders and the flares that support the tailgate. This way the transitions on the bedsides will be mostly hidden by the fenders and tail lights. I have finished the bodywork and shot some primer. I am totally out of silver paint and clear so I am off to PPG AGAIN!!

        October 26, 2018

        Damn weather, it got colder, temp was in the 50’s at 3:00. I had to heat the garage for a few hours to get it to 65 degrees this afternoon. But I got three coats of silver base and three of clear done. Now all I have to do is reassemble this truck again.

        October 27, 2018

        I got the rear of the truck assembly done….more or less. The tailgate still does not fit right, never did. There is some sort of alignment issue I can’t figure out. The Mar-K tailgate support on the passenger side will not drop down completely when I am closing the tailgate which prevents it from closing. Until I can figure this out I took that support off. I temporarily put the rear roll pan back on. It still needs painting but I will wait until the exhaust is done before I paint. I also got the grille and the front roll pan put back on. At last the truck is back together.

        December 1, 2018

        Now that the exhaust is done I can get the rear roll pan finished. These things really don’t fit our trucks very well. There is about a ¼” gap at the short straight area of the pan where it sits at the bed side. I made filler pieces with a curved ends to close the gap and make the pan look more professional. I used 3M panel adhesive to attach them.

        December 2, 2018

        I want to make some bezels around the exhaust cut-outs in the roll pan. I want to make them out of metal but I will first use fiberglass to get the correct curve. I put tape on the roll pan and then laid on several layers of fiberglass to get couture I need. Using the fiberglass part as a pattern I made two bezels out of 16 gauge metal. Bending 16 gauge was tough enough I see no way with the tools I have to bend anything thicker. I used 3M panel adhesive to attach them too.

        December 7, 2018

        I finished up with the body work on the roll pan so it is time to paint…again. I decided to paint the bezels I attached body color. Weather here has sucked so far this winter but I have a small window today before it gets really cold and possibly even snows. It was a long day of sanding, apply primer, sanding, apply base coat and apply clear but it is done.

        December 13, 2018

        The paint has setup for a week so today while it is still reasonably warm I reinstalled the rear roll pan.

        February 6, 2019

        One of the more annoying things about this truck was the top of the dash being painted body color with highly polished clear. During the daytime the reflections onto the windshield off the dash top is horrible.

        The plan all along was to fix this. That involves removing the dash pad and from what I have read that is not that easy. I already have the glove box out, the radio will be easy to remove and I am about to pull the gauge cluster so this seems like the time to attempt this. After I got all this stuff off I filled in the speaker slots since there is no speaker anyway. Now the decision of what to cover this with. Vinyl which would be the most difficult but would look the best, textured paint would look good but the interior is pretty much finished so spraying paint is risky or black bed liner that can be brushed on and will lay pretty flat but still might look a bit tacky.

        I have decided to go for broke and try the vinyl. I made a cardboard template and transferred that to the vinyl. I painted the small section of windshield frame that will still be seen with some black paint.

        February 7, 2019

        While I await the courage to put the vinyl on the dash I rewired the harness for the new gauge cluster. The tachometer and the old oil pressure gauge crapped on me so I have no oil monitor, not good. At least that is the excuse I am using to upgrade to a newer style cluster. I found a vender in Florida that sells an aluminum bezel with Dolphin white face gauges with LED turn signals and high beam indicator. The bezel is polished which I do not like so I sanded it, applied etching primer followed by urethane primer and the same semi-gloss black I used on the inside of the hood. I waited a few days for the paint to fully cure before installing the gauges. The speedometer, tachometer, fuel, oil pressure, water temperature and voltage have polished rims and look really nice against the semi-gloss black. I have all the gauges wired and ready to adapt to the truck wiring which using two quick disconnect connectors. I am not looking forward to living under the dash again. One other thing I need to address is the speedometer cable. It is either gone bad or the old speedometer was flaky. It intermittently make a horrible racket. I got a the wiring switched over for the new cluster. It was only a couple wires I had to move. I started the truck and tested the cluster and everything is working. I will have to wait until I can get it installed in the dash and go for a ride to see if the speedometer is working.

        February 8, 2019

        Now for the scary part, putting the vinyl on the dash with contact cement. I have used this stuff before with good results. But this is a bit different. The vinyl is 71” long and 8”wide, it needs to be put in place without touching the top of the dash until it is in perfect position. Once the contact cement on the two parts touch you are committed! There is not a lot of wiggle room. The plan is to use the cardboard template I made as a buffer. I will place the cardboard on the dash, the contact cement will not stick to it. I will then lay the vinyl on top of the cardboard. Once it is in position I will move the cardboard out a tiny bit and stick the vinyl to the dash along the windshield. If that works I then slowly move the cardboard out while sticking the vinyl down a little at a time. Sounds easy, hope it works as planned. Well, it seems to have worked. I will have to wait a few hours, probably overnight to be sure it has adhered well. And then put the dash pieces-parts back together.

        February 9, 2019

        The vinyl seems to have bonded well. I was hoping to get this thing back together today but things did not go smoothly at all. The first thing to go back on was the defroster vents. Of course putting vinyl on the dash top caused a problem. The stock dash has indentations for theses vent to sit in. There is no way I was going to attempt to cut the vinyl that perfect so I thought I would just have the vents sit on top of those inedntations. But the little tabs that are supposed to hold the vent on do not have enough room to compensate for the thickness of the vinyl. So I reengineered them! I made two angle brackets, screwed them to the vent tubes and tapped the other side of the bracket and used a screw the push up on the dash top bottom to pull the vent down against the dash, sort of like a sink install, LOL. It worked great. The dash pad was next, it went smoothly other than fighting to get the nuts on the studs, working blind is not my favorite thing. Then things went to hell. I attempted to install the new gauge cluster. Typical aftermarket stuff. I wonder if they ever actually installed this in a 1967 C10, I doubt it. The way the gauges are positioned the two outside gauges hit the mounting bosses where the headlight and wiper holes are on the dash. The cluster panel has machined areas for the headlight and wiper switch mounts but they are not large enough for complete dash mounts. I need to do some surgery!

        I really don’t want to cut up this dash but I have little choice at this point. I have decided it might be best to just eliminate the protruding switch mounting places altogether and mount the headlight and wiper switches directly to the cluster instead of the dash. But before I get crazy I emailed the supplier to see what is up with this ill-fitting assembly.

        February 10, 2019

        Day two of dash reassembly. I am waiting to get a response from the cluster supplier but I have other things to put back on. I started with the center AC vent which I had painted black, very simple. Anytime I can say simple install on an early C10 is unusual! I am changing the wiper switch to a 1965 version because it is just nicer and the one in there now is sketchy at best. I tested the switch pinouts since the connectors are different and spliced the new switch in. The stereo went back on too so the only thing left is the gauge cluster.

        February 11, 2019

        Day three and hopefully the last day of dash reassembly. I received no response from the supplier of the cluster, granted I only gave them a day. But after looking at this whole thing I see no way it would fit without cutting. So out came the air saw and I cut up the dash!!! The cluster sits flat against the dash frame now. Instead of using screws to hold the cluster to the dash the way GM did this one uses studs and nuts from the back so nothing can be seen from the front. Nice idea, PITA to install. I barely got the nuts on but really could not get a tool in there to tighten them. I put the headlight and wiper switches on and it really does look pretty cool. After I get the steering column and that crazy 1967 e-brake lever back in place this project is done.

        February 13, 2019

        I did get the steering column back in place but that e-brake needed an upgrade. Like I said the PO painted everything is sight body color and that includes the e-brake. This thing is huge to begin with but being silver in a black interior makes it the most dominating thing in the interior. I pulled it out, sanded off all the silver and painted it semi-gloss black.

        Another thing I noticed when I put hooking up the gauges is an issue with the speedometer. It is on the opposite of the cluster than it was before, my choice, and the cable is not long enough to reach. I was planning on changing it anyway so I picked up a 100 inch one.

        February 15, 2019

        Somewhere along the line I have lost my obsession with chrome. On this truck I am slowly removing or changing anything that is chrome. Both bumpers are gone, the mirrors and wipers have been changed for black ones and the antenna and fender emblems are gone. There are only a few items left in chrome. The window vent frames are chrome and pitted, not sure how I will address that, new ones are crazy expensive. The outside door handles need to be black for sure. Billet ones are available but again crazy expensive. I don’t know if this stuff works and how durable it will be but Dupli-Color makes a paint type product they call Shadow Chrome Blackout. Basically you clean the chrome real good, spray the black coating on, the more coats the darker it gets. Then that is followed with their clear coat. It is not expensive so I’m going to give it a try.

        February 16, 2019

        Well let’s see if this stuff works as advertised. I took the buttons out of the handles so I could get better coverage. This will require modification to reinstall them. I made a fixture to hold everything and give me good access to all sides. I washed the handles with Dawn dishwashing soap followed by a good wipe down with wax and grease remover. Following directions I applied three coats of the black with twenty minutes between coats. I waited an hour and applied three coats of clear followed by two heaver coats again with twenty minutes between coats. This whole process took well over three hours but I am pleased with how they came out. The big test of course is how this coating holds up. I will give it a few days to fully cure before reassembling and installing them.

        February 21, 2019

        Since the outside door handles came out so well and I have stuff left over I thought I would do the inside handles and window cranks too. This time I only did two coats of the black to give them a bit more transparency.

        March 9, 2019

        I am a little beat up from the cut spring project so today I am taking lighter detour to some custom projects I want to finish. Mainly the black chrome outside door handles and locks. This was a simple bolt back on went smoothly. Of course this is only temporary since I still have some bodywork and paint to do on both doors.

        March 10, 2019

        My latest plan is to fix the useless outside mirrors. Right now the passenger side mirror is totally useless where it sits and the driver side sits too low. For functionality and aesthetics I picked up some ‘67-‘70 Chevy C10 black mirror head arms and five inch round heads. The problem is where they would have to mount is much different than where the mirrors mount now. Searching around the internet I found several ’67 C10’s with these mirrors and they are all mounted just forward of the wing window, so at least I have a clue now.

        I had to help a buddy with a project today so I really didn’t get any real work done on the truck. But before we started working on his car he helped me position the mirrors. I sat in the truck while he held them into a useful position and marked for the three mounting holes.

        March 11, 2019

        I have some option for mounting the mirrors. There is one significant problem with where these mirrors mount. There is no access from inside the door to attach a nut to the mounting bolts. The stock trucks use self-tapping screws, I hate self-tapping screws because they will eventually cause rust and can loosen over time. I reverted back to my old stand bye, nutserts, and bolted the mirrors on the doors. It is too cool to have mirrors you can actually use on this truck.

        August 4, 2019

        Now that I have gotten the fender alignment under control I should put the truck back together. But as usual I have gotten completely off track and instead of putting the truck back together I have taken more things off to address some issues. One of these is the new mirrors I have installed. I had the change the mounting for the new mirrors which left me with holes I need to fill and paint to fix.

        My theory on repainting is if you’re going to paint you might as well do a color change or what is the real point! I think a change from the solid silver paint job might be cool. The paint scheme I have decided on is painting the top center part of the hood Toyota 1G3 metallic gray, extending this onto the cowl, the door windows and windshield frames, along the concave part of the upper doors where the mirrors used to mount and adding a ¼” Toyota 3R3 Barcelona Red Metallic outline stripe between the gray and the silver. I will continue the stripe alone the body line across the back of the cab and paint the roof gray. And while I am at it I will address the ugly job the previous owner did on the drip rails.

        August 28, 2019

        I was able to mask off everything for painting except for the vent windows, they had to come out. Removing the vent windows is something I have never attempted. At first I thought I could tape around if but that proved to be nearly impossible. I searched the internet and found some really good instructions on how to pull the vents without removing the main window. It worked perfectly. The chrome is somewhat pitted but I want them black. I will see if I can get the chrome scuffed enough for paint without destroying the rubber. I got the hood, the door tops, window frames and cowl painted with the gray and the cowl and doors have the stripe added. I need the wait for the hood to be installed to assure the stripe lines up with the cowl stripe.

        September 19, 2019

        The next project before painting is the drip rails. Getting the old “sealer” out was a messy job and I found more surface rust and a lot of filler but not enough to panic. I was watching Iron Resurrection the other day and saw Joe Martin modify the drip rails on a C10. He basically smoothed the rails into the roof, looks pretty cool. So that is what I am doing. I left the front and side gutters alone other than trying the fix the horrible alignment on the corners and smoothing them into the roof. On the back I trimmed off the gutter part, contoured them into the top gutters and smoothed what was left into the roof. I have to sand off the roof paint and see what that looks like so I am sure there will be a lot of body work to do before I can paint.

        September 25, 2019

        Day two of the drip rail modification. I got all the seam sealer out and have finished blending the rails into the roof. Today I started sanding off the old paint to see what lies beneath it. So far I have found some body filler but no rust. While doing this I decided to fill in the seam where the top of the roof meets the rear window panel just to make the whole roof look smooth. Sill a lot of work to go before I start painting.

        September 28, 2019

        For the past few days I have continued sanding, I hate sanding but it is getting close. I thought I had it all straight and smooth and ready for primer. I shot some etching primer only to see I am not there yet. The front of the roof still has several high spots so more sanding is needed.

        October 3, 2019

        I took some more of the high spots off, filled in some more pin holes and shot the etching primer… AGAIN, this is getting old! Fourth time is the charm, mostly. I have gotten this as good as I can so I was thinking it was ready to paint. One set back was the discovery of some more paint bubble on the top of one of the rear fenders. All these have been on top of filler work the previous owner did. I think it is poor prep before putting the filler on and/or not allowing the filler to fully cure before paint. I will pull the fender and “fix” this before I paint the roof.

        October 8, 2019

        Since I have pulled the rear fender for some repair I have decided to change the fuel filler location. The previous owner put it on the back of the fender and it really takes away the cool look of a stepside in my opinion. I am debating to either go with the standard bed floor filler or try to modify the whole thing to come up with something different. I got the fender flaw fixed and patched the hole where the filler used to be. I am ready to shoot some silver paint.

        October 10, 2019

        I got the rear fender body work and painting finished. But I will wait to put in back on until the roof is done and I figure out how I am going to reinstall the fuel filler. I have to pull a couple bed boards out, maybe all of them, to do the fuel filler swap. Ideally I will be able to use this tank but I am also thinking of a radical change. Options are to bring the filler through the bed floor, not really liking that though. Second is to put the filler on the side of the rear fender but again not really liking that either. The best scenario for me is to put the filler on the forward part of the driver side bed side in front of the fender and run a pipe to the existing tank. I’m not sure I can pull that off. The radical change is to build sort of a tool box for the front of the bed and locate the tank in that. That would hide all the filler stuff, give me actual access to the tank for maintenance, plus give me some much needed storage room for tools and stuff. The jury is still out on all this.

        October 12, 2019

        So finally I started painting this roof today. I shot a couple coats of primer when I did the fender so today I shot on three coats of the metallic gray base and four coats of clear. Now I need to spend several days color sanding this thing. Getting to the center of the roof is going to be a bitch. But I will let the clear cure for a while and start putting things back on, starting with the door parts.

        October 14, 2019

        It is time to put this truck back together somewhat. The first thing I want to tackle is the doors. I started with the driver side door. I glued the window channel in the vent wing and slide the wing into the door. I installed the top/rear weather stripping into the top of the door. Following the step by step instructions on YouTube I rolled the window up and installed the rear window channel and pushed the new weather stripping into place and rolled the window down to make sure it was all in correctly. Sounds simple but it was not without several failures but I finally got it done. I repeated this on the passenger door. With that done I installed the outside door handles and locks followed by the mirrors. That all went smoothly so I installed the door panels. But I totally failed trying to get the inside window felt and outside bottom seals on. I guess I need to do some research on this.

        October 15, 2019

        Now that I have eliminated the hole in the rear fender where the fuel filler was I need to add a new one. I decided to locate it on the front of driver side bed side forward of the fender. I was reluctant to cut into a perfectly good and new bedside. But out came the drill, grinder and body saw and I hacked away at it. It took quite a while to get the hole perfect. The new fuel filler door assembly I got was for a 2007-20018 Jeep Wrangler JK. It is black and attaches with six stainless socket screws. On the inside it has a bucket to accept the fuel pipe with a cap, but did not come with that. The Jeep pipe would not work anyway, it is too long and crazy expensive. I picked up a pipe with vent for a 2000 Ford Ranger but will probably need to be modified to sit where I want it. It will be attached to the fuel door and then bent to fit.

        October 16, 2019

        The next thing is to get reassembled was the front end. I did a final alignment on the fenders, put the wheel wells back in and reattached the hood hinges. The final task today was attaching all the stuff that was bolted to the passenger side wheel well.

        October 17, 2019

        This was a short day. When I took the grille off the truck this time I left the roll pan attached to it. This made is a little cumbersome to reinstall alone but I was able to get it on by myself. I did have to loosen the fenders a little to get the grille in place but fortunately that did not affect the fender alignment.

        October 18, 2019

        Another short day today. I managed to install the headlights and the top radiator block-offs. I filled the radiator and fired up the truck. It took a while to finally lite off, too long between starts for sure. I also riveted the cowl leaf guard to the cowl and installed the washer nozzles.

        October 20, 2019

        I installed the cowl with the new nozzles and hoses. I then found a spot in the engine bay on the left front corner for the reservoir/pump and got it wired up.

        October 25, 2019

        Well it looks like I have created a problem with this new fuel door plan position.

        I spent some major time under the truck today trying to decide if I use the tank where it is now. To assess for the possibility of using the existing tank I pulled the wood floor out of the bed. I had forgotten what a PITA this wood floor is to play with. Without major modification to this tank or the main cross member trying to run a filler pipe is just not going to happen. The other option of putting the new aluminum tank in the front is going to tough too due to the height of the tank filler in relation to the bedside filler door. I guess a smart man would have installed the tank before cutting a hole in the bedside for the filler door, DAMMIT.

        After many sleepless nights I have decided to put the tank in the front and then figure out how much higher the filler door will need to be. Of course that might involve body work to the bedside. My plan now is to keep the tank very basic and leave it fully exposed in the bed. Sort of a pre-runner look.

        November 15, 2019

        Things are not moving along as fast as I had hoped. It seems like everything I try to do is hindered by clearance issues. The tank barely fits between the frame rails and I had to highly modify the cross bed members. I ended up making new cross members to support and locate the bed sides. Since this tank is sitting directly over the mufflers I need to wrap the mufflers and make a heat shield which will attached to the cross members. The engineering on this is driving me crazy!

        December 8, 2019

        My neighbors came over and helped me put the hood back on and get it aligned. So today I took break from fuel tank hell and masked off the hood for its red stripe. I swear the biggest expense in painting is tape! After I got the stripe taped I sanded off the clear and shot some primer followed by three coats of the Toyota 3R3 Barcelona Red Metallic.

        December 10, 2019

        I am back on the tank install today, well actually making the heat shield. Again there are some tight clearance issues. I am making this from 16 ga steel and adding some heat wrap to the bottom of it. I had to make a frame that will bolt to the truck cross members and the shield will bolt to that. To make installation easier to assemble I am using nutserts to bolt the sheet steel to the frame. I painted everything with POR-15 before assembly.

        December 14, 2019

        Before I can install the heat shield I wrapped the mufflers with some DEI heat wrap. I also needed to “adjust” the muffler hangers because the heat shield is too low to clear the hanger brackets I have now.

        December 17, 2019

        During the design of this heat shield I neglected to install one of the bed cross members. I installed that only to find out it would not allow the heat shield to sit correctly, back to design! I had added a 1/8” thick length of steel inside the two outside sections of the cross member to tie them together thinking it would clear with no problem…wrong! So I eliminated that and made some small brackets to weld all four cross member sections to the bed mounts. I also made brackets for the front bed cross member, it all fits now.

        But my day of disasters was not over! I am going to remove the bed sides and front panel in order to paint the rear of the cab. I had removed the bolts but left a few of them in place without the nuts on thinking the bedsides stay in place. That worked for several days but a bit too much leaning against one bedside made it all come crashing down. Fortunately there is no damage. I guess I really didn’t think this one through! The positive side of this is working on this tank is much easier now

        December 18, 2019

        The negative side to the inadvertent bedside removal is I need the driver side bedside in place to design the filler pipe for the tank. I will go ahead and paint the cab before finishing the tank install. I want to paint the inside of the bedsides to match the two tone cab and fix some damage on the front panel as well so I guess now would be the time to do that.

        December 19. 2019

        I started body work on the front panel today. I filled some holes and smoothed out the spot welds at the top roll section. The part I had previously painted black will get a coat of the Toyota 1G3 metallic gray to match the cab roof. The bedside will get a similar revamp with the addition of a ¼” Toyota 3R3 Barcelona Red Metallic stripe near the top.

        Decembar 24, 2019

        After spreading a couple coats of Rage Ultra to the “fixes” on the front panel and more sanding it is ready for paint. After getting the body work done I decided to get the bedsides ready for paint so I can paint the metallic gray on this panel and bedsides at the same time. The silver on the bedsides is perfect so I added the red stripe and prepared the rest for the metallic gray.

        December 27, 2019

        I got the front panel and the bedsides masked and put down a couple coats of primer. I will let this cure overnight.

        December 28, 2019

        After the primer cured it is time to paint. I masked the front panel for the silver and got it applied. Then I re-masked the front panel for the metallic gray and applied that along with the bedsides. Then applied the clear to everything. This was a very long day.

        Now that these parts are complete I will address the rear of the cab. There is a lot of area here with a lot of nooks and crannies to deal with, this will take some time. In addition to the cab rear the door sill on the driver side also needed some body work so that will have to get painted as well. The red stripe between the roof and the cab rear was already on the cab, that will make masking easier.

        December 30, 2019

        I have one more thing to paint before I start sanding on the cab rear….the fuel tank. Right now it is powder coated an ugly red which I do not like. I painted it the same Toyota 1G3 metallic gray as the hood and roof. The tank frame and hold down plates will be Toyota 3R3 Barcelona Red Metallic like the stripes on the truck body. I scuffed the powder coating and shot some etching primer and the gray paint followed by a few coats of clear, looks pretty cool.

        January 6, 2020

        Now it is back to sanding. Hopefully this will be the end of this tedious task. I fixed some damage and after what seemed like too many hours of sanding, I did more sanding. But the rear of the cab is finally ready for repainting. I shot some primer, the silver and followed that with clear. I ended up with one huge run in the clear so I guess I am not done sanding!

        January 8, 2020

        I got that huge clear run sanded out, not as tough as I thought it would be. But the whole rear of the cab need color sanded and buffed before I put the bed back on.

        January 9, 2020

        Today I made the tank hold down plates and painted them and their mounting extensions on the tank frame with the Toyota 3R3 Barcelona Red Metallic.

        January 15, 2020

        I cleaned up the garage removing all the painting protection on the walls and floor, took me all day. I put the wheels back on the truck and dropped it to the ground. I still have a bunch of fabrication to finish before I can put the truck back together. I want to weld the shortened cross members to the frame bed mounts for better stability. I need to run a new fuel line, I’m using AN fittings and braided hoses. I also need to wire the electrical connections for the new tank. Of course there is still the filler neck to fabricate but I can’t do that until the bedsides are installed.

        January 17, 2020

        I have a mountain of color sanding to do on this truck. Color sanding is not my better skills by any measure. Sometimes it works out great but other times I end up with a lot of scratches. But today I started. I need to get the back of the cab done before I put the bed back on so I started there. 600 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 grit and cutting compound on the orbital did a decent job. Just that little bit took several hours. I still need to do the entire roof, both rear fenders and the inside of the bed sides, I should be done by this time next year, LOL.

        January 18, 2020

        After I got the garage heated a bit I started color sanding the roof this afternoon. But after 3 hours I only got about two thirds of it done and I am beat. Maybe if I was a better painter it would be easier, but I just have to deal with this major orange peel I have to sand out. Hopefully I will finish with the cab tomorrow and move off to other more fun projects.

        January 19, 2020

        Winter has reared its ugly head again in Georgia. Even though I have “heat” in the garage I waited until after lunch to heat it up. I managed to finish color sanding the roof so for now I am calling victory on the paint. It is not show car by any stretch and not perfect but for now I am satisfied.

        January 20, 2020

        I cut two of the bed floor boards that will sit outboard of the sides of the new tank frame but still bolt to the main truck frame. This was scary for sure but after a few attempts I got the two main boards cut to fit. Next I cut the center boards and the stainless strips to length.

        January 30, 2020

        Work on the truck has taken a a back seat for a while. One thing I needed to address is the fuel level sending unit. Since the tank is exposed to the weather I need to have some protection for the sending unit. I made a cap for it using a short piece of aluminum square tube and a plate for a removable top. This fixture is attached to the tank with 3M double sided tape. I drilled a hole in the front of the cap for a piece of 3/16” brake line that will house the sending unit wires and seal them from the elements. I painted all this satin black to match the filler neck assembly and the fuel lines.

        February 16, 2020

        A small amount of work has happened but I am still a long way from finishing this project. I finally got the short cross members welded together by my welding wizard and am ready to get them welded to the frame. I also got the exhaust pipes back in place. Today Drake came over to weld exhaust to the mufflers and the cross members to the frame.

        With this step finally done I can start putting this truck back together. The first project is getting the bed sides back on and figure out how I am going to plumb the fuel tank filler neck.

        February 17, 2020

        I got all those newly welded bed frame parts painted today.

        February 19, 2020

        I installed the under tank heat shield, the step hangers and the steps supporting them in preparation of the bedside install.

        February 21, 2020

        Before I install the bed I did some color sanding on the inside of the bedsides. I then bolted on the wood floor sections that are attached to the bedsides and attached the front panel. So now it is ready to put back on the truck.

        February 23, 2020

        With the help of a few friends I was able to get the bed back on the truck. But as usual my engineering has let me down. That extra support cross member I put on to help support the front panel is not allowing the bedsides to sit down properly so that needs modification or maybe just elimination. I’m thinking if I don’t fix that the steps are not going to fit right either. Fortunately that extra cross member is just bolted in place and not welded so it should come out easily. I had to unbolt everything on the bed and push it back about 4 inches in order to unbolt that support cross member and cut off the bracket I welded on to get rid of them both. The front panel sits down where it should and now it all fits. The steps will take some adjusting but that is now a huge deal.

        February 24, 2020

        Today I played around getting the steps to align properly. This is something I didn’t do the last time I had this all apart. This time I loosened the bolts holding the step supports and the ones holding the step to the supports. Then I bolted the steps to the bedsides making sure they aligned correctly. Then I tightened all the support bolts.

        February 25, 2020

        After moving the truck back to a more workable place in the garage I jacked it up and removed the tires to make working under it easier. I got the tank hold down bolts secured.

        Before I try to engineer the tank fuel filler tube I want to get the fenders back on, the fuel lines run and the bed floor installed. But before I do all that I need to color sand the fenders and recondition the bed floor wood.

        February 26, 2020

        First project is the fenders. Have a commitment this afternoon so I could only spend a short time color sanding. I managed to get one fender done and the second one sanded with 800 before I had to quit. I am exhausted after only three hours of this. Getting old sucks!

        February 27, 2020

        After another three hours this morning I got the second fender done. Now to get a helping hand to install these monsters.

        March 1, 2020

        My neighbor came over to help me get the fenders back on, for the amount of help he has given me on this truck I owe him big. We did have something really weird happen. One of the fender braces has totally disappeared! I know I put two on each side right by the rear axle but one of them is nowhere to be found. I have another one but it is too long so I guess I will have to modify it somehow.

        In the mean time I started to install the bed boards to make sure they all fit before I refurb them. But right away I have a problem. When I had this all apart before during assembly I added those ¼” cushions to the bed frames. This time I decided not to use those and now the bed boards are hitting the rivets on the frame, weird. I don’t have those cushions any more so I will have to add some spacers or get new cushions.

        March 2, 2020

        After all the frustration yesterday I was reluctant the go out to the garage this morning. But I did order some ¼ x 2 steel bar to shim the bed up and made some shims for the rear cross member out of stock I had. While I was under the truck I saw the missing brace sitting in the rear corner of the fender. No clue how it got there. But at least that issue is solved!

        Because of how I mounted the tank the front mounting holes for the second boards on each side will need to be moved. After I get the stock for the shims I will drill new holes in the boards and the short cross members I welded to the stock bed mounts.

        March 3, 2020

        I picked up the shim stock and made the shims today. This has solved the problem of the bed boards hitting the frame rivets.

        March 4, 2020

        I spent most of the day installing, uninstalling, adjusting mounting holes and reinstalling these shims and the bed floor boards. But I think I finally got them all to fit properly. I need to refurbish my floor boards again since I pretty much messed them up the first time. This is going to take some time.

        March 6, 2020

        I have decided to refinish the wood bed floor…..again. But first I needed to get the old finish off. I attacked the boards with my orbital sander to get the old stain off and smooth the boards from my previous screw up. It took a long time and made a total mess of my garage.

        March 10, 2020

        I have already bought braided fuel line for this new tank and am getting ready to install it. I ran a short hose from tank outlet to a 90 degree 6-AN bulkhead fitting I mounted to a plate I added to the bed front panel. Then I attached a hose to that which will run into the passenger side frame rail and a fuel filter and then forward to the fuel pump.

        March 11, 2020

        Sometimes you do something because it looks cool. I was planning running the tank vent hose using a regular hose. But since I have a black braided fuel hose I decided to use another braided hose, -8AN this time, for the vent, expensive but it looks cool.

        March 13, 2020

        The filler door I am using is from a Jeep because I like the look. The tube the Jeep uses would not work so I picked up my old standby filler tube off a Ford Ranger. I cut it off to the length I needed leaving the vent connection. I then had to pie cut the plastic Jeep area where the Ranger tube would connect to get the angle right. Plastic? I don’t think so! So I made an upgrade replacement out of three pieces of aluminum. One round plate that sandwiches the filler door and the bedside, one 4 inch square tube cut on the angle I need and one 4 inch square plate that the Ranger tube will bolt to.

        March 15, 2020

        For my next task I came up my method for the fuel tank filler tube. This was easier than I thought it was going to be. There isn’t that much angle from the bedside filler to the tank inlet. I picked up a 1.5” 90 degree aluminum tube from Summit. I cut both ends to the length I needed. But that left me with the problem of getting this tube to hook up with the tank filler inlet plate. I made a short filler “tower” from a piece of 3” aluminum square tube. I made a hole in one side that would allow the 1.5” tube to slide in on a bit of an angle. Then I made the hole in the tank filler plate large enough to match the 3” square tube and allow a free flow of fuel. I had all that welded in place and welded 3” plate to the top of the “tower” to seal everything up. A short piece of hose will connect the aluminum tube to the steel pipe at the bedside filler door.

        March 16, 2020

        One more thing and hopefully the last thing with this never ending tank install is to trim around the bottom where the bed floor boards meet the tank. I am used some more angle painted red for this which now frames the entire tank.

        April 2, 2020

        Now that I finally have this fuel tank done the last thing is to refinish the bed floors. I totally messed up this the last time I did it so this time I am determined to do better. The boards on the outside do not need any modification but I had to trim a little off the next two boards to fit around the tank. I also cut the four center boards to fit behind the tank. I stripped all the old top coat and stain off so I am ready to get this project started.

        April 8, 2020

        I have experimented with several different methods of staining these boards. But eventually I decided to use dye instead of stain. The theory is to mix Keda coal black dye with acetone, alcohol, lacquer thinner or even water. You use very little of the dye depending on the depth of color you are looking for. I used ½ tsp of dye with 8 ounces of lacquer thinner. The first coat looked promising but the coverage was not quite what I wanted so after wiping it down I applied a second coat. This looked much better. After this dried overnight I made sure the surface was smooth before applying the top coat. For the top coat I used Helmsman Outdoor Clear Gloss Polyurethane. I found a video on YouTube showing that you can buff polyurethane the same way you buff out a car paint job. One tip is to be sure to use a lot of coats of poly so you don’t buff through to the wood. I applied 6 coats sanding lightly with 220 between coats like the can states. It got shinier and smother with every coat. All told this took several days to stain and coat mainly because of the drying time for the poly. After allowing the last coat cure for a few days I will sand it with 2000 grit and then use my buffer hit it with some polish.

        April 13, 2020

        Of course my experience with wood is very limited. It seems even after all the sanding I did after the dying and poly the grain is causing the wood to not be perfectly smooth. I used 1500 grit on the poly to get rid of any dust and then buffed it to achieve a pretty high gloss finish, I’m happy with it.

        April 15, 2020

        While I wait for the bed boards to cure really well before installing them I will finish up some tasks I have put off. Like starting the engine, it has been months. My one fear is the engine mechanical fuel pump would not be able to pull fuel out of the tank and through the new filter. But after putting some fuel in the front float bowl and dropping some down the carb it fired right up. It did shake a bit until fuel got pulled from the tank.

        April 18, 2020

        Today I started attacking the 67 carriage bolts that hold the bed and the wood floor to the frame, what a pain. Compounding the problem is having to do this without a second pair of hands. But ingenuity prevailed and I got most of them in today. Because I changed so much of the inside of this bed I had to drill a lot of new holes plus get some longer carriage bolts.

        April 22, 2020

        Next I started finishing the color sanding. First on the list is doors. They are certainly not up to the finish of the front fenders or the bed sides. I also did some more work on the hood, but it still has some scratches.

        April 25, 2020

        I have finally finished with the bed floor. Some of those carriage bolts were a PTA to install, seems like there is always something in the way. But all the bolts are in and the floor is secure. With that done I installed the steps and the tailgate.

        April 26, 2020

        There are still a few projects to finish up. The door seals and sill plates need to be installed and the whole truck needs a really good cleaning. The tough one is finishing the color sanding on the roof. There are still a lot of sanding scratches I need to get out.

        But the weather is nice here and the truck needs to be exercised. I fired it up and took it out for a short ride.

        April 27, 2020

        When I tore this truck down it had glue on door seals. I hate weather stripping adhesive!!! So I ponied up and bought Precision snap on door seals. I spent a tiring and messy time getting the old adhesive off the door flanges to test fit the snap on seals. All was going great until I got to the bottom of the driver’s door. There is not enough room between the rocker and the floor to get the seal in. I looked at the passenger door opening and found there is much more room on that side. It looks like the PO screwed me again when he put new rockers in. I am not a happy trucker! After thinking about this I realized the sill plate actually holds the bottom seal in place, no adhesive required. Rather than trying to create some way for the snap on seal to work I will simply use a good section of the old seal.

        April 28, 2020

        After getting both doors prepared and test fitting the seals yesterday I painted the flanges with POR-15 this morning. In hindsight I probably should have done this before painting the whole truck! I will let this cure overnight and install the seals tomorrow.

        April 29, 2020

        I got the door seals on both doors installed and cleaned up the mountain of dust in the interior left from sanding all the adhesive off. But I still have the same issue of having the driver’s door not closing flush. After many attempts to get it right I finally hit the sweet spot on the door striker and I got it close much better but it is still not perfect. I do know that the driver’s door is NOT a ’67 door and maybe that is the problem.

        August 5, 2020

        With this last reassembly I can finally declare victory on this very long upgrade. Yeah right! Anyone that knows hot rodding knows they are never done. My two tone paint job is the look I intended but the tailgate does not look right. Right now the inside is completely silver and should also be two tone. So after several hours of sanding and taping I laid on four coats of the satin black paint.

        August 6. 2020

        I put the tailgate back on the truck, it looks more complete now.