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1966 F100 Short Bed Styleside Metal/Body/Paint Work


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13 hours ago, Tom M said:

@theastronaut

Your are an artist at work. That is some beautiful artwork you doing there.

Thanks Tom!! 

 

 

I finished up the dash layout today.  The second pic shows how welding close to the edges makes the distortion more prevalant, third pic is after planishing to stretch out the weld zone.  

 

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Old vs new layout.   The ignition switch was moved from beside the cluster to under it, and the headlight and wiper switches were moved over to make room for it. One original hole on the left side was deleted.  The right side was shaved and three 9/32 holes were added for the A/C controls.  The spacing was modified from stock to more evenly fill out the panel and better match side to side. 

 

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Next step on the dash was to figure out a way to blend in a flat spot to mount the A/C vent right in the middle of the very curved location where the ignition switch was.  To keep the flat spot flat I bolted two pieced of MDF together and turned them down just larger than the OD of the A/C vent.   

 

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After a lot of hammering, shrinking, stretching, and shaping to fit the contours of the dash... a shape started to form around the flat spot.  I got started and kept going and didn't take pics of this process like I should've.  This is a shape that I wasn't 100% sure how to make since it curves in two directions with a raised center, but I basically started by remembering that the only things you can do to shape metal are to shrink, stretch, and bend... so I tried to use logic and think what would happen to the metal if I stretched this spot, or shrunk that spot and it pretty much worked out into the mostly correct shape. 

 

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After most of the rough shaping was done. 

 

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Sharpening the edge of the raised area using a corner of the steel block. 

 

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Trimmed and tacked into place... noticed the hammer marks, I'll explain these later, but after tacking there was still a bit of shaping to get this to fit the contours of the dash. 

 

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This angle shows that I wasn't able to get the shape of the filler piece to match the dash contour 100%, and I kind of gave up after not being able to add more shape to the mostly finished piece.  My reasoning for going ahead and tacking it in place anyway was that I could use a dolly that matched the shape of the dash and finish shaping that area of the filler piece once it was held in place... and it worked.  After planishing the two panels into a blended shape I finished welding the panel in and smoothed the welds.  

 

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Half and half, this shows how far apart the initial tacks were.  

 

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Bolt head stuck in the lathe and dimpled in the center so I could scribe a circle to trim out. 

 

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And finished.

 

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  • 1 month later...

The next step was to finish the dash- shaving the glovebox/ashtray/radio and making vent bumps.  


Decided to use the centerline of the defrost vents to locate the two A/C vents in the middle of the dash panel. I messed up and didn't consider that there would be A/C vents added when I originally cut the blank dash panel so part of the vent bump was off the edge of the new panel.  

 

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Reference on how much the bumps needed to be raised. 

 

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Roughed out with a mallet and sand bag. 

 

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The table on the new bandsaw had the same radius as the dash panel so I used it and a chisel end hammer to sharpen up the edge of the bump. 

 

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Corner vent bump.. lots of shape to fit a bump around.  

 

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I cheated and cut a few reliefs in what would end up as the vent opening to help the surrounding metal flatten out easier.  

 

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The finished dash. 

 

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The cab corners didn't have much rust but I wanted to cut them out anyway to make sure the hidden rust was taken care of.  The left corner was also crunched and would be easier to straighten off the truck. 

 

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Making a patch for the rusty spot. 

 

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After blasting- bottom edge is wavy and doesn't match up well with the corner section. 

 

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After straightening the flanges. 

 

 

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Brushed with SPI epoxy to seal up the cavity. 

 

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Same process on the other side. 

 

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Another thing I did was remove the inner roof brace, mainly for access to straighten the roof skin, but also so I can widen it so it can be welded back in on the outside of the roof rail edge instead of the inside.  That will let the headliner to fit flush along the roof rail.  

 

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The rockers are in great shape but I cut them up anyway... 

 

Stock rocker profile-

 

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I made a cut in the 90* corner, hammer/dollied the edges flat, then flipped the cut off piece down to make a flat face but keep the inner stiffening edge.  

 

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After welding and grinding the welds flat.  

 

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Passenger side.

 

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These panels are galvanized and it's cold enough to not be able to weld with the shop doors open so I pulled out the ghetto welding fume extractor I rigged up awhile back. 

 

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Reason for cutting the rockers- the thin rocker lip shows under the door, and since the doors are rusty I'll have to make new door bottoms.  After talking with the owner we decided to eliminate the visible rocker edge and lengthen the doors instead.  This will clean up the lines down the side of the truck and make for less work since there will be two less gaps to set.  

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got both cab corners cut off, blasted, primed, repaired, and welded back in.  I could've bought repro cab corners but I wanted to cut these out higher up to make access to the back of the welds easier, plus all the body lines are already in the right place on the original panel so going back in everything lined up exactly.  

 

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I made a new lower section to weld in. 

 

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I used a steel block and a chisel shaped hammer to make the drains. 

 

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New panel welded in. 

 

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Found a spot with filler... 

 

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Minor damage underneath. 

 

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Straightened. 

 

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Welded back in.

 

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The last detail on the cab corners-  The inner panel flange stuck out past the outer panel, so I ground the edge of the inner down flush with the outer.  

 

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I pulled the doors out and went ahead and cut the door bottoms off to prepare for fixing the rust and lengthening the inner flange/outer skin.  They turned out to be in pretty good shape with only the easy flat areas needing to be replaced. 

 

My next step will be getting the cab back on the frame, along with repro fenders so I can shrink/stretch the door skin and fender into one constant shape front to rear, then I can base the shape of the lower inner door frame flange off that shape.  I'll also need the door and fender on the cab to set the length of the inner flange so the bottom of the door matches the bottom of the corner and fender.  

 

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On 1/12/2021 at 8:04 PM, John S. said:

Always nice work. The dash is cool! 

 

On 1/13/2021 at 10:01 AM, AURktman said:

Fantastic work!  

 

Thanks guys!! 

 

 

Does anyone near the upstate South Carolina area have a junk cab with a good roof skin? This one had something fall across the roof and do a lot of damage which I was planning on straightening but after looking over it closer Friday there is rust coming from the inside out near the driprail seam on both sides. A few areas have already rusted all the way through and poking it with a carbide scribe finds more weak spots along the edge, so it will be best to take the skin off and replace it. I have found a cab locally but it's too nice to cut up. PM me if you have a cab/roof or know of one nearby!

 

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Started making a patch for the door bottom.  

 

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More door work. 

 

The driver side inner door skin was cracked around the window felt area so I realigned the panel and welded it back together. 

 

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To keep it from cracking again I bent shaped a 3/16" rod to fit inside in the corner out of the way of the felt clips.  I only welded it to the inner flange so there won't be any "ghosting" of the welds showing through the paint later on.   

 

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Corner finished. 

 

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On 1/19/2021 at 4:27 PM, GARY F said:

Great job. I wish I could weld one tenth of as good as you.

Thanks Gary! 

 

 

Digging deeper into the roof rust.   This is looking from the inside over the door top.

 

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I cut out a section over the door to see inside better...

 

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Not good, so I started cutting the roof off.  I trimmed right above the seam across the back of the cab to make easy access to the inner spot welds. 

 

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I cut higher up on the sides, this shows the layers as they are when the roof is assembled- nowhere for condensation to escape between the inner and outer layers, and once the seam sealer degrades water comes in and gets between the layers. 

 

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After cutting the spot welds loose from the driprail. This wasn't far away from coming through. 

 

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The driprail flange was also in rough shape so I drilled out those spot welds and removed the drip rails down the sides. 

 

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Driprails removed, ready for blasting and epoxy. 

 

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I never liked the crimped on joint cover connecting the front and side pieces, so I cut though it when I separated the side driprails from the front.  There was rust under the outer corners of the front driprail so I cut those out too.  I'm going to check out a free parts truck tomorrow about 45 min away, hopefully the roof skin is straight enough to use.  I'm not too worried about rust in the seams like this one had, it'll be easy to replace the flat sides since they're easy to fab, and it needs to come apart like this one to get at all the inner rust between layers.  

 

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1 minute ago, theastronaut said:

It's pretty rough, I'm surprised its this bad from how little rust the rest of the truck had.  

 

Any idea how it sat?  Out in the open?  Partially covered?  My Dad's 71 Dodge has a bunch of rust inside, its because the cowl leaked and the floors inside would get wet from melting snow, then evaporate and rust the inside.  The rest of the body is in good shape, but inside the cab (including roof) is rusty.  

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On 1/22/2021 at 7:33 PM, AURktman said:

 

Any idea how it sat?  Out in the open?  Partially covered?  My Dad's 71 Dodge has a bunch of rust inside, its because the cowl leaked and the floors inside would get wet from melting snow, then evaporate and rust the inside.  The rest of the body is in good shape, but inside the cab (including roof) is rusty.  

Not sure how it was stored, but any condensation that forms on the inner roof runs down into the groove between the roof skin layer and drip rail layer, and no paint/primer was sprayed in that area so it's a bad recipe. 

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I posted a wanted ad for a roof or cab last week and had someone contact me about a '66 that they just wanted hauled off.  It ended up having a usable roof and was only 45 min away.  Got the roof cut off and separated the roof skin and drip rails from the inner bracing yesterday. 

 

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We decided to eliminate the seam across the back of the roof for a couple reasons; it's in the middle of the wing shaped body line in the b-pillar and takes away from that shape, and it'll save time compared to separating the flanges on both roofs, blasting, shaping the flanges so they both match up 100%, and then the time of evenly shaping the seam sealer during bodywork.  I was able to trim the roof skin along that seam to take the minimal amount off, and I'll do the same on the cab, but that still means the roof skin will either need a filler strip or the roof skin needed to drop down about 3/16".  A filler strip would mean double the distortion from warping so that's not a good idea.  From cutting the old roof skin off, there was no way to cleanly separate the roof skin from the drip rail by drilling spot welds; there just wasn't enough flange material left after all the drilling and chiseling and prying.  So I thought it would be best to trim the flange in the corner of the 90* bend and move up about 3/16" and tip the edge of the roof to make a new flange. 

 

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Roof cut off, flange still on the drip rail. 

 

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Removing the flange by grinding through the spot welds without disturbing the drip rail underneath.  

 

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Drilling the spot welds out, being extra careful to not bend or warp the flange when chiseling the two layers apart. I sacrificed the inner brace by hammering it away from the drip rail flange instead of pulling the flange away from the inner brace.  I'm pretty happy with the way these came apart, they'll fit the cab nicely since they're not warped up from the separation process.  I struggled to get the old drip rails off so I really took my time with the replacements.  

 

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Front section- the first pic is with the spot welds 99% separated so it's sitting there with it's own weight holding it in place- zero distortion on the flange.  Again, really happy with these results after the driprails on the first cab didn't separate well at all.  

 

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All off, ready for blasting and epoxy. 

 

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I blasted the inner roof rails and drip rails this week, taking care to get the pitted areas really clean.  If you've ever blasted rusted metal that has deeper/thick rust pits you'll wonder why POR-15 and similar products are so popular... the really bad rust isn't growing on the surface where you're painting and a "converter" or "paint over rust" product isn't going to help anything at that point.  

 

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One big thing that I wanted to address while the roof was apart was to do away with the welded clip that ties the front and side drip rails together. The factory left this area pretty rough with the two sections misaligned. 

 

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To start I used the factory line-up slots to position the front drip rail.  The factory spot welds were also in identical locations between this cab and the donor cab. 

 

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I cut a section out of the old drip rails and used it to lengthen the side rail. 

 

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Loosely assembled to mark the front rail for trimming. 

 

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The fit at the A pillar wasn't the best from the factory. 

 

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I used a pair of end nippers to twist the end of the front drip rail into alignment with the side rail and tacked the two together. 

 

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Fully welded and welds smoothed.  

 

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I forgot to drill plug weld holes where the factory left out some spot welds, so I used the cut off wheel to grind small channels to plug weld.  

 

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I used a rounded over chisel to tighten up the fit of the drip rail to A-pillar fit. 

 

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Driver side finished.  Having both pieces in-line and one piece now will go a long way in creating a clean and even door gap against the drip rail, and the seam sealer will look much neater with an even gap between the drip rail and the main roof rail.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm still making progress, just been too busy to post lately. We have a good friend who's having to retire and move out of his shop due to health issues that recently popped up. We've been going over to help him sell off his tools/equiptment in the evenings so I've been getting home well after 10pm most nights. Just now getting a chance to upload pics for an update.

The new roof skin needed a flange turned to mount it to the drip rails, so I folded the edge about 3/8" wide.   

 

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Vice Grip pads had the right diameter so I used those to hammer against in the front corners. 

 

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Didn't take pics, but the roof was blasted where necessary and the outside was stripped by soaking the paint in lacquer thinner covered with plastic, then 95% of the old paint scraped off easily with a razor blade.  

 

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After stripping there were some dents to fix. I used wax and grease remover to make the surface reflective, and the overhead light's reflection as an indicator to show the damage for pics.  I used a hammer/dolly, shrinking disk, and plexiglass sanding block to find the high/low spots.  

 

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After initial straightening- overall shape is correct but was still wavy/choppy from smaller imperfections.  Next few pics are from a few rounds of hammer/dolly and shrinking disk work.  The shrinking disk really speeds up this process by shrinking down the high spots. 

 

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Rotated to check the reflection using the tree limbs outside.  Pics don't show this but watching the reflection while moving around the panel will show high/low spots easily.  

 

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Waves found using the reflection check method. 

 

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High/low spots after blocking to show exactly where to hammer/dolly. 

 

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With the roof straightened I moved to fitting the newly shaped flange to the drip rails with the shrinker/stretcher.  Quite a bit of difference in the beginning vs end shapes compared to the straight ruler.  I also split the corners to allow the sides to conform to the drip rail positions better.  Dropping the roof ~3/8" meant it needed to be widened slightly.  

 

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Inner roof structure and drip rail flange coated with two coats of SPI epoxy. 

 

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Roof skin mocked up to roughly mark the back edge for trimming. I cut out the original flanged seam, then clamped the roof back in place and scribed the edge of the roof skin for trimming with hand shears... good forearm workout. 

 

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I also checked the fit across the sides and front while mocking up the roof skin and made notes to shrink/stretch the flange to fit the drip rail contours better.  Lots of on/off and small adjustments to the the shape corrected. 

 

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I noticed how rough the pinchweld was on the last '66 F100 we restored, and this one was no different.  Most spotwelds were twisted and the edges of the flanges were very rough and uneven.  I flattened the twisted areas with a hammer/dolly and ground the edges even and smooth with a 2" grinder.  Also slightly rounded over the edge so installing the windshield will go smoother.  

 


Before- 

 

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After- 

 

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The A-pillar to upper windshield frame fit was really bad, so I made a relief cut to allow for reshaping, then welded up the cut and seam. 

 

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Same issue with the lower seams. 

 

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Initial fitting of the roof took awhile to get the rear edge lined up exactly flush with the lower part of the cab.  Once it was in place I made a few tacks, then had to reshape the body line on both sides for a flowing shape through the two panels. 

 

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The sides had uneven shapes meeting at the seam from top to bottom.

 

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Adjusting the tightest part of the roll in the body line. 

 

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Fixing an overlap from the metal being stretched out due to reshaping. 

 

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The slow process of a row of tacks, then planishing the tacks, grinding them nearly flat, and repeating until it's welded solid. 

 

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Welds flattened with 36 grit, taking care not to cut deeply into the surrounding area. 

 

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36 grit scratches removed with 100 grit. 

 

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DA sanded with 60 grit to prep for epoxy. 

 

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Details-  the seam that was eliminated ran into the end of the drip rail, and the roof skin flange was overhanging the end of drip rail a bit.  The inside corner of the roof skin flange also didn't fit tightly against the drip rail, or the lower panel. 

 

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Inside corner tightened up with a rounded chisel and hammer. 

 

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Seam welded closed. 

 

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I also welded the roof flange to the drip rail so they wouldn't have a chance of separating later and cracking the paint. 

 

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Initial smoothing with 36 grit and a cutoff wheel for the tight corner. 

 

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100 grit.

 

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DA sander.

 

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Roof skin flanges welded via plug welds with a bit too much penetration. 

 

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Antenna hole was filled in. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/14/2021 at 9:37 PM, John S. said:

Theastronaut , watching your post, is like taking a master class in metal work. Extraordinary work.

 

Thanks John!  

 

 

On 3/15/2021 at 3:30 AM, Roger Zimmermann said:

It's incredible how unprecise the various elements were welded together. That truck is now better than new...

 

Yep, the more you look the more you find that needs to be corrected. 

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I want to assemble all of the sheetmetal on the frame next to start panel alignment.  That means I need door hinges, and the old ones needed attention.  The driver side upper was really worn, as was the lower and passenger upper.  The passenger side lower seemed pretty tight but it was packed full of old hardened grease that could make it seem tighter than it actually was so I pulled apart as well. 


Before- caked on grease, misshaped door check levers, and worn out pins and bores. 

 

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Stamps to keep track of the individual parts. 

 

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New oversized pins.  I bought a tapered reamer set which included a .3400 to .3740 reamer which worked well with .373" pins. 

 

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Blasted all pieces. 

 

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Since the reamer is tapered I could set the inner diameter of the hinge brackets slightly smaller than the pins so the pin won't become loose in the bore. 

 

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The mounting flanges had a lot of raised edges from the stamping and tapping processes so I flattened those down. 

 

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The last F100 I restored had wide/loose notches on the stop arm which let the door move excessively on the stops.  There was also a "ramp" shape on the stop to hold the door fully open which put the roller in a bind and made the door "pop" when closing it off the stop.  These were the same way.

 

Original shape of the ramps- 

 

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New shape.  I had to weld one ramp to get the shape corrected.  The "V" shape holds the door tightly in each stop position with no free play, and the flat ramps allow the roller to smoothly come out of the stops without binding. 

 

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Another problem- the stop arm bottomed out on the hinge body, which let the roller separate from the ramps so the door moved freely.  I ground away the edge a little to make more room for the arm to correct this. 

 

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Finished and reassembled, ready to test fit the doors. 

 

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Video showing before/after reworking the stop arm ramps. 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 3/28/2021 at 1:21 PM, Luv2Wrench said:

Always a pleasure to see what you've been up to, thanks for taking the time to document it and share.

 

Thanks Jeff! 

 

 

The door bottoms needed to be cut out to repair rust damage, and to extend the flange.  There are back to back 90* bends that are only 1/4" apart and my brake only does a minimum of 3/8" apart.  The logical thing to do is buy a milling machine to help make dies for the Pullmax, then make door bottom dies... right?  


We actually bought a Bridgeport about a month ago but hadn't set it up yet. So I bought a pallet jack to move it, a few things to get the mill up and running, and had to dissasemble and clean the vise it came with before I could start making anything with it.  

 

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It came with a Kurt vise but it was filthy inside and out.  Ended up having to boil it in Purple Power to loosen up the crud enough that it could be scraped off.  

 

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After deep cleaning, filing/stoning any high spots down, and repainting it. 

 

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In it's temporary spot, ready for work. 

 

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The Pullmax uses 22mm posts so I bought 1" bar and machined it down to size. 

 

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I also cut a quick tool post alignment jig.  I'll make a real one out of aluminum eventually. 

 

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First lower die attempt.   The right side is a plain 90 to hold in place a 90 that I pre-bent in the brake.  The ramped left side progressively stamps the second 90.  This design didn't have the correct shape ramp so it distorted the work piece.   

 

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Version 2 using a twisted steel bar instead to fully support the flange being folded over.  This worked much better. 

 

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For the test runs I stuck sandpaper on the test panel and slid it in and out by hand with the machine off to show any high spots on the dies. High spots thin out and stretch the work piece and cause distortion.  

 

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The finished part with matching 1/4" offset between the 90's.  

 

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Welded in and welds smoothed. 

 

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Edited by theastronaut (see edit history)
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The last time the owner visited he brought a set of reproduction knobs and bezels for me to graft onto the Vintage Air switches.  

 

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The switches have M7-.75 threads and the original retaining nuts had a small enough ID that they could be drilled/tapped to match.  The shaft of the switch is 15/64ths, and the new knob's ID were smaller with enough material so they could be drilled out to match. 

 

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Retaining nut drilled/tapped, then shortened. 

 

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Knob insert drilled oversize. 

 

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Test assembled on the VA-supplied backing plate. 

 

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The original switch holes were dimpled to clear the bulge on the back of the bezel.  The new holes I made earlier weren't, so I had to add those. 

 

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I used a large washer for the OD of the dimple, and marked the center of it with making tape to center it behind the switch hole. This was clamped in place with a plate behind it to set the depth of the dimple. 

 

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Another piece of tape with a center hole was marked to locate a 1/2" socket.  I used a large C clamp to press the socket into the hole of the washer to create the dimple. A 1/8" hole was drilled for the locating tabs on the switch. 

 

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Switches mounted. 

 

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On 4/22/2021 at 4:36 PM, GARY F said:

More outstanding work.

 

Thanks Gary! 

 

 

I had stripped the doors awhile back by blasting the inner frame and DA sanding the outer skin, but there were rust specs that didn't sand off.  I didn't want to blast these and warp the skin so I used Ospho to soak the spots, along with scrubbing with a scuff pad and a stainless brush on the worst spots.  Most came off quickly but a few spots took awhile to clear up between scrubbing and soaking.  I kept the Ospho wet and thoroughly rinsed the doors to neutralize the acid so there would be no issues with epoxy adhesion. 

 
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Starting to clear up.

 

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99% clear, one spot was more stubborn.  Blasting the door would've meant spending more time on this spot with the blaster, so the metal would've stretched more in this spot than anywhere else, leaving a high spot.  Acid with epoxy isn't ideal but I felt better about doing it this way to prevent warping. This is another reason I don't trust "rust converters" or Por15 type products... even with abrading the surface to bare metal all over there were deep enough pits that a spray on rust converter wouldn't have been able to penetrate into fully to kill the rust at the base where it's most active. 

 

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I found a spot of rust through where a brace is spot welded to the frame, so I cut it out and blasted the inside the inner frame.  There was a bit of flash rust from rinsing the Ospho off that needed to be blasted off the inner frame too. 

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After light blasting I welded in a patch, then brushed on two coats of epoxy to seal up the inner frame and bracing. 

 

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The rear of the door jambs had a couple layers that stuck out for a tab to hold the inner and outer panels together.  This looked pretty terrible, and even with the planned carpet and inner panels there would be no way to make this area look neatly finished. 

 

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Test fitting the area with a carpet scrap and panel board... it still looks unfinished. 

 

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Flange cut flush with the jamb edge.  This left a recess that needed filling in. 

 

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Filler piece formed and tacked in place. 

 

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Layers welded together, filler panel fully welded in, and welds smoothed.

 

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Test fitting again, much cleaner looking than before. 

 

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