Sunday, July 17, 2005


I spent the day today concentrating on those wheel wells. I decided they were coming along nicely enough that I didn’t need to have them stripped, all I needed to do was put in a bit more elbow grease.

So I got after it this morning. It was not bad out there early, in the upper 70’s and humid, but the fans were doing a pretty good job of keeping me comfortable. By 8:30 or so however, the temps were already in the mid-80’s and climbing. I soldiered on though, determined to get a coat of primer on something!

As I continued to sand, grind and scrape, thinking I’d fixed all the rust, I found this! Finding this after all I’d already done points out that you never really know where rust might be hiding. To me it looked like someone had drilled a hole here once, and later, before the truck was repainted at sometime they’d simply puttied over the hole and painted it.

This would have been blistering a new paint job inside the year.

So I welded it up, and ground it down until it looked like this, I took a second shot as I wasn’t sure you could actually see it in the first. I didn’t go the cut and patch route this time as the hole was rather small, and by running a weld bead over the entire area I also ‘burned out’ any rust that was present.

With that out of the way I moved on to the hammer and dolly process knocking out all the major dings and dents, before laying down three heavy coats of primer/surfacer. I use a lacquer based product for this as it allows you to ‘topcoat’ with virtually any other type of paint, and has the added benefit of quick ‘flash’ or dry time.

Now I’ve shot literally several hundred gallons of lacquer primer over the years, and today was the first time I actually saw primer ‘blush’. “Blushing” is something that occurs when the surface of the paint flashes over first, and traps moisture underneath. I’m not surprised though given the heat and humidity today. It’s not a ‘show stopper though as I’ll be sanding most of the primer off and reapplying in the finishing process.

So here’s how the piece looks in primer. Not bad when you consider how rough they were when I started. This shot shows that I still have some work to do with the hammer and dolly to square this up, but overall, it’s in pretty good shape at this point!

So that’s pretty much it. I’ll be repeating this process on the other fender well, and the rest of the truck as well. I’ve got new rocker panels to install in the cab, and the final leveling of all the fenders and the sides and front of the bed. Hopefully Monday I’ll find out about the stripping process and getting the cab done too.

I’ll save about 40 hours by having the cab stripped and dipped alone!

Other than that, and being pretty wiped out from the heat, there’s not much to tell you all. After I post this, it’s my intention to go and enjoy the rest of the day with my beautiful wife!

I hope you’re all having a great weekend!


Beth said...

Wow, even with primer it's already looking great! Super job, Bill!

Firehawk said...


It's looking pretty good, man. Buying the wheel wells may have saved you time and effort, but you'll know you salvaged them from pretty sad shape, and that'll be worth it in the end.

Bill said...

Knitter - Thanks, this kind of thing is definitely a journey!!

Firehawk - Thanks man... you're right, I will know, and that is all that's 'really' important. Afterall this is a "labor of love" not a race to the finish!

It's felt really good to dust of those old skills, and despite them being a bit rusty, and slower, they're all still there and functional!

Spirit Of Owl said...

At last, I have two points of reference now! LOL

First, it suddenly looks like a bit of a car. That's fantastic!

Second, it reminds me of when house walls been stripped of wallpaper, washed, scrubbed, fillered, sanded and basically looking like a horror, and then the undercoat/lining paper goes on and suddenly it's a wall again. :D

Great work, and I'm so glad you allowed yourself some time to be with your wonderful wife. :)

Bill said...

Spirit - It's *exactly* like that!! I always chuckle when folks have come by during a remodel and say something like: "It's tretty slow going huh?" one day, and then a day later you've screwed in 60 or 70 sheets of drywall and knocked off early and the same person says: "Wow.. you got a lot done today!!"

THe beauty is indeed in the detail.