49 GMC Progress Report

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by e015475, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    looking very good !
     
  2. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Thanks Nate - hope you like what's coming next....................

    Well after two years and about 600 hours of hard labor, I'm out of paint prison!

    Rolled the truck into a rented paint booth last Thursday and painted it Friday. A local body shop in Mesa, G5, rents their booth. It's about 40' long, which let us paint the cab on the truck and the bed in pieces all at the same time. Chris, the owner at G5, says it was built with the idea of painting buses, but seemed ideal for what we wanted to accomplish. Chris and the folks at G5 were very easy to work with and very helpful. This photo taken about 5am on paint day. Still have the same old crappy phone - please forgive the 'artifacts' in the pictures.
    [​IMG]
    Here's the truck in the booth with the bed hanging from every stand we could find, including a couple of step ladders to hang the bed sides with a piece of conduit through the rolled edge.
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    Another view-
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    We sprayed from about 8 am to about 5 pm with an hour off for lunch (thanks Whataburger for keeping your AC at 72). Three coats of base followed by three coats of clear. The truck had been done about two weeks prior, but temperatures in Phoenix were bumping 120F in the mid afternoon, so we waited for the weather to cool off a little to 110F (it wasn't much, but it did make a difference). When we started spraying in the morning it was in the high 70s, but in the middle of the afternoon it hit about 110F. You've not lived until you've been trapped in a metal box in the middle of Arizona in the summer! My guess was it was about 120F in the booth most of the afternoon. Wyatt, my body guy, sprayed while I mixed paint, moved the step ladder so he could reach the roof center and kept the air hose from getting tangled. Wyatt started at one end of the booth and by the time he got to the other end, it was time to start the next coat. It was brutal. We used the slowest reducer possible but there is still a hint of orange-peel, but since it will be cut and buffed anyway, it is fine. The new Iwata gun was fabulous - the paint gravity feeds from a bladder and will spray at any angle. Very easy to keep it loaded with paint - no drips or spills. Controlling sweat dripping onto the panels was our biggest problem.

    Can't say enough good things about Wyatt's (Tichenor Coach Works in Mesa) ability, attention to detail and consistency. Highly recommended.

    Here's the truck un-masked but still in the booth-

    [​IMG]
    And the rest of the parts...........
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    Took about six trips to get everything back home - didn't want to damage anything. Here it is back in the shop at home.
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    I didn't want to risk damaging any paint, so I've stored the painted parts in the living room. My wife is a very understanding and patient woman. The only comment so far, with just a hint of sarcasm, was "I really like how you've redecorated my house.' The hood will have to be color sanded and buffed before it can be reinstalled, so that's the next priority. Need to finish the gas tank install and hang the rear shocks before I can assemble the bed on the truck. Worried a little about grand kids in the house - thinking abut some police barricade tape, but that might push the wife over the edge!
    [​IMG]
    If it ever gets cool enough to turn the air off and open the door, here's what the neighbors will see from the street at night.
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    Never get tired of looking at the engine bay.........
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    I'm going to take a break from the truck for a week or so. Monsoon season is just about here, and the humidity will make it pretty uncomfortable in the afternoon in Wyatt's shop in a week or two and I should be able to convince him to come help me cut and buff the truck in the air conditioned shop in the afternoons.

    Was puttering around at Wyatt's waiting for the temps to drop for the booth and had the doors of my wife's MG TD blasted and found this. Wyatt is teaching me how to make a new door skins on the English wheel so I think I'll work on the MG for a week or two then jump back on the truck.
    [​IMG]

    With regards to all, Phil
     
  3. Depoebay

    Depoebay Member

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    like the color scheme. I was born and raised in Arizona. After an early retirement I moved to Depoe Bay. Traded rain for heat. Nice work.
     
  4. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    I've lived in AZ for 60 years and just recently retired, but wife is still working. Really like living here October through June, but we're looking for a way to leave for the summers when she isn't working anymore. The Oregon coast sounds nice.
     
  5. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

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    Phil,
    Thank You for splashing some color on an otherwise black-and-white forum of late. She is looking GREAT. I enjoy the car parts in the living room too- reminds me of my own home!
     
  6. Depoebay

    Depoebay Member

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    Too funny car parts in the living room. Wife is very understanding.

    I retired at 54. Love the ocean and northern Arizona Heber to be exact.

    Looked at San Diego.. way to pricey. 600 sq ft house two blocks from the beach. $800k.

    Now have best of both worlds. summers here are fantastic. Winters we get 65 inches of rain. That's why shops are bigger than the residence.
     
  7. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    I cannot say enough positive things about your project, and your work, Phil. Just,... Fantastic. Love following along, on it. Thank You.
    It sure is a blessing to have such a talented body man to help you with it. And, close to home, were you can work on it too.
    I like everything about this truck. And, I love looking at the engine bay.

    Steve.
     
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  8. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Thanks Steve. Wyatt is happy teach you anything about metalwork and work with you on a project. There's three of us old coots that come into his shop to work. I pay him to do the high skill stuff and follow his instructions to complete the work where I can. Another guy who's 73 comes into the shop and trades him labor for metal bumping and lead work on his project. A third guy comes in a couple times a week to work. He's 83 and owned several body shops and is just looking for something to do to get out of the house. Wyatt has tried a few times to hire kids out of the local vocational school and if they show up at all they only last a few days. My wife told me this morning that he's going to have to add "and Senior Center" to the name of his business. I really enjoy the work and often second guess my career choice I made 40 years ago to be an engineer.
     
  9. booger

    booger Member

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    Everything looks great. Getting closer to finish. Tell wife thanks for understanding of course
     
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  10. Zig

    Zig Member

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    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! (It doesn't hurt that ii is a manly G of course...) #cool#
    I really like the "bedless" photo for some reason. #rolleyes#
    Thanks for the photo update, and at this pace you should be driving that by the end of the month!
     
  11. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    As always stunning work Phil
    Won't be long before your in the fast lane
     
  12. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Started working on the seat for the truck. I sold the seat I'd had done a year or so ago - didn't meet with the wife's approval and the upholsterer over- padded it and it rubbed on the doors.

    Decided I'd use the original seat frame and go from there. The original spring cushions were rusty trash, so I cut out the mounting clips and made some new seat bases out of birch plywood I got at Home Depot. I found an upholstery shop in Mesa who's work I liked, and he suggested that I use foam instead of springs. He offered to install the foam on the birch ply bases and let me take them home to fit check in the truck to make sure the firmness and thickness was to my liking before committing to the upholstery. Said he could make it out of layers of soft and hard foam and said I'd be pleased with the results.

    Here's the seat frame after it was sandblasted and the plywood bases made- I'm making some new sheet metal aprons that cover the seat adjustment mechanism using the sheet metal shrinker and the HF bead roller I made. I'll post some fotos when they're done.

    [​IMG]

    Took the GMC grill apart with the idea I'd do a little metal work on them before they went to the chrome plate shop. There's no dents, but I'd like to clean up the factory stamping marks and unevenness. After I took them apart I started to strip them with chemical stripper (was a painted grill, not chromed) in the sink in the shop. After doing one, I thought it was pretty stupid to be stripping them in the same room as my newly painted truck, so I took them to a shop in Mesa called Clean Metal Industries to have them stripped. If I do the metalwork on the slats myself, the cost of the plating and the OE grill I picked up should be within about $100 of a repo chrome grill.

    Here's the grill waiting to be stripped- yes, that's my size 13s in the photo too.

    [​IMG]

    And all the support pieces
    [​IMG]

    Cut and polish of the new paint job starts tomorrow!
     
  13. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

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    Phil, good call keeping paint stripper and new paint in separate parts of town... A friend of mine was rinsing some stripped-parts, and later in the day noticed a little "blob" on the fender of his (nearly) new car. To his horror, it was a blob of paint-stripper which had eaten its way all the way down to factory primer.
     
  14. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Must be in the summer doldrums - not much activity on this board - I'll see if I can get it started again with my two cents worth.

    Working away at color sanding the truck. The cab is nearly done and it is buffing up nice. Here's a shot of the front end - note the hood prop I made out of shop scraps. Left off the hood springs so I have to do something to hold it up.
    [​IMG]

    Hung the Jag IRS for what I hope is the last time. Shimmed the rotors so they were centered to the calipers. Filled it with oil after I JB welded a plug into the cover to fill the hole where the speedometer sensor used to be. Hope this doesn't bite me in the a**.
    [​IMG]

    Checked to make sure that I could get the correct camber still after I shortened the Jag IRS and had the half-shafts final welded and balanced. They wanted to charge me $300 to weld and balance them. After I whined a bit, he dropped it to $170 and I thought I still got taken. Anybody with any recent cost to weld and balance a driveshaft?
    [​IMG]
    Everything's painted, now I just have to get it shimmed, safety wired and all back together. What a PITA - a four link would have been much simpler.

    Here's my brace to keep the Jag center section planted. The rods aren't too pretty and were salvaged from my sandrail when I upgraded to aluminum radius rods.
    [​IMG]

    Got my GMC grill back from the stripper. It was a very straight original grill and I thought it was a painted one from the factory, but it came back from the stripper with a strike coat of copper on it, so now I'm wondering. In any event, I took it apart with the idea that I'd do the metalwork on it before I sent it to the plater. There was no significant damage but still there were a lot of marks from the original stamping tooling I wanted to get out. I used a thumb dolly, shot bag and a body hammer to get the imperfections out, at least on the 'money' parts you can easily see looking at the front of the truck. Here's and example - this is the nose of the grill slat that I'd filed showing low spots (where there's still copper strike)
    [​IMG]

    Here it is after some hammer and dolly work and finished wit a flat file
    [​IMG]

    Learning a lot from Wyatt on how to bump metal and get to a surface that won't require any filler (well ok, they will plate it with copper to cover small imperfections, but its pretty close)

    Here's about a days worth of labor straitening slats. Estimate I have another day to finish.[​IMG]

    Upholsterer called today to say that the foam is on my seat and I should come pick it up and see how it works for me - will report results next time.

    Phil
     
  15. Depoebay

    Depoebay Member

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    It's the little stuff that takes time. If I could get $5 for for every time I needed fasteners sandpaper glue paint. I could spend a week at the tiki bar. nah make it a month.

    Looking good.
     
  16. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    The Jag IRS is no all bolted together and ready to roll. Need a few fasteners and to hook up the airbags, but I'm OK to put the bed on the chassis now.
    [​IMG]
    Another view
    [​IMG]

    Emergency brakes are in and ready to hook up. Brace struts are in to keep the diff planted.
    [​IMG]
    Seats in test foam came back from upholsterer. There will be another layer of soft foam on top of this.
    [​IMG]
    Can't really tell how it is going to work until I weld in the riser into the cab. I cut the center out of the riser so I'd have storage under the seat (and eventually a drawer)
    [​IMG]
    The upholster says to use this foam pad on the back and keep adding layers of soft foam till it is comfortable
    [​IMG]
    Notice the dip in the bottom cushion. It cups down about an inch to grab your butt.

    That's it for now

    Phil
     
  17. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    Wow looks awesome Phil
     
  18. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

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    Phil,
    Thanks for picking up the slack on this board while I am (evidently) too busy doing everything else to make progress! The Jag rear in your truck may have been a pain to set up, but the cool factor more than makes up for it. Keep the pictures coming!
     
  19. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Mike and LaTroca, et al

    I made a list the other day of all the parts needed to finish the truck and I was kinda shocked on how much I have left to do. My plan is to lay low on spending too much more on it and focus on all the fiddly things that don't cost much for a while. The instruments, radiator/cooling and AC, bed wood and upholstery/rubber are pretty big nuts to pay for.

    I'm converting the GM engine harness to stand-alone and extending the leads on the ECU to get it inside the cab, need to get the truck plumbed (bought all the fittings a year ago for fuel and brakes), the engine coils relocated to inside the cab, finish the steering wheel and column and get the turn signals working (took it apart and not sure if I know how to get it together again). I have a Rube Goldberg-ish plan for the linkage to get my bear claw latches to work properly with the stock door handles that I need to work out. Lots of little things to do. Should be plenty of opportunities for pictures and each time I get to post some progress, it's like making some sort of milestone.

    Retired last April and have pretty much worked on the truck full time since then. Wife is getting a little jealous and wants priorities shifted to include some travel together (which is my next favorite thing to do after playing with old trucks)

    Phil
     
  20. Zig

    Zig Member

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    Damn that looks so friggin SWEET!!!
    I love the rear end shot!
     

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