Hot Fun in the Summertime   Leave a comment


Unfortunately, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve been able to update this blog. We’re still making progress but we’ve had some hard times with the weather here in north Alabama. I was looking back at my last post updating JP and it was published April 26. The next day we had a historic outbreak of tornadoes that devastated several areas here in Alabama. Thankfully, the only problem we had was a lack of electricity for a few days but others came out much worse. Then at the end of May, the temperature started hitting 95 degrees and hasn’t let up since. I am very sluggish in hot weather so the bed work has been extremely slow. Give me cold weather any time before hot weather and stifling humidity.

If you just look at JP as he now sits in the driveway, you wouldn’t think much had been done except that the bed is now back on and the concrete blocks are gone. But trust me, a lot of blood and sweat have been spilled to get to where we are today. You can see some of the stuff that’s been accomplished on the updated To-Do List page. What follows are some pictures I took of a few of the things we’ve been working on.

First up is the Ford 9″ rear end.

                

Before

                

After

Not sure what happened on those rear end pictures but you can get the idea. Next up is the bed.

                

Notice the fiberglass patches on the tailgate? Fixing that is on the to do list, too. Also visible in the middle of the third picture is oil and grease that was apparently thrown up from a previous rear end leak. We think that’s fixed now.

                

A few shots of the front side of the bed. The middle picture shows the worst rust hole and the previous attempt at repairing it with gobs of fiberglass and bondo. The third shot shows the extent of the hole after grinding out the prior “repair” and getting down to good metal.

                

The first picture in this series is after cleaning up the bottom of the bed and sanding off the surface rust. The next two shots show the bed after a couple of coats of rust converter. You can still see the hole in the bed front in the third picture.

        

Once again, I got impatient and forgot to take pictures of our finished work – this time the underside of the bed once it was completely rust free and painted. But here are a couple of pictures of the repairs I did on the hole in the front edge of the bed. Since I don’t know how to weld, I got some aluminum flashing squares that are usually used for roofing and duct-taped them (is there anything duct tape can’t do?) to the hole from the inside of the bed.  This provided a form for the next step. I then used, for the first time, fiberglass cloth and resin to start the patch, to give it some more form, and to hopefully give it a little strength.

After the first batch of fiberglass had cured, I sanded it and eventually added a few more layers for strength and to give the patch the shape I wanted.  One thing I did learn working with fiberglass is that it’s fairly easy to sand completely through the resin resulting in another hole in need of patching. But all things considered, fiberglass is pretty cool. At this point I pretty much had the hole patched on the outside of the bed. I just added some bondo body filler, let it cure, and then sanded it as smooth as I could. A little primer later I had what you see here. It’s not perfect but I’m fairly pleased with the results and I’m pretty sure I did a better job patching the hole than the last guy did.  I’ll fix the hole on the inside of the bed a little later.

                

This last set of pictures shows the rust holes in the driver’s side rear cab corner. You can probably tell it’s actually three holes but I had already filled the two left ones before I took the pictures. Again, since I can’t weld patch panels, I turned to my new friend bondo and filled the holes.  I then used a flap wheel on a grinder to do the main sanding and some sand paper to get it to this point. I still have some finish work to do on this but I did the hard work while the bed was off so I could reach it easily. I’ll finish it off nice and pretty when I fix the other side of the hole as part of the floor pan repair.

That’s it for this update. I think the next thing I’ll work on will be finishing up the paint on the front frame and clip. After that, the next major task will be stripping more bad fiberglass patchwork by the prior owner in the floorboards and patching them. I’m hoping I can get by without having to replace the pans. If not, I may have to learn to weld.

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Posted August 1, 2011 by jglee920 in Body

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