Update on JP (Finally)   Leave a comment


Well, I’m finally getting around to getting an update posted on our progress with JP. If I knew how to do it I’d have Boston’s “Long Time” playing as background music. I can’t believe it’s been over seven months since I last shared a post on JP. To keep you from having to search out the last post, you can find it here if you’re interested. We had gotten the floor pans welded in at that point so I needed to do some clean up on them. I went to work and cleaned up the welds on the underside of JP with a grinder. I then sanded the pans down on the bottom and gave them a good coat of chassis paint so hopefully we won’t have to ever replace those again. If we do, I’m going to let Hannah and/or her kids fool with it. If you strictly look on the outside of JP you probably can’t see a whole lot of difference in him from the last update. A lot of the work has been sort of “behind the scenes.”

However, the good news is JP is back on the road and drivable again. I’ve driven him to work a few times and around town enough to get a little over 500 miles on the clock after the engine rebuild. I’m thinking I’ll go ahead and change the oil now and exchange that break-in oil for some fresh stuff (and of course a new filter). But wow. I love the power of that 390 FE engine. I’ve tried to take it pretty easy during the break-in so I haven’t really stepped on it yet. But I can tell it’s really going to be a monster compared to what I’m used to driving.

The only real issue we’ve got to work through before I put JP on the road pretty regularly (besides gas prices) is an aggravating gas delivery problem. He will sporadically die after acting like he’s run out of gas. I had replaced the gas cap a previous owner had on JP and we originally thought the new gas cap was not venting correctly. After driving for a while, the gas tank would create such a vacuum that you could hardly even get the cap off. We thought the cap was keeping the fuel pump from working like it should. We thought a new cap had helped the problem but the last time I drove JP he died on me again. Since the gas gauge isn’t working, I thought I had run out of gas so I called Sheryl to bring me some gas. After putting some gas in him he fired right up. So now we’re thinking we may have some trash in the gas tank that floats over the pickup tube and cuts off the fuel supply. Looks like a tank cleaning may be in order after all.

Here are some pictures of the different items I’ve been working on lately. First up is a before and after picture of a hole where a seam in the cab had separated above the passenger’s door. A little seam sealer is all it took to fix that.

            

I mentioned in my last update that I needed to fix a hole in the passenger’s side kick plate. Here’s a shot of it after I put a piece of metal in it for a patch.

The next two shots are after patching the hole. First, I filled it with some bondo. Then I did some sanding and shot it with primer. I think it turned out pretty good. It still needs a little finish sanding before the upholstery (whatever that may be) goes in.

            

By the way, I scored some vent doors recently for the vent hole you can see above. I haven’t seen them advertised in any of the usual Ford truck parts catalogues so I’m happy about that. They’re in great shape and I’ll tell where I found them in my next post.

One area that I’ve worked on and am pretty happy with is JP’s doors. A previous owner had installed some of the large, extended mirrors you use when hauling a trailer. These left holes in the door skins where they were mounted and since I’m going back to the smaller, original mirrors those holes needed filling. The mirrors also must have hung on something as well because the door skin was bowed up in places and sunken in others. This next picture shows how the passenger side looked.

The two holes above the single hole on the bottom (which is for trim) are the bottom mounting holes and you can see the two holes above already filled with some bondo. The large slot next to the top holes is where the original mirrors mounted and where our new ones will go. I used a body hammer to level the high spots and then used bondo to fill the low spots. Here are a couple of shots after applying the bondo and some sanding.

            

And here’s the finished product after some primer. I don’t think it’s half-bad for somebody that doesn’t know anything about body work.

            

The last update I’ll show is kind of bringing JP up to date with some 21st century styling cues such as smoothing the body lines. Some folks take this pretty far by getting rid of the drip rails, door handles, trim, and emblems. I’m not going that far with it although I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the drip rails. In my case, this means filling in the seams on the back of the bed and on the hood. The bed seam is shown below.

            

Now, after some hammer work, bondo and sanding.

            

And now the seam after primer.

            

Here are some shots of the seam on the cab.

            

More bondo and sanding:

                        

Finally, after some primer:

I also fixed a couple of spots on the hood and passenger side fender but I’ll let those go this time. That’s it for this update. Right now Dad is trying to troubleshoot some electrical problems with the gauge cluster and turn signals along with that gas problem I mentioned earlier. We’re sort of approaching the time when I have to start getting serious about getting the paint and body done. Hopefully next week I’ll have another post about a little deviation we took from restoring JP that will actually help us in the long run. It has something to do with those vent doors I found and possibly a new feature on the Slick ’66 site. Until then…

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Posted August 23, 2012 by jglee920 in Body

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