Archive for the ‘Body’ Category

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…


Posted August 23, 2012 by jglee920 in Body

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.





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.

Posted August 1, 2011 by jglee920 in Body

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