Friday, June 9, 2017

Bodywork time

I thought we were going to get away with sanding the nose cone smooth and doing a little bodywork... but when I put primer over this, there was some cracked body filler that showed up that I hadn't noticed.  So, off to the sandblasters it went.

This will be a bit of a challenge for amateurs

Brian had to do some welding in the bottoms to repair rust.  Turned out good!  There were a few cuss words though!

And then, I started on the body filler.  

Wish me luck, haha.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bullet headlight buckets

The headlight buckets for the Diamond T have been ignored thus far.  The first ones on the 36 are just way too far gone to use.  The ones on the 37 parts truck were better.  One was usable with just rust removal and primer/paint (the inside got 2 good coats of POR15).

A while ago, I got a conversion kit on ebay... to eliminate the faded reflectors in the buckets and the separate glass lenses to 7" sealed beams available at any parts store.  
It was a little bit of a challenge to figure out how to install it as there were no instructions, but I got it figured out!  I think this one looks amazing!  The second one will be a bigger challenge since now I am left with 3 rotted buckets to make into one.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Epoxy primer for the interior

Southern Poly epoxy primer in white for the interior (will be painted cream/ivory)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tool box

Today, Brian worked on the plumbing of the air tanks a bit, then we both worked on the tool box.  We didn't use the original one because it was originally framed in wood and we wanted it all steel.  So, we started with a frame:
Then, I cut the inside "skins', punched holes for rosette welds, and Brian welded them in:
Very happy with the results!!!

Now we just have to hang the door and make a 'catch' for the latch.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Windshield gaskets

The windshields on this truck are in pretty sad shape, but the previous owner did his best to save them.  The new gasket had to fit in a small channel between the stainless frame and the steel part of the frame.  There was a bit of grinding I had to do on the bronze repairs to get the gasket to fit in the channel though.  (The tape on the stainless is to protect it from the grinder)


You can see from this end shot how close the tolerances are for the gasket to fit in the channel.  I ended up setting the lower edge in the channel and then pushing the top edge in with a regular (blunt) screwdriver.

And, now, we have one finished windshield frame.  Time to pull out the second one.  I am hoping it doesn't need as much grinding as the first, because the gasket alone is a chore!

Monday, April 17, 2017

more door work

I cleaned up the inside of the passenger door last week and gave it a good coat of POR15
Then, I got the door scuffed up, some bodywork done, and all prepped for another coat of epoxy primer (I am going to use white epoxy primer on the inside since we are going with a cream/ivory interior paint, so I have to get some on order before I can go further on this).  There is still some pitting around the window opening that I didn't mess with - that will be covered by the window garnish molding, so I didn't think it was necessary to smooth that out.

New steering

This was the original steering joint that attached directly to the steering box from the Dodge

We decided to go with a u-joint there instead and then a DD shaft up to the rag joint.

It turned out great!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Custom console, part 1

Using the same buck as we made for the dash extension, we hammered a curved flange on the top edge

Marked and cut out shifter hole

Then bent flanges on the edge in the brake, and ran them through the stretcher to create a curve.  I like how the original dash, the dash extension, and the console have a layered look.... we are calling it a waterfall.

With the seat in, we measured for a flat section of console that will have cup holders and probably a tray (and boot for the aux. transmission). 

I made the second part of the console basically like a box with short sides.  It will bolt to the curved section then bolt to a support that will be welded to the tunnel near the seat.

I think before I bolt the two pieces together and shorten the curved section where they bolt together, I would like to try to get a bit more curve on the first section.

The sides will be covered to the floor and to the firewall with an upholstered panel.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Dash extension

Sometimes the metal worker has to be the woodworker first.

Brian has been wanting an extension to the dash for a while - something to hide the wiring better and to put switches and ignition on.  So, first I made a cardboard template - then cut it out of plywood.  Then, adding 1'' on either side for a flange, I drew it out on 20g steel.

Brian cut it out with the plasma cutter

Then, I realized I would have to have 2 of the plywood templates (bucks) to bend the flanges.  Clamping the steel between the two bucks, I started to bend the upper flange first.  At this point, we had to use the shrinker on the corners.  We used the stretcher a little on the center curve as well.

After the flange was done, it looked like it was going to work!  Now, to bend the lower flange....

We had a scary moment when we overshrunk the lower curve a little and the panel wasn't flat anymore - but after clamping it hard between the bucks again and a LOT more hammering, it turned out pretty darn good!  I did have to flatten the face a little after this pic

After several hours - finally, the extension after it was all cleaned up and ready for epoxy primer.  I am really happy how this turned out!  And, my arms are sore today from all the hammering!  We will have to cut a large hole in it for the steering column unfortunately.  Now I need to pick up some attractive stainless bolts to attach it to the dash - and think about making a center console next....

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Peterbilt parts

Brian and I worked on the DT today... he welded some holes in the roof left from the semaphore and cab lights and I cut plugs for the holes that were too big to just fill.

I also worked a bit on the dash top prepping it for primer.  A while back I got a dash vent on ebay from a 40's DT.  When I started working on the dash from the 37, it was obvious that this truck had the option of a dash vent, but it didn't ever have it installed.  The hole is punched, but not removed.  I don't want to install it on top like they would have done at the factory though.  I plan to cut small oval holes the size of the vent openings and trim them with these Peterbilt glove box trim pieces.  They have a little visor on them so it will help direct the air to the windshields.  Where the bolts would have gone through to hold the vent on, Brian will weld on studs on the back so it can be bolted on from underneath with a grate of some sort sandwiched between so nothing can fall in the vents.

Then, we narrowed a Peterbilt visor... I am not sure I love it yet.   It might grow on me.

Monday, February 27, 2017

rusty screws

We have the doors from the 37 parts truck that I knew we would probably need inner door parts for.  It turns out we need BOTH latches - and the window regulators are in better shape than any others we have (as well as the latch release mechanisms).  Soooo, I set off to remove all the %&$# rusty screws from the doors.
My weapons of choice.  Gunk penetrating oil, a hammer, a selection of screwdrivers, a small crescent wrench, and a hacksaw blade.
 I cut a sharper groove in the rusty screw head for the screwdriver, insert screwdriver, give a couple of hard taps with the hammer and most of them came loose without my cussing.
 After a particularly stubborn one, I would yell ''I WIN!'' because it felt like such a victory, haha!

Then, there would be the occasional super stubborn one, ugh.  This one I ended up grinding the head off of it - it was a screw from the non-existent arm wrest, so I didn't need to save the threads for right now.  We are going to sell the door, so the next person will have to worry about that one loan screw on this door.  Amazingly, this door has NO ROT on the bottom of the carcass.  It is also interesting to see what an original door with no rot looks like!  It has two elongated (factory) drain holes in the bottom as well as a channel on the bottom with a door sweep rubber.  Interesting!

Whew, finally got the door panel off!  Underneath was this color - I had no idea they originally did a khaki brown interior on these trucks, haha.

This one was a bugger.

I ended up starting to grind off the head - and then it moved.....  so, I was able to get it out with the pliers.

whoop whoop!  Working door latches in both doors now!  It was a MIRACLE that I got those little headless screws out  that hold the handles in.  Seriously!  The passenger door knob is keyed - which is weird (why not the drivers door?) - it is at the locksmith now HOPING to get it functioning and a key.  I am also HOPING he doesn't ruin it because it almost irreplaceable!  I have had a total of 4 sets of doors and it is the only one I have!

I am ordering window regulator bushings today....might as well replace the rotten ones while I have it all apart and have smooth operating regulators with the new fuzzy channel and new rubber setting channel when I get new glass made :)  I think we will just go with clear glass and we can tint the glass later if we decide we want to.

Anyhow, feeling victorious with those door latches!  I win!