November - January 2001
There wasn't really a lot of body work that needed to be done to Maych.  For a thirty year old truck, he was in amazingly good shape, body wise.  I think the lack of rust is most attributed to the fact that the original owner lived on a ranch in Wyoming - he didn't have to drive on salted city streets and Wyoming has very low rainfall and humidity.

The only sheet metal that was rusted to the point of needing replace- ment were the cab corner and rocker panel on the passenger side.  Alan cut out the rusted sheet metal and welded in new patch panels.  

A little grinding, plastic filler, and primer and the cab corner and rocker panel were as good as new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only other sheet metal that had to be replaced was the middle stake pocket on the passenger side of the bed.  Somehow, the original stake pocket had been ripped off.  It's a mystery to me how you could rip off a stake pocket and not damage the surrounding sheet metal, but somehow the previous owner had managed this feat.  

My first thought was to try and get a replacement stake pocket at a junk yard but I decided I would first try the 67-72 parts board on the  The 1967-1972 Chevrolet & GMC Pickups Message Board and see if any of the board members had one they would sell me.  Within just a few hours one of the board members (Kenny Nestor) posted that he knew where he could get one if I didn't mind waiting until the weekend.  He also said I could have it for the cost of shipping.  I told him at that price he could take as long as he wanted.   The next week he emailed me with the cost of the postage and I sent him a check.  Within a few days I got the stake pocket in the mail.   I was curious what the piece would look like.  I had envisioned him cutting out a chuck of the bed with the stake pocket attached but when I opened the package, the stake pocket looked as if it was NOS, except for the ugly green paint.  I was so pleased, I sent Kenny a little extra money, just for his trouble.  

The next weekend I took the stake pocket down to Alan's shop and after a little grinding to remove what remained of the old stake pocket, he welded on the new one.  After it was painted, you would never be able to tell it wasn't original.

The only dent of any size was in the lower front corner on the outside of the bed on the driver's side, but even this dent was pretty minor.  To repair this area, Alan pulled the dent and applied plastic filler.  As you can see in the photo, the entire bed was taken down to bare metal.

The other areas needing attention would more properly be called dings than dents.  The worst of the dings where in the sheet metal at the front of the bed and on the top of the tailgate.  The dings in the top of the tailgate were repaired in the usual manner and smoothed with plastic filler.  The dings in the front of the bed were not as easy to repair.  

The front of the bed consists of a large flat piece of sheet metal.  Because of this large expanse, it's difficult to work the metal and get it perfectly smooth and flat.  Alan, being a perfectionist, wasn't satisfied with the way it turned out (it looked great to me), so I told him I was planning to install an under-the-rail bedliner and it wouldn't show anyway.  He agreed that was probably the best solution, so we called the body work on the bed complete.

That's about it for the body work.  In the next episode I'll chronicle the work done in preparation for painting.

 

 

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