When we moved our household belongings from the house
we sold in Lincoln to our retirement home in Grand Island I saved back
all of the new and restored parts from Maych and moved them into our
temporary apartment in Lincoln. The apartment reminded me of Ma
and Pa Kettle's house in those old movies - our couch in the living
room was Maych's newly re-upholstered
bench seat; the front and rear bumpers and the grill were stashed under
the bed; new trim was stacked against the wall in the living room; and
the bedroom closet was packed with boxes of various parts, both old
and new. I thought it was kind of funny, but my wife didn't
really see the humor. However, my grandson, Joshuah, thought the
new "couch" was "sweet" (his currently favorite
Over the next few days I hauled Maych's
parts over to Dave's house (much to my wife's delight). I had to
get Dave to help with the "couch" because it was too heavy
and bulky for me to tote down the apartment stairs by myself. I
might have talked my wife into helping but she was in Grand Island
watching the grandson and I wanted to get the bench seat installed
over the weekend. The one truck part that somehow managed to escape to
Grand Island instead of the apartment was the new carpet. I
needed the carpet before the bench seat could be installed, so I made
arrangements to meet my wife halfway between Grand Island and Lincoln
(about 50 miles) early Sunday morning and retrieve the carpet.
In the meantime, we spent all day Saturday preparing the cab for the
new carpet and bench seat.
The first thing we did was remove
the old carpet padding. The padding didn't look too bad but it
was very brittle and once we began to remove it, it literally fell
apart. This was ok with me, because I didn't plan on re-using
it. I wanted to replace the old tar matting with a little
"newer" technology to help with soundproofing and
I thought about going back in with the original style mat, but because
there are newer products that are far superior to the original tar
matting and because it would be completely hidden by the carpet, I
deviated a little from my "keeping it
stock" motto (don't tell anybody). The product I decide to
use is called RAAMmat.
It's a product very similar (some say superior) to Dynamat.
However, Dynamat costs around
$8.00 per square foot, while RAAMmat
costs less than $1.50 per square foot . I bought a 50 square
foot roll on their web site for around $80.00, including
I was a little scared of what I
mind find when I removed the old carpet and tar matting.
though I had never looked under the matting, I
knew there were no rust- through places because I had checked that thoroughly
from underneath when I had the body and paint work done.
However, I thought there might be a lot of surface rust that would
need attention. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the
cab floor was in "like-new" condition. All that was
required was a thorough cleaning with soap and water.
After cleaning the cab floor and removing the seat belt brackets I
began laying down the RAAMmat.
Man is this stuff sticky! You have to be careful to put it where
you want it, because it is near impossible to pull it back up. Fortunately,
it is also very pliable, so it's easy to mold
around the hills and valleys in the cab floor. All in all, it
goes on fairly easy. Even if you have some areas that don't
overlap because of poor alignment, you can just lay a piece over the
top of the gap. It sticks to itself as well as it does to other
surfaces. Some "audiophiles" put 2 or 3 layers in
their vehicles, but I settled on one layer for now. If I later
decide that I need another layer, it can be added without much
trouble. I also didn't put any RAAMmat
on the back of the cab or the roof of the cab, mainly because I didn't
want to have to remove the gas tank or the headliner. If I ever
have to remove these two items I might consider putting it in those
With the RAAMmat
in place, we could lay the new carpet.
I was also a little apprehensive about the new carpet..
I had bought the carpet almost a
year ago and had never tried to see how well it would fit.
That's one disadvantage of buying stuff too far in advance of when
you're going to need it -- by the time you discover it won't work,
it's normally too late to return it.
But again, my fears were unfounded -- the new carpet fit
perfectly. The only difference between the new carpet and the
original (other than it was obviously in better condition) was that
the new carpet covered the entire cab floor, whereas the original did
not cover the area beneath the bench seat. Full coverage is much
better, in my opinion. The only small snag we hit was that the RAAMmat
covered the bolt holes for the seat belt bracket and bench seat rails
. We found the
hole locations easily by poking an awl through the holes from the
bottom of the cab. Time to put the bench seat in.
I've been looking at my refurbished
bench seat since last May
when I got it back from the upholstery shop. I had ordered new seat
covers almost a year before with the intention of putting them on
myself once the paint and body work was completed. However, on
one of my trips to check on Maych at the paint and body
shop, I notice that Alan (the paint and body guy) had removed the bench seat. When I
asked him about it he smiled and confessed that he had left one of Maych's
doors open one night and one of his Dalmatians decided the bench seat
would make a good bed. Of course, in the process of making
himself comfy, he ripped out some rather large chunks of foam
rubber. So, Alan removed the seat and took it to a local upholstery
shop to get it mended. I had the new seat covers on hand and
thought maybe this would be a good opportunity to have them install
the covers also. Turned out to be a good deal. The
upholstery shop replaced a couple of broken springs, patched the foam,
and put on the seat covers for $65.00. The refurbished seat sat
in my garage for 2 months and then served as a "couch" in our temporary
apartment for another month. Finally, I was going to see it back
where it belonged.
The new upholstery looked so good
on the bench seat that I
decided it would be a shame to not spruce up the seat rails before re-
installing them. They weren't really rusted, just filthy and
faded from 30 years of use.
We put a piece of cardboard on the
garage floor to prevent the
seat cover from getting dirty, then we removed the rails. They
come off fairly easy but, like most things, you need to take
note how all of the levers, springs, etc. are installed so you can get
it back together. There are an amazing assortment of gizmos used
to operate the sliding rails.
Once removed, we sanded the rails
with 320 grit sandpaper,
wiped them down with lacquer thinner, then gave them a couple of coats
of Rustoleum gloss black enamel. That's my friend Dave in the
photo doing the painting honors. You'll notice he found a nice
shady spot. Must have been 98 degrees this day -- miserable to
work in, but the paint sure cured quickly.
While waiting for the paint to cure
(about 20 minutes in the 98
degree heat), we located the mounting holes for the rails. We
marked the hole locations by sticking an awl up through the holes from
underneath the cab. I thought we could just cut a slit in the
carpet and RAAMmat
for the bolts but Dave said he had tried that when he installed his
bench seat and had a world of trouble installing the bolts because the
carpet fibers would get in the threads. So, we used a utility knife
to cut a 1/2" square opening around each bolt hole.
the holes were cut in the carpet it was simply a matter of putting the seat in place
and bolting it down. The hardest part was making sure we did not
scratch the insides of my newly painted doors getting the seat
in. Next task -- the new door panels.