With the interior finished,
I can now start work on the exterior trim items - side trim,
bumpers, emblems, mirrors, door handles, grill, etc. It's a
three day weekend (Labor Day), so I hoped to get a lot accomplished.
The grill was taking up too much
room in Dave's garage so I decided to put in on first.
But before it could be installed, I needed to paint the radiator support
and the front frame rails. The radiator support is
really visible through the very open GMC grill and the decidedly ugly radiator support
would really detract from the look of the front end.
As with most paint jobs, the prep
took 3 times longer than the painting itself. Dave and I wet
sanded the clip and front frame rails with 220 grit
sandpaper, washed it with Dawn detergent, then wiped everything down
with lacquer thinner. We then proceeded to mask everything
off. Dave had some plastic sheeting that had masking tape
already applied to the edge. We used that to mask of the fenders
and it really saved a lot of time. It may have been
overkill, but I was paranoid about getting over spray on my new paint
job. We then carefully masked off the headlights and AC
tubing. When everything was masked off, we sprayed a couple of
coats of Rustoleom gloss black enamel. It turned out pretty nice
- not show quality, but nice just the same.
While waiting for the paint to dry,
I installed the restored emblems. The
front fender and hood emblems are attached with speed nuts, so they
went on quick and easy. The bed side emblems were more of a
problem. No speed nuts on these emblems because the studs
aren't accessible when the emblems are installed. Instead, they
are attached with special crimp-type fasteners that go over the studs
and are pressed
into place. The problems was, the crimp-type
destroyed when I removed the emblems and I couldn't find replacements anywhere.
Dave to the rescue! For some odd reason Dave
had some of these crimp-type fasteners and he even remembered where
he'd put them. We tried one and it fit perfectly. For added
insurance I put double sticky tape on the backs on the emblems also.
By the time I got all the emblems
installed, the paint on the radiator support was dry enough to install
the grill. To facilitate installation I removed
the screws attaching the front of the fenders to the radiator support.
Now, with the fenders able to flex at the front, installing
the grill was a snap. It does help to have and extra pair of
hands but it could be done by one person with not much effort.
After the grill was bolted down, I installed the eyebrows. These
are attached with studs and bolts and a couple of special brackets
that fit the curve at the front of the fenders. Luckily, I had
told Alan (the paint and body guy) not to re-install the inner fenders
after he painted them. The eyebrows and the fender trim would be
almost impossible to install with the inner fenders in place.
With the front
completed, I turned my attention to the other end of the pickup.
First, I installed the woodgrain trim panel on the tailgate. A
few screws and it's done. I had purchased new screws to attach
the panel because the original screws were badly rusted. The
next item I installed was the upper tailgate trim. This trim
consists of three pieces - two long pieces and a short piece over the
tailgate handle. I was able to restore the short piece, but the
two long pieces are new reproductions. These pieces were the
first of the reproduction pieces I had purchased to be
installed. They came with new molding clips, so all I had to do was
install the clips, line them up with the holes, and push the clips in
place. The hardest part is figuring out how to install the clips
in the trim. I just used a little trial-and-error until
they "looked right". The new tail light bezels went on
about the same way - install clips and push in place. There are
also a couple of screws in the corners of the bezels. With the
exception of the bumpers, the front and back of the pickup is finished.
I didn't install the bumpers when I
was installing the other trim items because I wanted the
paint we applied to the front frame rails to cure a couple of days and I wanted
to paint the rear splash guards. I did a bone-head thing when I
was painting the frame with POR-15.
When I had finished painting the frame I decided to slap a little POR-15
on the splash guards, ignoring the directions that said you can't put POR-15
over painted metal without special preparation. Well, the
directions were right on. The POR-15
I put on the splash guards was now coming off in large strips.
Nothing to do but remove the splash guards, sand off the POR-15,
The first problem was that I
couldn't get the splash guards off with the tailgate on. The
guards are attached with Phillips headed bolts and there is no
room under the tailgate to get a
screw driver on the screw heads. With Dave's help we carefully
removed the tailgate and put it safely out of the way. With the
tailgate out of the way, I had the guards off in just a few
minutes. Now all I had to do was sand them down. Sounded
easy, but the POR-15 that did
happen to stick, stuck very well and it took a lot of sanding to get
it all off. After about an hour and 2 sheets of 220 grit
sandpaper, I had the guards in shape to paint with a couple of coats
of Rustoleum gloss black enamel. Dave performed those
honors. I'd hate to admit it, but Dave's better with a rattle
can than I am.
Getting too late to do much more
today (Saturday), so I'll start again tomorrow.