March 19, 2017

Sanding high-build primer: Hour 25

Continuing  on sanding the first coat of high build, adding a little glaze putty to remaining imperfections and catching anything that stands out....

After the first sanding of the first primer coat, there's always a few spots that need a little more attention than the primer can provide. In these cases a very thin skin of "Glaze" is used. It's somewhere between filler and filler-primer and meant to bring the body to the 99% stage.

This is the time to catch anything hidden or not quite right. For example, in the inside corner of the door I saw a little bubble. I thought it was some sealer or a weld, so I hit it with some coarse paper and found it was a tiny rust hole. So I ground it out, cleaned it up and treated it with Metal Prep, my go-to rust treatment. Next time around I'll fill it with some metal-based filler and smooth it all out.

Another issue I caught where a couple of hairline cracks on the inside the door edge, near the vent window frame. Caused by so-many years of the door flexing at the vent window opening. As the window was opened and closed the door frame flexed and eventual cracked. Had I not caught it it would have cracked through the paint and continue to worsen. To repair it after paint would have meant having to repair and repaint the entire door again.

It also happened lower down on the door, where the lower part 
of the vent window frame attached to the inner door shell.

Oddly, there was also this damage to the inner door jamb. It was hard to see until I blocked out the primer and it's almost the same on both doors! 
I can't figure how the hell it would have been damaged either...maybe the owners can tell me! 

This is how she looked tonight. Next time in I'll repair those last little bits and get a second, final coat of high-build on it. At this stage I'd say I'm about 15-20 hours from paint!

Except for......

A friend of the project found this tailgate from who knows where. It came sandblasted and was nearly rust free. It's also VERY solid - much more so than the one that same with this truck....

                               But, can you spell: "R-O-U-G-H??!!!". Well you're gonna learn!

The attachment corners are so badly damaged it looks as though, instead of unbolting the trunions, they just ripped it from the truck - red neck style!

The other side was just the same. That'll take hours each to straighten, weld, true and grind.

The bottom rolled end is all smashed in. Even if I can figure out how to repair that, it'll take many more ours. Might be easier to find a similar diameter pipe, cut the bottom esde off and weld the pipe on to emulate it!

Then, if by some miracle I can get all that done, I'll remove this 1968 plate 
- that was unceremoniously drilled and bolted to the tailgate -  and fill the holes behind it.

Stay tuned for more exciting times ahead as the truck gets color and we figure out how to repair this tailgate. Personally I'm praying for a 'new' tailgate to show up courtesy of one of the thousands of readers the blog has (I know,... I don't believe it either, but that's according to the Google-stats!)

March 12, 2017

Block-sanding weekend

I worked in my Dads body shop from about 1975 to 1982 and nothing was block sanded back then. We used a heavy rad-oxide lacquer based primer and just sanded it with a piece of folded sandpaper in the palm of the hand. Back then paint went with lots of "orange-peel and no clear - so it wasn't as shiny and therefore didn't show as much. People where less picky then too because the paint that came out of the factory wasn't as nice as it is now.
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But now-a-day, panels are expected to be laser straight and shiny, so we block sand high-build primer - with long blocks - to ensure everything is straight. It makes a huge difference, but it's also a huge undertaking.

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Next weekend I'll finish up this first round of blcok sanding, address any larger imperfections, then spray a final coat of high build. This final layer will be final sanded to 400 wet for sealer and paint. Which is to say we might have this thing in paint sometime in April... (no promises of course! ;))

Stay tuned!

March 5, 2017


After many hundreds of hours on body work, the International S120 is finally getting a coat of high-build primer! The inside of the box is still a little on the rough side, but the outsides are 98% so it was time to get it primed.

First things first - clean up: anoterh 4+ hours were spent getting everything put away, sweeping up all the filler, vacuuming up all the filler dust and then blowing out every nook and crevice (twice).

And with everything cleaned up, it was finally time to buy and mix up the primer. 
At $200 a gallon I cetainly don't want to waste any of it!

Mad Scientist at work!

First coat - you don't realize how much surface area there is on a vehicle until 
you have to go over every inch of it - both inside and out.

I use a metal gravity feed gun for primer:

Inners too!

Phew!!!  SIX solid hours of priming makes for one sore arm!! 
Although its a milestone, it only means the start of the (first) block-sanding stage....

February 5, 2017

Getting ready for primer....

After another long weekend of sanding, scraping, cleaning, repairs, removing final bits and pieces, we are getting very close to the milestone of a first high-build primer coat. 

Everything has been completely stripped, rust-treated and  rust-proofed. After primer we'll rust proof the inside of all panels with either Rust-Bullet or POR-15 products and spray a protective Dura-guard coating which decreases sound and vibration making for less sound transfer and a quieter ride.

Inside the cab we still have the heater and final dash panel to remove for paint and rebuild:

These knobs are being a MAJOR PITA!! They have a tiny hole on one side that obviously has a release mechanism inside, but I have yet to figure it out!! more research needed!

The roof panel has this discoloration that appears to be baked-though primer, not rust. None-the-less we'll sand it down, treat it with POR-15 and paint it to be sure it's right.

                     Teaching the next generation of car builder, much like my Dad taught me!

 Grille and undersides of hood sanded down to metal where required and rust-treated several times over - a level you'll never see done in a for-profit body-shop!

Even pieces like the trasn cover get scraped and treated  - that's QUALITY workmanship!  :)

Also, the interior kick-panel, which holds the gas pedal assembly, was rusted through on one side and needed a lot of work throughout. I cut and welded in a piece on one side, smoothed out the rest and we'll rust-board, then gravel guard the entire thing for durability.

The engine is also on the agenda as we get closer to paint. Time to assess all the parts, measure the bores, check the lash and top end and see if we can't run it up on the bench.

Unfortunately, I made this potentially problematic discovery as I was removing the carb... a missing frost plug. This could mean it had a freezing issue at some point in its past many years of sitting idle. Now the question becomes: still go ahead with the bench start and see what happens - or go straight to full disassembly to have the block magnafluxed. 

Or....pull the head off and Magnaflux the top end of the block - 
which is likely the best half-way measure at this point.

 Heater assembly was removed and will be gone-though, tested and detailed. It's these parts that make the entire project a show-stopper, inside and out!

After removing the heater core I sanded it down and disassembled it. I'll take the core in for a pressure test and then re-assemble it for paint.

Based on the shape of these duct-pipes, the heater hasn't done much good for a long while!

                                                              Stay tuned for more!