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Thread: Ham's '48 - One More Tale

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Ham's '48 - One More Tale

    I’ve had some time on my hands lately. For some reason I got ahead of winter tasks and I can spend some time on little jobs I want to get done on the truck. For those folks who think a restoration is a one-time task, I have news for ya’ll. There are always one or two more things you want to get done to make things just right.

    We took Ham’s ’48 down to the frame for the restoration. The bodywork went out for bead blasting and got a coat of green metal etch primer within 48 hours of coming back to the shop to keep the bare metal from rusting.

    Then, as we cut eaten away parts and added new metal, there was a lot of welding and patching to be done. Of course, that blew away the metal etch primer. After all the patching was complete, things were cleaned and primed again, and then painted.

    That’s all well and good, but deep down in my heart I know that there had to be places where something didn’t get cleaned just right (especially at the inner bottoms of the doors) and are going to be a place for rust to start. Then there are metal folds and bends, and places you just can’t get to with a spray gun (like the rolls on the edge of the bed) that are rust havens.

    I had always intended to have the body treated for rust and I just got it done. I like a process called Rust Chek. This may sound like a commercial, but so be it. I have had those folks treat five of my vehicles and the only one to ever show any body rust through is the ’97 Ford 150 that I gave to my son-in-law who never got it touched up.

    Rust Chek is a penetrating oil treatment – think WD-40. It crawls into cracks and crevices and folds. I told the tech that I wanted particular attention given to the inner door panels because of the welding and patching we had done there. Normally they just drill a small hole in the door under the latch and get in there with a spray tool and seal it with a little rubber plug.

    Like with the windshield, I got a call I didn’t expect:

    “Mr B, can we drill a hole in your door to get the tool in there? We don’t want to drill a hole in a truck like that without your permission”. I thanked them for the call and told them to drill way. I wanted those doors treated.

    It took half a day and I went to get the truck. There was a crowd around it and I had to tell its’ story to get it back. The job was great. The truck is a total oily, greasy mess. It had been sprayed just about everywhere there is a place. They even got in between the leaves on the springs! Now, remember, everywhere includes a full underbody and engine compartment spray. It will drip for a week or so.

    So, I headed home. About a quarter-mile down the road I smelled something strange. In an old truck your sense of smell can be the first warning of an “uh-oh” in progress. I looked in the mirror and I was trailing a huge blue cloud of smoke. In an earlier life with this truck I had an L-134 engine so worn that I did trail smoke that badly and my first thought was “Oh-my..” or a thought to that effect. Then, I realized that I was seeing the spray treatment burning off the exhaust manifold, the exhaust pipes and the muffler. Whew!

    I went down the road a bit and stopped at the light in my cloud of smoke that looked like a pile of leaves smoldering. Then, a guy pulled up next to me, honked his horn, rolled down his window and asked me; “Hey are you on fire, do you need any help?” That made my day!

    I thanked him, said there was no problem and by the time I got home the smoke was gone. Now it is just sitting and dripping and penetrating into all those places that need it. In a couple of weeks I will take it to a car wash and give it a warm bath once the oil has done its work.

    Oh yes, for winter projects there are still the oil pressure gauge to get rebuilt, the speedometer has to go back for repair and the temperature gauge gadget is coming along nicely. No shortage of things to work on …..

    (Yep - that's the grey primer the paint didn't stick to ...)
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