DSC_2889 DSC_2890As I was tearing down the front end, I found a screw up in my prior welding work. I didn’t notice at the time that the heat of my welding had warped the second patch downwards on the passenger side. It is significant enough that the bolt hole for the rad support would be too close to the top to actually get a bolt in.

The fender flange also has a similar bend.



I ground & cut the welds along the side, bent the whole thing upwards, and tacked it in the right place. There is now a gap along that edge, so re-welding it was extra fun.





Much closer now. The outer corner is still a bit low, but I should be able to fix that with some hammer work once the inner fender comes off.

Laying the truck bare

DSC_2873Once I had the front of both inner fenders patched, it was time to strip the rest of the front off. First the radiator support came out, which was just as much of a rusted ruin as I thought. Fortunately though the frame where it mounts was fine, which means at least the frame doesn’t need repair.



Next off came the hood with the assistance of my weekly gaming group.





Then off came the inner fenders. All of this so far had come off with minimum fuss, next up was the bumper though, which put of a hell of a fight.

The final tally when the bumper & brackets were removed was 3 snapped bolts, and 4 that needed to be cut off and 1 that actually came out intact.


Once everything was off, I was finally at the point where (hopefully) the truck wasn’t going to get any worse and would hopefully start looking better.




To that end, I ground down the surface rust on the exposed parts of the frame and firewall to start painting them. I am using paint designed for tractors in hopes of adding durability. The firewall is supposed to be the same color as the truck, but I decided to have it match the other panels in the engine compartment.






After a round of painting this is what I ended up with. It looks really good in this shot, and while the frame came out great, the firewall ended up with a lot of runs & drip marks. I’m going to put a coat of truck bed liner on the firewall to make it look smoother & stand up better to oil & grease.

More welding work


In the continuing adventures of my rotted out ’64 Chevy truck. Today’s plan was to get the front of the passenger inner fender repaired enough that I no longer need the core-support in for reference. As a reminder, this is what I started with.

DSC_2816First patch went in.










Second patch went in






DSC_2826Third & fourth patches went in.








Then I started fabricating the end of the fender mounting flange.

The corner all welded up. As before, once the radiator support comes off I’ll be finishing up the grinding and re-doing some of the crappier welds as I’ll be able to reach them easier.

The beginning of the welding work


This year’s project with the ’64 pickup is to get the rust fixed so I can get some paint on it. To that end, the front end was stripped down so I can start start in on the incredibly crusty mess.

DSC_2757The first target is the inner fenders. The front edge has a bracket on the underside from the factory that traps muck thrown up by the tires and always rusts out. The ones on this truck were previously “fixed” with super thin sheet metal pop-riveted on and covered in roofing tar. This worked so well the patches had rusted through as well.

DSC_2792I started in on the driver’s side by cutting out the rot until I reached good metal. I’m doing this with the radiator support still in place so I can use it as a guideline to make sure everything lines up. Once I have both sides done the rad support will come out so I can finish the patches & so I can fix the massive rot on the support.

DSC_2793 I set up my metal bender in a convenient location, then it was just the tedious process of cutting, bending & fitting patches. I am using 18ga steel for strength, so my flanging tool doesn’t make the flange deep enough to be flush. I’m not too worried as this area is not visible with the hood down.

DSC_2794One patch in…






DSC_2797Two patches in…






DSC_2809And patches 3-6 in.






DSC_2811 Then two more patches to replace the fender mounting flange.





It is far from perfect, and there is a lot of grinding still to do(as well as re-doing some of the uglier welds), but it seems solid. Once the radiator support is out I will need to add one more patch to the front edge of the raised portion, and drill out the various bolt holes.

Getting started on this year’s plans for the truck.


My plan now that the weather is warmed up is to start in on the rust repair on the truck. My hope is to get the bodywork done so I can get paint on it before the end of the season. At a minimum though I want to get the cab & inner structure repaired so even if I don’t finish all the bodywork this season, I’ll know the underlying structure is solid.

Step one was the pull the front end apart. That turned out to be easier said than done, everything is so rusty nearly every bolt was a challenge. I averaged 1 snapped bolt for every 3-4 that came out normally. The front-most fender bolt was particularly difficult as you can see.


In addition to looking ridiculous, this actually was really helpful. I could see what I was doing, and therefore could figure out what tools would fit and let me get the bolt off.



Once the fenders & grille were off and the front grille panel was loosened(it won’t come off completely until the front bumper or radiator support come off), I could see the degree of the problem.
















AS you can see there is a lot of work here. However since one of the reasons I bought this truck was to practice welding and fabrication, this is not as terrible as it might be to someone else. My plan is to see how much I can fix/fabricate myself before buying any more parts.

Truck bits acquired

Since there is a bit more money in the truck fund, I’ve started acquiring the bits to do the rust repair the longbed needs. To that end I found someone on Craigslist selling a lot of ’66 Chevy truck parts left over from a project he got rid of.


I was able to pick up every bit I need to fix the rockers on both sides, including some I probably won’t need. It was about $400 of metal for $200. This includes inner & outer rockers, front floors, floor braces, cab corners & front footwells.



I was also able to get a less rusty hood, and a complete(if somewhat rusty) roof section to fix the dents & damaged roof drip rails. It looks like the sections I most need are in good shape.




I was also able to get a set of good sunvisors to replace the one destroyed one in the truck, a spare set of wheel cylinders, and a free 1966 shop manual supplement(wrong year, but close enough to be useful).

Box hauled it all home easily, with the new metal pieces inside & the hood & roof sections strapped onto Box’s roof.

Now I just need the weather to warm up, and I’ll be able to start working on the truck again.

And now the fleet is down to 5 vehicles.

Sold the shortbed ’64 pickup today.

I’d been asking $6500, and had been hoping to get at least $5000. I ended up taking $4500 cash because someone finally showed up with cash in hand, instead of with lots of stupid trade offers(No I don’t want you 15 year old Harley, no I didn’t want your 18 year old ford ranger) or with vague promises to come by later in the week with a deposit.

Can’t really complain about the final selling price as I bought it for $500 and had about $200 into towing it home, a battery, an alternator and other small stuff to get it running.

I’d been trying to figure out what to do with it, as I didn’t have the money to get it running, and couldn’t rationalize parting it out for the other truck. Plus I never got the paperwork I needed to register it. It ended up that the easiest option was to sell it and make some money that I can use for other projects.

Alternator upgrade

The alternator in the new truck was DOA when I bought it. I was just going replace it, but a quick bit of research showed me that an upgraded 63 amp alternator would cost the same as the original 37 amp alternator.



I used this website to figure out that the correct alternator to fit the truck is the one from a 1979 Buick Regal, with the 8 cylinder 4.9L engine, & air conditioning.

The big difference(besides amperage) between the two is the new one is internally regulated, removing the need for an external voltage regulator in the engine compartment.

I was able to use this thread’s wiring info, as even though it is for a 12SI alternator and I’m using a 10SI the wiring is the same. The brown wire from the dash light gets connected to the white connector wire, the thick red power wire is re-used and all the other stock wiring harness wiring is removed. Then a new wire is run from the red wire on the connector to the battery.

It only took a short while to cut out the unneeded wiring, solder in the new wire & connector and bolt in the alternator.

Started the truck up and the new alternator was charging perfectly. Not a bad upgrade since the only added cost over just replacing the bad alternator was the $4 electrical connector.

Digging into the $500 truck.

It took a few days before I had a chance to do anything with the new truck. I robbed the battery from the other truck, sprayed carb cleaner down the carb, and hot wired the truck. It started right up and ran until the carb cleaner was used up. So I bought a battery for it and put a few gallons of gas in it. It started and ran reasonably well, though it does smoke some.


I also had some friends over and we power-washed the first layer of grime off the truck. It had sat long enough that it was growing moss on it’s north side.


Overall though the truck is in amazing shape. There is very little rust, and what I have found is minor. The paint is clearly a cheap quickie job and while the red is salvageable, the white is already flaking off in multiple places. I may sand & rattle-can the white just to make it look presentable. The bed wood is completely rotted out, and will need to be replace very soon.

With the engine running reasonably well, I checked the brake master cylinder and discovered it was bone dry. Filling it up with fluid and pumping the brakes several times resulted in a firm pedal.

So with a running truck with working brakes, I did the only logical thing. I drove it around the block.



Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you get REALLY lucky…

After the discovery of major hacked repairs on the truck cab(found it a couple weeks ago, only just posted it), I’ve been trying to find a better replacement cab to avoid having to deal with all that. I found a Craigslist ad for a “Junk 1962 Truck” That was abandoned by a tenant. I asked what make it was and was told it was a “1960 Chev”. I figured it might have a few useable parts, so after work I drove over to the house where it was sitting.

This is what I found there…

I’m not sure of the year but it is definitely a ’64-’66 truck. Short bed, custom cab, big back window, deluxe seat, deluxe dash, deluxe wheel, 6-cyl, 3-spd and clearly the subject of a halfway decent amateur restoration at some point. There are no keys as of yet, and the battery is missing so drivetrain status is a complete mystery.

Story I got from the seller was his tenant bought it 2+ years ago and drove it home, parked it in the driveway and never touched it again. A little over a year ago the tenant moved out and left it behind.



He says he filed all the proper abandoned property paperwork at the time to make it his, but it currently trying to track it down as in addition to selling the rental house, he personally is moving to a new house.



But I don’t care about any of that, because I bought it for all of $500.

Paid a local garage $60 to drag it home this morning. I had to grind the rivet off one of the vent windows to get it open and be able to open the door(after I got a slim-jim stuck in the door).

It is currently sitting in my driveway awaiting a very thorough scrubbing and then a look at the drivetrain & brakes. Even if I can’t get the paperwork I need to be able to register it, in parts alone this is hands down the best score of my life.