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How to Do Body Work on a Truck

by Jenny Carver

Doing body work on a truck can become expensive in a short amount of time when dealing with a body repair shop. You can do the body work yourself by using materials found at an auto parts store. Instructions on how to do body work on a truck can be followed to result in a nearly new truck ready for a new paint job. Body work is the preparation of the body for paint. Getting the body work straight and smooth is the most important part of a paint job.

Use a body hammer to gently tap down any high spots on the surface of the truck. Tap the metal down until it is level or lower than the surface of the truck. It's better to tap a high spot until it is a small dent and then fix it, rather than to try and repair it as a high point on the metal. When sanding in later steps, high spots can easily be seen, because the bare metal will appear before the area surrounding it is even sanded well.

Sand inside and around all dented areas using 180 grit sandpaper. A dual action sander is best as it cuts down on time. Sand all of the paint and primer off until nothing but the bare metal surface shows.

Apply a liberal amount of body filler over each low area using a squeegee. The filler won't adhere to painted surfaces, so the area must be sanded to the bare metal. Let the filler dry for 30 minutes to an hour. Sand it smooth, and level with the surface of the truck by using more 180 grit sandpaper.

Sand the filler again using 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the deep scratches left by the 180 grit sandpaper.

Sand all areas of the truck that will be painted by using 400 grit sandpaper and water. Hold a running water hose over the sandpaper while it touches the surface of the truck. This keeps buildup from cutting into the surface. Sand until the filler is as smooth as the surrounding surface of the truck, and until the original paint is smooth and dull. Rinse the truck and allow it to dry completely.

Wipe the truck's surface with wax and grease remover and a towel before spraying any paint on it. This removes any contaminants like grease from fingerprints or old wax cleaners.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including lovetoknow.com, autotropolis.com, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.

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