How to Restore an Old Truckby Edna Jackson
Restoring an old truck can be a long drawn out process. However; it will be worth it in the end, when you look at the final result. Old trucks can go from looking, dull and tired, to looking, shiny and new. All it requires is, a little time and dedication. It also requires some skill and attention to detail.
Take the time to research the parts that you are going to need for your truck. For example, if you have a popular truck like a Ford, then you should have no trouble finding parts. However, if you have a truck that is not very common such as a Hudson, then it may require more work to find parts. You could look into things like parts networks and newsletters to see if you can locate the required parts.
Decide on the type of restoration you are going to carry out. For example, you may want to restore the entire vehicle, which is called a full body-off restoration or you could opt for a semi restoration. A full body-off restoration, basically means that, the whole vehicle is taken apart and rebuilt. The semi restoration is when, the truck is restored but the engine stays in place.
Work out exactly how much you want to spend on restoring your truck. Put money aside for contingencies and write a list to make sure you have everything you need before you begin.
Tidy your work space and put all your tools and implements in order. Take a picture of your workspace and the truck at the first stage. Get a folder to put all the pictures in and document it every step of the way until completion.
Take the truck apart until you reach the frame. Ask your work partner to aid you in taking out the cargo box. Take it to a specialist restoration garage to get it sanded and painted. Take the cab out again ask for assistance. Take everything off the cab, including glass, doors and trim, and everything else that goes with the cab. Sand paper the cab. Use the engine hoist to take out the engine. Detach the cowl and set aside.
Take all the parts and line them up, one by one. Put all the parts into the bags and place labels or tags on every single one. Make sure you keep all the screws, nuts and bolts that went with the parts.
Remove the paint from the wheel frames and put the frame on the jacks. Clean and sand the frame. Take the engine, along with the transmission and rear axle to a specialist garage.
Buy new brakes, wiring harness, headliner, seating, cab glass, lamps, door handles and possibly a new front grille. You can decide what needs changing, as some of these things may not need replacing.
Put all the parts back in one by one. Re-paint the truck in your desired color. The only thing left to do now is drive.
Items you will need
- Engine hoist
- Floor jacks
- Complete set of quality automotive tools
- Factory shop manual
- Digital camera
- Shop rags
- Partner for heavy work
- Paper and plastic bags
- Blank tags
- american vintage truck image by Pierrette Guertin from Fotolia.com