Weekly Update, 4.17

I got a pile of boxes in the mail while I was away last weekend, which was a lot of fun to return to. The smallest was from SendCutSend, and it contained a wrapped set of metal items I’d ordered: a circular plug for the spare passenger fender, and a beautiful custom license plate bracket from my vector file. I brought it out and did a test-fitting, and it is flawless. I’m so impressed with this. I’ve taken it off until I get the areas around the holes filled and sanded, and then I can mount them up to the truck when the door gets painted.

The circular plug fits perfectly but it’s a much thinner metal than the original sheet metal; I clearly need a thickness gauge to know what I’m working with and then I can order the proper material to weld with.

The next item was a huge box containing a thick gasket for the windshield, which I walked out and began installing; it needs to heat up and expand before I can get the whole thing all the way around the perimeter of the glass. The other item in that box was what was described as “Pillar Seals” for the doors, which aren’t what I thought they’d be and don’t seem to fit anywhere I can figure out right now. I was hoping to get the pinch seals that go around the metal lip on the insides of the doors, but they apparently have a lot of different names for all of these products. So that was disappointing.

On Tuesday evening I took advantage of mild weather and returned to the roof of the truck to continue sanding and skimming; Wednesday evening I had a new can of Bondo and finished skimming the whole roof. Thursday evening I hit several areas that needed a final skim and some last touchups but the whole thing is just about ready for the next step. I also filled in the area where the old Travelall script was on the driver’s side and a bunch of areas on the driver’s rear door. Friday was more of the same, and then covering the front up before two days of rain begin. I also ordered a quart of auto primer and a quart of single-stage IH Red from TCPGlobal; I’ll need an HPLV gun from Harbor Freight to shoot everything in the driveway once the roof is ready to go.

Sunday I had about six hours to futz with the truck, so I continued working on the roof and driver’s rear fender. In sanding that side down I figured I’d better take the taillight off and see how it looked inside, and once I’d cleaned that one up I figured I’d do the other.

While the housings and lenses were drying in the sun, I poked an eyeball into the passenger’s side fender to survey the damage: someone had backed into something and crumpled the edge forward of the chrome trim ring, as well as put a dent down towards the bottom of the fender.

I gave the dents a few taps with my small hammer to see if I could punch the crease back out, and within a half an hour or so, and with the help of some lengths of wood, I had the metal mostly back in place.

I cut a larger block of wood in a wedge and used that to push the lower dent out by hammering it in between the inner and outer fender walls. Then the whole thing got a skim coat of filler and I put it all to bed for the night.

Still on hold is a new distributor from IHPA; they’re having supply chain issues and it’s apparently backordered. But I bought a new points/condenser combo like the original Delco distributor had; we should be able to swap that in and see if we can get things firing the next time Erick comes out.

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