Saturday morning we got an early start on the day. After a walk downtown for some coffee with Jen and Hazel, I stopped back over at Steve’s house to talk with his wife, who walked us back to the carriage house and directed me to a couple boxes of leftover parts from the truck, as well as the original carpet set. We had a lovely time chatting and while I was in the garage I gave her money for a pneumatic sander, needle scaler and metal brake sitting on the floor. She then showed us his old workshop in the basement, which had actually been open during the estate sale, and pleaded with us to take some of the stuff that was left over. I found a nice Craftsman three-drawer toolbox with some tools inside that I also gave her money for.
Back at the house, I continued working on the passenger side brakes. Here the soft line didn’t want to come off the connector inside the frame rail without threatening to bend the hard line, so I left that on and finished up the rest of the drum around it. With that greased up and sealed, I pulled both front fenders off and continued pounding out dents and smoothing things over with Bondo. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this truck is going to be a 20-footer, but eventually I’ll find better C-series fenders and paint them to match. I also ran the old gas through the tank into a pail and strained the dirt out through a coffee filter. It came out much cleaner than the last time, so I figured I was getting close. Then I pulled the brittle feed hose off the gas tank and plumbed a new line inside the frame rail up to the fuel pump.
On Sunday I took the Scout down to the local Cars & Coffee to meet up with both Bennett and the buyer of my old A/C equipment. He brought his Mustang down, as his Scout is still in the garage. I struck up a conversation with a local Citroen 2CV owner and got the full tour of his car, which is fucking amazing; the buyer of my A/C stuff stopped over and I helped him carry it over to his ride, a bright blue early ’80’s Ford Ranger with a 4-cylinder Perkins diesel. He’s the new owner of a D-series pickup that he’s slowly rebuilding; he’s hoping some IH parts will help. Combined with this and a couple other sales, I’ve got a solid chunk of cash to carry to Nationals for rare parts to pick, which is awesome.
After I got back home, I let the dog out and got to work. One last flush of the gas tank revealed next to no dirt, so I sealed that back up. After running out for supplies and gas, I filled the tank and turned the key to reveal: nothing. No sound from the starter. The solenoid on the firewall clicked, and the trailer brake system is still powered, but there’s something going on with the key again. I pulled the barrel out of the dash and wiggled the connectors to no success; I’m going to have to work backwards from the starter to see if it’s getting power but not working anymore. If that’s the case, I’ve got three more in the garage I can swap in.
So I parked that task and moved on to the fenders and the rear floor. After sanding, priming, and mudding each fender, I let them dry. Then I started removing bolts from the rear floor.
Overall most of them wanted to come out, but there were a handful that wouldn’t budge, so I drilled those out and pried up the sheet of plywood. What I found underneath was pretty incredible: all of the stringers are solid, with only a slight amount of rust on the top edges. There were about a thousand mud dauber nests, which all got scraped out, and then I ran the wire wheel over the top sides of the stringers.
The plan is to leave the floor loose so that I can pull it out and wheel off all the rust on the stringers, frame, and axle, and then paint it all with chassis encapsulator. I can also access the brake lines and electrical runs much easier up until they go under the front seats.
Sunday evening I wrapped up as dusk was really falling; I packed up the tools and organized the garage (having a lot of new shelf space in the absence of large parts sure is nice) and took an Advil with dinner to soothe my aching back. I’m sure not 32 anymore.