September 28, 2016

I'm really bad at this whole blogging thing

I started this blog to document and keep track of the process from start to finish.  Well first off, I'm not the greatest writer.  English was my worse subject in school.  But I wanted to share the experience of restoring my dad's truck.  It sat in our backyard for as long as I can remember and I always dreamed of one day being able to drive it.

However, I am the worst at keeping this up to date.  But other factors contribute to the long breaks between posts.  For example, it's too cold to actually do any work in the winter months, and ridiculously hot to be sitting in the garage in the summer when you have weeks and weeks of 90 - 100 degree days.  So spring and fall are the best, but then there's only so much work you can get done when you're still saving money for parts.  But since my last post (just about a whole year ago) I was able to save up enough to get the front brake kit and front suspension!  We also completely finished prepping and painting the front end of the frame with POR15.

More recently we attempted to start putting the suspension and brake kit together, but like any major project you're going to run into some bumps in the road.  For us last weekend it was first the new lower A-Arm shaft was too small.  Granted, these were free and we did not know at the time they were not compatible.  Good news from this is the old shafts were still in great condition, they just needed a little cleaning.  We'll be replacing the rubber seals though.  Next issue came about when laying out all the parts for the brake kit and suspension assembly.  We realized nuts and bolts did not come with the shocks.  It was simple enough to fix by going up to Napa Auto Parts a couple times to get the correct size bolts.  Out day in the garage was a bit successful though.  We were able to attached the rubber bumpers and ball joints to both lower A-Arms.  And with one more parts order on its way we will soon have everything needed to put the brake kit and suspension together (hopefully).  Fingers crossed.

September 17, 2015

Garage Clean Up

We (Miguel and I) had a very successful Sunday morning this past weekend. We picked up an engine hoist from a local equipment rental and loaded up the old engine into the trailer.  Not before emptying the oil pan though because the recycling place won't take any parts with fluid still in them.  Mind you, the oil has been sitting for 25+ years. Simply taking out the oil pan plug wouldn't do. Oil dripped out for a couple seconds then stopped. We knew there had to be more than that. So we unscrewed the oil pan, which was a lot easier than I was expecting.  Gave it quite a few bangs with the mallet hammer to loosen it and the oil pan came free. What we discovered looked like black, gooey, slimy sludge. It was gross. 

We also threw out the transmission, the whole front in (front crossmember, breaks, torsion bars, a-arms) and a few other metal parts. We took the whole trailer load to TKO Recycling (Rancho Cordova, CA). They will recycle just about anything. 

July 14, 2015

Gettin down to the nitty gritty

So it's been about 7 months since I've been able to get some time to work on the truck.  This weekend was very successful though!  Since we've got the whole front half of the truck down to the frame, it was time to start cleaning and polishing it up.  And let me tell looked a lot worse.  With the right tools (thanks to my friend and neighbor) it took no time at all.  Of course, it's hard to get into all of the nooks and crannies, but that's later.  There's still some spots to finish but in two evenings we got a lot cleaned up.

Cleaned section on the left, still dirty on the right

It looks ALMOST brand new again

I went back and forth and back and forth and back again between cleaning it by hand or taking the whole thing to a shop to media blast it.  We settled on doing it by hand, which isn't awful!  It's been fun actually.  I'm learning how to use tools I've never used before.  I may or may not invest in my own pressurized abrasive blaster to get into the tight places and crevices.  We'll see.

October 5, 2014

Removing the Cab from the Frame

A couple weekends ago we removed the cab.  I thought it was going to be really difficult.  I thought I would need a big group of my strongest guy friends to help.  I wasn't even sure, exactly, HOW we were going to get it off the frame.  
We made sure to remove as much as we could to make the cab as light as possible.  We removed the doors, the gas tank, the steering column, the bench seat, and most of the dash.  I had 3 guys and 1 girlfriend to help....and it went a lot smoother than I thought!  
We pushed the truck out of the garage.  Unbolted the 4 bolts holding the cab to the frame (use an impact wrench.  It's SOOOO much easier).  We then put 3 4x4's under the cab to lift it up, then slid the cab (very very gently) down the 4x4's and off the frame.  Then the guys each took a side and were able to simple carry the cab over to the side yard where the cab will rest for the time being.  The cab is being stored on pallets and covered with a giant tarp.  

May 25, 2014

Ripping out the a positive way

Last weekend we accomplished a big step...we removed the engine and transmission! The guys did most of the heavy lifting but it was very exciting! It feels like now that the engine is out I can really get down to cleaning and removing other parts. Removing the engine was surprisingly smooth and easy. No issues getting bolts off or even pulling out the transmission with the engine. 

March 12, 2014

It's About Family

A lot of people have been telling me this whole project of restoring my dad's truck is a bad idea.
It's a waste of time and money.
It'll take years to complete.  

My response to that?

I don't care.  I don't care what they THINK is a bad idea or a waste of my time.  I knew going into this project that it was going to take some time and a bit of money.  But that's not the point of this whole project.  The point is that I've watched this truck sit in my backyard for 20 years, always thinking one day I will work on it, and one day i'll get to drive it.
To's not about how much money I put into it, or how many years it takes.  To me, it's about my dad, my grandpa, my grandma, even my mom.
Fixing this truck makes me feel closer to them.

It's about family.