Throwback Thursday – Project F-250 Revamp

Here’s my version of “Throwback Thursday” 😉  This is a post I made back in 2009 when I was still in charge of BanditAlley, as a blog post there.  Recording it here on AA for posterity.

Seeing that I can do this, you’d think I could polish up a sewing machine like nobody’s business, wouldn’t you?  Not so.  Though a lot of the process is the same, I just can’t seem to bring up the shine on a sewing machine the way this truck finally shone.  It’s probably because I can’t use a power polisher on the machine like I can with a car or a bike.

The victim:  A 2000 Ford F-250 Diesel. Previously dark green in color, but likely painted when it was recovered as a roll-over in the first year of its life.  

Yes, all work was done in our driveway.  This was “BG” – Before Garage.  Some of the neighbors loved it.  One of them even came over to ask questions about  his own restoration project.   The rest of the neighbors probably thought I was a nut.   They’re probably not wrong.  🙂  I still have the huge stain on the driveway where I spilled the paint too.

The paint was a canned Varathane, and was rolled on.  Yes.  You read that right.  This box and part of the door was roller painted just like a wall.   (Different type of roller though.) Fitting really, since the truck had been a rollover. 😉

This truck went to a new home later in the year when I decided I was tired of temperamental diesels and the “tricks” this truck liked to play – shredded a serpentine belt, coolant bottle came loose and wiggled so much the fan sliced the hose and dumped coolant everywhere, airbag light burned out, disabling the whole Airbag system, insisted on being plugged in below about 40F, peed diesel onto the ground after a small detour onto the engine, and the last straw for me was the day I got into the truck and found the rearview mirror on the floor.  I thought seriously?  You can’t go a single month without destructing something?

We always fixed things right and with Ford parts even – one of the benefits of having family who works for Ford – but it gets old when you have to make a “payment” on a truck every month despite having paid cash for it when you bought it.   I do believe that a lot of this truck’s “isms” were courtesy of improper maintenance before we got it and artifacts of its surfing on its side at one point.

The price of Diesel fuel lately sure doesn’t make me regret this choice either.

And now:  June 02, 2009’s post:

This is what things looked like the day we met the truck
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It’s pretty easy to see that the previous body work wasn’t well done.
Looks like the prep was rushed.
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Even the doors didn’t escape unscathed
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This spring I finally got tired of looking at the damage and decided to take it on.  It had gotten significantly worse over the winter, and a bunch of the bondo had broken off in the large patch near the fender well.
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The doors were worse as well.  They’d begun looking like someone had cut an “X” and the rust began to burst forth from behind it.
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Oh yeah,.. this is gonna take some work.  I was starting to worry that this might possibly be beyond my skill level at this point….
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Removed all of the rust from the metal.  This is a long dreary process, but if you don’t do it, you might as well not fix the box.
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Once the smaller holes were free of rust, I bondo’d them immediately.  This way, they wouldn’t be exposed to the air, and therefore take on moisture and rust again.
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The worst part of the box.  This was a hole about 3″ by about an inch or so.  Fairly large, and in theory, some metal should have been welded in here.  Since I have no welding experience, it had to be dealt with in another way.

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Better get those doors in bondo too.

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sanded down the bondo to get ready for another coat.
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Getting there, but the hole still remains….

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Doors are starting to look good.  Sort of a tough place to sand and prep though.
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The view the neighbors have had for the last few days.  I get some real looks….
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That cloudiness in the hole is the fibreglass sheet we installed. It’s soaked in resin, then stretched to fit across the hole.
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A coat of long strand fibre fill (made by Bondo).  In retrospect, short fibre would have been easier to work with.
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close up of the fibre fill.  Not my favorite product on the planet to work with.
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A layer of bondo over the works.
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It occurs to me at this point that bondo doesn’t photograph well.  Oh well.  This gets the point across.  The truck is starting to look vaguely truck shaped again.
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Sanded it down to find the high and low spots.  Some work left to do for sure.
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Used some primer paint to see where the high and low spots are.
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The fender’s starting to take on some shape again.
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Primer’s making it easy to see where work is still required.  It’s definitely getting there though.
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What a mess though.  Even the leaf springs weren’t safe!!
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The doors are coming along.  Pretty close to finished actually.  Hardest spots here are the welds at the back door are a little high, like a couple of spots on the box.
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Got that part at the back of the box too.  This spot is ever so slightly high too.  We shall adapt and overcome. 🙂
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Couple of coats of paint,… orange peel from hell,.. but so be it.  I know how to wet sand.  🙂
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This is where the progress of the truck sat for over a week while it rained and snowed
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In the meantime, we took the truck and trailer to the weigh scales to find out what everything weighed.  Oi!!
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Finally an opportunity to get back to it.  First task, sand out all of the orange peel.  Should look like the top of this pic when finished.
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Lots of orange peel to sand.  This seems to be an artifact of rolling paint, and having it a little too thick.
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The whole box sanded flat.  Start with 400 Grit, really wet, with a little soap in the water, then wet sand again with 600, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000
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Use a rubbing compund to bring up a little bit of the shine
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Some shine has come up with hand polishing and waxing.  The polisher required a new bonnet.  The one that came on my Princess Auto sander/polisher was a POS.  It fell apart and thwacked me in the leg within the first 30secs of use
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Picked up two foam disks that stick to the velcro attachment on the sander/polisher and a bottle of “rejunvanator” (Malco) from Pro Detail in St Albert.
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Did the power polish in 3 steps.  First step, Rejuvenator alone.  Second Rejuvenator mixed with some Turtle Wax ICE.
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Final step: Turtle Wax ICE alone.
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I guess now I should wash the rest of the truck…

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