Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wheels, Tires & Possum Holler

Not quite as fancy as some of the wheels you see on those restoration TV shows, but I think these will do! Before and after below...

My brother had four wagon wheels back in the day when he had the truck, but he has no idea what happened to the other two. No biggie, as long as we have four six lug wheels ready to go...

And here are the junkyard tires I just brought home. It's not easy to come across four identical tires all with great tread left, but that's exactly what happened today. As I've learned, it's all about timing on these scrounging excursions. Not bad for $150 bucks!

And finally a HUGE thank you to Max at Possum Holler Garage in Sawdust, Tennessee for sending the brake drums and bearings that arrived yesterday! These guys do absolute top notch restoration work, regularly getting top dollar at auctions like Barrett-Jackson and Mecum. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the kindness Max and the Possum Holler crew have shown to this rank restoration amateur as I chase the dream. Just one example of the many people who have helped this project along the way. After we get on the road I'll be doing an extended post to thank everyone involved. We'll be doing the brake job as soon as possible (meaning whenever my friend Steve who has promised to help has the time - lol), after which we'll put the bed back on and be just about ready to go. It won't be long now!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Old Wheel Update

As a total restoration amateur, I have to say it's great to have friends who actually know what they're doing. Took a little ride to see Alex over at Lex's Customs today. He did the fix for me on one of the front wheels, which had been rusting around the valve stem area. Alex filled in the old hole and the small area around it that had been deteriorating, then drilled a new one in a different spot. He's also taking care of attaching the new angle pieces to the inside of the bed panels. They're pretty much done except for a little grinding of the new welds. Many thanks once again to my friend Alex for all his help.

So now I can do the final cleanup on the front wheels and get them ready for paint, then all four will be ready for tires. The rears are already painted and ready to rock. Just finished them up today. I was expecting the "dark steel" paint to be a little darker, but I think this looks pretty good. Not looking to score any fashion points anyway. Just wanted to clean them up and ultimately have something that can get us down the road for a while...


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Paint Free Wheels

Clean wheels! This aircraft paint remover does an awesome job. Funny thing though, on the back of the can it says NOT to use it on aircraft. Huh? Oh well, good thing we don't plan on flying with this truck.... The two steelies on the right are definitely original. Found the GM stamp as I was stripping the paint. Small rust issue with one of those, right around the valve stem hole. Might have to fill and re-drill after the rust remover does its thing...

ALSO: Got word that the drums, hubs and bearings will be on their way here as of tomorrow. Should be doing the brake job soon!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Almost Bed Time

Big thanks to my friend Alex for his help with the bed sides this week! In the background of the first pic here you can see his latest project - a '71 Mach 1 - and his finished '69 Firebird... New stake pockets all attached, and we're just about ready to put the bed back together. But I figured it would be a good idea to wait until the brake job is done before we actually put the bed back on, so we have easy access to the brake line connections in back...

Also finally got all the old tires removed from the six lug wheels today, which I will now clean up, repaint and load up with some decent used tires. Just something to get us down the road for a while. This 33 year dream will finally be realized sometime over the next several weeks...


Monday, April 14, 2014

Possum Hollerin'

Spoke with Max from Possum Holler Garage yesterday, who's incredibly busy but still took the time to give me a call regarding a parts question. Looks like all our brake drums, hubs and front bearings will be coming from Sawdust, Tennessee! They're giving us an awesome deal and I'm VERY appreciative.

The Possum Holler guys do amazing work. Check it out for yourself:

Thanks again, Max!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Christmas in April

I could tell by the way the dogs were barking this morning that someone had pulled into the driveway. Nice surprise to see it was the UPS man, with the new front bed panel and rear stake pockets. That was fast! Ordered them from LMC Truck less than a week ago. By this time next week we'll finally have the bed ready to go back together! We'll also have the old six lug wheels all cleaned up, repainted and ready for fresh rubber. Getting closer to driving this thing!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Beware the Sledgehammering Amateur

Well, that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Unfortunately, it was also a lot easier to ruin the hub with the small sledgehammer I was using to drive the studs out, as you can see with the hub in the foreground. Don't know what the heck I was thinking. Didn't even notice it until afterwards. Maybe the wife is right when she calls me "Bam-Bam."

In addition to that little example of amateur genius, you'll notice that the studs are still sticking through the backing ring on the left. That's because they had been welded to the ring. No idea why. I was also reminded what happened when I originally tried to have all the drums turned. Not enough material left to turn on the right front, and one of the rears was warped (according to the shop guy). Which is why I figured all four should be replaced. And because I wasn't being careful with the sledgehammer, now I need the hubs too. I know we'll be able to find them somewhere, just a matter of making it fit within the budget...


Gettin' There...

Just ordered up the front bed panel and rear stake pockets. Hopefully by next weekend or shortly after we'll finally be putting the bed back together. Today I'll be attempting to separate the hubs from the old front drums in case I have to order new ones, which won't come with the hub. Just remembered we need all the front bearings too. Should be able to find those locally... This thing WILL be rolling soon!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brake Drum Bingo

On the hunt for brake drums today. The rears should be pretty easy, but the fronts could be a different story. Nothing on eBay, and a junk yard over in Brewster NY that specializes in really old stuff couldn't help me. Just found new ones for $120 bucks each (plus shipping, of course) and not even sure if that's with the hub, which attaches to the front drums on the 49's. Apparently for '50 and beyond they changed to a different kind of brakes. Guess I'll need to start looking to see if a conversion to discs for the front is possible given my limited budget, but I'd really rather just put drums on and drive this thing... Suggestions welcome!