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Old 06-03-2013, 07:56 AM   #76
rgunlock
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Well, I've been slacking on the truck for a few weeks. My son finally graduated college and we've had family over so between visiting and yardwork not much truck time. I did get a little work done here and there though. Finished cutting out the part of the passenger floorboard I'm replacing. Getting the bad flooring out I've developed a unhealthy hate/hate relationship with spot welds. Every time you think you've got them all, you find more! Also, fitting a patch on 3 different planes is a pain. It's getting close, but I've ended up with some gaps that are going to be tough to weld. All in all, this has taken several hours and feels like very little done.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #77
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgunlock View Post
Well, I've been slacking on the truck for a few weeks. My son finally graduated college and we've had family over so between visiting and yardwork not much truck time. I did get a little work done here and there though. Finished cutting out the part of the passenger floorboard I'm replacing. Getting the bad flooring out I've developed a unhealthy hate/hate relationship with spot welds. Every time you think you've got them all, you find more! Also, fitting a patch on 3 different planes is a pain. It's getting close, but I've ended up with some gaps that are going to be tough to weld. All in all, this has taken several hours and feels like very little done.
Congrats to your son for graduating.
I use Cleco fasteners or vice grips to hold the sheet metal nice and tight.
Before long you'll become more comfortable with spot welding floor patches into place. Sometimes I have to get the hammer to persuade the sheet metal into place. It takes time but the prize is the end result, not how quickly you got through it.
Keep at it your doing fine.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:42 PM   #78
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for checking in and for the encouragement Bomp! Really proud of my son. He spent 6 years going through a 5-year architecture program, but also double-majored in history He's finally rediscovering what "free time" means now that he doesn't have to look forward to hours and hours of projects and model building night after night.

On the driver's side floor, I'll have to see if I can figure out how to use the clecos for this job. I've seen in your build (which I enjoy tremendously - and learn from by the way) how you use them and then cut both old metal and patch together for a close seam. On this panel, I needed the folded over edge and had to do a lot of cutting to even get the patch to lay in there. Unfortunately, after making some of the cuts which allowed the panel to lay better, it didn't lay quite where it had been and left me some wider seams than I intended. I may have to buy another patch and start over, not like this would be my first time doing that... live and learn
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:41 AM   #79
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

This build looks a lot like mine, which was supposed to be some repairs done to get Mustard back on the road to pull a horse trailer and ended up a frame off job by a beginner, too. Yours is looking really good, so far!

Congrats on getting your kid through school, too. Took me almost that long to get a 4 year engineering degree...
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #80
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks Nick! Took a look at your build and see a lot of similarities. I've been slowed way down and still working on my floor a bit here and there. Hope to post some pics tonight. Yesterday got to 106 in the shade here, so hopefully won't be as bad today. No AC in the shop.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #81
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Well, when I left off a few weeks ago, I showed the large hole I had cut in the passenger floor and a patch panel I'd trimmed to fit. It's at least 100 degrees in my shop right now so seemed like a good time to come into the AC with a beer and update my build. I'm going to jump to the finished (almost) picture of the patch panel in and spare you pics of all the ugly holes I burned and had to fill. At that point I decided to tackle just a small patch to feel better about my progress. Somewhere, I got it into my head that butt welds were the best route, but I think I just caused myself a lot of grief going that route with this floor panel. I think a lap joint would have been easier, gone a lot faster and probably turned out better. It won't be seen anyway once I'm done. Didn't realize how fuzzy my magnets had got in the 3rd pic I've been taking the tops off my welds lately with the edge of a cutoff wheel, which works pretty well. The tools I've got to finish off the grind are either too aggressive (grinder or flap disk), or too gentle (maroon scotch pad thingy on die grinder). Need to find something in the middle that is just right. Waiting to finish cleaning up these edges til I find what that is.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:15 PM   #82
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

That left me with a hole in this crazy spot on the rounded end of the hump that the seat mounts to. I didn't have a patch for this, so I used the part I'd cut out as a pattern and made my own patch. Too many curves for me to make it out of one piece, so I started with this piece that I could get the bends/curves I needed. It had to have a pretty big relief cut/hole but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Don't mind the ugly burn holes. After all the sheet metal welding practice I've had by now, I think that the only skill I'm improving is filling the burn holes I make
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:25 PM   #83
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

That brings us to today. I made another patch to finish that rounded seat hump area and got it welded in. Got plenty more practice filling in burn holes, but actually pretty happy with the end result. The last picture is where I screwed up cutting/fitting the original floor panel. The gap is too wide for me to weld, so I think I'm going to have to cut the gap wider, and hopefully more even and make a patch for that. Then I just have to do all the spot welds for the brace that needs to go back in, and to attach the floor to the kick and rocker panels. Oh, there's a 1/4 inch gap on that edge too, so some hammering will be required Well, time to head back into the oven and get after some of that.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:53 PM   #84
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Looking good Rick!
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:50 PM   #85
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Progress has seemed to be at a snail's pace, but at least progress. I'm calling the rust repair on the passenger floor and kick panel done! Finished up from the bottom last weekend and a neighbor helped me turn the cab back upright. Touched things up from the inside today. The big light blob on the inside was a large hump that I had to use a torch and hammer to shrink. The rounded curve for the seat hump will need some filler since I'm pretty sure it will show, but I think I got the shape about right. Started cutting out the rusted driver side floor. Hope that side goes quicker! I know that the welds aren't really cleaned up that well, but I plan to undercoat the truck and lizard skin the inside floor. Then it will be covered with insulation and carpet so I don't think I'm going to really care that it's not ground totally smooth.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #86
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Great job so far. Keep up the hard work and it will be done before you know it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:41 PM   #87
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for checking my build Steelhorse. A year or two probably will be "before you know it" the way time flys at my age I've been making some slow progress, but with the heat, yardwork and other summer activities my build seems to have slowed to a crawl. Oh, and the mosquitoes come out just as soon as it cools down enough in the evening that you feel like working outside.

I've decided I'm done with metal work on the floor. Did the driver side a bit different (cheated) and just cut the patch to overlap the hole 3/4 inch. Plug welded around the edge and down the braces. Once I seam seal it, I hope it works out as well as the other side that I butt welded.

Now I'm working on the driver cab corner (for the second time). This LMC patch panel seems to be coming up a bit short of making the corner. Haven't figured out what tool will help me reshape that curve without screwing up the patch.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:38 AM   #88
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Making progress is always good to see.
On the "filling the gap" I've used a "copper spoon" from Harbor Freight Tools, under $10,
Hold it against the back side of the gap, weld a little hear and there to fill the gap. Weld won't stick to the copper.
Good work keep it up.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:33 AM   #89
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Good to see progress! That patch looks hella short from the picture. It looks to me like your going to have to cut the patch to add more material.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:23 AM   #90
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Yep, the picture isn't exaggerating. I'd guess that the best place to slice to widen the patch is right on the face of it, top to bottom so that it maintains the line going down the corner of the cab. That's going to really put my welding and grinding skills to the test since it will be right out there for the world to see.

BTW Mike, good to see that you got yours back to a roller. Reassembly should be quick from there and you'll be back to body work before you know it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #91
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Just remember patience and walk away if you have to When I did my cab corners, I think I had to do that for several weekends.

Thanks! It's a great feeling to be that far along, but I can't believe you just cussed at me...body work....ewe
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #92
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Cab corners are tough. I used LMC on my 72, too, and eventually got the on to my satisfaction, but they still aren't quite right.

Looking good so far. I'm sure you'll get the cab corners figured out. And if you are too cheap to buy the copper spoon, you can attach a scrap of copper pipe to a handle of some sort an hammer the end of the pipe to whatever flattish shape you want. That's what I did, but like Bomp said, they are pretty cheap from harbor freight or equivalent.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #93
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for the encouragement guys! I do have a piece of mashed copper pipe I use to back larger gaps and holes. I had screwed up trimming on the passenger floorboard so there was a gap 1/2 inch wide in places, so I ended up cutting the gap so it was maybe 1 inch wide and even all the way across and just welded in another patch.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:22 AM   #94
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

I absolutely love this build!!! Keep on trucking partner, many of us have been right where you are.

My old dually just picked up a 46 power wagon in Wyoming. From up here in Canada it was a 31 hour behind the wheel trip. Did in in 2 days, the old girl ran flawless. So there will be a day when your love comes to life and makes it good. I got so many looks with the dually hauling the PW, was a great trip.

Here is my next restore, hey, its my first non GM work. So easy on my post
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:18 AM   #95
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Not going to catch any grief from me about building the Power Wagon. That thing is too cool! I hope you do a thread in alternate tinkerings so we can see more of it.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #96
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Got the driver side cab corner done. Didn't end up doing any slice and dice. Decided to work it from the backside of the cab, then massage it around the corner a weld at a time with some tapping to bring it around. Ok, some of the tapping was more like banging, and I missed the gap on a weld or two It's going to need a bit of filler, but I think I can make this look ok. I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself on this patch.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:02 AM   #97
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

There you go! Don't you just love patchwork? Looks real good!
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:36 PM   #98
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks Mike. I love patchwork about how you apparently love bodywork. Sorry for cussin' you the other day about that Actually, I don't mind patchwork at all when it turns out, just wish that were the case more often
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #99
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Whoa what a build. Don't you just love how they all start simple and turn into never ending projects or never done haha Looking good so far. I don't think I would have the patience for all the patch work. It's going to be so sweet when its all done though!
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #100
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Re: My 78 K15 High Sierra build - Fish Tremble

Thanks for checking in on my build Hoods. I decided to repair my existing cab because I needed the practice welding in patches. In reality, I might have saved myself a lot of time and frustration just finding a better cab to use. So far, practice isn't making me anywhere near perfect, but its possible for something to be both frustrating and fun at the same time, right
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