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Old 01-09-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
Snake72
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Grandpa's 72 restoration

Hey All, new guy here with a good story about a cool truck. I've been lurking on this site for the last year and it's amazing the amount of knowledge that is available here! Thanks guys! I'm trying to make progress with this truck, I have a 3 year old and twins due in June '17 so my "fun" time will be coming to an end for awhile. Now, about the truck. I'll try to keep it short

My grandpa bought this 72 custom deluxe new in 1972. My dad rode with him home from the dealership in it. Grandpa passed away in '76, I never had a chance to meet him. Grandma kept it on the farm here in Iowa and kept it in fantastic original condition. She let my uncle use it as his farm truck when he got out of the marines about 1993 and started the farm back up. Farm use took its toll on old blue and its 350 eventually gave out and was parked back at my grandmas indoors for the last 5 years. I learned how to drive in this truck, in the middle of a picked bean field. Always wanted it. Grandma said it was mine whenever I was ready. Last year my father in law retired and bought himself a shop. He used to own a body shop and race dirt track/build motors. We picked up old blue September '15 and started tearing into it. The truck was far worse than what it looks like in pictures, all sheet metal below the trim is rusted through, rockers and cab corners non existent, floor and cab supports gone. But the truck is 100% original except long lost hub caps. I really wanted to LS swap, cut down to short bed and slam it but just cant do it. Too complete and original motor, trans, everything! So its getting restored back to factory. Enough talking, everyone just wants pics. Here is first few pics
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

In for this one!!!
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Here are a few more pics. Decided to replace whole floor (awesome replacement piece by the way!!) both cab corners, rockers, A and B posts, kick panels, doors reskinned and bottoms replaced. 350 is going to look stock but bored and stroked to 383. Trying to stay with quadrajet and ram horns for factory look.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:52 PM   #4
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

And finally to bring the project up to current, we repainted the cab medium blue and white. I think it came out well for my first paint job. The floor was coated in raptor liner top and bottom, highly recommend this product. Should never have a rusty floor again!

The metal repair was slow and tedious but nothing was too difficult. The only fitment issue was the trans tunnel on new floor not quite meeting up with firewall but the metal can be worked enough to fit well.

The blue and white truck in the background is my father in laws '71 Cheyenne, very nice original truck with great patina. It's next on the chopping block
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:46 AM   #5
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

I need some opinions from you guys.

1) keep factory pinstripe? I have the original option list, it was a $13 option haha. I don't really like it though. Add stainless upper belt trim? or leave no trim/pinstripe?

2)White bumpers? Most go with chrome obviously, original front is in very good condition, I found a painted white rear sport bumper on CL and had it blasted and painted, looks brand new. So, who likes chrome? Who likes white?

3) Wheels? Original white steelies vs rallies I bought cheap and repainted vs old school slot or cragar ss

I go back and forth between all these, help me make a decision!
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:48 AM   #6
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Way Cool!
Who made the floor panel?
What part of Iowa are you in?
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Thanks 68!

Floor pan was a Triplus, bought from GMC Pauls if I remember right. $500 shipped but worth every penny.

Im in eastern Iowa, near Iowa City. Truck is 2 hours away in northern Iowa at my FIL's shop, he tinkers with it when he can and I get up there about once a month for the weekend. Thus the slow process. Now that deer season is over, my weekends are a little more open
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Awesome job on the truck so far.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Dud.. THat is looking GREAT... congratulations...
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Nice project and cool heritage. My cab is in a similar situation to how yours was. I see you cut the cab corners and bottom of the a and b pillars off while the floor was also off. Did you patch the new pieces in before putting the floor in, or do them after? I'm trying to figure out the best order to tackle mine, but I want to make sure I get everything lined up properly. I'm thinking about doing the pillars first so I don't loose any reference measurements and then dropping the old floor out and new one in. Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:48 AM   #11
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

1972CheyenneSuper, I'd be glad to show you how we did it. I should have taken more pics of the install to document our process. I'm sure there are several different ways to install this, probably all depending on the starting point of your cab and metal. My cab, although it looks pretty clean in pictures, was horrible. A and B pillars nearly gone, no driver side rocker and passenger rocker was metal tape covering holes. The cab corners were metal tape and a field stone spray foamed to cover a hole. No joke. Old grandma did her own body work on this truck which consisted of rough bondo, metal tape, and blue paint brushed on over rust. She did her best haha. So we had little to use as original reference. We cut out all the cancer just to see what we were working with. We also had a rotisserie, made things much MUCH easier but not necessary. I read and re-read every thread on this site about floor replacements and was a huge help.
1) brace inside of cab, we used tubing to span door frame, hinge bolt to striker area. Then welded cross pieces from back of cab to firewall and diagonals. You don't want a flimsy cab or torqued/misaligned cab when trying to fit new floor
2) we then cut out cab corners, rockers, A, B pillars just to see where all the seams were.
3) used a spot weld hole saw (get one) and worked over the back of the cab to cut out all the spot welds holding the floor to cab. Half the driver side welds were already broken...nothing even holding the floor up on driver side. Seat belt bolts were ripped out by hand....
4) once rear of floor is free, we used a sawzall and cut front of floor about 1-2" from firewall flange and pulled the floor out.
5) Spot welds were then cut on front flange and used an air hammer to peel back that 1-2" left over flange.
6) Fit new piece, call some buddies over to help, not a 1 or 2 person job. Use lots of vice grips to hold and get it fitted right. Trans tunnel and areas by the A pillars may take some convincing.
7) Make sure front and rear seams are fitting well, we used 2 bolts to temporarily connect the rear cab and floor while welding the front floor to firewall
8) Plug weld floor in, using holes were old spot welds were drilled out on firewall flange and back of cab. We even drilled some new holes for extra welding.
9) We worked from A pillars in to trans tunnel and made adjustments to tunnel fitting
10)plug weld the back of cab. Easiest part.

After floor was welded in we started fitting A and B pillars. A pillars get bolted to floor and only one way they can go in, not much adjusting. B pillars were easy, just take your time and fit as good as you can.

The cab corners also lined up perfectly, however I had so much rust in mine that we used the entire replacement panel on both sides. We had to cut out a lot of metal from cab.

Im probably missing some info but its really not bad. This is my first ever project and my FIL had never done anything this in depth but we worked through it without issue. Just take your time and think it through. Literally all the metal from the trim line down is new in this truck, we had zero reference to go off of and the doors fit better than new. Good luck!!
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Also, when the old floor is cut out, clean up the firewall flange and back of cab flange to bare metal, get all rust out. Spray flange with good weld through primer to help prevent any rust starting in new floor/flange seam. Then seam seal flange when you're done.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:14 AM   #13
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

This is what a cab corner and floor supports should look like from underneath!! Again, I highly recommend raptor liner over the new floor. $120 gets you enough material and the gun to spray floor and inside wheel wells and rear tubs. Dries to very tough hard plastic type feel. Stinks like a hog lot on a 105 degree day though. Strong chemicals. Wear a respirator and open doors or your wife will find you running around naked in the garage thinking the CIA is coming for you
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:34 AM   #14
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

"Stinks like a hog lot on a 105 degree day though. Strong chemicals. Wear a respirator and open doors or your wife will find you running around naked in the garage thinking the CIA is coming for you."

Lol.. reminds me of those kids in high school sniffing varnish in the back of the wood class shop.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:59 PM   #15
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Very good info! Thank you for taking the time to write that, it should help me put everything into a little better perspective.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:41 PM   #16
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

I think 15x8 (same width as rallies) steel wheels & painted caps- think thats what it had from the factory- would look great. You're doing a great job! Keep it up
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:08 AM   #17
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake72 View Post
I need some opinions from you guys.

1) keep factory pinstripe? I have the original option list, it was a $13 option haha. I don't really like it though. Add stainless upper belt trim? or leave no trim/pinstripe?

2)White bumpers? Most go with chrome obviously, original front is in very good condition, I found a painted white rear sport bumper on CL and had it blasted and painted, looks brand new. So, who likes chrome? Who likes white?

3) Wheels? Original white steelies vs rallies I bought cheap and repainted vs old school slot or cragar ss

I go back and forth between all these, help me make a decision!
Very nice work!

Based on the work you are putting in, and since you aren't going custom on the engine, I would put it back as original as possible. Pinstripe, white bumper, stock wheels/caps.

I sure wish I could find a straight patina white front bumper for my truck...
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:22 AM   #18
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Excellent metalwork, this is going to be a very nice piece when you are done!
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:21 AM   #19
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Thanks for all the compliments. Hopefully this thread shows that even a novice can tackle rust! Having a FIL with a nice shop and fancy tools sure helps too

Keep the opinions coming on which direction to go with wheels/bumpers/etc. It will more than likely be white steelies with the chrome hubcaps and AT tires of some type to keep the "farm look". The factory paint stripe must be fairly rare, I have not seen many examples of it. If anyone has a factory stripe truck, post pics! It's also a leaf spring truck, wish it was coil, but it will remain leaf spring. So far the only changes from stock is a houndstooth seat cover, rear sport bumper instead of the ugly farm bumper, and carpet for a little more comfort. Was the rubber mat originally. And the old 350 will have a little more grunt

Jimbo, here is the original front bumper after some compound and scuff pad to clean it up. Will probably still repaint.

Here's the original grill. I hammered out a few small dents, hit it the easy off oven cleaner treatment to remove anodizing, and spent about 20 hours sanding and polishing. Came out great but very time consuming.

Also rebuild door hinges. Those old hinge pins are not fun to get out. But hinges are tight now! Should make hanging the door and setting gaps easier.

Last pic is my dads '56 Chevy bought new by his grandpa, my great grandpa. That pic was taken in the early 60's on the same farm the '72 spent its life on. The '56 is also completely original, 235 six with 3 on tree. I learned to drive a manual in this truck, even drove it to high school occasionally way back when. It needs a full resto as well. Iowa winters are not kind to vehicles.
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:29 PM   #20
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Grill looks great! The 56 is cool- neat that its been in the family for 60+ years
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #21
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

I applaud you for not chopping it down to a shorty and going with a factory style restoration. It's looking great so far and I look forward to seeing it progress. Great job!

My opinion on the options you mentioned are:

1) Keep the factory pinstripe. You don't see them much. I think they are pretty cool especially since it's actually on your SPID. I included a pick of a factory stripe truck as an example.

2) White bumpers? Keep 'em. Looks great on a blue and white truck. My truck originally had white bumpers but the previous owner put on a chrome front because he didn't like the white accents. I would go back with white but I've found several examples of my color truck (gold) with white bumpers and didn't care for the look. However, if my truck were blue, hugger orange, red, or almost any other color, I'd go with white.

3) Wheels? No question, white wheels with factory caps. White or stainless, your choice. Either will look great.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:50 PM   #22
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Thank you, I though long and hard about cutting it down, even bought a 5.3 and 4l60e before deciding to keep original 350. Now I have an LS to get rid of. Actually bought a complete Texas c30 cab and front clip too. So glad we kept the original cab, would have been a big mistake and regretted swapping cabs and motors.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:55 PM   #23
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Awesome pics, exactly where I'm headed. Leaning towards chrome caps, the truck initially had white. The bottom pic is nearly identical to my truck, even has the pin stripe. Thank you for your opinions, there are so many ways to make these trucks look sick but this unmolested example deserves to be the way it rolled off the line.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:09 AM   #24
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

This is an awesome story and a cool build, in for the ride on this one
Is that raptor stuff a bed liner material ?
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:51 AM   #25
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Re: Grandpa's 72 restoration

Yup, raptor liner is a spray on bedliner, made by UPOL. Google search it, people use it for all sorts of stuff. I bought mine through amazon, kit came with a gun. Mix activator with product, attach canister to spray gun and air and have at it. As with anything, prep is key. Covers very well, feels like line-x
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