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Old 12-08-2019, 08:19 PM   #1
garyd1961
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Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I redone my truck about 3 years ago. The body was a little rusty but straight and solid. It was going to take a lot of body work to get it right though. I didn't want to go months or years without my truck so my solution was to rebuild all the mechanical components and clean up the body and try to put a halt to the rusting process.
I went with a new motor and trans, new brakes, new exhaust, new tires and wheels, and rewired everything under the hood. I cleaned up the body as best I could without removing it from the frame or replacing sheet metal. I cleaned everything underneath as best I could and sprayed about 20+ cans of cheap spray paint on anything rusty.
My solution for the paint was to oil it, I now use WD40 a couple times a year. Just spray it on and wipe it down and in a couple days it has dried in and will repel water as good as wax.
I still need to do some more work to it but it's a dependable fun to drive truck. One day when I retire I may do the body right but for now I plan to enjoy it as is.
My only problem is everywhere I go people try to buy it, I guess they think they can get it for cheap.
I don't have a current picture but it still looks pretty much as it did 3 years ago.

Last edited by LockDoc; 12-08-2019 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:10 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyd1961 View Post
I redone my truck about 3 years ago. The body was a little rusty but straight and solid. It was going to take a lot of body work to get it right though. I didn't want to go months or years without my truck so my solution was to rebuild all the mechanical components and clean up the body and try to put a halt to the rusting process.
I went with a new motor and trans, new brakes, new exhaust, new tires and wheels, and rewired everything under the hood. I cleaned up the body as best I could without removing it from the frame or replacing sheet metal. I cleaned everything underneath as best I could and sprayed about 20+ cans of cheap spray paint on anything rusty.
My solution for the paint was to oil it, I now use WD40 a couple times a year. Just spray it on and wipe it down and in a couple days it has dried in and will repel water as good as wax.
I still need to do some more work to it but it's a dependable fun to drive truck. One day when I retire I may do the body right but for now I plan to enjoy it as is.
My only problem is everywhere I go people try to buy it, I guess they think they can get it for cheap.
I don't have a current picture but it still looks pretty much as it did 3 years ago.

All of the trucks I am driving now need some body work or paint touch up but I drive them anyway.

These old trucks are pretty popular right now and in some areas of the country you don't see many of them. That may be why you are seeing the interest in your truck from other people... Everybody wants to buy something as cheap as they can. Just say no, or price it high enough that if someone does buy it you will make some good money on it and you can go out and buy a better one....

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Old 12-08-2019, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I think it sounds like youíre enjoying it as it is, probably should keep on going as is. I have a 71 C10 thatís a little rough, but I enjoy driving it and I can park it anywhere and not be concerned about dents
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

This is exactly what I am doing with my truck right now. Getting it better than road worthy but leaving the cab in patina and rust. Bed will be in primer when it goes back on. At that point the brakes, suspension, and steering will have all been gone through or replaced. Iíll then decide to refresh the 283 or swap for something else.

My plan is to drive it and enjoy it until I have the $$ and am ready to live without it for the time it will take for bodywork and paint. If someone decides they need it more than me while I am enjoying it then Iíll go back to shopping.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

The body on my C20 is pretty rusty but since it only has 26,000 miles (it sat outside unused for 20 years), I went through the drivetrain, brakes, etc. in order to make it dependable. It starts and goes whenever I need it and doesn't mind doing some work too. For me personally, I enjoy a truck like that more than a fully restored one.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:05 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I had an 85 c10 that I completely re did everything on, top notch. Except the bodywork. I was waiting till I had time to do it. Well, a few things came up and I had to sell it. I got absolutely bottom dollar, and it took forever. I'm still sore over letting it go cheap. A realtor friend of mine saw it and said hey look an old truck for sale that needs paint, eww. Another friend said but look under the hood, inside the interior and under the truck, its beautiful. He replied, it just looks like a ratty old truck, good luck selling that.
He was right. Not many people saw a diamond in the rough. So, if your intent is to keep it, tgats perfect. To sell it, you are limiting your market.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:17 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

That's what I did to my 1980 short stepper, and what I am doing to my 1972 longbed now. I have no interest in show quality paint, or the time and money that it takes to get it.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I've had my truck for around 15 years now and.plan to keep it until I leave this world. Most just ask"do you want to sell the truck" and I say nah not selling my truck. One guy thought he would make me an offer I couldn't refuse and offered me $4000 for it.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I've done that with virtually every vehicle I have ever owned.
I would rather be ugly and operational than pretty and nonfunctional. Pretty much the story of my life.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:42 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

That’s similar to what I’ve been doing to mine with the exception that I did pull the body off the frame to fix the structural rust in the floors of the cab. I painted the frame and rebuilt the tranny and transfer cases while I had the body out of the way. I drove it quite a bit before the tear down but the holes in the floor were getting to be something i felt wasnt safe for me or my family to ride in. I painted up all the bare metal with spray paint and I’ll worry about the real body work later down the line. I like being able to use them and enjoy them while you are building them up rather than a 15 year tear down sitting in paint jail or even worse that never gets finished. On my truck I’ve focused most all my attention on the mechanicals except for the cab rust issues.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:45 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I rebuilt all of the mechanical on my 67 12 years ago. The body looked okay from 20 feet away but I was enjoying the truck anyway and was hauling stuff in it too.4 yrs ago I was at a cruise night and it started to rain hard. I went inside to stay dry and the water was coming in from front of the roof. I knew then it was time for body work. Over the following winter I blew the truck apart and restored the body and replaced the interior and bed wood. Now I have a truck that is too nice to use as a truck. A few more years and the restoration will be old enough that I can haul stuff again. As far as people wanting to buy it that hasn't changed. They just offer more now. I still say it's not for sale.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:29 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

So, you have pretty much answered a question I was going to pose to fellow members.

The other day my starter, under lifetime warranty, went out. It was dark at the end of the day and rainy. Called the auto parts store and had my buddy go pick it up.

15 minutes after he arrived with the part I was up and running again. Now beat that with a newer rig. There is an aspect to these vehicles which keeps people interested. I clean mine and get the compliments. New Boss which just purchased 3 new Duramax rigs for work complimented my rig the day I started.

Go figure! Do I really need a glamour queen with a ton of HP? NO! I really want durability and to be able to field fix it when needed. The 350/350 combo was a very durable platform for many decades.

Most well selling new automotive lines are built on a proven platform.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:16 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I am actually think of doing all my mechanical and just driving the piss out of the 70 C10 my dad and I are going to start working on. The body is pretty clean and has some surface rust so I my just CLR the rust off and make it safe to drive again.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:22 AM   #14
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

i recommend hitting the rust with a converter to stop it from spreading and then at least prime or clear over it . A lot of people go for the old worn look
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:06 AM   #15
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

Your thread title pretty much describes my M.O. I have put a paint job on some when it was a simple matter of fix some dings, maybe replace a bolt-on body piece, and paint without a fat budget. I did get into what guys are doing these days with frame off restorations on quite a few, but that has been quite some time. I've always had more than one and always had one as you describe to just drive and enjoy.

I have another "ground-up"in the mix and will likely do a frame-off on the '72 K2500 I've been running since '01, only dealing with mechanical upkeep. The ground-up is built from used body parts from several trucks, so I'll be painting that. But when I get to it, if it looks like body work/paint money will hold me up, I plan to paint it all as is with Hot Rod Flatz Red Oxide so it appears to be in primer waiting for body work. Which will be pretty much true, but maybe that will never happen. If that is the case, I'll just tend to the imperfections and paint as I go.

I bought a '72 K/20 Highlander in original paint. It had it's small dents, old paint, dull & dinged trim, but still looked decent. I totally rebuilt it's brakes, steering, suspension, all new u-joints and axle/wheel bearings, and new wheels and tires. Drove like a charm. I bought my least favorite wheels in a buy 3 get 4 wheel/tire pkg because they were cheapest, white spoke wheels. But I also felt they would look great with the medium blue & white 2-tone and give the look of being built that way decades earlier. I think I nailed it
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:42 AM   #16
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I thought about this thread a bit more after I posted last night and am really happy to see a lot of similar posts and thought processes here.

The truck I am building I describe as something to drive to a car show, not something you put "in" a car show. Don't get me wrong, I love all the builds from the low budget to the $100K plus Chip Foose style stuff. BUT, what keeps these trucks really popular, in my opinion, is the access to them that people have of various budgets and skill levels.

Also, for me this is a hobby truck. So I never expect "to get out of it what I have in it." Nobody expects the guy with the $50,000 bass boat and thousands of dollars in fishing gear to get a payback on his money so why should a hobby truck build be any different? I enjoy the work and it keeps me from running the streets and being a menace. Well, it keeps me from running the streets at least.

I have seriously thought along the lines Special K mentioned. My truck was originally vermilion, so I have looked at the Hot Rod Flatz burgundy and couple that with a gunmetal gray top and interior. It wouldn't be a show stopper, but I wouldn't meet myself on the street either.

That is the other part of this I enjoy. The guy with the $50,000, LS swapped, bagged, super build can pull up beside the freshened up recovered from the farm truck and both owners appreciate what the other has. One guy parks at the end of the lot away from everyone and the other guy still throws a log chain in the bed if he wants to.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:11 AM   #17
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I started off trying to fix up the body, blew it apart and it sat for years apart. Put it back together since I moved and needed to transport the truck to my new house. I then started driving it, did all the mechanical stuff and drive it all the time now. Love it. Still plan on finishing the body, but am enjoying it now.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:42 AM   #18
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

Old green in a nut shell. More rust then any 81 chevy I ever seen. But it had a new (5 years ago ) 350 suspension and every thing works kida.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:03 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I am in the process of going through the mechanicals on Blackie now. I don't want a show truck. I wont to use it for the purpose that it was originally built to do. I have went through the entire brake system and now working on the other mechanical systems as I get time.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:12 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

One of the things I love about my truck is I don't worry about it too much. It's a bit banged up so I can park in any spot and not worry about it getting scratched. It looks good enough. I enjoy the mechanics, I don't find body work enjoyable and it's expensive to have done. I've been using Rust Bullet on my rust. Once I replace my engine I'll have done about everything mechanical and electrical. Then I will start cutting and patching. Or maybe not!

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Old 12-09-2019, 01:54 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

One thing I have thought about is how well those really fancy looking trucks run. Some I can tell just by looking that it had been pieced together and most likely does not function well on a daily basis.

Knowing what it takes to get the body looking spiffy takes away from a budget no matter what, Where would one make up those concessions?

Most of those are listed for sale, in Ebay, CL, and such. You can see through to the truth if your doing your own mechanical.

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Old 12-09-2019, 02:05 PM   #22
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

I am in NC too and when mine was multi-tone (primer, red/white, black bedsides) people would try to buy it from me all the time. I was getting some sweet offers like $4K; I paid $6K for it a couple years ago and had nearly $30K (LS/SWB Conversion/VA, etc) in it but the paint wasn't done and I had Rallys on it at the time. With this said, even though mine is fully restored/modified now I put a ton of miles on it. 260 this weekend as an example. I also park in a very tight parking garage so it is just a matter of time before it gets dinged up but I don't want a garage queen.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:06 PM   #23
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

Yup. Put 15k on her over the last two years. Have only done mechanical repairs. But she is in pretty nice shape body wise
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:40 PM   #24
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

yep!
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:29 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone just skip the the bodywork and rebuild everything mechanical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Suburb View Post
yep!
I don't know of you know this but there are olnly 3 lugs holding your frount wheel on.
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