This New Old Truck

From Rolling Chassis To Finished Product

Text by Paul Zazarine and Dave Clark

Photography by E. John Thawley III

   With our rolling chassis completed in the last issue, it is time to paint and assemble the body and interior. We started by taking the disassembled cab shell to BlastTech of Fresno. We not only wanted to remove the original paint, but also any undercoating and seam sealer so we could start with a fresh surface. There are a variety of methods available to the truck enthusiast for stripping metal surface. Every method has its drawbacks.
With chemical stripping there is the possibility that not all the chemicals will be removed during the rinse process. We chose to have the body of our project '72 blasted instead of chemically stripped. One word of

  The cab, fenders, doors, hood, bed and other body panels were first blasted to remove paint and rust. After cleanup, we sanded the body, filled in any holes and dents and prepped the metal for finishing.

caution about blasting failure to safeguard against warpage will result in ruined parts. Since we were fortunate enough to start with a rust-free, original pain truck, it was possible to lightly blast the body parts to clean them to bare metal. It is imperative to use a company that is qualified and experienced at blasting sheetmetal. BlasTech uses a special blend of abrasives and controlled air pressure to ensure that the sheetmetal will not warp during the stripping process.
   Body work and paint chores were handled by Dan Haws at Custom AutoCycle, also located in Fresno. The first order of business was to test fit the doors to the cab openings. After 25 years of use on the farm, our '72 was in need of some panel alignment, not to mention door hinge rebuilding. After a complete trial fitting, the cab was smoothed of all dings and scrapes, and then block-sanded repeatedly in preparation for paint. The only true way to paint a vehicle is panel by panel. Unfortunately, it is also the most time-consuming and frustrating. Painting every piece separately requires many extra hours preparing all the panel surfaces that would normally not be refinished if the vehicle were painted with the body assembled. It also presents a challenge trying to find a method of hanging each piece for painting.
   We chose to paint our project using Martin Senour's TRIO Prime which is a self-etching, corrosion resistant primer. This served as our base primer to cover the bare metal surfaces. From there we used Martin Senour's Tec Prime 5101 urethane surfacer to give us a base to block sand...and block sand. After what seemed like months of sanding and preparation, it was finally time to start hanging panels in the booth.

   Another time-consuming aspect of our project was the two-tone paint. This required painting the center and top base color first, then masking over them to spray the orange base color. Once the base colors were ready, Martin Senour's Tec system clearcoat was applied over the base colors, giving not only depth to the paint finish, but also added protection as well.
   It is important to remember that your material consumption will be substantially more if you completely refinishing ever panel inside and out.

   After giving the clearcoat the recommended curing time, the paint was first color sanded using 1200-grit wet paper to remove any foreign material that may have landed in the clearcoat. This was followed up with 1500-grit wet paper and finally polished to give us a deep, brilliant paint finish.
   With all the paint work complete, it was time to begin assembling this giant model kit. The first order of business was to set the cab shell back onto our rolling chassis. This proved to be harder than expected, as there is no real place to handle

2.  Each body panel was primed, extensively block sanded and then taped for the two-tone paint application.