Author Topic: My Truck  (Read 6971 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
My Truck
« on: April 20, 2016, 08:13:47 AM »
 I bought my 1988 F-150 2 years ago, which originally spent its life in Nevada and was driven to an Illinois dealership 2 months before I got it. My Dad drove it home (I was only 15 then) and it's been sitting alongside our driveway ever since then, until Sunday. My Dad and I had to move it a little farther down the driveway last Fall, but it wouldn't turn over. In fact, there was just about no charge left in the battery. Apparently, the battery's warranty expired in 2003, and it had gone completely dead, so we had to tow it to its new location. After sitting there all Winter, we installed a new battery last weekend, and the truck roared to life after about 3 seconds of cranking! I drove it up and down the driveway and off in a bumpy clearing a few times to make sure everything was running smoothly. Except for pulling to the left a little from a low tire, there were no problems during the stuff drive. You can't kill a Ford! 8)

My plan is to get it completely restored to factory condition. Because it was a Nevada truck, there is no rust anywhere, so there won't be much body work to worry about! The fun part about this project is that I can use techniques that I've learned as a phone restorer; one of which will be using 50/50 bleach to get rid of the yellow from the headlight lenses. Since these pictures were taken Sunday, I've removed the trim around the wheel wells and installed the new license plates (that's why it still shows an Illinois plate in the rear! ::) ). It will cost a lot to get replacement parts and get it repainted, but for now, I'm priming the little rust there is and repairing anything necessary. It also deserves fresh oil! :)
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline Duffy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1473
Re: My Truck
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 08:56:42 AM »
It's a 4X4 as well, very nice.

Here is video on how to clean up those headlights.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8KzRFo1K8Y
CDN Doug

Offline 19and41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: My Truck
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 01:27:51 PM »
It'll be effort well spent .  It looks mighty good to begin with.  In the event the lenses are flatted like ground glass, you might price new housings on Ebay.  The sharp dog that had my truck before me tried renewing the lenses by applying brake fluid to them.  I got new housings for around $35 apiece.  LMC truck is a good source for parts as well.  Here is another big help for used parts.     http://www.car-part.com
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 01:30:04 PM by 19and41 »
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: My Truck
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 02:14:19 PM »
Thanks guys!

There are reproduction light assemblies on LMC Truck (I will be using that site for the majority of the parts I need) but I would prefer to restore the originals. I'm using a phone restorer's philosophy with this project; use what original parts I can. Besides, $86 for a reproduction part is pretty expensive when the originals are in great shape.

The problem between your '96 F150 and my '88 is the assembly was never designed to be disassembled, so I will apparently have to pry the lens apart in order to clean/bleach it. On top of that, I read that the battery and coolant tanks need to be removed in order to access the screws to remove the assembly! A lot of work for headlights! :o
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: My Truck
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 02:23:21 PM »
That truck, when you get the headlights cleared up again, will come in handy when you pick up your first DMS-100 switch in Cincy soon:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/360159860836

 8)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 02:35:39 PM by unbeldi »

Offline 19and41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: My Truck
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 02:38:38 PM »
The coolant tank is easier to remove than it seems, just remove the tube from the radiator end and the power cable and set it aside with the washer tube on.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: My Truck
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 03:04:04 PM »
The coolant tank is easier to remove than it seems, just remove the tube from the radiator end and the power cable and set it aside with the washer tube on.
I know; not very difficult, but still time consuming.

One thing that I like about the interior of this truck is it has a cloth bench seat! Both of my parent's trucks have leather bucket seats, and I've almost grown to hate them. The leather makes it uncomfortable to sit in, and you can't really stuff around in them, they hold you in one position. In the winter, the leather cracks and feels rigid, and in the summer, it's burning hot and sometimes gets sticky. I think the bench seats are a lot more practical, and the cloth feels nicer!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 03:13:22 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline 19and41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: My Truck
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 03:28:34 PM »
I guess the buckets appeal to this old back because of the reasons you don't like them.  That is a great interior.  A smoker can louse up a fabric interior something awful.  Yours looks untouched.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: My Truck
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 03:49:01 PM »
I guess the buckets appeal to this old back because of the reasons you don't like them.  That is a great interior.  A smoker can louse up a fabric interior something awful.  Yours looks untouched.
Whoever owned this before me took very good care of it, but left it uncovered outside. The inside smells exactly like a 30-year-old car should (sort of stale and damp, but no smoke smell or stains anywhere) and the seat isn't torn or broken. Heck, there isn't even a low area in the driver's spot! I've seen some Red and Blue interiors on trucks the same age that look like they were at the bottom of a lake for a year! :o

 I have to hand it to the previous owner; they knew what they were doing by installing stick-on window tint. I personally don't like it, but despite being a Nevada vehicle for 26 years, the plastics have remained supple and crack/warp/melt/fade free. It's in Wisconsin now, so I will be peeling it all off! :)

The paint couldn't hide from the sun, though; The paint and primer on the hood and roof is baked off, with surface rust peeking through in some areas. Not a problem, a little preventative maintenance (I.E. Rustoleum Primer) will stop any more rust spread!
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 03:52:57 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline WesternElectricBen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2875
Re: My Truck
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 10:44:18 PM »
Looks good to me just as it is, after a complete tune up. I would like to pick up something like this, a longbed, single cab truck (preferably a standard) for my wood shop this summer.

Are you going to daily drive it?

Ben

Offline HarrySmith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5264
  • 1937 302
Re: My Truck
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 10:58:31 PM »
Awesome! Congrats on a great truck! The inside looks like it just left the showroom, amazing! There are plenty of kits out there to restore the plastic headlights. They stay looking good for about a year or so! You have to remove the damaged outer layer so be sure whatever kit you use has sandpaper or a fiber pad to sand them smooth, otherwise the results will not be good!
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434
TCI

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: My Truck
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 11:08:10 PM »
Ben:

I originally wanted an extended cab with a stuff bed, but I'm starting to really like the classic lines of the standard cab with a long bed. I will be using it as a daily driver, but to prevent more rust from spreading, I won't be driving it much (if at all) in the Winter, despite being 4 wheel drive!

Harry:

The headlights look like normal oxidized headlights in the pictures, but they look foggy because of moisture on the other side of the lenses, and are thoroughly yellowed from the Nevada sun. I actually polished the outside of the lenses last year, but they still look the same; it's all moisture inside the assembly, a common problem with this era of Ford trucks.
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: My Truck
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2016, 09:24:48 PM »
 I made some progress today (a first for a non-phone project for me)!

Apparently the headlight assembly was secured directly to the bulkhead behind the lights/grille with only 3 nuts each, so they were very easy to remove.

My Dad figured out that the lenses were given a bad clear coat. I gave them the Easy Off treatment, and the foam almost instantly turned dark yellow (a good sign that it's removing the paint) and after a few minutes, I wiped it off, and the lens was perfectly clear! Whatever the original owner used was probably designed to give a glossy appearance to the weather-beaten matte plastic, but didn't work (sand was trapped underneath, giving it a textured finish; they never cleaned/prepped the surface!).

I then wetsanded it with 800 grit, followed by 2000 grit, followed by polish. I took a before/after stuff just before I started on the next lens. Yes, the paper underneath the lenses is full-width paper towel, just to give you an idea of how huge those headlights are, they seem so much smaller on the truck! :o  I also polished the turn signal lenses and cleaned the housings in the dish washer (put away the clean dishes already in there so my Mom couldn't get too mad... ;D )

I have off school tomorrow, so my next plan may be to prep the grille for repainting. I found some paint that seems very close to the factory color, and will probably be using that.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 09:27:58 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline 19and41

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1951
Re: My Truck
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2016, 10:31:14 PM »
Looks good!
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Duffy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1473
Re: My Truck
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 09:31:00 AM »
Two thumbs up for great job, looks good. Dishwasher eh, now you have me thinking..........  ;D
CDN Doug