These projects always start off this way; lots of enthusiasm, dreams of a super cool car in the end, your imagination getting the better of you. I heard once that there is a biological mechanism to keep women from remembering the worst of the delivery pains, else the human race would have ceased to exist a long time ago. Not sure how true this story is, but I think I have this same mechanism at play. Only I am giving birth to old cars.
As I sit here an type, with stiff fingers and skinned knuckles, I realize just how little I’ve accomplished in the grand scheme of things. It always seems like a lot of change in the beginning as you disassemble the vehicle. You ‘see’ a lot of change. However, having done this a couple of times I know it’s a false narrative my brain is feeding me. “Absolutely. We should have another kid. They don’t hurt *that* much.” I know it’s a lie. But still, I go along.
The past few days have been all about disassembly. Getting the front clip off the truck, completely removing the interior, doors, glass, rear tailgate assembly, etc. It’s a lot and it’s shown just how bad the rot is in areas. And it’s positively apocalyptic. At some point during its life a body shop, or two, repaired the rear driver side corner from an impact. They sourced a new upper and lower tailgate assembly since I can see red paint under the white. Then they patched the rear corner and bottom of the tailgate. The corner had 1/4″ of bondo in places, and the tailgate had fiberglass all along the bottom. They made a little problem into a HUGE problem now.
So I’ve got my work cut out for me. Lots and lots of cutting and patching in new metal. It’s a tedious job, but it’s doable. The good news is the frame is solid. With a small area behind the rear axle on both sides the frame is nice and solid. Overall the undercarriage is solid too. The rust is in strange areas. I suspect a trip to the beach got some salt into some hard to reach areas that couldn’t be cleaned. Not a big deal, it’s just metal and we can fix it all.