Back On The Road

Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Mid-Georgia
Thought I would finally post a few pictures of the old 55 to offer some encouragement to anybody else restoring one. It has taken two years to get to this point and I almost gave up on it.

I found it locally much to my amazement and it was the typical situation of a PO that had a lot of great ideas that didn't exactly work out. Of course a lot of parts had been removed and were in boxes which was a real challenge since I had never seen a 55 before. When I took the transmission hump off, you couldn't even tell where the engine, transmission, transfer case started or stopped. It was one solid block of mud with a few linkages sticking out. I had bitten off more than I had originally planned.

This vehicle has had at least 4 owners before me and no one did much to help it mechanically. I do have to say that I was very lucky when it came to the body and frame. Almost no rust. There were a few spots that needed cleaned up but no repairs. Eventually I gave up trying to make things work and simply tore it all apart. Frame over here, body over there, wiring harness in the corner and hundreds of parts everywhere else. Everything covered in mud, grease, or 40 years of dust.

Everything was cleaned, sanded or sandblasted, primed and painted. Even soda blasted the insides of the doors to get everything clean. Couldn't afford to get a "professional" painter involved because I knew what it was going to cost to get it running again. I did it all in the backyard myself. Used Kirker acrylic enamel and I am very happy with how it turned out. Some people may not like Kirker because it is cheaper but it really worked well for me and the end result looks good. Since I was doing it, everything got painted. Even behind the dash.

Mechanically, the vehicle was a nightmare. I honestly believe all of the brake cylinders were the originals. There was no saving any of them. Somebody had changed the oil seals on the pinions but didn't bother getting the pre-load right so the shims were shredded with little bits hanging out of the bearings in the rear differential. Yep, new bearing. Clutch cylinder, clutch master, brake master, you name it, it was worn out. It did get lucky with the engine cylinders though. They looked great and didn't need a thing.

Once I got it rolling again I was so disgusted with it that it got parked for a few months while I thought about selling it. Originally I had wanted to go diesel with a 5 speed. Also wanted to go back to the rims with hubcaps. My budget had been completely blown so all of that was out the window. I finally realized I needed to be happy with what I had. A rock solid vehicle that I can easily get another 40 years out of. You can't buy that these days. Keeping it was the right choice and every time I get it out it seems to do even better as things settle back in place. Might not be the fastest thing on the road but it's going to still be on the road long after this modern stuff is in the scrap yard.

Anyway, that's my story and hopefully it encourages somebody to keep at it and not give. Also a big thanks to everybody on MUD. Not sure I could have done it without all the info post on the forum. In fact I know I couldn't have done it. :cheers:
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scrapdaddy

Standing on the corner
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
9,054
Location
Dittmer, Mo.
Man, you sure can see how much work, you have done to it. Looks great. I would be very happy, if mine turns out that nice.

Good Job!
 

NikP

 
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
1,089
Location
Edmond, OK
I'm inspired now. I've had mine in the garage for a year and at times I feel like giving up.

Great job!
 

PabloCruise

 
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
18,396
Location
Northern Colorado
I finally realized I needed to be happy with what I had. A rock solid vehicle that I can easily get another 40 years out of. You can't buy that these days. Keeping it was the right choice and every time I get it out it seems to do even better as things settle back in place.
This my favorite part of this Piggy story!
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
1,288
Location
Grass Valley, CA
Wow, this makes me want to go work on mine right now even though it's about to rain. :) So purdy. I'm actually going to steal your pictures onto my computer for referance when I'm trying to figure out what things should look like that mine don't anymore! ha ha. Very awesome job, thank you for sharing.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Mid-Georgia
Thanks for all the positive feedback. I really appreciate it. Like I said, my purpose for posting up some pics was to hopefully offer some encouragement to somebody to "keep going". Don't give up. When I got into this I had no idea just how bad they can beat you into the ground. I have to admit that thinking about "mods" I wanted to do really hurt me more than they ever helped. Don't get me wrong, some of the stuff I see guys doing leaves me in awe. It's great. But, when you have one torn to pieces, it can become overwhelming both mentally and financially. The day I finally decided to focus on making what I had the best it could be, was a good day.

Thanks for the support!!! :steer:
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
58
I've had thoughts of cutting my loses and throwing in the towel as well when I look at what I have left to do. My main focus is just to get her running good. I'll worry about the body work later. Gonna drive her over the winter and start stocking up on body panels and hopefully knock them out in the spring. :)

I'm inspired now. I've had mine in the garage for a year and at times I feel like giving up.

Great job!
 

OldBeachBob

SILVER Star
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
910
Location
Boise ID
Great Job!

Great looking Pig!

Your story is truly inspirational!

Guess I'll be spending part of my weekend under my gal in the dirt doing a few of the little things that I've been postponing!

Thanks for sharing!

Most of all HAVE FUN!!!!! :cheers:
 

arcteryx

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
7,593
Location
Austin
Maybe I missed it but what year is that? Looks like an earlier one. Excellent job, definitely an inspiration.
 

arcteryx

Supporting Vendor
 
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
7,593
Location
Austin
What did you do for the dash? Mine is cracked and the pre 73 dashes dont seem to be made. Yours looks great!
 
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