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Dec 30, 2010
Ferndale, WA
Picked up a '77 from a junk yard the other day, and now I'm a bit confused as to what to do in regards to my '76.

Looks like the PO was in the process of an engine and tranny swap along with thinking about a repaint, and then stopped. The engine and tranny are gone, the t-case is in the cargo area, and all the lights are stripped (but in the rig!). The inside is a total mess, complete with mildew, rat droppings, and mummified bunny parts.

The '77 has wonderful fenders, the doors look pretty darn good, the roof seems solid (except for the freakin sunroof!), and the tailgate is in good shape. Oh yeah, one rear quarter looks to be solid.

That said, the only thing keeping the rockers in shape was the paint, the body mounts are non-existent, floor pans are step-through style, and the underside looks pretty shot.

The '77 is apparently from Texas originally, but the rust pattern sure points to some place where road salts are used.

My '76 needs some body mounts, the roof looks like it probably has the 55 cancer (PO covered it with filler, I think), the rear doors are in worse shape than the '77, and one of the rear quarters is shot.

At this point, I am leaning towards performing some serious surgery and making 2 pigs into one. I will investigate the '77 some more before I make up my mind.........

The great thing about this project though, is according to @scrapdaddy and @J Mack, I can do a complete restoration for right around $5K! ;) Yee Haw!




That's my story and I'm sticking to it! You got a lot of good parts, if nothing else and if you're handy with a welder, should make a good one.
Unfortunately my wife records the payments in my house so she knows the exact date I exceeded $5K.

With 55's, the way to restore one is to start with two.
Yeah @NikP, that's the conclusion I came to after reading a bunch of build threads. I kind of think that the "bones" of the '77 are in bad enough shape that she's probably not worth saving. Hopefully I can use the parts I need and then other parts can go towards restoring other 55s.
One nice thing about the '77 is that it came with Corbeau seats and the custom bracket. The seats are faded a bit.......anyone ever try fabric paint like the Dupli-color or the SEM fabric paint?

Only further in that I have been cleaning out the interior of the '77 and taking stock of what parts are there, what I will use, and what I will not.

My shop has been (still is, actually) occupied by my MIL's '78 Chinook poptop camper. I told here I would give her a hand with some minor touch up........ha!
The interior is now gutted, almost all the windows re-sealed and re-glazed, new plywood and fiberglass in the back, and on and on.......
Sometimes I wish I could just avert my gaze and pretend I didn't see the dry rot/failed gasket/fiberglass warp etc.

Oh well. Sort of a fun project, in that I can find parts for the dang thing or make themself! Wood and fiberglass I can do; it's the metal that I'm scared of:eek:
Don't be scared. Its just metal. All boils down to mathematics no matter what the material.

Thanks Bob.
I reckon you're right @bobm.........just not my area of expertise. I am, however, pretty excited to use a welder again. Last time I put down a weld was when my voice was crackin' and acid-washed jeans were all the rage......
I've got a stuck door on my '78 parts rig. I've got the door card off, have PB blasted everything, can move all the parts, EXCEPT, I cannot get the toothed wheel latch to disengage from the striker/latch piece. Any suggestions? And yeah, I tried pulling/pushing/shaking the door, but to no avail.


Looking for some input here:

Buddy of mine owns a powder coating business, and he said we could go in there on a weekend and media-blast my pig body if I'm interested.

If I go this route, how stripped-down does the pig need to be? I know all glass and weatherstripping (what's left of it), interior, etc. What about in the engine bay? Door guts? Exhaust, brake and fuel lines, gas tank?

And.......what are the cons to media blasting?

Thanks in advance for the opinions:beer:
I'd strip any part that can be unbolted. It doesn't take much more time anyway. Media blasting will reveal areas for repair you wouldn't otherwise see but not sure of other cons. I did mine and its a good way to make sure the typical mating surfaces are clear of rust and gives a good chance to prime and prep them for the future.

It could be tricky to blast with the engine still in the bay. I'd pull it if your got to the trouble to blast.
Yeah. Kind of what I figured @NikP.

What is the protocol for priming the body after blasting? How soon after blasting should priming be done?

One of the important steps and hardest is making sure all the media has left the building. Anything you leave bolted in will be a catch all. Raw metal and humidity doesn't like each other, so right away on the primer. I'm sure your buddy knows not to warp the metal.
So.....@scrapdaddy do you just blow the whole body with compressed air when done? Seems like I read on a thread or two about a special primer to use after blasting. Is such a thing needed?

I will need to do body work/patching after blasting and priming, so hopefully the recommended primer is amenable to being sanded/wheeled for welding.

Maybe I should just go the way @J Mack mentioned and electro-dip the whole thing......

My 71 was already blasted and painted when I got it, so didn't have the pleasure of that headache. I know there was some media in the frame paint, so they didn't do a good job getting it all. I've always wanted to try the dipping method, seems to be a way better method, but more money.

Maybe one of the painters, in the group, has an answer on which primer to use before bodywork. I know there are several products available, but I'm far from a good adviser on paint.

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