I’ve been up to my ears in project car work as of late and it’s sometimes hard to even keep track of what work I’ve done myself. Here’s a quick break down of whats been done and what I’ve got planned for the truck this summer.
With the new steering column and smooth firewall built and welded into the truck (see the process here) I was ready to build some new floor pans for the truck and get the cab one step closer to being solid. I had previously welded in some sheet metal just for a temporary solution while I was doing other work on the truck (the original floor pans were almost non-existant). I cut the old floor pans out with the Eastwood Versa Cut 40 and began making chipboard templates for the new pans.
I then drew out a design on the panels that I could roll through the bead roller to give the panels strength. I ran a 1/4 bead around the perimeter of the panels and used a new prototype die for the bead roller to make the “X” pattern. This die allowed me to make the portion of my design on the metal raised or recessed. The dies worked perfectly and it really opens up a whole new world of potential for the bead roller!
I then moved on to the top portion of the floor pans and made a similar design in these panels. These were a bit smaller than the bottom panels so they did warp a bit from all of the rolling we did in the bead roller. I decided to use the Deep Throat Heavy Duty Shrinker Stretcher to shrink the metal that was stretched and wavy. This made the panels a lot flatter and easier to work with when installing them into the cab. Once the panel was flattened back out I used the versa bend metal brake to make the flange I needed to connect the upper and lower pans together. With the pans all fit back into place I just recently started welding them in place.
With the floor pans made up I decided to move outwards and tackle the rust in the door openings. The truck door sill on the drivers side was rotted away and the front of the door opening/jamb was rotted pretty bad. In fact the lower portion was almost non existent. I cut away what was left of these parts and used them as rough guides for making my new panels. I started by making the lower removable sill and laying out the bend and bead lines on the panel. I rolled the beads in the panel and then made the bends on each end with the versa bend metal brake. I finally drilled the holes in each end with some Fairmount Drill Bits.
I then cut the away the old door sill area and made a patch out of 16 gauge that was the same size. This was pretty straight forward and was butt welded in place and then blended into the surrounding metal using an electric angle grinder and flap disc. The last portion of the door opening that needed some rust repair was around the door hinge bolts. These areas are are doubled metal and they tend to get moisture between them and rot out. I cut away the layers and repaired the first layer, then sealed the boxed in area with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator to stop and prevent any future rust. Next I cut the top layer to fit and used the Eastwood Titanium Step Drill Bits to open up the mounting holes to the correct size. I then coated the backside with . Finally I welded the last piece in place and again blended it all into the original metal. Now I have solid door openings that I can feel confident will last another 60 years.
With the floors and the door openings finally solid I could move on to some projects that will help make the truck look better. The first one I tackled was filling or shaving the original gas fill hole. These are normally on the side of most old trucks since the fuel tank is behind the bench seat. I’m going to be running a fuel tank under the front of the bed so that hole won’t be used anymore. The hole is on the curve of the cab and the patch needs some shape to blend it into the cab properly. I cut a filler panel just a little smaller than the opening and used the Panelbeater Bag and Teardrop Mallets to give the filler panel the curve I needed. I then slowly sanded the edges of the patch with the Eastwood Bench Sander until it fit correctly and then I stitch welded the panel in place using the Eastwood MIG 175. Now all that areas needs is a skim coat of filler and this shave job will be complete!
That gets everyone just about up to date with where I’m at. Below is a little sneak peak of what’s up next for Pile House. I’m repurposing the original seat frame to make a bomber-inspired bench seat for the truck. I’m documenting the process currently and we’ll have a tech video and article for everyone to see how I tackle this next part of the project. Thanks for watching and be sure to come out to the Eastwood Summer Classic on July 13th to see Pile House, Project Resolution in person!