In addition to good old-fashioned friendly competition, the build-off between Custom Classic Trucks' Gasser-style '72 Ford F-100 and Classic Trucks' new-age retro custom '68 F-100 was conceptualized to provide our readers with a selection of tech features geared to address solutions ranging from getting the most bang from one's buck to cost is no object.
Since our goal of having the '72 ready to roll and attend Rod & Custom's Americruise at the end of June is right around the corner, the low-buck approach not only fits our budget, but it also means we shouldn't have any problem meeting Americruise's deadline. In the January issue of Custom Classic Trucks, we used Mothers' clay bar system to prepare the '72's original paint for a complete detail job that concluded with an application of Mothers' California Gold Carnauba Cleaner Wax. In this segment, we are going to click our F-100's cosmetic appearance up a few more notches with a mix of advanced detailing techniques combined with restoration parts sourced from the fine folks at LMC Truck of Lenexa, Kansas. Not only is LMC Truck a good place to locate parts for someone doing a finicky 100-point restoration or custom job, but they're also a great source for someone who has an older truck they are trying to keep on the road. In the case of our '72 Ford, it's kind of where the two worlds collide.
The first step toward the F-100's facelift was an initial cleaning of the inner fenderwells, underhood, and behind the grille with an application of engine degreaser, followed with a rinsing blast of hot water straight from the tap on the hot-water heater. Next, we used compressed air to blow-dry the areas as well as further the cleaning process. On paper, all this doesn't sound like a lot of work, but in actuality it accounted for a day's worth of labor.
The disassembly process started with removing the headlight bezels with the extraction of four Phillips head screws from each side. From here we located the mounting bolts holding the grille surround by chipping away road tar, caked asphalt, and dried mud with a narrow putty knife. If we were replacing the grille surround instead of restoring it, we could have located all the bolt holes by looking at the new surround. Instead, we had to hunt and dig for each bolt under the muck. Once the grille surround was removed, we were able to access and remove the turn-signal lamp assemblies. Although we had pre-soaked the 1/4-20 nuts securing the turn-signal lamps with Liquid Wrench, two of the studs were beyond penetration and snapped. The last step to stripping the front end was removing the front bumper.
Behind the grille surround,...
Behind the grille surround, there was a lot of exposed rust on the core support. The most efficient and thorough way to correct this was to remove the grille surround to gain access.
A fat sponge soaked in a heavy...
A fat sponge soaked in a heavy concentration of car wash soap worked best to begin the preparation for the paint process.
At first glance, it didn't...
At first glance, it didn't look like anything could help to improve the appearance of the original parts. Notice the deep rust stains on the front valance.