When we left off, I had told you about buying my longtime buddy Dan's parents' '62 Ford F-100 longbed. They purchased it new and it had been in the Newton family ever since. No longer used every day, it moved into an Old Trucks Retirement Home a few years back and I was hoping to catch it before it went completely to seed. After a long and protracted negotiation ("Hey Dan, how much?" "Oh, I don't know. Couple hundred bucks?" "Yeah, sure."), we loaded the little guy on the back of a Jerre-Dan-equipped Dodge Ram 5500 Heavy Duty, and dumped it on my mechanic's driveway.

Now what?

I decided to get it running reliably, and fix up the scurvy interior, plus a few minor in-the-spirit-of-stock-mods. In a previous installment I mentioned that the stock single muffler was about the size of a civil war cannon, it leaked, and sounded nasal exhaling out of a 11/2-inch exhaust pipe. My old 292 Y-block uses an odd crossover exhaust system where the driver-side manifold dumps out the front, toward the radiator, into a crossover pipe that joins it to the passenger-side exhaust manifold then on to the single exhaust, which exited just aft of the right rear tire. In order to switch to true dual exhausts, you have to use headers or get a manifold from a Y-block-powered Ford (like a Thunderbird) that had dual pipes originally. Dan had previously found a set in the boneyard and had given them to me. My mechanics recommended not doing the change at the moment, as the studs holding the old manifolds to the engine looked pretty rusty; we break one, we pull the heads, something I wasn't wanting to mess with at the moment. My local muffler guy had a single inlet, dual outlet Flowmaster on his shelf, so we cut the old single system off, welded up the new muffler, and fabbed up a groovy set of side-exit pipes with 2-inch chrome tips, which exit just in front of the right rear tire.

The leaks were gone, and in their place, a modern, throaty burble. Not too loud, but right there, and American V-8-like all the way. Money well spent, until I'm ready to swap the manifolds and build a proper dual exhaust system.

The bed had lived a hard life and had its share of dents and surface rust, so I decided to do the spray-on bedliner route to make it look cleaner and reduce the risk of rust-through. Rhino Linings is a leader in this game, so I connected with Phil, the owner of a nearby Rhino franchise. He recommended an industrial-looking medium gray color, with a finish coat of a slightly darker gray, containing a bit of metallic fleck and a healthy dose of UV protectant.

As with any sort of sprayed- or painted-on surface, prep is the key to quality end results. Rhino Linings of Orange County technician Ray pulled out the grinder and sanders and got to work buzzing down the well-worn bed surface. Once the surface was prepared, a primer-prep solution was then rolled/brushed on. It seals the rust, and etches the metal in preparation for the Rhino material. The latter is heated and mixed with a catalyst in the gun, so it comes out hot and sticky and dries to the touch in just a few minutes. After about 20 minutes of curing in the sun, the topcoat can be applied with a roller or brush. The result is a tough, nice-looking surface; the Rhino coating hides a multitude of sins; covering up many of the bed's small dents and gouges. We also shot the cab steps as all of the original paint had been worn off, and they looked pretty grungy and were in need of protection. Treating the surface of the bed really helped clean the F-100 up and made it a bit more presentable, not to mention will help it withstand the daily grind when I start throwing parts in the back. It's amazing how easy it is to transform a dilapidated and abandoned hauler into something you can be proud to drive.

SOURCE
LMC Truck
15450 W. 108th Street
Lenexa
KS  66219
800-562-8782
http://www.lmctruck.com
Tire Rack
7101 Vorden Parkway
South Bend
IN  46628
888-541-1777
www.tirerack.com
Wheel Vintiques
14955 Don Julian Rd
City of Industry
CA  91746
800-959-2100
www.wheelvintiques.com
Rhino Linings Of Orange County
1409 E. Edinger Ave.
Santa Ana
CA  92705
714-543-8088
www.rhinolinings.com
YearOne, Inc.
Braselton
GA  30517
800-932-7663
www.yearone.com