Are we just California crybabies? If you're a regular reader of CCT, you may recall last month's exciting cliffhanger in which my son-in-law was to be gifted a “farm-find” '71 GMC pickup that I thought still had a little life left in it. The plot took a twist as my dear ol' dad got involved. The ol' farm-find ended up with its 350 rebuilt and the entire remainder of its drivetrain, brakes, and dual exhaust system all fresh and new. Then new interior trim from Brothers Truck Parts was installed as well.
After all of that, dad insisted that Mrs. Rotten 'n' I deal with the obvious rust. That threw a wrench in the works—at least as far as gettin' the job done quickly. At first, as the work got underway, things progressed fairly well. That was until we made a particularly grisly discovery beneath the truck's new floor mat, and later on beneath the driver side outer rocker panel.
Truth be told, our little “patchwork pickup” project has snowballed into a big, scary undertaking. Until the first rusty outer rocker panel lay still on the garage floor, we had no way to accurately assess the degree of decomposition. Because much of what must be replaced is structural, we've since decided to approach the reconstructive repairs one side at a time, as not to lose reference to the cab's original mounting location.
Although things are gettin' ugly, we're still optimistic that the cab's mounting braces might be solid and salvageable. If so, we should be able to finish this job without removing the cab from the frame. If not, we know Brothers has us covered, from patch panels, to floorpans, to even a new complete cab, which at this point is something we'll keep in the back of our minds as we continue to work as planned with what we've already gathered.
We are fully aware that those in the Midwest and other regions where salted roads and snow take a much heavier toll on precious sheetmetal may be heartily laughing right now. With that being acknowledged, it's time to cut out the cryin' and cut out some rust!