1952 FORD F1 PICKUP CAR RESTORATION PROJECT
1952 Ford Truck Restoration Part 6 — Body Work 101
Since the mechanical part of our restoration is now under control (you've been reading about the little surprises and adjustments we've had to endure with the engine assembly) it's time to show you how we tackle the all-important work on the sheet metal. Where to start? The hood, of course!
Okay, there's really no hard-and-fast procedure here. We're starting with the hood because it's been in our way for months, standing there against the wall in the garage. We had to start somewhere and moving the hood to our inside workshop made sense.
Surface rust on underside of hood.
Step 1 — Assess The Hood And Remove Stuff
Our hood is in pretty good condition overall, but the underside has surface rust. Its hinges are wobbly, so we're probably going to have to drill out the pivot pins and create new ones.
You can see the sloppy fit of the pin on the hood's hinges.
We needed to remove all the stuff that's attached, so we got to it right away. Once the hinges were removed we carefully pried off the trim pieces. These consist of two stainless spears, two round Ford logos and a V8 emblem on the nose (if we had received the truck assembled originally we would have removed all trim first, but the project was already disassembled).
This photo shows the horn mounted to the hood. The red arrows point to the clips that hold the stainless spears onto the hood.
The round Ford logos are held on with nuts, all but one of which was rusted beyond salvage. We carefully twisted (sheared, in two cases) the nuts off and removed the logos, noting that their studded brackets are removable. This is good, because we can re-stud the brackets or weld new ones on later. (See Stud Replacement
Bracket removed from Ford F-1 Logo.
The spears were held on with door panel clips, so a little compression with pliers helped them out without bending. These spears will be buffed later to a new-looking finish.
More hardware had to be removed, such as the horn. The huge, heavy horn was held in place by two brackets, both of which were held by badly rusted fasteners. Two methods of removal were necessary. Our propane torch freed-up the screws holding the bracket bottoms, but we needed to saw off one bolt on the side because its carriage bolt hole in the hood rounded out and there was no way to hold it while turning the nut.
There was an inner valence that was held on by two screws and one bolt/nut. The screws came out easily but the nut and bolt had to be ground off. With the valence removed we discovered that the nose of the hood is actually an attachment, held on by four nuts. These were in various stages of rust but careful work (heating, grinding) resulted in only one sheared-off stud.
The V8 emblem was held by nuts on pressed-in studs. We carefully freed-up and backed the nuts off because if the studs break it's very hard to recreate them in pot metal trim pieces.
Now For The Stripping
We started with the inside of the hood so any scratches [from moving it around while stripping] would be taken off with the paint later. Grease and dirt gum up wire brushes and sandpaper and make the work harder (and wastes materials) so we washed down the whole thing with strong detergent and a brush (no photo necessary - you all know how to wash stuff.)
Up in the nose we used a stiff wire brush mounted to a drill to scrape off the old, blue paint and rust accumulation. We mounted a bright light so we could see what we were doing and held a vacuum cleaner hose next to the work to suck up the "rust cloud."
In order to keep dirt & grime to a minimum, we used our shop vac.
Fixing The Valence
We decided to weld a new stud on the valence panel before going further, partly because the welder was nearby and partly because we didn't want to forget about the broken stud. It's easy to do so, believe it or not. You can strip, sand, prime and paint a piece, only to discover you need to weld on a stud or bracket. The welding destroys the finish and the whole thing needs to be redone.
With the valence repaired, at last the hood was ready for paint stripping and that's where the next article will pick up...