Friday, July 26, 2013

Truck Restoration: From Nothing to Something

This project, affectionately called 'Agent Orange', started in 2008. I decided I needed a work truck, something cheap... then it turned into a restoration project.  I did the majority of the work myself, and after two years ended up with a nice truck. I did not weld or do the final paint job. I did all the jamb painting though.

Here is the project!

The humble beginnings of 'Agent Orange'.

So I bought this bad boy March of 2008 to replace my Nissan when the transmission went out and I sold it. My plan was to use it as a work truck and nothing more. The truck was cheap and in rough shape. Then I found this two weeks later. It had a low mileage GM replacement engine. 

Truck number two.
Why not. I figured it was a sensible upgrade, and I still had cash left over from the Nissan. Then I found yet another truck within a month, with a solid bed and a good interior.

Truck number three.
This is when things got out of hand and I began hatching schemes. If I could combine these three trucks I'd have one really solid truck. Maybe I'll dress it up a bit (emphasis on a very little bit). I pulled the interiors, the beds, and then the three trucks sat next to each other for about a year. Thoughts such as why didn't I just get one good truck and why'd I undertake a project like this swirled through my head.

At March 2009, after a year I realized I was no where near having a running truck. It was time to make progress or give up. A few months later and this is where we were.
It looks like a truck again!
A few more months, many hours of bodywork, and some metal work and the truck was in primer.

Four months later and it's road legal. Getting it road legal took a few DMV trips. You cannot get a vehicle inspected without a registration and you cannott get a registration without an inspection.
Where are the door handles?

Blazer rear bumper and smooth tailgate skin.
Note, the notch in the tailgate is for the bumper.
Since I have a smooth gate and a bumper, I had to lower
the bumper a couple of inches. One of those 'nice' surprises.

I threw the interior together with what I had around. The bench seat and steering column are the only things that are going to stay.

The bench seat is from a 1995 S10. It bolts right in once you swap brackets.

I amassed five different steering columns to get unbroken trim pieces.
It's been a fun project. And this is just the completion of phase 1. I just wanted it legal for the road. Now I need to lower it, finish the interior, and... I'm sure I'll come up with more. Of course, phase 2 was going to be the interior restoration once I finished the exterior. To note, I finished the exterior three years ago...

I hope you enjoy the pics! 

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