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Old 08-06-2013, 07:28 PM
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Advice on Truck Cab repair.

Hello, I am a new member and after getting some advice in a previous posting along with doing some research and thinking, I have decided to fix my truck cab.

The truck is a 1988 F250 XLT Lariat.

The exterior of the cab feels and looks pretty solid with no rust holes. Fair amount of surface rust on the roof, the clear coat on the whole truck is pretty much gone, paint is rough.

The main problem is water getting in where it wasn't supposed to be.

I have a fair sized hole in the driver floorboard, a couple smaller ones down the inside edge of the rockers by the wire channel, and a hole on the underneath of the drivers cab corner, passenger side is similar but not as bad.



I want a good solid daily driver with some life expectancy, without a huge investment of time or money. It is after all just an old truck.

I am working on it at our mechanic shop and space is limited, not practical to pull the cab.

At this point I'm trying to develop an overall plan of attack.

My first priority is stopping any more water getting in.

Then I am planning on replacing the driverside floor pan and possibly the passenger side.

I hope to be able to patch pieces in the rockers as the visible part feels solid. I understand that might change as I start grinding.

The cab corners I'm just not sure about. The area where they are rusted is pretty hard to reach, or it sure looks that way to me, but I have no experience with them.

I've watched several videos about replacing the cab corners, but they all seem to ignore the area where I have rust. They cut the cab corner off, then maybe wirewheel the inside a bit, spray some stuff on what's left, and weld the new ones in. The part they are replacing, what you can see, seems pretty solid on my cab, behind that is my problem.

I'm hoping I can come up with a way to stop that rust on the inside from getting any worse, or at least slow it down a lot, then paint the living you know what out of it (no air no rust?) and move on.

I'm paying pretty close attention to the Ospho/Masterseries thread.


Some questions I have:

After dealing with the rust one way or the other:

Is it possible for me to use only epoxy primer from start to finish?

I was told to use an etch primer and then regular primer by a local bodyman, but I've read its possible to just use epoxy. That would be a lot easier, less to buy, less to keep track of, less room taken up, etc...

I'm not sure how the cost would compare, but I would be willing to pay a little more if it would both simplify things and provide as good a result.

I also gather I can leave epoxy primer after spraying for a long time and not have to worry about it, a huge bonus in my situation.

Can I roll it on the floor? Would save a lot of effort protecting the dash, windows, etc....

Seam Sealer. Is the two part worth the expense of the gun?

Is there one kind I can use for my drip rails, the body seams from them to the front and rear windows, my patched areas, and inside my cowl?

I'm not concerned with pretty so much, I just want it sealed tight in a serious way.

I've read somewhere, probably on this forum, to only put seam sealer on a surface I would be willing to paint. Which seems like good advice. So would it be ok to sand/grind off the surface rust, epoxy prime, sand, then seam seal and then epoxy over that?

(After washing the area well before I begin, and then using wax and grease remover before I start, and w&g between each step, and allowing flash time.)

I have more questions, but the primer and the seam sealer are the main ones. I can't work on the floor areas given the muddy mess in FL right now, but I can do the roof and cowl. If I could use the same procedure and products throughout it would be excellent.

If there are any glaring errors in my logic I would appreciate having it pointed out. (Except perhaps for my wishful thinking about cab corners, lol.)

I have a bunch of pictures, some of which are posted in my earlier thread, 'Advice needed: Fix or Replace Cab', and I have no problem posting/taking more if it would be helpful.

Thank You,

Brandon.

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Old 08-08-2013, 08:44 AM
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I found your thread...sorry I missed it.

To answer your first question, or one of your first questions...about Epoxy primer. I prefer Epoxy primer, the reason being is multi fold compared to Etch Primer.

Yes you can use Epoxy Primer from start to finish, with Etch, you can not, you need to top coat it with another primer other than Epoxy. Etch Primer is sprayed on very lightly and doesn't give you any build, Epoxy primer will give you some degree of build. Epoxy primer is a tight rust resistant seal, again, Etch rely's on another top coat to seal the panel. Epoxy primers, depending on brand, have a 7 day window that you top coat them without sanding and if you choose one of several brands, have great sanding qualities. Yes you can leave Epoxy primer for long periods of time, after the recoat window has closed, you will need to sand it to top coat it..I use SPI Epoxy for all of the characteristics listed and on my most recent project, I will not use any other primer, it will be SPI Epoxy from raw steel to filler to paint. I used to use PPG's DP line of Epoxy primers as though it was a religion, no matter what paint company I was a representative for...I came on this site, found out about SPI, tried it, couldn't believe the great results and will use nothing but SPI products within their product lineup...especially their Epoxy primers.

I wouldn't recommend rolling Epoxy primer, I've never tried it so I can't recommend it.

Seam sealing over Epoxy primer is fine, best to seam seal in that 7 day window, after it will still work but in that 7 day widow the seam sealer will stay on much longer. Any 2 part product is generally a better product than a 1 part product, that being said, the cost of buying the equipment for the DIY may out weigh the benefits...I use 3m products for the most part, they generally have quality products, there are other products out there and I'm sure you will get more and other suggestions now that we found your thread.

It is a great idea to post pictures when we move on to repairing specific areas...and it's also a good idea to attack one area at a time when possible, with pictures of the area that your repairing and the areas beside it as well so we know what you are welding too and repairing close to, sometimes what's beside a week area is as important as the area that appears to need repairing or replacement.

So, now that we found your Thread, keep the questions coming and hopefully we'll get that Cab of yours sealed up.

Ray
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:31 PM
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Glad you found me!

I was going to go with SPI Epoxy primer from all the good things I have heard about it here, and I still may switch to it.

Let me explain what happened. I went by a little paint and body supply store nearby. I'd been there a couple of times before when I was fixing and selling cars. I tried to avoid paint/body work on them as much as possible, but had to do a little bit here and there.

Anyway, he is pretty knowledgeable, but has a lot of irons in the fire and isn't always at the store when I stop by, but he was the other day. He also does some resto work, and teaches a course at one of the local colleges I gather.

He was familiar with SPI, and said he had no problem with it, just a limited amount of space so he couldn't stock everything.

I ended up buying a quart of Valdspar DTM 2030 I believe it is, plus the reducer and hardener.

I tried to find some info on the Direct To Metal primers, but didn't find a lot. I gather it is some kind of mixture of two other types of primers, one of which is epoxy? I understand it is a urethane, but I'm not quite clear on what that means.

From his description it sounded like it would work functionally similar for me. I could use it start to finish, I can spray it over metal or whatever paint/primer might remain after I sand, he said it would be ok to seam seal over it.

I asked him about rolling in on my floor patches and he laughed at me. Said he supposed I could, but a brush would probably be better if I was too lazy to spray it.

Not so much that I'm too lazy, but working piecemeal like I will have to I would rather not have to tape off my dash, windows, what have you, goodness knows how many times, if I don't need to.

I also asked if I could put filler over it, and he said yes if it was a small shallow amount, but that I should sand back down to metal for thicker applications.

I think the SPI was a little less expensive from what I remember, but having an infinite supply of the Valdspar nearby is pretty handy. I haven't a clue how much primer I will need.

Seam sealer. I got a couple of tubes that go in a regular caulk gun - I have a decent one (orange with the bars). I've read good things about the 3m, but he suggested 5 star. I must have looked unsure because he popped out his photo book and showed me 2 69 big block Camaros, one he used it on before he sold it, and one he is currently using it on. Also a '66 Vette, but I think he was using the two part on that. Something about a 65 GTO, but by that time my eyes where a bit glazed over.

I looked out the window at my rusty truck, then back at the photos of the shiny cars and decided the 5 star would be ok.

If nothing else, if I have a problem with the primer or sealer, I have somebody I can complain to in person, lol.

So unless there is something wrong with the info/products I got from him I guess I'm getting close to diving in.

I also got some sandpaper, a roll of 80, and a roll of 180, a red scotch brite pad, a gallon of Wax and Grease remover, a gallon of cleaner for my gun (MeK I think) and a new cleaning brush for it. Also a box of trim clips for the top and sides around my windshield. He didn't have the odd shaped bottom ones, but I'm going to check with the glass company down the street tomorrow if I don't forget.

Naturally a bunch of jobs came into the shop right after I returned with my box of goodies, so it will be a couple days before I can get back to it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:46 PM
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I'm not familiar with Valspar Epoxy primer or 5 star seam sealer but, I'm sure it will be better than what you have now. After you run out of the quart of Valspar that you bought, maybe give SPI a try, I've used many an Epoxy primer and I haven't used a better one...It comes in quarts as well.

Keep us informed and when and if you run into questions, feel free to ask.

Ray
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:50 PM
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Whoops, was reading what I had so far and hit submit instead of preview.

I was think of starting on the roof?

Or should I start around the windshield?

Some photos for consideration.

I realize they kind of run into each other, but I would rather be able to finish with time left as opposed to biting off more than I can chew. I'm ok with having to work on some areas twice.

Thanks, Brandon.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:55 PM
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The roof and windshield area seem like mostly surface rust. Is there any way that you can do both at the same time?

Are you planning on removing the windshield, it would be a good idea, you just don't know what or how much rust is underneath?

Ray
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:22 PM
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This is where I got the sealer I have. My can has a different label and is made in Canada. I'm not sure if this is the same stuff... A web search for brushable sealer may turn up other options and a local source to save shipping.


Eastwood Brush on Seam Sealer 30.4 Fl.Oz. | Brushable Seam Sealer




If the windshield doesn't leak, I would leave it for now. It will need replacing when you're ready for paint. It is de-laminating at the edges and will soon start getting cloudy. It could crack easily in the removal process too. I don't see any evidence of bad rust in the pics. Just surface rust like widetrack said.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69 widetrack View Post
The roof and windshield area seem like mostly surface rust. Is there any way that you can do both at the same time?

Ray
That's a pretty good question. Unfortunately I don't have an answer. My body/paint experience has either been small areas on cars I was selling, small scratches/dings that really looked out of place with the rest of the car, and I 'faked' those by hand with spray cans, or working on large resto jobs back when I was young - 25 years ago.

I did put a front clip on a '99 Maxima and painted it about 2 years ago. That's when I bought my da and paint gun. It was gold, well actually champagne pearl I guess, and it turned out ok. A little bit of 'tiger stripe' if you looked for it but not obvious. I sold the car the day after I shot it, before I untapped it, so I count it as a success. But I wasn't driving that one and had a largish closed shop all to myself. I may still have some pics of it, but they aren't on this computer so I'll have to look around.

I did paint my bottom tool box at this shop recently. I can tell you it was a pain. Way more work than I figured, more materials than I figured, and more time. I can post a pic of it.

It was either hit by a truck with the tailgate down, or got dropped off something. The right side was crushed in. I took off the long aluminum vertical strips and slit it down the right side under where the strip went, hammered it all out mostly straight, welded a piece of channel in, filled it a little and then painted it. Had to weld in a couple of reinforcement bars inside one drawer, and a lot of hammering on 3 or 4 others. The little aluminum strips on each drawer turned out to be fairly hard to remove, so I ended up taping them all off.

I hammered the bent up vertical strip that was on the right side out mostly straight and moved it to the center so it wasn't in the same spot it was, and switched a couple of drawers around when I put them back, so the parts that aren't all quite right aren't in a line anymore and it doesn't draw the eye.

The paint is Valdspar SS.

I had to clean large areas of the shop 3 times in order to have enough room to work without greasy engine parts stacked everywhere.

I figured I would be able to paint the box in a couple days, a week at the max. It took a month, lol.

So, long story short, I don't have enough experience with the work in general to have any clue about how long it will take me to do anything.

When you add in the fact I'm doing this in a working mechanic shop with variable work load, and the pretty much daily hammering rains - I'm under a roof over, but there are some drips, and having to take the wife to work and pick her up, time estimates are impossible.

I do have a car I can drive, but it has a security issue - couple other issues too. Its the gold 95 olds 88 in the background of some of the photos. I've already bypassed the security chip with a resistor and that worked for awhile, now I have to bypass the security module with a signal generator. I have the generator, but I most likely have to pull the dash to replace it and defeat the starter bypass relay. I can get it to start, sometimes it fires right up, sometimes its a process.

So much nicer and easier to drive the mechanically rebuilt truck. But in an emergency I have the car.

I'm really really trying to avoid pulling the windshield. The trim did a good job of protecting the body and paint directly around it, the surface rust comes up to where the edge of where the trim was and then stops.

I will have to have it replaced somewhere down the line no doubt, but its in pretty good shape really. The photo shows it dirty and with worn out wipers on it. Its clean now and has new wipers, no cracks, chips, or bothersome streaks, and doesn't appear to leak anywhere. It is starting to delaminate a little as mentioned, and not having the trim on it seems to be speeding up that process slightly. I'm hoping it will hold out for another year or two.

I definitely need to hunt down some of that brushable seam sealer before I get to the cowl. Its pretty tight in there and there are lots of seams.

I would like to get rid of that cargo light behind the cab. From the Ford truck forums I gather they are a pretty constant source of headaches. I don't spend much time outside in the dark, and my tool box lids would block most of the light any way, plus I have flashlights.

Whats the best way to get rid of it, weld in a patch?

I have to pull the headliner and recover it anyway.

Off to work, Thanks, Brandon.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:16 AM
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Your tool box looks great, absolutely nothing wrong with that, if a few drawers are out of place, so what, I don't think your tools will mind, have they complained yet...LOL.

If you can remove the glass, that would be great and if I'm giving advice, I need to give the best advice possible...not that you need to follow it, just so that it's out there. I'd hate to see you end up with a leaky windshield a year from now and wonder why you weren't told or it wasn't suggested...but I understand if you don't remove the glass.

If at all possible, do the roof and windshield area at the same time, especially if you have time constraint issues. I realize that sounds a little redundant but, doing both at the same time will actually save you time...and money regarding materials. Now, this is your vehicle, you are there in real time, it's easy for me to sit here, offer advice without living your day to day situation...you need to do what works best for you and I won't judge.

Yes locate some brushable seam sealer, even the factory has used that product.

Tiger stripes in a champagne color, gee how could that happen?...LOL. Very common, when we get to the actual painting of your truck, I can walk you through the steps you need to take so that tiger stripping won't be an issue...it'll work out fine.

Ray
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:22 AM
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You can roll the epoxy but use a brush on the floors and windshield jambs if you dont have a spray gun....welding a patch is always best but you can use weld bond glue its not quite as good as welding but has some advantages over welding for DIY's it'll make a water tight seal and no warping of the roof..the only disadvantage of using welding glue is you might see a shadow of the seamafter you paint but usually thats only when you cut and buff and then you can only see it at certain angles...using glue for your patches might be right in line with what your trying to accomplish....Dont worry the patches wont fall off just read the directions ,when done right you cant even chiesle them apart without tearing the metal.....
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:58 AM
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The glue that Mike (Deadbodyman) mentioned is a great product, I use 3M's part number 08116 for many jobs I do...This product is expensive and there are less expensive alternatives, like Norton, Dominion Sure Seal and more that are less expensive but you still need to purchase an applicator gun for the best mixing results. Seriously, the factory, in some cases, uses similar glue to install quarter panels and it has been used on frames...I have become the guy in my Wife's family that is now known to be able to fix anything from my Mother In-law's shoes to my Sister in-law's rear taillight lens...all with body panel adhesive...the stuff is amazing.

You would need some vice grip clamps or something to hold the replacement panel in place while it cures but, it does eliminate the possibility of warping a panel when welding. The shadow or "ghosting" of the seam has been a problem, not all the time but, from time to time, a problem. I have found that using a resin based filler, like a fiberglass filler over top of the seam has minimized this effect. The resin based filler is a tighter filler than some talc based fillers with less tendency of shrinking when primed.

Just another option and thanks Mike for pointing that out.

Ray
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:07 AM
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That applicator gun is a bit expensive 50.00 then theres the glue 35.00?? so if you cant borrow the app gun theres always JB weld that works great for small stuff like your light patch, good for small jobs but using JB weld is very expensive when you use it for bigger jobs...those little tubes just dont go very far........
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:43 AM
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I apologize for not directly addressing your cargo light issue, but, the above suggestions using "Body Panel Adhesive", (glue) or welding the hole up with a patch are both viable options.

Hope this helps.

Ray
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:32 AM
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I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you all. I've been feeling quite ill on top of having a fair amount of work in the shop.


Regarding the brushing of the primer, I do have a spray gun, the cheaper Iwata, the problem is the prep time. I am driving this truck and working on it in a mechanic shop. If I'm going to spray inside the truck I will have to tape off the dash, steering column, windows, etc.... Most likely I would have to do this several times.

I would really rather not pull the windshield now. It would be better I'm sure, and probably a lot easier as well. And if I run into some serious rust in that area I may have to anyway. The photo shows the worst area around the windshield, the rest has fairly solid paint.

I have no doubt it would be faster overall to do the roof and windshield (and probably cowl) all in one shot, but I just don't think that would work out for me.

The mechanical part of the truck was the same way. I had to do what I could get done/afford and then come back later for the rest. It was more work, and took longer, and in some cases cost more. But, I can't justify taking up a stall working on my truck when a money making jobs sits and waits. A little while, ok, half a day, not so good.

So given unknown time to work, might have a whole day or two, might have to stop right after I get started, and not knowing how long it going to take me to do any given area I think I'd better stick to smaller chunks, at least at first. Once I get my setup down and have a better idea of the time involved I would feel more comfortable launching into bigger areas.

JB weld you say? Hmm..., I'm not a great welder, and haven't really done any welding on car sheetmetal at all. So that's pretty tempting. On the other hand I guess I won't learn if I don't start somewhere. Have to think about that a bit.

Should I get one of those Harborfreight panel flangers? I don't guess I really need it for the floor area, but it seems like it would be handy for patching in a piece of metal where the light goes. Or can I just tap the edge down? Or do I cut a piece to fit and butt weld it in? Or drill some holes and spot weld backing? Or should I just JB weld some backing in and a piece cut to fit all in one shot?

Maybe I should just try to find a seal for the light and leave it? I kind of hate to do that because they just seem to cause problems.

Anyway, I'd better head to work now.

Thanks again for any advice/help.

Brandon.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:49 AM
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Glad to see you back Brandon....and sorry to hear that your not feeling well.

Just so you know...We understand, this is your truck and how and what you do with it is your decision...all we do is suggest.

My opinion and my opinion only....J B Weld will work...very expensive in the long run though...a HF flanger, sure, at the price they are almost makes them disposable.

For the cargo light patch...the best repair is to make a patch...about 1/8th of an inch smaller than the hole so that you have 1/16th of an inch all the way around for expansion when you weld it in. I'm not a big fan of lap spot welding in that area...there is a place for that kind of weld...unfortunately...it's not here. If you don't like the cargo light (and you have mentioned several times and given valid reasons why) get rid of it.

Ray
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