My old alternator could not cut it at idle speed. Especially when the electric fan kicked on (even worse at night with the lights on). With the plans to add an A/C system, I knew the alternator needed to be upgraded. So I got a CS-144 out of a mid 90's Cadillac. It's a huge alternator, but it's peak is 140 amps and supposed to be able to supply close to 100 amps at idle. I had to make a new bracket out of 1/4" plate to accommodate the larger case size of this alternator, but I used the old bracket to match up to the Alan grove mount and just cut a new shape for the c-notch around the alternator. Additionally, care must be taken to put 35 - 350 ohms resistance on the exciter wire so as not to destroy the internal electronics.
I also added a red warning light to an existing hole in the dash. This way I will know if the alternator is going prior to a having a dead battery.
I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but just have not had the time or the materials to do so. But things are better and I pushed ahead with my plan.
I've been planning to use the '38-39 Ford tail lights for sometime. Mounting vertically like you usually see would of been an option, but it would have been difficult to place two lights on each fender, which is the grand plan. So I turned them horizontal with the thin side pointing out from the fender. I debated frenching them completely in, but decided to try the half frenched and create a fin effect with the outside edge, I'm quite happy with it so far and just need to fill in a few spots and bondo/smooth the transition to the existing fender.
I've finally gotten back to working on the truck. I got a new job as an air traffic controller at Atlanta tower. I started back in may '07, so I've been concentrating on finishing training and moving all my stuff up from Tampa.
Since that was finished in January '08. I've been renting out a house with a back garage so I've made quick progress on the truck, including a lot of reworking systems to make them more secure, or just easier to work on.
In the next couple posts, I'll add details about all the recent projects.
To start with, I have been working on making the gas tank more user friendly. I took it to a radiator shop and had a fill neck added to the side of the tank. This hooks up to the modified fill tube from a '99 Mercury Sable. I also took the gas door for the Sable, which had almost the exact same curve as the chevy's fender. I welded the gas door into the fender and also had to cut/weld a few bends in the tube to make it under the side bed rail. I used a block off plate in place of the old filler neck and welded in a 3/8 tube to use as the vent tube for the filler.
Well, since the finish on the truck has so much texture to it, I'm going to get a chance to learn how to wetsand and polish. This may seem bad, but I'm glad to have a chance to learn this. Especially since my truck is not meant to be a show car, so a few dings in the body, or orange peel in the paint isn't going to bother me. Anyways, as for wetsanding.
So far I've been using a hose to keep a light spray of water going over the paint. I start with 1000 grit till the surface is almost completely free of orange peel. Then I go to 1500 till it is completely free of orange peel. I then finish it with 2000 to make it smooth enough to buff out.
One problem I've been having, and I think it comes from the 2000 grit stage, is small white specks appearing in the finish. They can't be scratched off. I think I need to start lifting the 2000 grit more often to clean off underneath it, but so far I have not managed to rid myself of them.
The pictures below show my first buffing efforts. I didn't have the best compound to use for that though. I just had turtle was polishing compound. Not my first choice but this area is unseen when finished and it gave me an idea of how well my sanding is coming out. Next weekend I'm gonna try it with some 3M or mequire's products. I've also start out using lambswool pad, then finished it off with a foam pad. But as I said before, I only have the one compound so I think that's also why the swirls are showing.
One other note, If your running a hose constantly while doing this wetsanding. Do it over the grass, at least that way some of the water is going to good use.
I love this stuff. Not just because it looks shiny and "fairly" smooth, but because it sprays easy. Other than the bugs seeming to be attracted to the smell of it, I had little to no problems with this stuff. The wind kicked up a bit while painting, but other than that, I ended up with a very nice finished paint job condsidering the way I painted and my experience.
It covered up all the texture that was in the base coat, but due to the wind on the last two coats of painting; I had a lot of orange peel. Thankfully I wanted to get a little practice wetsanding in buffing so this works out.
Now I can say my truck doesn't feel as blue as it looks