In the last exciting chapter, the truck arrived at the paint shop.  Patching had been done, a little spot blasting had picked at the rust.  Now the serious paint prep work began!  Mark Keilen sand blasted the cab, straightened the dents and dings, put on some filler, and sprayed on some primer.  Then, lots of sanding and more primer.

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After sand blasting

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Primer on the cab

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The bottom got lots of primer.  Later it was undercoated.

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After a lot of priming and sanding.  The hinges got painted before installation of the doors.

The bed needed a lot of work, too.  Although the bed I had shipped in from Kansas was infinitely better than the rusted-out original, it had spent its own share of time on the farm.  It looked like someone dropped a 2-ton weight from a long way up into the bed at one point in its past.  Fortunately, there was only a little surface rust, not big holes.  Mark hammered out the waves and dents as well as he could, then welded in a 2x2 inch box beam between the two rear supports to keep the sides from spreading in the future.  I fabricated the beam from a couple of pieces of 2x2x1/8 angle iron and some 1/8th inch steel plate.  I had already welded up a few holes and repaired some spot welds on the floor to the frame.  It took a fair amount of filler to smooth the rusted surface of the floor.  Now I know why lots of other truck bed floors were made of wood - they are much easier to repair and replace.  Dodge started using the same basic bed about 1935 or so, but quickly changed to wood floors. 

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The replacement bed after some basic repairs


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After sandblasting

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With primer, filler, and more primer.

Then it was into the paint booth for red, more RED, and LOTS MORE RED!   We used up nearly two gallons of paint.  First, Mark put on three coats of Ruby Glow Red, an original 1948 color.  DuPont provided a mixing formula for the Centari enamel.   Then it was overcoated with clear-coat.  Mark says it will not fade this way, and it will be possible to repair it.  Of course, red is the most expensive color.  Oh, I love it, though!

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Here are the cab, bed, tailgate and other parts in the paint booth.

PAINT INFO: Original Studebaker code: V-AA 7297.  Matched with DuPont "Centari" acrylic enamel, code L9083A, CC:T, ALT:1.  Used with hardener.

The fenders, hood, grilles, and other miscellaneous red parts also got sprayed.   When everything was dry, we mounted the cab and bed on the frame.  There were cord-reinforced rubber pads between the frame and bed.  I had to have new springs made for the cab mounting.  These were strange: under 3 of the 4 nuts below the frame, a short, stiff spring was used.  These were like giant valve springs.   The fourth bolt had no spring under it.  The springs apparently allow the cab to move a little when the frame flexes.

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Finally it was time to bring the truck home.  I rented a truck and trailer from U-Haul, and brought it all home.  It was great to park it in the driveway and just stare at it.  The fenders, grille, hood, and other parts went to the garage loft waiting for assembly.

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Of course, as fate would have it, my wife and I had bought a new-to-us house.  So, shortly after getting the truck home, it went back on the trailer to get hauled 30 miles to its new home.  I also had to pack up and move all the parts that need to go in the truck.  There were also lots of pieces and parts I was unwilling to throw away just yet, so the old bed, used engine parts, and lots of other crap came along.  But, now it looks like a truck again.  There is much work yet to do, but it's starting to feel good!