Project '67

Rebuilding the Cab

The cab was removed and put aside during the teardown as seen in the teardown section. The small parts attached to the cab were removed so only the bare cab remains. This included all trim and wiring. I built a cab holder out of 2x4's and some casters so the unit could be moved around more easily.

1. Sandblast the cab.
The entire inside, bottom and window frames were sandblasted. I did this using a small blaster instead of sending it out. I think the large blasters used for industrial jobs could damage the metal. For the same reason, the roof and back of the cab were not blasted and will be stripped in another manner.

2. Finish stripping the cab.
The remaining paint left on the cab was stripped using a dual action sander.

3. Perform cab upgrades.
Some of the upgrades I want have to be started before the cab is painted.

The defrost layout needs to be changed. The original defrost outlets work very poorly. I just spent a winter driving a 70 PU and hate the defrosters. The outlet needs to be longer and placed in front of the driver. I used a couple of popout defroster grills from a Dodge van. Holes were cut to accept the outlet. I used a piece of exhaust tubing cut lengthwise as the lower duct. The old defroster outlets were cut out and welded up. Hopefully this will help produce a satisfactory defrosting system. The work doesn't have to be super precise as I will be covering the entire dash with vinyl.

The dash layout also has been changed. The new heater controls will reside where the ashtray was. A new cutout was also made for the cupholders. The radio will be installed above the head so there is no cutout for it in the dash. The original holes for the dashpad where filled at this time too. The last of the cab mods was welding in a plate to cover the gas tube hole. It will no longer be needed as the tank behind the seat has been eliminated.

4. Perform bodywork on cab.
All dents and dings were straightened and filled with plastic filler. All exterior surfaces that need to be straight were coated with Z-Chrome Rust Defender. (We are now using Feather Fill G2 since Z-chrome has gone through the roof in price. G2 is a third of the price and just as good, maybe better.) This is a sprayable filler that once blocked with 80 grit paper leaves a much straighter surface. After the Z-Chrome was sanded, all bare metal surfaces to be primed were coated with Valspar VP-50 epoxy primer. This gives the urethane primer a better surface to adhere to and increases the rust protection. Finally, the first coats of Valspar Sunfil 92 Primer were sprayed.

5. Straighten Cab.
Using the Urethane primer, we straightened the cab. We used progressive sandings and priming from 180 grit to 600 grit. When the sanding was finally done everything was epoxy primed. The floor, bottom and rust prone areas were coated with chassis saver. The underside was undercoated with a paintable product. At this point the cab is ready for paint.

6. Paint the cab.
At this point the cab was painted. I used Valspar products this time as a test. The paint is much more affordable than other brands but is touted to be of the same quality. I used the colorbase in 2003 Ford Truck Red (Vermillion). This went on just fine and covered just as well as PPG or DuPont. I did spray an extra coat of base since I'm painting in pieces. I just want to be sure of full coverage so everything matches when assembled. I used Valspars 4400 clear and it too went on just fine. After about 18 hours we color sanded the clear with 1200 and then 2000 grit paper. The surfaces were then buffed with 3M Microfinishing compound and Meguiers Machine Glaze. I used a soft wool cutting pad and then went directly to a soft foam finishing pad using the same compound. This seemed to work very well. The paint is now near perfect.

7. Straighten and paint the doors.
At this point the bodywork was done on the doors. They were painted and buffed out as the rest of the cab was. The hinges were painted at the same time and the doors were mounted.

8. Install the glass.
All the glass was installed using new weatherstripping. The windshield was not as difficult to install as others have told me. The chrome is supposed to give even the best installers fits and night sweats. I didn't find it difficult, just time consuming. It would be nearly impossible to do it yourself so get a helper. The new rubber is installed around the glass first, Then the chrome is pushed into the grooves in the rubber. Then we duct taped the chrome and rubber to the front of the window. A 1/4" nylon rope was pushed into the channel where the cab will mount. The unit was hed in place where it should eventually reside. Then the rope was pulled in such a manner as to flip the rubber over the metal edge. The rear window was installed in the same manner.
The side windows were installed using the old glass. The vent rubber is the most difficult part but went quickly. All the runners and felts were replaced as well.

I also installed the door handles and locks at this time. I think they are easier to install before the glass goes in.

9. Install the brake assembly.
A new booster assembly was purchased through Master Power Brakes. It appears to be a high quality unit and fit well. I could have used the original pedal assembly by just drilling a new hole in the pedal arm. The trucks original assembly is a manual brake unit and power brakes require a different push ratio. Instead I went to the junkyard to see what was there. I pulled two additional brake assemblies. One was a power brake unit in a 70 model I believe. The other was a power unit from a 74 or so. After comparing the units I discovered a few different things. The original 67 assembly does not have the brackets for the brake light switch. The 70 power brake unit still uses a small pedal that remains quite high from the floor. The newer assembly has a redesigned pedal that sits closer to the floor and the pedal itself is much wider. Unfortunately, the newer assembly will not just bolt in. Still, I really wanted that pedal close to the floor so I don't have to pick up my whole leg for braking. What I was able to do was use the 70 assembly and remove the pedal at the pivot pin. Then I removed the newer pedal from its assembly and put it in the 70 unit. I did have to shorten the pivot tube by about 1/8" to get it to fit in the 70 assembly. What I ended up with was a pedal assembly that mounts as original but has the newer large pedal and the mounts for the brake light switch intact. The unit looks and works great!

10. Install the steering column.
A used tilt steering column from a 79 model was procured as a donor for the 67. I installed the unit as it was originally mounted using all original fastening locations. The only thing that would not fit correctly was the lower plastic cover from the 79. I just left it off for now. Actually, I may leave it off forever but it does look a little strange without a tapered cover. I'm leaving the wiring for later. It will certainly have to be changed as the plugs are completely different.