Huntington Beach, Calif. -A top quality restoration doesn’t happen overnight and with many summer projects in full swing, Classic Industries, the recognized leader in GM restoration parts and accessories, offers five simple tips to help make your at-home truck restoration project painless.
What Lies Beneath – Supporting Your Wooden Bed
For best results during the restoration of wood truck bed, a solid foundation is the most important start. Before replacing your wood bed planks, it is important to double-check the steel support structure for rust or other damage. If the supports are compromised, they should be replaced. Classic Industries offers reproduction cross rails and reinforcements for many classic Chevrolet / GMC truck applications.
A Word About Wood
Not all reproduction wooden truck bed kits are created equal. Since not all bed kits come pre-drilled, it is absolutely imperative that you measure your truck bed and original bed wood before installation to make sure that all of the mounting bolt holes will line up properly. Classic Industries offers a large selection of kits to fit your needs including pre-drilled kits for most 1947-87 Chevrolet / GMC truck applications. Lastly, don’t forget about the angle strips, cross sills and bed plank mounting bolts which are available in a variety of materials to tailor your restoration to your tastes.
The Tailgate – A Little Planning Can Go A Long Way
Many inexperienced restorers and do-it-yourselfers have finished their paint job and been horrified when their shiny new paint is marred because they forgot to plan for the tailgate area of their truck. For trucks with tailgate chains, it is crucial that at the very least, you replace the chain guard sleeves. These flexible sleeves protect the painted finish of the tailgate from the chains rubbing against the paint and scuffing it during normal driving. If 100% originality is not a factor, consider a hidden latch system, which will eliminate the tailgate chains entirely, avoiding the risk of damage.
Rust – Your Classic Truck’s Worst Enemy
Rust is like cancer. Just like cancer, there is no cure except to cut the rust out or it will continue to spread. Many patch panels or complete replacement body panels are available for Chevrolet/GMC Trucks through Classic Industries to replace the affected area. Even if you’ve ordered a patch panel, do not cut your existing sheet metal until you have your patch panel in-hand and measure it against your truck’s body to ensure that the patch panel will be large enough to cover your cut. In addition, when installing a patch panel, be sure to apply a rust inhibitor like POR-15 after installation and since seams can collect moisture, be sure to apply seam sealer when joining panels to prevent rust in the future.
Concours or Functional Restoration?
Consider how you intend to use your restored truck. If you plan on continuing to use your truck as a functionally restored truck and not a full-tilt show or concours truck, you may want to add tie downs to your bed, which will minimize the paint wear on the side rails of your truck’s bed and also help keep loads secure. In addition, if you plan on hauling or towing with your truck, don’t forget about the suspension. You may want to upgrade the suspension to handle heavier loads.
For over 30 years, Classic Industries has been working to build and perfect its knowledge of the restoration hobby, for more at-home restoration tips and tricks and a complete listing of Classic Industries product line please visit: www.classicindustries.com.