International Full Size Jeep Association
Home Forums Reader's Rigs Tech Library Trail Stories FSJ-List

Hosting Services Provided by Golden Computer Service

Tom And Doc Finally Meet

ed. note: This is exactly how it appeared on the list, including Tom's qualifier at the bottom of the page. Jeff

[Subject: Tom and Doc finally meet]

And Timex survived the surgery....

Tom Collins drove up from Tampa yesterday morning to road test his sharp '85 GW, and assist me in a little body work. So now The Great Timex Restoration Project is underway.... and oh, what a project... [grin].

First, about his truck... gorgeous gold, no woodgrain, straight as an arrow. Interior looks really really good, what I could see of it... front seat area is about it. The entire back of his truck, floor to roof, was filled with bodyworking tools, including paint gun and air compressor.... yep, Tom came loaded for bear! [grin]. Nice running truck, too, 'cept the AC doesn't work... . Tunes work good, too! Tom described to me the condition of the truck before he started, then I ran my fingers over it to check his work.... I said to myself, yep, this guy can work on Timex... [grin].

Ok, he got here about, gee, I forget what time it was.... wifey tells me about nine o'clock. We sat around the house, drank some coffee, I tried to call my boss to ask if it was cool if we did the work at the office... I figured, shade, big air compressor, plenty of power, plenty of room, and a handy fridge to keep the beer in. Boss was out on his new boat. This is my immediate boss, Bobby, who is also a friend... he's cool, and so's his boat, I'm not talking about the big 37-footer y'all might have heard me complain about in the past... that's his dad, the big boss. So, anyway, I couldn't get hold of Bobby, so I called down to the office and warned them that we were on our way. Got down to the office, the big boss was there, so I asked him if it was cool, he said yes. Ok, so we started. Figured to keep the noise and dust inside the building down, we'd start off outside, since it was still nice and shady. Of course, parking two big vehicles where we did made it a LITTLE tight for anybody to get around, but it was ok... [grin].

Whilst conversing via email about this project, Tom seemed pretty sure we could get it all done in one day, whilst I was thinking "no way". We surveyed it, figured, ok, what the hell, we'll get started and probably get the worst of it done. Started off by pulling the toolboxes off... had a bit of an adventure getting the spare tire to let go of the toolbox, but five minutes later she was nekkid. Started off by cutting off the old tailgate strikers, what was left of them... geez, they REALLY didn't mess around when they build these things.... but Tom brought a nice little die grinder, didn't take TOO long. Talk about weld penetration! Must have been a quarter inch of penetration under the strikers! Ground off as much as we could, then pounded them off with a chisel. For some reason, the second one went faster than the first. Must have something to do with deciding the hell with the sheetmetal lip in the way... [grin]. Just ground some slots, will patch up nicely, if I even worry about it.

Ok, once that was done, Tom started in on the driver's door, I started the surgery on the driver's side bed rail. Once again, discovered they REALLY built these things good.... even the severely rusted parts, that weren't perforated, that I thought would break right through, were still fairly strong. THICK steel. Cut out a total of probably about two and a half feet of the eight foot long bed rail, had to cut off and rebuild both corners on the driver's side, especially the front one. I got to do all the cutting and tin bending. Only part of the new tin that really turned out good was the front corner, the rest, well, it'll work... [grin]. Naw, it turned out ok, just time consuming. Whilst I was doing all this, Tom fixed the lock on the driver's door, got 90% done on the door dent/footprint, needs just a little more building up on the crown line to be perfect. Tom does nice work! He also got about 99% done on the right front fender, from more than arm's length away the flare looks perfect. The side of the fender is done, period... turned out perfect. He also got started on pulling out the rocker panel boulder kiss, but we didn't get any further than that, as it was getting late, and I had just gotten the last bit of tin bent and pop-riveted in on the bed rail. I think if we hadn't tackled that bed rail, we'd've gotten everything else DONE. About half-way through the cutting of the bed rail, we realized that our shade was gone, the tools were getting too hot to handle, and we were suffering BAD, so we said the hell with the boat and limo and two vans in the garage, we don't care if we get them dusty, we're moving inside... [grin]. Fortunately there was a real big fan sitting conveniently a foot in front of Timex's nose whilst in the bay, that kept all the dust in the immediate vicinity, in addition to helping ventilation.... except that we only had one extension cord, so we could only have the fan on when we weren't using electric tools.

Ok, we proceeded on, when I got the surgery done, the door and fender were both sitting in primer, and the door guts were re-installed and the door put back together. Now Tom proceeded to lay the fiberglass on top of the bed rail, after I sanded the entire bedrail bare. Geez, that was some work. Got the 'glass on, at this point it was getting late, and I know he wanted to get back home, and we were both running out of steam. Actually, I was beat... so I sat down, drank a couple of beers, and watched him. Got the 'glass laid, pulled her back outside, cleaned up, Tom headed back to Tampa, I headed back home. Gawd, I'm still not recuperated... I'd forgotten how HARD body work is... [grin].

We decided we AIN'T cutting no metal off the other bed rail, it isn't anywhere near as bad as the driver's side. We didn't get everything done we'd wanted to, but we got the worst of it out of the way. The passenger side bed rail's gonna be easy, just gonna grind it bare and lay 'glass on it, no cutting needed. The rocker panel needs a lot of work yet, but at least it's pulled out so we're at the grinding and bondo stage there. Little more bondo and sanding on the door to get the crown line right, just a tad bit of finishing on the fender flare, and of course now we've gotta grind down the glass on the driver's side rail and do some filling and such, so that's still got quite a bit of work to do. Passenger side rail is gonna be baby food, won't need to do any tin bending, just grind it bare and lay the 'glass, not even over the outside crown, so that'll feather in really nice, I'm sure.

I keep looking out the window and admiring Tom's handiwork on the fender... it looks GOOD! I'd've probably NEVER started on this without Tom's help, and I think both of us are thinking, "geez, what a job", both regretting tackling that bed rail, but it really was pretty bad... really by far the worst part.

I just can't believe Tom drove all this way to break his butt and sweat so bad... [grin]. And this was his idea of FUN! I enjoyed it a lot, too, till it cleared 90 degrees.... I'm not used to that kind of physical labor anymore... ok, I admit it, I'm a wimp... [grin]. And I'm actually looking forward to getting it all done, gotta start saving money for the paint job, but I'm NOT looking forward to all the WORK involved... [grin]. Man, I'm beat......

Thanks, Tom! Some one day project, eh? It was great meeting you! We didn't get to converse much... for some reason it was too noisy, and we spent the whole day working on Timex. I know when the soreness wears off I'll feel good about it.... [grin].

ed. note: Here's Tom's qualifier. Jeff

>> Nice running truck, too, 'cept the AC doesn't work... . Tunes work good, too! <<

I'll qualify that, until it gets near about 85 degrees, I ride with the windows open. A/C is ice cold and was GREATLY needed on the drive home, by then it was pushing 94+ deg in the shade. Tom C, Tampa

corner corner