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Now by popular demand: Cab corner replacement and body work.

Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by Swims350, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    First Name:
    Chris
    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    K10
    Engine Size:
    none
    Ok due to request of a few members, here is some cab corner replacement and body work tech by me, on the 1984 c10 owned by my dad. Big swims350 LOL.

    I will also throw in some pis of my 88 since I had some in progress pics and a little more detailed then when I did his. So if you are wondering the red/black is the 88 k1500 and the blue and then white is the 84.

    Here's what you normally start with..

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    As you can see I removed the bed, it gives you better access and more work space. Also alot of the times the rust will wrap around the backside.
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    Now to remove your bed, that's a job in itself and probably another tech, but I'll tell you about it now, don't have pics though sorry.

    The beds on the square bodies have carriage bolts, round head inside the bed, visible in the bed floor, square section under it and a square spot made in the bed to hold it. These often rot out or get soft and spin. I suggest 2 people for this job. One to stand on the head of the bolt, then you underneath or your helper, soak them good with your choice of penetrating oil, I hear a 50/50 mix of acetone and atf works better then any store bought but have never tried it. Ok I use a 1/2 drive impact and it was a 3/4 socket pretty sure, yours may be different. there are 8 of them, 2 in the very back at the end, 2 about a foot forward of the furthest back 2 and then in the front 2 at the very front, and 2 a foot back from them. You will most likely need a swivel as well. Now if the bolts spin still you can spot weld the head to the bed floor, or cut a slot in the head, or cut off each side so you can get a wrench on it. When you get that done the taillights unplug from the frame side and they stay with the bed, there's a ground wire too for them that comes loose, and a ground strap on the gas filler neck that bolts to the bed. You also need to remove the screws that hold the filler neck to the bedside then move it out of your way. They have 3 torx heads to hold the plastic to the bed and 3 7 or 8mm head bolts to hold the plastic funnel to the metal neck. I usually remove them all and make more room to move it out of the way. Now to pull the bed get 4-6 guys or more if you want, 2 good strong guys or more works, a cherry picker, or some wood and blocks. Now with the wood it only took 2 guys maybe 3, raise the bed, slide the wood between the bed and frame, we used a 2x6 8 ft long or longer or a landscape timber. Once it's in between the two stack blocks, we used 8 inch concrete blocks laid "web" up like when you build a house, in other words holes facing up. Stac them on each side by the tires, not touching the tires though, raise the board stack a block on top, go to the other side and do the same, repeat until the bed is high enough to clear the tires, then you can drive out from under the bed. Just be very careful. if you got the man power or form of lift use it.

    Now you can finally start on the cab corners.
     
  2. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    Now that the bed is gone you have alot of room and can get to the back side.

    You want to grind the area around the rust to find good metal. You can use a grinder with a 35 or 40 grit disc or whatever you choose, ours is a 10 or 12 inch stone feeling black disc, not sure what it's called but you can cut with it as well. A sander could work as well. Grind it all off until you don't see any rust or holes, and go about an inch past that point into good metal.

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    Now that I found my good metal I used a level and drew my lines to cut.

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    I used a sharpie to mark on the steel.
    Once that's done you get to cut it out. I used a $20 cut off tool i bought from wal-mart uses the 3 inch cutting wheels and makes fast work, you could use tin snips on some places, but due to metal inside it's hard and impossible sometimes. WEAR PROTECTION, for your eyes, I used a full face shield. Gloves may work good as well, or even long sleeves or welding clothes because hot sparks are gonna fly and land on you. MAKE sure your gas tank doesn't leak, or smell of fumes or anything, and cover it up regardless, I used a thick cardboard cover on dads and a rug on mine, big rug, you could use a welding blanket or something if you have it. Make sure the cap is in the filler tube too. Come on guys be safe for sure, do everything you can to stay safe.

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    If you have to go inside the door jamb like I did on dad's truck you can find the round factory spot welds, use a spot weld cutter or drill and drill them out to loosen it up, then use air chisel, hand chisel, screwdriver or whatever to get between the two and seperate them.

    Now as you can see on dad's I used some self etch primer to cover everything insde to try and avoid any further rust due to bare metal. You can use whatever you like, undercoat, por-15 or something like it, whatever you want.

    Now with it cut out and ready for the patch, I cut my patch about 1/2-5/8 bigger then the hole, I ONLY do this because I used flanging pliers to flange the metal and have an overlap. If you have a welder you can cut it the same size as the hole and butt weld it in place. Now for the flanging you can do either, but if you can get to it all and have room I flange the metal on the truck. You can flange the repair panel, but then it has to fit in behind the original and this makes it a bit tougher and more work. Sometimes getting to the old metal and getting the pliers in behind the old is hard or impossible. You don't have to worry though you can let it over lap, or tap it in with a hammer. Now all I can say is, TEST FIT, test fit, test fit, until it's where you want it, and fitting how you want. Trim, grind, beat whatever you gotta do to get it as close as possible.
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    Now I used some self tapping metal screws to hold the piece in place while I drilled for 1/8 rivets, you can use magnets if you are going to weld it in place. Now I sprayed the backside with the same self etch primer and used some silicone or some type of seam sealer, or silaprene between the too to help hold it and seal it. I wouldn't do this if you are going to weld, and if you butt weld you can't anyways. Now for my 88 I welded the cab corners in place, removed the rivets and screws and welded the holes up, then ground it all smooth. On dad's I left the rivets in place just knocked the heads down some with a grinder and removed the screws, then ground the edges where the pieces met. Now you are ready for filler. I like to use a coat of fiberglass first, but if you welded them in, you can jump straight to bondo since you are working with all metal and it's all one piece.

    Mix the stuff as it says on the can, and you can use some cardboard you got, buy a mixing board, cut up an old antifreeze or oil jug whatever you got to mix it on. Then apply it thin, don't throw on a huge glob of it.

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    Now I use some 36 or 40 to start with to knock down the high stuff or bad spots, but 80 grit works too, and is actually the next step. Use a block or board to help keep it flat, sand in an x pattern, keep feeling it while you do it, and if you start to see metal show in the middle or sides you can stop and get ready for more. Keep putting it on as needed to make it flat, until it feels good or looks good to you. You can also use guide coat to help you see the highs and lows. Once it's roughed in, step up in paper grit to say 120 or 180 or somewhere in that area, continue to sand, same deal as before, you are looking to remove all of your rougher grit scratches. if it takes off too much you can put on more filler, or use spot putty or glazing putty. if you do use 220 to remove it, nothing rougher. I used 80 to rough it in then went right to 220, but it's more work, but it's what I had LOL. Once you are done with 220 you can move into primer or you can use like 320 or something. Mask off the areas you don't want primer on, or sealer, you want to prime/seal all of the body work, bare metal and sanded paint around the area. Now it's up to you again, use primer, or sealer, cheap spray cans or good stuff from a gun whatever you can afford or have. I would use self etch primer over any bare metal first. They say not to use it over old paint of body work/bondo because it could cause the edges to lift and mess up. Once done with the primer or sealer(follow the directions for the product you use they all vary) Unmask it all.


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  3. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    Wet sand using 400 grit or 600 grit. Make sure it's wet sand paper or it won't work. Again use a rubber block or whatever on the paper. If you don't same as bondo, you can leave finger grooves that can turn out to be wavy.

    Mask off the area to not be painted, use a body line or something to help break the line because it's gonna leave an edge after paint. Now you can roll the tape back, don't lay it flat on, tape the top part down then roll the tape backwards in that direction and it'll allow the paint to roll and not build up as bad kind of feathering it in.

    Now you need t wipe it off with grease and wax remover, wipe on with one clean prefferably lint free rag, then wipe off with another. Then you can use a tack rag/cloth to remove any left over dirt or dust.

    Now time to paint. I've used spray cans mixed at the body shop supply store, they aint cheap, they are like $20 a can but can go a long ways, and it's reg. spray gun paint in a can. it holds up as long, buffs, shines everything like reg. spray gun paint. They can do single stage and even base and clear in spray cans. I use single stage, shine it built in. if you are using a metallic or pearl paint and plan to wet sand and buff it, USE base coat and clear, if not you sand into the metalics and cause it to tiger stripe or be spotty.

    Untape it all, and sit back and check out your work.

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  4. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    Any questions you have just ask away I'll answer them as best I can.

    I used for this job(cab corners only)

    air compressor, bigger the better because the saw uses alot of air.
    air cut off tool
    3 inch cut off wheels
    electric grinder
    6 inch rubber hand block
    flanging pliers
    self tapping sheet metal screws about 1/2 long
    electric or drill of choice to use on the screws and for rivet holes.
    1/8 long alum. rivets, alum. won't rust and long gets a bigger bite to hold better.
    silaprene to seal (not needed for welding)
    a welder for mine, flux cored wire feed, no mig gas, I was outside.
    self etch primer for bare metal
    reg. primer or sealer for the rest
    paint your choice
    36 or 40 grit paper if you want
    80 grit paper
    120-180 grit
    220, 320, 400, 600 wet or dry sand paper.
    I used duraglass for dad's (no welder)
    then I finished up and on mine only used feather-rite bondo.
    a level or straight edge
    sharpie or something to mark with
    FACE protection
    if you weld you need alot of protection. Including the proper gloves and face mask, as well as long sleeves and pants etc.
    you may need or want a hammer
    spot weld cutter or drill bits.
    1/8 drill bit for the rivets
    grease and wax remover
    couple of lint free rags
    tack rag/cloth
    masking tape

    You can use sanders if you like but I do it by hand anymore, I always end up aking off too much with sanders or it turns out lumpy.

    You can also use guide coat to help you sand and know the highs and lows.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  5. Old77

    Old77 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    :waytogo: nice:)
     
  6. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    I know I forgot something though lol. I just did mine back in spet. but I did dad's a couple years ago.
     
  7. 89Suburban

    89Suburban Full Access Member

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    I am glad we talked ya into this how to bud, EXCELLENT THREAD. :High 5:
     
  8. Swims350

    Swims350 Full Access Member

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    very welcome man. glad to help in anyway, I just gotta remember to take more pics. I get started doing something anf forget about how to and just git r done lol.
     
  9. 89Suburban

    89Suburban Full Access Member

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    It's a pain in the ass just doing the job alone, but to take the time to pic and share and show others really helps the next guy who is facing the same problem and doesn't know where to start attcking the project.
     
  10. Steve78 k10

    Steve78 k10 Junior Member

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    Thank you very much I'm getting ready to cut into my cab corners and replace mine. Very helpful for a virgin.

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  11. Ricko1966

    Ricko1966 Full Access Member

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    Definitely use is a clear full face shield.A Buddy was doing this and the cut off wheel kicked back and hit him right in the jaw line.So that night ended with a trip to the hospital and more stitches than I'd have expected.I never would have seen that coming.Besides just less rust in your nose.And as for 50/50 ate and and acetone for rust penetrant I swear buy it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020

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