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Replacement Panel Sequence

 
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:42 PM
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Replacement Panel Sequence

Calling all veteran builders!
Over the weekend I picked up a few goodies for my '55. I'm equally excited as I am terrified of the process to successfully merge this puzzle without completely ruining the structure. I do realize I always have the ability to buy new panels if I make a goof, but after I handed over my credit card the first time I had a sharp pain in my chest... Hoping to avoid that again My goal is to have a solid plan before I bust out the grinder and MIG and would appreciate any insight on the order of operation.


These are the following panels that will be swapped (In the order that makes sense to me).
-Rockers
-Rear floor bed
-Front floor bed
-Cowl Repair panel
-Upper cab cup mount
-Front body mount
-Inner cab corners
-Outer can corners


Thanks in advance. Pictures are always welcomed and encouraged!
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:56 AM
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The first thing, and this is very important, is to install temporary bracing and cross bracing to ensure the cab keeps its shape. It needs to be clear of the doors because you need to test-fit them after each step.

I replaced the rockers first to keep the front and back of the cab connected. Again, to help keep its proper shape. When they were tacked in place I reinstalled the doors. When I was satisfied I took the doors off and welded the rockers at the door frames. Measure from the bottom of the dash and from the bottom door latch holes to the top of each rocker before you start, to make sure they go back in the right place.

I replaced the floor pans next. I only had to replace the front, but from a sequence stand point it should be the same. Tacked them in, installed the doors, took them back off, etc.

Then came the cab corners. Tack, install doors, etc.

I installed the new front body mounts last. By then I was satisfied everything else was in it's proper place.

I didnít have to replace the inside corners or any of the cowl, but I would still go in this order. It was kind of an inside out approach. This way I always had something new to attach each new panel to.

The thing that might be different is if you have to replace any of the lower door frames where the rockers are attached. In that case you will need to do that first.

Always remember to try the doors after each step, before final welding.

Others might have a different approach, but this is what worked for me. Take it one step at a time, take lots of measurements, and youíll do fine.

Sorry the pictures are not very good. I wasn't really into taking that many back then. I know it doesn't look like the right rocker was replaced. It was first and developed some surface rust before I could get to the rest.
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:30 AM
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I am going to be doing the same thing next year. Nice job, Effie. I'll be following along.
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SDBerg55 View Post
Calling all veteran builders!
Over the weekend I picked up a few goodies for my '55. I'm equally excited as I am terrified of the process to successfully merge this puzzle without completely ruining the structure. I do realize I always have the ability to buy new panels if I make a goof, but after I handed over my credit card the first time I had a sharp pain in my chest... Hoping to avoid that again My goal is to have a solid plan before I bust out the grinder and MIG and would appreciate any insight on the order of operation.


These are the following panels that will be swapped (In the order that makes sense to me).
-Rockers
-Rear floor bed
-Front floor bed
-Cowl Repair panel
-Upper cab cup mount
-Front body mount
-Inner cab corners
-Outer can corners


Thanks in advance. Pictures are always welcomed and encouraged!
Yes, pictures would help.
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:41 PM
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I am in the middle of doing this right now. If you have specific questions, let me know. I can snap some photos for you.

I took a slightly different approach because I had a lot of rot. I removed the outer corners to fix the sub structure first. This allowed me to have a solid base to attach the rockers to. This meant doing the rear inner corners before the rockers.

My view was... Make two solid corners, then connect them with a rocker.

Your situation will dictate the approach, but Effie's advice is solid. Always make sure that you do not bust anything loose.
 
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:13 PM
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Plan is to graft just below hood bracket.


Removed filler tube to see inner structure.


Passenger cab corner. Typical South Dakota rust.


Driver's inner cowl/rocker.


Thanks guys, I appreciate the advise. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what I have to work with. After doing some investigating by taking back the 3 layers of paint and primer the outside looks fairly decent, but as you see from the two pics from underneath the cab, it's only a matter of time before the rust eats through.


Effie, thanks for your guidance. My question now is, I have it lifted underneath the support that I built within the cab structure, but through the door openings. That is going to be an issue if I'm needing to test fit the doors after each panel. Will I ruin the shape of the roof if I turn the cab 90 degrees so that the front and rear of the cab is facing the lift posts? Would a couple 2x4's from the rear window to front window work to place over the lift posts?


Assuming I'm taking out the entire cab floor, rockers, and inner cab corners initially I'll have nothing to rest the cab on unless jig something like that. Always open to suggestions though. As always, thanks for taking an interest in my build and taking the time to teach a rookie.


wdglide- would love a few progress pics of the work you did.
 
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:30 AM
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Effie has a lot of good points regarding the doors. I, however, went a different way. I feel that unless the cab is bolted down to the chassis, fitting the door is questionable. When you weld, things will move - period. If you hold the doors firmly in place the floor will move. That being said, brace it, brace it, brace it. Then weld and hope for the best.

I also HIGHLY recommend you get the cab blasted to make sure you are getting all the rot out.

I built a cheap wood rotisserie. I braced the cab (probably not enough). Then I replaced corners first, then rockers. On one side I am worried about the door gap, so I left the outside corner off until I get the cab mounted and doors on.

I just posted a thread of my progress photos here:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...ss-photos.html

I will add a video of my rotisserie to my thread.

I'm finishing up the floor today and will remount the cab. Here's one photo of my rot.

 
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:48 AM
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Here's the rotisserie...
 
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:10 AM
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7/16" gap


Same 7/16" gap when holding up the sagging door.

Here are some pictures of my passenger door assembled. I realize everything has lost some structure by not being bolted to the frame, but the door sags like no other. The largest gap is roughly 7/16" on the rear door latch side.
A. Is this something to be concerned about?
B. Can this be corrected by adjusting the pillar/rocker interface when replacing the rocker?
C. Does the sagging suggest I need to turn my focus to a certain area of the assembly? Door hinges? Hinge pillars?


Based on my budget and initial plans, the cab will most likely be left looking very ratty this first go around. The plan is to make it structurally sound and hopefully sometime down the road I'll have the funds to do a lot of body work and get it painted.


As far as getting it blasted, I went back and forth many times with this step. For as much as I'll be replacing and the quality, or lack there of, of finished body I plan on I decided against it. I'm sure there will be plenty of hidden gems down the road but for now I'm sanding back certain area of the cab to "investigate" its condition.
 
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:08 AM
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Just don't cut out the floor and the rocker at the same time. That gap is too large but, who knows, maybe it was that way when new? I assume that the gap is ľ to ⅛" in the front of that door. Make sure that you account for the rubber bumpers at the back door edge. Some of that gap can be taken up by a paper shim under the hinge at the A pillar. If you get the doors close while the cab is off the frame you can adjust the front 4 cab mounts upon reassembly to dial things in.
 
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:28 AM
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Petemcl- I finally got a chance to measure the passenger door gap: The bottom gap towards the cowl is tight, 1/16"-1/8" and then slowly tappers to 1/4" as you go up. Definitely explains the excessive gap on the handle side, but I've adjusted the hinges as much as possible. Without doing so at this stage I wouldn't be able to open the door at all so I'm stuck here scratching my head...
The driver's side door is a completely different beast. I had to pry that open with a screw driver just to get to the mounting bolts! I'll post some pics tonight and look forward to suggestions.
 
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SDBerg55 View Post
Petemcl- I finally got a chance to measure the passenger door gap: The bottom gap towards the cowl is tight, 1/16"-1/8" and then slowly tappers to 1/4" as you go up. Definitely explains the excessive gap on the handle side, but I've adjusted the hinges as much as possible. Without doing so at this stage I wouldn't be able to open the door at all so I'm stuck here scratching my head...
The driver's side door is a completely different beast. I had to pry that open with a screw driver just to get to the mounting bolts! I'll post some pics tonight and look forward to suggestions.
OK. . . So it sounds like the bottom of the door is too tight at the A pillar? I had the same problem so I sanded off the hinge face and the corresponding A pillar face with a small air belt sander. You can get them on Amazon or at Harbor Freight. The door fit perfectly and closed really well after that. My doors are from a different cab.

Now I have to do the driver side which closes OK but not as well as the pass side where I reworked the hinge face.

Make sure that your rubber door edge bumpers are in place when you make these adjustments. You may want to get new ones from LMC if your old ones are painted over or are old and hard.
 
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by petemcl View Post
OK. . . So it sounds like the bottom of the door is too tight at the A pillar? I had the same problem so I sanded off the hinge face and the corresponding A pillar face with a small air belt sander. You can get them on Amazon or at Harbor Freight. The door fit perfectly and closed really well after that. My doors are from a different cab.

Now I have to do the driver side which closes OK but not as well as the pass side where I reworked the hinge face.

Make sure that your rubber door edge bumpers are in place when you make these adjustments. You may want to get new ones from LMC if your old ones are painted over or are old and hard.
Do you have any pictures to illustrate where you sanded? I must be understanding this incorrectly because wouldnít sanding away the hinge effectively make the two panels closer?
I apologize if thatís a stupid question. Only trying to fully understand what I need to try before creating a bigger problem
 
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:53 AM
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Well here we are talking about two different doors and two different styles of hinges, Pete has a 1950 and Berg has a 55. What Pete did may not work for Berg.
 
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SDBerg55 View Post
Do you have any pictures to illustrate where you sanded? I must be understanding this incorrectly because wouldn’t sanding away the hinge effectively make the two panels closer?
I apologize if that’s a stupid question. Only trying to fully understand what I need to try before creating a bigger problem
Abe is right but the principle is the same when it comes to adjusting doors. Pictures of your truck would be better but here is what I have.


Lower hinge pocket. Sand hinge and pocket matching surface to lower door handle and tighten lower-front gap. Or add thin shims (gasket material OK) in order to widen gap and raise rear of door.

Here is the '55 door hinge:


And here is the air belt sander.


Re-reading your post it sounds like the front lower gap is too tight so you need to add a shim. Then if the top of your door gap is still too wide you need to remove material.

If that is not enough then it looks like Mid-Fifty has some adjustable hinges. Maybe others can chime in and report how well they work.
http://midfifty.com/item.php?INV_ID=4348


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