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1979 Dodge Lil Red Express Truck Restoration

Discussion in 'Classic Dodge Trucks - Pre 1981' started by jumbreit, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. jumbreit

    jumbreitActive Member

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    Yep, it was pretty pitted in some spots. I started at 120 grit then went to 220 and 400. I was surprised how well it came out.

    It’s also one of the original pieces of the original truck along with the doors and tailgate.
     
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    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      I was surprised also. The pictures looked like it had gone threw a hail storm. Then the painted picture.
       
    • jumbreit

      jumbreitActive Member

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      Honestly, I thought I'd have to put a ton of filler on to get rid of the pitting, but I didn't actually have to put any on. Maybe if I was doing a gloss coat I'd have had to, but this Satin Black is pretty forgiving.
       
    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      Thats not primer?
       
    • jumbreit

      jumbreitActive Member

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      Nope, that’s satin black Rustoleum. Decided on a custom look, satin black with red trim/decals. Son came up with ‘Red Nite Express’ for a new name.
       
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      • 7mopar

        7moparWell-Known Member

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        What type spray gun?
         
      • jumbreit

        jumbreitActive Member

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        IMG_6941.JPG
        I'm borrowing a Tekna gun. This thing is sweet but apparently about $700. I've never sprayed before so I can't compare other guns, but I think this one has spoiled me.
         
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        • jumbreit

          jumbreitActive Member

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          Got myself a bunch of painted, front-end parts. Hoping to get those on this upcoming weekend. Next summer, after getting everything put together, including the bed, I'll do a couple more coats along with some matte-finish clear (did a test and it looks great).


          Next task...putting this stuff on.

          IMG_6943.JPG

          IMG_6943.JPG
           
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          • 65 sporty

            65 sportyWell-Known Member

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            That is looking good
             
          • stroller

            strollerMember

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            My question is with the pretty much seems like a re-body is it still a LIl Red? I own a '79 Lil Red and something I have seen way too many times is someone saying it is a Lil Red and it isn't. The vin is the ticket as the Lil Red's and War Locks were different.
             
          • LocuMob

            LocuMobFluid Technician

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            People build '69 Chargers from an A pillar, cowl, and a rocker panel because they have the VIN. A car like I described sold for $13k! People take cars down to similar states when they replace sheet metal, so maybe it's all in a gray area. Think about it like this, you buy that Lil Red in '79, and in '80, it's involved in an accident wrecking both fenders and the hood, bumper and grille. It goes through insurance and all gets repaired. Is it original? It's still a Lil Red, but it doesn't have all it's original sheet metal.

            As long as it's got most of it's body panels still with it, I don't see anything wrong with getting a better cab, if yours is that far gone. Floors get replaced without concern, so do doors. Where the line is, is up to you. I'm all for keeping a Lil Red on the road!
             
            Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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            • stroller

              strollerMember

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              I agree but what I meant was changing the cab you would then need to remove the vin from the old cab and transfer to the new cab. As to panel replacements you bet, wish more were made for other years. Only thing is if cab, doors, entire bed, hood and fenders are replaced is it OE or now a clone other than the stock frame rails? I refer to a show from "Fantom Worms" where they got permission to transfer a vin because the stock body was too far gone to restore.
               
            • 7mopar

              7moparWell-Known Member

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              The vin was riveted to the door or the cab at the striker plate? I don't remember. The early 70s were attached to the door.
              But really the only problem I have with any of this is intent and legality.

              Was there any difference in the cab skin of a Little Red, Warlock or a standard 79? I would really doubt it.
               
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              • LocuMob

                LocuMobFluid Technician

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                If I had a Lil Red that the cab was shit, I'd get another cab. I wouldn't hose that I did it, but I wouldn't lose any sleep. The entire sheet metal? That gets into that Charger story territory. You'd still have a legitimate Lil Red, that's been completely rebodied, assuming original engine and trans/rear end and stacks/steps. If only frame rails, I wouldn't even put that VIN on the new body, leave it as it is and make yourself a clone/tribute/whatever you want to call it.
                 
              • LocuMob

                LocuMobFluid Technician

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                Yep, left door lock pillar.

                No difference in cabs, only the trim.
                 
              • jumbreit

                jumbreitActive Member

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                Other projects are done for now, time to get back to the truck. I went through everything I had this weekend, organized my parts and setup my garage to hit it hard while on vacation this week. I've had this for 8 years now, time to finish it.
                IMG_8759.JPG
                 
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                • jumbreit

                  jumbreitActive Member

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                  Progress update
                  1. Cab mounts
                  2. Rear sliding window
                  3. Broke front windshield putting it in
                  4. Picked up front windshield at junkyard
                  5. Wait to have glass company put windshield in
                  6. Dash/cab electrical wired up
                  7. Core support mounted
                  8. Fenders; inner and outer mounted
                  9. Core support loosened because I needed some play in it to mount the fenders
                  10. Engine components and engine compartment wiring completed
                  11. Hole cut into firewall for harness connector. Remember, this is an '86 cab with '79 components
                  12. Steering wheel mounted
                  13. Accelerator/brakes/parking brakes/hood release mounted. Some modifications in firewall will be needed for throttle cable and hood release
                  14. Wiper arms and motor installed
                  15. Wiper motor installed with one from older cab out of junkyard...different bolt pattern for 'slimmer' design
                  16. Headlamps/turn signals
                  17. Heater box and connections...hmmm, no hole for the blower intake that used to connect to the cowl.
                  I also picked up some new bolts for the majority of the body connections since alot of mine were getting rusty. I've attached the pics of the bolts I got with what they replaced.
                  IMG_8783.JPG IMG_8785.JPG IMG_8820.JPG IMG_8820_wiper_motor.jpg IMG_8821.JPG
                   
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                  • 1SykRyd

                    1SykRydMember

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                  • LocuMob

                    LocuMobFluid Technician

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                    Got a direct link? I'm not trying to learn their inventory system, but they only go back to '84 for the older trucks. As for the steps for the bed, no one is making the chrome version with the hole cutout, haven't since the late '90's-early 2000's.
                     
                  • 1SykRyd

                    1SykRydMember

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                    @LocuMob I posted general links because I thought that jumbreit (and others) might be interested in more than just running boards. If you don't want to learn their databases... then don't. I'm not about to post a link in this forum for every single part these two companies have listed on their website.

                    As for what parts are or are not available... some of the parts will be a bolt-on for his project, some of them will not, while still others will work but will also require modifications in order to do so. I'm not the one who decides what inventory these companies have, nor did I make any claim as to suitability for a particular use. I simply made a couple potential part sources known to a member of this forum who is working on a project related to the post (and links) I made.
                     
                    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 7:03 PM
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