Q: I am writing because I came across an old issue of the magazine with a redo of a '67 C-10 from the ground up; I believe it was the October '91 issue. How can I get a copy of that series? We own a '67, and some technical information would be very helpful for doing a ground-up restoration.
Our truck has the small back window-how do you make it power operated? I have seen some trucks like this, and I want my truck to have that feature. None of the magazines I have seen show how this is done. I have an extra cab to practice on if that is needed.
How difficult would it be to make suicide doors on the '67? I think suicide doors are awesome, and I would like to learn how to do this modification. Also, how do you give the doors rounded corners? I do not remember seeing any articles on doing this.
I already have the engine and tranny figured out; it is just the body modifications I need some assistance with. I have a lot of questions, and I hope you can give me some assistance on accomplishing my goals. I enjoy the magazine, and if I get the right look, maybe they'll feature it some day!
Via the Internet
A: Back issues are available through Primedia's Back Issues Department at www.primediabackissues.com or by e-mailing customer email@example.com; however, I don't believe they go back as far as that.
Suicide doors are not extremely hard to create. Basically, you move the hinges from the front of the door to the back of the door, and move the latch and striker to the opposite side as well. Of course, you will need to do some work to the door jamb areas to adapt the hinges and latch parts to their new locations, but this is just basically cutting and welding metal. The work must be done carefully so that the door still fits the opening properly, but if you measure twice and cut once, it will go a long way toward ensuring success. Always be sure the pins on the upper and lower hinges are on the same centerline-the door will bind if there is any misalignment!
Making rounded corners on doors is also fairly easy. You can cut the corner off the door with a saber saw and then weld the cut-off piece into the door jamb. You will need to add a filler piece in the door jamb area to fill the small gap left, and the cut edge of the door should be welded to seal it.
I don't know of any kits available to make your rear window power operated. There are many companies that make power window conversions for older trucks with flat glass door windows. You should be able to adapt this type of mechanism to your window, but you'll have to devise the tracks and seals for your application, and this can make it a fairly complicated job. Check out Specialty Power Windows at www.spwkits.com for more information on what's available.
Write again if you have more questions, and we'll look forward to seeing pictures of your truck when it's finished!
Q: Hey Ron, first of all, I want to say thanks-I look forward to your column in CLASSIC TRUCKS each month! I am replacing the floorboards and cab corners on my '56 Ford pickup. My question is, if you butt-weld the joints, should you grind both sides of the weld for appearance, or will this weaken the weld too much? Also, do you have a video that covers this?
A: First of all, I'm very glad you enjoy the column! Most often, only one side of a welded patch panel is visible. For example, with the cab corners, the portion of weld on the inside is usually hidden when the truck is together. For floorboards, once carpeting (or mats) is put on the floor, the welds are usually covered. On a show truck that will be displayed with mirrors underneath, you might consider the underside of the floorboards visible, but you probably wouldn't worry about this for a street-driven truck.
If a butt-welded joint is sanded at all, it's usually only done on one side, since it's rare that both sides are visible. An exception to this would be welds on the bedsides or tailgate, where both sides of the joint are visible. As long as you have good penetration, your welded joint should have adequate strength even if you sand both sides.
The video that best covers this subject is Basic Techniques for Working with Steel.
You can e-mail your questions to Professor Hammer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to: Professor Hammer c/o CLASSIC TRUCKS Magazine, 774 S Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870. We'll print your name and city unless you request otherwise. Ron Covell has made several metalworking videos and offers an ongoing series of workshops across the nation covering all aspects of metalworking. Check them out online at www.covell.biz, or call for a current schedule of workshops or for their free catalog of videos, books, and fine-quality metalworking tools. Phone 831- 747-4631 or 800-768-0705. You can send a request by mail to: Covell Creative Metalworking, 106 Airport Blvd., #105, Freedom, CA 95019.