Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

71 Power Wagon – Prepping the Cab for Paint!

My next major concern in the 71 Dodge Power Wagon restoration project is to get the engine and transmission in the truck and hear it run. Once I know the engine is good to go I will feel better about moving forward. The problem is I need to get the firewall and inside  the cab where the gas tank mounts painted before I can install the engine and transmisssion.


Up to this point in the  restoration I have done all the work myself. One thing I am not comfortable with is doing a quality paint job, especially since I don’t have a paint booth and would need to spray it outside! So,  I decided to take the cab of the truck to a body shop and have it professionally painted. When I get the cab back I can get a lot of work done, to include installing and starting the the engine. And this will allow some time to build my truck restoration fund up again before I have the rest of the truck painted.


In the mean time I thought I would do some body work on the truck’s bed, fenders and hood. When I bought the truck the passenger side inner fender had some bad cuts in the metal from a cutting torch, and it looked like someone beat it with a ball-peen hammer. My first thought was to replace the entire fender since the inner fender is permanently attached to  the fender itself, but finding a good replacement is not as easy as it sounds. I found a few of these trucks in local junkyards but the condition of the body panels is poor to say the vey least.

fender-brazeThe guy, who owns the body shop where the cab is being painted, said “why don’t you dolly it out and braze the cuts in the fender. ” I hadn’t considered that since the gaps looked so wide, but after re-assessing it I thought I would give it a try. The worse that can happen is it doesn’t work and I am back where I started. I cleaned the metal up and as I heated sections to start brazing I worked the metal with a dolly and hammer. I was suprised at how well the gaps closed up and I was able to shape the metal and braze the cuts. With a little body work it will look new again, and and it saved me time and the cost of finding another fender.

I have been debating on a color for the truck for quite some time and now I was forced to make a decision. I was going to go with a silver/gray color used on some of the newer Dodge Challengers, but after scouring  through some paint chip books I decided on a BMW color called Alubeam Silver.

Can’t wait to see the cab and get started on the installing the engine. I’ll keep you posted.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

Next Post: 71 Dodge Power Wagon – All I Wanted was a Good Paint Job!



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