Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

71 Power Wagon – Fenders, Hood & Steering Wheel

Power Wagon fendersI haven’t updated my progress on the power wagon for awhile so I decided to post some of the odds and ends I have been working  on recently. I spent some time welding cracks and holes in the fenders, did some body work and prepped the fenders for paint. The next day I sprayed them. I let the fenders sit for several days and when I went back to the garage the paint and clear-coat looked great. I decided to install the passenger fender, but to wait on installing the driver’s side until the wiring was completely finished and the windshield was re-installed.

fender installed on power wagonMy impatience resulted in a couple chips in the newly painted fender from trying to install the fender myself. I managed to get it in position and hand start two bolts with no problems, but when I attempted to line the third bolt up the fender came off, hitting the lift and then the floor. Now I need to do some spot painting on what was a perfectly good fender. And it will take some big tires to fill that wheel well sice I added the lift!

prep hood for paintI figured with the fenders and inner fenders painted it was time to start on the hood. My initial thought was to clean and scuff the underside of the hood and simply paint it black, but then I thought it would look much better if I took more time and effort to clean, sand and paint the underside  of the hood the same color as the truck. I ended up taking 43 years worth of paint, rust and grease down to almost bare metal and smoothing some of the pitting out with body filler.

Power Wagon hood in primerWhen that was done I primed the underside of the hood with 3 heavy coats of primer, and I am sure I’ll be glad I took the extra effort when it is all said and done.

Power Wagon hood hinges sandedNext I did the same thing with the hood hinges, but for a top coat over the primer I used POR detail paint to give the hinges a nice original metal finished look. They turned out great. As soon as I finish some last minute wiring in the engine compartment, paint the hood and have the new windshield installed the plan is to get the entire front clip put back together. It will finally start looking like a truck again.

repair steering wheelThat takes me to the steering wheel. I have been looking for a black steering wheel, in good condition with no cracks, that would fit my truck for several months now. Most of them I found are either extremely overpriced or have cracks and damage like mine does. When I was at the Charlotte Auto Fair I saw a steering wheel the owner repaired and painted to match the color of the vehicle. It looked great, so I decided to get some epoxy and try and fix the cracks in my steering wheel. If it works I’ll paint it the same color as the truck. The epoxy did hold, so now the only thing left to do is some sanding and prep work and then paint and clear coat the wheel. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

In addition to these things I managed to find and install a new steering drag link, paint and install the drive shafts and complete most of the dash wiring. There is still a lot to do but it’s nice to finally see things coming together rather than being taken apart.

Next post: 71 Dodge Power Wagon – Door Panels, Window Frames, Headliner & Hood

Read about the full build HERE

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

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