How to Restore a Truck

Restoring a truck is tedious, messy, and a heavy duty task. However, knowing the proper techniques and maybe seeking guidance from someone who’s already done it, might actually get you through the seemingly impossible task. You need considerable amount of workspace, preferably over twice as big as the size of the truck, and a great toolkit to make it happen. You will need enough space to access all parts of the truck from all possible angles. Also, plan your budget before you begin the project, so that you won’t need to stop or take a pause in between.

Following steps will help you to restore a truck:

Tear It Apart

Begin by tearing down the vehicle, interior to the exterior. Check all the parts for damages, and make a list of those that need to be replaced or repaired. Clean them off any dirt or rust using sandpaper. Strip off the interior, starting from the seats, the dashboard, and the steering wheel. Similarly, remove the outer body panels, including the doors and the cargo box, and examine them for damages, dents, cracks etc. Also, remove the chassis using a hydraulic jack. Take off the fuel tank, the rear axle, wheels, transmission, brake drum, wiring harness, fuel and brake lines, and the tail and head lamps. Remember to remove the fenders, and the cab and front clip. Sandblast all the necessary parts. If you are planning to install a new transmission and a brand new engine, then you can sell it for scrap rate at a nearby garage. Broken, malfunctioning, or missing parts can be purchased from any garage or you might even try getting hold of them online. You might also need to replace the wooden frame, that gives shape to the truck, and fills the gap between the chassis and the body. It is better you replace the frame for best results.

Cleaning the engine

The next step is to remove the engine, for which you might require a hoist. Once removed, clean the engine of visible debris using a dry toothbrush. Now, cover the carburetor, air intake and associated electrical parts using plastic bags or freshwrap, and secure them well using rubberbands (no need to use duct tapes). Wash the engine using soapy water, and rinse thoroughly using your garden hose. Be extremely careful as to not let the water enter the vulnerable areas. It would be advisable if you leave this job to a professional, for inaccuracy during the process might ruin the engine. You may choose to touch up any worn out paints on the valve covers and the engine head, but seriously, not many of them will spend time admiring the engine.

    How to Restore a Truck

Bringing it back

Now it’s the time to assemble all the truck parts together after replacing and restoring the necessary parts.

  • Assemble the engine, transmission, wheels, rear axle, brakes etc. It’s recommended that you change the entire electrical wiring, so as to avoid persistence of small, yet irritating problems. Tires need not be replaced, if they show good amount of linings that can give it friction, while in motion.
  • Now reassemble the body of the truck, head lamps and tail lamps, and dashboard
  • Paint all the parts of the truck properly, give it a matt or a metallic finish, and apply vinyls to give it that desired look
  • Once you’ve installed the engine and other mechanical parts of the truck, it’s time to get the interiors fixed and dazzling. Ensure that your upholstery is comfortable
  • Now replace the gear oil as well as the oil in the engine

The brake job

  • Remove the brake fluid from the master-cylinder reservoir, using a turkey baster, till it’s half-full
  • Raise the front of the truck using a floor jack and secure it in that position using stands
  • Remove the bolts from the wheels using a lug wrench, followed by the wheels and the tires
  • Using an 8-inch C-clamp, lower the brake calipers and tighten the clamps associated with the outer brake pads
  • Push out the supporting key and the caliper spring, using a brass drift and a light hammer, and push down towards the spindle and take out the brake caliper
  • Secure the dangling caliper to the frame using a wire, to avoid any damage to the caliper
  • Remove the brake pads, outer then inner, as well as the spring clip
  • Clean the spindle section and the caliper using standard cleansing fluids
  • Install a brand new spring clip on the lower section of the inner brake pad, and place the pad inside the caliper, with the spring appearing away from the rotor
  • Hold the outer pad in position, and push the tabs to get it inside the caliper
  • Place the caliper over the spindle and twist it around the higher mounting support
  • Install a new caliper supporting key, holding the upper surface of the brake caliper using a screwdriver
  • Push the spring and the key inside the caliper, using a mallet
  • Using a torque wrench, position the key to twenty foot-pounds
  • Get the front of the vehicle back to surface level upon installation of new brake pads, and refill the reservoir with brake fluid
  • Get inside the vehicle and pump the brake pedals to feel whether they’ve been set firmly

The above steps may not be too detailed, but the information is certainly beneficial for restoring a truck. Use this method to restore different types of pickup trucks such as Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, and many others.

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2 Responses to “How to Restore a Truck”

  1. Johnny says:

    You may want to proof read this. It sounds very ignorant and not helpful at all. Sorry

  2. editor says:


    Sorry for being ignorant and writing such a superficial article. I’ve updated the post rightaway. Although I can’t possibly quote all the essentials, I will try and keep it at least a bit informative… Cheers!

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