DSC04537 (1024x768)Step 1.  Open your checkbook and hire someone else to do it for you.  Since I don’t have an extra $4,000 lying around, and I find myself with an extra couple of days worth of time, I’m once again tackling it myself.

It’s actually not bad, since it’s been polished three times prior to this.  It’s been two years on the last polish, and while it looks pretty good, it does look better with a quick polish.  You can see where I quit (from exhaustion) just aft of the rear wheel, where the swirl marks end.

Since 10:30 this morning I’ve done the entire street side, front below the windows, and the curb side to here.  Have yet to do the back panels and the front cap.  I’m not touching anything above the drip rail or below the side rub rail.

Tomorrow I’ll finish up the side and back-end, then I have to rub those areas down with a towel sprinkled with flour, the best thing I’ve found to get the polish residue off, and then hand polish with Nuvite “Nu-Shine” final glaze.  Those two steps get rid of 90% of the swirl marks, and I can live with that.  It doesn’t have to perfect to be fun.

DSC04523 (1024x768)“Shouldn’t” you be working on the truck, now that it’s all fixed?”, you ask?

The answer to that is that I’ve exhausted my limited diagnostic skills, even with the new scan tool I bought.  I’ve replaced the MAF sensor, the plug wires, the fuel pump, the 02 sensors, cleaned the plugs, replaced 4 of them, and it still runs ragged, fussed, fuddled and worried myself sick, with no real improvement.  I give up.

This morning I drove it in to Kalamazoo to my friend Ron Penny’s shop, “Woodward’s Garage”, and left it there for them to fix whatever boneheaded thing I’ve overlooked or screwed up.  Actually, it didn’t run too badly, but following me Kim said it was occasionally puffing black smoke from the right hand side, and it was missing.  Which explains why I can actually watch the needle on the gas gauge going down…

So, it’s been left overnight in Intensive Care, while the trailer goes into rehab here in the driveway.  The Big Brown Truck delivered a shiny new bumper and the hood corner rubbers today, so when Ron is finished making it run, I can put that stuff back on.

Time for a beer.

  1. One of my goals in life is to travel in a vintage Airstream. Love this.

  2. Dave Highway says:

    What polishing method are you using? I’ve been going at mine with wool bonnets on my 7″ Dewalt polisher and various grades of Nuvite; F7 (coarse), G6 (medium) and S (fine)…. Mine has never been touched since 1947 and it has been a real bear to get a shine out of it.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    what precisely do you use to polish the aluminium? I have alloy bodied lotus 7 type clubman that needs a polish and I could do with some tips on the best way to go about it.

    • flynbrian48 says:

      Lain, I start with rubbing compound, 3M Super Duty, and wool bonnets on a 7″ grinder/buffer. That’s a good first cut, but VERY messy. After clean up, I use wool bonnets again, with polish called “NuVite”, “G” to start, ending up with their “C” grade. After that, wipe down with a terry cloth towel sprinkled with regular flour to clean the black residue, and a hand polish with NuVites “NuSheen”. There will be a few swirl marks, but I don’t have a random orbital buffer (I had a Cyclo, but it was miserable to use, and painfully slow). That’s how I do it…

  4. Karin says:

    New bumper?! Where did you get that??!!

    • flynbrian48 says:

      Chev’s of the 40’s! I bought ’47-54 Chev truck bumpers from them originally, so a replacement was a mouse click and credit card number away!


  5. flynbrian48 says:

    Dave, I found the NuVite, even the coarse, doesn’t do squat on old, never polished, weathered aluminum. I use 3M Super Duty rubbing compound, intended for cutting paint quickly, as a first step. It’s VERY messy, and leaves a LOT of greasy, black residue, but it’s a good start to use the Nuvite polishes. I like C, followed by S. Vintage Trailer Supply has the best price I’ve found for NuVite and wool bonnets.


  6. David Foutch 46 Spartan Manor #465 says:

    Man you sure make this ole retiree envious and tired at the same time..Honest you sure get things done…. We have a 66 Chev panel in the back 3 that needs to be brought back to life and the 46 Spartan is still at the cabin in Gladwin, we are in the Flint area.. Well, sure enjoy your site. Regards Dave

  7. I didn’t know the Spartan had to be re-polished on a regular basis…a labor of love. Your hands are never idle, Brian!

  8. Rod Kiser says:

    Please post what the problem was with the truck. One side only is very curious. If both sides I would have thought coolant sensor.

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