So I finally had a nice day today that was just a perfect day to get something done. Weather-wise that is. It wasn’t too windy. It wasn’t too hot. I can finally walk without a lot of pain now.
About three months ago, I took off my truck topper.
I’ve never been a fan of toppers and while it was perfectly matched to the truck, I still prefer to replace it with a Tonneau cover. Which I hope to have on by winter. However, the topper has been on the truck since it was originally manufactured. Removing it had some repercussions. Such as it took a lot of paint off the truck bed edge. Some was gone already and rusted. Plus there were some nasty rust spots inside the bed as well. Just after the topper came off, I bought the matching primer, paint and clear coat. Along with some paper and tape that supposedly the pros use.
Today I decided to fix it. Keep in mind, I’ve never done this kind of thing before. I’m not in the field of body work and paint, nor do I wish to be. Though I do really want to keep this truck in good shape.
I had some help. Though I can’t say for sure if it would’ve turned out better my way or their way. First I sanded everything down. I wished I could’ve done the whole truck box, but I didn’t have the funds but for what absolutely needed fixing.
I also taped off areas I didn’t want painted. Now I wanted to keep the paint from getting to close to the tape. This way I had hoped it would blend in better. Plus any mishaps would be hidden when I put the Tonneau cover on. So when I did the primer, it turned out like so.
The problem came in when I tried to do a wet sand. Seems all I was doing was removing the primer again. I didn’t take photos, but my help resprayed the primer and put a lot of it right up to the edge of the tape.
When I tried to put on the paint, I moved the taped edge down some. In hopes that it would blend a little of the edge in as again, the wet sand only seemed to remove primer, not smooth it. No such luck. I’m not real thrilled with how it turned out. Though I suppose it’s better than when I started. After putting on two coats of paint, I tried to use a buffing wheel on my drill to sort of blend it in. The wheel I bought simply started to fall apart on contact. Spewing lint and threading all over the place. I cleaned it up and since I was out of options, I put two coats of the clear coat on. Here’s how it turned out.
The whole process took most of the day. Started at 9am and finished around 7pm. Once I got all the sanding done, it was an hour between each coat of primer, paint and clear coat. So someday I hope to have someone better than me to blend it a bit in to remove the noticeable edge. 😕
Not an actual picture of my truck —- >
(See below for actual photos)
I took that trip to Traverse City like I said I would. Hung out with my mom and we walked all over the downtown shopping centers. Sadly I didn’t find one pair of shoes, any shirts or hats that I was looking for. The trip was a bust and that shopping area is now reserved for hipsters, food connoisseurs and coffee snobs. While I love coffee, I’m happy with Starbucks.
After hitting the mall yet again, there just isn’t any shops I’m interested in there. I had much better luck when I was going to Saginaw. We stopped for lunch, and as we were leaving my car started doing the most peculiar thing. As we came to a stop light, the car felt like it just threw itself in park. It was a sudden lunge and stop action. We managed to move again, but the next stop the same thing happened. I thought it was a transmission problem. My mom felt perhaps it was a brake problem. Neither of us really knew. However we carefully drove back to Gaylord trying to avoid coming to a complete stop. When we did, the car would do the same thing. Strangely, once we got home, it stopped completely. It was like it actually was in park. I could rev the engine, and it wouldn’t move. If I shifted to reverse, it would move a few feet and “park” again.
The following Monday, I had it towed to a friend/mechanic. He tested the car’s electrical system. His suspicions were confirmed, something wasn’t sending the right signals from the computer controller in the transmission to the main computer in the car. The car deemed something was unsafe. Though no “Check Engine” light ever came on. He was able to clean up the harness connecting the two components, but trying to save me money as transmissions are BIG dollars to fix. His advice to me was “trade it in”. He said it with more flair that indicated “do it soon”.
I was never really happy with my Sebring. It was the only car I could afford that wasn’t a piece of junk. Most cars offered to me when my Lumina died were over priced rust bombs. I paid way too much for the car, and right from the start it had tires not made for driving in snow. The air conditioner was blocked with garbage and soaked the interior the first night I drove it for work. Shortly after, the dashboard lights started to die and only flickered when it was really cold outside. My radio would lose its programming. I sunk nearly $1200 in tires, new rear brakes and minor engine repairs. The list goes on. Also, who the hell designs a car where the battery is in the wheel well? [yes, that’s a video link] Seriously!?!?? Not a Chrysler fan. Between that and the insanely high interest rate from having bad credit 😒
Anyway… I managed to find a very low mileage [less than 50k] truck at an affordable price. It’s not new, but it’s in good condition. A 2005 Chevy Silverado. Hopefully with God’s guidance, I made a good choice. Clean Carfax, one owner, all repairs documented; kind of find.
The topper will be for sale soon. I’m not a topper kind of fellow. When I can afford it, I’ll get a vinyl Tonneau Cover.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to Simple Auto for helping me rebuild my credit enough to get out from under their Buy Here/Pay Here interest rates. I now have a regular loan via a Credit Union. Interest rate is better, though not great. I will never again let someone else handle my finances and ruin my credit.
For some reason, it just had to be red. Immediately I wanted to recreate a favorite photograph.
Damn, I’m just becoming a good-ol’-boy aren’t I? Driving pickup trucks, shootin’ guns… Though I will never concede to country music and beer. EVER.
And NO! You can’t borrow it!
I’m so over this snow shit already. It seems lately all I do between job one and job two is shovel and blow snow. Then by the time I get to the night job I’m exhausted and frozen. Just to run about cleaning off my car 15 times a night to trudge through other peoples driveways that aren’t plowed and porches covered in snow. I’m tired of freezing my ass off and being physically spent every night.
Not to mention, yesterday during early morning whiteout conditions, Darla’s car wouldn’t start. So being I had to have my car for the night job, I tried to drive her to work in Grayling. I think we topped speeds of 30 miles an hour. Though mostly under 20 until we got to Waters. I said, fuck this and turned around for home. No job is worth having a heart attack over while stressing out in bad winter weather.
My next two goals are thus: 1) Get a house. Hopefully by next winter. 2) Trade my car in for a truck with a plow.
I’ve grown up here and have never needed four-wheel-drive. I have a fond memory of my friend Jeff using his 4×4 to pull out a car in the snow and he got stuck too. I used my two-wheel-drive truck to pull them both out 😉 Granted, I was on the road while they were both in the snow. Still felt good to know how to deal with it. I digress.
Frankly winters up here are harsh and I’m over freezing my nuts off and getting my Carhartt clothing soaked nearly every day to keep my drive and walkways clean. I want to sit inside a nice warm truck and be able to push the snow around. Then do minor shoveling and snow blowing and be done with it. Besides, I’ve been dying for a truck for years. I’m going to make it happen one way or another. It’s long past time to work on my dreams.