August - September 2006 - We re-installed the bumpers, grille, and other pieces. The bright aluminum trim that divides the two tone paint is still on the to-do list.
March 2007 - The original interior is still in decent condition but some areas still need a little work. Still on the interior to-do list is:
March 2007 - A couple more photos of the finished engine and engine compartment. The only thing left on the to-do list here is to apply some reproduction decals for the jack mounting instructions and engine emissions information. Finding reproductions for the emissions decals which were originally located on the air cleaner housing is proving to be rather difficult though. So far, I've only been able to find similar decals listed for a 78 454. These are the original decals for the 400:
May 2007 - I used some SEM Color-Coat to recolor the faded door and kick panels. They didn't list this truck's interior color code (GM #25) in their color library but their technical support staff was very helpful. I mailed them a color sample and received a mixing formula within a week. I'll eventually spray the headliner trim pieces with the Color-Coat when we remove them to replace the headliner.
Above: Driver side door panel before. Below: Same panel after painting with the SEM Color Coat.
June - July 2007 -Most of the original trim that divided the two tone paint was in poor condition and was discarded when the truck was painted back in 1989. For 1977 only, GM used "ochre" (yellow) accent stripes on the trim instead of black. I think it may have been an anniversary year for GM trucks or something. Anyway, dad purchased many new pieces of trim from the local GM parts dealership years ago but had to get most of the pieces with the more common black stripes (used from 1973-76 & 78-80). I used some lacquer thinner to remove the black paint, spent a lot of time masking off the trim, and re-painted them with DuPont bahama yellow which is a very close match to the original ochre yellow.
The paint job I sprayed on the truck last summer had a little bit of orange peel texture that I wasn't happy with. So I decided to do some sanding and buffing before installing the new trim and emblems. I wet sanded with 1500 grit followed by 2000 grit to remove the orange peel and dust nibs. Then I buffed the paint with Meguiar's #1 Medium Cut Cleaner followed by their #9 Swirl Remover to restore the shine. This was my first time sanding/buffing a paint job and I've since learned that the products I used are somewhat old technology compared to the newer products Meguiar's has to offer. Still, they seemed to do a good job in my opinion.
October 2007 - A couple photos of the finished truck with all the new trim and emblems installed.
July - August 2008 - We took the old 235/75R15 Bandag retreaded GoodYear tires off the truck and replaced them with a set of 31x10.50R15 Dayton Timberline A/T tires. The old Bandags were great snow plow tires but very noisy on the road. While the tires were off, I took the opportunity to sandblast the wheels and spray them with some epoxy primer followed by some Nason Ful-Thane urethane in the original shade of white. Although not original to this truck, these 15"x8" wheels are factory GM RPO-PA6 wheels. They can be distinguished from similar looking aftermarket wheels by the rounded/rolled edges of the triangular openings and the threaded center cap mounting holes.
November 2011 - After storing the truck for the winter, we removed the seat and headliner and took them to the upholstery shop for repair. The headliner will be getting re-covered with some original type perforated vinyl. The seat will also be getting re-covered with original type vinyl on the sides and cloth on the seating area. Hopefully the upholstery shop can find a source for some of the original cloth. It's a ribbed pattern velour that (from what I've found) was only used in GM trucks for 2 or 3 years in the mid 70's.