Restoration: Ford D750—Part 13

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

This was a job that required several steps, all of which needed to be tackled sequentially if we were ever going to get it completed

The first part of the exercise was to get the glass out of the rusty frames.

I’d been pondering the various steps over the past few months and had decided that the best course of action was to start with my friend Jeremy Tagg from Bespoke Auto Glass, who has previously done the glass in my K Bedford and FGK Morris restorations.

I must explain that I’ve an inherent fear of glass due to an altercation I had with a small shard of the stuff when I was about eight years old.

Ford D750 Restoration

All right, I know that auto glass is a bit different from the household variety, but nonetheless, I’ve heard it said that most fears and phobia are formed in the first six to eight years of your life.

While I’d hoped that Jeremy would remove the glass from the quarterlight frames, the recent surgery he’d had on both wrists precluded this from happening, so the only option for me was to face my fears and do the job myself.

It took some time and involved another sharp instrument called a craft knife and copious quantities of ketone-based solvent.

To make matters worse, I needed to remove the glass from the original quarterlights as well the two donor windows, which had been kindly supplied by Graeme Blackstock who I’ve mentioned in previous issues.

Graeme’s stock of D Series spares, coupled with his generosity and desire to see another D back on the road, have made lighter work of getting this job done and dusted.

While Graeme’s units were in a considerably better condition than the originals, they were still in need of the odd repair here and there, hence the need to fabricate one good pair from the job lot.

After a bit of adjustment, the driver’s door fitted well
After a bit of adjustment, the driver’s door fitted well

Also, Graeme’s quarterlights were taken from a newer model truck, fitted with slightly different catches on the steel frame whereas mine were fitted through a hole in the glass.
It’d probably consume the rest of this article to explain the differences in detail, but the upshot of it was that these apparently minor details required two extra cuts and welds in order to complete the finished product.

To maintain the original shape of the frames, I made a former out of a bit of old chequer plate that I’d saved from my previous FGK Morris restoration.

In its previous life, it was one of the aftermarket steps that I felt was a bit of overkill and had replaced by (you guessed it) fabricating two original-type formed steps made up from four units I had in stock at the time.

See, even old fogies are on-board with sustainable recycling. Nothing, absolutely nothing goes to waste.

Jeremy reckons he can manufacture the quarterlight rubbers to make them pretty much like the originals, so all I have to do now is paint the frames ready for Jeremy and his new offsider Amber to fit in time for restoration Part 14 in the next DOW issue.

The door windows should prove to be a little less problematic, as they are already complete and will only require some stock standard channel, along with Jeremy and Amber’s expertise to be fitted.

If proceedings have appeared to be a little slow over the last month or two, readers who have been following the story should see better progress in September and October, as a lot of the seemingly insignificant jobs such as cleaning and painting nuts, bolts, and brackets have been carried out and are now just waiting for larger components such as seats to come back from outside contractors.

A step from a previous restoration was cut up to use as a quarterlight former
A step from a previous restoration was cut up to use as a quarterlight former

One of those small jobs that’s been going on behind the scenes has been carried out on the heater. Yes, a heater.

While the modern-day driver wouldn’t consider driving a truck without aircon, let alone a truck with no heater, back in 1970, a heater was a luxury to behold.

Prior to starting the restoration of this truck, I’d checked to see if the heater fan was working but there was no way of knowing if the heating side was operational because the controls were missing from the dash panel.

While at this stage I can’t give a definitive answer as to whether or not the truck will go back on the road with a completely functional example of this much sought-after commodity,

I can say that things are looking promising.

Further proving his mettle in helping to bring the restoration to fruition, Graeme Blackstock has sent me a set of heater controls and cables, all of which have aided me in getting my thick head around the heater’s operation.
I’ve since had the unit apart and have been able to free up the mechanism that directs the flow of air to either the windscreen or the cabin.

By the next instalment, I should have the heater back in place and hopefully, it’ll be all go.
I had promised that I’d have the driver’s door fitted in this issue, and to a certain extent, I’ve been true to my word.

However, when I made that outlandish statement last month, I’d imagined that would’ve included having the exterior of the door painted as well.

The heater ready for fitting
The heater ready for fitting

Because I’d painted the inside and outside of the passenger’s door before fitting it, I thought I’d be doing the same with the opposite door, however, due to the awkward shape of these things and the fact that they’re quite heavy to handle, I’ve decided to paint this one in situ. Guess I’m getting lazy in my old age.

The aluminium step inserts arrived back from the metal polisher at the last minute, so I was able to install these, aided by the use of some plumber’s putty, which should keep the moisture from seeping through to the panel beneath, and that leads me to the tip of the month.

Tip of the month

Allproof Plumber’s Plastic Sealer—good for use on trucks as well as bathrooms

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