Restoration: Ford D750—Part 16

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle

The latest updates from Lyndsay Whittle on his Ford D750 restoration

A promise made to myself—and to anybody else who’s interested in this restoration—to get the quarterlights fitted by the time this issue went to print is yet again going to remain unfulfilled due to a hold-up in the arrival of the rubber required to complete this part of the job.

While the elusive rubber has finally arrived in the hands of Jeremy, from Bespoke Auto Glass, sadly we’ve run out of time to get the finished units into place despite the fact that by the time you get to read this issue, the completed windows will have been made up and will more than likely be fitted to the truck.

Temporary housing for painting cab

This slight delay in proceedings, however, hasn’t prevented other work from being carried out on the middle chassis section and all ancillary items such as the fuel tank, the spare wheel winch, tool, and battery boxes, along with a number of air tanks have been cleaned, primed, and painted before being refitted to the truck.

While all the aforementioned has come together rather nicely, we still have a way to go, as a lot of the pipework was pretty badly corroded and will need to be replaced.

I’d hoped that I’d be able to palm most of this work off to somebody else, but for reasons too long to explain, it’s looking increasingly like this too will be left to yours truly to complete.

I have to put my hand up here and admit that I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to making work for myself, as it would’ve been relatively easy to do a quick tidy-up on the chassis section—one just good enough to satisfy the certifiers, thus taking about a month out of the restoration—but somehow that just isn’t me I’m afraid.

The chassis had good ‘bones’

Although cleaning the chassis inside and out, top and bottom was a dirty, dusty affair, that part of the process was pretty much trouble-free and took no more than a couple of days, but all the rods and linkages that had to come off will probably take forever to clean, paint, and fitted back on the truck.

However, having taken a mini-break to go on a bit of a road trip in the South Island for a week, I’ve found that getting stuck back into the job at hand has helped me to see things in a better light.

The other big unknown has been the situation we found ourselves in with the exhaust manifold, which, as I explained in Part 15, left us with the conundrum of whether to repair and refit the aftermarket extractor system that was badly holed or to try to find a good original part.

While it was far from ideal, the conundrum was solved, as the original manifolds are as rare as the proverbial, so patch-up the extractor it was.

Middle section of the chassis painted with fuel tank permanently in place

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for Part 17 to find out if the repair has been a success.

With short deadlines between Part 16 and 17, due to the upcoming Christmas break, I’m going to have to rattle my dags in the next few weeks if I’m going to show even the slightest amount of progress with this show that’s already running way behind schedule.

The immediate part of the jigsaw puzzle will probably be fitting the rest of the exhaust system and to fire the old girl up to see if that less-than-perfect repair to the extractor has worked to any kind of respectable degree.

I have to say at this point that if it doesn’t do the trick, I’m going to be in deep do-do, so it’s going to be a pretty scary wait.

On the other hand, even if it’s not up to the standard of taking the truck to the testing station, it won’t hold up further progress with starting on the chassis around the diff and the diff itself.

Fortunately, the chassis was rust-free

Aside from the cleaning and painting, I still have to get the electric two-speed motor working, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how the rear brakes are going to fair when I finally get around to checking them out.

At the front end of the truck, most of the panel and paint is now out of the way, although, those quarterlights and door windows are yet to be fitted.

Once that’s done, we still have all the lights to be inserted and lit up as well. Unfortunately, auto electrics are the part of any restoration that always seem to pose the most problems for my tiny mind.

Anyway, must press on; there’s much to be done.

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