34. Remove the glass. Some windshield and rear side glass is glued in and will need to be cut out. You can do it if you take your time or just have a mobile glass guy come out and do it for you.
35. Make sure your air suspension is easy to operate. Nothing pisses off a shop as much as a truck that leaks and has to constantly be worked on in ordered to be moved around the shop.
36. Make sure the tires hold air as well. The shop may not notice the flat tire and drive on it, and then you get into a pissing match about who's going to replace it.
37. Clean the truck as much as you can in areas the shop might miss like inside fenderwells.
38. Charge your battery. The truck will be started and moved quite a bit, but not driven long enough for the alternator to recharge the battery.
39. When block-sanding, if you can't find a block that fits well into an odd body line you can make one from a piece of wood or just about anything you have in the shop. Don't be afraid to think outside the block.
40.When smoothing plastic for painting, don't try and sand the plastic smooth with the sandpaper. Just do a light scuff and then put down a few layers of high-build primer and sand that smooth.
41. Another plastic prep tip is to make sure to use an adhesion promoter like Bulldog. The chemicals in these types of products will give your primer more bite and prevent the paint from peeling off the plastic part later on.
42.When shaving a door handle, it will help to get a junk door from the salvage yard so you can cut filler pieces from it. The steel will be the same thickness and have all of the proper body lines and curves. You can also get a completely different door handle and graft that in as well.
43. Line up all of the sheetmetal before you start bodyworking the truck. You don't want to do a bunch of bodywork and then find out later that your perfectly smooth panels are going to be re-aligned after the parts are painted and re-installed, thus screwing up those perfect jambs and body lines.
44. You can drill small pilot holes where sheetmetal bolts together to make lining up during reassembly a snap. When you reinstall the part, all you need to do is use an awl or a piece of sturdy wire to push in the hole to set the proper alignment.
45. Tape all shims together when you remove them, and also mark where they came from to aid in reassembly.
46. Hopefully you have all of the glass out before you start bodyworking to prevent scratching the surface of your windows with the paper or burning it with the welder. If the glass is going to stay in the truck, make sure to double- or triple-mask the edges and cover large areas with a welding blanket or cardboard.
47. If the glass is out, mask the window opening shut. This will cut down on the amount of sanding dust entering the interior.
48.When MIG welding a small hole closed, you can use a piece of brass to back up the hole instead of using a patch panel. The weld won't stick to the brass and this is much easier than cutting a small filler piece.
49. For shaving larger holes, make a small patch piece and weld a small tab on it. This will give you a small handle so you have something to hold onto while you do the first tack-welds.
50. When replacing pieces of sheetmetal like rocker panels, make sure to have the door in place and properly adjusted before welding the rocker panel in place.
51. Use glazing putty to fill small pin holes and light gouges for quicker results.
52.If you strip anything down to bare metal don't let it sit outside. Rust can start showing up in one evening because of the moisture that's present in the air. You are better off covering the metal with spray paint or duct tape and removing that when you are ready to work the area again.
53. If you use a chemical stripper to remove old paint, make sure to rinse the part and surrounding areas thoroughly before painting. That stuff can linger and hide in tight spaces and could come back to ruin all of your fresh paint.
54. Another bad thing to let sit out in the sun is masking tape. If you have to push your project outside for any substantial amount of time, you are better off removing the tape before the glue dries out and the tape becomes brittle thanks to Mr. Sun.
55. To get the best coverage out of your paint, you can tint the primer to a similar color. Primer is cheaper than paint, so cover as much area as you can with color-tinted primer first before painting if you are looking to save dough.
56. Speaking of cheap, if you're building a mild custom look into using single-stage enamel paint instead of two-stage. It's much cheaper than the cost of a two-stage basecoat/clearcoat product.
57. Use 36-grit paper to strip a panel to bare metal, 80-grit to knock down body filler, 180-grit to block primer, and wet-sand the primer with 400-grit before spraying the sealer.
58. An often overlooked area to detail is the small lip on the wheelwell openings. Make sure you get in there and sand it as well so the paint will adhere to it.
59. When you are finished spraying primer, make sure to clean the gun right then and there. The longer it sits, the more chance the primer will dry up in the small passages and turn a quick clean up into a scrubbing nightmare.
60. Read all of the instructions that come with your materials! Even if you have used a product before, you never know if the company made a small change in the formula that will require a different procedure for applying it.
61. Make sure all components are compatible. If you don't know, don't mix them. Call your supplier and make sure your sealer, primer and paint won't react in a negative way.
62. Buy a wall thermometer and humidity gauge (hygrometer) because this will help you mix the paints properly to your booth temperature.
63. Also make sure the truck itself is at the same temp as the booth. If it has been sitting in the cold shop and you pull it in a heated booth you have to let the sheetmetal come up to temp before spraying.
64. Get a water trap in your air line. Nothing will screw up a paintjob faster than a bunch of water entering the gun from the air line.
65. If you are having a custom color mixed, it might be a good idea to get an extra quart added to the order just in case you need to touch up something later.
66. Spray all of the jambs first, then proceed with the outside of the truck. This will cut down on the chance of putting fingerprints in the fresh paint when you go to close the door.