New To Group. Need Help With 85 W-150 RUST

Hi all! Is this the right place to ask for help trying to keep my 1985 W- 150 on the road? Lots of questions including how the roof panels and drip
rail are welded together before they start to disintegrate. Is taking the old outer roof panel off a safe job for an amateur? The best rust inhibiters to use before priming, painting and undercoating the bad spots under the box floor and behind the sides, good sources for generic body parts when available, etc. I can't afford a bodyshop, so I need to do my own work when possible. This is a great old pickup, but is in need of some serious TLC. Mechanically, it runs great, but has a delayed thud and shudder when accelerating from a complete stop at a sign or light. It's been doing it for quite some time (3 years?), but nothing obvious has surfaced. Thanks, and .....HELP!!!!!! Andy
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stacker wrote:

I have an '87 for sale, if you're within a couple hours of Springfield, MA come take a look. Erik Veng for sheet metal. Check your gear lash in the differential, possibly might want to do bearings. You don't even want to try separating the outer roof from the inner when you don't have a body shop or a welder and it's also welded around the window openings. Get those wrong and it'll leak more than it ever did. Replacing the cab is so much easier. Disassemble the nose after unplugging and disconnecting things and unbolt the cab from the frame. You'll want to gut the cab and take the doors off of course. This also makes it -much- easier to work on and fix the one you have and get at other things like the u-joints for the transfer case, stuff like that. Check your frame while you're at it and oil the bastard with old motor oil or thinned out grease..kero and 90 weight gear oil sprayed up along the frame and into the bed ought to do a lot for where you can't reach with undercoat.. Oh, good undercoat, 3M Professional Grade rubberized undercoat.. This stuff is the shit to use.. Bought fenders from a Dodge dealer and wherever I sprayed its never rusted, inner side of the fenders obviously. Outer side has surface rust from the dirt and other crud beating up on the paint. I bought the fenders back in '91 and except for wrinkling one I have the other still with no inside rust.
My other truck is something of a bastard child.. It started life as a '74 D100 and now has the bed of a'78, cab from an '80(12/1979), A/C from an '87 Ramcharger, trans from a '67 Coronet, heads and intake from a '69 273.. Rebuilt it twice so far. I should name it Franken-truck.
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My other truck is something of a bastard child.. It started life as a

Hi Morgan. Thanks for the tips. I'm on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border in the heart of rust territory. This truck was already a collection of bits and pieces of other trucks when I bought it. God only knows where alot of the running gear and body parts came from. I"ve had a couple mechanics, that have more on the ball than I will ever have, check the drive train. The rear differential has been gone over. It can be in motion up to 5 or 10 feet before the thud comes along. If I am gentle with it, no thud at all. The rear springs are not the best. I'm gonna run with the used oil idea. The frame needs a shot of something to hold the rust back. I have a body shop that is more than willing to put the new outer roof on, I just wondered about taking the old roof off, grinding down the welds, and handing it to them to finish the reassembly. I'm not crazy enough to try it after seeing the way it is welded together at the back of the cab. Anything I do has to be done in a friends barn. No garage here.
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stacker wrote:

Mn.. Just so you know, my dad told me that when he was in the Coast Guard and stationed in Virginia Beach they had an old jeep to go down the beach and get the kids for school. Once a month they'd mix up some kero and 90 weight and spray it down to coat all where the salt water would splash. They had the thing for -years- and when they used a pressure washer to clean off all the gunk from all those years to sell it the thing looked brand new. My old truck still has the original e-brake cables because whenever I get any grease from greasing u-joints on my hands I just smear it along the cables. Mind you, these are the old steel jacketed & wire wound cables and its a really good idea to slime them when you need 'em to work. Your truck however has the e-brake setup that if you want to you can pull off the lever on the side of the frame and put a grease fitting in it, should keep it from seizing like my '87 wanted to.. I had to smack that sucker with a hammer and spray with penetrating oil to get it to loosen up. By the way, I've been to Menasha, WI.. Right accross from Pierce Fire Equipment when I was working for Swift Transportation. Saw some nice old vehicles too.. Anyway, your cab is put together in such a way that you'd have to cut the inner side of the roof loose to get at the welds for the outer roof..not fun.
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I had to smack that sucker with a hammer and spray with

AArgh! I can do without that roof job. I'll let the body guy worry about the roof, and just take care of the stuff I can handle. The last guy that had this truck loused-up the E-brake set-up, so it is unuseable. As a matter of fact, he just let the whole thing go to pot. More work. I was going to replace the valve cover gaskets before winter too, but it doesn't seem to leak alot. Where it does, NO rust problems, so let it leak awhile longer! My wife has an aunt somewhere over near Menasha. It's almost straight East across the state of Wi.from here. Anyway, back to drip rail hunting. Chrysler dropped the part, and there isn't a stocking dealer left anywhere.
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