BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Tue May 13, 2014 12:44 am

Gavin here, from upstate SC. Bought Snuffleupagus at the beginning of January '14 and had my blinders on at the time, but I don't have any regrets. It was listed as an "older restoration" in the craigslist ad when it really should have read "older hack-job". I drove it 180 miles back home from Statesville, NC. Well, more like limped it home haha. After the "restoration", they parked the truck in a garage and never got all the bugs worked out. Needless to say, I had to deal with all the bugs.

Here's the picture from the ad. Snuff sported wheel adapters with Oldsmobile wheels, a 307 sbc and TH350 trans, chevy pickup rear bumper, chevy seats, Chevy rear view mirrors, BMW steering wheel and a ton of diamond plate. They must have had a big piece laying around because the instrument panel, misc brackets, and even a tailgate cover were made from aluminum diamond plate. The guy I bought it from had already removed the tailgate cover. Not sure why anyone would want to cover it up?



Finally home!!





I purchased some 14" wheels from summit racing and some super cheap tires from ebay. One of my friends painted them Galaxy Gray and cleared em. I'll eventually get center caps and beauty rings.





Ignore the rusty panel. It won't be there long.



The wiring was a disaster. Bad grounds, rats nest, corrosion, you name it. Got the 8 circuit kit from Rebel Wire. I love this kit. Super easy to install. Just don't forget connectors and heat shrink!! This has since been covered with a Telsa cloth tape.





The diamond plate dash had to go. I flipped it over and hit it with some cast gray paint I had on the shelf. I'll eventually find the factory stuff to go in it, but this works for now.



The brakes left a lot to the imagination during the test drive. The seller and his neighbor could only shake their heads in disbelief when I pulled out the driveway for the trek home. Once I pulled the brakes apart, I realized that driving that truck home was probably one of the dumbest things I've done before. The brake reservior was bone dry and rusty. The only fluid was what was inthe lines behind the plunger. EEK!!



Luckily all the components except the brake springs were salvagable. Installed new wheel bearings, flushed the lines and rebuilt the master cylinder. Now I can stop with confidence.



Found the front letters along with a rear driver corner patch panel on Norfolk craigslist for a good price. I drilled the body filler out of the mounting holes and popped em in. Now it's starting to look like a proper e-pup.



Used some paint stripper to get the flat black off of the bezels. That was way more work than I anticipated. They still aren't perfect, but look way better than before. Sprayed some aluminum color behind it, for now.



First time back on the road!! Had to stop for a couple of artsy fartsy iphone pics.







I'm finally to the point where I can get rid of some of the rusty areas and body filler. Started with the left rear corner since I already had the patch panel.

Some spots were about 3/8" thick!! This came off in one big chunk.



I could have just drawn a line and cut it out but I just HAD to see how much filler a person could possibly use. The pictures don't do this everlasting gobstopper justice.



Probably should have removed the tank and filler neck before cutting. Oh well, I've done dumber things.



After I got it cut out, I saw someone's advice to leave about an inch of old metal. Oops. I still have about 1/8" to weld to. I'll just have to be super careful with that seam when I'm grinding the proud.



I still have to do some test fitting of the panel and drill holes for the filler neck before I can get busy making it look pretty. I'll try to update the progress as I go.

Here's the shadow and the reason for the name.



A shot in the garage, next to my '41 Chevy Coupe.



Thanks for looking!!
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vanny
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Number of posts : 8597
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 58
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by vanny on Tue May 13, 2014 4:04 am

Wow, Gavin, you've done some GREAT work on that Epup! You're right, it's shadow does look like Snuffy! Wiring and headlights look much better. Nice work and Welcome aboard Vintage Vans!


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econopoor
Econoline Guru

Number of posts : 1741
Location : Jackson TN
Registration date : 2010-04-18

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by econopoor on Tue May 13, 2014 6:23 am

I remember When this truck was advertised. Looks like you are doing a great job straightening it out. I'm amazed at people that will slap mud over the dents and rust and think they did something good. Where are you in SC. I'm in Charleston on vacation heading the Florence Thursday for my niece's graduation. Then back home to Tennessee this weekend.

Duane in Tennessee
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Bruce67Econoline

Number of posts : 809
Location : Charleston SC
Age : 58
Registration date : 2014-01-25

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Bruce67Econoline on Tue May 13, 2014 6:57 am

Nice work, wish I had half of your skills.
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Big W

Number of posts : 3273
Location : Saskatoon,Sask,Canada
Age : 53
Registration date : 2011-01-13

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Big W on Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 pm

Welcome to VV Gavin. It's looking real nice. keep those pics coming.
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Donn

Number of posts : 690
Location : Long Island, New York
Age : 59
Registration date : 2009-04-05

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Donn on Tue May 13, 2014 5:12 pm

Cool looking truck! The new rims look much better...
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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 8597
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 58
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by vanny on Tue May 13, 2014 5:36 pm

BTW Gavin, I'm really liking that 41 Coupe in the garage also. They make a nice pair all warm and cozy in there! Keep up the fine work and don't forget the pics! Please and Thank You in advance...


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Magic Bus

Number of posts : 1407
Location : -Gateway to the West - St Louis Missouri
Registration date : 2009-12-02

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Magic Bus on Tue May 13, 2014 7:17 pm

Looking Good!
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xjamesx

Number of posts : 374
Location : Rural Maine
Age : 42
Registration date : 2008-05-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by xjamesx on Tue May 13, 2014 8:57 pm

Welcome. I saw some of these pics on Instagram. Keep up the good work and posting pics, as it's motivating to us with rust buckets in need of major panel repair.
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A100 Wrench

Number of posts : 563
Location : Sunnyslope,AZ
Registration date : 2013-05-12

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by A100 Wrench on Wed May 14, 2014 5:55 am

Welcome and nice work.
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Wed May 14, 2014 5:56 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome and compliments! I got a little more accomplished on the corner over the past couple of mornings. I'll post some pics in a little while.

Duane, I'm in Seneca, about an hour west of Greenville.
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Wed May 14, 2014 8:23 pm

Got the corner worked in most of the way. Still have a little tweaking to do before any paint is involved but it's good enough for a coat of etching primer.

I started off by using a grinder with a 3" cut off wheel to grind off most of the proud. I tried to leave just a tad above the surface so I can smooth it out with a 3" grinding disc.





I didn't take any pics of it after I blended with the grinding disc. I took extra care not to gouge the metal. The blending went really smooth on the left side of the panel. The top seam was a bit more challenging since the original panel had a good bit of damage that I had to massage back in place.





This is after some more hammering, heating/shrinking, and smoothing of the top seam. It's still a tad low. I'm not an expert metal shaper by any means of the word, so a thin layer of filler will smooth it all out.



Here is the back side of the original corner. It has to weigh 30% more than the patch panel simply from all the filler. I'm kind of not looking forward to the passenger quarter section that I'll start on soon, or the rest of the truck for that matter haha.



I'm satisfied with the patch. I really would like to get a shrinking disc and do a little more work. Oh well, that can come at a later date.

Next thing to come: Floor pans. A Westward Fab bead roller showed up on my doorstep the other day, so I'll beef it up a little and start cutting out some floor panels. It's hot as hell in that truck with out a dog house over the engine haha. (I do have the dog house btw).
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econopoor
Econoline Guru

Number of posts : 1741
Location : Jackson TN
Registration date : 2010-04-18

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by econopoor on Thu May 15, 2014 4:41 am

Nothing wrong with that. Looks great.

Duane in Tennessee.
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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 8597
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 58
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by vanny on Thu May 15, 2014 10:45 am

Looks Great. Much better than all that Bondo in there. Keep up the nice work and you'll get there in no time!


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Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Guest on Thu May 15, 2014 2:36 pm

very nice work. bounce
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Big W

Number of posts : 3273
Location : Saskatoon,Sask,Canada
Age : 53
Registration date : 2011-01-13

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Big W on Thu May 15, 2014 5:09 pm

Excellent work gavin. Looks way better than before.
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Sat May 17, 2014 1:10 am

Thanks again for the compliments! I snapped a couple of pics of the floor pans yesterday and contemplated on how to approach it. They hacked em up pretty good when they put in the SBC. They modified the dog house as well. I'd love to work a lip back around the new pan and make the doghouse fit tight.

Here's some pics of the passenger side pan.





The rust hole is right in the frame rail.



Ignore the messy wires EmbarassedThey'll be tidied up one day lol



If you're wondering where the alternator went, I bought a mount that puts it on the lower driver side. Really opens up the top view of the engine.



Here's the driver side pan. It has a lot more rust, especially where the cab meets the bed.



Had to snap a pic of the shag remnants hanging off the back of the cab. Wish I could have seen it with the shag in it!!



As far as approaching this pan, I think I'm gonna lay out some carboard and cut it into a pretty exact shape and use it as a template. I don't believe this pan will come out in whole panels. I can only make out a couple of spot welds. This makes me way more nervous than that rear corner haha.

If anyone has any tips and tricks, please chime in.
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Sun May 18, 2014 4:26 pm

Got off of work early last night and started modifying the bead roller. I kinda felt bad for cutting 1/2" plate with a grinder at 2 am, oh well. Twisted EvilThe plate is 4" wide and definitely overkill but it was free!



I'll work on making a stand for it next.

At some point last night I noticed this:





The other side is not split like that, so something must have smacked the back of the bed pretty hard at some point in it's life. So, I decided to fix it real quick.









Much much better!



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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

The Bondo Blues

Post by gavinator on Tue May 20, 2014 5:40 pm

I temporarily put the floor pans on hold. My best friend, Brad Potocik (who will be painting the truck when the sheet metal is done), is coming into town this weekend and bringing his stud gun, so I figured I'd go ahead and get the dusty work out of the way on the passenger side of the bed. I knew it was gonna be pretty gnarly, but I really had no clue!

Pryed out a tad with a screw driver and this piece pulled right off.



Holy body filler Batman!! ShockedShockedShocked



That piece pulled right off, too. Saved me a lot of sweeping!



I had to keep the door shut so I wouldn't cover the neighbor's car in dust. I'll have to wait until nobody is around before I blow the shop out Twisted Evil



After a little bit of wire wheeling and sanding, this is what I'm facing.



I was hoping to get out of buying the patch panel, but it's gonna be way too much work trying to even attempt to work that back into shape. I'm gonna buy the patch panel tonight but I'm pretty certain it won't be here by the weekend, so we'll turn our attention back to the floor pans. He wants to try that bead roller out anyway, so it works out just fine!
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vanny
Moderator

Number of posts : 8597
Location : Ashburnham, MA
Age : 58
Registration date : 2012-09-22

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by vanny on Tue May 20, 2014 6:04 pm

WOW! Now that was some THICK Body Filler! I guess you never know what's under the paint after 50 years! I'm with you in that the replacement panel will be much easier than trying to straighten that mess out. Thanks for the pics!


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EconoUSAparts

Number of posts : 2190
Location : Ft Thomas,Ky
Registration date : 2008-05-17

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by EconoUSAparts on Tue May 20, 2014 7:05 pm

I've got that rear floor metal in good shape in a parts rig I'm cutting up, from a 66
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Tue May 20, 2014 7:31 pm

vanny wrote:WOW! Now that was some THICK Body Filler! I guess you never know what's under the paint after 50 years! I'm with you in that the replacement panel will be much easier than trying to straighten that mess out. Thanks for the pics!

I'm not sure how long ago this "restoration" was done. The last registration sticker in the window is 1987. But yes, there is no telling what you're gonna find haha.
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gavinator

Number of posts : 42
Location : Upstate South Carolina
Registration date : 2014-01-14

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by gavinator on Tue May 20, 2014 7:32 pm

EconoUSAparts wrote:I've got that rear floor metal in good shape in a parts rig I'm cutting up, from a 66

Gonna shoot you a PM. Do you have a website?
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EconoUSAparts

Number of posts : 2190
Location : Ft Thomas,Ky
Registration date : 2008-05-17

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by EconoUSAparts on Wed May 21, 2014 3:59 am

No website, just some parts trucks
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Donn

Number of posts : 690
Location : Long Island, New York
Age : 59
Registration date : 2009-04-05

Re: 1961 e-pup work in progress aka Snuffleupagus

Post by Donn on Wed May 21, 2014 12:48 pm

You should frame that "sheet" of Bando, maybe a world record?

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