Desert Detailing Project Truck: Part 2

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With the truck home and the reality of a new paint job setting in, it was time to start “de-modding” it and stripping things back in preparation for paint.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out Part 1 of the desert detailing truck story at the link below.

Related: Desert Detailing Project Truck: Part 1

The first thing to do with the truck, which my wife has lovingly nicknamed “Cookie Monster,” was ditch the bug guard (wind noise generator) and the heavy fiberglass tonneau cover.

I removed the vent visors as well but failed to take a picture of that.

I then removed the rubber bed mat and cleaned underneath. There was a pretty good pile of sand and sticks under the mat grinding away at the paint.

Knowing a paint job was coming, I went ahead and started removing everything that was stuck to the body as well so I didn’t have to pay the body shop to do that.

Following my own advice from my How To post on removing stickers, decals, and emblems, I started with removing the badges from the tailgate.

Related: How to Remove Dealership Stickers, Decals, Emblems, and Badges from a Car

I applied heat using a heatgun to soften the glue.

After peeling the emblem off and the bulk of the adhesive I used a little Goof Off to remove the remaining residue.

After removing the remaining emblems and stickers I hit the tailgate with a little Meguiars Ultimate Compound polish and was left with a clean tailgate.

Next I started removing the tailgate and bed caps.

The bed caps were barely hanging on after warping in the New Mexico sun. I was able to pull them off by hand to reveal more dirt hiding underneath.

A quick wash revealed spots where the caps were rubbing through the paint from warping and moving around.

The driver side was even worse.

If this truck had been driven around the midwest without fixing this it would have surely started rusting under the caps.

Onto the bed cap. Just like the stickers and badges I started with a little heat to soften the adhesive underneath and started pulling.

After a little Goof Off and a quick wash, the bed was good to go. I didn’t bother removing the Z71 stickers since the shop will just sand them off while they are stripping back the old paint.

My last task was to remove the door molding, using the same techniques as pulling the tailgate badges.

I busted out my handy Pro-Lift Anti-Fatigue Pad to save my knees and back while worked down low on the truck. If you don’t have one of these pads, I HIGHLY recommend it. You can fold it in a variety of configurations to help you sit, kneel, or lay on the ground or concrete without hurting yourself.

Removing the molding revealed, yet again, that the previous painter didn’t bother to remove anything and just masked everything off. The paint under the molding had also failed. This happened on both the driver and passenger side. There was no way around repainting this truck.

While I had the truck in the garage I also took the liberty of removing everything from the rear of the interior along with the headliner so that the body shop would have everything out of the way for glass and roof antenna removal.

Unfortunately I ended up coming down with appendicitis and having surgery in the middle of stripping the interior. My mind wasn’t in the right place so I didn’t get any pictures of that process other than a final pic of everything out of the truck.

With everything removed, and looking from 30 feet away, the truck doesn’t look half bad! It’s certainly better than the day it came home.

At this point it was time to take it to the body shop and let them work their magic.

The best quote I received was for $4700 cash to completely strip back the repainted panels and the peeling roof and hood and repaint the entire truck the factory color. I had some quotes as high as $8000.

I didn’t have much choice so off to the body shop it went.

PSA! Real paint jobs aren’t cheap! That’s why it’s so darn important to take care of the paint you have now.

If you haven’t check out my Detailing 101 Guides I highly suggest it (in the sidebar to the right on desktop, at the bottom of the page on mobile).

Learning to take care of your car and its paint not only keeps it looking nicer longer but it could save you thousands later.

Ok, off my soap box. That’s it for now. Check back in soon for the next project truck update!

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