As promised, we’re kicking off the new year’s project updates with more on the Suburban’s refresh! As I noted in the 2020 Review this update was all ready to go, but said review took its original place in line for obvious reasons. Today though I can share the next set of photos and finally reveal that – perhaps unsurprisingly – this project may have grown in scope just a wee bit. But we’ll get to that…
I will say that one very nice bonus of the truck having stayed at the shop these last few months is that it has been kept covered, warm, and out of the snow. Being a RWD model (my parents had specifically ordered it as such given the 2WD Suburbans sat a tiny bit lower and therefore were easier to get in and out of) it never saw a ton of winter usage anyway, but as noted previously it will see even less once it has returned. Hopefully it’s nice and clear when the time comes to pick it up so it doesn’t have to be driven through what you see above!
Inside the shop, the old Suburban could be found hiding out beside the paintbooth with a few areas masked up in prep for some primer.
At first glance it may look largely similar to how it sat in the last update but a few more large components are missing here, having been removed for work to continue.
With the front bumper out of the way the slightly wrinkled inner – panel? flange? whatever you wish to call it – had been straightened out and the edge where the paint had flaked off was now in primer and ready for colour.
Further back and higher up, the windshield as well as the roof rack had been pulled to address a couple of issues up top. Over the years as rocks had been flung in the truck’s face, the leading edge of the roof had accumulated a number of little chips and with some of them not being looked after properly (our bad…) small spots of surface rust had started. Fortunately it was still very minor but now those spots have been removed so they will never have the chance to grow into something more serious. Additionally, following the fresh paint the truck will be receiving PPF in the high-impact areas, here included.
I was also happy to see that the entirety of the metal surrounding the windshield was still in great shape. The truck is on its second windshield now but this one probably already dates back 15 years or so at this point.
Thankfully, while the truck has seen the odd small hail stone over the years it was never caught in a serious storm, but there were still a few spots to address on the roof after all this time. Mario reportedly rather likes the look of the truck without the roof rails but they’ll be going back on even though they have never once been used (for anything other than Christmas lights in December).
Moving down again, the driver’s door was continuing through the rounds of body work to straighten it back out following the metal work, as was the passenger quarter panel.
Lastly, the driver’s quarter panel was also further along and had an old repair now redone as well. The patch you see above the wheel well is where the truck had been scratched back in the mid-90’s. As he told me later on, one day my father had his hands full juggling me, the dog (does the license plate make sense now?), a backpack, and tripod; and when he turned around he accidentally nicked the quarter panel with the end of the tripod leaving a nice scratch down it. The spot was promptly painted and blended in but in certain lighting you could always see a trace of it. No more!
Now at this point the truck was well on its way to being ready for the paint booth to have the various panels sprayed, but this is where the plan changed slightly. And if you’re wondering why the truck is still at Speedy, given it looks to be so close to colour here and these photos were obviously taken a little while ago, that will be explained as well.
As per the original plan the few areas that had to be touched up would be the only areas to be painted, so as to preserve as much of the original paint as possible. A near-on 30 year old truck with (let’s say) 85% original paint? That’d be pretty neat. However, by the time all of the original areas of concern had been addressed, a couple of new spots had been dealt with as well, and you accounted for each panel being entirely re-cleared, the truck was going to be considerably closer to a 50/50 split between original and new.
The reality is – in case it wasn’t clear from the introduction to this little project – that this is a forever truck. This thing will stay in the family until the day it dies. As such, this refresh – and whatever fresh paint it received as part of it – was never going to be some temporary patch but rather what the truck will probably wear for the next 15, 20, 25 years of its life. With that in mind, and the usual no half-measures, do-it-once-do-it-right mentality, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my mother took one look at the truck in this state and gave the guys permission to go ahead with a full exterior repaint.
What may be a surprise though, and comes thanks to the slight push-back of this post, is that the truck is now wearing its new paintjob and it looks stunning! I was far too young to remember how KIDNDOG looked on day one, but I’d wager that it didn’t look as good as it does now. Part 4 of this little series is one I really cannot wait to share…