I guess its typical of most of these older trucks with bed sides that wrap slightly around the cab, but there are always dents in the cab from the bed hitting the cab under frame flex. The passenger side was much worse than the drivers side. I removed the paint off the passengers side since the dent was large enough I needed to see what was going on. Luckily you can get to the backside of these dents pretty easy. I ended up using about a foot long rod that was about a half inch around to poke at the dents from the backside. Once I got the dents popped out I was able to hammer and dolly them back down to shape with what seemed like a thousand little hits.
I didn't have too many pictures, but I also replaced both doors with slightly older doors I got from a friend in New Mexico. They are both in very good shape and will only need very mild work. They have manual window and locks. I was able to use all the locks, handles, and latches off the original doors from the truck. They need some new rubber but overall are a VAST improvement over the doors that came on the truck. They also had grey old style door panels that are not in terrible shape.
The passenger side front fender was just a little too far gone to save. I made a trip to the local junkyard to see what I could find. I ended up finding a perfect door and dang good tailgate for $25. You can't go wrong with that. My tailgate is very very hammered and not worth working with. I will also be removing all the chrome trip and going with a more basic looking truck overall.
The tailgate has two nickle sized dings in the top which I may just cover with a tailgate guard and one dent in the middle face that I think I can get out pretty easy.
Don't worry my old tailgate won't be a total waste. I am going to scavenge the locks and hardware from. I am also going to end up cutting a piece of the inner skin to fix the hole under the gooseneck hitch that is in my bed. That thing is coming out for sure!
The last recent thing I did was remove the rubber flares off rear wheel wells. I wanted to check for rust under them. I also don't have front flares so I think I will be running the truck in the older style without any flares. I love these southwest trucks....no rust to speak of.
I am going to continue on the body work. I need to find a semi-quick way to get the bedliner off the body panels so I can start filling/sanding/priming. The bed is going to get some more attention also. I need to french in my 2nd fuel filler door and trim/flange the rear quarter panels for the wrap around bumper I have planned for the rear. Hopefully this rear bumper will make up for the longer overhang of the long box on the truck. I had visions of bobbing the bed but I didn't want to have to make a custom camper shell. The rear bumper will hopefully maximize clearance as much as practical and minimize any potential for damage to the rear section of the bed past the tires.
If there are any ideas for the rear bumper that you feel are a must have please let me know.
That is all for now....