Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ford Argent Silver

Now that Old Blue has her original California yellow on black license plates mounted I notice how the rear bumper has been aging since it was last painted. Time to take a look at what it will take to refresh the iron step bumper she carries on her tail-end.

A Little History:
Bill the Retired Ford Parts Manager who does Part number research on 1928 - 2001 trucks & 1928 - 89 passenger cars says
" ...that Rear bumpers on 1966 F-250's were optional, and that Ford didn't offer a step bumper until 1967, so the one on Old Blue was after market and was originally painted Ford's Argent silver.

On the front, Styleside bumpers were either chrome, or usually painted Colonial White, which is a bright white. Standard Cab grilles were usually painted this same color. On Old Blue the front bumper was chrome and the grille was aluminium.

There were two different shades of exterior white, Wimbledon...which is an off white and Pure White, which is close to Colonial White."

Old Blue has the chrome option on the front and looks great, but for the back I  need to find a current silver paint that will look as close to original as possible. 

Paint Source Options: 
Searching the web I find the following options called out as close to Ford Argent or Silver Paint:
  • Detail Silver - Eastwood
  • Ditzler 2593 (Argent Silver)
  •    "      DAR-2593 (acrylic enamel)
  •    "      DDL-2593 (acrylic lacquer)
  • Ford Silver - PPG - DCC2593 polyurethane (PPG Argent Silver)
  • Ford 1G - "Silver Poly" (1975-1976)
  • Ford 1G - "Silver Metallic" (1977-1980)
  • Dupli-Color® FM-149
  • Dupli-Color® - WP101 (silver) NOTE: I tried and think it is to BRIGHT
  • Jewel Silver - Subaru code 9985
  • Moss Silver wheel paint - 220-560 (Moss Motors Ltd)
  • Ditzler Delstar® - Code #16
  • VHT - SP188 polyurethane (Argent Silver) NOTE: I use this for my applications
  • Motorcraft Argent Spray Paint Part# PM-19K207-AA
The old PPG paint code for Argent Silver is #8568

Additional Info:
For the Dark Argent aluminum paint (on the flat part below the grill and above bumper), the correct color # is Ditzler DAL-8518 This is a darker color than the other 'argent' used on various places on Old Blue.

Painting the Rear Bumper:
I started checking for the Dupli-Color and the VHT options at the local Autozones, O'Reilly's and Napa stores. For 2 months I checked every week or so not finding any stock of the what I now presume to be 'precious' Ford Argent. I finally found a single can of the VHT SP-188 for $5.99 at the local Autozone and will prepare the rear bumper for a refresh.

I took off the newly mounted license plate, sprayed WD-40 on the 4 bolts that hold the bumper to the frame and let it sit overnight. I repeated the process the next day as the bolts were rusted and very stiff. The next day I hit the bolts 3 times with the hammer and with focused determination, managed to loosen them up and remove. This was a slow process as I did not want to break the bolts but eventually they all let loose. I then tied the bumper to a tree in the yard and slowly pulled away, sliding the bumper out from the frame about 12". I then masked off the tailgate and rear fenders with newspaper and tape to ensure no overspray on Old Blues' body paint.. I treated the bumper rust with navel jelly, rinsed well, rinsed again with baking soda and water and let it dry then put down a coat of primer. After letting it dry I sprayed the bumper with two coats of the SP-188 and let sit for a day.

After pushing the bumper back up against the bed, I painted the license plate bolts black (semi-gloss Rustoleum) to match the black on the plates - the old bumper is looking good !!!

However, I notice the license plate light is not working .. I will put this on the TODO list to check out later.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Old EBAY License Plate Accepted by CA-DMV

I received the tags and registration for Ole Blue today. The state accepted the plates and the registration sticker as submitted and now I need to put my vintage plates on Old Blue. I have been looking at the bumpers on all the old Fords I see the past few months, looking to see how the license plates are mounted. Each bumper style has its own placement and mechanism for attachment, and as Uncle Ken found out, with the aftermarket bumper on Old Blue the placement is a little different then other F-series bumpers and certainly ANY modern vehicle.

Mounting the rear license plates on a 1966 Ford truck with an aftermarket step bumper requires that the top of the license plate slips between the tailgate and the bed of the truck. It can slide into the ~1/16" gap between the bed and the tailgate and then is bolted at the bottom on to the bumper. Ok - this works fine as I have seen this on a few of the trucks I have looked at in various parking lots over the past few months BUT ...on Old Blue the drivers side tailgate has been pushed in a bit by some unfortunate past event and there is no 1/16th gap anymore...and now the Toppers, if used as I assume intended by the California DMV, mounted to look like Mickey Mouse ears on the rear license plate would be tucked up behind the tailgate and not visible by any law enforcement officer ...

Well, since DMV has not published any instructions on how to mount these mouse ears, I guess I have some flexibility. What are my options?  First I painted them with black enamel and baked them to give them a chance of survival on the California Highways:

1. I do not know if these toppers are specifically required, and from looking at other YOM plates on other vintage cars many YOM owners don't use them, they just put the registration stickers on the plates as if the plates have been used since first registration of the vehicle.

2. I mount them as assumed, on the top of the rear license plate and let them tuck up behind the tailgate. I kind of like this idea as I would be following tte letter of the law and IF anyone ever cared they would be there. However, they may catch on stuff put into the rear bed of the truck.

3. The 'Modified Mouse' option rotates the toppers to cover old tag (but they are still on plate) and lets them be seen while driving. I like this one because it does not effect the old tag.

4. Ignore them and throw them into the glove box where they are there if anyone wants to see them ...

5. Mount them some other way that lets them be seen, like putting on what WAS the front plate and mounting the plate with the 1966 sticker on the front?

So, where should I mount the current stickers? I decided to throw them in the glove box for the time being, though modified mouse was a close second!!! Old Blue is now a California Truck once again - Welcome Home!