Junk Yard Rescues
Stories and tips about old truck restoration.Old GMC Pickups
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Restoring classic cars and trucks is a fun hobby that can be profitable as well. However, there is a danger involved in restoring these classics. When they were manufactured, people knew a lot less about the dangers of certain hazardous substances.Many materials used in the manufacture of classic cars and trucks can lead to severe health problems when individuals are exposed to them. The following is a guide to the dangerous substances that people need to be aware of when they are restoring vintage automobiles.
Perhaps the scariest substance found in old classics is asbestos. Asbestos is used in old brake pads, drums and clutch plates. It was used for its fire resistance. However, exposure to asbestos is now known to cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an extremely deadly form of lung cancer. It is imperative that restorers exercise caution when working with classic cars. Oftentimes, 15% of the dust found around the wheels and brake pads of vintage automobiles is made from asbestos! It is best to always wear a dust filter mask when working, as well as using a shop vac to suck up as much as the harmful dust as possible.
Another scary chemical found in older cars is lead. Exposure to lead can have serious health consequences, including brain damage, nervous system damage, kidney problems, reproductive health issues, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Lead is found in the electrical connecting areas of most classic cars. Also, many times lead was used as a filler for cracks and dents in body work on older automobiles. All that lead in the body of a car is released into lead dust when restorers sand the body.
Again, the best protection against lead exposure is to always wear a protective dust mask when working on an older automobile. Many of the older paints used contain toxic substances as well. Cadmium was the chemical of choice to achieve the color yellow back in the good old days. Unfortunately, exposure to cadmium can be fatal in a very short period of time. The lungs absorb cadmium particularly effectively, so it is again imperative to work with a proper dust mask at all times. Lead chromate is also found in some older paints.
As well as the chemicals used in the manufacturing of older vehicles, they accumulate nasty chemicals over the course of their life. Dirt, oil and grease collect around the engine, drive shaft, transmission and axles. This dirt, oil and grease compound is full of nasty chemicals. Restorers should protect themselves at all times with proper safety gear. Wearing latex gloves and a proper dust filtration mask will prevent exposure to toxic chemicals, lowering the risk of health problems down the road.
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My grandfather owned a 1950 GMC truck. I remember a suicide knob that was attached to the steering wheel of his truck. The 1950 GMC truck was a slightly bigger, more powerful and stronger version of the 1950 Chevrolet truck. The GMC and Chevrolet trucks shared identical transmissions, suspension and bodies, but the GMC featured a thicker frame and larger engine. Chevy pickups shared its engines with General Motors’ automotive lines. GMC had specially manufactured truck engines. Although GMC and Chevrolet shared most of the same sheet metal, GMCs had a distinctive grille, tailgate, hubcaps and exterior colors.
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