QOTD: What Projects Are You Undertaking With COVID19 Related Isolation?


While I am lucky enough to still be fully employed during this COVID19 pandemic the physical distancing measures certainly limit options during the weekends. Like many others I have tackled a few small projects which I will share below. I would invite anyone else to share what projects they have been up to in the comments. (Please keep any politics out of the comments, there are plenty of other outlets for that sort of discussion. Let’s keep it to projects only. Thank you in advance.)

While my work has got more busy with the work from home measures, that did not stop me from taking on two small projects. I bought this grille surround which I believe is from a 1928-1930 International Six Speed Special truck. It obviously needs some work but the logo is in nice shape. The intent of this mini project is to clean it up a bit with no certain outcome. I would love to find an old truck chassis, fabricate a body with this grille as the center piece of a home made hot rod. I still have the Austin A40 steering wheel which has a vintage vibe to it as well. That bigger project might be a long shot however so this might just be garage art in the end. We will see.


International Six Speed Special


The International Six Speed Special truck was sold from 1928 to 1930 and is most known for its Eaton 2-speed rear axle which gave a total of six forward speeds when combined with its three speed manual transmission. Despite only being equipped with a 30hp four cylinder engine the trick rear axle allowed the truck to have a reasonable top speed for the era leading to brisk sales in the 1 ton market.

repair 1

On my example near the top there was an annoying bend in the metal which I worked back straight with pliers.

repair fins

A large number of the fins were bent over. I cannot imagine the cooling system functioned all that well in this condition. Taking a flat head screw driver (and gloves to prevent cuts) I was able to pry them back into shape.

before and after

Now that the fins were more straight it uplifted the overall appearance quite a bit.

repair 2

There was a neck coming off the bottom of the radiator that prevented the whole unit from sitting flat. After some lube the bolts came off surprisingly easy. The neck itself had a hole in it and showed signs of a previous repair.

shoe lace thing

I am not sure about everyone else but I find engineering solutions like this fascinating. A shoe lace type piece of material was used to keep the hood vibrating on the grille surround.

bottom mount

Here is the bottom mount.

bolt and nut

The next task was to separate the surround from the radiator. Unfortunately it was held on with a nut and a bolt with a flat head screw like head. Who knows how many decades they had been together.

method to remove

There were eight of these bolts and I had low expectations of getting them all off. Lots of penetrating fluid was used and amazingly only two succumbed to the angle grinder’s wrath.

Radiator removed

The radiator was free but I now saw that one of the supports was broken as a result of a repair from the past that did not hold up. Unfortunately brushing off the flaky chrome meant large portions of it came off in chunks taking the patina option off the table.

Painting process

There was an old and very poorly done repair in the lower left corner which I had to grind down and then add a little filler to smooth. Not perfect but I did not want to attempt re-welding this 90+ year grille surround. I also was able to knock out quite a few dents which were hidden by the flaky chrome previously. Spring came very late this year so once it finally warmed up a bit I was able to lay down some primer then paint which turned out a little more silver than I would have liked. In the end it came out quite well.

Bearing cap

I ended up acquiring this wheel bearing cap as well as the hood from the same seller. The cap might make a nice grille surround mascot style topper.

3D render in Blender

I made a scale accurate 3D render in Blender 3D with my grill and a first generation Ford Ranger chassis plus a simple, from scratch built body. It would use the stock chassis only with the engine moved back and the steering shaft extended.


For the second project I took advantage of the brief glimpse of spring weather to re-finish some cheap wheels I had picked up. As I discussed in my Nissan Fairlady COAL I do not care for the chrome 20″ rims that came with the car. Apparently no else does either as I have tried to sell them with no luck so far but I bought these cheap rims over the winter.


The plan was to have a black center with a plain outside ring which meant lots of lots of masking work.

I used some scrap plastic from the new furniture my wife had bought plus masking tape.

Black paint

Next the black paint went on.


Now the (simulated) bolt heads need cleaned off as they were impossible to mask off effectively.

Scrap off

This took some time but I scrapped paint off with flat head screw driver which worked quite well if a time consuming process.


From a distance and heavy dose of squinting the wheel sort of looks like an expensive multi-piece rim.

Sort of test fit

That should look quite good I think. Before fitting I need to replace the rear tires first as they are really bald.

So what projects have you been working on lately?