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Restoration of my 1988 Cabover is Nearly Complete!


Restoring a vintage vehicle is often seen as a journey back in time, a chance to relive the glory days of automotive history. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of restoring a 1988 Cabover truck, highlighting the challenges, rewards, and the sheer passion that fuels such endeavors.

The Cabover Truck: A Brief Overview

The Cabover, also known as a "COE" (Cab Over Engine) or "Cab-Over," is a style of truck that positions the driver's cab over the engine, rather than in front of it as seen in conventional trucks. This design, popularized in the mid-20th century, offered several advantages, including improved visibility, maneuverability, and cargo space. The 1988 Cabover represents an era when these trucks were a common sight on the highways, carrying goods across the country.

The Restoration Journey

  1. Finding the Gem

The first step in restoring a 1988 Cabover is finding one in decent condition. Due to their age, these trucks are becoming increasingly rare. Scouring classified ads, online forums, and attending truck shows can be essential in locating a suitable candidate for restoration.

  1. Assessing the Damage

Once you've found your Cabover, a thorough inspection is necessary to determine the extent of restoration needed. Common issues include rust, engine problems, worn-out interiors, and electrical malfunctions. This assessment will help you develop a restoration plan and budget.

  1. Stripping Down

Restoration often begins with stripping the truck down to its chassis. This process involves removing the cab, engine, transmission, and all other components for a comprehensive overhaul. It's a labor-intensive phase but crucial for achieving a like-new result.

  1. Engine and Mechanical Work

The heart of any vehicle restoration is its engine. In the case of a Cabover, ensuring the engine runs smoothly is paramount. Rebuilding or replacing worn-out parts, refurbishing the transmission, and addressing suspension issues are all part of this phase.

  1. Bodywork and Paint

Cabovers from the late 1980s typically suffer from rust and corrosion. Repairing or replacing body panels, sandblasting, and applying a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into the truck's appearance.