This is really for Ron, as I wanted him to see the transformation on the fenders a shipped up to this Yankee all the way from Tejas (I know, I know, it's crazy but there are no old Dodges in the boneyards here in Maine anymore).
The metal was solid--a little surface rust here and there, some minor pitting on one small area of one--but these suckers were filthy (sorry, forgot to take a "before" shot). It was a veritable dustbowl here when I took the grinder with the wire brush to 'em...the red clay was flying.
One of 'em had all kinds of nasty black goo caked on--wire brush took care of that, but smelled like Bayonne, New Jersey for when the friction from the brush heated the crap up.
After a good hour of brushing, I scrubbed them clean with hot water and detergent, let everything dry real well, then primed with trusty Rustoleum (I know, you auto paint purists will cringe, but cripes, this IS a work truck).
Here's how they looked after the second topcoat of flat black:
I'll put a third topcoat of high-gloss on to finish them off (more durable than the flat and easier to keep clean). Probably dark hunter green to match the eventual body color, although I may do the street-facing portion in black.
Now to pick up some fenders--local distributor in Portland quoted me $100 each for the aftermarket ones, $30 below normal price. Not sure I'm going to do better (you were lucky to get those in Spokane for $50, 'herder).
Can't wait to make this old gal pretty again. Her body's just heinous right now from rust, abuse, and neglect.