Wow, it's been over 4 years since I last updated this. A lot has happened in that time. I've bought a house so my tool collection has increased considerably. I've gotten a welder and learned how to fabricate. Naturally this has lead to some changes to the old truck, and the acquisition of about 700 other projects. I've built a racing simulator setup for my living room, bought several motorcycles, and an '87 Mercedes 190D. I'll try to keep the truck updates in chronological order as much as possible.
First off several years ago I got some rock sliders, I think for Christmas, from my parents. I wanted these mostly to assist with getting in and out of the truck, but also to protect the rocker panels from the offroading I planned to do and (spoilers) never did and probably never will, lol. I installed the driver's side one in 2018. The passenger side one is... still leaning up against my desk in the shop lol.
There's been a few things I don't really have pictures of that happened during this time. I've dealt with several coolant leaks which I (hopefully) have resolved by removing the bleeder hose deal that goes from the rear heater hose to the upper radiator hose. The crank seal began leaking oil several years ago so I had to pull the timing cover and all of that jazz off to replace that, wasn't too hard just time consuming.
The hand-actuated e-brake barely worked and I really wanted cup holders, so I removed the handbrake and sold it. Fabbed up a blanking plate to cover the hole and then got a center console from an early model Nissan X-terra. I removed both seats and the rear vinyl. Took the carpet down from the back of the cab so I could repair some faulty wiring with the rear speakers at the same time. I figured "I won't have to take the interior apart again for a long time so I might as well do it now..." FORESHADOWING.
Test fitting. I had to trim a fair bit of the console away to get it to clear the seatbelt receivers Final fit. It's tight but I did install the lid on it and it works without fouling the seats. It's so nice having 4 cupholders instead of 0.
You might be wondering what I did to replace the e-brake... well, I bought the under-dash e-brake handle like the non-4x4 trucks have and intended to use that. I got lazy due to other projects and didn't mess with the truck for a while, just drove it around. I'd noticed that it squeaked constantly and the clutch felt kinda funny but mostly ignored it. Then one day I decided I'd install that e-brake. That's when I found the floor hole. I had pulled the driver's seat back out to do the brake installation and when I pulled up the vinyl in the front...
I scraped up all the deadening material and vacuumed up as much loose rust as I could, then used a screwdriver to poke around and find the areas where the metal was weak. Then the cutting began. I ended up having to remove the entire cab mount area, so the body was held up with a piece of 2x2 on a bottle jack. The truck would sit this way for a little over a year.
|I made most of the new floor out of pieces of an old shelving unit that was being thrown away at the office.|
|I tried to cut out sections and repair them as I went, rather than cutting it all out immediately so I wouldn't lose the shape of the floor.|
|It was really exciting getting to this point. It took a long time, but when it started looking like a floor again instead of a window it helped keep me motivated.|
I coated the floor in several layers of primer, then a couple layers of paint, then topped it off with 5 coats of 3M professional rubberized undercoating on both inside and out. I then layered adhesive sound deadener (Roadkill brand) on the inside, then covered that with Roadkill's deadening foam mat. I did the same to the passenger side and rear of the cab.
I deadened the rear cab wall as well and put a layer of foam up between the carpet and back wall. I also removed the jump seats from the rear and deadened those openings to give me more cargo space and some room to put future electronics in the recesses.
After all this there was a rust hole on the passenger side rocker panel that had been there since I bought the truck. I'd just ignored it because I didn't have a welder at first, then I ignored it because I'm lazy.