Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fixing things, adding things. Things things things.

Due to some family stuff and having a fair bit of overtime at work I've been a bit lazy and haven't updated the build log in a while.  Progress on the truck continues, however.

A fairly quick and cheap task I wanted to get out of the way was fixing the janky crap of a positive battery terminal that the truck had on it.  There was also a wire that had been spliced together by hand and didn't even have tape over it, so I figured I'd tidy up some of that.  The old terminal was really soft and the way the previous owner had wired some other stuff to it was pretty gnarly.

Plenty of corrosion damage, you can tell it didn't have much life left

That nasty splice

I replaced the terminal with a nice new brass one.  Cleaned up the end of the positive wire and re-terminated the ends of the 2 additional wires with some properly sized terminals.  Cut the ends off and soldered that nasty wire and heatshrinked it.  I then wrapped the whole thing in some nice new wire conduit (not pictured).

So that was a simple enough task.  Whole thing took less than an hour.  The next thing that had been bothering me was a piece of metal interior trim that goes below the rear window.  It was rusty and I had removed it and had it lying in my garage for around a year.  I finally sanded and cleaned it, then sprayed it with Rustoleum rust converter primer.

After priming it I shot it with 4 coats of Krylon Oxford Blue.  It doesn't match perfectly but it looks pretty good.

Realised I didn't have a picture of it in the truck, so I just ran out and took one.
One day while browsing Craigslist I happened to see a trailer hitch receiver for a early model Frontier.  I sent the owner a message asking about it. He said it would work on the hardbody as well.  I did some googling and found this was the case.  I decided since I'd have to pull the bumper off anyway that it was time to get rid of that jacked up rear bumper.  I ordered a early model Frontier chrome bumper and brackets off eBay.  The bumper arrived after a few days, but I was going offroading with some friends so I decided to wait until after that to install it.

After I got back I yanked the rear bumper.  Upon doing this I realized there was some minor frame damage on the passenger side.  The bumper bracket on that side looked like it had been stretched.  It was warped and the bolts were so badly damaged that I had to just use a breaker bar and break the heads off, then tap them out with a hammer.  That bend in the frame was preventing the hitch receiver from lining up properly.  I took a couple pieces of flat steel I had and used my ball joint press to straighten most of it out, then tweaked on it by clamping an adjustable wrench on it and bending it around with that.  It turned out to be pretty easy.

There's what it looked like before. The receiver uses that bottom hole, so that had to be fixed.
With that fixed, I installed the rear bumper.  It did require some modification to get 3 bolts in.  The bumper said it only needed 2, so only 2 of the holes lined up.  The 3rd hole (the receiver hitch recommends using 3) lined up about 70% of the way, so I just used a dremel to open the hole up some more on the frame.

The new bumper looks significantly better.
If you watched the video above, you'll have heard me talking about water getting in the motor.  I took a little bit in through the intake (luckily no damage done).  The cause of this was mostly this huge rust hole.

I'm pretty sure I had mentioned fixing this before but just had been putting it off.  It was finally time to do something about it, so I went and bought some sheet aluminum.  I cleaned the rust hole up some and then sprayed it with rust converter primer.  Waited a day then sprayed a 2nd coat.  Waited another day and then sprayed the area with silver hi temp paint.

I know this isn't the best fix, but it's good enough for now.  If it keeps getting worse I'll tear the snout of the truck off and do a proper rebuild.  Anyway, after painting it I used some paper and made a template of the hole, then used that to cut some of the sheet aluminum to shape. I put a nice thick bead of liquid nails around the opening, then drilled and riveted it in place.  The liquid nails should do a good job of sealing it.  I used liquid nails under the bottom to try to fill in areas I thought moisture might accumulate.

First piece of aluminum riveted in place

both piece in place. It looks pretty good IMO.
After getting the aluminum in place I let the liquid nails dry for a day, then primed it and sprayed the area again with the silver high temp paint.  The next day I put all the stuff that goes in that area back in. 

Once it gets dirty it'll hardly be noticeable :)
I don't remember if I've mentioned it here, but ever since I purchased the truck I've been looking for one of those light bars that goes in the bed.  Well, I finally found one.  It was actually made for a Toyota so I figured it would require some work, but thought I'd check it out.  It barely fit in there.  We literally had to shove it in place.  Once it was in there, it wasn't coming back out.  Oh well.  Paid the guy and drove home.

Original janky bumper is still lying in the bed today, lol.

As you can tell, it was night so I didn't get to work on it any on day 1.  I'm sure you can tell the paint job is pretty crap.  Also, it's pink.  I would have preferred to be able to paint it outside the truck, but whatever.  I can deal.  I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but it's leaning forward because the Toyota's wheel wells are shorter.  I leveled it out s that I could bolt it up on the wheel wells and then measured the gap.  It was so tight fitting in there it would just sit like that, with the front bars just hovering in space even without the bolts in the rear.

I was planning on buying some steel tube to use as a 2" spacer.  A buddy suggested just using pieces of pipe cut to length.  That seemed easier so I went with his suggestion.  Drilled some holes and put the pipe in, then bolted it down.

I've currently got about 30% of the rail sanded and primed.  I'll post pictures of it fully painted in the next update.  I've got a ton of parts ready to do some major engine work.  I'm not sure when I'll get around to doing that part, but hopefully it'll be pretty soon.

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