Well, I decided I should document all of the work that's going into the Danger Ranger.
Before you even think of tackling a job like this, especially on a truck from the rust belt, you'll need
1. High powered impact (1/2" drive IR 2135 TiMax or better... even this beast of a 1/2" needed the breaker bar to break stuff loose before it'd move anything)
2. Breaker bar and ~4 foot cheater pipe
3. Impact sockets
4. T-55 impact socket to remove bed bolts
5. A can of CRC Freeze-Off
6. Air hammer
8. Dremel or Rotozip or die grinder with a grinding stone
9. WD-40 for removing the old rear eye bushings, drill into them first, then spray the stuff in
10. Hammers of various sizes and weights... I used a 15 or so oz ball peen, a 3 lb mini sledge, and a 8 lb sledge
11. Angle iron
12. Ratchet strap
... I think that's about it... may have missed a few. I'll add them if I remember something.
Here's the list of what I'm doing/have done...
1. Replace all rear leaf hangers and shackles
2. Replace shocks and shock mounts
3. Prep the frame for rust converter by wire brushing it
4. Brush the rust converter on and let it cure fully (that takes 48 hours)
5. Brush on the Rustoleum gloss black oil based enamel
6. Replace fuel filler neck and fuel level sending unit
7. Replace gas tank straps
8. Wire brush and rust convert gas tank skid plate
9. Paint gas tank skid plate
10. Put lots of anti-seize on the bolts that go through the bushing sleeves to make future removal much easier
The way I'm doing this is putting the rear back together and the front spring hangers and all... this way I can roll the truck into the barn if rain/bad weather is coming so the paint or rust converter can cure properly.
The gas tank is out, and was the first thing removed after I got the bed off. Here's some pics of the filler neck...
Then the shocks and shock mounts were removed. Here's the culprit of the *** end hop... parking brake cable rubbed through and let all of the gas or oil out of the shock. Hard, gritty movement on this one... it's junk. I'm going to remove the parking brake cables since they are rusted and don't work anyhow. I don't park on hills, if I have to, I'll get it close to the curb, put it in gear and turn the wheel so if it rolls, it'll roll a little and stop at the curb.
Then the rear leaf hangers and shackles were removed. Rear spring eye bushings were removed and the new ones put in. With the new ones, I found it real easy to get them in the eye after cleaning the rust and crap out of the eye with a grinding stone on the Dremel, and then oiling the eye well with motor oil.
I also left the new bushings in the freezer for a few hours so they would contract. Then I braced the leaf spring against the frame rail opposite of the one nearest it with a piece of angle iron wired to the spring, and a ratchet strap holding tension on all of it, and tapped the new bushings in with an 8 pound sledge. (I'll mock that up again after the paint dries and take a pic so you guys have an idea of what I'm talking about)
The old fuel level sender measures fine across the whole scale, no dead spots. Guess what the problem was? It was the float... it developed a pinhole leak and filled up with gas. So I let the gas evaporate out of it so I can fill the hole with solder and then put it back on the float arm... viola, good used sender for later use...
Float with nearly impossible to see pinhole leak...
On the fuel tank, I removed that collar that protects the lines and plug, and then washed all of the dirt, sand, and crap off of the tank, making sure that the area around the locking ring was clean. A few taps on the ribs with a big screwdriver and a light ball peen hammer got it rotating. I alternated in a star pattern (like torquing lug nuts) to spread the force around so I wouldn't damage the locking ring. Put the new sender and old fuel pump together and dropped it back in, then snugged the locking ring down by hand.
Old gas tank strap... well, part of it...
Gas tank skid plate with rust converter on it...
One of the many, many piles of rust and dirt that came off of the frame...
Here, the frame was wire brushed (by hand, with the one you see sitting on the tire) to remove all loose rust flakes and paint. This wasn't too hard.
Here is the frame after I brushed rust converter on... the stuff goes on white, and turns to a light purple, then gets darker as it cures until it is fully cured, which is when it turns black.
Here's where I got the rust converter from... I am not affiliated with these folks in any way... simply a user of something they offer.
Awesome stuff, and they sure aren't lying about it being an excellent primer. I will not hesitate to by more if I run out. However, be aware that the stuff only has a 9 month shelf life... so don't buy too much more than you need... a little bit of this stuff seems to go a long ways, even on the rough and rusty frame on my Ranger. I bought a gallon since I plan on using it all up on numerous projects.
Here's the frame after I painted it... much, much better looking and with the combination of rust converter and Rustoleum paint, I don't think I'll have to do anything to it again for years to come. I still have some areas to hit yet, but I'll get around to those spots later as I work on it.
I'm not done yet, but this thing is getting whipped back into good shape... I won't have that annoying rear end hopping to the side problem, and it should ride better with new shocks and shackles that move like they should. And the fuel level gauge should work again.