Ranger gets a Facelift

Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by david85, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    Not a diesel, but still a nice little setup. From what I can tell, it has every factory option and was well cared for by a mature previous owner. Currently, it enjoys life as my Dad's "Pet" truck. I also borrowed it as my daily while at apprenticeship training school in Vancouver. Overall, its a very easy vehicle to live with. Good handling, reliable, tight turning circle and comfortable for sort or long trips.

    Having test driven later rangers from this century, as well as owning a 1987 ranger (diesel converted), I feel confident in saying the 2nd gen rangers were the best compromise.

    The body and interior are mint, but there are some minor rust issues that need to be addressed. Rear bumper is toast, cab mount brackets are going and the rad support is trying to eat itself in half. However compared to my "Tin Bashing" thread, this will be a walk in the park. No patching, no bondo, no paint, no warping sheet metal from welding. Just Hack & Replace what's bad.

    For now, I'm only replacing the Rad Support and the related support brackets on the frame. Unlike the F-series of the same vintage, Rangers have the rad support welded permanently into the body. So the cab, inner fenders and the rad support are all one assembly. Makes for a strong unitized construction but also makes my life more difficult.

    All the pinch welds needed to be drilled out in order to remove the old rad support. Most shops would probably either plug weld, or even use panel bond to put it back together. I plan to replace each spot weld with a 1/4" SS bolt, while also sealing the joint with urethane to keep moisture out.

    Here we are administering anesthesia:
    View attachment 113636

    Face comes off:
    2 Face removed.JPG

    Yup, its malignant...
    3 Cancer identified.JPG


    That's the main tumor removed:
    4 Main Tumor Removed.JPG
     
  2. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    Now for the new Rad Support. I really wish I could get something like this for my F250, but I digress. As you would expect, this is an offshore reproduction, but considering the price of less than $200 delivered, I can't complain.

    I painted it with a Cloverdale Marine Enamel a couple weeks back and left it to sit and age until I had time to tear into the truck. Its as simple and basic as paint comes; No activator, no reducer, not component B,C etc... just brush & roll it on. I tried to take some more photos of the dry fitting process, but my phone got scared by the cold. Oh well, more later I guess.

    More tumors. I blasted the rivet heads off with a plasma cutter. Thankfully there was no damage to the frame rail itself. Only the bracket was malignant.
    5 Cancer in mounts.JPG

    Same deal but not as bad on the passenger side. 99% of the time, rust is worse on the driver's side in this part of the world.
    6 Cancer in mounts.JPG

    New Rad support fitted. So far no rejection.
    7 Begin Transplant.JPG

    Just starting the dry fit process. Note the string of vertical holes where the factory pinch welds were located. Each one will be taking a bolt to fill it on.
    8 Dry Fitting Upper corner.JPG

    And that's the end of day 2. More to come later...
     
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  3. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    End of Day 4. Rad support is installed permanently.

    Fenders still need some TLC, so another day or two and the truck should be back together.

    Here's the inner fenders getting prepped with some brush-on enamel:

    10 Prepping the seam joints.JPG
    11 Prepping the seam joints.JPG

    Slip the U-nuts in:
    12 U nuts in place.JPG

    ...and lay a bead of Urethane sealer on top:
    13 Sealer laid on.JPG
    14 Sealer laid on.JPG

    The idea here is to make the joint behave more or less like a gasket surface. This doesn't actually need to be water tight nor does it need this many fasteners. However, doing it this way eliminates the need for any welding or hole patching while leaving it at least as strong and corrosion resistant as factory. Not having to weld means not having to sand, prep and clean up the metal before applying a protective coating.

    I guess I could have used fewer bolts, but these were on the shelf for years and we still didn't get through them all.
     
  4. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    ....continued

    Once the Rad Support was installed, I tooled over the Urethane with an acid brush to make sure everything was sealed. Then I applied fresh enamel to seal the bolts to the tin. Sounds like an over the top OCD trip, but it doesn't take much time to do this extra step.

    16 Permanent install begins.JPG 17 Painting over sealer.JPG 18 Lower joint underneath.JPG 23 Upper Connection.JPG 24 Rad Support install Complete.JPG

    Dad build the new support brackets out of 0.25 x 4" angle iron. I used the same material for my 87 ranger and it seems to work fine even though there is no gusseting.

    More updates to come...
     
  5. david85

    david85 Full Access Member

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    And that's a wrap!

    Minor issues to deal with in terms of alignment, but the truck is functional again.


    Here's an alternative to POR-15 that I've been using. It goes under the product name of "Corroseal". Believe it or not, its basically a latex product so it cleans up with water. Way faster and smipler to use. These areas on both fenders got the treatment before I brushed on some enamel and then sprayed it down in Fluid Film.
    25 Coroseal.JPG

    Wider shot.
    26 Coroseal.JPG

    Here's the upper corner connection of the rad support to the fenders:
    27 Corner Connections.JPG

    Almost looks stock.
    28 Corner Connections.JPG

    Ready for a shakedown cruise.:Thumbs Up
    30 Assembled.JPG
     
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