Monday, June 30, 2014

I finished up the F100 tailgate tonight.  I finished TIG welding the lower seam, then piled on some Rustoleum rattle can primer.  I decided not to grind these two welds for now.

Some of my welds are borderline respectable!  Borderline...

Ready to rip!  Back to the Jetta this week!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More F100 tailgate work.

I made welded up the patch pieces, then sprayed everything with weld-through primer.

I used a mixture of MIG and TIG welding on this project.  I'm trying to use the TIG so I can get some practice, but MIG is just easier on some of the stuff.

Welded, ground, and sanded.

I sprayed it with a coat of the matching Rustoleum primer.  It's amazing how well this matches the original!

I started TIG welding the main seam.  I'm about 65" closer to considering myself a TIG welder... but still a few miles away!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I continued on with my tailgate repair.

I was interrupted by a cruise request, so I just threw the tailgate on and went!  Bare steel and clecos... hell yeah lol.

Jimmy, Krepley and I went to the Conemaugh Dam.  It was pretty dam sweet.

We had quite the crew... a clapped out STI, a barely-running American iron rust machine, and a roadworthy Italian sport bike.

My truck was only a few years old when this dam was built.  It's crazy to think that even older trucks hauled all of the material to build this thing.

There are four tunnels through the Bow Ridge adjacent to the dam, one of which is an old rail tunnel built in 1907.

The second tunnel is even creepier, I believe this one was built in 1864.  A third tunnel, which isn't visible, was built in 1827 and one of the oldest tunnels in the country.

I went to the shop tonight to find that about 1/2" of water had settled all over the floor.  We had really heavy rains today, so I spent all night dealing with this.

Our speakers are all swelled up!  This is the second (possibly third) flood that they have survived.  They still sound as mediocre as ever.

I also waxed my toolbox this weekend haha.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

F100 Inspection

My shop refused to pass the F100 without adding seat belts, so I bought a pair of lap belts from Amazon.  Since the seat belts weren't even an option in this year of truck, I had to fabricate some mounts.

I welded up some 1/8" and 3/16" steel plate and bolted it all together (with backing plates underneath) using Grade 8 bolts.

After installing the seat belts, I dropped it off for inspection Thursday night...

... And Friday morning, I got the call that it passed!  They were happy with the work I had done on the brakes and seat belts, so I'm finally road legal!

I decided to continue on with the tailgate fabrication.  The previous owner had started to rebuild the left side.  The work wasn't too bad, but I decided to rebuild it so that everything is my own work.

Fro stopped out and snapped a few photos of me in action.

I made the outer rib using an oak hammerform, then TIG welded it into the existing sheet.  They're not the best or most consistent welds, but this piece is good practice.

After some grinding


This Friday I rode up to Pittsburgh Parts-A-Rama with my buddies Dave and Ian.  This year we had to go on Friday due to prior commitments, and it wasn't quite as exciting as last year or The year before.

Prior to leaving, I saw this sweet die cast burnout on Dave's desk at work!

So before we even got into the show grounds, we saw this hillbilly loading a motorcycle into the hatch of his Mustang.  Fuckin' awesome.

Public Service Announcement... Butler County style!

I'm honestly curious what type of person would use transmission syncros purchased from a foam cooler?

This thing was cruising around in the mud.

Ian was super excited about this three-wheeler.  Honestly though, who wouldn't be excited about it?

This old Mercedes was advertised as "fresh out of the barn!"  The barn must have had 12" of standing salt water inside, because the entire suspension and floor had rotted away to nothing.

I wonder if the tape is holding the glass in?

I was the only one who purchased anything all evening, but I managed to score some Stahlwille flexible nut drivers (5-8mm) for only $12!  The seller either didn't know or care what they were, these sell for $30 each and will be super handy for VW repairs.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New tools!

I bought a bunch of General tap wrenches from Enco.  I plan on taking most of these to work, but one of them will live at my shop.  The quality of Starrett tap wrenches keep getting worse, and the price keeps getting higher, and it's to the point where the imported General handles are better quality at 1/8th of the price.

Snap-on 16" flat blade screwdriver and small size bearing separator, plus some F100 parts.

I spotted the Turner's TeaBird this weekend!  I got a free sample from the stinky old man driving it.

Before my Ford can pass inspection, I had to replace two of the rubber brake lines.  The rear line has a built-in tee fitting, so I had to add one to the Napa line I purchased.  The new hose is also a little shorter, but it should work.

In the process of replacing the hoses, I found out that the 'new' steel hardlines were total crap.  Most of them were single flared, some were bubble flared, and some were a mixture.  The worst I found was a single flared brake line into an M10x1.0 fitting which was crammed into an 1/8 NPT female adapter!  I don't know how it didn't leak everywhere.

Here you can see the copper surface, which is the inner face of the tubing, so this is only a single flare.  Even if it seals, it will split with some pressure.

Another single flare!

After all was said and done, I ended up replacing all of the brake lines on the whole truck.

The lower section of the tailgate, including the hinges, had been missing.  The previous owner cut it off because it had rotted away, so I had to rebuild it from photos.

I do have the hinges themselves, so I just machined new adapters so I can use a piece of tubing for the lower section.  This tailgate will look just like the factory piece when I'm done... at least as far as I can see from pictures!

I got the piece of tubing mocked up and stripped the last 3/4" of the paint away so I can weld to it.

To make the connecting piece, which has a 55ยบ bend, I had to weld together two 36" pieces.  I don't have the ability to ship, shear, or bend the full 67" width, so I had to split it.

I tacked it onto my tubing.

The face will be tangent to the edge of the tube, I will fill the gap with MIG weld and grind it flush.

I set it back onto the truck, shimmed the tailgate into position, and marked a cut line.

After marking the line and making my cut, I filed the edge to get a nice consistent gap for butt welding.

I TIG fusion tacked it together at 1" spacing.

I'm really happy with the fit!  I'm happier with the fabrication on this shitty truck than I am with most of the other stuff I've built.