What's happening in Bigmoparjeff's garage?

bigmoparjeff

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The final task worth mentioning on the GTX is repair of the driver side door hinges. This is something that C body people rarely have to deal with, unless you're restoring an old taxi. The C bodies used very robust door hinges, where on the A, B, and E cars, the hinges were usually spent by the time they had 40K miles on them.

I like to think that I came up with this method of door removal all on my own, but I'm sure someone else has thought of it before me. It's a bit hard to see in the photos, but I have an engine leveler on the hoist so that the angle of the door can be fine tuned.
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I mark the hinges with a sharpie and unbolt them from the door. Some tape on all the edges is good insurance.
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An air hammer makes easy work of removing the hinge pins. The body side of the upper hinge can stay on the car. With an angle drill, you could probably get away with leaving the body side of the lower hinge on the car too, but in the long run it may be easier to remove it.
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As far as I know, this Dorman kit is the only game in town for the parts needed to repair the hinges. Some others repackage this kit and sell it for way more money. AMS Obsolete puts two kits in a bag and sells them for $36 once you add in shipping. Found that out the hard way.
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The pivot pin holes in the lower hinge need to be enlarged for the bushings to fit, as the lower did not have bushings from the factory. It's best to work your way up in drill size instead of going for the final size in one shot. Ideally, you would use a reamer to get a rounder hole, but most people don't have reamer sets laying around. You also need to drill both holes at one time to try to keep them concentric.
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Since the flanges on the bushings add height to the center part of the hinge, the outer part of the hinge will need to be filed for clearance.
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I've found that the insides of the bushings usually need a bit of filing with a rat tail to get the pins to slide in nice. Everything needs to go together by hand on these. The bushings are thin and brittle. If you force any part of the process, they will split.
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The upper hinge has the brass bushings from the factory, so you just knock out the old ones with a drift and hammer the new ones in. As they say, installation is the reverse of removal. No adjusting of the hinges was needed. Just had to fine tune the striker for a perfect closing door.
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That's it for the easy stuff.

Next episode, things are going to get a bit more serious in the shop.

Jeff
 

bnz84

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I would definitely be interested in your 6pack tuning adventure. And thanks for these pics. My drivers door hinge is a bit loose.
 

bigmoparjeff

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I would definitely be interested in your 6pack tuning adventure. And thanks for these pics. My drivers door hinge is a bit loose.

Have no idea if there's anything you can do to rebuild a C body hinge. Best solution may be to get one off a 4 door car. Less stress with the shorter doors, but I can't say that any of my coupes have sloppy hinges on them. No shortage of sloppy windows on the power window equipped coupes.

Jeff
 

bigmoparjeff

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Changing things up a bit on the next project.

Next up is a slightly long, 2004 Chevy Silverado. The original wish list included swapping on a better bed and replacing the rockers, which are currently fashioned out of Gorilla Tape.
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The interior will need to come out to do the rockers, so I started off with that, until I ran into some goofy nuts holding the front seats in. Turns out they are Torx Plus. Time to buy more tools.
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The truck was in an accident at least 10 years ago and a reputable body shop replaced the right bed side. Apparently they didn't do a very good job, since it's literally falling off the truck. Doesn't look like they welded anything, just glued it on with panel adhesive, and it looks like they did a poor prep job before applying the glue. The ratchet strap is actually holding the bed side onto the bed.
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Doesn't look like I'll be getting a job as a rigger anytime soon.
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Looks a lot shorter without the bed.
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Uh-oh. Don't think that's supposed to be like that.
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Looking a bit crusty.
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This crossmember always rots out. Even on trucks with nice frames.
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Continued....
 

bigmoparjeff

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Now that's some impressive rust jacking. Frame must be an inch thick, and it's not the only spot that's like this.
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Rockers looking a bit suspicious.
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Peek a boo.... I don't see you.... because you're not there anymore.
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It's starting to look like this project might be a wee bit more involved than originally anticipated......

Jeff
 

bigmoparjeff

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Frame also rots out where the Fuel tank sets. Fail a good bit of them For Insp. PA Salt

I suspect the further west you go from here, the worse they get.

This one is the worst that I've seen locally. I took a look at one for sale up the street from me. The rockers were almost as rusty as this one, but the frame was in much better condition.

Jeff
 

patrick66

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I'm thinking your state is heavily invested in salt mining. We NEVER see that kind of rust in Oklahoma, ever! Except on East Coast vehicles that travel through. On Monday, I saw a early '90s Dodge Ram with PA plates that looked downright dangerous on the road. Crazy stuff.

Nice job on the hinges! I really need to do the same on my Coronet. The passenger side is fine. The driver side hinge pins are a wee bit wonky, at this time.
 

bigmoparjeff

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I'm thinking your state is heavily invested in salt mining. We NEVER see that kind of rust in Oklahoma, ever! Except on East Coast vehicles that travel through. On Monday, I saw a early '90s Dodge Ram with PA plates that looked downright dangerous on the road. Crazy stuff.

Nice job on the hinges! I really need to do the same on my Coronet. The passenger side is fine. The driver side hinge pins are a wee bit wonky, at this time.

The liquid brine that they have been using for the last 20 years or so seems to do significantly more damage than the old rock salt did. It's especially hard on brake and fuel lines.

Jeff
 

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We use a salt brine track at Aberdeen Proving Ground that simulates 20 years of salt in 117 days. A lot of the vehicles we test (military and civilian) don't even make it to day 117. The frames and bodies are so corroded that it isn't safe to complete the 117 day test.
 

bigmoparjeff

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Facebook maketplace is absolutely loaded with adds for trucks being parted out. Most of them due to rusty frames that failed inspection.

Jeff
 

patrick66

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I'll post frame pics of my '69 Dodge D300 - a truck that spent its first 20 years in central California, and the last 31 years in south-central New Mexico. I've never encountered a regularly-used truck with literally zero rust anywhere. Perfect rockers, cab mounts, steps, floors - crazy!
 

bigmoparjeff

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We use a salt brine track at Aberdeen Proving Ground that simulates 20 years of salt in 117 days. A lot of the vehicles we test (military and civilian) don't even make it to day 117. The frames and bodies are so corroded that it isn't safe to complete the 117 day test.

Do they still have the collection of vintage military tanks and vehicles on display?

We stopped there in '87 on the way back from a trip to DC.

Jeff
 

bigmoparjeff

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Back to the project:

The decision was made that the frame was junk and we'd need to find a better one. The new plan is to remove the cab from the frame, and the chassis can go back to my friend's house, where he and his son-in-law can spend some time installing new head gaskets on the engine. It's a Duramax with 133K. It's due to pop the headgaskets at any time now.

Headliner comes out in one spot and one position only. Should have done this after I removed the doors.
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I do like how GM doesn't glue the sound deadener to the underside of the carpet. Makes it much easier to pressure wash the carpet.
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Looks like we have water leaking into the cab from somewhere on the driver side.
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Even worse, we've got battery acid coming in on the passenger side from behind the sound insulation and rotting out the floor.
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The engine hoist is back to help with the front doors. The rears are light enough to do by hand.
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GM has a very unusual, and nice system for mounting the doors on these trucks. All you have to do to remove the door is disconnect the wiring, remove three 10mm bolts, and the doors lift right off the hinges.
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These cheap dollies work great when you have to move heavy things around by yourself. Like this door.
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The headlamp assemblies come off in about 5 seconds. Pull a pin, and lift.
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This is the underside of the left fender. Looks like we'll need one of those too. It's also rotted under the plastic flare. Right side is ok, as it's already been replaced.
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The diesels have the second battery mounted on the passenger side at the firewall. I think we're seeing where the battery acid inside the cab came from.
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Continued....
 

MetalManiacAZ

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One of my mechanic buddies from Indiana said he threw away his torch when he moved here. I never knew what the hell he was talking about until my father in law moved here from southern IN and I saw his 2010 Tundra. Holy shit...
 

bigmoparjeff

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Up on the lift to disconnect the shift cable and unbolt the body mounts.
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Up, up, and away!
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More rusty goodness.
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Even worse on this side.
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Think we're going to need some new mounts.
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Out of the shop it goes.
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And onto the trailer.
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Paper sticker on back of engine outlasted the frame.
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All the hardware removed so far.
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Next episode will involve lots of drilling and cutting.
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Jeff
 

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Do they still have the collection of vintage military tanks and vehicles on display?

We stopped there in '87 on the way back from a trip to DC.

Jeff


No, the Army moved all of the static display vehicles and tanks and Artillery to Ft. Lee, VA more than a decade ago. The Army started restoring all of those items and figured they would last about ten years outside in the elements. APG didnt/couldn't provide the space to put them on display indoors. The Army also moved the entire Ordance Center and School and soldiers to Ft. Lee too. The only thing they left at APG was the big shore gun as you drive around the corner of the Ordnance museum.
 
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