Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Repair of the Ranger and Jimmy

Just a quick update of the mechanical and body work on the Ranger and the replacement of the GMC bumper.

We used a cheap body replacement panel that was primered in black and it mostly went on easy. One of the mounting brackets was smashed so we had to fabricate one but it works.

The headlight header is one of the most important items because without it no headlights, turn signals etc which isnt legal here (or anywhere that has a LEO presence). It mounts to a series of brackets and also screws into the fenders so not having a fender wasnt an option either and due to all the damage on the drivers side it was a son of a gun to get the mounting holes perfectly aligned both vertically and horizontally. The header is made from fibre glass and plastic so you cant just force fit it......

I detest sloppy paint jobs where there is overspray all over, runs etc and it really irritates me for some reason when I see a lot of overspray on engines (I see this sometimes even on cheaper new cars). Please take your time to properly mask and prep before you paint.

We prepped the fender and I shot 3 coats of paint over a couple days. Its not the same color as the truck because that color would have had to have been special ordered but as a beater commuter/farm truck I dont really care. The only reason I even painted it and didnt leave it in primer was for a little rust prevention.

The headlight header has all manner of clips, pins and of course the headlight naucelles themselves which we canibalized from the old destroyed header. We did end up having two clips that were broken in the accident that we will get tomorrow but lacking them doesnt affect the integrity or use of the header as is. 

Note the yellow handled sledge hammer and piece of 2x4 laying on the radiator support. We had to do some judicial red neck engineering and modifying to get some of the damaged brackets to cooperate.

I was actually very pleased and somewhat surprised that with that level of damage that we were able to get it back together and working so quickly.

We even replaced the fender flare which we canibalized from the old damaged fender. It was a little bunged up but not worth replacing with a new one.

So there it is, everything works, its safe, it will pass inspection, and we dont have to just use it as a pasture mule.

The hood is tweaked but it opens and closes as it should and I am not replacing it. Its a 12 year old Ford Ranger with over 100K miles on it so we werent going for pretty here. The paint I laid on came out smoother than a baby's bottom and we all like the color better than the original more primary blue. We may decide sometime this summer to prep and paint the rest of the truck to match the fender....but then again we may not!

I am amazed at the bumper as it was folded almost in half and we pulled it almost to spec with a chain hitched to the GMC. The lower cladding was toast along with the fog lights and we still need to clean this part up a bit.

When we started everything in the front was gone or broken, the right fender was smashed, the right headlight was pushed behind the grill, the bumper was folded etc. Luckily even though the hood was tweaked it popped up during the accident and didnt get damaged as much as it could have.

We will just live with this damage to the hood and it being tweaked a bit. I am just thankful we will still be able to use the truck as a commuter and local erand truck.

So then on to the GMC bumper. These bumpers are of terrible quality and prone to literally has "Taiwan" stamped into it

Some of the bolt clips were rusted so bad they broke when we took them off.

While Chris was finishing removing the bumper I did some re-wiring of the tractor and took her for a spin. I not only look old in this picture I look mean and unhappy....truth is I was having a blast so I dont know why I look like that.

Got the flashing lights rewired and note the traffic on the Hwy.

Removing the bumper when half the mounting clips are rusted and broken is a real chore and Chris did most of it while I supervised...I kind of like that.

We still need to remove the fibreglass cladding and move it to the new bumper but the hard part is over

I have always liked this truck and will never get rid of it so its worth preserving like this. This was a birthday present from Holly in 2003 and its the truck I have always wanted and to this day I dont covet any other truck but this one.

And Holly took this today and wanted to show what we are up against this winter, its Feb 1 and Daffodils are coming up like crazy.

Another update on the throttle body, finishing the bumper etc will be forthcoming later.

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