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My J-4500

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  • Today was cloudy and kind of cold but it didn't rain so I set to work grinding on welds and removing trimwork from the fenders. I didn't work all that long or hard but got everything on the right except the fender and most everything on the left except the door where the mirror was mounted and the holes around the left headlight and where the lower grill mounting brackets were removed.

    So here are the latest pictures

    First is the lower right header where the mounting brackets were removed and a 1" square piece was replaced due to a rock getting behind the header and causing the area it contacted to rust out.

    Next is the left side of the header where that little bit of rust through was found when I removed the bumper

    Then the hood where there was a hole on each side for mounting the filler they used when they switched from the rhino to the razor.

    I don't like using body filler on hoods so was extra careful to fill it enough to grind it to the contour of the hood so it won't need much if any filler.

    Next is the top of the right inner fender

    and left inner fender

    and last is the left fender where I repaired the flare.

    I'm considering making up a big batch of hot citric acid and giving the fenders an acid bath to get rid of all the surface rust and anything in the seams while I finish prepping the bed for painting.
    '72 J4500


    • I had kind of a bad day yesterday and it knocked the wind right out of my sail so haven't felt like doing much of anything besides sitting in bed moping.

      Today with the damp and rain I decided to work in the garage and finish up prepping the little bit the underside of the bed still needed and work on a plan for somehow moving the bed outside to the tent to undercoat because my wife won't allow me to do it in the house and bought a couple of canopies to turn into a make shift paint booth.

      I decided to make a couple of large saw horses attached to each other mounted on casters so I can lay the bed on them upside down, roll them to the tent, prime, undercoat then roll back into the garage and then flip it over and move it back outside to paint.

      So I set off to Lowe's to buy some screws and 2x4s. I got lucky there because I know where they hide the lumber discount bin (Outside around the corner) So whenever I need wood that is the first place I check. There were 3 entire racks full of 2x4s and 2x6s most of which were perfectly fine and all of which were usable. So I bought 3 bundles of 6 (18 total) for about half price.

      Now I just need to break out my saw and find the casters I acquired a while back and build those sawhorses so I can continue.
      '72 J4500


      • I'm still having motivational issues but got motivated enough today to make the dolly to move the bed in and out. So I thought I would show you a picture.

        I did start cleaning up the garage so I will be able to easily move the bed in and out of it as necessary whenever the weather lets me do something which doesn't look like is going to happen any time soon.
        Last edited by Crankyolman; 04-24-2020, 11:15 PM.
        '72 J4500


        • Today I had to go back to work after something like 18 days on vacation My hope had been to have the truck done by now but extreme motivational issues and weather kind of prevented it. There has been a bit of a shake up at work due to this whole virus issue and beginning the second of May I will be going to 2nd shift with Wed-Thur off, which kind of sucks but I still have a job, so that is something. In the mean time I will be working Apr 27, 28 & 29th, have the 30th and the 1st off then back to work on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, then 2 days off, work 2 day, then a week off. My newest hope is the weather cooperates enough over the next week and a half that I can get the tent set up and get primered and prepped for painting so I can shoot the colors and start reassembly on that week off.

          So today I took my biggest issue to work with me, the right front fender, The rust repair on this thing has gotten so extensive that I took it to work in the hopes of finding enough free time to grind down the welds and if necessary repair any bad ones with the TIG. This morning I managed to do just that, there were a few spots I didn't think looked right after grinding down so 5 minutes with the TIG and they were all fixed. There were also a few tiny little pin holes that opened up to make a larger repair than I had hoped but were easily dealt with.

          The nicest thing about the TIG is you can use very little or even no filler rod so you make a nice weld that requires almost no grinding.

          So here is what it looked like after grinding

          That lower area behind the flare was the one with the pin holes. The rust seems to be just small local areas that were easily filled.

          Then since I had a few minutes, a die grinder and some coarse sanding disks I set to work stripping the rest of the e fender.

          It's now all ready for a tiny bit of body work and some primer then it will be ready for paint.

          Looking at it like this makes me think "You know the bare metal look is very popular right now. Maybe I should just polish it up, slap some clear coat on it, put it back together and be done with it"

          I brought this up to Mrs Cranky and she expressed that she personally didn't feel that bare metal was the right look for this particular truck...I think her exact words were "DYOUHAVEANYIDEAHOWMUCHMONEYWEHAVESPENTONPAINTINGS UPPLIESTHATYOUHAVESITTINGINMYLIVINGROOMRIGHTNOW?!? !!!"

          In truth I'm afraid to add it all up and there is still body filler and the 2nd color, which is probably going to be very expensive, yet to buy.

          So, It was a thought but one that didn't last very long

          Tomorrow I hope to take the other fender and the removable section of the cowl in to work and give them the same treatment.
          Last edited by Crankyolman; 04-27-2020, 07:39 PM.
          '72 J4500


          • Looking good Mr Cranky. Can't wait for the results. I have visualized it in my head based on your color choices.


            • Originally posted by 78 WIDETRAC
              I have visualized it in my head based on your color choices.

              Me too, I really hope it lives up to it
              '72 J4500


              • HAHAHAHA!!! She has a way with words for sure!!!!!
                79 Cherokee Chief (SOLD, goodbye old buddy)
                (Cherokee Build Thread)
                11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
                09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
                00 Baby Cherokee


                • Originally posted by rang-a-stang
                  HAHAHAHA!!! She has a way with words for sure!!!!!
                  It was a very persuasive argument for sure
                  '72 J4500


                  • Today I managed to get the left fender stripped and checked. There was no additional rust through so I was able to get it done quickly and also got the cowl stripped.

                    Tomorrow is my Friday and I don't know what I will try to get done, if anything. Pretty much everything is now down to needing good weather to do anything else. If Wednesday and Thursday have nice weather I might try to get the underside of the bed primed and undercoated but the weather people have been saying rain, rain, rain and more rain.

                    I'm thinking if I can manage to get the bed undercoated and the weather decides to act nice I will move the Mercedes into the garage so I can use the whole driveway to set up the "paint booth" instead of just half of it. The big problem with setting it up too soon is we tend to get fairly high winds at my house and our last pop up awning was destroyed by them and I definitional don't want to take a chance that will happen with the truck in it.
                    '72 J4500


                    • Today was pretty busy at work but I brought the cowl back in to spend time sanding the grate and do something with the back side which had a little bit of surface rust. After working on it for a bit I discovers that it would fit in the sand blaster. So I set to work sand blasting it, which didn't take much time at all.

                      So now it's all clean and bare metal
                      '72 J4500


                      • Today I didn't do much of anything besides go to Wal-Mart to get body filler. I hate going to Wal-Mart but everybody else was out of stock and the best Amazon could do was delivery by the 8th. I guess with all this lock down stuff people are getting their car projects done and a lot of home body work is getting done.

                        After checking various sources and finding none in stock and Wal-Mart showing they had gallons it in stock I headed down there. When I got there and eventually found where they had moved the body filler to I found the shelf that was supposed to contain the gallon of bondo empty I was standing there deciding if I was going to go to the other Wal-Mart or just buy the 4 quart cans they had on the shelf, which would come to about the same price Oreilly sells a gallon of bondo for, when a lady who was restocking placed a gallon on the shelf. So I quickly grabbed that and headed for the checkout.

                        I doubt I will need an entire gallon but it's better to have too much than not enough. When I go back to work Saturday I will be on 2nd shift and don't know how the bosses on that shift will feel about me working on home projects so will probably be doing what body work I can do at home. The fenders and the bed can be handled in the garage. At least the tailgate only needs a light sanding and it will be ready for primer again for the final paint.

                        I've been trying to stay motivated on this but with everything happening I'm losing my motivation to do anything much less work on the truck. Hopefully I can stay focused for the next couple weeks and get it done.
                        '72 J4500


                        • Clear coat that shiny metal and pick up a small Airstream camper to pull behind! It would look incredible and super retro!
                          1970 1414X Wagoneer "The Pig"
                          -Dauntless 350 V8
                          -D27 front/D44 rear
                          2006 XK (65th Ann Edition)-DD


                          • Originally posted by chubbinius
                            Clear coat that shiny metal and pick up a small Airstream camper to pull behind! It would look incredible and super retro!
                            That's an AWESOME Idea!!!
                            '72 J4500


                            • I hate to admit it but this whole 2nd shift thing is kind of working out right now. Before I would get up at 4:30 AM feed the cats and take care of morning stuff. Leave the house at 5:30 to be to work by 6. After work once I sat down I didn't want to get up and do anything besides eat dinner and maybe nap. Now I wake up by 7, have breakfast and work on the truck for an hour or two, or 3, then go to work to be there at 1:30 PM.

                              It looks like the weather may be getting ready to cooperate too But while it hasn't been cooperating I have been working away in the garage picking away at the truck.

                              I started by trying to make a little extra room by moving the new washer and dryer, I bought my wife 5 or 6 years ago, into the laundry room where they could actually be used rather than just collecting dust. To do that I first needed to move our old washer/ dryer set out, which went well enough. One of the big holdups on doing this in the first place is my wife needed them to be elevated but we couldn't find any stands made for them. I got the bright idea to make one myself. So I measured how much room was needed before removing the old W/D then had to determine how high it needed to be. This was complicated because some idiot left a drain pipe sticking out of the wall which made it necessary to either move the dryer about 8 inches forward of the washer or the stand had to be 21 inches tall to get it above the pipe. The real problem with that is my wife is short and while the additional height helps her get things in and out it also puts the drawer that you add detergent in too high for her to see. I decided the best option was to get her a step so she can see into the drawers when filling .

                              So then I took some of the discounted 2x4s I bought the other day that were leftover from making the bed dolly and built a frame, cut a piece if particle board I had been saving to do this for the W/D to rest on and built a platform.

                              Then came the really hard part, moving them into the laundry room. It turns out the same person who left the pipe sticking out of the wall thought it was a good idea to have a 30 inch wide laundry room door. I had to remove the door to get the old ones out but when I went to slide the new ones in found that they didn't fit through the opening. Fortunately all I had to do was remove the control knobs on the W/D and the door stops on the door frame and they just barely squeezed through.

                              Then I had to deal with getting them into place. The dryer wasn't a problem but the washer is freaking HEAVY! I guess I should have resorted to my ratchet strap technique to lift it into place because I think it weighs more than the truck bed but I didn't. I struggled with it all by myself and with the help of my cheap Harbor Freight hand truck I managed to get one corner on the platform then managed to somehow heave the thing up and get it slid onto the platform.

                              When we eventually sell the house I'm selling it with the W/D right there because I'm not ever planning on moving them again

                              There is still a little finish work to be done but my wife is happy with the new W/D

                              So with those out of the way I now had more room in the garage to do the body work. Fortunately there isn't very much.

                              The front fenders of course needed is little bit f fil where the new pieces were welded in

                              There was a little dent in the upper aft left corner of the bed that was a real pain to take out because it is a curved surface and difficult to access from the back side but I made a punch and with that and a small sledgehammer managed to get it to the point the filler is very thin.

                              The right side above the tail light had a dent that I don't recall being there before I sent it off to the professional that was also a pain and required the same pinch and hammer technique but still needed just a bit of fil.

                              Then there was this little bit that the "professional" filled but didn't bother trying to work out.

                              When the bed was vertical while I worked on the underside I noticed some denting on the inner side and began straightening it out only to find that the other guy had filled it with filler that was thicker than it needed to be so I leveled the dent most of the way and kept the filler to a minimum.

                              Last is this bit is the right rear flare. You may or may not recall that when I got the truck it looked like this

                              where some time in it's past a wheel must have come off.

                              I had done a bit of work to it just to make it a little more presentable but it was pretty rough

                              After much work with hammers, dollies, punches and a 12 inch Crescent wrench and it now looks like this

                              and I am convinced that whomever first sculpted this truck and convinced Kaiser-Willys to produce it was an evil genius. There are so many subtle curves and angles and joggles going in every direction it's no wonder nobody ever wanted to tackle redesigning them.

                              So that finishes the body work on the bed and fenders. I hope to get the bed flipped over tomorrow and hopefully get it undercoatd, then flipped back over and get the Mercedes into the garage and the tent put up so I can press on.

                              Fortunately...or actually more unfortunately, I'm off work for the next 11 but only get paid for 2 of them, which means the budget is taking a big hit and may result in the lower color not being the exact one I want but it will still be close.

                              Today at work I decided to try to tackle the front bumper. It isn't going well and I'm wondering how hard and expensive it might be to find one that has good chrome or better yet a newer one piece bumper.
                              Last edited by Crankyolman; 05-05-2020, 10:29 PM.
                              '72 J4500


                              • Yesterday I managed to get the entire left side of the bed stripped. Today all I managed to do was flip the bed over and get it onto the cart so it can go outside and get undercoated. Hopefully it doesn't rain tomorrow and I can manage that, although my wife has a doctors appointment and freaks out if she has to go alone. So I may not get all that much done but I will try. My present attitude is that this is going to take as long as it takes and I'm not going to rush anything. I also have a ton of other things to do so some of those might take priority.
                                '72 J4500