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Removing the bed for gas tank strap replacement

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Removing the bed for gas tank strap replacement

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  #1  
Old 06-20-2018, 10:30 AM
Cash68
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Default Removing the bed for gas tank strap replacement

So after reading a bunch on here, I decided to pull the bed. Removed the hitch, 8 bolts on the bed, unplugged the taillights, then just started building some stuff with scaffolding. Super sketchy:



So I just kept taking turns, jacking up the front a bit, raising the 2x4, then jacking up the back, raising the other 2x4, until it was high enough that I could pull out. I also took all the air out of my tires to lower the chassis a bit.



Replacing the fuel pump sender was pretty easy, though I was sort of pissed that the new one came with a gasket for the vent tube but not the actual white plastic part (small diameter hose hooks up to it). Why was this part not included? Pretty annoying. The tank straps themselves were a total ****ing bitch; I should have just paid to have this done. The problem is the slots in the frame for the T-shaped part of the strap; the straps need to be inserted at ~ a 45 degree angle upwards, from the driveshaft/centerline of the truck. That would be extremely easy if there was no gas tank at all. I wound up dropping the tank completely, but even then there was not enough room to insert the straps, as the required angle resulted in the straps interfering with the tank. What wound up working was drop the tank, completely, and shove it ALL THE WAY forward, under the cab. Then use a floor jack to raise the frame. Insert the back strap first, and attach it loosely. Now pull the tank rearwards, slip it into the loose rear strap, then try doing the front. This is going to suck. I don't know how long it took me, but it sucked.



It was also 94 degrees, which did not help at all, I was sweating so much I could barely see and it didn't help my temper at all. This took most of saturday. Why chrysler couldn't ahve just put holes/nuts on both ends of the straps is beyond me, but it would have made replacing these straps extremely easy. I wound up building a shelter out of a tarp to block the sun, which helped immensely. Once I finished bolting that in, I hooked up the fuel pump and test fired it. But since the bed was off....



I started scraping the frame to knock off all the loose rust. This is a lowish mileage (120k), garaged truck, but it's also the midwest. There was a lot of scale, and the frame still had a lot of the factory paint on it before I started. This photo is after I started scraping it, which moved orange dust everywhere and made it look a lot worse than it is. I like this truck, but it isn't worth much so I'm going to be sort of half-assing this a bit, since it isn't worth pulling everything and taking it down to bare metal. Ideally, yeah, that is the way to go, but I just wanted to stop/slow the corrosion.



I used 4 spray cans of Rust Reformer on the chassis. This turns the rust still left on the frame into a rock hard, black, paintable surface. It is NOT a sealer. It just chemically converts the rust to a molecule that supposedly stops rusting.



Here it is when I finished. Looked a lot better, but I knew the rust would come right back after one winter, so I decided to top coat it. Usually I am a fan of POR15, but again, this is a budget truck and I'm half assing this.



I wound up top coating it with 2 quarts of satin black rustoleum (CAN!!!, not spray), cut with mineral spirits to make it a bit thinner and dry faster. The girlfriend is recovering from radiation but she was game to help paint everything so I couldn't say no.





Will I bother removing the cab to do the front half of the frame? Maybe if I v8 swap this thing. Anyway, truck will be going back together tonight. Does anyone have a tip on how to get the spare tire removal pipe into the bed? I couldn't figure out howt o remove it so when I jacked up the bed, I just jacked it up until it popped out.

Cheers!
 
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:07 AM
onemore94dak
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Nice work, very clever that lift method. That truck looks real nice for something that old. That tube will slip in and out of the hole for it easily enough if you remove the escutcheon for it on the outside of the bed next to the license plate where you connect the lowering rod. I think it only has to move about a half inch to the rear to get it off so the reverse putting it on.
 
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:09 AM
Cash68
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Thanks. I like this truck a lot. I wish it was 4wd or at least LSD, but every place I quoted about pinstalling an LSD wanted $1000 or so.
 
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Cash68 View Post
Thanks. I like this truck a lot. I wish it was 4wd or at least LSD, but every place I quoted about pinstalling an LSD wanted $1000 or so.
Par for the course. Not an inexpensive undertaking.
 
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Par for the course. Not an inexpensive undertaking.
Just FYI you don't have to have the straps at a 45 deg angle to get them in. I've done it several times with the tank in place. You have to rotate the straps 90 degrees, insert the T, then twist them in. It won't look like they'll go at first but then they pop in.

Other than that fantastic work on your restoration...love seeing a cleaned up and painted frame.
 
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:45 PM
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Looks awesome! Good job. And your girlfriend is fantastic, truly best wishes for her recovery.
 
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:03 AM
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If you can do all this work yourself you can definitely install an LSD or locker yourself. Expect to pay 4-500 for a decent one though. The tracloc that came stock in these trucks are very mild and while worth it if you get one with good clutches for free or nearly so ...it probably won't impress you so much. I got one free and I'm gonna rebuild it. Mostly for the experience but it's definitely gonna replace the open diff!
 
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:16 AM
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Great, detailed pictures, Thanks!
 
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:39 AM
RalphP
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Originally Posted by Cash68 View Post
Thanks. I like this truck a lot. I wish it was 4wd or at least LSD, but every place I quoted about pinstalling an LSD wanted $1000 or so.
Considering the only dependable source I've found for a new SureGrip is Jegs, and they want right at $380 plus shipping, $1000 really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, I don't HAVE the $1,000 either ... *grins*

(Might be counting on new axle bearings; the brakes have to come apart, so some folks just figure on a brake job while it's apart; etc. etc.)

RwP
 
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:25 PM
Cash68
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Want to hear the ****ty thing?

****ing fuel gauge still doesn't ****ing work.
 
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