I concur with Stu WRT bedliner versus undercoating. Fortunately I live in a relatively dry climate and thus no salt on the roads during our "winter". Thus for me, this is more of a peace-of-mind thing. I won't sweat it as much if the wife has to drive down a gravel road for example.
At present I am still debating regarding the fuel hose issue. TBD. And yesterday I noticed that the hydroboost on Da Beast was leaking, so the hope of only replacing the master cylinder disappeared quickly. Thus I spent the day working on that, primarily because the parts store fella told me that the replacement hydroboost unit that he sells comes with the bracket. Bought it, got it home, opened the box only to discover that yeah-no, it doesn't come with the bracket. Uuugggghhh. Tried to remove the existing one but without the special tool, good luck removing that 47 mm nut that is surrounded by 4 studs. After futzing around with that for longer than I should have, we returned the unit to the parts store. Last night I ordered one online that *does* include the bracket. And since I must wait on that, I revisited Ol' Blue today.
Decided to finish the firewall business, thus the only item that would remain are the fuel hose issue and the installation of the tank. At that point I could/can *finally* reunite the body with the frame. And that is something that I am keen to complete. So the firewall. What remains is to paint the thing. I mentioned this several (well many) posts ago, but I invested in a couple of new HVLP guns, as the ones I used in the 90s/00s are long gone. I went with DeVilbliss, middle-of-the-road-but-good quality. I also ordered the primer/sealer, DX base and Euro clear from an online source. So it was time. Unfortunately this Sunday was not a good day to be painting outdoors. It was kinda windy (not terribly) and so there would be no good means of containing/preventing your work from being compromised. However as I have also mentioned, I'm aiming for a 5-feet-away paint job; a task that IMHO is manageable given the conditions in which I found myself. Thus I proceeded. This past week saw relatively little time to work on the project as a whole. By the time I ventured out to the workshop darkness was only an hour or so away. Thus each night I sanded the firewall with one of the progressive grits. I had considered merely scuffing it, but decided to do a full sand job instead. I stuck with the standard plan, beginning with 80 and ending with 320. All done by hand given the nature of the beast. So after 5 nights the sanding was checked off of the to-do list.
So where to begin? Well task one was deciding how the landscape/canvas was a-gonna look. I had been debating as to whether or not I'd remove the vacuum booster and HVAC unit or just paint around them. I noticed rust on the booster and general age issues with the HVAC unit, so I decided to do the full Monty: I would remove those now with the intention of replacing them entirely with new equivalents when the time comes. Yup, even those will be new on the wife's ride.
First thing was first: remove the booster. If you aren't familiar with this, the removal is had from the inside and begins with four 13 mm bolts that are the means by which the unit is held to the firewall. Those are removed as the initial step. You then must contend with the mechanism by which the brake pedal is attached to the vacuum booster's plunger. On these vehicles (and other Ford models I've seen - to include our F450), this is accomplished via a rod that extends from the brake pedal on the driver's side. That rod runs through the end of the plunger and through the brake light switch. There is a yellow cover that is placed over the entire sub-assembly in order to assist in preventing the un-doing of the arrangement:
Not much to the cover really, though it serves an important purpose:
That removed you can see the pin and rod (or dowel if you prefer) clearly, thus:
The plunger can be seen to the left of the rod in the above picture. The pin is removed with run-of-the-mill needle nosed pliars:
You then pry the end of the plunger towards the driver's side. Both the rod and the brake light switch slide off of that rod. At that point the booster is free and can be removed from the vehicle:
That done it was time to remove the HVAC unit from the home it has known since birth:
And then proceed with the final paint prep. It was at that point that I noticed a slight crease in the firewall on the driver's side, immedately below the opening for one of the two primary electrical connectors:
I checked The 5-O to verify these, thinking that they aren't supposed to be present. I didn't feel #2 but did feel a slight crease where #1 is indicated in the above picture. No problem, the only concern was with the usual fight against darkness. However, I couldn't allow these to pass, so I busted out the hammer-n-dolly set to correct the issue. 'Was able to shape it into a resemblance of what I felt on The 5-O. Not certain how this development on Ol' Blue came about, but it appeared to isolated so I moved on. I'll do a few measurements once the body and frame are mated once again. Lots of taping ensued:
Once I was reasonably satisfied I opened the material boxes. Due to regulation, they must ship these to ya in separate containers. So there was a box for the primer and its stuff, the DX basecoat and then a third for the clear. Prepared the gun, etc:
Only to discover that the little device I use to extract paint from a can cleanly has grown legs. Uuuggghhh. Take note of the above picture. It won't look that clean and presentable by the end of the night. Kinda par for the course with the whole painting thing, but I digress. So I laid down a couple of coats of the primer/sealer:
Came out ok, but I was getting-the-feel for how this particular new gun shoots for most of the time I was applying this white stuff. Anyway, I decided that for reasons involving time and since this gun, which I purchased with the full intent of it being the primer/clear mechanism, comes with both a 1.3 and 1.8 tip and needle, that I'd just use it for all three tasks. That would involve less cleaning overall, but would extend the time required by just a bit. So at that point I gave the DeVilbliss a lacquer thinner bath, whipped up the DX paint and loaded it into the gun. Applied the two coats of the base to the firewall:
And jotted back inside to prep the clear. The Darkness was upon me like no one's business. Prep'd the gun and applied the final two coats, this time of the clear:
In the end I completed this step in the darkness with only the backlight from the workshop to guide me around the canvas. It came out ok-ish, but I won't really know until I see it in the sunlight tomorrow. I almost don't wanna look, but will because I have to.
However it appears, that is the way it'll remain (unless anything major crops up) for I must move forward with the build. Remember the workbench picture that was relatively clean (well "clean" for me anyway)? Well this is how it typically appears at the end of a painting session:
I think I've mentioned this previously, but I haven't laid down any serious paint in quite a while now. That is a large part of the reason I decided to paint Ol' Blue myself: the opportunity to do something that I haven't done for a few years. While today was hardly serious painting, the process was the same, so it was kinda fun to get back in the saddle again as the saying goes. During the course of the day I discovered a few things that had fallen off of the radar in regard to painting in general (or at least my experience with it):
1) However much you have in the way of supplies, you don't have enough. You'll need more towels than that, more gloves than you have and especially more lacquer thinner than is on-hand.
2) Have a means of pouring from a gallon "bucket" or else contend with a mess on your workbench. And have a workbench or other suitable place (preferably stainless) where you can pour and mix your stuff.
3) Clean everything. Then clean again. Then some more.
4) No matter how arduously you try to keep-it-clean, it's a-gonna get messy. 'Just a question of degree really.
5) Overspray is a-gonna go everywhere and get on everything. So if you paint indoors cover whatever is sitting nearby-ish if you don't want paint on it. That is the one advantage to outdoor painting: not much to get paint on, depending on where you do the painting of course.
6) Wear a respirator, specifically keep that thing snug to your face. Just one whiff of 2K paint products is more than I wanna experience. You won't die from it mind you but just the same, tighten your respirator. Well you won't die today anyway, at least not from the paint.
7) Have a decent air supply system in-place and ready to go. It should include some means of water filtration. Even a cheap-o disposable HF inline filter (which I use as a third backup) helps.
8) Configure and use some means of testing your fan pattern prior to actually spraying anything. Today I used the plastic sheeting that covers the windshield, for example.
9) Expect imperfections. Hey, they're a-gonna happen. Know how to deal with them and then deal with them.
10) Know when to stop.
Ok a-gonna stop typing now. Hope all is well!