I took advantage of some moderately warm weather and a mostly sunny day to get outside and attack some rust on the Travelall on Saturday. The first thing I did was get inside and start pulling the stupid running lights off the top of the roof over the barn doors; this required several different sockets, a pair of vice-grips, two screwdrivers and a cutoff wheel. When those were removed I started grinding out the rust with the wire wheel and then a flap disc.

Working my way around the side I made it to the rear door on the driver’s side and then cleaned up the metal where the old Travelall badge once lived; this is going to need a skim of bondo as well but at least it’s not completely flaking off.

Then I got the license plate holder off the rear door and cleaned that metal up; it’s going to need some love with a body hammer to flatten back out.

I pulled the door hardware off the two rear doors and removed the door cards for cleanup next. The insides of the doors are in excellent shape and just need a good vacuum. By this time it was getting cold outside so I switched to the sandblast cabinet and got it prepped for shooting the battery box hardware. The day before I bought the Travelall I’d spent some time refurbishing the box: I emptied the whole thing out, used seam sealer to plug the leaks in the bottom of the cabinet, then cut some wood to fit the replacement gloves that were 2″ too small to fit the original round seals. Last year I had issues with the box filling up with dust, making it difficult to see what I was working on, so I bought a vacuum separator from Amazon to help to pull the dust out of the air and into a can before it goes into the vacuum filter, where it would immediately clog everything up. It was on me to find the right hose and reducer to go from the box down to the separator, and then another to go from the separator to a shop-vac.

Sunday broke a lot colder than Saturday did, and I hit Harbor Freight for the hose elements to try and cobble something together. When I hit the vacuum section I saw their vortex separator which came complete with a hose and the right attachments for less than the Amazon version—so I bought it. With that and some other supplies, I came home and finished blast cabinet V2: a fully ventilated, airtight cabinet with working lights. I used new glass bead media to clean off some parts, and was generally pleased with the results. The only two drawbacks now are that I can’t run the compressor and the vacuum at the same time on the same circuit; my available power to the garage are two 110V circuits and it can be finicky. The other issue is that I need a true gravity feed for the media hopper—it’s currently a hose that sits in the pile of media but it frequently runs itself dry. I have to drill and install a true hopper at the bottom of the cabinet and link that up to the hose.

While the compressor was refilling I went out to the truck and farted around with it a little before the snow started falling. I got thirteen of sixteen bolts out of the passenger fender with little effort, which should have been a task that took me three weeks and five cutoff wheels. I hit everything I could see with PBblaster and a half an hour later I had a handful of rusty but intact bolts. The hardest part was accessing the bolts around the headlight bucket, but that was an ergonomic problem, not an oxidization issue. It’s really crazy how good a lot of this truck is compared to other trucks I’ve seen (and certain parts of this truck itself).

So next up is to order about three more cans of Rust Encapsulator, a handful of flap discs, a wire wheel, and a pot of Bondo, and hope for some warmer weather so that I can keep working on the roof. The goal is to get the roof cleaned up, sealed off, leveled out with Bondo, and ready for paint.

The other thing that has to happen pretty quickly is the purchase of a welder, so that I can weld up the holes in the roof over the barn doors before the water really gets a chance to settle in there.

Posted on   |    |  Posted in Repairs, Travelall

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