Uhhh Ohhh...2000 Dodge Dakota Sill rebuild

  1. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

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    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Thats very very good for gasses wire...if you hadn't have told me I would not have known. What machine are you using (brand)...just interested as the welds look very good.
     
  2. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

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    816
    USA-NY
    thanks, PD2....Millermatic 120....with gas option....its a great little machine...runs on house current, has knob dials for fine adjustment.....its a very simple but good quality machine....got it used!

    making good progress on the Dakota....

    its fighting me a bit, but I seem to be ahead!

    Here is the drivers sill panel in final primer....nice and smooth!

    [​IMG]

    and I decided to tackle the front fender body work while I was at it.....There is a lot more warping here so it seems like I have learned how better to take my time and be patient!

    [​IMG]


    and I noticed that the retaining bands around either end of the leaf springs were all rusted pretty badly, 3 were broken and about to fall off.....So I replaced them all with heavy duty clamps...

    I bought some paint to give the silver area a respray and will get that done before I hang the door.....

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
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  3. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Got a lot done this week....had a few set backs, but more steps forward and in the end am now ready for an inspection and front end alignment.

    First up...Painted sills!....I found a color that is really close to the original silver, gave it 3 coats of that, then 3-4 coats of clear...should hold up well.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    two tone detail:

    [​IMG]

    First time the drivers door has been back on in months!...finally looks like a truck again....

    [​IMG]

    reaffix the rubber seal along the bottom edge of the door

    Interior foamed, vacuumed and much cleaner!

    and the engine bay....

    [​IMG]


    I guess it would not be my project without some trials and tribulations. The alternator I had began squealing terribly so for peace of mind I went and plunked down 170.00US on a new one.....then, after starting it up a few times, realized I was not getting voltage out of the brand new external regulator I had attached to the fender wall...Of course I second guessed everything I had done..wiring, grounds, fuses, which all checked out!.....

    I tested for voltage coming out of the alternator...yep...plenty of voltage! then check the feed for the regulator...keyed and powered when it was supposed to be. hmmmmm

    then, I checked the ohms values on the regulator itself. at 20K ohms I got a reading of .06 and the adjuster was not working....according to the paperwork, I should have been getting 1.76 at 20k ohms and the adjuster should have been active.

    I checked around locally and found a non adjustable replacement for 30.00. plugged it in and viola, properly charging vehicle and no check engine lights!....

    we may make it after all!

    JP
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  4. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Well, gang, I think I may have solved the overcharging issue at LONG LAST! I replaced every ground I could find, sense wire connectors, 12v source wire to the regulator, and completely disconnected any immediate link to the computer....so now the charging system stands on its own and the gauge works great....regulator doing its job and holding at 14.5v.....just like in the text books!

    Im taking it for another test drive this afternoon to confirm......

    quite happy with the results, now I can get on with other important issues!


    JP

    In other news, Im updating my images to Flickr......
     
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  5. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

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    ask one of the moderators to help
     
  6. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

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    816
    USA-NY
    working on getting this thing up to date again....we are almost there....

    thanks octo

    JP
     
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  7. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Hey, all

    I decided to get started on the restoration of the rear bed...and will be fixing the red one, as it will be easier to just swap the old one out for the new one....(as its a working truck)....

    here is a quick pic of the transport rig.....I decided to convert my old and tired leaf wagon made from spare parts to a flatbed...the tilting feature worked perfectly to just lift the bed by the front, support it with a 2x4, run from the bees, chase the bees away, and lower the bed down onto the trailer.

    Im planning on tracing the outline of the fender patches and using that as my cut line for welding them in.....Ill have to be sure the inner fender is in good shape, rust proof inside the cavity, then weld em up!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sorry, I could not get the wheels of the trailer centered in the fender opening.... ;)

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
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  8. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Love the way you guys do things over in the states...here in the UK most people would struggle to find somewhere just to park the mower!
     
  9. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    I wish it was as much fun as it looks! The bigger the property the bigger its appetite for maintenance!....this seems to be the year of yard maintenance machines breaking down....carb rebuilds for the trimmers, leaky tires on the tractor and engine overhauls impending on the chipper and mower. The tractor (1998 Yard Machines) needed new paint after it just started flying off in large chunks last winter and it got new head gaskets and magnetos.....and my poor truck!....its hard being cheap....er...frugal!.....

    JP

    oh, and pulling the truck in the garage last night, I scuffed the front bumper trying to get it past the garden tractor......cant seem to get them both to fit in there!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  10. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

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    816
    USA-NY
    pics:
    Got started on the rust-be-gone procedure...

    [​IMG]


    and my lil flatbed trailer

    [​IMG]

    Funny, it seemed so much less of a to do when cutting metal from a free part that is NOT attached to the truck


    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
  11. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    I've yet to find a way of avoiding getting covered in mess....maybe time for a nice rotisserie perhaps.
     
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  12. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    what dreams are made of, Pigeon!

    jP
     
  13. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    I decided to cut all the rot out of the bed first and then start tackling the patches. Then the weather started turning bad so I had to tarp everything and still consider myself lucky as I do not live in Texas....the Hurricane was huge and not only was there loss of life, but the water has still not receded in many places...so I wont complain about the weather....keeping those folks affected in my thoughts.

    In cutting out the rot, I can see why these truck rust the way they do. my bed is worse in most places, but the rot appears in exactly the SAME places. all we needed, DODGE, was to put a bead of seam sealer in between the two inner fender panels and something more than just a coat of paint on top of them. ALL the rot is because of cost cutting and planned obsolescence.

    dismal, just dismal. (did I mention that the factory metal is quite thin throughout?)


    Ill be using metal from my own truck bed to patch things in, but will still have to shape everything as inner panels are not available.......

    ah well, soldiering on!

    JP
     
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  14. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Got some patching started on the inner fender well. There are 2 layers of metal here that make up the inner fenders....

    I discovered that using a pushing technique on the welds worked really well if I turned down the heat just a little and upped the wire speed...worked like a charm on the thinner metal as it allowed me to push the metal from the previous weld into the new weld...

    here is the inner patch already in and ground back. This piece goes into the bed and can be further worked from in there....

    [​IMG]


    and the next piece for the second layer to close things off again...I ran out of weld through primer and rust converter, so thats high on the list....

    [​IMG]

    Im using the good metal from the outer fender I cut from under the big patch panels....recycle, of course!

    its nice to be able to stand the bed up or lie it down....so much better and faster than being under the truck when I did the first sill.....

    [​IMG]

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
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  15. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Ive made some good progress on the bed of the truck lately, but all those hours bending metal in more complicated ways than Im used to and I have very little photo worthy images to show you guys. I ended up learning quite a bit more about metal shaping, namely that complicated pieces are going to need more metal than the CAD template indicate......so I did end up "frankensteining" the biggest part of the inner fender. You can see the hole towards the front of the inner fender in the pic from my last post above (inside left). This piece follows the curve of the inner fender which is a compound curve, and bends to a straight wall that makes up part of the inner wall of the bed....I tried shrinking and stretching, hammer and dolly...but it ended up taking just more time than I had...so I decided to bend what I could manage and add more pieces. which is coming out nicely....I have one more big section to go then Ill update the thread with some pics.

    In other news, I finally found the squeaky accessory that I have been trying to nail down these past weeks. It was the tensioner unit...not its pulley, but the spring assembly. Looking closer, the main hinging pivot that houses the big spring had begun to wear out of round....it was an aftermarket unit that was open to the air.....you could see the spring inside...the new one is still an aftermarket unit, but is sealed in that area...I expect better longevity....

    JP
     
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  16. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Been there too myself when I repaired the mr2 inner arches...just so many curves in so many directions. It didn't help that I decided to use thicker steel too!
     
  17. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Ive been working on the truck, but have been a little side tracked with a weird flickering with all the lights, interior, exterior, headlights, dash lights, and was getting readings off the battery when the truck was running that kept varying between 14.1 and 14.8v.....it just kept cycling up and down like that...

    The problem was that it seems the sense wire that fed the regulator (switched wire coming from the fuse panel) apparently had resistance in that branch of the wiring and was reading low....the regulator thought the voltage was low because of this and would demand more from the alternator...which did not agree that it needed to do that as its sense wire was direct from the battery.

    they were arguing!

    solution was found over at the dodge forum....put the ignition switched sense wire for the regulator on the feed side of a fused relay and run the output wire directly from the battery to power the regulator through the relay....this way the voltage would be the same at the regulator and alternator and hopefully they would stop arguing.

    Im happy to say it is working like a charm...no more flickering lights, no more weird gauge cluster anomalies and the truck is actually idling better and has smoother power delivery...its not any more powerful, unfortunately......but is has smoothed out. The transmission is shifting much smoother, too....

    the relay has a built in port for a 30a fuse, a plug with wiring and a mounting bracket......I got a 5 pack (they actually sent 10!!!) for under 40.00US.

    The bed is coming out nicely and Im almost done with the inner fender repairs on the worst side....Ill get some pics up this weekend!

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
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  18. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    So here we go with some pics....

    engine compartment....new bearing and painted pulley on the AC clutch, new idler bearing, new alternator, new battery cables, new wiring for the alternator......

    [​IMG]

    and here is the relay for the voltage regulator. it has its own fuse, wiring plug and mounting bracket. you can see the red sense wire coming from the ignition switch upper left of the photo. This was the magic trick for the flickering lights!

    [​IMG]

    new tensioner and pulley assy...this is a "better" aftermarket unit than I had in there before.....

    [​IMG]

    The body work continues on the bed....

    here is the inner patch for the middle of the inner fender...this would be at the bottom when on the truck. my original bed is rotted here too..but much worse! I welded an "L" shaped piece that also matches the shape of the bed floor. ( piece goes to just below the pencil)

    [​IMG]

    and this one shows the beginnings of the patch(es) for the inner fender area. This goes above (or behind, however you want to look at it) the inner most metal panel of the inner fender structure when right side up. This is the piece that I wanted to do in one piece...but could not get the metal to bend enough....and realized it was too much to do with limited skills and tools....

    [​IMG]

    here is a better angle. you can see the structure a bit better here....the red wire holds the outer fender in the right place and both left and right fenders are measuring the same.....now. To get the patches on the truck, the previous owner cut the rust out, hammered the remains up and out of the way, then just bonded the panels in place. this distorted the inner fenders quite a bit and I had to reshape them so they would be as close as I could get them to matching the new outer fender patches. (which are a little out of shape too...but Ill do the best I can ....)

    [​IMG]

    this shot is from the other side of the panel...you can see the welds to the left which attach that lower patch....its a complicated shape in my mind and I'm still not finished yet!...The inner fender lip still needs to be shaped and attached...but I can do this with the shrinker/stretcher....( I hear Lazze's voice whenever I type "shrinker stretcher" )

    [​IMG]

    Well, thats about it for now...I had to get a lot of house stuff done today, so unfortunately no work on the truck.....

    thanks for looking

    JP
     
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  19. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

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    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Looking good JP...I have a similar type of repair coming up on the Figaro except in my case it'll all be upside down...actually the right way up if you know what I mean. I've been having some success with tacking in repairs and then actually trimming the patch on the car with a slit disc to produce the gap for the butt weld...still tricky though as access is just so limited.
     
  20. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY

    I hear ya! I actually resorted to that with these patches....it was very tricky to cut these compound curves beforehand and I ended up just trimming with a thin cut off disc and shaping to fit...and yeah, it certainly got pretty tight in there...I almost broke out the dremmel tool!

    JP
     
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