Uhhh Ohhh...2000 Dodge Dakota Sill rebuild

  1. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Ill post pics for sure...it will be a great day when I can just lift the bed off the truck with the car lift!

    yes, a good day of progress....the inner lip is done!....well, there are a few pinholes to fix, final shaping and straightening as the patch panel is sitting a little high on the right side, but I can see where the inner lip is not square and can be bent down a little there....

    getting the lip in place.....

    [​IMG]

    cleaned up a bit and buzzed in. I had to add a piece on the right to the top of the lip as it was very very thin. I just kept blowing through it so found some good metal a ways up the lip....

    [​IMG]

    It came out well but is very Frankenstein in nature. I think doing it this way opens the door to things getting out of alignment quickly....I would much rather cut back using some tape lines and one big replacement panel.....maybe on the other side!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I will probably shape the inner fender before moving to the other side...I want to be sure it fits the patch panel before I get ahead of myself.....

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
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  2. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Yea I've been there a couple of times....on the same arch!

    Just seemed to take me ages to get the inner arch in the right place....fingers crossed the outer panel will fit ok.
     
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  3. TwoThumbs

    TwoThumbs Member

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Finland
    Lift sounds good it certainly will make underbody work a lot more nicer to do!
     
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  4. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    thanks, guys...

    yeah, PD2, Im very hopeful I can get things to line up....Im only about 1/4" off on the right side...I am hoping to massage that lip into submission!....Hopefully without surgery, but at this point, like your project, I am expecting the unexpected!

    JP
     
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  5. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    not much to show, but I managed to convince the inner lip that it needed to morph just a little so the outer patch panel would fit....looks great all around and fits tight. Welding it will be a treat, but I still want to finish the other side's inner lip first. then I can get those top layer pieces in place and button things up.

    JP
     
  6. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    bit of an update....The lift arrived!....I may start a new thread on that as its going to be a project getting it going. The dodge has endured my neglect, being relegated to the driveway as the garage is taken up by the snow plow/garden tractor, the new lift and our cars. That truck starts right up and runs well.....with all the work done recently, I am glad for that!.....

    Its been record cold here, -10f, colder with wind chill....and an average of 10f-20f temps....we are hoping for slightly warmer weather.....somewhere around 25f would be nice!

    Hope all of you had a nice New Year!

    JP
     
  7. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Hey JP...I saw you guys were having it real bad on the weather front. It always amazes me that given the latitude of the UK how on earth we are basking in +45F while NY is colder than Mars.

    Am hoping to get some work done on the Figaro next week...my work restart has been delayed so I need to make the most of the opportunity. Hope you guys get some respite from the terrible weather...snow pictures please if you get a chance :thumbup:
     
  8. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Finally 38F today!!!!!....finally!

    13-15 days below freezing in a row is a bit long.....

    JP
     
  9. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    689
    New Zealand
    Sydney has been seeing around 120F this week which is a bit warm for my tastes. Here in the South Island it's been a comfortable 70-75F; I can live with that.
     
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  10. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Nearly 60 degrees here today, going down to the 30s tonight, followed by 7f by Sunday morning! whaaaat?

    to quote Pythons Holy Grail: "Hmf....bloody weather!"


    ;)

    JP
     
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  11. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    The truck is performing this winter quite well...local runs mostly to the recycling center and errands. Funny story...well now, anyway...I had it running and parked outside the garage so I could use it to jump start the garden tractor and plow the driveway. I had turned my back to hook up the cables to the tractor and suddenly heard an extremely ominous rattling and carrying on from the direction of the trucks engine bay!....I jumped towards the drivers door to shut it down and when I looked through the window I saw my neighbor with his new plow coming down my gravel driveway pushing snow.....The only sense I could make of the sound without seeing the plow truck was that a bearing or rod had let go in the Dakota!....

    Was I relieved to see that plow truck!

    JP
     
  12. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Hey, gang

    I finally got some time to work on the truck bed a bit more....not much to show there, but I did manage to mount a big old bench vice that my grandfather gave my dad eons ago...and it is now in my possession. I did clean it up a bit and paint it flat black for now. It works great and operates smoothly....I ended up mounting it on a block of wood as it is meant to overhang the bench on the edge, as you can see from the picture and this would have interfered with the cabinet doors.

    [​IMG]

    It was a bit of a compromise on where to locate it along the bench top...but I ended up just this side of my toolbox and inset a bit so that the handle still rotated freely all the way around and I would not bump into it going by the bench. (the cars are close when they are inside....)

    I did start shaping replacement pieces for the passenger side wheel well on the truck bed, but there is still more to go before anything is picture worthy....

    still at it!

    JP
     
  13. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Well, I had some patches cut, went to clean up the metal to get ready for welding and blew through one or two spots, so had to make new patches. Ill be happier in the long run!

    Im using these panel clamps, which I like a lot as the magnets on small patches seem to mess with the first welds a little bit for some reason.

    The patches are on the inner most panel which wraps up inside the bed....once the rust gets a foothold, it really travels fast. The other side was worse!

    [​IMG]

    These small rotten areas are all I have to patch and compared with the other side, Im happy that there is less rot over here!. The reason all the surrounding metal is black, is because I have already added rust converter....I sanded back past the rust to clean metal and consider it "learning" for someone so stubborn as myself to finally take the time to properly prepare the surrounding areas!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was going to have a little welding session tonight, but my auto darkening helmet is on the fritz...so Ill be getting a new one tomorrow....no messing around with that...I dont think I can replace the batteries in this one, but its worth checking on...

    thanks for lookin

    JP
     
  14. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Looking very good JP...good to see you putting they layers back in as per the original design. I think it looks so much better than just slapping a patch over the top...
     
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  15. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Ive got it easy compared to what you guys go through....only two layers on this repair! but yes, Im in there and have it all opened up, so why not?

    ;)

    JP
     
  16. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    Its been a long time, but I finally got the welder out and made some progress. The 3 patches...

    [​IMG]

    a little closer:

    [​IMG]

    I did have to do a little chasing here and there...but its very solid now.

    [​IMG]

    I tried a little procedure I saw on project Binky...where Nik is welding and seems to add an extra burst of the mig at the end of each weld....well it worked where I needed it to and I discovered that it helps when joining metal that you cannot really hit hard if some of the metal is a bit thinner than the other metal. I went light on the initial weld, then added a burst at the end to help fill in the puddle a bit.

    Let me know your thoughts on that one...but I think I have a new tactic to use when needed. Once I started doing this, I was not blowing through anymore...weld penetration in most all areas was pretty good.

    I now have the inner fender lip and a small patch to go on this side, then I can treat everything and patch the top layer. After that, its on to the outer patch panels.

    There is really only one other big part of this bed to take care of and that is the rear cross member...a tricky bit with a bunch of spot welds going across the back and across the floor, but it has to come out if I want to stop the rust. I may be covering it up with a custom cover like you find on nice German cars underbelly's to keep the salt spray out...which is what definitely caused it to start rotting.


    thanks for looking

    JP
     
  17. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    I have finally been motivated in the garage lately. Springtime has taken forever to arrive and even today its only 45 degrees out and rainy....

    I have finished the majority of the inner layer patches on the truck bed and decided to feel like I was making progress so cut and welded in some outer pieces. the first piece closes up a hole that goes straight through the outer panel right into the truck bed....

    heres the back side....

    [​IMG]

    and the front...

    [​IMG]

    moving to the patches along the inner fender panel...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This completes the inner arch patches against the bed and inner fender top, though I still have the curved lip to put back in place.

    I decided to try and fit the outer patch panel, and am having some issues with the curvature along at least one axis...so will have to play with it a bit...but I did manage to get it to fit reasonably well....

    [​IMG]

    funny how unremarkable everything looks when you get it back in shape.....I guess thats a good thing, right?

    ;)

    JP
     
  18. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    london
    Looking good JP...bet its great getting back to the project. I literally just got of the phone with my friend in Canada...he still has snow sitting on his porch!

    On the arch radius I ended up cheating on my Figaro...I needed about 10mm of movement at the end of the arches so ended up cutting the panel in the middle. I was amazed how much I could move the ends and still was able to just zip it back up along the cut line.
     
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  19. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    thanks, PD2

    I had an afterthought...what if the fender openings were not straight?....so I measured the distance from the inner fender to the lip all the way around, then thought I might put a straight edge across the opening and measure down in a few spots. I have also measured out from the back lip of the inner panel to several points across the opening to the outer fender edge. (if that makes any sense) and the measurements were all consistent. (where they were off, I was able to figure it out and fix it...so far....) but what if I miss some critical aspect?....Im worrying too much, probably. So I guess I should be okay, but I really wont know until I flip it back over to see how it looks to the eyeballs, you know?.....

    wish me luck!

    JP
     
  20. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    816
    USA-NY
    The truck has had it share of little annoyances. the serpentine tensioner pulley and bracket I recently purchased lost some of its spring strength and began clicking (had a hard time identifying it at all, and thought I had more serious problems) whenever the truck was put in gear. I used a short length of wood as a stethoscope and listened around the motor on any bearing or brackets...and located it that way. I put a new serpentine belt on, which it was due for, and it solved the issue for a day or so...then, the clicking started again. In my annoyance, I modified the pulley bracket and rotated the unit slightly which put more tension on the spring and all is well again...(there is a set screw in the back of the pulley that now goes in a "new hole" in the bracket...)
    of note, I only rotated the unit a very small amount...as putting too much tension on the components would not be a good idea. There is plenty of movement in the assembly, and the spring tension is "normal"....

    the rear pinion seal began weeping diff fluid on longer trips, so Ive had to drop the drive shaft and replace the seal. not too hard, but when taking the nut off for the yoke, you have to count the turns as the torque on that nut also preloads the drive bearing. So apart from indexing the mechanicals and cleaning off all surfaces (pretty rusty under there) it went well.

    sorry no pics...just had to get it done!

    update: the seal was not the problem!...the fluid was leaking from the vent tube for the rear axle! this dripped down onto the rear axle making it look like the seal was leaking...of course fluid was flung all over the underside of the truck (rust proofing???) and does have a certain aroma....
    So Ill investigate that vent tube, fitting and relief valve later today....

    JP
     
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