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RebelRider's War on Rust--1996 XLT FSB

8451 Views 41 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RebelRider2010
Hello Y'all! The time has come to do something about the rust on my 1996 XLT Bronco. Quick run down, it has the 351, e40d, electric t-case, manual hubs, 31's flow master super 44 muffler... just about all stock after that.

I have the usual rusty problems as this truck is a Pennsylvania truck, and has spent its whole life in the N.E Salt belt.
What I will be doing this time around, as it is my Spring Break, and rather then go places, see friends, and do college spring break type stuff, I chose to stick around our shop and wrench the truck.

--I was recently re-ended by a lifted 1976 Early bronco during a 4x4 trip, so my tailgate was smashed and glass broke.
I will be fixing the tailgate. (I was told I couldn't so I'm doing it to prove I can.) :rockon
Bed Lining the rear, there is no carpet there anyway.
patching the arches.
CB Radio Install
and other small things like door hinge replacement etc.
anything else I might find.

Just as some base line... here is the truck when I first bought her and brought her home.

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Now heres after my Rausch Creek Trip incident of the tailgate

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And now for the Cancer Pictures

Rusty seat belts much... and this is the GOOD side

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On Sunday, I decided to start work on the Tailgate. I lined up everything as best as I could, and got the lines back. I am not worrying about the dents.....
I stood up and stomped on the top of the gate to push the lip back down. it is now only half and inch or slightly more off line. I will look for a picture from the actual wheeling trip of how bad my tailgate was. (you can see it in the Rausch Creek Snow run Trip report thread.)
Can't escape the rust...

Weather Stripping basically crumpled in my hands

window track is rotted out

Got the split edge cleaned up and pulled together. Not sure what to do with it yet. Probably just a little bit of body glue to cover and seal it.

Got this close enough to weld, This will fix the floppyness and give me back my Integrity.

Holding it all together for welding

un-damaged side, for comparison. Don't think I did to bad. =)

Cleaning the window brackets up

Took the tire rack latch off to see what it hid. Doesn't seem to bad.
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I should apologize now, I am using my cell phone to take these pictures, so quality isn't the best. Our shop is poorly lit as well.

My phone also drowned, and I missed out on taking pictures for 2.5 days worth of work... all the good stuff of the patching the holes and cutting the arches and stuff.... but I got the afterwards pics. they will be coming soon.

As I started stripping the truck down, I kept finding more and more problem areas. My passenger side rear seatbelt retractor mount was completely rotted through, pictures later. the PO had a sketchy bondo job that covered holes in the bed. Up where the floor turns down right under the rear bench, near the hinge mounts, there are cracks and rusty areas. lots of surface rust. I was a bit overwhelmed at first as I had a week to do what I wanted to to this pig, and I didn't plan on this stuff. I also only have access to a welder for 3 nights.
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Parts came in!!!!! LMC kind of screwed me over a bit, but I will make do.

big box... lots of peanuts =/

Hinge pin replacement kits.... missing two pins

CB Antenna, and mount for tire rack. from Walcott CB

Weather stripping for Tailgate, inner and outer glass seals, new corners, and new rubber for tailgate bottom and bodyside.

Not pictured is the Herculiner Bedliner, Acetone, and other small bits and pieces such as sandpaper and accessories.
I got the bed liner from Advanced, and acetone from Advanced.
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Well the Second day is when I really started working on this thing.
This truck gave me a fight every step of the way. I broke 2 easy outs, and 3 bolt extractors. Oh, and 2 MAC T-50 bits... I couldn't get the seatbelt or rear bench bracket/ latch bar bolts out to save my life. I used Penetrating fluid, a torch for heat, and everything from air ratchet, impact wrench, and a breaker bar... Nothing would budge. I broke a latch bar bolt and a bench bracket bolt... that's when I called it quits on those, I will just cruise without those two bolts for now.

The seatbelt bolts, the one bolted to the bed of the truck... Impossible to get out. I had it glowing and the Penetrating fluid boiling, and couldn't budge them. They ate two of the T-50 bits I had, so I made do... I have been wrestling with the plastics this entire project now. between laying them over the front seats of hanging them out of the front doors.... it's been miserable.

Put my 13 year old cousin to work, gotta start them early right?

This is the mount for the rear plastics..... even it is covered in rust

I give up on the seatbelt bolts... anyone else have this happen? Any tips on how to get them out? It is a PAIN to bed line with them still in, JFYI.

My cousin chipped up a huge hunk of bondo... to reveal this.... and this is on BOTH corners

As you know, the retractor bolts are more like lugs. They are supposed to be part of the wheel well... Mine fell out as soon as I touched it with a ratchet.

I am really scuffing this bed to ensure maximum stickage... and to get rid of the surface rust and such. more lovely cancer

This is where I left off for the Night.

I started by pre-washing the bed and walls with Purple Power, basically just trying to remove loose debris and grease/oils. If you don't remove the oils etc, you can grind them into the paint while sanding.
I then put the Lil' guy busy to dry it while I gathered tools and ran the airlines.
We went to town scuffing and spot rust removing and inspecting damage etc. I used a wire brush wheel, an angle head Die cutter with the 3M abrasive wheels, and a rust/paint stripper wheel for a drill. I then went over EVERYTHING by hand with 60/80 grit sandpaper, to ensure everything was scuffed up really well. over kill? Yes. Effective? yes.
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I found this "evaporust" stuff in our shop, decided to give it a try. I let the window brackets sit half way in over night... I think it worked? lol

I since have soaked every bolt and screw in this, and it has shown positive results. A quick rinse of water, and a quick propane torch dry, and then a wire wheel treatment does them good. Should go back in easy and clean.

priming and painting all brackets, to include the rear plastic mounts, and speaker mounts.

I am just trying to stop rust from happening on the inside. I would much rather it rust outside in, instead of inside out like it was. (I have some Weatherstripping issues allowing a lot of water in.)
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Worked through the night, Had to get a spot light to see.

As a side note, I WAS going to hack the resonator out of the exhaust to make it louder and more flowmastery.... stupid 02 sensors.

can you dodge a wrench? (I wear a size 13 boot)
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Well due to the phone being broke, I have no pictures of the actual cutting, and patching of the arches and holes in bed. I just now today got my phone back, and had already put a layer or two of liner down, so my cousins patch job is forever covered up.

I guess I should of added that my older cousin is a Body Man and painter, and is leading the way on all welding, and body work. Since I am not very skilled at all in that department.
2 coats of bedliner are in, except the area that still needs patched.

These were the holes in the corners, I think they came out rather well, considered we used recycled sheet from a crashed car at his body shop, hahaha.
We cut out the rust a bit and cleaned it up. and then patched over it with the sheet. I grinded the welds down. He then covered it in this fiberglass/body filler stuff called dura glass, in which I sanded it down smooth. That Duraglass stuff is really nice. Sealed it up good and smooths out effortlessly. My cousin loves it compared to Bondo.

I slopped this stuff everywhere, as I am trying to 'prevent' rust... or rather slow its spread.

waiting for Cousin to weld up the patch I cut out and formed, using left over sheet from the wheel arch patch
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here is a decent view of the tailgate fix. A messy weld, but it is holding just fine. I put liner over it to help "smoothen" it out

I finger painted this area using liner from a drip I saw. don't worry, I will be scuffing this area and doing the sides of the tailgate as well.

here is a good picture of the ROT that is my wheel well and retractor mount
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here is that body putty/filler stuff we are using.

This is now my seat belt retractor mount. we welded it over the mess, and then passed large bolts with big washers up through the bottom (tire side) of the wheel well. seems to hold just fine. Cousin welded it on there nicely. I bed lined over it. Not a perfect ideal fix, but it will do and it will hold the seat belt.

If the weather is crap like it was today, bedliner doesn't dry well... I tried to speed it up a bit

... well it worked!

a little ******* fixing. Wire ties to hold the window track nut in place. (it fell out.....)

The arch patch. Glued in. will be mudded over and sealed up.

Sanding it down, cousin was using different layers and different materials based on what he needed.

Right now, My truck is ready to be primed and painted.
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For the bed Liner:

After scuffing up the surface good.. (the scuffing pad they give you sucks, it is like what my mother uses on greasy dishes) I wiped it down with a damp rag after taking the airhose to blow the dust off.
I then gave it an acetone bath... Do this in a well ventilated area, hahaha.

after donning gloves and crappy clothing, I started the bedliner. I used herculiner Brand. Can be found at any autoparts store, 80-90 bucks for 1 gallon and 2 rollers/brush.

You have to stir this stuff really good before use, and while you are slapping it on, keep it stirred in the pan. Acetone works great for cleanup.
The herculiner covered and spread very well, and was easy to work with. It is hard to mess up on this, just roll it on, make sure it gets in all the nooks and crannies. When using the brush, dab it on, rather then brush like paint.

Once you get it on something, it's on there. I had a rag and acetone standing by to wipe it off of areas, like the outside of my tailgate. If you catch it early it will come off. I was able to wipe a thumb print off my seat using acetone. (I for what ever reason put my hand in my seat.)

I layed it on thick and heavy, and after two coats, doing the sides and tailgate and down onto the floor in front of the bench a bit, I still have a tad under half a gallon left. I will be doing a third coat, and then using the left overs for the inside of the tailgate, and a few other places on my truck, like right near the front tires, I kick up a lot of gravel and it chewed through the paint.

As a warning, Bedliner has a very strong odor, I did this outdoors the first day and had a nice breeze, wasn't too bad. Today, it rained... had to do it inside the garage..... It was bad.
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Sorry for the lack of flow, I finally got around to posting 4-5 days worth of work in a thread this evening.

Tomorrow I will be finishing the bedliner, going to use up the rest of the +/- half gallon I have left on my truck, going to put it in places just to put it if I got to. It's filled in cracks and such nicely, that we didn't cut out and replace. I feel that 3-4 coats is going to be way sufficient enough.
Truck will also be getting painted tomorrow.
Friday will be Hinge, put back together, and CB day.
For the hinges I may try a removable setup that reptillicus did here on FSB.
nice work. A cutting torch does wonders in getting those torx bolts out. just pre heat the head till it glows and blast it with the will fall right out. just make sure the fuel lines are protected.
Thanks! I thought about just cutting them out, but I didn't feel like running around trying to find bolts for a replacement... lazy factor... I know.

Weather is crappy today.... not sure what I will get done.
Well, After Dolphin Glazing, I got it all painted today. Didn't get to do any bedliner, weather was crappy outside. Got the CB all installed and ready to go, rear is put back together, all I need to do is clean it up a bit.

I'll post pictures later.
Well here's some of the pictures.

I spent a while working on my window, It wouldn't go the whole way down, ever since I was hit. Before I put all new weather stripping in, I wanted to make sure the window was working.
A torsion bar bracket was bent out of place. Causing the window to hit it. Since my torsion bar is broke anyway, I just unbolted it. Figured it could be another drain hole.

Junk Yard window, some of the defroster is all gone. I got a repair kit from Advanced auto, has stuff to fix the grid, and to reglue tabs. (My tab failed to cure, must of been user error somehow.)

after painting--> I overlapped good, to make sure it would conduct well. I haven't tested it yet, as my tab is broken off still.

My pictures of my CB install didn't turn out very well. I mounted the CB between the seat and console. Has plenty of room, and is out of the way, but well within reach. I took an ice pick and hammer, and tapped holes through the floor, and then some self tappers snugged everything up nicely. Cut a slit in the carpeting, and ran the wire under the carpet, up the hump to the firewall, then used a rope to pull the wire up through the dash, into the radio headunit area. I tapped into the wiring harness for the headunit. I wired my CB into the constant 12v wire (yellow) as opposed to the keyed (red). I just need to remember to shut my CB off before I park, thats all. But, now if I don't have a key, I can still use a CB, who knows when you may need to use it I guess. The tire rack mount is great, no holes to drill, the coax goes right through the space between the tailgate and body, and runs behind the plastic nicely. I ran it up, then under the rear speaker I dived to coax down under the carpet (my carpet starts right in front of the bench) then to the CB.
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Now for the paint!

It is a temporary thing until I figure out what to do with the rest of the truck. What I have planned, Re-paint all the black on the front of truck, and take the black all the way down to bottom. then bedline the bottom 5 inches or so.

My truck is now an add campaign.

Don't forget to cover the wheels, look at that fresh paint.

--All done.. My battery died, thats why the hood is up, she's charging up.

On the pics above you can see what I am talking about for paint scheme... any ideas or comments?
I want to carry the rear's paint to the front, then bedline the lower portion (what is red on the lower front now will be bedliner)
I will keep/re-do the pin stripe between black and red for the midline. Figured that's the easiest/cheapest/most effective thing to do.

Ahh, drained batteries, wonderful right?
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