And So It Begins ~ Front End Removal
And So It Begins........
On July 11, 2018 I went to work. I was so excited to finally begin that I was up, dressed for work, and had the Shop doors open by 5 am to allow the cool air in because let me tell you, the Shop in July with triple digit heat is nothing short of BRUTAL! After letting the Shop cool down, I started setting up by rolling my tool box over to my work station and getting out my Ladies Offroad Network Journal (came with the swag box I won on the first day of The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways as a member of Ladies Offroad Network). I wanted to be able to document the project and make notes that I could refer to when putting everything back together. The Odyssey Battery was the very first thing I removed, a spare we keep here at the shop so we've always got one handy. Now it was time to really dig in and have some fun!
RSO Shop Girl Tip:
RSO Shop Girl Tip: When tearing down any vehicle, it is beneficial to bag your parts and label them. That way when you put everything back together you know what bolts, washers, and nuts go to each part. Even though I am replacing parts, bolts, ect I still bagged each item as I removed it and clearly marked each bag so if I needed to refer back to them I could, or if we needed them for another project everything would be together.
Starting of the Front End
Taking Notes Is Essential!Click for Ladies Offroad Network
Be Sure to Bag All Hardware & Label it
Attach Hardware When Possible
Odyssey BatteryClick Here for Odyssey Battery
Stripped Carriage Bolts - Here's the Trick
I began by removing the smaller stuff, the hood latch assembly wasn't an issue at all. Some of the bolts were VERY difficult, at 46 years old the truck is bound to have some rust issues. The RSO Guys helped me out by handing me a can of Blaster (see tip below). Next, I looked over the front clip to see where I to start, but the bumper needed to be removed first. Getting the tools I needed along with my Matco creeper I rolled under the front bumper to begin. I didn’t get too far when I discovered that the carriage bolts were stripped. A carriage bolt has a mushroom head, right below the head is a square section. This section is placed into a square hole in the bumper making it self-locking, and a nut is then added to the shank. Removing this bolt (in good condition) only requires one tool. However, if the carriage bolt is stripped, meaning it will no longer stay inside the square, trying to remove the nut only makes the mushroom head turn. My first thought was, “Okay, now what? Do I just cut the bolt?” RSO Billy came to my rescue, you can indeed cut the bolt, but he told me about a trick he knew. Bringing over his welder, a nut close to the same size as the carriage bolt head, and a pair of vice grips he told me to grab my welding helmet and weld a couple of tack welds around the outside of the nut and then weld a “rosette” in the middle of the nut attaching it to the head of the carriage bolt. With this little trick I was then able to place an open end wrench on one side of the carriage bolt, then a socket and ratchet on the other, a little muscle to get the rusty bolt to turn and viola, it was out!
RSO Shop Girl Tip:
RSO Shop Girl Tip: Blaster is a rust penetrating catalyst and a MUST for any tool box. If there is a bolt or nut giving you problems give it a spray, wait a few minutes and usually it will come right off!
A Must for All Tool Boxes!Click Here for Blaster Corp
Carriage Bolts Can Be Tricky
Removing a Stripped Carriage Bolt
Welding the Rosette
Matco Tools CreeperClick Here for Matco Tools
So Many Rust Bolts
Exhausted, but Still Going - Giving Big Mike the Face
Everything after the Carriage Bolts seemed pretty dang simple. Once the bumper was off, next came the grill, the hood along with the hood hinges, the inner fenders, and grounds. With the outer fenders I learned a lesson – the hard way, (see tip below). Something else I learned was I had to remove the hood vent to be able to get to my outer fender bolts. Last piece to come off was the front clip, after that I did a little preparation for the next step which was to get the motor ready to be removed. I drained all the coolant (messy - be prepared), removed all electrical connectors from the front clip, and removed all the hoses from the radiator. Last thing was to undo the bolts on the bottom of the clip bushings, then of course clean up! I had a lot of fun with this part of the project, and I’m sure that removing parts is a lot easier that installing them. I liked dissecting the truck, to learn how it all goes together. Of course I was a filthy mess afterward, I seem to get more oil and grease on myself than anywhere else – but I am having the time of my life and I feel amazing for what I have accomplished.
RSO Shop Girl Tip:
RSO Shop Girl Tip: When removing fenders, doors, or hoods (anything that has two sets of bolts – top and bottom) ALWAYS remove the bottom bolts first. This way all the weight and pressure will be on the top bolts making them easier to remove instead of the opposite – which is what I did. That first fender was a struggle to say the least and being a strong-willed woman (stubborn) I used every ounce of muscle I had and then some. Thus, tearing the ligament that ties to my elbow. Needless to say I felt a pop and it was both my elbow and the bolt on the fender!