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TDI Conversions Discussions on converting non TDIs into TDIS. More general items can be answered better in other sections. This is ideal for issues that don't have an overlap and are very special to swaping engines.

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Old October 14th, 2019, 19:00   #16
Powder Hound
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Default Day 7 Another short one.

Today I went and picked up my spare engine. At this point, not knowing whether I need it or not, it seemed like a questionable use of my time. It was a total of about 4 hours of driving, and an hour of trying to get a price (the owner wasn't answering his phone, and the people at the yard weren't going to do anything without his approval) and about 2 hours loading and unloading.

In the end, I bought an engine:



As well as the exhaust that was on that car. It was interesting because I was told at the yard that they aren't supposed to sell catalysts off wrecked cars. I replied that the aftermarket catalysts are junk and go bad after a very short period of time (weeks? Less?) and even a used VW catalyst is much much better than a new aftermarket. But they sold it to me anyway, so I'm good. Not that it matters a whole lot, since for the ALH there are no O2 sensors to give away any secrets such as the catalyst being completely poisoned. But it is also true, that for the first 60k or so of my 4-dr which I bought new, the exhaust smelled like a burnt candle, so it was obvious it was working.

But that is a different drama.

I was going to buy the passenger side seat belt retractor as well, but not having any way to test it, I wasn't willing to risk $50 bucks, which is what they were going to charge even if I pulled it myself. I said I'd risk $20, because there was no way I was going to drive for 4 hours to reclaim the money for it if the igniter didn't pan out. This was in reply to the retort that the owner would stand behind the part. Yes, that is good, and I believe it, but redeeming the part would be incredibly inconvenient. So I think I'll look into switching the belts with the bad one in the Jetta, and the good one I already bought but did not install because it came from a 2-dr (a GTI in a local yard). Go look at the difference sometime. (Hint: look at the end of the belt and how it attaches to the car.) If I just swap the belts, I'll be good to go. It will be interesting to figure out how to do that, since when you pull it out of a car, it will refuse to unroll the belt. Hmm... have to think about that for a few minutes.

Anyway, with some help loading and unloading, I have the hardware here as you can see above. In fact, even though it doesn't show, the intake manifold and EGR cooler with related plumbing was included; I had to remove them so that the engine would fit through my hatch. The engine came complete with alternator, a/c compressor, PS pump, injection pump, turbocharger, and the intake stuff I mentioned. It also has the engine mount bracket still bolted up. Nice, and that complete package made the price for a 90k mile engine worthwhile. I would be really happy if I needed a complete package, but my pleasure is muted for now. Still have a couple of tests to run on the original unit in the trucklet before I give up on it. As for accessories, some day I might use the starter, clutch (yeah, forgot to mention it came with the clutch), alternator, PS pump. I don't know about the a/c compressor, but you never know. And the turbocharger will probably go in with the engine if it gets used. But it will definitely need a new oil dipstick tube. What's on there is some kind of rubber hose abortion that should never have gone on the car. Well, maybe that's harsh. As long as it is the correct length, doesn't leak all over, I suppose it does the job.

One interesting facet for the future that my unloading help pointed out: with a truck, loading and unloading the engine would be a snap. Indeed. There are some things for which a truck is ideal, and this is one of them. Next time for sure.

Then, with a few hours left in the day, I figured I'd get the last few rust spots treated and be ready to go tomorrow. Alas, in my haste to get the engine unloaded, I did not bring new supplies. So I'm still out of sandpaper and need to bring more of that and a few other things. Running a little low on blood sugar and feeling that I had missed nearly all of a glorious day dodging traffic heavy with tour buses full of leaf watching tourists, I decided to hit it hard tomorrow and go home for some aerobic bicycling which I have been slacking off on lately.

It was a good ride. I'll sleep well tonight, and be ready for tomorrow.

It is going to get a bit boring for the next week, at least until the tailgate arrives. I also need to locate a super-duper rivet gun. It would appear that the $20 special at the local home improvement store won't even come close when you are trying to set a 3/16" rivet. The friend that is helping with shop space ordered one, so that won't be a problem by the end of the week, I think. In the meantime, I should be able to buy some small nuts and bolts to use for trial fitting. Other than that, I will be doing paint prep.

So you've been warned. I'm basically apologizing in advance if you aren't so sanguine about seeing basic body work instead of watching a truck grow out of a chopped up Jetta. Rest assured, I feel the same way but the rust cannot be ignored. And there's the fact that the tailgate isn't here. I'm sure everyone is tired of me saying that, so I'll knock that off and be ready to celebrate when it shows up. As long as it hasn't been damaged in transit. Yes. That will work.

Actually, I'll try and make the posts not completely blase, but there is only so much you can do.

Cheers!

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; October 14th, 2019 at 19:12.
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Old October 15th, 2019, 18:24   #17
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Default Day 8. Painting rust spots with zinc, and part 1 of the seatbelt repair.

Today I spent several hours doing the final clean of the rust spots that are in the area under the future bed of the trucklet. I was able to get them all covered in zinc paint.

These are some of the rust spots. Along the rear door seam, on the sill, and along the area that was under the rear seat. Funny that the passenger side rear door seam had no trouble. Dunno why. Anyway, the interior rust spots are as done as I can make them. They'll get a coating of black POR and then a coating of a black coating in a squirty can. Except the spray nozzle keeps clogging, so I'll probably just drain the can and use a brush. Should be fun trying to empty the can without it spraying all over the place.


My friend decided he wanted a pneumatic rivet gun, as well as the Big Daddy rivet gun that is manual. As I previously noted, the $20 home improvement special probably won't do it. Well, it turns out that it probably can if you have massive hands and hand strength to make Popeye envious. I'm interested in trying out the pneumatic unit. Looks like fun!

So he ordered them yesterday, and today they are here. I had no idea he was so excited in getting them going, so we started the trial fitting. As is understandable, drilling the aluminum is easy, the steel of the car's seams you will rivet through is hard. Particularly when you're using a used drill bit. I did 3 on each side, it is enough for a quick trial. I was excited too, and forgot to put zinc paint in the holes through the steel. I probably wouldn't have removed them as they seem to be correct, but I'll have to now just to make sure the steel is protected.

The way the kit is set up, the holes for bolts and rivets you need to drill are marked with tiny holes they call "piercings". The tiny hole makes for a good guide for drilling. The one catch is that there are no piercings nor holes for the bolts to the B pillar brace that are needed in the front wall. That is, there are holes in the B pillar brace, but not in the front wall sides. OK, that is a little detail they left out.

The exact way it is supposed to line up isn't detailed in the manual either. I guess we're supposed to figure it out just because. OK, so why don't they say to line up certain edges then figure out where to drill the holes? I'm not sure - I guess they don't drill the front wall because there is some leeway in how it all should line up. Anyway, after writing this up I'll go search for all the videos that I can find and see if I can figure it out.

So I have that to research tonight.

Also, the rivets are 100% aluminum. Interesting. The most common rivets you find have an aluminum sleeve and the center anvil is steel. With these, the all aluminum rivet is longer than most, and you won't have to worry about the rivet center rusting. I guess that's the reasoning. I haven't seen that explanation yet.

And they give you at least 200 rivets, so I think there's a little room for a few mistakes. But not that much room, so you still need to be careful. I don't want extra holes in my trucklet anyway.

After we figure this out, I think by Saturday I'll be close to having the basic bed assembled. There's a lot of paint prep to do as well. The rest of this week is short days for me, so progress will slow a bit. But stay tuned!

There's other projects to get done along the way, such as the passenger side seat belt problem - the one where the ECU says the igniter resistance is too high. There's also the ventectomy, but I'll do that another day.

Previously I mentioned why the one I picked up is the wrong one, and after thinking about it and seeing that it is becoming a PIA to get a plug-and-play unit, I decided to resolve the issue by swapping just the belt.

So here's the deal. Try as I might, I could not find a way to unreel the belt unless the unit is bolted in place. Not even tightly, just bolted. There must be some magic in there. Or maybe it came from the same school that taught ECUs to figure out when they're being tested - I don't know.

So you have to bolt the thing in place to unreel the seatbelt. Then, you have to hold the reel while you unbolt it so you can work on it. This is for the one that is the bad mechanism and the good belt. The trick is that you need to hold the reel because when you unbolt it, it will try and reel the belt back up. But you'll never get it back out, so you have to hold it. Always. Now, once you have it unreeled, take a look at the center of the reel (spool, whatever you want to call it - I'm calling it a reel here).

Here you see the end of the belt. On the top is the belt coming into the mechanism, and just below that is the end of the belt. The belt feeds through the middle of the reel, and has a small loop into which a lock pin is inserted. This makes it impossible to pull the belt back though the reel and locks it in place.



This is another view of the end of the belt with the lock pin with the rest of the belt coming off the back side of the reel and coming around and out the top of the photo.


What I did to get it out was to use a flat blade screwdriver to push the belt from the backside. You are basically pushing the part of the belt that is sewn together through the reel so the end of the belt with the pin will get pushed out of the reel.


It is hard and progress is slow, so you need to be patient. And remember, all this time you are having to keep the reel from winding the belt up, even a little, because if that happens, you will have to start over.

When you push enough through, you can grab the end of the belt with pliers or something like that. I suppose you could use fingers, but mine aren't that strong.

Here the end of the belt is coming out nicely.


Get it loose, and you can extract the locking pin and then pull the belt out through the reel and out.


When you install the new belt, be sure the part number winds onto the reel side.
Then any extra twists in the belt can be easily taken care of and you'll have a belt correctly installed. The mechanism says you can't use this on another car. Well, if you aren't careful, maybe there's a danger. So all you guys who try this better ground your electric personalities so you don't set off the igniter. Me, I'm dry dull and boring so there's no danger. It helps to have the battery disconnected as well.

As per the usual, just because I got away with this doesn't mean you will, so try this at your own risk. I think the dangers are minimal, but I'm not a seatbelt engineer, nor a lawyer. Obviously. If I was, you wouldn't see me posting these photos and telling how I did this.

Now I have an empty seatbelt retractor with an igniter whose resistance is too high. The hole in the top of the pyrotechnic device appears to have intact fuzzy thin wiring (think: very old style flash bulbs) so I think it will fire anyway. So now there's three pyrotechnic devices that will be tried in the near future. As I said earlier in this post: Stay tuned!!

The next side project I'll be doing will be the ventectomy. It has been so long since I've done one I'll have to look it up. But I'll post photos anyway. I'll see what's there so I don't just post the same thing over again.


Also, tomorrow will be busy with a few other things like a bike ride and buying some POR for the - what, underbed? Spare tire carrier? So I may not be posting again until Thursday. We'll see.

Oh, my, I almost forgot.

We did put up the B pillar reinforcements even if there are only 3 rivets in them. There was more, but as I explained, I took it out to go back and refigure how best to proceed.



And with this one, the front wall is in back of the photo leaning against the wall.



Cheers,

PH

PS: I uploaded 17 photos, but I didn't use all of them, so there's only the one post for today. Sorry for the misdirection, but editing the post won't let you go back and fix a bad title. Sorry.
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; October 15th, 2019 at 18:35.
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Old October 17th, 2019, 19:03   #18
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Default Day 9 Starting the Trial Fit

It is about time to do the final trim on this brace. I'll get there while doing the side walls.

On the driver's side, the final trim of the top of the brace has been accomplished.




There's a gap here over the wheel well, and there is an identical gap on the driver's side as well. I'm not sure why as the fit everywhere else along the lower edge of the sidewall pieces is excellent. Maybe it is due to another brace that will come in later. Definitely it isn't just something they forgot. And there's a little notch in the middle of the gap to make really sure you don't pinch that cable coming in. It isn't a good idea to do anything with that cable as it comes from a side crash sensor


One thing that could use a little more clarification is how the front wall fits in. The flange is supposed to be flush with the b pillar brace, and the top of the front wall is supposed to end up flush with the step in the b pillar brace. Well, if you do that, it won't quite fit all the way down because that front wall comes down just in front of the hump that is under the rear seat. I ended up deciding that is just how it is, and when it all gets bolted and riveted together, it will be OK. There is just a little tension on it though, in my case. There is a row of piercings along the bottom edge of the front wall. As near as I can determine, those will be drilled out and riveted to the front side of the hump. Maybe this is explicitly mentioned later and I just missed it. We'll see.

Anyway, the outside sheet metal over the wheel wells has received what I think is the final trim. The side walls fit, and the front wall looks good. I haven't compared the fit with a square, but it looks great by my Mk-I eyeball. But it is all just loosely fit right now. It is all coming together.

I'll be working more on this, but there will be several hours tomorrow and Saturday cleaning the back for some POR paint as I'm not quite sanguine about water dripping down there a lot without giving the metal more protection.

And I found out the tailgate is projected to be delivered a week from today.

A few more photos:

The side walls hang out the back a bit. It looks worse than it will after I hang the bumper back on.



This inside of the front left corner. There's 2 bolts at the top and the middle one on the side. They're just turned far enough into the nut that the threads bump into the nylon ring of the 'lock' part of the locknut.


Looking at that front left corner from the outside.


View of the passenger side of the rear. That gray 'dust' on the aluminum parts is alumina that is manufactured by the plasma cutter they use to cut out all the parts.



It's going to come back apart before the final assembly as this is just a trial fit to ensure there's no show stoppers. But it is starting to look like an actual pick-'em-up truck!



Cheers,

PH
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; October 18th, 2019 at 09:42.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 09:40   #19
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Default Celebrate!

Yay! A replacement Ford Ranger Flareside '93-'05 FO1900117V (P99352) tailgate fresh from Taiwan made it to my door, courtesy of UPS and a bunch of other unknown transportation companies.

The upside is that the corners down by the hinge are only slightly deflected, not enough not to use the tailgate. It might not even be noticeable unless you look. If the hinge works OK without any changes, I won't try to bend it back.




Yay again! Now there's no excuse to keep from finishing the trucklet. Unless you consider those pesky things like work, eating an occasional meal, finding the ibuprophen, sleep, cold, bad weather (well, that's why I have found an indoor workspace...) and the usual stuff like that.

Oh, and I received a bunch of sound deadening panels as well. Those boxes sure are heavy for what they advertise to be. But I figure the mass is probably a good part of the sound attenuation property.

Errata: I was puzzling after yesterday's bed trial fit. It seems the manual is a little different than what I was able to do. On page 17, paragraph 6, it is a short 1 line: "Front wall/bed sides/b pillar brace is the order of layers in to out at the b pillar area where all three bolt together". This order of assembly is extremely difficult. In fact, I decided that the photos don't quite tell that story, and in looking at one of the Smyth videos, I see Mark assembling the bed in the same way I did, with the sides going in on the inside of the front wall flange. Since he is doing it that way, and it fits that way, paragraph 6 should read: "Bed sides/front wall/b pillar brace is the order of layers in to out at the b pillar area where all three bolt together."

Cheers,

PH
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You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; October 18th, 2019 at 14:13.
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Old October 18th, 2019, 18:34   #20
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Default Day 10

A short night tonight. I transported the tailgate and sound mat to the shop, and started drilling holes. The drill's battery gave up though, so I called it early and decided to review the manual a bit after I plugged the battery into the charger.

Sleep early, hit it tomorrow. Lots to do, particularly lots of prep that gets skipped in all those videos.

Cheers,

PH
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Old October 19th, 2019, 19:07   #21
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Default Day 11, Murphy lives at my house

And he got really ticked off that I have been going elsewhere to work so he followed me today and kicked the bleep out of me.

Seriously, it seems like I could have gotten a lot more done if I had stayed home and worked on a few of the other things that need doing.

Basically, today was 'get going on the final build', so it is time to start over. The front wall and side walls have been pulled off. I then drilled out the remaining 2 rivets on each of the B pillar braces. I had previously drilled out the holes for all the rivets on the braces (there's 25 or so on each) but waited until I got the braces off to finish drilling out the holes through the steel.

Well, that took a long time. You don't go too fast, because if you do you'll burn up your bits and the holes won't get drilled. So I took it slow, but it is not easy because you still have to push the drill through the steel, and you need to control the speed while doing that. And you have to be able to stop when the bit breaks through so the chuck doesn't grind up the edge of the door opening.

Finally got that all done. Now, to start setting the braces. Rivet 1 is OK since it was done before. Rivet 2, next to rivet 1, won't go in. Have to re-drill it, not completely, but it still takes some time to enlarge the hole a bit and make sure the aluminum and steel holes line up perfectly. Rivet 2 still won't go in. Have to drill again, and enlarge the hole just enough to fit the rivet. Finally. OK, set this one.

Oh, by the way, my friend who has the pneumatic rivet gun hiding in his shop there is off making money or doing a favor for another friend (this guy is seriously one of the most helpful persons I have ever met). But he's not here, I don't know where it is, and I'm not going to rummage through his shop. So I'm setting all these by hand.

And so on and so on. Every blinkin' one of these had to be redrilled to get the rivets to insert so I could set them. By the time I was all done, so was most of the day. Sheesh!

I did clean out the back: vacuumed carefully, rubbed with a scotchbrite product so the POR would hold, then used methanol to wipe it well. This should work. I need the POR because the bed won't be sealed and it will be getting wetter than it did when it was a complete sedan. There are rust spots, most of which were prepped before, but I found a few new ones. Hopefully that will be it, but there's probably some lurking I can't find yet. I'll have to periodically check this for the rest of its life with me. Good thing they make the bed so you can take it out if needed for inspections, to get to the spare tire or fuel tank if needed, and convince the po-po I'm not carrying drugs. Guess I'll always be needing to carry the correct allen wrench.

Anyway, the back is all ready to go for the first coat of POR. Wait, hold everything. If POR cures more than 'dry to the touch' then you need to sand the surface between coats. I don't want to do that.

Therefore, the current plan is to wake up at 5 am on Monday, get over to the shop, paint the first coat of POR, then get back right after work, and hope the cool temperatures have left it in the perfect state for painting the second coat without having to sand it. Shh... don't tell Murphy or he'll do horrible things to me like turn on a heater in that room or something.

I didn't take but a few photos, because I just didn't do any photo worthy things today. Sigh...

The inside of the right (passenger) side B pillar brace. You can see, if you blow it all the way up, that all the rivets are populated now, instead of just 2 or 3 like there has been up until now.





Inside of left side B pillar brace, also completely riveted in.


The outside of the left B pillar brace. If you look about 1/2 way down, just below the horizontal bends they put in the brace, or about level with the front door window sill, you'll see a little black drip from a rivet. What I did for rust prevention is to use a cotton swab to put some POR on the inside of the hole, all the way through to the other end of the steel, and around the barrel of the rivet just for grins. Then I set the rivet in. Yes, for each and every hole. The idea is to ensure the inside of that hole has some protection on the steel. I'll probably apply more POR around the rivets inside and out before it is done. I'd really rather not have the door seam rust out, so I'll so anything I can think of to prevent that. This seemed like the best thing to do at this point.


OK, B pillar braces set, all clean, ready for (early!) Monday morning. It should be interesting if nothing else. Remember, please don't tell Murphy anything about my plans. Thanks.


So that's about it. It seems like I am no further than I was a week ago, but this is going to finish this time and not do any back-tracking. I've got all the parts, no more excuses.

Cheers,

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; October 19th, 2019 at 19:14.
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Old October 21st, 2019, 18:26   #22
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Default Day 12 Painting... No, not the outside of the trucklet...

Short day today. I got up early and painted the first coat before work, then went over and painted the second coat over lunch. I was concerned that the paint might not be sufficiently cured to paint the second coat, but I think it was just right.



If you know how these things go, you'll notice particularly in the cut out brace that normally goes up the inside of the wheel well is full of urethane foam. I decided to see if that might help seal the void in there. If you do this, don't bother. It's kinda messy, there's no guarantee that any sealing will take place, and it looks weird. Buying pour foam would be a much better choice, but I didn't really have time for that and bought the aerosol can at my favorite local home improvement store. I will know better next time. Smith recommends just sealing off the small holes with RTV silicone such as GE silicone II. There's a couple of large holes where the rear seat seat belt anchors go, but I'll just glue a couple of caps on those with the same RTV.


After work, I was busy doing something else. We recently bought a new-to-us car for my wife, who really wanted an AWD car for the winters up here, and she'll feel lots better in her 2007 Audi Quattro. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd gears do the 200 rpm hunt when you're driving slowly in town, so I figured the previous owners probably skimped on the maintenance and the transmission is going. So last Thursday I found a used unit with less than half the miles of the current one, and had it shipped to a local freight depot. I borrowed my friend's truck and went and picked it up. So, if and when the transmission dies, or at least gets too annoying to keep it, I now have the replacement queued up and ready to go. It won't be easy, since it weighs 300 pounds, but it will be doable. Just not in 1 day.

Tomorrow the bed starts going back in the truck. Yay!

Cheers,

PH
__________________
You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.

Last edited by Powder Hound; October 21st, 2019 at 18:34.
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Old October 22nd, 2019, 19:38   #23
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Default Day 13

It is time to do the final build - get going on the final product.

First, clean excess metal around the fuel filler so that the outer quarter panel will easily fit the fuel filler door.



And while it is so easily accessible, I'll go ahead and do the ventectomy. The access to remove the valve assembly is just visible at the bottom of the end of that thing jutting out to the left (toward the rear of the car -er- trucklet).



There is a small barb that is not visible unless you have a mirror or a borescope because it is on the bottom. If you get something to push it in (I used the tip of a paint can opener) then you can push on the valve button in the fuel filler neck and get the valve body out.

It looks like this:



Squeeze that little black horseshoe shaped retainer, and you can pull out the valve, spring, and retainer:



If you like, you can reassemble the spring and retainer, and just leave out the valve. Or leave out all 3 items; it doesn't really matter.

Reinstall by pressing in from the same way it came out. Be sure and orient the flat side away from you. You'll see how the end lines up.

And once it is seated, you're ready to go:



On to the main event. Tonight I inserted the front wall, both sides, and then the last 2 cross bars. Installing the bolts in the cross bars is 'fun'. The holes are cut so that there is barely enough room for the nut on the bottom one. That means it will be an interesting exercise to get a wrench in there. Maybe it will be easier if you put the nuts on the outside of the sidewall.

The other thing that makes installation of these bolts fun is that the 5/16" hole is barely large enough for the bolt. When you're going through 2 layers of aluminum, the outer edges of the threads will be cutting threads into the aluminum. It ends up increasing to torque enough that you might think you're hanging up on something when you are really having to pull the threads through a tight hole.

Next comes tailgate assembly. The hardware (hinges, latch plates, handle, internal rods, various nuts and bolts) come in a separate plastic bag. After starting to assemble stuff, I decided that I'd better knock off (it was late anyway) and go review the video. One thing for sure: I remember seeing the explanation of the shouldered bolts that are needed for the cable keepers for the gate, and what I got in my kit:



is a wood screw. So I'll need to send an email or make a call tomorrow since this is not the correct hardware.

Anyway, now it looks like this:



Cheers!

PH
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Old October 23rd, 2019, 09:47   #24
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Default Day 14

So far, I've found that the wood screw in my tailgate hardware bag is not for the cables. I don't know what they are supposed to be for yet, but eventually I think it will come out.

In the meantime, the proper shouldered bolt is on backorder from Ford, and when that will be resolved is anybody's guess. To keep everyone going, they have substituted a regular bolt with an interesting collection of washers to approximate the function until such time as the real bolt is available.

I also clarified to myself how the rest of the bed supports are supposed to go in, so I'll be busy this evening after work.

After work I went to the shop and rearranged the hardware on the tailgate. I tried to fit it on and found that there were a couple of places where adjustments were required. There's no instructions for this, so when you find something that doesn't fit, you have to figure out for yourself why, and thus where is the best place to make an adjustment.

I needed to grind off a little on one of the hinges, and some off a tab that inserts into the striker but was too long. I'll need to make just a little more adjusting since the right side catch at the top doesn't quite click in by itself. But I was able to get everything hooked up and then was able to insert some shims to hold the line between the sides of the tailgate and the sides of the bed. It is important to maintain this while making final adjustments and tightening all of the nuts and bolts up at the front. Those at the front are only hand-tight right now, and here that means hand screw until the bolt end hits the nylon insert of the locknut. But measured with a square, the front end of the bed is very nearly square. That means I won't have to move stuff much - probably no extra grinding on bolt holes. That will be good. It is always good when things bolt together the way they should. One nice thing about the Smyth kit is that they did a good job on measuring the pieces, and since the cnc plasma cutter does it the same way every time, you can figure that unless your chassis is bent, it is going to fit and work.


Now for photos:

Sorry, I forgot my camera and didn't take any. But it really is the same as it was on the last of day 13, just now that black tailgate is hanging on the end of the bed sides instead of laying across the last 2 bed support beams. It seems a little flimsy, since it is held only by the two 1/8" aluminum sides. But after the sides are riveted to the chassis and the additional structure is added, it will stiffen right up.

Cheers,

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; October 23rd, 2019 at 19:35.
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Old October 24th, 2019, 19:03   #25
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Default Day 15

Here is what it looked like at the end of day 14, with the tailgate hung on and shims inserted to hold the gap at the sides of the tailgate.



So checking on the final placement of everything - making sure the bed is square and the front wall is correctly placed, it is time to start bolting and riveting.

First I placed all the bolts in the corners and on the front of the side walls - these bolt to the front wall. Seven bolts in total on each front corner.

Once the bolts are all in and finger tight, you check those front corners for squareness. Then I tighten 1 of the four at the top corner on each side, then check again for squareness. Then I tightened to "firmness" all the other bolts. I did that to within a thread or so to tight, so there's a little room to move. Then check for squareness again. Then tighten a second bolt on top, and one down the sides, then check for squareness again. Then tighten all the rest, and check for squareness. Yes, again. Fortunately for me, the bed started out very close, and then after it was first adjusted to square it didn't wander as the bolts were carefully tightened.

These are the bolts I am talking about:


Then it was time to start riveting the front wall. There is a row of 9 rivets along the bottom edge. They are marked and I had already drilled the aluminum for rivets. After checking for position, I drilled the end one on one side, and set the rivet. Then I checked the other side, and found I needed to push the wall down just a bit. I then drilled and set that rivet. Then I went back and drilled out the first rivet and reset that side of the wall, redrilled, and set a new rivet. Then, one by one, switching sides each time, I drilled the hole through the steel and set the rivet.

For these rivets, I used the pneumatic rivet gun, and it was nice. Since the rivets are rather long (3/4") it took 2 shots to completely set the rivet. With the Big Daddy rivet gun, it takes 3. With a hand rivet gun, it takes 4.

When I got to the middle, the drill didn't fit because the console was in the way. But my friend came to the rescue with a 90* drill that worked. Then neither rivet gun would fit, so it looked like I'd be removing the console anyway, but he came up with the hand rivet gun which has a rotating head, and it fit in nicely. So I didn't have to remove the console. Yay!

That 9th rivet is the one right in the middle, where you can see the end of the console just under the carpet flap.


And with all the rivets set:



There's a lot more rivets to drill and set along the side walls as well as figuring out how to seal the front wall. The real trick is going to be where the rear seat hump curves around. There's a well there that probably I'll end up filling with foam and then sealing around the edges. Something needs to be done otherwise there will be a pit there with no way to drain any water that gets in there.

Cheers!

PH
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Old October 25th, 2019, 05:51   #26
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Default Day 16

I started early today by making the jumpers that will be needed to keep the ECU from complaining about the missing side curtain airbag.



Before you drop your jaw in awe that someone would put something this fugly into their car, rest assured I feel your pain. But I'm also not going to go through the hassle of trying to find the exact 2.2 ohm resistor that looks beautiful to put in a place where it will never be seen again. Also, what you see needs to be trimmed and covered in a liquid insulator so it will actually work.

I went looking through my small stash and I know I have a resistor assortment somewhere that would cover this perfectly, but I couldn't find it. Remember when I told you that Murphy lives at my house? Well, he doesn't take breaks. Ever.

What I did find is a roll of surface mount device (smd) resistors at 6.81 ohms in a 1206 package (pretty small as you can see in the photo). Since the target resistance value is 2.2 ohm, and 3 of these in parallel work out to 2.26 ohms, I figure that's close enough. So I soldered 3 in parallel on these wires, and made 2 copies, one for each side. I'll have to trim the leads and use the liquid tape before I install them. I'll also need to install them at a place upstream on the wires instead of sticking them in the connector. That would work, but it would make a repair nearly impossible. Although, I have to say, in the event a side collision might cause the computer to try and pop the airbag and that impulse might burn out one or more of the resistors, such an event would cause repair of the jumper to be very very low on my list of concerns. Particularly since such an event would probably total the trucklet. Just hopefully not me with it.

It would still be good to be able to fix something if it goes wrong with the "normal" function of such a jumper however, so it is still a good idea to have it in a place where it is relatively easy to get at.

I'll probably install it tonight, or maybe tomorrow instead. I'm a little up in the air about that because I have some urgent tasks before the snow flies up here, and that day is coming soon.

The install will be simple: just locate the proper wire pair and make a breach in the insulation at that point, solder in the wires, apply liquid tape to hide the wires from moisture incursion, and tuck everything back in after the goop dries. I'll probably start out by sticking the wires into the official connector and hooking up the battery in order to run a test first. No need for soldering if it isn't going to work properly.

Cheers,

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; October 25th, 2019 at 05:54.
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Old October 25th, 2019, 08:28   #27
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
I started early today by making the jumpers that will be needed to keep the ECU from complaining about the missing side curtain airbag.

...
What I did find is a roll of surface mount device (smd) resistors at 6.81 ohms in a 1206 package (pretty small as you can see in the photo).
Ahh, 1206s. I remember when I thought those were small. Good times. Try 0402s sometime. Impossible without a microscope and the smallest soldering iron and solder you can find.

Of course, with my eyes at 49 I'm pretty much under the microscope for any soldering, regardless of size.

There's no shame in those jumpers BTW, if you've done any rework you've had to do some janky stuff to get it working. If it's stupid and it works it's not stupid.

Loving the thread BTW can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old October 26th, 2019, 19:06   #28
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Default Day 17 Going rivet-crazy

0402s? My eyes are hurting just thinking about that!!

Obviously, I didn't get back to the shop. Other stuff got in the way: work decided that I was going to stay busy until 11pm, so my time got burned. Oh, well.

So this morning I went over and took my computer to test the jumpers. Got there, and found out I forgot the key fob, too. Rats.


No matter, I'm still busy. I decided that the bed is as square as I'm going to get it, and it isn't going anywhere, so it is time to make sure of that. The bottom of the front wall is already riveted, and the corners with the side walls are tightened with bolts, so I'm reasonably confident that it will be OK.

I ended up doing a little overkill with the rivets. Just me, I guess. These were lots easier to drill out. Partly because some of them were only 1 layer of steel after the aluminum, and I think the metal was thinner overall. I didn't measure, so I don't know for sure, but it was a LOT easier to drill all these out and set the rivets than it was to do the b pillar braces.

I did the same POR in the hole trick I did with the b pillar rivets. I got excited on the front wall rivets and forgot the POR, but I think it will be OK because there's going to be lots of sealant over the top of those, and I think the inside will be sort of protected as well.

First, there's the 2 jumpers inserted into the socket plug for the side curtain airbag.


And another view so you can see the jumper stuck into the plug:


And the rest of these are various views of the rivets I set today:














In the above, you can see I tried to get the rivets with a reasonable spread between them, but they are still a little more packed than Smyth (or any engineer that knows this stuff well) would say is required. Still, those sidewalls aren't going anywhere now.

There's a reasonable amount of flange to tie into. Forward of the loop that used to catch the rear seatback, the sidewall veers away from that flange so it can't be riveted. And the wheel wells that will cover this stuff will be riveted onto the side walls and help stiffen them up a lot. Add in the quarter panels, and it will end up being a very nice pickup bed.

It is a little hard to see some of these since I put all the POR on there. Shiny black on black just doesn't photograph well. But it all went well, I think.

The first time I went to take photos for today, I found I had forgotten the memory card again. Sheesh. Still sitting in this computer. So I went home and got my wife's green Jetta running, hopefully cured its 'lean bank 1' error (vacuum leak from an old hose, or so I am led to believe - and there was a leak I found, so...) and put a new battery in the other NB we have. I need to chase down a current leak on that one; it kills a battery in 2 weeks or less. Better than 2 days (unplugged the monsoon radio fuse), but still not good enough.

Then I collected the memory card and the keys for the trucklet and went back to the shop to take photos and test the jumpers.

I plugged in the computer after reconnecting the battery. I didn't bother opening the shop doors so I didn't start the engine. I did bring up VCDS and checked the air bag module for faults and found none. So I exited that processor and re-entered it and checked for faults again. 3 times. No faults, so I am assuming that it is OK. Probably I should have unplugged one of the jumpers to check my process, but I didn't think of that. Well, I'll try it again later, just to be sure. But I'm pretty confident at this point that it is all going to work.

Thinking ahead a bit: there's not a good way to rivet the wheel wells along the top edge where the current wheel wells top out. On the sides, yes, but on the top, the existing sheet metal will get in the way. So that part will be just a sealant. And since the wheel wells will be 2 layers of aluminum, that riveting will go very nicely indeed. Yay, something to look forward to.

There's still the support bars for under the bed to do, then the wheel wells and the bed floor. I have to get a 1/4 - 20 tap for the bed floor. You end up drilling a hole directly in the C extrusion channel being used for the support beams and cutting threads for the bolts that will hold the bed floor panels in place. If they ever wear out, there's always helicoils.

If things go well this next week, I might be real close to doing body work by Thursday night. Oh, oops. That's Halloween. And on Friday I ride the big silver bird west for a few days to visit family. So next week will be kinda short and then there will be a short hiatus.

Lots of fun coming up!

Cheers,

PH
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Old October 30th, 2019, 06:45   #29
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Default Days 18 & 19

May as well combine these. Work called on Monday and so my work time on the trucklet was cut very short. I did manage to reset the front wall rivets and add in the POR I left out last time. I then sprayed the bed with step 1 of Rustoleum Never Wet, an additional anti-wetting coating to help water drain out. Yeah, belt-and-suspenders thinking here.



I must say it is much easier to drill out an aluminum rivet than it is to drill through a thin layer of steel. It had been nagging my a/r mind so I had to go back and do it. Now, if I ever get crazy on corners or bumps I might be driven crazy by small rattles back there. But at least I'll know what it is.

I also managed to drain a complete tube of black Silicone II to seal off the front wall. Well, as complete as I could get it. Apparently this tube was one that has been sitting around a while. While the nozzle end has a foil seal that keeps the silicone RTV from curing, the other end does not, and will slowly cure if you ignore the tube for a long time. I'd figure anything over 6 months and you are probably going to be a little disappointed. For me, about 1/3 of the tube refused to be expelled from the nozzle.

Day 19, last night, was spent installing bar #1, and lining up 2 & 3. 4 and 5 are already installed; done for installing the tailgate to maintain the separation of the tail end of the side walls.

These are not bolted to the sides. Instead they are supported by L brackets which are riveted to the bed, or the bed and side for bar #3. That one is a little different. It is supposed to be removable so you can get to the spare. If you are not at all risk adverse, you can also leave out the spare and have a "secret" compartment for storing, oh, I don't know, maybe extra food rations and drinking water for crossing the southwestern desert, extra fuel for that lap-of-america excursion you always wanted to do, or maybe a way to win the Lemons race with extended time between refueling stops. If that is even possible.

Anyway, the deal is that the #3 bar can't be lifted straight up because the wheel well covers will be in the way. So they have a half-size L bracket for each side of the #3 bar. 1 full size, and 1 half-size. And you rivet the half-size bracket to the side wall instead of the bed. That way, you can remove the center bolt holding the bar to the brackets, then drop the bar and slide it out.

I looked at the right side, and decided that I may as well rivet the full size bracket to the side as well, since the little ledge on the bed is very small anyway. This is due to the offset of the spare tire well. I never thought about it before, but it is offset to the right. Strange as I figured an offset would go left to make more room for the fuel tank, but there is also consideration for the exhaust plumbing. Specifically the muffler.

I was able to measure everything out. Then I used another piece (I think it is the one that tops the tailgate) as a straight edge to ensure the L brackets are correctly sized. Two of them needed to be ground down by just a hair, probably due to the junk that both VW and myself put down there to protect the bed. I am also adjusting the position of that pair out away from the sides a little. It should only make the mechanics better.

Can't move the brackets for #3 away from the wall, however. I marked the locations with tape and have pics of the general layout. Took photos. Then I sprayed the bed with step 2 of the rustoleum never wet. That layer dries to a rough surface that is really hydrophobic and should allow accumulating drips to run off to drain holes with extreme alacrity. Unfortunately, it isn't good for standing water, so if there are places that don't run off well, in a year or so I'll be able to take up the bed and see where to fill in the dips. Fun!

The left side. The longer tape on the walls are supposed to mark the bar centers. The L brackets are laid out where I'm going to rivet them, but of course I can't just lay brackets on the bed side.



The right side. There really isn't room to move the brackets in on bar #2 as on the left side, because the spare well would prohibit having a full footprint for the bracket.



Here's a more detailed photo of the right side insertion for bar #3. As you can see, the ledge there would only allow 1/2 the bracket footprint, so I think it is a good idea to mount that bracket on the side as well.



I'm going to see if I can nail down the bars tonight. And I bought some more silicone this morning so I can complete some sealing tasks.

Cheers!

PH
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Last edited by Powder Hound; November 6th, 2019 at 11:49.
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Old October 30th, 2019, 18:40   #30
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Default Day 20. Sort of.

I didn't do much tonight. I am trying to get ready for the trek west, let alone Halloween tomorrow. So after picking up a couple of last minute grocery items and some back-up candy (midget tootsie rolls in case the primary stash of snack sized Kit Kats and mini Reeses' cups run out), I went over to the shop to collect a few things I don't want to hang out for 2 weeks all by their lonesomes. After all, if they got lonely enough, they might grow legs and disappear.

I also needed to drop off a set of nearly new snow tires I scored last night from a craigslist ad. By the time I get the trucklet ready to go, I am sure I will need them.

I still had my diagnostic computer there (an old laptop, the only use for which is running VCDS), so I checked the negative case of the resistor spoof of the side curtain air bag. It worked perfectly. So now I know I have a good solution to convincing the airbag controller that the side curtain airbags are still ready to go.

So that's about it for now. I'm not going to be doing more work on the trucklet for about 2 weeks. Don't forget to check back after the middle of November!

Cheers,

PH
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