Monday, July 12, 2010

Deep Into Heidi’s Bodywork

Saturday I successfully installed the new radiator into the Suburban and everything checked out. Now that I have a reliable daily-driver, it was time to take Heidi off the road. After using the ramps to raise her front, I pulled the bumper off. All the bolts came out easily thanks to the anti-seize I’d applied when last they were installed. My drill made short work of the rivets that retained the two flashing patches. With the openings in the valance exposed, I found the rust had spread. No problem, I’ve got a complete front end to get patches from. So I cut away a big chunk of the valance. Click here to see more pictures. Sunday afternoon I proceeded to layout the patches using the cutoff pieces as patterns. By the end of the afternoon I had the patch for the left side of the opening trimmed to fit with the right side of the patch ready to cut out. In the midst of all this I disassembled the front end parts including removing the trunk gasket. I’ve decided that all rust areas will be thoroughly wire-brushed, followed by a coat of POR-15 and their top-coat primer. The groove where the gasket fits is notorious for rusting since water likes to puddle there. I’ll also put POR-15 on the backside of the sheetmetal where I can get to it. This should prevent any future bubbling. I just ordered the primer, but I’m praying it’ll be here by the weekend.

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