Jump to content

Old Jeep 'Resto'... Springs have sprung.

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

Sorned the Jeep last month, as I am currently a little obsessed with commuting A8-V8 style, and she just wasn't getting used.  She was welded up (small patch, offside sill end) for the test last time, and although a very solid old thing, I have been meaning to tidy up and protect the undercarriage for next winter.

I have also been watching a lot of 'Soup Classic Car' on youtube, thanks to a recommendation on here.  The guy has a great attitude to the job, and it made me realise I should just get to it.  I've enough cars to keep one off the road for as long as it needs, I have been keeping it on the back of the truck for (lack of) space reasons, which puts it at an ideal height for working on.

So, this sunny morning, in pictures...





This was after a wee scrape of the old under-seal/paint...  seems that because it's been off the road so long and really dried out, this white stuff has bloomed... presume it's salt?



This was the sill end-piece I made up last time, didn't weld it in myself, which I regretted, but I just ran out of time and gave it to the garage to stick in.  Really enjoyed making it up though, and as you'll see, I'll have plenty more opportunities!  Door was holed, and wobbed up to test.



Preliminary wire-brushing/scraping... more salty goodness.  Also, found the offside spring is broken, had no effect on handling.



Exhaust went on last year, so at least there's one shiny bit!



Towbar, bumper, wheelarch trims and spare wheel carrier off...  this lot weighed approximately one metric tonne btw.



It's removal revealed some air where the lower body should be!





Offside not quite as bad, but still a sparkly stick job.



Really lowering the tone of the neighbourhood now I suppose...



This is the view from our front door now, bonus old Audi content!



Cheers now, will update any progress, stay safe!




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see this getting some love. 

Also, happy to hear of another fan of Soup Classic Motoring, very entertaining and top shiting! Perhaps it was me that made the recommendation before. 

Keep up the good work. 





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Carlos, 

It was actually Skizzer's recommendation that I saw, over in the 'youtube moments' thread... and as you say, a very entertaining thing it is too.  I am still a wee bit behind the curve, having just watched episode 27 ( I think ).  It was particularly impressive the way George got it right from the very first one, easy-going presenting and high production values... clever guy.  

Anyway, it felt good yesterday to get stuck into the jeep, I've owned her for six years and 70,000 miles now, so she's worked quite hard for us!  I've replaced everything mechanical as it's been needed, which hasn't been much to be fair.  Put new (old) tyres on last year (a guy was breaking a Surf over in Elgin, got the Kuhmos that are on now, on the wheels, for £100!).  That's one set of tyres in 70,000 miles... old ones actually had loads of tread left, but had sort of gone hard, which I'd never known before.  As I pulled away in the morning, I could actually feel the flat spots that had set in overnight!

She's still on the same batteries (there's two), which didn't look new when we got her, I changed the cambelt and waterpump at the time, so that's due again.  Two windscreen replacements, pretty bad for stonechips round here, and then the freezing cold winters propagate any cracks nicely...

I've got some black Rustoleum paint, which I've liked in the past for it's durability, so the chassis/bottom half will probably end up in that, maybe the whole thing as time goes on.  Planning to order some of this Vactan, seeing as there's so many recommendations on here, and yeah, hopefully she'll soldier on for a few years yet!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exciting science news!

I have been interested for a long time in trying out the electrolysis rust removal technique, and today, whilst working* from home, thought I'd give it a go.



Big plastic bucket/bin

Old-fashioned battery charger (new ones can tell they're not connected to a battery, so won't work apparently).


Bicarbonate of Soda (or soda washing crystals)

Bit of steel for an anode, this will be gradually used up in the reaction

Bit of rusty jeep that will hopefully be *like new* shortly!






The workpiece is the offside corner bumper off the old jeep, the end in the water incorporates a bracket that is spot welded in, meaning it would have to be cut out to get at the rust behind it, if this works it'll be labour-saving in the extreme.








Couldn't get a decent pic, but you can see the bubbles streaming off the bumper and the anode, with the charger showing just shy of 2 amps.  We hooked everything up after stirring in a small amount of bicarb, switched on the charger and got just the smallest jump on the gauge.  I watched while we stirred in more bicarb (I would say a good mugful went in overall), and saw the needle creep up to where it is now (t'was pretty amazing!).  Apparently the bicarb isn't used up in the reaction, just helps the electrons flow...


Will report back with progress, I fully appreciate I may be preaching to the converted on here, but just loving the application of science!









Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

First night in the Rust-o-matic 3000...




This was after I'd flipped it round to get the other end in.  Doesn't look much in the photo maybe, but it's done an amazing job.  At first it seems like not much has happened, but the rust comes off like a snake shedding it's skin when you touch it, and of course it's de-rusted every nook and crannie.  The bracket shown above is spotwelded into the bumper, and I couldn't think of a good way of getting to the back of it without drilling them out.




Never took a 'before' shot, but here's the other corner bumper for comparison purposes...






If you haven't tried it, and are wondering if it's worth the bother, then I can tell you that it is.  Tomorrow I'm going to top up the bucket and do the centre section of the bumper, which is really quite bad. 

Also spent a happy couple of hours re-packing a cv joint on the Audi (got a slight vibration at speed, wheels balanced to no avail), seems slightly better, so the plan is to do the other three as the weather allows.  The CV boots and clips looked in good order but old, so are possibly original.  The grease inside was there and clean looking, but seemed very thin, almost liquid.  Can't see how it's been clinging to the joint surfaces too well, so maybe they are due some new stuff.  Can't hurt anyway...  Cheers all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

Bit more work done today at Slow n' Steady Restos Ltd...  


Got the old girl strapped down at the front and jacked up on stands at the rear.  Wanted the rear wheels off and the springs out for better access to the rusty undercarriage...  Now considering dropping the fuel tank too.







Nearside spring left to come out, actually found the originals in the garage that I'd changed out because they were sagging about 5 or six years ago.  They are in much better condition rust wise, and I also found a set of spring assisters that fit, so I might try them back in for maximum 're-use, recycle' points.  Doing all this on the back of my old recovery truck is the best idea I've had in along time, the joy of not bending down/crawling around the whole time is a revelation!  

Need to crack on a bit now, really miss having a vehicle to just throw the bikes/dogs in the back of, the Audi's cool, but not Surf cool...


Cheers all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

Getting somewhere now...  more I chip away, the more I find, but moving away from the offside wheel well now...  Impressed with the Vactan so far, certainly does seem to seal the rust up well.  As anyone who has de-rusted the bottom of something old knows, I have re-affirmed my belief that waxoyl is the devil's work, and should carry a health warning for old chod. 

Wondering what to go for as a top coat, to be honest, the best I've ever found is grease (heavier and blacker the better), worked in with a brush.  This will probably end up that way, don't think I've the patience left for actually painting it!


Chassis rails are hefty things on a Hilux, so they'll be good for a while yet... plan to shoot some oil into whatever holes I can find also.



Shock sleeves were looking really tatty around the bottom end, so just cut the rusty bits off...  Once the grinder comes out, it actually becomes quite liberating, have to watch yourself!



Tapped the rear drum off, after removing (by hand) the remains of the splash guard at the back.  New backing plates are quite expensive I hear, and it is only the edge that has gone, so I think we'll roll on ok without them...  I've never seen the rear brakes in the six years I've had this thing (100,000 klicks in that time too), shoes looked good, nothing untoward in there at all.  Gave the drum a wee clean, took the rusty lip off the inside and replaced, if it ain't broke... 



Turning into a bit of a slog, but no major dramas either.  I would very much like to keep the old girl going as long as possible, as there really isn't a modern equivalent.  I don't think that even the newer 'Cruisers are built quite like this thing...  Hopefully tomorrow will see me across to the other side, and I've next week off to get her welded and back together.


Cheers all.

P.S.  Gonnae somebody buy that wee Corolla E90 before I make a marriage-threatening decision!  Two old Toyotas is enough surely, three would be silly... wouldn't it?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic progress. Like you've said, grease will make sure nothing else but it will touch the metal behind. Looking forward to seeing more in the future!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all...

The rust-busting continues on here, the old girl is starting to look a bit more loved now, and the end is in sight.  Discovered that the springs I'd kept in the garage were not for this Toyota, but my old Liteace, god only knows why they have been there all this time, but 'they'll come in for something'...  Anyway, new set ordered from Roughtrax should be here tomorrow, and theirs are bright red!

Started this morning with removing the bumper iron from the ol' rust-o-matic 2000 (electrolysis bath)... I know I've gone on about this before, but check out these 'before and afters'







I know, mind-boggling stuff...  Primered now, along with the previously de-rusted quarter bumper, and the remaining one in for it's bath night.





I then spent a few happy hours chipping rust off the chassis/axle/various components (I have found that the best method is literally hitting it with a hammer, sometimes my drive-through screwdriver, and dodging the ricocheting rust missiles), and slowly but surely a cleaner looking (and substantially lighter?) jeep is emerging.

To break the monotony, I primered and painted (Rustoleum) the anti-roll bar.  This gave me more pleasure than it should have, I may be losing my mind under there...



Bit more Vactanning, and then I had a good think about the repair panels I need to make up for the rear...  I did my thinking armed with an angle grinder, so this happened...



I was measuring out repair pieces to match Toyota's original design, but realised I would still be here next year if I didn't get a move on.  The plan is to just make a flat plate to seal up this bit now, I couldn't see why not, it's not structural, completely invisible once the bumper and mudguard is fitted, and will only rot out again...  I am even thinking about making it a bolt-on affair, thereby enabling annual checks and re-greasing.  Clever or stupid... you decide!  The picture below maybe shows up what I'm thinking better...



The pen marks on the body locate the template I made up so I don't lose my bumper mounting point location...  Wheels, by the way, are temporarily re-fitted because I was staring to feel nervous under there (wind was really getting up and rocking her about a bit).

Vactan looking a nice purplely (blurple?) colour, you may be able to tell where I've greased up the areas closest to the wheel wells...  this will be the topcoat, black, heavy grease worked in with a brush (a toothbrush in some hard-to-reach areas... a few hours of that'll have you questioning your life choices btw...).  Considered replacing the dampers (new springs should be here tomorrow), but decided against as these, although scruffy looking, are the original electronically-adjustable units as Toyota intended.  Amazingly, they still work... you can replace them fairly cheaply, but lose the adjustable-ness, or with Toyota units after simply re-mortgaging the house/selling a kidney etc...



Anyway, lack of sheet steel stops play for now, planning a clandestine trip to work to liberate an 'offcut' or two... will update with further exciting developments as they unfold, cheers all!









Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Astonishing the lack of rot given the amount of surface rust. Thumbs up to Toyota for that level of quality. Ten years ago I welded the arse back into a disco of a similar vintage and it had holes you could stick your head through!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been surprised myself, I am literally knocking lumps out of it, and wherever you aim, a clean, new-looking (slightly smaller) bit emerges!  Always liked LandRovers, but the ownership experience just looks too heart-breaking for me to have ever considered buying one...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TrabbieRonnie said:

I have been surprised myself, I am literally knocking lumps out of it, and wherever you aim, a clean, new-looking (slightly smaller) bit emerges!  Always liked LandRovers, but the ownership experience just looks too heart-breaking for me to have ever considered buying one...

If you are brave enough (and have compressed air) then a needle scaler is a very effective way of quickly knocking off surface rust. I've had 2 land rovers over the years and still have traumatic flashbacks any time I see one for sale. One of those things that you're glad you did and even more glad you no longer do!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd not spotted this thread before. Sterling work on an increasingly rare 'Yota. I had a soft spot for my old mk3 Hilux which I owned a few years back. It was ridiculously easy to drive and manoevre, ultra reliable and surprisingly good off road. Surfs seem to have almost vanished in the meantime  - good man for keeping this one alive. Is yours the 3 litre and does your tailgate window still work?!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really excellent stuff.  I think we have all questioned our life choices when fixing something up that others would replace but the sense of satisfaction at the end makes it well worthwhile.  These are great old things, all those Aussies, Kiwis and Africans can’t be wrong

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so much progress on the Jeep's undercrackers today (rain), but did get some bits done...


Main section of rear bumper in primer now, building a collection of bits for top coat spraying...



Next in the bath are the trailing arm mount guards ('cos off-road innit...).



Towbar de-rusted, vactanned and rustoleumed... this is hefty, and seems to stop anyone parking too close!



But mainly, NEW SPRINGS ARRIVED!  #dogdickred#2inchlift#neardeathexperience







They provided a morale boost, although when my quality* compressors slipped round to the same side of the coil, they also provided a cardiac boost!  I'd put pieces of cloth around them to stop the compressors' jaws marking the shiny red paint, not a good idea... little rubber pads worked better!  This one is the worst though, it's slightly longer to cope with the weight of the fuel tank and driver, apparently.  Took some serious squeezing down to size.

Cheers all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on her wheels today, just the centre floor and chassis sections to do now, and feel better under there this way.  Never moved on the axle stands, it's more the truck rocking about underneath when the wind catches her...

Got the other spring, anti-roll bar and some wee guards fitted first... the springs are 2" lift units (the only ones they sell at Roughtrax now), and needed to be compressed to nerve-shredding levels to fit.  The old girl will be riding high for a while I think.



Strung a line along her, trying to decide where to paint up to with the satin black (eventually).  I want something I can touch up as required over the years.  I'm sure that in the end, the Rustoleum will become all-encompassing!  The neighbours have all been very interested and encouraging, which is nice considering the noise that removing the rust has generated over this last week!



Cheers all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...