So I put the spare up on a brick, remounted the J-hook and called it done. I have to get some larger stainless bolts for the license plate and run the wire back up into the tailgate.
I took a little downtime before the snow flew the other day to run up the Scout, do a few errands, and slip my rollbar pads on. They fit really well! So well, in fact, that I dusted off a pair of inserts I had up in the rafters of the garage and put them in for old time’s sake. These are the originals from Chewbacca so the passenger’s side is cracked where a protruding bolt head made it impossible to slide between the bar and the window. Luckily, I’ve got another good set covered in red river dust waiting to be cleaned up.
On the Binder Planet, a member called 540fan built a bumper based on the plans Brian and I developed, and it turned out really well. One thing I really like about his setup is how he handled the swingarm stop—an elegant and simple plate welded to the top right side prevents the swingarm from going past 180°. He also mounted his Hi-Lift on the backside of the triangle below the spare instead of the face of the bumper, so he was able to add a couple of clevis mounts to the face. It looks like his hinge pin mount is different as well; I think he may have welded it directly to the face of the bumper instead of adding standoffs. Overall, it looks great and I’m happy I was able to help lay some groundwork.
I stopped on the way home from work (the weatherguessers lied and claimed it would be in the low 60′s) and pulled my spare tire off. It’s changed the handling characteristics of the truck to the point where hitting expansion joints or non-parallel bumps in the road sends the whole truck into a sketchy front-to-back oscillation that I don’t like. I can see the tire vibrating back there and feel it in the handling; for a truck on springs this stiff, it’s not a good feeling. I’ve also noticed a lot more body creaking with the tire mounted out back, and the passenger door is getting harder to close securely.
I’m going to drive it a few more times with the tire off and we’ll see how it feels.
I bought six stainless bolts for mounting clips to hide the license plate wire, which I hope to put in sometime in the next day or so. Before I mounted it I drilled and tapped four holes on the backside of the main bumper, and there’s enough standoff to make installation easy.
The mirror mount got painted and reinstalled.
I also put the soft top bows back together as much as possible, but I need some 1.5″ stainless bolts to connect wider sections of the bracketry (I’m using nylon lockwashers this time, so I need a longer bolt to snug the threads). Now that it’s getting cooler I’m going to pull the bikini top, wash it, and store it for the winter. My hunt for stronger snaps is still underway; I’d like to get the door surrounds fixed before it really gets cold.
Last night I sanded the main bumper down and shot everything with a coat of black semi-gloss.
Last night’s progress: cleaned with Acetone, primered, and bondo’d. While I had everything out, I filled in the holes on the driver’s door, scuff-sanded the softtop hardware, and got as much ready for paint as possible.
After Finn went to bed, I used the evening to wire wheel the rest of the bumper. This section went a little faster because I wasn’t dealing with as many compound curves, but there were still a few areas I couldn’t reach with the angle grinder. After taking off the rest of the high spots, cleaning it all up with the flap sander and wire wheeling flat areas, I covered all of the welds, angles, and unsanded sections with a liberal coat of POR-15 and let it sit overnight.
Tonight it’ll get a rubdown with some acetone and then a coat of etching primer; while that’s drying I’m going to mix some Bondo together to fill in pinholes and other imperfections.
While I had the POR-15 open I put a coat on worn sections of the soft top bows and hardware. Tonight I’ll scuff it with some sandpaper and get it ready for a coat of paint as well.