Taken by previous owner just before I purchased it. The plexi windows have badly darkened from age.
Taken by previous owner just before I purchased it.
Backup lights. You can see some of the cracks in the rear bezel, soon to be replaced.
Backup lights- I was even able to mount these in existing holes. They're pretty well protected in the frame rail.
30# cylinders make for a very, very tight fit. I'll be replacing these.
Shiny is good. Mother's on the aluminum, Collinite #870 on the ABS and paint. This was just after a quick pass on the chain cover- I need to mask the paint and do a more thorough job, but it looks pretty good.
More polished aluminum and shiny ABS, new correct stainless hardware from McMaster-Carr.
Collinite #870 is a spectacular cleaner wax. I spent days with TR*3, various rubbing compounds, etc., before following Lugisland's advice and trying it. Two hours work with TR*3 cleaned up about a square foot of the road cover, and two hours with the Collinite finished it, even ancient tape adhesive, tree droppings, tar, and unidentified black tree junk. I started out with a 7" sander/buffer and various bonnets, but after a few minutes I figured out that it's just as easy and less hassle by hand.
More shiny stuff. The aluminum needs another pass with the Mother's before hitting it with some glass wax, but it doesn't look too bad.
New windows made a huge difference for not much money. Here in the NW we're pretty much always in the shade (or rain), so tinted plexi isn't much of a benefit.
New windows, took about two hours to install. Black aluminum mars in the gold vinyl trim next to the ceiling cleaned off nicely with Collinite, after Windex and even Goof-Off failed. Man, I love this stuff.
Replacing the rear bezel. Remove the spare tire and mounting bracket, then remove the two screws from the stop on each side of the bed.
Replacing the rear bezel. This stop is out. Maybe you'll be lucky and not have a screw carefully overtorqued at the factory like I did- you can't get a straight shot to drill it out, and the screws are hard self-drillers (in aluminum, naturally) which makes the whole exercise rather like trying to balance a baseball bat on your nose. Better yet, the screw's not big enough to cut a slot in the top and back it out with a small screwdriver (you'll try anyway, so use a Craftsman so you can exchange its corkscrewed remains. Stop before you get to three like I did). I finally ended up cutting a slot straight back from the screw with a Dremel abrasive wheel. I got the stop out, and it works fine.
Replacing the rear bezel. You'll need to remove the screws (nine on mine) that hold the interior trim panel to the aluminum header.
Replacing the rear bezel. Take out the two screws on each side which hold the rubber end seal, and remove the seals.
Replacing the rear bezel. Remove the taillights first, reach behind through the hole and pull the wire out from the backside of each running light, while carefully prying up the brass fingers. You can fish the taillight through the opening so it rests inside the bezel if you prefer not to cut the harness, or do like I did and cut the wires. Makes it much easier to polish the taillights off the bezel.
Replacing the rear bezel. Remove the bed roller (not visible here) and drill out the three rivets on each end. The nut had dropped off the bottom of the stud that holds the bed roller on this side, so both were reassembled with threadlock. Under each bed roller is a pair of washers and a tiny set of roller bearings, which should be cleaned and relubricated (I used an engine assembly lube, a bit thinner and sticker than regular grease).
Replacing the rear bezel. Carefully slide the bezel up, just far enough that the bottom clears the rail. Carefully (seriously) flex the sides in until they pop out of the side rails. There are still rivets remaining on the inside edge of the aluminum header that the bezel hangs from, and your goal should be to hinge the header up enough that the bezel can be removed without drilling them out (you'd need to remove the entire interior panel to do so).
Replacing the rear bezel. Carefully hinge the bezel out appx. 45 degrees until the top edge drops out of the J-channel in the top aluminum header.
Replacing the rear bezel. A bit of Reflectix and Gorilla tape. I deliberately left this a bit drafty, since I don't want to have moisture issues later.
NOTE- don't do yours like this. The thickness of the Reflectix is enough to prevent the spare from mounting. After wrestling with it for 45 minutes I got it on (barely), but the bad fit prevented the spare cover from mounting properly, too. I had to cut and remove the insulation behind the spare to make it work.
Replacing the rear bezel. New spade connectors and shrink tubing on the (somewhat polished) taillights.
Replacing the rear bezel. Getting the new one in was tricky. Be certain to start the top in the J-channel first, the get the sides started and slide down to the bottom rail. If it isn't precisely centered (and it won't be), you won't be able to reposition it once it's in the J-channel. It may not sound like 1/4" or so will make that big a difference, but the spare cover indirectly mounts to the frame, so it'll be off-center that much. I'll need to do a bit of massage on the bracket to compensate.