97 K1500 DD/Overlander

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mdnky

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03.25.23

I bolted the front crossmember to the tank yesterday (raining outside), only to remember that I needed to put the shroud on first. Since I wanted to coat the bottom of the tank with fluid film first (I did not want to do inside), I waited until the weather cleared up today.

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So today I removed the front strap, liberally coated the bottom of the tank in FluidFilm, then installed it in the shroud. I reattached the mount, then I some-how managed to wrangle it up in place by myself...no little feat as a FluidFilm tank is quite slick/slippery/etc.).

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mdnky

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03.25.23 (cont...)

Todays first blunder: I realized I needed to remove the tank (again) to install the outer/back tank strap. Thankfully, I managed to get enough slack by removing all but the bottom right nut (barely threaded on) from the front bracket. Tightened it up...then loosened it again to have room to run the fuel lines.

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Today's second blunder: Forgot to cut the existing return line...so I had to unbolt it (AGAIN) to get enough slack to pull the old line up and cut it. Also realized I made the short patch line a bit long, so I had to cut it down by about 10".

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mdnky

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02.25.23 (cont...cont...)

Today's third blunder and/or RANT: Not sure what Dorman thinks they're selling, but the female barb fittings (800-078, 800-079) are definitely not usable for this application (or their quality control is failing miserably). The center hole is too small for the flare on the tank fitting to properly seat. I do remember seeing that mentioned somewhere else, with the solution being to drill out the hole a bit. I didn't feel like messing with that, so after a quick search I managed to find the SURR version (K095, K100) in stock at the local Advance Auto...for quite a bit more ($19.99ea) than the Dormans, of course. Ordered online just for the 15% off 'coupin' [$35.12] and wasted an hour of daylight running after those parts.

The SURR ones fit properly...though it was a bit fun trying to swap the ends on the line which were already run. Ripped the oetiker clamps off, then dunked the ends in some hot water in an old coffee mug for 20-30 seconds. I was able to wiggle the other ends off with a bit of effort.

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Today's forth blunder: Hooked up the from of the supply line at the filter, only to realize I had a bit too much excess line. So I had to disconnect at the tank, rip the clamp off (again again), and cut about 18" of line out. Nothing like wasting time...redoing the same thing over and over...seems like I have earned multiple PHDs in that topic lately. The tank's in and I finished spraying the top with a bit more fluid film. Don't think I'll need to worry about it rusting for a while.

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Today's fifth blunder: Guess who forgot to order the fuel filler vent hose. DOH! I was trying to avoid paying the $70-$80 for the short OEM hose and steel tube, planning on just using some fuel hose (~22") at $4/ft instead. Somehow, I totally forgot to order it last month. Go figure. Plugged the vent hole bungs with some rubber stoppers for now, to keep out any critters/bugs.

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Then I spent about 2 hours running from parts stores to parts store this evening, only to find out that no one carries/stock 5/8" fuel line in the Northern Kentucky area. Also really questioning the hiring practices of some of these parts stores (LONG story, sad really). Hopefully the NAPA about 30 miles away actually carries what they claim to stock. They were closed by their time I made it home, empty handed. Guess I'll figure it out tomorrow.

RUNNING TOTAL: $4618.35
 
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mdnky

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03.26.23

The two potential auto parts stores (KOI, NAPA) that might stock the fuel hose I need for the tank vent are closed on Sundays, so I didn't get much done. Did manage to fix the e-brake cable. Buggered up the plastic coating on the sleeve, so I covered it with a bit of heat shrink but evidently I didn't get an after pic...go figure. Probably not necessary, but only took a minute or two and can't hurt.

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I'll blame it solely on my utter surprise over the heat gun I found lurking in the basement...a late 70s / early 80s era Wagner Milwaukee that looks like it's maybe been used once or twice in its entire life, still in the original box with the registration card, manual and all the attachments. Not sure how that survived unmolested all this time. Also found a near mint pair of vintage made in USA Irwin vice grips and an old small Wilton vise nearby. Always fun to find nice, lightly used old (well-made) tools.

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mdnky

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03.27.23

KOI had the hose in stock, so ran across town to pick it up [$4.66]. Grabbed 24", ended up cutting about 4" off. Originally planned on using the hoop, but the bend it put in the hose was too tight and it started to collapse. Decided to just let it hang somewhat free. Might fab a bracket or use some zip ties if needed later on.

Then I realized the clamps I have on hand are just a bit too small for this hose. I contemplated buying clamps when I picked up the hose, DOH! Ran to Advance Auto and grabbed a 2pk of clamps [$5.29] the proper size. Had to settle on cheap worm drive ones, as the selection is quite limited at this store.

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Hooked the battery up and cycled the key a few times to prime the system. Checked for leaks at the connections (tank, fuel filter, return line connection) and everything looked good. Turned the key...slow crank for a second then click. Hooked the battery up to a charger for a bit, then tried again.

Fired right up, but sounded a bit loud and weird. Then I remembered I had unbolted the muffler at the cat (which also includes the rear O2 sensor) and had blocked the cat end with a plastic bag and some Gorilla duct tape to keep critters (i.e. squirrels) from causing issues.

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So now I need to take car of those broken studs, then decide on what to do with the exhaust. I cut the pipe behind the muffle to get it out. I can A.) (possibly) use a clamp to put the pieces back together, B.) use a turn down and make the exhaust exit before the rear tire, or C.) weld it back together. If I go C, then I need to decide on using the regular flux core and risk a rust issue or order some stainless flux core wire. Might go with the later, as I'm tempted to replace the exhaust on my Jeep very soon with something custom.

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RUNNING TOTAL: $4628.30
 

mdnky

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03.29.23
Still need to figure out the exhaust, but decided to do something simple today and fix that driver door roller pin. Probably will regret it later, but for now the Dorman one will be better than cat's there. Unfortunately the stock one bent a bit far and destroyed the bottom of the pin, so I can't replace just the roller part.

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Used the grinder to modify/sharpen one of the chisels that came with the air chisel I procured from Menards (cheaper than buying the chisel set due to a sale). Dusted off the old Campbell Hausfield compressor, which claims 4HP on 110V/15a (Pinocchio must have worked for their marketing department). Plugged it in and promptly hid behind the brick wall while it filled. Other than some leaks from the antiquated and well absued hose, no BOOM...so I consider that a win.

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mdnky

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03.29.23 (cont...)

Removed the door spring, then put some Gorilla duct tape on the hinge's top surface in an attempt to provide a (tiny) bit of paint protection. Removed the top of the stock pin and drove it out using a BFH and two 3/8 socket extensions (top one was a generic, rusted piece of crap...ok to damage) with a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter on the end. Used a long P3 Phillips to drive it the rest of the way out.

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Started the fitment process on the new pin, but quickly had an equipment failure. Maybe had one turn in it, if that. Looks to be faulty chinesium...go figure. Ran to HF and picked up an 8" c-clamp (I know...also made from the same stuff...). Was dark by the time I made it home.

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mdnky

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03.30.23

Finished fitting the new roller pin to the door. The hinges on mine were still in ok shape, so I had to remove a bit of material from he pin to get a proper fit. Did a little at a time until it would barely move with heavy pressure from the clamp. Maybe 4 or 5 tries. Painted the area around the pin with some black paint (sprayed onto a bag, then cut a cheap foam brush cut down to 1/4" and dabbed it in). Should suffice to protect it until I get around to fixing the cab corners and getting the right paint mixed.

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Also picked up two loaner pullers from AutoZone in a 'just for kicks' attempt at pushing those broken studs out. Used this method before with excellent luck, but not this time. The particular tool is designed different (articulating cup on end instead of point), not to mention a major lack of room. Tried using an old off-brand socket to account for the different design, but things were getting sketchy quickly in the end I just can't get enough space to use the tools I have access to.

Time for plan B...or C, D, E...who knows. Called a local specialty exhaust shop, they said they'll remove and replace the studs for $30-$100. Probably will just let them do it, since I'm, sick of laying on my back and eating rust.

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Fired it up for about a minute to double check the fuel system for leaks. None so far.

WARNING: V8 **** / the following video may contain mufferless audio...view discretion advised.
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Reinstalled the muffler section, using some copper coated steel wire to hold the flanges together. Should be ok for limited driving into the bay at the shop. If anyone is wondering, Gorilla duct tape sticks like a mother to stainless exhaust tubing...may have used a bit too much.

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