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Frankenstein Wagoneer

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WWI Flying Ace View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug/21/2010 at 11:24pm

So, I’ve been planning this project for a while…Got the Beast (81 Wagoneer with a 360 and a 4 inch lift kit) in March.  Rusted out rockers panels (no surprise there!)  Got a great deal on it though.  Rust underneath, but my shop looked it over and said the frame is ok, it is just surface rust.  It does need a new gas tank skid plate, but that is in the future.  My shop gave me a quote for the rust…I know they do excellent work but I’m only going to have them do the stuff I could never undertake, like getting the AC working again. There is a guy in the AMC club here that had AMC NOS rockers, but he wanted more than I was willing to pay for them.  I am sure they were cherry parts, but here’s the thing…I’ll never see a dime back from this vehicle.  I just can't see spending way too much on repairs.

As for the frame rust, and the rocker panels…Recently I found the Eastwood catalog…been looking at their rust encapsulater, etc etc.  Looks like great products, and I was getting ready to take the plunge…was going to get the frame paint they have, and the rust encapsulater.  Then, I was going to spray on truck bed liner on the bottom foot or so of the doors and on the whole underneath.  Was going to paint the exhaust with their special exhaust paint too.  That was the plan.

The I discovered JC Whitney and Carparts.com.  THEY have purpose built rocker panels for $25 bucks each.  Plus the shipping because they were a little heavy…it was about $80 bucks for both sides.  And, they don’t require you to take the old rockers off, you just slap these suckers on overtop.  They get “welded, riveted, or screwed on”.  I found at Home Depot and Loews they have rust converter too, it isn’t “official automotive rust conversion spray”, it is from LockTite and it is $2 bucks less per can.  And, they have the rubber coating in a spray can too…it is not “official truck bedliner” but it is exactly what I need.  And, I got self tapping metal-to-metal screws.  This is perfect, because I cleaned out the garage and the basement of all the unopened leftover home improvement stuff we never used after our big remodel and took it back to Lowe’s and Home Depot and got store credit, which I used to pick up the above items.  So instead of paying Eastwood a couple C-notes, I got all this “not automotive Eastwood, but still ok in my book” spray stuff.

Then I went to Pep Boys and found some frame and rollbar paint.  I splurged on a couple cans, although I could probably have just used the rubberized stuff.  Pep Boys also had some high temp exhaust paint, so I got a can of that for the exhaust pipe/muffler.  It was a bit less than Eastwood, and I didn’t have to wait for shipping.

The projectt will take two or three days.  I have some “Honeydo” list to take care of tomorrow AM but in the afternoon, I’m going to spray rust killer and then bolt the rocker panel on the right side.  That way if I mess it up, hopefully I’ll learn and not repeat the mistake when I do the left side, since that is the side I’ll be walking up to when I get in the Jeep to drive it.  The second time I work on it I’ll be working the driver’s side rocker panel.  The third time, I’ll spray the underside with the rust killer and then spray on the rubberized stuff, also the bottom part of the doors and the rocker panels.  The final time, I’ll paint the exhaust with the special paint and paint the frame with the special frame paint.

That’s my project and the plan to carry it out.  I am not restoring it.  I am having a great time working on it, but it ain’t no restoration.  Put it this way…the theme for the Beast for all cosmetics is “used or cheapest possible”, and get it better than it currently is.  Mechanicals?  I’ll have my shop do them.  They do awesome work and will make sure that everything is done right.  But for the stuff I can muddle through, well, where’s that rattlecan?  I know I set it down here somewhere…

I’ll come back and report as I work through it, and will also try to post pictures.  Wish me luck!



Edited by WWI Flying Ace - Aug/21/2010 at 11:33pm
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PlazinJavelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/22/2010 at 9:28am
Sounds like a cool project. Good luck and post those pics. I was just at the local pullapart yesterday looking over a Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Both from '88 and in fair shape. Still mostly complete but with some bit's and peices missing now. Shame to see them go. I'm thinking about going back to grab a few more bit's that might fit my Jav project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WWI Flying Ace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/25/2010 at 3:04pm

Here is the unsuspecting girl now...

 

I was getting ready to start the rocker panels and was looking at the extent of the rust.  The panels are pretty bad…like, you can see to China through that hole bad, but the panels I have will take care of that.  The Empire of Rust...

 
Before I went to the carwash to get everything clean, I noticed my daughter had driven the Jeep last.

 

However, when I got to the car wash and pulled up the carpeting in front of the back seat to get the lay of the land, I saw the…tire. 

 

 

Gaping holes in the floorboards.  OK, so part of this project is to know when to fold ‘em too.  The floorboards will have to be fixed.  Dang…that is more than I can do I think.  I'll start a thread asking for help on that one, but for now, back to our story.  So, not wanting to waste the afternoon, I went to Plan B…the rust spray on the frame!  First, get the Beast into the pod bay, Hal…and it fits (barely).  You can barely see the red triangle of the AMC emblem I painted on the garage wall a couple weekends ago...

 

 

I spent an hour or so chipping at the rust underneath with an old grill brush (we needed a new one anyway)…then sprayed that stuff on…7 or 8 cans of the rust converter.  Took a while but its all on.  So, next time I am out there, I’ll spray the frame paint black and also the exhaust pipe and muffler with the special hi temp paint. 

 

After that is done, I’ll have to get the floorboards fixed.  Just not sure when that will be, unfortunately.  But then I’ll use my patch panels for the rockers and the black on the bottom of the doors after the floor pan is fixed.  No point in doing it sooner.  Not quite what I wanted to do this weekend, but good to have something done!   

 



Edited by WWI Flying Ace - Aug/25/2010 at 3:19pm
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WWI Flying Ace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/08/2010 at 12:38am
Progress report!

OK, so I had some serious time with the Beast this past weekend. Honey Do list was pretty big, but managed to do a lot of grinding away of rust, and chopping out of rust. Here is the “during”…Dremmel grinding fury! And tin snips…




Rust be gone…there is the left rear door sill, and my foot, and my gloves, and my driveway…



The epoxy I was able to luck into was from aerospace, and would have been great…but it was old and expired. So, I went to the auto parts store and got JB Weld…that and the pop rivets got the plates on in the back. Here is the “after”, for the right rear quarter panel:



My problem is that once I got the carpet out, it became apparent that the seat belt mount is rusty, as are a couple of the seat mounts. Now, I am having a great time messing around with the patches for the floor pan, but a seat belt and the seat mounts are safety concerns. So, I’m going to take it up to my guy for him to do the professional weld it like a Sherman tank fix on the brackets and the seat mounts. Everything else…I’ll keep messing around with. I need to get the front done and I have the patch panels ready to go, but I don’t know how big they will need to go for the seatbelts and the seat mounts so I am on hold for the moment. Hope to have it back later in the week so I can work on it this weekend and hopefully get the floor pans all done…and then I can finally do the rockers as originally planned!
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Freecat1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/08/2010 at 2:22pm
Hey Ace    Can I use the first picture for my Wagon & Wagoneer calendar project?  I will make you one at cost if I use it?  Freecat1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WWI Flying Ace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/08/2010 at 2:25pm
You bet! That would be great!  The Beast would be honored to be a part of the calendar. 
 
When do you need the pics...if I get done with the planned repairs it will look better and I might have a better picture...unless of course you are going for the rugged rusted look.  Smile
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Freecat1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/08/2010 at 2:30pm
The look is perfect>>  Thanks.  Only need 5 more>>>>>>>Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WWI Flying Ace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/21/2010 at 1:12pm
OK, been a while because of family stuff but the next stage is nearly here...got the old metal cut out and the aluminum patches done on the driver's side, left rear, right rear, with pop rivets, epoxy, rust killer.  Got the rust cut out and the rust killer on the passenger's side, but need to do the patch and the epoxy and the pop rivets.  Getting pretty good at it now, should be about 30 mins (give or take) to get the last patch in and riveted!
 
Ordered the seam sealer from carparts.com (same stuff as JC Whitney but cheaper), when that gets here I'll seal it all, then order the carpet kit and install! 
 
WHile I wait, I will begin on the rocker panel replacement that started this whole thing.  I should have time this weekend, since I mowed the lawn for the last time last weekend.  Making progress!
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct/31/2010 at 12:12pm
You could fiberglass the floors. That's what I'm going to do to the floor in my J-10 project truck. Of course the seat and seatbelt mounts aren't rusted, just the main floor areas. Even so, I'd probably just screw a piece of steel across the bottom of the floor anchored into good metal and drill through that for the mounts, then fiberglass over the floor. A swiss cheese floor can be 'glassed over as long as the holes aren't too big (nickle size or smaller). If you have an area with bigger holes a piece of stiff wire screen over them works. Window screen will work, but I prefer the stiffer "hardware cloth" or some kind of metal mesh that the resin will flow through and bond in. Fiberglass doesn't rust! The metal CAN rust around it, so make sure you clean and paint the metal before 'glassing over. I undercoat the bottom side good. If no oxygen or moisture can get to the metal it will stop rusting.

You can use paintable caulk for seam sealer. Think about it -- it lasts outside in the weather for 10-20 years, has to last longer protected in a car! I had some big gaps to fill in my trailer project and used paintable caulk with fiberglass mesh drywall tape for reinforcing. Sealed everything up nicely! See http://theamcforum.com/forum/rambler-trunk-trailer_topic20151_page2.html, scroll down near bottom of page.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WWI Flying Ace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/01/2010 at 10:10am

Hi Farna-

I love the trailer project!  I actually just completed the aluminum patch panels this weekend, and then I had ordered some sealant a couple weeks ago which got in this week.  So, this weekend I actually got the patches done and the sealant!  Woo hoo!
Driver's side (the grey is the brush on sealant from Carparts.com over the aluminum plates that I installed.  The black is the rust killer spray.)
 
Here is the Passenger side:
 
Here is the left rear floorpan and the front corner of the rear wheel well:
 
Here is the right rear passenger floorpan and the front of the rear wheel well:
 
Here is the right rear wheel well patch in the bed.  The left wheel well is similar.
 
Next step will be to get the heat/sound insulation installed, then the carpet goes back in!  I ordered decent scuff plates and kick plates from a guy too for cheap. 
 
After all this, I'll eventually be able to get back to the rocker panels!  I did test fit the replacements I have but they will need to be slightly modified to fit in the back as the wheel wells were cut out for the bigger tires.  Ah, so fun and yet so much work!  :)  I'll keep the forum posted as I make progress...
 
1973 Javelin AMX

1981 Wagoneer

2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP

2007 Jeep Commander

2001 Buick Century



“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” Jonathan
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