I decided that I was going to get everything that I need to do done at one time. I also decided that it would be easier to get everything done if I removed my truck bed, and boy was I glad I did. Then once the truck bed was off I figured I could paint my badly rusting frame and pain the bottom of my truck bed.
Removing the Truck Bed
So off came the truck bed, which took about a day and a half to accomplish. The front four bolts were easy to get off, but the back four bolts were another story. The hitch bolts were blocking the holes to access the bed bolts, so to avoid having to take the hitch off, we took the back four bed bolts off by hand with a wrench, which took forever. Then once the bed was off I realized that in order to change the leaf springs the hitch had to come off anyhow.
The beginning of all my truck work, the bed is off and all the work is about to begin.
First the gas tank came out, then the hitch was taken off. I then began chiseling, sanding, and scraping away at my truck frame. That was not a fun job, rust was everywhere, rust dust, pieces, and large chunks, flying everywhere. Then the fuel lines came out, and more chiseling, sanding, and scraping rust was done.
Installing Front Fuel Lines
I then took a break from removing the rust and installed the front fuel lines. That was suppose to be an easy job, but did not turn out that way. The front fuel lines are connected toward the back of the engine, which is not an easy thing to reach, plus a clip holding the fuel lines needed to be removed which was almost impossible to reach or even see.
Painting the Frame
I then did a little more chiseling, sanding, and scraping of the frame. Once I got a couple nice warmer days, I finally began painting the frame. I used a red oxide primer brush on paint from Tractor Supply for the first coat, then the next day I painted over the red oxide with a flat black oil based paint, from Tractor Supply also. I have used the red oxide over 6 years ago, when I bought the truck, to paint some of the frame, and I was very happy with it. I still have a lot of the red oxide that I painted before, still left on my truck, and I did not even paint over it, which I should have done since it is only a primer.
Then it was time to change the leaf springs. Once again I thought this would also be an easy job, wrong again, you think I would learn. Everything about it was pretty easy, except for getting the bolts out of the rubber bushings. The best way that we found to get them out was to use our ball joint press to press them out, we pressed the bolt till it was even with the leaf spring bracket, then we used bolts to press it the rest of the way out. Heating it also made it easier to press out. We would have cut the bolts to get them out, but there was not much room between the springs and the bracket to get to the bolts, so pressing worked better.
Installing Rear Fuel Lines, Fuel Filter, and Gas Tank
Next it was time to install the new rear fuel lines, fuel filter, and the new gas tank. All the lines were positioned back in there original locations, fuel tank was put into place, and then came the fun part, attaching the new gas tank straps. The new straps were not bent when I got them, and they are just long enough to fit around the gas tank, and they are a heavy metal, which is not easy to bend. They have to be prebent, and have to be bent just right otherwise they will not reach the bolts to hold them on.
I also painted the hitch, since it was off the truck, the inside of my bumper, and my rear differential. My truck is starting to look pretty good and is almost done now. I still have to replace the cab corners, paint the bottom of my truck bed, reinstall my hitch, fix the wires that caught on fire while we were heating up the truck bed bolts, and put everything else back together. Seems like a lot, but not really, the only difficult thing left will be the cab corners. I can not wait till it is all done, I need to get planting, and stop spending all my time working on my truck. Almost done though.
Gas Tank Before
Gas Tank After