Jan 032015

Happy New Year!

I don’t like resolutions but this post’s timing is too coincidental to not be influenced by the ritual. So here is hoping I don’t quit posting before I quit the gym…

I completed the tear down of the truck a few months ago and as I reviewed all I had done I only had one thought. “Oh my god, what have I done.” Then the doubt spread. Did I need to take it all apart, really every single nut and bolt? Will I be able to put it back together, I will never be able to put it back together! Then I started to breath again and got my heart rate under control and the panic attack subsided.

So now I literally have 4000 lbs of rusty, greasy and dirty parts all over the place. They exist in the garage, attic, shed and backyard. So lets start putting things back together! But wait, they need to be cleaned and re-finished before they can be put back on. I threw a wide range of cleaning techniques and a variety of products with just  as wide a range of results. I will try to list them all here as I remember them.


  • Pressure washer – great for removing loose grime and rust from larger parts like frame and suspension.
  • Wire brush, good for the smaller parts and removing deep crusted grime in combination with de-greasing agents (see Chemicals section below)
  • Angle grinder, its versatility is only limited by the variety of disks you can use with it.
    • Wire wheel, these can take off rust, grime, paint and… well, everything. There is a size and shape for just about every need.
    • Grinding wheel, good for knocking down un-wanted welds and metal damage.
    • Cut-off wheel, great for removing parts that did not come from the factory and bolts that have forgotten the “lefty loosy” part of their design.
    • Stripping disc, strips things, like rust and stuff.
  • Sand Blaster, I used a light duty one for parts that I want to take back to a nice clean finish or just to have fun.
  • Sand paper, its sand paper, it sands things and comes in a billion different grits.
  • Scotch Brite pads, good for wet and dry scrubbing and prepping painted surfaces for additional coating.
  • Rock tumbler, cleans nuts and bolts as good as it cleans and smooths rocks.


  • Simple Green, this stuff at full strength is potent. I used it to soak deeply grimed pieces and as part of a slurry with the rock tumbler with nice results.
  • Gunk Engine Cleaner, specifically the gel variety. Takes care of the greasy, oily stuff.
  • Soap and water, a good environmentally friendly detergent for light cleaning.
  • Alcohol, for prepping before painting.
  • KBS Coatings, Rust Seal system. Found this as an affordable alternative to sand blasting and powder coating. A detailed review is coming soon.

So the shelves in the garage are a little more crowded with cleaning tools and chemicals but more importantly there are parts ready to put back together! Thanks for reading, I will leave you with pictures…


Bare, naked, very clean frame.

Bare Naked Clean Frame

Before and after a little wire wheel cleaning. The safety equipment viewed here is essential. That wheel has tasted blood and it thirsts for more.



Just a little wire wheel cleaning

A little farm style modification. Angle iron to help support the bumper for a little more towing power. These non-oem parts will not be seen again.
Rear Frame Added Towing Support

The last parts to come off. The entire front suspension. Some will be cleaned and reused, some will be replaced with new parts. Stamped steel parts are cheaper than I expected.
Front Suspension

 Posted by at 9:20 pm