This will be about the start of work on BOB.. But first :
Update: BOB got to visit the Linde shop to use the hoist for an oil change and a good look underneath. Found a few things… some of which won’t matter with a chassis swap. Those are : the steering problem is caused by excessive play in the drag- link. Front wheel bearings are a tad loose ..but not concerning. Things that will need addressing are: Drivers side rocker has a rust hole. Some seals on the motor are leaking. Those seals will be replaced when the motor is pulled for the swap. So really no bad stuff. While in the air I swapped out the spare for the proper rim on the front.. Now I can clean and paint the spare rim and mount a tire .. ( which I found in Peter’s pile of old tires ).
I’ve cut out the sides of the fridge cabinet and the right side seat.. It’s a good day when the pieces fit !
Look at that.. the pre-finished birch 1/2 ” ply is perfect. I just need to cut a access lid and this is finished.
The walls of the fridge cabinet fit too. Stringers for the shelves need to be done yet.
So with the fridge cabinet all done, I started the kitchen. Turing out good.. I’m getting better and faster. And here it is painted and installed.
Still needs the shelf over the wheel well.. and I will be making two drawers. One under the stove. The panel in front of the sink will have a 110 v outlet and switches for the fan and cabinet lights. 5 more cabinets to go….
And the spare back under the frame.. Those are just a few of the things that will change. There’s lots.. Now that I’ve had the truck for a month and dug around to see what’s good … what’s bad… and what’s ugly. And found the things that don’t work.. So here’s a list of improvements, repairs and pimping. I know I’ll forget something ..so I’ll add it later.
#1 Extending the frame and the flat deck:
Ya you’ve seen this photo be fore.. This is a big one.. The most likely scenario will be to use the 1996 4×4 frame we have and move BOB’s body and power train over. This means I can move the deck back approximately 20 ” giving me a 9 ft deck ! wow. The plus side to all this work is being able to clean and paint all the parts… not just the ones you can see. New body mounts , new brake lines.. A better steering box. and any other repairs. Also the exhaust on that truck is in good condition. The nice wheels I want are on the truck. And interestingly the 96 has 4 plus 1 leafs in the rear springs.
And the truck appears to be lifted.. But we can’t find the lift. So could be the extra leaf in the spring ? We will no more when we remove the body and just have the frame.
#2 Changing the look of the back of the deck:
This will need a trim.. to make room for the new bumper and hitch. These lights will be changed out for LEDs, and the license plate will move to the middle so the camera can see the hitch. Plus a rail at the top for hooking the ramps to.
These are the lights I like. Installed them on the Surf Side.. rubber grommets, flush mount.. perfect.
#3 Stake pockets:
I’m not changing my mind on this.. the rail is going bye bye and stake pockets along the sides, with a rub rail ! Great place to hook tie downs too.
#4 LED work lights and a winch:
The cheap tractor lights are going too.. I don’t even want the ones facing the front ! what’s their point ? I have new 6 inch LED bar lights for here. Tuck them under the top bar.. Proper wiring ! not bare wires hanging across the window.. Hillbilly wiring !
The head ache rack will be removed to extend the deck. And this is where approximately 20″ will be added. The wood deck will be moved back and good heavy gauge of metal deck added. There I plan to mount a 1200 lb winch.
#5 Under deck storage:
I need to find or make some boxes that fit this space. Handy for straps and I would like the have a second battery here too.. with a inverter and to power the winches.
That’s the work on the deck.. There will also be a bit of body work. The clear coat is peeling off. The doors will be replaced, and a new white paint job. Continuing on the outside …
#6 New towing mirrors:
Yup.. I got em .. Those old ones will go. This will be a working truck so car mirrors are no good..
And let’s add the turn / park lights to that. I have upgraded lights from a newer truck. BOB will get to see in the dark with halogen bulbs.. and they could even be changed to LEDs too. As for the park lights .. new bulbs and a mod to include running lights.
Now to the interior…
Oh ya.. Why just put a cover on this old bench when you can have nice buckets.
Exactly ! Who wouldn’t do that ? And as a bonus I get a storage console and cup holders ! Not a hard decision at all.
#9 Head liner:
This will never do.. I have a hard one from one of the parts trucks. I’ll paint it … or glue this red stuff on.. We’ll see … but it won’t look like this.
I’ve ordered a new RED bezel.. Only because I’m a bit fussy on this brown one. Hey stuff’s gota match ! Also if I decide that the Sony sucks, I have a Kenwood waiting to replace it. Interestingly the speakers look newer and they sound good.. One less thing. Either way there is tunes !
#11 Back up camera and keyless locks:
I have a small 4 inch monitor that will fit this cubby. So we will have the convenience of seeing what’s back there. BOB’s getting some tech for sure.. One more thing these older trucks never had was keyless locking. BOB will.. I’ve got the system to install. No more door keys needed.
This is a replaced dash bezel. the one that was in the truck was full of holes for the switches for the work lights. I will have just one that fits this hole for the work lights on the Head rack. And it lights up to let you know they are on.. Maybe a second switch if I install more lights. There’s room !
#13 Drivers door panel :
Broken handle… broken trim… wrong power lock switch.. I have the trim panel and the lock switch. But the pull handle is hard to find cause they always break. So either I do find one or I make one. We’ll see .. but we will fix.
#14 Oil gauge:
This was mounted under the dash. Didn’t seam to do anything. Found out why… the tube supplying the oil pressure was broken. I want the gauge in the cluster to be the one working so I’ll get a new oil sending unit and hook that back up. Bye bye to this one.
#15 A Clock:
Yes you can get a clock… Sadly the Chinese have a thing for 24 hr time… Maybe has something to do with it also having the date ? Don’t like that so I ordered a better one.
That’s it for now … a lot of stuff.
March 1 st 2021: I put insurance and plates on BOB ..so I’m driving the truck around.. see what breaks or things we missed. The replacement instrument cluster works great. In April the real work will start.. By then I’ll know more.
The floor is done the walls are done.. Time to build some new cabinets. Today I bought the plywood .. some very nice Birch. 1/4 ” for the sides, 1/2 ” for the shelves, doors and to make drawers. The framing will be made from 1×6 , ripped on the table saw. This is typical RV cabinet construction.. with the exception of me using 1/4 ” instead of 1/8 ” paneling. Still light weight but stronger. Closet first then work my way clockwise around the trailer.
Today I built the front of the closet… and seeing how it fits. Very good. Next the sides and that’s where it gets interesting. Curves to fit the wall. Next to the fridge cabinet this one is tricky. Lucky I kept the old walls to help with that.
Here’s one side done so far. This side has the wires inside the wall. The closet will be finished both in and out. That will also be needed for the overhead cabinets and shelves. They too will be hollow to allow for wiring and lights. New Video….
The closet is the guinea pig for the construction , painting and the gimp rubber trim. So lets talk “GIMP”. Or better yet show you..
Funny name for old school rubber trim. I like the look! Finishes off the joint nicely. I found a source and bought lots of white and brown. I’ll use the white where the cabinets meet the walls & celing. And the brown where they meet the floor.. like baseboard.. but “GIMP”. Just staple it on .. cuts with scissors.
Well the closet is painted ..gimped and installed. Lino on the bottom and the porch light switch installed. On to the rear upper cabinet. This time I made a pattern for the where the front fits to the roof. Nailed it !
Once again the wires are hidden in the hollow of the floor of the cabinet. I’m not putting doors on these , so I routed the opening smooth. I’m going to try stain on the front . If I don’t like how it looks I’ll paint it. But I would like to break up the amount of white.
And here’s the finished overhead at the back the the trailer. Lights installed. Fits great.. And next is the 8 ” wide shelf that ties the closet to the rear overhead.
And there will be one of these on the other side once the kitchen takes shape. Lot’s of places to stash things. Next is the seat for the closet side of the trailer..
This turned out good. 1/2 ” birch will be the seat, with access lid for under neath. I’m thinking the fridge cabinet will need to be next.. because the others fit to it.
Here I have it located in the proper place. The openings are all correct too. Starting from the bottom we have , a cubby, then the furnace, a nice large drawer, the fridge and another cubby at the top. I’m working on the sides… and they have to fit the wall.
Delivery Notice !
My new fridge arrived today.. It came from Ontario. 12 volt compressor fridge. No propane.
Nice quality fridge. Small… only 2.5 cu ft. These are becoming more common in RV’s . Low draw on the battery and auto shut off if the voltage gets too low.. Waaay different than the old 3 way fridges.
Once again you can call me CRAZY ! But we are calling the Chevy ” BOB “
This time I do not have a glamorous photo of this truck from the web of what it should look like.. That doesn’t exist. YET! It will when I’m done, but for now it’s all in my head. This truck is …well unique. Yes it’s old and in need of some fixing up, mostly cosmetic .. And certainly a flat deck truck is not rare… there is lots of them.. But they are mostly different from each other. This one was home built on a half ton 4×4 long box single cab. Most are one ton trucks. SO do we have a hillbilly one.. Almost! The deck is quite nice.. And the frame is very strong and seems professionally made. BUT.. they bobbed off the rear of the truck (hence the name) and made it too short for my liking. So My plan is to extend it. But I’ll still call it BOB.
Ahh you gotta love the eighties.. Put your hand up it you had a car or truck from then that had a red interior… and I mean totally red ! My hand is up.. Red 1985 Dodge Caravan.. I’ll get used to it…again. Good thing cause changing that would be a lot of work… and not necessary… So I’ll embrace the redness..
Just like the Surf Side trailer if you start out not paying much.. or anything , then you have more to spend on making it right. Quite often you could spend more to buy a nicer truck and still end up spending money. Bottom line is I don’t expect much in a cheap truck. So I feel lucky that it made the 2 hour trip back home and has BC registration. And add to that… It runs good.. shifts good.. stops good. The important stuff works. That’s the “Pros” what about the “Cons”. Well here’s what we know so far. Motor needs an oil change. (should do that anyway). Steering needs work (loosey goosey). The gauge cluster will be changed out (other gauges work fine). The muffler is supposedly new but the tail pipe is missing, and it’s a bit loud for me. Driver’s door is hard to close. AC needs a re-charge. Needs better tires and a new rim so the spare can return to the back. At first we thought a leaf was missing from the rear springs.. Nope.. The ride is very nice. However if you want to carry weight you need all the spring leaf’s there. I’ll replace the doors and new pins and maybe the left fender cause they are rusty and easy to source. There are a few bits inside that need fixing or replacing as well. But let’s talk about the one thing I really want… The rear deck. I was looking at trucks that I would have to remove the box and build a deck from scratch. Totally could do that.. But here we have most of the work done for me.. For less money ! However needs a bit of “alterations”. And paint !
What we have is .. 6 ft wide. Perfect ! But only 7 ft 4 inches long. I would like a minimum 8 ft long.. but lets add to that.. Let’s add a foot to make it 8 ft 4 inches. And add that to the front so as to keep the back end shape. My RZR will fit very nicely.. The headache rack is perfect too.. Couldn’t have done it better. Those rails will be removed and stake pockets added with a rub rail. Also missing is a receiver hitch and the wiring for that. All of this means I keep the nice new decking. The extra foot would be plate steel with a strong winch mount against the head board. There I want at least a 10,000 lb winch. I love making plans.. So let’s make more.. I have thought about the way I would like things to be.. Useful , Adaptable, come to mind. More Ideas..
On this ..the drivers side I wanted the spare tire holder. But I’m thinking it won’t fit .. so a storage box. ?
And on this side (passenger) I want a lock box for a second battery, storage and some other goodies I have in mind. This battery would have an isolation solenoid and power the winches and a 1000 watt inverter. That way I’ll always have the truck battery fully charged, and power for other stuff. So far that’s my plans… could change !
For now The truck will have to wait it’s turn.. BUT while it waits I’m collecting some parts.. Newer headlights with bulbs to replace the old school sealed beams. The cubby that replaces the old factory stereo heat unit. A new instrument cluster with the same kms on the ODO. BUT most of all a nice set of bucket seats with a center console to replace the bench seat. Many more bits and pieces. If it’s cracked or broken I’m replacing it. PLUS I have on order: A remote keyless system. A back up camera and monitor. New door switches. New mirrors for towing.
BOB got buckets !
And a console ! With cup holders ! Good condition for being old. Don’t want three people in the truck.. so this suits me just fine.
BOB got new doors !
Well nothing for an old truck is really new, but these are WAY better condition. Bob will get a new white paint job, so color won’t matter for these. I also found a fourth rim to match the others. Now I have four nice rims and one spare rim. Got quite the stash going on. And now added to the stash is a 1200 watt inverter, and some fancy chrome rims much like the ones on my Avalanche..
Sweet! But wait… there’s more. My friend bought another parts truck and won’t use the frame ..so there’s the missing part of my frame OR swap frames. Ether way I get a very nice rear bumper. Here’s Some of the parts that will be an upgrade.
These are headlights from a newer truck that have halogen bulbs. The gauge cluster pictured has working ODO.. I’ve ordered new LED’s for gauges. The headlights will get a polish and be like new, with much improvement.
Today we went and picked up a 1996 extra cab 4×4 with a bad transmission. Local truck so we trailered it home. This is the truck that has the wheels I’m getting. Harold bought the truck very cheap for the body panels.. box , doors , fenders and hood. And the interior too. That’s all he wants. He does not like the 5.7 vortec motor.. and it would not start in the cold anyway. I pitched in some of the money so the rest is mine.
So… this was a dark green truck at one time.. and all the white stuff was from another truck. Great condition. He’s going use those body parts to build another regular cab short box 2 wheel drive truck.. His favorite kind. Today we also removed the motor from the frame he will use. Now … once the truck above gets stripped of all it’s parts ..that leaves a good rolling frame.. a long 4×4 frame. I’m considering moving all Bob’s body over to this frame. Because it’s not “bobed” off. And it has this awesome rear bumper.
With a good hitch ! The wheels and this bumper are worth what we paid for the whole truck ! Someone did a great job fabricating this bumper. By making a swap like this BOB can be more than a painted truck.. It will be like new. Finally after a month I made a video…
I also fixed a few things on the dash. Using some re-conditioned parts.
The dash pocket, gauge cluster and the dash bezel are from a donor truck . The stereo and mount were in the truck but not installed properly. Since I knew what I was doing I took this much of the dash apart, and removed some messy wiring , Plus redo the stereo harness. It wasn’t soldered ! and some of the wires were pulled apart. Then I put it all back with better parts. Now the glove box opens and closes without falling on the floor! And the stereo is in the dash all the way instead of hanging out… all speakers work. This is how things will stay for now. After the Surf Side trailer is finished then it’s truck time. ! and I’ll start a new page..
And the windows are a part of that cause they need the wood framing on the inside. So I can work on several things here. One of the first things I did was power wash the windows. They were filthy.. way better to work on clean stuff. Too bad the green paint didn’t come off with the dirt. Sigh ! So lets talk devotion.. These are Jalousie (louvered) windows. 46 years old.. And hurting for some love.. The opening mechanisms are mostly wore out. and the seals are either dried up , cracked or missing. SOOOO I have spent some money and ordered new openers and all the seals. AND I’m taking them all apart because that is how you clean the green paint off.
With a wire wheel and sanding block too. It’s going to take two days for each of the four windows. However… they will be shiny new and working perfectly. Here’s a video…
Video is mostly about the window work.. It’s going well but tedious. I’ll be waiting a few days for the order to get here. And can’t assemble the windows till then. But there are other things to do if I finish the windows before the parts arrive. One of the most important part of these windows is the actuator ..or cranky thingy.
Here’s the two from the rear window which has separate sets of panes and a left and a right actuators. The other three windows are all right hand actuators. I ordered four new ones… not remembering the fifth one ( left hand). Good thing it still works good. So far I’ve only found one broken .. I’m interested to see how a new one works.
Hey check out the factory correct “Surf Side” in the same location too. The palm trees are my little touch. I just couldn’t resist applying one.. Now that the paint is fully cured. I finally got all the windows cleaned and even the missing glass replaced. Today the new seals arrived !
50 ft … I hope it’s enough. Still waiting for the actuators .. then I can assemble the windows. In the mean time I got some 1×6 boards , Some of which will become the new inside window frames. Real wood not plywood like the rotten ones I tossed. These will be painted with the walls & ceiling. They will also provide attach points for overhead cabinets and window dressing.
A bunch of this will become framing for cabinets too. The Boler had molded fiberglass cabinets … the Scamp had the same but I did not install them.. This will be very different and challenge my wood working skills. The actuators ( cranky thingy’s) have arrived so I spent the day re assembling the four windows.
Can you tell which ones are new ? There is a difference for sure.. Smoother and tight. Now all the windows are back together cleaned fixed , new seals, new cranky things.
Just imagine… Windows that work , don’t leak and not silicon-ed shut. No missing glass too ! Now for the inside frames.
Got myself a biscuit joiner.. And dusted off the table saw. Here’s the large rear window frame glued and curing. These are good enough to stain and varnish….but that’s not happening. They will be painted with the ceiling and walls.
So I primed them with good primer.. backside too! The factory plywood ones were toast from moisture getting behind and de-laminating the plywood. Now comes the work inside. Got to clean the Ensolite on the walls and ceiling. Plus remove the unnecessary bits. Here’s a video I made today…
I tried a sample of paint on some scraps.. plus the acrylic caulking just to see how good it all works. Nice. So I’ve spent some time repairing the Ensolite. And now I have the first coat on.. It will take two coats to get an even look.
Sure brightens up the interior. Repairs done to the walls and ceiling look great. I used a silk (semi gloss) acrylic floor paint.. pure white, two coats. The walls are now washable. And yes you see windows !
This is a mile stone… with the windows back in. One inch vinyl trim insert covers the screws nicely. Things are moving along.
Today I made a wiring harness for the running lights. Properly color coded … actually using a 25 ft trailer 4 pin harness and adding a backup light wire.
Yes loom too.. Tested and working. Then I got real ambitious and cut the holes for …and mounted the six LED tail lights. And the side marker lights too.
This is different … most of these trailers have regular trailer lights.. I just gotta be different! Now I got to figure out where the license plate goes. The bumper I guess..
Another milestone …. The lino is done (floor) So now I move on to the cabinets… And a new page.
Has all that filling and sanding paid off.. You bet.. The first coat of primer is the tell all.
And sure enough I missed a few details. Just a few holes I forgot. But now’s the time to fix them. You wouldn’t even notice them if I didn’t point them out.. But we can’t have that.. I was especially interested in the left front repairs. Not bad ..
I’m not the best body work guy by any means.. But this is not an expensive classic car ether. At least a 90% improvement. I have run out of primer.. so off to Kelowna for more. Today the little goobers are fixed and so the second coat of primer will be even better. And I’ll use grey so I don’t miss any spots. The door however is good with the one coat … So I painted the finish (off white) on the inside. Looks awesome !
Hard to really see in just a photo.. But it’s very shiny new looking. New Video…
Can’t go to get the primer for a few days.. So a wee lull in the action. However I am using the time wisely. I will be replacing the graphics on the trailer. I send the files to a sign maker for a quote. But have not heard back. Then I remembered I have a Cricut ! I can make my own. It took a while to get programs that would convert the files… but I did it !
Oh did I say I have large rolls of 3M sign vinyl… Yes but don’t ask… long story. The cricut can do small things only, and that’s fine. I wanted to shrink the size anyway. I could not find the font used in the triple E logo.. So there was a bit of a compromise. Hope I don’t get called out on the one. UPDATE: The fella that supplied me with the “Surf Side” logo made me the proper “Triple E ” logo.. So I’m legit again. Got my primer yesterday..
And now we have a gray trailer. would have been nice to have white primer. But you take what you can get. I cleaned the store out of the off white and the primer.
And now we are back to the white.. Actually the off white finish coat. You can see the band in the middle that will be blue. By New Years The exterior will be done.
Another day … another coat of paint. The second coat (and final) of off white is on. I used the brush tipping method to get the smoothest and run free finish. Roller and a dry brush. I also really wanted to see what the blue would look like..
And here it is ! Yes it will grow on me.. needs black pin stripe border I’m thinking. Wife likes it…says it goes with the beachy theme. Or boat theme.. Ya it works. so lets do this to the trailer..
Ya it’s fine.. So getting close to done. The door was painted at the same time.
I added the black line because I thought it was good to continue the rub rail look. The Bargman door latch was rebuilt and keys made so back it goes.. And that small dot up top is a peek hole with a wide angle view. It was there and works great so back it goes too. Rock guard is next. I’m still waiting for the taillights But the exterior painting is DONE ! so a new page is in order.
The bottom half of the trailer is where most of the bad stuff is. Makes sense I suppose.
Some schooling and some thoughts:
The Surf Side is very different than a Boler. Not just the over all shape but that it’s just two molded pieces instead of three. Boler’s and their cousins Scamp’s have floors that are formed separate from the bottom half ..then glassed into place. Even the wheel wells are made separate then glassed in. This is ok.. They are still strong. However this gives them a “skirt” hanging below the floor. This skirt is easily damaged. I know I’ve had to repair them on both the boler and the Scamp.
Here you can see some of the repairs done to the skirt of the Scamp. Not so on the Surf Side …the body just curves under, and so does the painting. And so it seems to me that the NEW fiberglass Escape trailers are copying something from 45 years ago.. They call it a “pontoon” or low spot molded into the bottom half. This “pontoon” is under the cabinets and the floor stops short of going out to the body.. Thus allowing any moisture to go there. And yes there is drain holes under these. Here’s a better way for me to show what I mean…
This also could be a cross section for the NEW Escape trailer. Things that make you go HMMM . But it’s a good design why not use it.. And I would choose this over the Boler skirted underside. Well better get back to the job at hand. I started at the door and working my way clockwise around to the bad stuff.. Bad stuff is the two front corners.
Here’s the rear of the trailer all prepped, Yes I didn’t totally sand the Triple E logo off. I’m hoping to be able to see it enough to apply the new graphics over the old.
Jack the Knife !
This is where the real work starts. A very messy patch job. At least it’s not silicone.. Out comes the big sander ! Well I guess they tried to fix it…but I wish they didn’t. Would have been easier for me … When I see lower corner damage I presume it’s from lack of trailer backing skills. Or they tried to drive around a stump ? Take a guess.
Wow it’s bad ! And thin in spots so I have to be careful. I’m going to skim coat this with filler.. And maybe an extra layer of resin & mat inside. I’ll need another can of body filler for sure.
Oh ya.. over 7 applications of filler to get the curves right, and that was just the top half. I knew this was going to be the most work.. But it’s turning out great.
Parts & Pieces:
Let’s take a small break from sanding and filling.. I’ve been collecting lots of stuff for this project.. like new stove , door seals, plumbing bits and electrical bits. One of the “not new” but reconditioned things is the factory door latch.. it works great but the keys were lost sometime ago and judging from the multiple holes …many hasps for padlocks were installed.
Well for thirty backs ( possibly the same price as all those locks and hardware) I had new keys made. There is three screws holding the latch on the door.. Just too easy I guess. One of the things I ordered thinking it’s easier to replace than take the paint off.. The drip cap over the door.
There’s no way I want this on the trailer.. It’s too long and it looks like someone formed it with a hammer ! I’m cleaning the paint off the top one..
The final prep work.. Say goodbye to the green !
All patching is done.. all sanding is done.. And the masking too. Plus I used an automotive product from Pro-Form , a paint-able rubber flex sealer ( off white) to fill the gap where I removed the silicone on top of the aluminum rub rail ( band around center of trailer ) I also used this product around the fridge and furnace vents.
Now for a good cleaning of the shop and the trailer. We’ll start a new page for the painting.. Bye Bye Green !
Starting work on the the body. & removing the interior stuff. Goal is to have just a shell.
The first thing was to get it to fit into the shop. We had to remove the roof vent .. and then it just fit under the door.
And we are in.. Now the fun part ! Removing everything.. Yup all of it. except the roof vent … that’s done. I guess the body will take two posts because there is a lot involved in just getting to the re – finishing part.
Along the way you find treasures like the factory power center. This could be fixed up, modernized and used again.
And this little water pump.. I did not know they made these. If it works great I’ll use it.. Otherwise it’s a hand pump. And so I continue the purge of the interior.
Still fighting with the furnace.. it’s rusted and wont come apart. The only nasty is the wiring.. It’s a mess, except for the running lights. That seems to be intact.
That’s no big deal.. I was expecting this. Everyone makes a mess outa the wiring. Still have the closet to pull out.. and that darn furnace too. Then it will be time to work on the outside.. Thought I’d try a window to see how hard it will be to remove it.. Rusty screws are the biggest problem. But it came out easy.
The other problem ( which I can fix) is the sag in the roof.. I jacked it up a good 3 inches. That’s what happens when you remove the support ( like the fridge cabinet) and there is a snow load. There needs to be something holding up the roof. Still fighting with the furnace ! The exhaust pipe rusts bad and won’t let go. but I got the exterior all stripped.
Now I’m scrapping years of silicone. Wandering from job to job.. Mostly getting ready to repair the holes and re do the bad fixn. I placed some orders for supplies and dug through my RV stashes for things I’ll need. Plus I cleaned up the wires. Here’s the latest video..
Started work on the sanding and filling. And the door and parts of the roof are first.
The holes are all gone on the door. I’ve sanded more of the green paint from the door because of some scratches (Dog comes to mind). Mostly I will leave the green paint on the body. Rule #203 “If it’s a lot of work to take it off then it’s good enough to leave on”. It’s some tough paint. Stripper barely removes it. The “Pre-Coat” primer doesn’t bother it.. so we just sand it smooth and work with that. And I’m taking my time.. But still making progress.
At this point I have sanded and patched the top half of the trailer. Now the only hole in the roof is the vent. The big patches are on the lower half. I’ve mulled over what to do with the rub rail. And I’m going to take the time to remove all the paint ….back to aluminum and from the black vinyl insert too. The green will be only a memory. And here’s a sample of the result..
Way better than just painting the whole thing black.
This post page is getting too long so time for a second part for the body repairs. Cuz there’s lot’s more to do…
But I’ve had this little guy stashed away for 9 years. It’s sooo cute ! Made by International Harvester.. Powered by a whopin 6 hp tecumseh motor.. 4 speeds.. both forward and backward. And a stylin body like a little car.
It uses belts to go forward or reverse. I found the sales flyer from when it was new..
Electric Start ! I wish… not this one. There is no electrical system .. to bad cause it needs lights.
I bought this off folks in Oliver for $50. (that’s their kid ) not running .. Needed a head gasket.. So when I got it home we bought that and ..carb kit , spark plug and an air cleaner.. All of this for another $50. So I’m into the little clown car for $100. Ya “Clown Car” That what it looks like.. So It’s a bit nasty outside so this is a good one to get running.. Also I did a big clean up in the Frankenport this summer and this got booted from it’s hiding place.
And now it on the lift table and I’m preforming surgery on the motor. Hay got the parts why not. First “Off with the Head”. Yup a chunk the gasket was gone.. So here I’ve done some cleaning
Lot’s more cleaning to do before putting things back.. Also I checked the spark.. And we have good spark.. That’s one of the things needed. The other is fuel. so the carb is getting a good cleaning and all new parts.
Going to need new fuel lines as well. And the pull starter needs a little help.
Went out to the shop this morning and the motor had strangely puked all it’s oil out on the lift table.. I’m guessing me spinning the motor with the drill to test for spark has caused something to happen. The oil is all over the pulley under the motor …so main seal ? crack on the crank case ? Now you gotta think just how much parts or a new motor is this old mower worth. The fuel tank is full of rust. Is it going to leak ? Only one of the four wheels holds air.. Will the transmission work ? I know it’s somewhat fun to work on these things. And I’ve restored many many mowers.. But I don’t have the patience for motors I used to. I think I’ll put the little guy back together and pass it on.
Before I start work on the trailer I went about how to get the registration.. No luck.. Of coarse I did not get the registration with a free trailer nor did I expect too. And preliminary searching shows BC registration could not be found anyway. I could pay to have a deeper search, which could also show nothing. but would give me the paper work to get registration in my name. OR just fix it up and get U-build registration.. easy to do if you are replacing lots of parts. but I’ll deal with that later. Check these out.
Ordered these on line … a sale . Grab em while you can.. New wheels and tires is on the need list. There is no spare so one of the ugly ones will work.
Time to separate the body and the frame: Here you can see I’ve lifted the whole trailer enough to remove the wheels. Then I got under and removed the propane lines and cut the six bolts holding the body to the frame. They were rusted bad. Then we lift the body up off the frame… then drop the frame to the ground ( no wheels) and pull it out the front. The body then gets lowered on to my trailer dolly. Wheels back on and the frame goes on the lift.
Body on dolly .. Hope it fits through my door later.
The frame is now in the shop. Isn’t the lift great.. Don’t have to get down on the floor.
The initial inspection shows no issues..none. except a dent in the front cross member.
Not a big deal.. There is only some modifications that I want. And a good paint job. Oh and rebuild the brakes and hubs. First is the rear bumper and the appendages on it. The stabilizer jacks are bent, frozen and mounted upside down ?
And those braces ! Yuk ! Out comes the cut off wheel for this mess. Those are 2″ receiver tubes.. strange. I’ll be sure to save those.
Better ! I do get why they mounted the jacks up behind the bumper.. Protection ! Anything mounted under the bumper could get wiped out .. it’s low to the ground. Now to fix up the tongue up front.
Just a few things to fix here.. Those jack mounts will have to go. And the battery box too. I’ll make a new holder going across for the battery.
All cleaned up.. Ready for new stuff. But first I focus my attention on the wheel hubs and the brakes. Even though they work I know there is rusty parts and a needed inspection of the bearings. I’ve done this many times… even have the brake removal tools. Sure enough the brake adjusters are seized and dirt, rust and even spider webs in the drums.
So every thing gets the royal treatment.. and some get paint too.
Like the backing plates , the drums and ….
The axles. I’m having trouble believing these axles are 46 years old. The ten inch brakes indicate to me that this is a 3500 lb axle. It’s pretty beefy for a light weight axle. And it just bolts on so could be easy to change out. Set aside the painted stuff to do some welding.
New battery tray, and a place to mount my wiring junction box. I also moved a couple of hooks from under the frame for a handy place to hang the safety chains when not in use. The paint is dry on the wheel parts.. so I resembled the brakes.
They worked ok before but now should work better.. I set them aside while I clean and paint the frame. Easier to handle the frame without the added weight of the drums.
Here’s the frame flipped over.. I always paint the underside first.
Another view. We’ll let this cure for a few days. Remember I removed the bad stabilizer jacks .. I really want to have the stabilizers. They are important for these trailers because they are so light. If you go to the rear of the trailer inside it will tip up if not hooked up. So I had a newer pair.
These tabs allow the jacks to be removed very easily. I also plated the bumper ends. Won’t need the sewer hose storage and don’t want them full of crap.
Well back over and finished the paint. No more ugly green on this part of the trailer. Instead it’s shiny black.
Today was finishing up the frame. I ran the brake wires through the frame to the front. Nice, tidy and protected. And they terminate at the 7 pin junction box.
Did not have to drill holes in the frame … just came out the front of the tube. I love these boxes.. for $8.99 they are great, easy to connect the wiring and weather proof too. Gets a bit crowded when all the different wires come together.
New jack installed .. 5000 lb over kill , but I like these and they go on sale for $25. And it’s nice how the handle folds out of the way.
That’s it for the frame.. Brakes adjusted.. bearings greased… time for the next page.. Total invested so far is under $400. Mostly those fancy new wheels.
I would love to get working on this trailer.. But the John Deere 1420 is in the shop and we are still fighting with it… Oh well but I did remove the broken lower hinge on the door. Sorta fixed it and back on. Not sure if you can get these or not. But it turns out it’s not special like the Boler / Scamp door hinges. A good stainless marine hinge will work.. may even be better. So I’ll order those.
Let’s talk about the Trailer :
Looking up the history of the Surf-Side, and using the build sheet info.. it’s determined that this is a 1976 trailer. Built in Winnapeg Manitoba. The model is a TM14. The GVW is 1650 lbs. Making this trailer very light. There is the same torsion suspension as a Boler. The frame looks a bit stronger and rises up at the tongue giving a better 14 inch hitch height. Also the tongue is narrower and a longer reach making it less likely to be damaged by “jack knifing”. As you can see below.
However seems someone found a different way to do damage to the left front corner ?
Fortunately it’s fiberglass and the body work is easy …and doesn’t have to look like this butcher job ! While we are talking fixes.. The roof has sagged down .. Most likely snow load.. and made worse by the missing kitchen cabinets. Just like the Boler those cabinets help support the roof. So that will be fixed when I build new cabinets. Aside from removing the green paint the windows need repairing too. Now more will show up I’m sure, but those are the obvious ones.
And too bad these are broken.. But I want LED lights.. so new ones for sure. Notice the back-up lights. Ya this trailer has brakes too and the plug WAS a 7 pin.. (missing) But the wiring is still there. A bit overkill for an under 2000 lb trailer.. But I will keep it this way.
And here’s a look under the trailer.. Looking toward the rear. This is cool ! the bottom is molded as part of the bottom half … One big happy tub. No skirt hanging down like the Boler. This is so much like the new trailers are built.. Casita’s and Escape’s. Needs a bit more framing I’m thinking.
This view shows the drop in the floor where the dinette ends and the standing area starts. Interesting.. Looks like the torsion arms are trailing and up. And the brake drums are visible.
So much for brakes ! The wires are hanging down and dragging on the ground. Propane lines are seen here too. Not a fan of holes in the floor but this is probably best . All of this tells me that gutting the trailer and even replacing the floor would be very easy.
After restoring two small fiberglass trailers the Boler and the Scamp I had enough and was glad to see both gone. But I changed my mind when this one was offered to me for free.. Yes free. What can i say …I’m a sucker for an ugly trailer.. And more if it’s fiberglass. Starting from $0 is as good as it gets. Now as usual I’ll show you a photo from the web of a nice one…
Nice eh… It’s what it should look like… But then it would not be free, would it ? Nope a free one looks like this…
Oh ya someone got some free green paint and no sense of when to stop. Unless your lazy and did not have a ladder …then the roof gets left the old color. Like it did.. Sad.
Today I towed it home. Which makes it better in some respects. Neither the Boler or the Scamp could be towed home they had to be loaded on a flat deck for that trip.. This time I did not even have to put air in the tires.. But lets share the story.. or what I know anyway.
It’s presumed this trailer was given to one of our street folks. Whom had someone park it for them up one of our forest roads. CO tells them they can’t do that and have to move.. So they make a deal to park in my friends RV park… But they don’t pay the rent .. and after a few months sneak away at night. This trailer sits there locked up and waiting for them to return for the stuff they have horded in side.. Nope months go by and they are gone .. The RV park is sold and the new owners want it gone.. Who ya gonna call ! Rob. Now I’m going to say the above story plays out everywhere. The bleeding hearts say these folks need help , community support and a place to live.. sure so long as it’s free and there are no rules. And what’s up with all the stuff ! Just wait till I start going though the STUFF in side the trailer … God only knows where it came from ?
What is the first thing to do ? YA find the floor.. Some of the stuff is good .. Here’s hoping the fridge works.. but I’ll not hold my breath. I need to find a tag or plate with info about the year or Vin number.
Found It !
Both the floor and the Vin number. Today cleaned out the whole trailer Filled my utility trailer for a dump run.
This was one of the things I was looking for.. The factory build sheet.
This was the other thing… The floor. Found a few treasures, Too much to list. But most is off to the dump. The trailer is now empty. Ya got all the proper cushions.. But they are 40 years old. Aside from a filth the trailer is in good condition. Missing the kitchen though.. BUT all the cabinets are wood and can be modified or built to whatever you want. I have sinks , stoves and another small fridge . And several bins of RV parts..
So I’m going to tarp it till I get to working on it . And then I’ll start a Page 2
And so a few parts have been ordered. Anew float needle valve, gasket, and new shutoff solenoid. The last one is a pricey little thing. The bad oil has been drained and a new filter installed.
Well new oil …carb all clean and back in… still won’t start. Gone over and over the wiring , sensors and coils to try and find the problem. Cleaned all the connections. and then I found this.
One of the magnetic pick ups for the coil was bent back. So that cylinder would not fire. So I cleaned all of three of these and set the gap for the best pick up.. works all three plugs are working.. But the motor still refuses to start. SO I’m kicking the John deere to the curb for awhile.. Outside all covered up waiting for my patience to come back.
Jan 2021 … Update:
A friend of mine wanted to take the John Deere over to his shop and see if he could have luck with it. And he did .. got it running ! So I went over and helped him put some of the bits and pieces back on.. He bought a battery and we took it for a run outside.
Proof.. So I’m fixing up the seat.. The bottom cushion is at the upholstery shop.. All the hydraulics work perfectly.
Arriving in the shop a tad early for winter.. however you wouldn’t know that when you look outside. We got a pre – winter blast of snow.. about 4 inches. Enough to play havoc on the roads and catching us off guard. I came home from camping early and avoided all the problems.. Some were not so lucky. Any way back to the JD.. It was a trade.. Back in 2018 I bought home a Cushman front deck commercial mower. Powered by a Kubota Diesel motor.. It’s the diesel that made it all worthwhile and taking a chance. Did not know if it would run .. needs a bunch of work.. But it came with a few attachments .. snow blower , mower deck and a scoop bucket?
And so I made a trade for this …..
He wanted the snow blower more than I did.. But I think I did ok. Ya it looks good .. But ! back in August Dave and I made a trip down to Richmond to pick up two things from the auction for the boss.. this was one of them.. Bought with only seeing photos … it was supposed to be a 2006… and was supposed to be a diesel.. and it was supposed to be running. NOPE! Turns out to be a 2001 and a gas motor. NOT running. So there was a settlement of sorts which I have no knowledge. No mater.
This is a F1420 model, Yanmar 28 hp GAS motor, Hyrostatic drive, 62 inch rear discharge triple blade deck with hydraulic lift . As you can see the steering column tilts , the seat has long travel suspension. Commercial duty. There was “City of Richmond” decals still visible.
Dave and I tinkered with the motor when we got it home this summer.. It was almost seized.. we managed to get it turning… and very briefly had it running. so long as we poured fuel down the carb. Fairly sure that water got in through the open air cleaner and into the cylinders rusting the rings. There is water in the oil and the carb needs a good cleaning …for sure the fuel shutoff solenoid is rusted shut . Bad fuel won’t help either. And the first thing is to get it running .
AH HA ! tucked into one of those document tubes used on trailers.. Look what I found.. Proof ! 2014 wasn’t that long ago. This puppy was roaming the parks and other grassy areas of Richmond, BC. Cast aside for newer fancy one I bet. Parked in the back lot … un loved and destined for the auction.
Look what I found !
I couldn’t for the life of me understand why there was this ring around the fuel filler. And what looked like a satellite radio antenna. So I removed the front cover from the steering / dash pod. ( needed to get to the warning lights ) And I find this all wrapped up.
GPS tracker ? nope. Looked it up.. It’s a fuel usage monitoring system. Transmits data to someones computer just to track how much fuel is being used. Seriously ! why not just keep a log book at the pump ?
Think of the money spent on installing and signing up to this tech company for every vehicle in the Richmond fleet … wow. I’m sure these aren’t free.. Why not remove it to use on another machine. Waste waste..
So let’s start a new page as we get to healing the motor….