Project: Iron Mullet

Discussion in 'Ranchero Pics' started by Iron Mullet, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,032
    Location:
    Mchenry , IL
    awesome job! I don't think I would have had the patience to clean the tank like you have done. great photos and play by play of how your progressing. :D
     
  2. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks, steerhead. I used the POR-15 sealer, which I understand to be similar to Eastwood's. I have gotten a little behind on updates, the sealer has actually been curing for 4 days now.

    Thanks, Dan. I enjoy sharing the fun and appreciate ALL the feedback!
     
  3. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    A total of 5 muriatic acid washes did the trick:

    [​IMG]

    One trick is to throw a chain in there with a couple gallons of diluted acid and roll it around a while. That did pretty good, but this time I used a handful of 1/4" nuts and a bunch of sheet metal shards. I guess the sharp edges of the metal bits scrubbed the rust a little better, because that was what it took to fully clean the tank. A couple of the metal shards are still in the tank in the above picture, but I made sure to remove them before continuing.

    Meanwhile, progress was moving slowly on the hitch. I cut out a bracket template using a manila folder, and drove to a level spot for some measurements. It wasn't quite right, so I made a change and did it over again... and again... and again. The fourth template was the one, and was then replicated in 1/4" steel plate:

    [​IMG]

    I cut out one more of those brackets and a couple cross members, then checked the fit before tacking them in place:

    [​IMG]

    Added the receiver and pulled the assembly out:

    [​IMG]

    Now it's starting to look like a hitch! Gussets and two more brackets for the holes on the bottom of the frame rail to follow...
     
  4. Giska1

    Giska1 In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    2,501
    Location:
    Arendal, Norway
    You doing a great job, the tank is clean and the hitch looks proffesional, very nice :D
     
  5. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks, Giska1!

    With the tank clean, I was comfortable moving on to the final preparation step. A treatment of "Metal Ready" (phosphoric acid) is said to 'neutralize' the rust, etch the metal, and leave a film of phosphorus behind. Hopefully, the first two aren't necessary after all the muriatic acid. The phosphorus is supposedly helpful to the sealer's adhesion. I goofed up a little here and left the solution in too long, and ended up with more phosphorus coating than I'm comfortable with:

    [​IMG]

    I rinsed with hot water and did some good, but next time I will stick the 30 minutes each surface instead of all day...

    Finally, with the tank completely dry, it was time to throw in the sealer. Here is the sealer during a progress check:

    [​IMG]

    ... and what it looked like the next day:

    [​IMG]

    It has now been a week, and all seems well. The real test will be filling it with fuel!

    The tank interior is as far as it will go. The exterior will get paint at the same time as the hitch, so now attention is focused on completing the hitch. Gussets were cut, including safety chain provisions, and side brackets fabbed and tacked in place:

    [​IMG]

    Also, suspension parts were ordered after being discussed here. Thanks again for all the input!
     
  6. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

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    5,725
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    wow, once again nice work!
     
  7. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    Good to see you making progress!
     
  8. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks HuevosRancheros and Ribald1!

    My workplace has "use 'em or lose 'em" vacation days, and I was about to lose 'em. So I took my traditional garage vacation, spending every minute in work clothes with dirty hands. It's becoming my favorite time of year! Here's the update:

    The hitch still needed some finishing touches before sandblasting and paint. I wanted gussets, and the people who will be driving behind me will want a place for my safety chains:

    [​IMG]

    It would also need a place for the trailer connector. There are brackets available, but they leave the connections exposed to the elements. Time to build a housing!

    [​IMG]

    The faceplate was tacked onto the front, and the assembly added on the driver's side of the hitch receiver. The air shocks would need a place for the Schrader valve, so a little bracket was made and added next to the connector housing.

    The suspension components arrived, so I yanked out a spring for a quick comparison:

    [​IMG]

    This picture was also posted in the Towing Suspension thread. There was a valid concern of ending up with a jacked up rear end resulting from the above difference. Here is the result:

    [​IMG]

    I'm OK with the slight rake, although a slight pull to the right has been aggravated by the additional weight transfer. I guess it needs alignment either way, and is scheduled to follow the procurement of new tires...
     
  9. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,032
    Location:
    Mchenry , IL
    You are doing an awesome job on that ride! I really like how you did the hitch that bad boy looks nice and strong.
     
  10. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks, Dan! It may be a little overkill, but I won't have to think about it while hauling.

    The tank, tank straps, filler neck, and hitch all got sandblasted and painted with POR15.

    [​IMG]

    With the painting completed, the handful of days required for curing allowed me to turn my attention to the car trailer. I have some upgrades planned, including a new coupler, axles, and the addition of brakes. I prefer to flip the trailer over for the fitment of new suspension and axles, so I finally have a good excuse to build the gantry crane I've been drawing up over the last few years. I know, I know... crazy, long way around, just call some friends over... these are the kinds of things I get into on vacation. 'nuff said.

    I took a trip to pick up some scrap metal for the crane, and had the opportunity to check the ride height with a known weight in the car. This is 361 lbs. of steel hanging out the back, causing the rear end to droop slightly. The air shocks should give me the adjustability needed with a slightly heavier tongue weight during towing.

    [​IMG]

    The painted parts eventually cured, and the fuel tank posed for a picture before installation:

    [​IMG]

    The fuel tank also got a new sender gasket, proper fuel filter, and float. The entire tank project cost about $75 and a few years off my life.

    The air shocks, fuel tank, and hitch were all installed last Saturday night. The tank was fueled up on Sunday and has been giving good service all week. Below is a look at the hitch bracket and housing with their installed components:

    [​IMG]

    The air shocks have been holding a steady 46psi for several days. The connector is doing a great job just sitting there with no wires!
     
  11. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,725
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    Great! the ride height looks just right to me...
     
  12. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,037
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    Great job! but just a note to remember POR 15 Needs to be top coated if exposed to sunlight..not to be as ass but its really not a good choice of covering on fresh clean metal the rust helps it bite so to speak. I would have shot the hitch with some 2 part epoxy or Zerorust...

    Looks like a lucky somebody has a plasma cutter...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2010
  13. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks, 5.0. I debated not top coating the tank because its pretty well hidden, but everything did get one coat of the POR-15 "Black Kote". I would love to have an HVLP gun, but am still using a brush for this. No worries on the fresh metal comment, before I built the blast cabinet I had a few POR-15 failures for that very reason. The sandblasted surfaces seem to make it a lot happier by giving the "tooth" that paint needs.

    I meant to mention this in the update; I haven't been too thrilled with the finish of the two POR-15 top coats I've used (Chassis Coat Black and Black Kote). The UV sensitive base always looks better, and its disappointing to cover it up. I expect spraying would help!

    You got me on the cutter, that thing is a crazy tool.
     
  14. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Iron Mullet gets new kicks!

    The car trailer has been the focus for the last few weeks, but I found some time to play with car shoes:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Goodyear Wrangler Radials 235/75-15. Barely fit.

    My first choice were Michelin LTX Radials, but they were a bit pricey. The Goodyear tires won't go as many miles, but both sets would dry out long before this car gets close to any tread wear issues. One concern with the Goodyear tires was wet traction, but I have found it to be sufficient. Hopefully it won't go away after the tires have a year or two in the elements.

    All in all, I'm happy with the new look. It's ugly, but the looks fit my intentions to use the car like a truck and do some heavy lifting. Still on the short list is a brake controller, wiring, trans cooler, and to FIX THE HORN!!!
     
  15. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,037
    Location:
    Prunetucky California
    Ditch the wheel well molding and add some poverty caps, it will look fine
     
  16. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

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    5,725
    Location:
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    :D:D
    and trim rings with the poverty caps!! :D
     
  17. Iron Mullet

    Iron Mullet In Third Gear

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Central Florida
    "Poverty caps" sound kind of dressy. I feel the bare rims are an expression in the style of "crash derby". I've been looking at embellishments for the front end and have noticed that Police Interceptor push bars look a lot like the General Lee's bull guard. Just sayin...

    On the other hand, I do like dog dish hubcaps. Also, the passenger side is missing the rear fender trim, so taking them all off would at least be consistent.

    Just in case anyone is getting any bright ideas, curb feelers are out of the question.
     
  18. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,725
    Location:
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    durn! and I know Carl had such HIGH hopes! :p
     
  19. Giska1

    Giska1 In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    2,501
    Location:
    Arendal, Norway
    Hmmmm and the white script inwards, he he you can sell the wheel well mouldings, I know a guy here that needs one in front, don't remember which side though:confused:
     
  20. Dan the ranchero man

    Dan the ranchero man MODERATOR Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,032
    Location:
    Mchenry , IL
    I like how those tire "FILL" the wheel wells. I was wondering if you have any issues with the front tires rubbing/scraping while turning. If you have seen my ranchero/montego pictures you will see that I do need larger tires.
     

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