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Hey all,

Figured I'd share what I'm up to with, Bonnie, my new toy / winter project for the other 2nd gen enthusiasts out there who like this stuff. I bought her sight unseen from a charity auction, and she was provided by the Car Donation Foundation.

She arrived just as the big storms Thursday were coming in, but luckily the heavy rain waited until I was in the driveway. My delivery driver wasn't the easiest to understand, but he was a really good guy. She fired right up, sounded great, and drove off the trailer without any fuss.

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First looks around, she was smoked in, but not too much. There's no typical round burns in the driver or drinker's side door panel, thankfully. Just some ash in the visors. I think the radio cost half what I paid for her... Someone hauled some trees in the back and left a ton of the longest pine needles I've ever seen... The fluids all are in a great range and aren't suspiciously off color, smelly or clean like they're hiding a problem.

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First off, let's remove what I feel like is an entire tree's worth of junk...

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Much better!

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Let's get her in the garage to see how much weight reduction there is...

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Overall, the back is a little worse than I expected and the front is better. It almost seems like she was parked on a hill for a while. The muffler and rear axle aren't surprising to me having owned a 95 T&C several years ago. The brake lines aren't inspiring much confidence...

But, that was it for Bonnie's first day. A good cleaning and look around.
hmm ! old betsy has a younger sister. those pine needles usually come from the high country ? do you know what part of the country ? with some of that heavy corrosion i i think it was somewhere they used road salt ? old betsy is like that all over. top and underside. the one think i'll point out to you right away is if that van has been sitting for a while ? is you pointed out it has the 3 litre engine it doesnt have a regular timing chain. it just has a big rubber band and the engine is zero tolerance meaning if you're driving it at any speed and it breaks ? guess what ? not good news. so be sure not to drive it much before you look at that. so onward
 

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Here's a couple extra pictures I forgot to add.

Here's the fuel lines... I mean they work, but they're lookin a little crusty.

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This one's a bit blurry I see, but some of what I started with the rust converter stuff is visible here, and especially the rear axle. I reckon if this Rustoleum I'm using is crappy and doesn't work, at least that's a pretty easy place to spot problems without climbing underneath. I did wire wheel and clean the painted spots, but the can ran out on me in the middle of doing this little spot.

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and you replaced that back axle. so did you have to remove the shackles and everything to do that ? the tube looks new where did you find that ? i figures our last spring my axle had i big hole in it about a foor away from the drivers side so i just patched it up and luckily mits holding better than i thought it would. and looking yours from this anble you have to watch the corrosion on the gas tank the walls are pretty thin and if you start scraping rust off with a wire brush it will develope a leak. so a heads up there to. as far as the gas tank i've had to patch it every summer now. what i do is just use a rag to wipe the rust off the tank and use undercoat to seal it the best possible and if it develops a leak then i patch it back up again. so onward
 

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The brakes are the only major problem with Bonnie so far. One of the tanks on the brake cylinder was totally empty, so I filled it up and gave the pedal some pumps. It got stronger, but weaker again. Probably air right? Nope... I know it might be hard to see in the picture, but there's a tiny leak here.

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The rear brakes on both sides look pretty good, though.

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I'm planning to replace a lot of these lines. Running and driving is great, but being able to stop is more important.

I was also starting to grind and spray the rust converter at the back end. I didn't really get pictures of that, because it's miserable... lol. When I got Bonnie, jacked up and the rear wheels off, I found a spot I never really knew about before behind the wheel well on the driver's side where the fuel tank filler tube is. I believe I've seen a few other vans rot from there, so I cleaned it out good and sprayed the rust converter and some primer in there.

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Next job though is probably replacing the brake lines at least up to that distribution block thing. That'll take me a few days, but I'll get some pictures. :p
if theres a leak in a brake line you're wasting brake fluid it wont pump up again until you fix that leak
 

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The past few days, I wanted to figure out why she doesn't want to stop and start dealing with the weight reduction.

I was planning to use this as a test patch, since it really isn't visible most of the time, but I quickly got impatient and started working on the bottoms of the doors, too.

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I'm sure there was a better way to do this, but... I don't overthink anything, and *** everything

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The drinker's door and slider have a bunch of rot where the metal was folded over, but the bottoms of the doors are still perfectly straight.

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I'm grinding them with a wire wheel, scrubbing them with a wet S.O.S pad, cleaning them off with water / brake parts cleaner, and once dried I'll paint them. I'm trying this Rustoleum rust converter stuff. I've never tried it before, but I reckon it's worth a try before shelling out the money for POR15.

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The color I got is... similar, but not quite right. It was the closest thing I could find at O'rilley's. I don't really care, honestly. As long as it's close and not rusting.

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Bonnie's roof was also rusting through in a bunch of spots, so I started working on those, too.

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I'm spraying them with primer and the final color now, so we'll see how they look soon.
paint color is the least of your worries at that stage of the game
 

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The brakes are the only major problem with Bonnie so far. One of the tanks on the brake cylinder was totally empty, so I filled it up and gave the pedal some pumps. It got stronger, but weaker again. Probably air right? Nope... I know it might be hard to see in the picture, but there's a tiny leak here.

View attachment 69806

The rear brakes on both sides look pretty good, though.

View attachment 69807

I'm planning to replace a lot of these lines. Running and driving is great, but being able to stop is more important.

I was also starting to grind and spray the rust converter at the back end. I didn't really get pictures of that, because it's miserable... lol. When I got Bonnie, jacked up and the rear wheels off, I found a spot I never really knew about before behind the wheel well on the driver's side where the fuel tank filler tube is. I believe I've seen a few other vans rot from there, so I cleaned it out good and sprayed the rust converter and some primer in there.

View attachment 69809

Next job though is probably replacing the brake lines at least up to that distribution block thing. That'll take me a few days, but I'll get some pictures. :p
when working on the brake lines or fuel lines u can avoid flaring them by using compression fittings if u run into a length issue. only use the flare ends at the wheel cylinder or the junction block. and in the back if the line is a little long u can put a little bend in the line to shorten it. and u dont have to use a bend tool u can bend it by hand just use alittle patience but u cant bend it too tight of a bend either so onward
 
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