Author Topic: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"  (Read 6484 times)

stoobie

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1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« on: October 07, 2017, 10:08:06 AM »
Hello all,

I'm a previous owner of a 2001 Montero Sport. I sold it and regretted it badly. After a few years, I decided to get back in the family. During a recent trip to Costa Rica, my brother and I took a Suzuki Jimny (Samurai) all over the back roads and to the west coast; we loved that little guy. The enjoyment from a two-door 4WD (I call them "Cute 'Utes") and the yearning for a Mitsu led me to look for two door 4WD vehicles. I looked at first gen 4Runners (Love boxy style) but found a couple gems in Central Nebraska. The first one I looked at was a Flintstones Mobile--rust through both floorpans, the rockers, wheel wells, and well, everywhere. Once I test drove it though, I knew I had found the right model, just not the right car. A little over a week later, I came across this gem on Craigslist:




What a gem! What a snowplow! Got him down $1,000, which, coincidentally, is what I'll end up spending on it anyways, just in other ways.   :o

So bring him home, and the fun begins.



stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 10:15:30 AM »
First things first, the smell. You can almost see the green odor lifting out of the carpet. With his previous owner Reggie was a dog carrier, and home to various critters. In fact, the seller jokingly mentioned a raccoon really enjoyed living under it. Sure enough, as we were shaking hands, a raccoon casually walks out from underneath to head over to some brush. I think he was mad he was being evicted.

Pull up the carpet, I'm going the vinyl flooring route, and no amount of vacuuming or shampooing will do the trick; plus I'd like to see what rust awaits me. I'm already aware of the giant hole in the wheel well.



Thank the red diamonds, there is only a touch near the driver side by the hatch, a common area I assume. (And the hole...)


stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 10:21:19 AM »
The hole...



Yup. As an aircraft mechanic, I've seen the guys do sheet metal work; it's just as much art as it is precision. I figured I'd give it a shot. It's in a wheel well, so if it goes terrible, nobody will see it anyways, the main thing is get that rust out, and patch that thing up so I'm not slowly killing myself with exhaust.

"Dale, DALE! No power tools!"
"Oh, what? No, I forgot I had to brush my teeth."
"That is not your toothbrush!"
"Ah okay, well I'm almost done anyways."



Always wear your PPE!

stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2017, 10:27:31 AM »
A little grindy here, a little grindy there...



"Dammit Jim, he's got no ribs."



Better make a rib to go along the arch and side support. Using the time honored "hit it and fit it" method, I'm able to make a rudimentary rib for support.



Lines up... well enough...




stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 10:37:20 AM »
Engage the riveter(hand). If I were to show my sheetmetal comrades three of the rivets, they'd clap and pat me on the back; if I showed them a different three, they'd cry and ask what the rivet had done to me to deserve such a treatment. Here's a pic before I get the rib in, and add a few more for, uh, strength or something. Throw enough in though, and we've got a patch!



Hit the surrounding area with a brush, and some rust converter, just in case. Don't want to trap anything underneath as I apply 3M underbody coating. I assume this is Flex-Seal's more durable brother. A few coats to really seal it off, here's a picture after, plus a little dirt and water. It does seal up, but lets just all be thankful it's in a place where no one will see.


stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 10:45:12 AM »
Running to the gas station and car wash, I want to be legalish. A tail light and front turn signal light are broken and if I don't want to pay a kidney's fee off ebay, I can get them, but they'll take a while to arrive. In the meantime, while I'm pretending to know how to use sheetmetal, I'll craft my own damn tail light lens. The backup light is about all there is left, and I can recycle that.



What a finished product. Man, maybe I could make a career out of this.    ::) Okay, maybe not, but this will do for now. In case you're wondering, thats a carpet coaster on top, and part of a party tray from Hobby Lobby. Don't laugh, you'd be surprised how handy that damn place can be. Plus, it's 99.3% women there, so that's not terrible.




stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2017, 10:47:42 AM »
Where does that other $1,000 go? Well, here's one big ticket item. A new windshield. Another step closer to legality.




stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2017, 10:54:22 AM »
Bouncy seats bounce, didn't know about that until the ride home. Feels like I'm back in the desert driving a bus again. However, to help with that odor, and just for my peace of mind, lets scrub the ever-living sh 8)  out of the seats.



Now, for more fun, let's get those struts changed. The back ones put up a fight, but after enough cursing, they eventually give in.



I'm sure they were trying the best they could.

The front ones though? They were just so much fun. I couldn't make out the threads, even after hitting em with a steel brush. BRING BACK THE POWER TOOLS! Oh, and don't hit the brake line, it's a half an inch (or appx. a centimeter, since we're working with foreign vehicles here) away.


stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 11:04:39 AM »
Not pictured, was the hazard switch. I didn't have any signal or brake lights on the 120mi drive home (with snowplow attached of course) so my buddy followed me closely. So I find a video to refurbish the hazard light, and make it work! Excellent!! Oh but wait, someone has already fiddled with that, and half the pieces are gone. There was another bit of my initial price savings gone.

Rock Auto, who are always waayyyy under the local part store prices, has been getting my business. While changing struts, I pull the front tires and decide to check thickness of rotors and check pads. Hello crack in the rotor... (probably a reminder you should trailer your projects home, instead of drive them) The rotor delivered yesterday was described as "six bolt holes" and was pictured as having six holes. Unfortunately, the one that arrived, had four. So while I'm waiting for that to make it's way here, it's time to tackle oxidization.



The paint has seen better days. Oxidization, oxidization, oxidization. The body is relatively straight and clean, spare a touch of rust around one wheelwell. After a lengthy hour or two of internet research and YouTube videos, I'm now a certified paint recovery specialist--I think the certificate is in the mail or something. I pick up an instant detailing kit with clay bars, Meguiars ultimate compound, finish, and wax. I didn't know anything about clay, but I do now, it certainly works, and is one more lengthy step in the process, but ultimately, a needed one.


stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2017, 11:13:22 AM »
"Damn Reggie, what did the other guy look like??"



Some picture from the Facebook group showed a lot of pop from the grill and headlight areas. I'm going to tackle those with some trim restorer when I'm finished with the body. They're also nice to get out of the way, there's metal underneath them as well as the hood above. I strip the mirrors and whatever else I can to get out of the way.

Pardon the pictures, it's night and I'm in the garage. The first shot is the hood, after clay. Not much different, if at all than before clay, but at least I know the surface is very clean and ready for the cleaning compound.



This is really heavy oxidization. Will this stuff even work? I should add I'm using a Harbor Freight variable speed polisher because, it's cheap, and I'm already going poor.



MAPLE SYRUP AND FRENCH TOAST WOULD YA LOOK AT THAT?! Following instructions, and equipped with an hourish of internet knowledge, Reggie is starting to sparkle. I hit the hood, and driver's side, and go back in the house to get some water. When I come back out, I choke back tears. I'm at step two and it already looks a million times better. I can't believe it. The terrible picture doesn't do it justice, I swear. I'm just happy to know the oxidization is beatable.



PajEvo

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 04:09:02 PM »
Love this thread, and your tongue in cheeky approach. LOL. Rowdy Reg will soon be able to hobnob with the party set.

Keep it coming! You may not always see feedback (there's no "like" button for this software but I just threw you some KARMA! :) ) but we are following.

jaccox

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 09:14:33 PM »
I too was a novice of the wonders of Clay on paint... needless to say I'm a firm believer in it now. I couldn't believe the amounts of red clay and oxidation that came out of the paint. Then once waxed and in the right light made me turn and look every time I walked away. Love to see the threads of someone getting their new to them Mitsu and going to work. Kinda inspires the ones of us putting off work to pony up and get to it.
1999 Montero. 33x10.5x15 General X3's. 4.90's w/rear locker. Full armor. ADD idler arm. ADD 1.5" complete lift. Siberiean Bushings everywhere. 150W alternator with upgraded 4 AWG leads and grounds. 2nd Battery in the rear for camping stuffs to come.

stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2017, 02:42:48 PM »
Thanks for the kind words. This weekend has been busy, and exhausting.

While the grill was off, I went though the enviable task of picking mud and grass out of the radiator, plus straightening a few fins out. Barn finds gunna barn.



Speaking of the grille, here's before and after the "trim restorer" spray. I suppose glossy black would have the same effect but I'm trying to restore first, hide later.



Can't forget about some jams for the road. For $20, Pioneer makes a set of speakers that fit. Obviously these needed replacing.


stoobie

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2017, 02:54:22 PM »
On the way back from a friend's shop, Reggie got his first compliment: "Hey man, sweet truck! Haven't seen a Raider in forever. Pretty cool!" Pretty sure Reggie and I were both grinning the whole way home.

So here's a picture of where it was two weeks ago and we're at today, post-clay, post-ultimate compound and sans the snowplow mount. (I've got a snowplow for sale, bolts right up!)




Next week... exhaust and tires. Cleaning up red lights and inoperative gauges. Week after, vinyl interior!


Buddhaman98

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Re: 1987 Dodge Raider "Rowdy Reggie"
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2017, 02:25:10 PM »
That is a nice project you got going on! Good luck on the build and keep us posted  8)