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Thanks for the pictures/suggestions - I probably need to pull the carpet / plastics from the interior before welding it in from the outside. I need to figure out where to stop...
 

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The wagon headlights were terrible, so I replaced them with the clear 'Euro' aftermarket ones, and even with higher output bulbs, they were still bad. So... I had a pair of 3 inch high/low beam projector lights, a hole saw, and too much free time.
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Finally got rid of the 18" wheels that I hated from the moment I put them on. They looked so good on everything else during my research, lol.

After much more research I went with JEGS 15x8 SSR Star (Vision wheel with JEGS on the center cap) wrapped in 255/60-15 Cooper Cobra GTs. Rides so much better and no more scraping inner fender bolts.







 

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My Zeus, all you gents put me to shame. All I did this week was remove her custom California Car Cover, a little bit of California car duster touch ups, put it in a warm wash, and put the battery in for a startup and gentle excersise now that snow is finally gone from the Great White North. This has given me lots of ideas though!
 

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Today I replaced the turn signal switch that broke a couple months ago. They worked but wouldn't cancel on their own when making a left turn. That function is handled by little springs and one of them broke.



As an added bonus while disassembling the upper column to access the switch I found the reason that my Air Bag light has been flashing on and off. Someone has been in there before and failed to properly route the wiring for the clockspring when they put it back together. Steering wheel lock assembly rubbed through one of the wires.



Fixed the wire and put it all back together correctly and now that light is out and the system functions properly.
 

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Today I replaced the turn signal switch that broke a couple months ago. They worked but wouldn't cancel on their own when making a left turn. That function is handled by little springs and one of them broke.
For the next guy:
Dorman
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Turn Signal Return Springs
Application Summary:
Buick 1998-76, Cadillac 1999-76, Chevrolet 2001-69, GMC 1999-73, Oldsmobile 1998-76, Pontiac 1998-76
 

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Did some tweaking on the governor in the trans- it was hanging onto second gear too long. It's better, but still not where it needs to be.
Finally decided that the single chamber wannabe Flowmasters needed to go. Went to Pull-A-Part and grabbed some Chrysler 300 mufflers and fired up the welder. It is, well, quiet. Maybe too quiet, but at least it is no longer obnoxious and the radio actually sounds pretty good, now that I can hear it :)
I came up with a solution to the Crown Vic aluminum driveshaft that I will post in the thread about it.
 

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Sandblasted the underbody from the back doors to the back bumper - about 80% done, then can move to the frame.

No pictures, but sore arms/shoulders...
More sandblasting - Almost done enough, just a few areas by the back bumper and body mounts to clean up, then to start painting. Some before/after pictures





After wire wheel'ing




After Sandblasting - It's amazing how much rust a knotted wire wheel leaves behind.








Also got a new rim in to evaluate. They're the closest thing I could find to the 22" Esclade rim I've shown earlier, but in 5 bolt and 20" so no adapters/spacers required. I like the look, I wish they were better quality - lots of blemishes and poor chrome coverage, etc.





Just for fun, the original 15" Roadmaster centercap kind of fit in place of the one that comes with the wheel so I took a picture of that. This isn't the solution, but it needs something.




Also came up with a good hitch design that I really like - Will share more details once that comes to be.

Good progress this weekend - hoping to make a lot more progress next weekend too!
 

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What did I do? I bought it! I've been out of the wagon game for about 2 years and couldn't stay away. New to me is this 94 I found on cl. Far from perfect but its a good start and A/C works! My last wagon never worked and I had that as a daily for 7+yrs. Only things I've done so far are add the tt2s and black out the b&c pillars. Ill need to do the water pump since its leaks and the opti while I'm at it.
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This week I built a hitch. I considered buying one as well as repairing/modifying the one that was on the car, but due to the ~2" body lift, I decided that it would be better if I just made my own from scratch. I'm pleased with how it turned out, but it took a lot more time than I expected.

I started with a 6' piece of 2x3x1/8 box tube and cut a notch out to match the angle of the frame...








Once that was welded up and cut to length (35" overall length, 13.75" from the back to the 8 degree bend and the front narrowed from 3" to 2.75" for the last 2"), it was slid in the frame rail and the mounting bolt locations were marked out. Most of the holes already existed, but I added a few so there are 6 in each side of the frame (3 on bottom and 3 on the inside). As shown above, I drilled a hole in the box tube smaller than the corners of the flange nuts and pressed them in with a vice, then proceeded to TIG weld around the perimeter.




Two main ideas with the flange nuts - Spread the load out on both the frame and box tube as well as create a ~1/8" gap between the two as well. Hopefully this will allow crap to wash through rather than collect and rust out. I have no delusions that I'll be able to prevent it from getting in there, just hoping it can get back out to reduce the damage it causes.

Below is the finished tube and it's installation - rinse, lather and repeat on the other side. The hitch frame is pulled to the bottom and inside of the car frame rails as that's the only accessible location for the mounting bolts. Notice the two extensions and the shortened end (bottom of the below picture). I didn't have a good way of figuring out how long of a piece I could fit inside the frame rail with the 8 degree bend so it was trial and error on the first one.










Connecting these two together coming in the next post...
 

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Now that I have two reinforcements/extensions in the frame rails, I need something to connect a receiver tube to. The factory bumper mounts were ~4.875" long so a length of 5x5x3/16 box tube was ordered to fill the gap and provide a decent structure without weighing a ton.



There was plenty of room height wise and I wanted to keep the receiver as high and forward as possible.


The master plan :)


Locations of the 2x3 box tube were laid out and then cut out with radius corners for a nice fit.








The 2x3 box tubes were run all the way through the 5x5 box tube for strength and the aforementioned clean out capability so crap doesn't get trapped and can get flushed/washed out.




Once tacked in place on the car, the whole assembly was removed and welded out on the bench, inside and out.


Ok, starting to come together now...just need to mount the bumper on the 5x5 box tube. The bumper is held on by M8x1.25 screws so 8 of these were drilled, pressed and perimeter welded. The bumper is a heavy awkward piece so I welded on some assembly tabs to generally locate it and allow some side/side movement if necessary. The up/down is fixed by the mounting holes and there's just no room to move it up/down.


The upper holes are not used due to the body lift and there being nothing behind them so they are used for the assembly tab. Just a slight lift and the bolts screw right in.


Similar situation at the bottom - two more bolts in the lower flange so it's more/less factory mounting, just shifted up a couple inches :). I had to do a little massaging to get a socket on the lower bolts.


After that it went pretty quick - Center and weld the receiver in with a chain loop, throw the bumper and bumper cover on and it's pretty much done except the wiring and some sort of finish (painting/plating - I don't know yet).








This is a 6" rise ball mount (borrowed from my other car) just clears the tailgate when swung open, but will hit for sure with a trailer attached so will likely end up with a 4" rise one.


That's all I did to my wagon this week - doesn't seem like much but is a big step in getting this thing on the road! Next week, figure out where/how I'm going to locate the trailer wiring connector and get that welded in, then take it all apart for paint/plate. Probably finish media blasting the frame/body behind the bumper and start painting. Between coats of paint I should be able to tear into the 8.5" 10 bolt and give it a good once over, replace all the bearings/seals/brake lines, etc and get it ready for installation.
 

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Badazz for sure. Great job!
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Finished up the fabrication part of the hitch by building the trailer plug wiring connector mounting. It could have been a simple $4 bracket and a couple screws, but what fun would that be :)?

I started with a piece of 3x3x1/8 box tube and cut a triangle out of the sides, then folded it up to make about a 1x3 box tube on the front side.




Welded a cover plate on the 3x3 end...


Drilled a few holes...


And there's a relatively protected and weather resistant plug mount










Get it tacked in place so there's decent clearance for attaching safety chains and removing the pin, then weld it up.








Probably one of my better welds, never to be seen...


Now all the cutting/welding/drilling/etc is done, time to get it finished. I'm thinking of getting it hot dip galvanized - Has anyone done this or know anything about the pros/cons of doing it?

After that I turned my attention to the rear inner fender wells where there was some minor rust damage. Of course it always goes deeper than it appears. Cut out the rusty stuff until there was decent metal remaining




Made some tagboard templates and cut them out of 20 gauge steel...




I'm slipping them between the inner and outer layers of the body sheet metal and sealing/retaining them in place with windshield urethane. Probably not technically proper/correct, but we'll see how long it lasts.


Next weekend - clean up all the sandblasted areas and get a first coat of paint put on - Chassis Saver Aluminum. While that's drying, pull the 8.5" rear end apart, for new seals/bearings/visual inspection - Hopefully all is well in there. Run some new brake lines along the axle and get ready to re-install. Then put a coat of Monsta-liner on as a final coat before starting to re-assemble.
 

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I finally got a list of things done on the Starship. My blower motor decided to melt a fuse, and scarred the fuse block. I pulled the dash, and rewired it so that I have a remote fuse by the control module. My speakers all died, and I had to replace them. The "custom" mounts were deteriorating, so I made new ones out of plastic. Another project was re-calibrating the speedo with the electronic pulse modifier. I got it right on the third try. Now I get to work on the White Elephant...AC, and high idle. I have a list of "want to do" items as well.
 

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I swapped the open diff peg leg carrier for a limited slip. It should have been a straight forward swap, but the bolt holding the spider gear pin was broke and it took a lot longer to get the old diff out than it should have. Two wheel traction for the win!
 

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I put a Z28 cluster in my 91. Nearly done, just tackling electrical gremlins.
 
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