Finally had a sunny weekend! I tackled a bunch of really small stuff.
First and foremost, I finally got the rusty seat belt screw to come loose. I combined multiple methods I've read about with what some folks have suggested. I started by saturating the top side and underside with PB Blaster. Once it sat for a while, I cleaned the rust and grime off the head and the threads using a wire brush attachment for my drill. Then I used a small butane torch to heat it up from the underside. After a few minutes, I had my friend give it try with the hammer drill from above. Seeing that screw twist was sweet sweet vindication!
I purchased a new set of window frames. I've laid the old frame on the panel to show how the cut of the fabric doesn't line up with the angle of the bar. The new frame is laid above, and you ca see the angle of the bar actually matches the fabric. I'm not even sure what brand of soft top would fit on the old ones. Maybe one of those slider windows? It was also nice to let the soft window panels fully dry in the sun. It's been a very wet spring here in Oregon.
The previous owner had damaged/lost the original retainer strap. So I ordered a new set and installed them.
This is a before/after of the biggest rust patch on the body. Since it was so severe looking, I hit it with the wire brush to make sure the damage wasn't too deep or beyond repair. Luckily it looks very salvageable, and will smooth out when I start sanding the whole thing down. (Hopefully next month!)
This is a before/after of the rust in the footwell (I was mistaken earlier when I stated there wasn't much visible rust there). All I've done is scuff it with a wire brush and lay on 3 coats of Loctite Rust Neutralizer. So far the rust has turned mostly black, which means the chemical reaction has turned it into a paintable surface. Once fully converted (or sanded away in some areas) I'll lay a coat of regular Rustoleum to protect it in before laying in the new carpet.
I tracked down the leak in the footwell to the failing windshield cowl seal. I intend to replace it around the same time I replace the windshield itself due to a crack on the passenger side.
Something I haven't discussed yet is my struggle to get the alignment of the driver side door fixed. Currently you have to slam it hard to get it to close, and I thought this was due to a slightly bent hinge. However, while doing some more troubleshooting over the weekend, I realized that a good portion of the after market light bar cables run between the door and the frame. It shuts much easier after moving the cables out of the way, but there's still room for improvement.
That's all I have for now! Over the next couple weeks I plan to:
-Replace my dead battery (I think the after market electrical work is draining it slowly.... Then it died)
-Remove interior fixtures (seats, seatbelts, etc.)
-Treat/remove interior rust
-Lay new carpet (Spice carpet because I'm awful. I know it should be green. GOALS)
-Clean roll bar covers
-Install seat covers
-Sand/paint driver's side seat mount (It's got some rust)
-Install my SICK cassette deck
The existing CD player is shot, and all I really need is a Line-In. Which my fancy Sony cassette deck has <3
-Buy/Install sound bar (?) This one is a maybe. Still debating on whether I should buy the VDP after market sound bar or their rear wedge speakers. Gonna get the stereo working first before I think about upgrades.
As May approaches, I will focus more on the exterior. Removing all the bits and pieces and sanding. Lots of sanding. Definitely have a few places that will need body filler, so that'll be a fun new experience.