Footwell Repair Part 12: Wheel Well Panel Assembly (Post #659) 6/23/2024

It was a rare week that allowed me to work on the Big White Bus two days in a row. I was able to install the panel I built from the last video and post. I was also channeling my inner Christopher Walken from The Dearhunter (1978) wearing a bandana with my hair doing it’s own thing up there.

I started the day by painting the panel. The humidity and the heat kept the paint from drying quickly. So while I waited I checked out a package I ordered from eBay. I watched a video by Steve Winkelman where he had a ┬áCamp Chef Griddle on top his Coleman 425C camp stove. I HAVE A Coleman 425C! So I ordered one. I got it for something like $25.00(US). It was a steal and accomplishes a goal I’ve had. I don’t need a Blackstone…I just needed to find a griddle that fit. What luck!!!

Camp Chef Griddle FTW!!!!

It needs some clean up and will need to be re-seasoned. It came with a bag with a zipper, but the zipper was crunched. So I split the zipper with a box knife. This is going to be awesome to make fajitas on and breakfast and burritos and….

I also learned this week that I’m going to need to replace the hubs on my F150. On the advise of a friend at work, I ordered some Timkin hubs and I’ll need to replace the brake discs and pads.

My plan was to weld the panel into place with plug welds. I saw a video on Eastman where they painted everything up and then used a special drill bit to take the paint off on JUST the part you are going to weld.

I thought this was a good chance to practice for the rear floor panel. So I took a broken drill bit and ground it down to mimic the tool. Good news, it works great! Bad news, I had no way to hold these panels together while I welded them. So I decided to punt on the welding and went to the hardware store and bought some stainless steel self-tapping screws.

So the paint finally dried (enough) and I began installing the panel. I had some trouble with the holding of the panel and the driving of the screws. See my 5/16th driver didn’t have a magnet so the screw continued to fall out. It was very frustrating.

I put it together and then realized I hadn’t installed the seam sealer. So I had to take it all apart and do it twice. Also I got the seam sealer ALL over me. I had to clean up with mineral spirits.

I have the panel in place. I’m not happy with it. I also took a few minutes to look at putting all this back together. I may or may not have forgotten where everything goes. Soooooo… This is going to take a little while to get this back together. Lots of trial and error.

That’s about it. I’m going get the floor put together THEN I’m going to reassemble everything. I’m hoping this coming Saturday I’ll be able to start the floor. The shape of the panel is going to be big challenge.

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