I got the pieces for the Checker’s battery box from sendcutsend earlier this week. Laser cut out of 1/8″ Stainless. Everything fit together really well and was easy to get it tacked together with the tig welder as the tolerance and fitment of the panels was really good.
And here is the test fit inside the trunk of the Checker. Still need to finish that rust repair before I can install this :)
The battery will need to be relocated on the Checker to the trunk. Not enough room up under the hood with all the turbo and A/C equipment. I will build a box to fill the area where I cut out the spare tire wheel well…. once I fix all the rust in the trunk sheet metal.
The box itself is 12″ wide, 21.5″ long, and 8″ deep. Same depth as the gas tank. Parts will be lasered out of 1/8″ 306 Stainless and then tig welded together. I designed a double flange system so the box will squeeze the sheet metal. Hopefully this will be more then strong enough keep the trunk sheet metal from ripping apart!
Now this box is bigger then the group 21 battery I am planning on running. Perfect place to store tools and extra fluids!
The leaf spring hangers turned out great looking. The bolt / threaded part was plated with zinc and the hanger section was painted with the AG111 chassis paint system. Should last longer then the rest of the Checker.
I also ordered replacement bolts and nuts for the suspension. Part links to McMaster below.
I should get one of those inflatable paint booths someday! This is my first paint project with my new 3M Accuspray Paint Gun that my Mother and Father gave me for Christmas. Should do a “review” of it at some part. Maybe when I try to paint something other then thick chassis paint?
Worked on the rear leaf springs on the Checker today. This is what the brackets and leafs looked liked after coating with Metal Prep and using a brass wire wheel to remove the Metal Prep crust. Metal Prep is a zinc phosphate based solution that promotes adhesion to the primer and protects the surface by leaving a thin zinc coating behind. Primer can go directly over it if its not all flaky.
Now the rear leaf spring hangers have welded in bolts where the bushings ride. The bushings will just rub through the paint eventually so I am going to zinc plate the bolts and threads. Will zinc plate the leaf spring center bolt as well.
This is my simple zinc plating setup. Chemicals are from Caswell. I use inexpensive sous vide heaters to agitate and keep the chemical baths at proper temperatures.
Here is the leaf spring hangers and leaf spring center bolt before plating. These have been blasted with 220 grit in the vapor hone, treated with Metal Prep, and then wire wheeled.
Now I only want to plate the bolt and threaded section of the hangers and then paint the rest of it. I used a special 3M tape (3M 470 Electroplating tape) to mask off the sections I didn’t want to plate.
Here is one of the parts in the electroplating bath.
Here is the leaf spring center bolt after zinc plating and black chromating. The hangers are currently having the rust sealer painted on the none zinc’d parts.
This isn’t completed but the general shape and assembly for the Cat Feeder Unreminder is going to look like this. A 3D printed enclosure with a grove in it that the solar panel slides into. Then the PCB fastens to the front which captives the solar panel. Then on the PCB there will be soldered threaded inserts where a plexi front panel will fasten to.
To get new leaf springs for the rear suspension on the Checker, I would have to get some custom made. For some reason, no one stocks leaf springs for a 1965 Checker! Instead of getting custom leaf springs made, I am going to rebuild the original set. If we are to believe the odometer, the Checker only has 56k miles on it which means these leaf springs have a lot of life in them yet.
First we need to disassemble the springs, I used a clamp to hold the pack together while I used an impact gun to remove the leaf spring center pin. Once the leaf spring clamps where removed, I slowly opened the clamp which allowed the pack to be taken apart without an explosion of energy.
Between some of the leafs, I found some old canvas like material that was soaked in a moly/graphite type grease. These are probably the original leaf spring sliders.
Removed the old bushings with probably one of the first tools I ever bought. A ball joint / u-joint removal clamp. This tool is about to kick the bucket ever since I replaced the ball joints on the wagoneer (will have to post that adventure in the future).
The leaf springs did not fit into my vapor hone machine but I decided to send it anyways.
Here is halfway done with the main leaf.
One leaf completely blasted.
The leaf will get painted with the AG111 chassis paint system.
To replace the bushings I found these parts that look to be correct.