Category Archives: Car Stuff

Swapping Turn Signals

I am a big fan of clear turn signals with amber bulbs/leds. Thus the first modification to the Box Truck is to swap turn signals!

Original Look

To remove the turn signals you shove a pry bar into the outside edge here.

Once the clip has release the entire turn signal lens housing pivots forward and comes out the front.

Then I pulled the bulbs out of the housing and replace them with LED equivalents.

Put the new bulbs into the new housings and then snapped the clear turn signal housings into to the bumper.

I ordered the clear turn signals off ebay. Here is what the posting looks like.

Battery Box tacked together!

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 :)

Checker Marathon Trunk Battery Box Design

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!

Leaf Spring Rebuild for the Checker: Part 4

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.

Leaf Spring Rebuild for the Checker: Part 2

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.

Here is all the parts hanging after I sprayed them with 2 coats of Mastercoat SPRAYABLE SLIM Ultimate Permanent Rust Sealer.

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.

Leaf Spring Rebuild for the Checker: Part 1

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.

I am looking into these, to replace the leaf clamps. Seems hard to find nice 2.5″ wide leaf spring clamps.

Custom Headliner for the Wagoneer

The original headliner for the Jeep Wagoneer was moldy and sagging. To fix this, I had to build my own complete headliner. I didn’t take any photos during the build but I will explain the process and materials I used.


  • Coroplast Plastic Sheeting
    • 2-4mm thickness, thinner is better
    • This is the new backer material for the headliner, it is the same material political yard signs are made out of
    • You can order this from a local sign shop
  • Foam-Backed Automotive Headliner
    • Try to find a Made in the USA material as the imported stuff tends to fall apart
  • DAP Products Weldwood Landau Top & Trim HHR Solvent Type Spray Grade Contact Adhesive
    • You want this stuff and not the kind already in spray cans
    • Need a spray gun that can handle the thick glue, I used an HVLP gun with a 2.0mm nozzle
    • You want a really good paint respirator when spraying this stuff
  • A high quality fabric you want to put over the foam
    • I went to my local fabric store and picked enough out to cover everything
    • Make sure its wide enough!


  1. Take the old headliner out of the vehicle.
  2. Remove what is left of the foam material off the old backer material. Be careful to keep the original backer in tact, it will fall apart if you let it.
  3. Use the original backer as a pattern and trace it out on the Coroplast. Orientate the Coroplast’s corrugations so they go lengthwise (Front to Back) to the vehicle.
  4. Cut out the Coroplast with a utility knife.
  5. On the parts where the Coroplast needs to bend or curve, cut through only through the top side of the Coroplast. This way it can bend or curve downwards. You might need to make multiple cuts to get the curve to match the original.
  6. Lay out the headliner foam and cut it to match your Coroplast, leaving about an inch all around the border.
  7. Spray down the contact adhesive in sections and press the headliner foam into the Coroplast. I tried to do it without stretching material.
  8. Let the contact adhesive dry.
  9. Trim the headliner foam to match the Coroplast.
  10. Lay your fabric over and trace it out, again matching your headliner and leaving about an inch all around the border.
  11. Spray down the contact adhesive in sections and press the fabric into the headliner foam.
  12. On the edge of the fabric, glue this with the contact adhesive to the backside of the new Coroplast backer. You might not be able to fold over the edge if you are using thicker (4mm) Coroplast as it wont fit into your trim pieces.
  13. Wait 24 hours for full cure and install!