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That is an interesting approach on the core support, I'll be interested in the final outcome.
I installed a Torsen Limited slip in my 05, I don't like the G80 because it is a grenade, it's not a posi or limited slip it is an open diff that when one wheel slips a little flyweight spins and engages a locking mechanism, these parts are small and fragile, when the wheel speed gets too fast before the lock engages it explodes. I have removed the G80's from all my trucks and installed limited slip diffs.

I like the looks of the repair panels from Mill Supply, I used rockers from Ray-Buck on my 98, the passenger side fit OK but the drivers side fit terribly, it was just a piece of sheet metal hand bent in a break and none of the lines matched the factory body lines. I had to hammer the metal flat and re-bend it myself

On the fuel pump ring, the tabs are not strong enough to move the ring, you have to hit the ring on the shoulders with a strong punch of screwdriver just ahead of the lock tabs, working your way around the ring hitting it on opposite sides back and forth like tightening lug nuts. This keeps the ring from binding against the tabs, you will also want to knock it backwards a few times then forward again this will loosen the rust that has built up between the rings. It's the same process as removing a rusted stuck bolt, it'll only move a tiny bit, then you move it back in the opposite direction, back and forth each time a small gain is made until eventually it will come loose...the back and forth motion is important to break up the rust otherwise the rust acts as a wedge between the metal parts and just trying to force it to move will break things...patience is the only thing that beats rust...and Kroil
 
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2003 Safari AWD
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Thanks for the great comments.

The driver and passenger side core supports are really solid and the welds have been left with an air gap in hopes moisture is better able to escape.

I will leave the lower connection below the rad until after I get the body lifted to better visualize my options. Perhaps something to hold external coolers.

The front bumper will eventually be a plate style with wench mount.

I like the new headlight options for the older style sealed beam lights so trying to think about getting that grill cover style to workout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Got the torsion bars out!

The good news is the front hubs and axles seem to be in great shape and been replaced at some point.

I'll get new control arms with bushings and ball joints.

Think I'll take the torsion bar assembly outside where it can dig into the grass/dirt and not slide around so much then wail on it with a full size sledge hammer.
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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Taking the transmission out and was really struggling getting the dipstick tube to pop free.

Grabbing the ball joint/ pickle fork to use as a pry tool made all the difference.

Don't hammer on it! Just pry it up. ;)

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Yeah... Lots to do but not going to obsess over it. It will get good enough.

Body work is not in my skill set but I can get close. If necessary, I'll beat the entire bottom 12" with a hammer, coat it with liner and call it "design"!
 

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Body work may not be 'in your skill set', but you obviously are not afraid of new territory.
I am jealous of your ambition and willingness to 'save' another cancer victim.
Anybody who can cut a panel on a straight line like that gets my Kudo's and appreciation for detail.
I hope it comes out well, and I am awaiting more photos, as work progresses.

OH, and the shop work space is to drool over. I can even see the foor ( does not happen very often in my shop)! That is another reason for me to be jealous.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Thanks Rod. The space really does support the willingness to try something so new/difficult by making everything related much less of a hassle.

2 more pics starting to have a look at mounting the slider beam and some options for adding a "flare" at the rear. On the driver side shown here there is just nothing left to mount this beam to so need to work that out.

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Going the rocker guard approach. If you look at the frame rails you will find the mounting holes for the OEM running boards. You can use these to attach angle to. Then run attachments out to the guards. This will eliminate the need for a solid attachment to the outer shin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Worked on the driver side door today. Cutting this off just under the hole and putting in new metal.

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New piece welded in. Left it a little long and left the curved rotten section in place to keep the proper fit up.
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cut out the curved piece and will patch that when I get to bottom door frame
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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Driver side rail supporting itself now. Got some spots in place near the door frame
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A view of the rear brace. That bracket sits where a support beam is on the back side near the leaf spring bracket.
Still plenty of welding to do but this is solid already.
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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
I got the passenger side rock slider self-supporting today. To the upper left of me is the inside rocker panel missing and galvanized 1/8" angle plug welded under the door frame. I am showing the respirator because if you also choose to weld in galvanized you need to know it is toxic. With this respirator, I still had the shop exhaust fan going and window open next to me.
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fit up not as good as I did on the driver side so some decent size gaps to bridge
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View from the front
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The inside rocker near the slider door wasn't too bad so I cut off the pinch weld and kept the rest. I cut a couple of openings for draining and drying
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This is the galvanized angle with 4 brackets
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View from the front with the spot welds in place. At this point, the beam already feels solid with no vibration or any sort of flex or wiggle.
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