Day 12 - Paint and Blades
05/29/06 - Yesterday and today, I did some of the most back-breaking and unrewarding work so far. If you look at the picture to the left, you'll see the driver side door. Among other things, the frame of the window is hand-painted (brushed) and very uneven; it's rusting in some places. I decided this would be a low-pressure place to start learning how to do bodywork. So I removed the vent window, sanded the frame of the main window with a cheap $50 orbital sander (see the picture at upper right), then masked and primed it. Unfortunately, there were a few obstacles in this project (besides my inexperience) - I only had dark gray primer, and I didn't have white paint, as I discovered when I'd finished priming! I also seriously underestimated how hard it is to control this automotive type paint; it's horribly easy to get drips and runs. Plus, the SLIGHTEST BREEZE is too much wind for this operation. It's also difficult to mask off the areas that shouldn't receive paint - lesson learned, don't use paper for this. (I got paint on the glass, soaked through the paper I was using to mask. Fortunately it was easily removed with a razor blade).
I also performed the same steps on the vent window, which actually turned out much nicer:
And finally we have the finished result. I really made a pig's breakfast of this. The vent window isn't too bad, but the main window has ragged edges where the paint layer tore as I was removing the mask. There are also bubbles and drip marks; very annoying. Part of this is because I simply couldn't remove the window - I couldn't figure out how to get it out of the door.
The good news is that while I had everything open, I adjusted the window guides and put a healthy dollop of grease on almost everything. Now it's possible to close the window one-handed; you don't need to guide it up and down with your hands. Previously, closing the window required stopping the truck and getting out to wiggle the window to and fro.
In the quick-ref maintenance section on the homepage, I mention that Anco makes a 11" blade that's almost compatible with the Scout. Here's the secret of adapting it. First, pull the metal-backed rubber piece off the Anco blade. You'll see that it has two little square nubs on the back, which you'll need to cut off so the blade will slide down the Scout's guides (The left-hand picture below has one of the nubs cut off already. The original blade is shown above for reference. Note that you do NOT need to pull the wiper arm off the Scout - I had to adjust the home position, which is why I pulled it off). You'll also need to cut off about 1/8" on either end of the rubber part on top, so that the Scout's retaining clips can fit over the thing neatly. The right-hand picture below shows a fully modified blade. Regular scissors are fine for this.