2005 LJR Flame Red

Busy morning.

Removed the front seats, degreased the whole inside of the tub. I wire-wheeled the driver seat floor and applied Eastwood Rust Encapsulator Plus. I tagged the steel bumper on my F150 while I was at it... no photos of that, though.

Wire wheel:






Here's the tub after degreasing:


Oh, and the obligatory B-pillar photo for @Granite, pre-degreasing:


Degreased the rear seat brackets:


I completely removed the subwoofer from the console. I have no intention of using it. I'd rather have more storage, so I'm wondering how to get that in place of the sub. I'll upgrade the audio next year, maybe:


Here's my organization scheme for hardware as I remove it. Cutting little slots in a box lets me organize stuff, and if things get really crazy, I can label the hardware with a sharpie. My younger brother taught me that one...


When I woke up this morning, I had every intention of painting the whole tub. I don't think I'm going to do that. I'll do the driver side floor and probably the bed; The wheel wells look really good, and there's no rust or bare metal anywhere else to worry about.

More to come tomorrow, probably.
I got back to it after a break. I'm happy I got the paint applied today, because it means I can start on insulation early tomorrow.


I don't remember what thread on here turned me onto Rustoleum's Regal Red. It's not an exact match, but it's good enough to protect under carpet. I painted the driver side floor and bed; the wheel wells are original Flame Red.
That paint work is looking really good man! (y)
Thank you! I'm not a painter. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I got up early, too early, to try to wrap things up enough so it would be drivable by noon (which is in 15 minutes). My kid has a school thing and we're picking up his friend on the way.

I'm doing a photo dump because we have to leave shortly... I did insulation, BedRug all around, and 1-1/2" seat risers. I'm loving the added visibility, but I'm really glad I didn't go higher.







The new carpet makes my stock seats look beat.
Thank you—if I were to do it over, I wouldn't cut out the carpet for the rear seat brackets as marked by the manufacturer. They were way off. In some places it required additional cutting, which is fine… but in others, I followed the lines and cut too much. You can see it best on the passenger-side bracket.

It’ll be hidden by the seat most of the time, but it’s a shame because the material was THERE and I cut it off. Ultimately, it could fit better.

There’s still some billowing in the wheel well sections. If it doesn’t settle out, I’ll probably do some trimming along the bottom edges.

Next steps are inner shift boot, attaching the new outer boot to the frame, new shift knob, and putting the console back in. Unless I get motivated to do something with the audio this summer (doubt it), I won’t do anything else with the interior this year.

Oh… I did put LEDs in the footwell and sound bar fixtures last night. I did the dual-color LEDs up top that someone else has posted about. I dig them.
I got started on the inner shift boot last night. Here is the Drake Muscle D9ZZ-7138 “installed” using yellow weatherstrip adhesive. There’s some masking tape in there temporarily to hold it in place. I opted to go without any kind of mechanical attachment like staples or laces… I might do some more trimming before I squirt RTV around all the seams.


Today I’m hoping to install the console and new leather shift boot and replace the driver side half door weatherstrip.
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Here are some photos from the weekend. I'm struggling with the console reinstallation, only because of the two crappy nutserts at the rear of the console. They both spun free of the body, but were still stuck in the sheet metal. I was able to pull the driver side one out intact; the passenger side stayed in the body and took some plastic with it:


I glued the plastic back in place and it'll be hidden by the rubber cupholder mat, but I still need a good nutsert solution. I can always get a nutsert tool, but I'm wondering if something like these things from NAPA will work (in the correct size):


Aside from that, I installed new weatherstrip on the driver side half door; drilling went well enough, and I applied paint on the new holes to keep the rust at bay:


I removed the cowl and hood to try to pressure-wash the graffiti off the hood; no dice. It'll need a respray, I think. And while I was in there I took the shop vac to the cowl and down into the vent in there.

I really want to finish up the console this week. I'll probably just reinstall the subwoofer in the absence of anything else for the time being.
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I got two quotes to color match my hood yesterday... both were near $1000. Nope.

I still have that '97 hood, and I've concocted a plan. I'm going to try to install/modify the safety latch mechanism to fit the late-'97+ grille. More to come.
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OK - I installed the early '97 hood. It took maybe 45 minutes, including the time to grind off one of the hinges. Fortunately I have some spares on the shelf. The differences, from most important to least important:
  1. The hood latch is on the grille on the early '97 and on the hood late- 97-up; I have a hood latch on order. I'm fairly certain it'll bolt up if I drill a hole in the right spot.
  2. The hood pop-up spring isn't on the hood; not sure if it's missing or is on the grille on the early '97. I'm going to order & install one.
  3. I haven't checked to see if my '05 insulation will fit up to the older hood. I'm going to do that at some point.
  4. The hood strut clip is metal on the early '97 instead of plastic as on the '05. Mine's rusted, and I think it's riveted on. I'd like to get the plastic one on there. I'll investigate.
  5. The early '97 has two windshield wash nozzles; my '05 only had one. Also, the clips for the washer fluid hose are for a smaller OD hose; maybe the hose wall was thinner in '97 (?), because it fits the new nozzles firmly. I need to get more hose and a T.

The '97 Flame Red isn't a match to the '05 Flame Red, but I knew that because my half doors came off the same '97. Still... huge improvement over the custom job, IMO. I'm going to clean up the hood and apply the Rubi stickers I've had on the shelf for awhile.

Maybe you can use that eagle-eye hood to make a vented hood since it’s already going to have to be sanded down; might as well install a big louver panel and paint it.
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Maybe you can use that eagle-eye hood to make a vented hood since it’s already going to have to be sanded down; might as well install a big louver panel and paint it.
I am blown away at what a paint shop wants to respray this thing. Most of the labor (around 65% of the price) is in stripping the existing paint off. I've got a bunch of other stuff going on, but if I don't find a use for it and if I can strip it on my own, then I might do that.

But it's pretty far down the list.
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I've never owned a rivnut tool until one got dropped my porch about an hour ago... and I should have gotten one a long time ago.


The console is back in. There's what looks like some soap residue from scrubbing on it and I'll have to give it a wipe. I reinstalled the OEM subwoofer, because it's the best I've got at the moment. All that's missing is the shift boot. The glue on that is drying so I can put it back in.


I also added a steering wheel cover. The Drake inner boot is holding up great. I've been putting around and running errands in the meantime. I'm at 147,885 miles today.
I got impatient and installed the shift boot. All that means is, I’ve glued all the sides but left maybe 1/2” or so unglued in each corner.


I think it’ll be fine.

Also, I know that the OEM sound system is pretty anemic… but after riding around for a few weeks without the console sub, and then putting it back in, I realize it actually makes a huge difference.

I took the wife down a nearby trail last night, with some small mud holes and rocky spots. There was only one area that required 4HI, and that was only so I didn’t make some muddy ruts muddier and ruttier. We both enjoyed it.

I’ve done all I wanted to do in the near term. I have no other mod plans for this summer unless I stumble upon some seat covers. I’ll change the oil in the next few days and probably just seek out some deals for lift components. I have OME 2” HD springs on hand. I’m planning for a 1-1.25” BL & MML, and I’ll need track bars, shocks, sway links, bump stops, etc.
I picked up a used Smittybilt (I know, I know) XRC front bumper yesterday for a song and threw it on this morning. It's in excellent condition, but fitment was a challenge. The upper four bolts went in fine... but then the lower two wouldn't line up. I had to remove the upper bolts, pull the bumper forward 3/16" - 1/4" to find the lower threaded holes in the slots, then install those bolts. But after doing that, installing the uppers was a challenge. I was able to get two of the uppers in, and left two out. If/when I get a winch, I'll either replace the bumper by then or I'll carve out some of the slotted lower holes (front end) so that I can push the bumper farther back and close the gap. You can't see the gap in this photo as it's blocked by the hoop:


I didn't take this photo of the lower driver side hole for illustration purposes... I took it so I could try and locate the hole without laying on my back. I've still gotta work today. In any case, this is with the bumper pushed all the way back. The upper bolts mostly go in all the way with fingers, which is good because tool clearance sucks.

Just look at that sexy lizard-skin finish... :sick:


As with everything else, original parts are getting bagged and tagged:

It's a good time to bookmark this thread with some of the major used parts finds and prices, so I can revisit this later and either laugh or cry:
  • 1997 half doors with sliding uppers - salvage yard - $400
  • 1997 hood & grille - hood installed, grille in parts pile - $250
  • OME 2" HD lift springs - FB Marketplace - $150
  • Smittybilt XRC front bumper - FB Marketplace - $150
I'm still looking to sell off my hard top, soft top, and other little bits to fund some other parts purchases.
147,958 miles - regular maintenance - oil change

6 quarts of Mobil 1 10W-30 High Mileage, Purolator Boss filter

And in the today's episode of Things I Did While Waiting for the Oil Pan to Drain... I used some of the heat insulation left over from treating the tub on the intake. I figure it's free, and it can't hurt.


I cut it back around the flex connection to the airbox once I realized I probably want to keep some flexibility there. Then I "dressed" it with the "insulation" (what BedRug calls fancy silver contact paper) that came with the carpet and ended up with this:


I was trying for a nice, smooth finish... but I underestimated the stickiness of this stuff. It was hard to work with, especially around the O2 sensor and while pulling it over the valve cover. Whatever... extra air space layered in there is a good thing, if it does anything at all.