MoabB2's Body Restoration Thread | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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MoabB2's Body Restoration Thread


Well-Known Member
March 21, 2006
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City, State
South Jordan, Utah
Year, Model & Trim Level
89 Bronco II (97 Mercury)
On May 26, 2006 the total body Restoration began! The plan is to take the body off the frame, strip all the paint, straighten all the metal, and apply new base/clearcoat two-tone paint. The entire underside will be painted with POR-14 and bedliner.

The truck has hardly any rust at all, and the bodywork will be mainly to fix some door dings and golf ball dents. The truck is from Texas and the guy who owned it before me lived on a golf course. It must have been a magnet for bad golf shots. The truck is going to look awesome when its all done.

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Thread is now posted here....

See thread below...

Just to make it easier and keep you guys up to date. I'll transfer this subject over to this Forum.

I'm doing this Restoration for Josh (MoabB2)
It is getting a Rock Crawler Restoration. (Most likely a Frame off Restoration)
Basically, The whole Exterior, Under Side, Engine Compartment, Inner Fenders Etc (Pretty much everything but the interior). Will be stripped. And Painted or por 15nd and Lined.

It has some Damage.
An extreme amount of Oxidation (70% of the paint is Oxidized 40% to the metal)
Quite a few dents.
A lot of Stress damage in the Engine compartment.
And quite a few other things.

A pretty big Project. (Don't have time to go into a bunch of details.)

Today (May 27th)
I got a late start on it (Was busy and the weather has been hell all day)
I Scrubed and pressure washed Basically every inch of the exterior.
I'm sure the neighbors got a kick out of me Washing a truck in the middle of Dumping Rain. So anyway after 2 1/2-3 hours of Scrubbing and Pressure Washing here it is.














HOLY LIFT BLOCKS BATMAN! hahaha just kidding, are those 4"?

(Day #2)-(Day #3) (May 28th)-(May29th)

Pretty much all the harnesses are out but one harness (The small spliced one. Can't remove it without cutting it up. So I'll try to pull the body around it.)
The engine and the drive train.





There are no more removable panels on the Truck. There pretty much is nothing between the Body and the Frame, Engine, Drive Train, Etc.
Except the Parking brake is all that remains between the body and the frame.





Day 5 (May 31st)
Got all of the harnesses pulled out, All the linkages, Cables, Etc. What it looks like the guys mechanics did when they made the 302 Conversion was take all the Emission harnesses out of the 1995 mountaineer. So I got the two Original Harnesses and the Mountaineer's Emissions Harness. So the truck has every emissions part that was put in a 1989 Bronco II and every emissions Extra that was in the Later 1995 Mountaineer. Mostly all spliced so it was a nightmare to remove them. Took around 17 hours to figure out what certain wires do then to mark them and then figure out what would be the best way to remove them... PITA!
Removed all the Seats to try to save on some weight..
Then to get to all the body mounts I had to take up all the carpet.
Then had to remove the Side Windows to try to drop some extra weight. Well..... This Required removing all of the Side and top moldings from the Driver seat back.
All that is on the body is the Dash and under dash stuff (Blower, Vents, Radio, etc.) and the head liner. And the carpet is still sitting in it.

And the body still weighed a ton. Five guys could not lift it and sustain the weight. Don't have a clue were all the weight is coming from. Two guys can lift the shell of the Unibody Mustang. (The mustang shell weighs about 900 Pounds. I have no clue why the Bronco II's Body weighs so much. In actuality the body is shorter then the mustang. The Inner Fenders and Radiator support are a 1/4 of the size of the mustang. All that makes the the body taller is just pillars.Theres about the same amount of floor pans. The Unibody Mustang has a much stronger lower gauge Frame then the Bronco. The Bronco is all the High Carbon Higher Gauge thin steel.

So why the hell does it weigh twice as much!

After several hours and many attempts we finally got the body off.

You can't truly respect the height of this thing until you actually see the frame. The Fence behind it is 5 feet tall. The engine on the frame sits just under five feet tall. (Like Four Foot Nine) (That should give you an idea of what the body had to clear...

(Notice the 9 foot garage door opening)


Here is the stripped down Body.




Day 7 (June 3rd)
Well today we pulled the Remaining Harness, Drive Shafts, Engine, Transmission, Transfer Case, Steering Gear Box, Exhaust, Fuel Lines, and Oil Lines.

1: And thoroughly Pressure Washed ever inch.
2: Then started on Degreasing every inch of the frame.
3: Thoroughly Pressure washed again.
4: Then Removed all loose paint with a wire brush.
5: Then Chemically Stripped the Frame.
6: Pressure Washed again.
7: Applied paint stripper again.
8: Wire Brushed.
9: Pressure washed.
10: Then the rest was removed with a Scraper and a Wire brush.
11: Pressure washed again.
12: Degreased again.
13: Then the Surface was sprayed down with a Diluted Phosphoric Acid Product.
14: This was re-applied three times. (Wire Brushed between coats)
15: Pressure Washed.
16: Then Steps 13, 14, and 15 were repeated.
When you Etch the surface of Steel with Phosphoric acid. the surface of the steel is left exposed because steels natural protectant has been removed. This Causes "Accelerated Oxidation" or "Flash Rust" this is where the Surface of the steel can become fully covered in Flash Rust/Surface Rust in as little as 30 minutes. (You can actually sit and watch the Surface of the Steel get Flash Rust/Surface Rust)

17: To prevent this after I pressure wash it the last time all the exposed steel is sprayed down with Zinc phosphate. (Zinc Phosphate is what is used to Galvanize steel. This Creates a temporary Protective zinc coating. Also helps with adhesion.)
18: Let Dry and repeat.

Here are some pictures of the 60% Preped Frame.







Day 9 (June 5th)
Heres it after I cut the front 6 Body mounts off (Pressed on) The Rear 4 were bolt on.


Here is were they cut into the Frame to Clear the headers.

Here is were they cut into the frame to clear the Harness (It has started to crack)

For anyone new to this, Or just don't know. This is creating a stress point. "AND IT WILL CRACK".
When you cut into high gauge steel, You allways round all edges. And you allways do it as perfect as possible. (A Plasma cutter can't make a clean enough cut).

Got most of the crossmembers and the Skid plates off.
Then got started on the remaining stripping steps.

Here is the Stripped and Abraded Frame.






Geebus, I vote for fixing all that hacked up wiring when it goes back together, I cannot believe they chopped your frame like that.....looks great so far, ALOT of work!

410Fortune said:
HOLY LIFT BLOCKS BATMAN! hahaha just kidding, are those 4"?
Oh yeah baby. No 4" for me, those are 6"!

(Day #12)- (June 8th)

For anyone that has ever wondered why most Hobbyist don't Abrasive blast all of there car.

Reason #1:

Notice the 1/4 inch of sand all over the Driveway.
This mess was created when I just did the edges of the frame that I could not get with other abrasives. (This is just under a 100 lbs of sand)
Now picture this but the amount it would take to do the other 96% of the frame.

Here is before I went through the Detailed stripping



Then all the suspension was removed from the frame.

(Day #13)-(June 9th)

Here is the Fully stripped frame, Going through the Final Degreasing, and Zinc Phosphate Coating.



Then it was put on stands Preped with Wax and Grease Remover.


Then I shot it with Por-15. (I ended up having a gun problem and ended up having to use my primer gun with the 1.5 tip. (To Small)
So I had to spray it heavy to get rid of the Mist texture. But this ended up causing some Off gassing issues (Solvent pop) But this was corrected in the last coat.

4 Hours between coats.


Then the Por-15 was allowed to Flash for 4 hours.
(Damn slow air drying products.)

Then the Frame was Lined with Raptor Liner (A Two Part Urethane Bed Liner.)





I was a little Worried as to what the Frame would look liked Lined.
But IMO it looks pretty damn good.

And you got the best of both worlds. The Rust protection from the Por-15 and the Chip and Scratch protection from the Liner.

So all of the Por-15's weak points (UV, Chip, Scratch, etc.) are protected by the Raptor Liner.


wow serisously this BII is going to last forever.

How much to do mine? hahaha

Here is some pictures with the Suspension on.



Here is the Body after some Final Disassembly.




There is some Collision Damage on the Driver Fender and Radiator support.




Here is some problems do to the work done on the Radiator Support in the 5.0 Conversion being incorrect and Creating Weak Points (Leading to Damage)

Front Radiator Support.

Cut out for Radiator Filler Cap, Top of Radiator Support (Weak Point.)

Bottom Driver side of Radiator Support. (Welds broke)


Bottom Passenger side of Radiator Support (Welds Broke)


Inside Bottom Driver side of Radiator Support (Welds Broke)

Inside Bottom Passenger side of Radiator Support (Welds Broke)

Inside Top Passenger Side Radiator Support (Cracked)

Inside Top Driver Side Radiator Support (Welds Broke Support Cracked)

Radiator Support Passenger Side (Cracking)

Passenger side Air Filter Tray

Radiator Support Center Brace (Broke)

Driver Firewall extension (Whole cut into floor, No reason)

Passenger Side top of Radiator support (Crack)


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Just found a bunch of new parts waiting for me on my front porch last night! Oh yeah baby. James Duff body mounts (I can't wait to see the blue peeking through...), New aluminum radiator, B&M Supercooler trans cooler with mounting brackets and plumbing, B&M Transmission Temp Guage!

We are still debating on a good way to rebuild the radiator support.. Any ideas?