Project CheapFinder Part 4 – Trail Prep

Project CheapFinder Trail Prep

Since it is winter in Canada (who am I kidding, I live in Canada-Lite….the West Coast) it has been pretty crappy weather for the past few weeks since I picked up the Project Cheapfinder.Amazingly there was even snow on the ground for a few days. Since I’m stuck wrenching on this thing in the driveway I haven’t really be rushing outside to dive into this rusty piece of crap!

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There was a brief day of sunshine so I got out to take a bit of a closer look at the CheapFinder. I wanted to asses what it needed and how little work I had to do to take it out in the woods. Lets be honest, I don’t want another project. I just need a windshield and want to have some fun along the way! First thing I did was jack up the front so I could take a closer look at the lower tension rod on the drivers side….and yup, she gone. Its rusted and broken off. I’m going to try to source a new one, or worst case I’ll just weld a big honkin bolt in there instead. Since I don’t want it unmovable in the driveway for now I decided to leave it and move onto to the next project.

The next step was the entire reason I bought the Project CheapFinder. Pull the mint windshield out of it without breaking it! After talking to my good buddy Rich, who owns a glass shop, he recommended an Olfa Knife from the inside and lots of lube. Well anything with lots of lube and I’m in. So I removed the windshield trim and got to cutting the glass out slowly and carefully.

Along the way I learned that its a bad idea to try to use the little cubby in the door as a step. Guess that door is getting tossed!

 Next mission was to take the rear hatch, tire carrier and roof off. Thankfully some other fine citizen had already gone and chopped it all off. They had fastened it on with a ratchet strap for me! I’ve also got a decent rear hatch, rear glass, and tire carrier for sale. In my digging I found the wrench everyone has been looking for. A 10mm! And its a ratchet wrench to boot, scores!

I’m diggin the convertible look!

I pulled almost all of the interior out (most of it was already removed and just piled in the back) and unbolted the soaking wet and buggered up rear seats. It woulda been fun to go out soccer mom style with 5 of us in it, but those back seats had to go. I also decided to pull the front window glass (for sale, poverty tint job included), but of course that couldn’t go smoothly either. I had to pull out the new drill and hole saw a bigass hole in the door so I could get the bolt off, guess front door #2 is also garbage now!

Last thing on the list after all this work and “Stage 1 weight reduction.” I decided I should test out to see if the Limited Slip Diff in the rear end works. I could have jacked the truck up and spun the tires… But I figured there was a way more fun way to test it out.

Check out the video for all the action… She sure didn’t smoke that well on the first try, or the second, or the third…

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