It All Started with the Windshield Seal...
Part 1 - Windshield & Painting
Thanksgiving camping trip in 2003, we decided it was time to replace
the windshield seal in the MOG. On that trip, we spent several
hours one evening putting on many miles in the rain... getting wet
while driving in a rainstorm is no fun, and we've done it many
times. We had had enough!
The truck without the windshield looks a bit like an old horse drawn
Since the windshield frame would need to be painted, we decided we
should paint the cab while we were at it. Here you can see the
seams glass bead blasted to remove all possible bits of rust.
Getting the windshield frame apart was a lot of work.
Each end is bolted on with two bolts, and the center bar of the frame
is held to the top bar with two screws. The screws came out just
fine. One of the 6mm bolts came out properly, the head broke off
of the other one. The two 10mm bolts both had to be drilled
out. We were fortunate to not damage the threads in the frame
and the bolts were readily available from out favorite metric bolt
supplier, so putting the frame back together shouldn't be too
We had the dash masked and were considering the job of sanding to prep
for paint when we remembered that one of the things on our list was to
change the steering box. Our current steering box has a bit of
slop, we picked up a new one from Scott at NWMF2002, we need to
install it! Due to our transmission swap experience at NWMF2002,
we realized that with the steering box out, we were more than 1/2 way
to having things un-hooked enough to remove the cab. So.......
after asking Ken if he was willing to help, we decided to remove the
cab from the truck. This way, we could paint all those regions
that were still showing green.
After a few more hours of work un-doing connections, the cab was ready
for lifting. Our shop has a lifting eye in the ceiling, attached
to a steel beam. With a strap around the frame of the cab above
the transmission attached to a come-along at the ceiling, we were able
to get the cab just high enough to clear the chassis. This could
not have been done in our shop with the windshield still on.
We loosely reattached the steering box & put the steering wheel on
so that Keith would be able to actually aim the chassis where we
wanted it to go. Tall as he is, there was no way he could reach
the foot brake, the emergency brake was all he was able to use to use
to stop the truck.
The truck rolled back out of the shop easily, and we easily pushed it
to the gates of our parking pad. This bit of a bump is enough to
need four-wheel-drive on an icy day anyway, so this is where Ken's MOG
gets into the action.
The 2x4 as a push-stick may not look like much, but it did the
job. We pushed our MOG sideways until it was straight with the
parking pad, then Ken backed into the parking pad across the alley to
push our truck into our parking pad. Sorry, no pictures of the
operation as Sharon had to change hats from photographer to traffic
The MOG is parked in his usual spot in the yard, but backwards &
missing some bits!!!! We tarped it over & moved back to the
shop to deal with the cab.
We all thought that the cab looked like an interesting race car
sitting by itself, so we just couldn't resist taking this shot.
No, the cab isn't still suspended from the ceiling, it is sitting on
jack-stands, we just haven't removed the rigging yet.
Here you can see the four jack-stands that the cab is resting
on. Also the still green area where you can't apply paint when
the truck is fully assembled! Our initial purple paint job over
2 years previously was simply to make the truck "not green". We
did very little prep, partially due to time restraints and partially
because we thought the military green would be porous enough to take
the paint. We were wrong, very little purple paint stuck well to
the green, so this time we've sanded all areas & are priming &
painting everything we can get to. A lot of purple has peeled
off in the last couple years, & a lot more sanded off very
easily. This paint job better last longer!
With our hydraulic winch bolted on, the bumper is too heavy to carry
around much. The bottom 1/2 of our engine stand works great to
move it around the shop on!
This is the area behind the driver's seat, beside the transmission
(where the stock 24V radio plug was). On the rear wall behind
the driver's seat we have our 24-12V converter. This area is
where wires pass through the cab, there are connections to our solar
panels, 12V battery bank, camper, and others. When the truck was
together, access to this spot for cutting holes was limited, and you
really want to limit the number of cutting sparks in the region.
While things were apart, we decided to make a tidier job of the
area. We cut a bigger hole in the floor before painting.
After painting we installed an aluminum cover plate with the holes we
need cut. We added one more hole with a plug, and have space for
two more holes should future expansion require the room.
Here you can see the collection of wires that we have coming through
the floor holes. Also the stereo, CB, and 24-12VDC converter
with attendant “stuff” (including the solar regulator). Since
attempting to seal a 40 year old soft-top borders on impossible, we
have a vinyl rain cover for the converter (fried the first one in a
rain storm). The stereo also has a rain cover.
Once we had as much prep done as possible with the cab sitting
normally, we stood it up on its back for easy access to the
underside. We were surprised to discover that it balances
beautifully. The cab balanced, free-standing, for all of the
bead-blasting and paint that were required for the underside.
Here are a few shots of what little rust the cab actually had.
Not bad for a 40 year old machine! The floor on the driver's
side was probably the worst - understandable when you consider snowy
boots climbing in in the winter.
Not a view you get very often! The area under the reservoir was
rather filthy when we started - likely related to leaky valve cover
(replaced) & a leaky oil filter o-ring at one point, not to
mention just the usual filth in a place you can't clean.
Not long after we got the truck we moved the position of the choke to
the side of the doghouse, rather than the face. Two reasons for
this: the choke cable now doesn't have to do a 90 degree bend, and we
found we had to loosen the cable to get the valve cover off for valve
adjustments - not fun!
Here is a view of where we've changed the switch holes in the dash
(above you can see 2 little squares of metal tacked in place on the
backside). The first shot is after primer, before filler &
paint. The second shot is after filler & paint - the camera
has a focusing issue on the shiny paint!!! We've had switches in
these holes for some time. In the lower hole we have bent two
switches, while trying to get the valve cover off. The upper
switch was so close to the reservoir, the wire insulation was rubbed
off. We decided this would be a good time to solve these
problems, we'll just have a longer line of switches across the dash.
Since the original objective of this project was to seal the
windshield, we bead-blasted all the seams & sealing
surfaces. The frame has now also gotten a good coat of POR-15 to
help preserve it.
Where the windshield mount bolts to the cab was not pretty.
Fortunately, the rust was very light just on the surface. This
area has also been sprayed with POR-15 to give it as much protection
from future rust as possible.
The bottom of the cab... prepped for painting, POR-15 sprayed on the
seams, and then coated in Tie Coat primer. If you've ever used
POR-15, you know that nothing sticks to it, except their primer.
It is a very pretty blue, but that just isn't a good colour for a
Gray primer is sprayed over the blue, in an effort to make the top
colour "take" better. Then the bottom of the cab is sprayed with
black paint & asphalt undercoating. We want the bottom as
protected as possible, and any sound deadening effects we may get from
extra coatings is also welcome!
The foot wells were the rustiest areas of the cab.
Understandable, considering 40 years of snowy boots. Both were
coated with POR15 to try to stop the rust, here they are with the Tie
Coat primer applied.
Here are the corner of the cab and a view of the dash with the freshly
applied paint. The colour didn't reproduce well on film.
Now that the paint is dry, it is not as brown as it shows while still
wet (had only been on about 10 minutes here).
None of these pictures of the paint job do the colour justice.
The first shot in the sun, or the other shots with the parts stored
temporarily in our '65 Bus. The coolant reservoir in the 4th
frame comes closest to showing the colour.
After we'd pushed the chassis out into the alley, four guys were
easily able to carry the cab from the shop to the parking pad, where
it is sitting on jack-stands. After a bit of gravel leveling, we
adjusted the jack-stands to their lowest height so that the cab would
have the least possibility of falling over. It is now wrapped in
sheets & a tarp awaiting the time when we can put it back on the
Of the pictures we've had developed so far, this one comes closest to
showing the colour. VERY dark purple.
Since we don't really want the inside of the cab exposed to the
weather, we've wrapped it up. The paint is covered with old
sheets, since it is so new we want to try not to damage it. Then
a canvas tarp is tied down over it. The white sheet on top is to
try to keep it from getting quite as hot under the tarp on sunny
days. A few days after we moved the cab out we got a significant
snowfall, so we were happy to have it wrapped up.
Here is the chassis in the shop. It is hard to get a good
picture of that thing in there, it really fills the space!
The head decided that it wanted a little more attention than we had
intended, details of the Head
Rebuild are on a separate page.
While the head was at the machine shop, we worked on painting the
chassis & bed of the truck.
The chassis of the truck is painted black. We left it on its
wheels so that it could be shifted around in the shop to gain the best
access to all parts possible, but we really didn't want painted tires!
While in the mess of painting black, we made sure to coat the new
steering box that we're installing. It was green... not a colour
we want to see on our truck!
These three shots show the bed sanded, primed & painted. We
didn't worry quite as much about the final appearance of the bed as we
did about the cab, at some point we expect to be replacing/rebuilding
the wooden camper by framing in the steel bed & sheathing it in
aluminum - this paint job was only to make the two halves of the truck
With a shop only inches bigger than the disabled UniMoG sitting in it,
one has to get creative! Painting the fuel tanks, front bumper
& side window frames around the chassis was an interesting
With the cab off, we discovered leaky front shocks. We've
managed to source reasonably cheap shocks from NAPA here in Canada,
hopefully they hold up for a reasonable length of time. We're
accustomed to destroying shocks seasonally on our Baja, but we hope to
get a little longer on a set of MOG shocks. Here are the old
& new MOG shocks, both extended & compressed. Just for
fun we threw in a rear Baja shock (fully extended gas shock). It
is hard to read the tape measure in this image, the Baja shock is
almost 18" long, the new (black) truck shock is around 32" long,
extended. These shocks aren't a perfect match for the truck, as
the rubber bushings are meant to be sandwiched with the mounting bolt,
& the top shock mount has ears that prevent this. We've
installed them with several large washers & will be keeping a
close eye on things to see how the shocks fare. (Update:
as of 2008 these same shocks are still in place and performing
decently. They don't handle quite as well as they did and may
get replaced in the next year or so. Pretty good for "cheap"
Two nice shots of the engine, without the cab.
The original point of this whole exercise was to replace the
windshield seal. The freshly painted frame, new glass and new
rubber were introduced to one another on the living room floor one
afternoon. Getting the glass into place with the new rubber was
challenging. Putting on the top bar of the frame went fine until
about the last 5 mm, that was done (very carefully so as not to
scratch the new paint) with a pipe clamp. New bolts complete the
We lifted the cab back in place one morning with the help of a few
friends. Five guys lifting were able to put the windshield-less
cab back on the chassis in a matter of minutes. Once we bolted
it down & did back up the electrical connections we installed the
rebuilt windshield and put the top back on the cab one evening.
The next afternoon we reached the point of starting the truck to run
in the new head gasket. The MOG started well and purred for the
1/2 hour that it ran to heat up the gasket for the hot-torque on the
head. After the engine is all warmed up, the head is re-torqued
hot to seat the new gasket. During the re-torquing procedure, we
heard a terrible SNAP sound - we were both hoping for a broken torque
wrench, but no such luck. The block broke open around one of the
Click to read about our Engine