After spending about five hours today on the truck I’ve got it licked. The headlight is now where it ought to be, the panel gaps are good. Now it’s down to final trim and paint.
I got here over the course of the week, doing an hour or so after work for three days and another hour yesterday before spending six (minus lunch) today. What made the difference was moving the driver’s headlight out a half inch. Here’s where things stood early in the week when I first test-fit the bumper cover and hood:
It’s hard to see in this pic, but the bottom of the headlight is in too deep. It sets about 1/2 inch behind the edge of the bumper cover. It’s also too far to the left, sitting behind the “upright” part of the bumper cover. Besides that, the hood is still a bit high, the fender low, and the gap is too big.
Looking at all this, I realized that the left attachment point for the headlight was too far left and too low. It needed to come up and to the right a half inch, and out–forward–about the same. Doing that would allow the bottom of the light to come out where it ought to be.
So I grabbed a piece of aluminum U channel that used to surround a shower door.
I lined it up with the old hole and drilled a new hole in the sheet metal, to allow for the screw to come through. With this offset the light moved to where it needed to be, and it feels solid as stock.
I took the washer squirters and hoses off the old hood and installed on the new one. And I pulled out the radiator, installed the new fan shroud and hooked all the hoses back up. This is not an easy job on this truck.
Then I re-mounted the fender, working from the door gap forward. By now I’d gone through some of the welded-in threads on the inner fender and had to re-tap a couple.
I also worked on getting the air-box mounted correctly, as two of its four mounting tabs are bent far from where they need to be. I got one pretty close, but it popped out when I tightened the others. Still, it feels solid enough to drive. I’ll bend it some more later.
From there it was into emblems and trim. I took the rubber seal from the old hood and mounted it on the new one. Then the hood would no longer close. So I ripped it back off. I might try a thinner piece later. For now the gaps are so good I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.
Now I’m just waiting for my bumper trim fasteners, and maybe a few other sundry clips. After that it’s down to paint. I’ve got some urethane coming in rattle cans, with clear coat. I’ll need a can of epoxy primer to get the stuff to stick. So buy that, some cleaner/thinner and a couple clips (plus a gallon of anti-freeze), and we’re off to get the A/C recharged.
Hope the new condenser and radiator are righteous.