All but about four bolts snapped during extraction! Now I have to drill out the posts from the hard top. 😖
I pulled the bash plates off anticipating damage or rust, but the panels look good with the exception of far too many PO (previous owners) installed holes.
I pulled the dash pads out to see if they could be salvaged. Bottom knee bashers might be okay, but the dash topper is toast.
With the exception of the fuel gauge, the OEM gauge cluster works. I really want the Dakota Digital gauge cluster because it can talk to the ECM and communicate a lot of data back to me in the cab, but it is a lot of money, so may end up being a future upgrade.
I began demo of the old wiring in preparation for installing the new Painless Performance wiring harness sitting on the shelf.
I finished stripping the 78 donor frame. The axles, transmission and transfer case are out and the empty frame is on the side of the house. Boy that was a chore to move with my wife and kids helping!
I am eager to take all this scrap metal for recycling. Should get a good amount of cash! Maybe even enough to buy that gauge cluster! I know the frame along goes for close to $2K online, so I'll attempt to sell as much as possible before making the trip to the scrap yard.
Oh! I noticed large cracks in the hood, a telltale sign of shoddy bondo work (according to a source on ih8mud.com). So I started removing material... 1/4" of bondo on this part of the hood! I'll need to strip the entire thing to bare metal to see what I have to work with. I might try my hand at body solder or just bite the bullet and find a replacement hood.
Lots to do... One bolt at a time!