In an effort to document our Cortez overhaul progress, here is a breakdown of work we have completed per month and what is to come in the months ahead.
↠ WORK WE HAVE ACHIEVED THUS FAR ↞
- Cortez arrived — It was towed on the back of a flatbed semi across America!
- First inspection — There is much more to be done than advertised!
- Starter motor replaced — Our Cortez starts for the first time!
- Engine serviced (oil changed and clutch fluid bled).
- Brake shoes and brake cylinders replaced, brake parts cleaned, brake drums painted, and brake fluid bled — Our Cortez’s brakes work!
- Door locks repaired — We can enter, exit, and lock all doors!
- Engine’s choke adjusted — It starts without starter fluid!
- Alternator replaced.
- Fuel filler neck fabricated.
- Windshield wiper blades, jets, and fluid bottle replaced.
- Exterior light wiring corrected — All exterior lights work!
- Air filter box fabricated.
- Air filter replaced.
- Battery replaced.
- Interior removed.
- Carburetor hoses replaced.
- Anti-roll bar bushings replaced.
- Suspension bushings re-greased.
- Transmission oil changed.
- Insulation removed — Full protection necessary!
- Plumbing, heating, and electrical systems removed.
- Cork flooring removed — We have beautiful wood floors!
APRIL THROUGH JULY 2020
- Interior underseal and rust removed — Our first look at the condition of the metal and we have rust and holes!
- Tachometer installed — A first for our Cortez!
- Interior underseal that our angle grinders could not reach removed.
- Mechanical fuel pump replaced (and two extra unneeded electronic fuel pumps removed).
- Fuel filter installed.
- Roof stripped — Let’s get this baby prepped for welding and being water-tight!
- Welder hired — Our first professional help comes from RVA Mobile Welding Services and he is fantastic!
- New frame supports welded — Six had rusted so severely they were not holding up our roof!
- Rear storage compartment floor to be welded.
- Roof holes covered with new metal panels and welded in.
- Roof rust treated.
- Roof sealed — A combination of body filler, sealant, and RV roof coating go us there but it looks rough so we now need to correct it!
- Carburetor rebuilt — Andy rebuilt the carb on his own and bossed it!
- Intake manifold and valve cover cleaned; new gaskets installed.
- Thermostat changed.
- Fuel tank treated (first attempt).
- Clutch master and slave cylinders replaced.
- Clutch lines replaced.
- Clutch fluid bled.
- Mudflaps created and installed — Sometimes we just want a fun, easy job!
- Fuel tank welded.
- Fuel tank treated (second attempt) — Our fuel tank is now cleaned, prepped, sealed, and reinstalled!
- Wet and dry engine compression test completed — Our steel beast’s heart is super healthy!
- Spark plugs replaced (along with a snake found in our RV — Watch that YouTube video if you want a laugh)!
- Front shock absorbers replaced — Our steel beast no longer squeaks and the ride is softer!
- Drop links replaced.
- Bump stops replaced.
- Engine belts replaced.
- The start of our most exciting announcement yet, which will be released here and on our YouTube channel so be sure to subscribe to both!
- Our steel beast is deep cleaned — Our friends at SuperClean have been kind enough to send us products to test and in short: We love them!
- Engine oil filter, gasket, pick-up pipe, and pump replaced.
- Speedometer cable installed.
- Fuel hose line replaced.
- Passenger’s side upper ball joint replaced.
- We return to discuss plans for our most exciting announcement yet, which will be released here and on our YouTube channel so be sure to subscribe to both!
- Driver’s side lower ball joint replaced.
- Torsion bars adjusted — We have more lift!
COMING IN OCTOBER 2021
(We are aiming to complete our mechanical restoration this
- Investigate transmission leak.
- Engine valve stem seals to be replaced.
- Investigate potential brakes binding.
- Investigate condition of rear shocks.
- Paint intake manifold and valvue covers.
↠ WORK WE HAVE PLANNED AHEAD ↞
SHORT HAUL/VINTAGE RV RESTORATION
- Our Cortez needs a name — Leave us a comment to give us ideas!
- YouTube channel introduction video to be created — Stop by and subscribe to more progress on our steel beast!
- Start bodywork restoration!
- Battery box area to be fabricated and welded.
- Exterior body damage to be welded — Areas around the grill, front passenger corner, rear passenger panel, and bumper are all damaged.
- Engine cover to be fabricated/welded — Cannot wait to soundproof the engine bay!
- Interior holes to be welded — Several wheel well and seat platform holes need to be covered!
- Cracked glass to be removed, rust around the glass to be treated, window seals to be replaced, then glass to be reinstalled.
LONG HAUL/BODYWORK, ELECTRICAL, AND RV BUILD
- Continue bodywork restoration!
- Roof coating to be repaired.
- Exterior to be painted — Leave us a comment and let us know what color you vote!
- Exterior mirrors to be replaced.
- Chrome to be polished.
- New door seals to be fit.
- Lay-out to be designed.
- Interior safe to be installed or welded in.
- Solar brackets, roof-deck, and ladder supports to be welded.
- Interior twin floors to be lifted — Who knows what awaits underneath!
- Chassis to be cleaned and painted.
- Start to RV build!
- Floor to be insulated.
- Interior metal to be cleaned, rust treated, and painted.
- Interior to be soundproofed and insulated.
- Start to electrical overhaul!
- Exterior lights, dash, and engine electrical systems to be rewired.
- Headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and reverse lights to be updated.
- Additional fog lights to be installed.
- State registration to be made — Yay!
- Interior living and solar electrical systems to be designed and installed.
- Heat and air conditioning system to be designed and installed.
- Water system to be designed and installed.
- Back to RV build!
- Interior to be built — Finally we get to create our home!
- Roof-top deck to be installed.
- Exterior lockable storage to be installed — Tools, spare parts, and recreational equipment will have a home!
- Driver and passenger front seats cleaned and reinstalled.
- Interior furnished — Finally our Cortez looks like home!
- Start to Cortez upgrades!
- Rims and tires to be upgraded and cover for spare tire to be purchased.
- RV build and upgrades finished — We are hoping to finish in the estimated year of 2022! After that, we plan to save money for a year before starting RV life!
ADDITIONAL HOPEFUL PLANS
- New timing chain to be replaced.
- Brake hydrovac unit to be restored and leaking brake master cylinder replaced.
- Exhaust system to be fabricated.
- Electronic fuel conversion to be done, which will correct our back-firing issue.
- Radiator to be upgraded so we can flush coolant and replace coolant hoses.
- Oil cooler to be installed.
- Engine to be overhauled.
- Recovery winch to be purchased.
- Awning to be installed.
- Torsion bars to be upgraded.