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.
No work in November?! We were investigating what was next and ordering parts!
- 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!
No work in October?! We were investigating what was next and ordering parts!
- 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!
No work in March?! We were investigating what was next and ordering parts!
- 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!
CURRENTLY IN SEPTEMBER 2021
- 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.