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Rebuilding the frame

The task seemed almost too daunting. Putting back together what has taken more than a year to disassemble. Even though we were over the 'hump', so to speak, the road ahead was long and challenging. Taking everything apart was the easy part. Rebuilding it took a lot of time and patience.

As you can see from the photos, we had most every piece of the chassis sandblasted and painted. The paint is DuPont Imron gloss black. Unfortunately we had some significant problems with the sandblaster out in St. Clair and we found several areas where they had not blasted the metal in several locations as well as not removing the rubber bushings from the main spring leaves. So after we got it back to the shop, we had to do quite a bit of touch up blasting ourselves to finish removing the old paint, dirt, grease and rust still lurking around.

project responder chassis sandblasted
The frame after being sandblasted.
project responder leaf springs and chassis sandblasted
Closer view showing all the leaf springs.
project responder chassis and frame parts pained
The frame and many other components after being painted.
project responder frame chassis parts painted
Ready to be put back together

After many hours of hard work, sweating profusely in the hot summer heat, our mission was accomplished. The frame was fully cleaned and repainted. It was now ready to be put back together. We started by putting the springs back together and getting them bolted to the frame while it was still upside down on the trailer. Once the springs were installed, we used a chain hoist and heavy duty hand winch to lift the frame up and over. From here, we could remove the trailer and free up our workspace.

The chassis was now ready for the alxes. Once they were rolled in and bolted into place, we knew we had truely begun to build The Ultimate Volunteer Firefighter's Emergency Response Vehicle.