Our Van Conversion

12/15/2018 – Day #8: Journey’s Conversion (Drop the drive shaft, remove U-joints, sand, prime and paint the pieces)

Today’s goal:

Pics below show the before views of the targeted area and then after the task was completed. 🙂

Total Work Hours: 9 hours

Today my goal was after watching many videos and reading about how to drop a drive shaft, drop Journey’s and then inspect the state it is in to see if I need to replace it. Then, with my awesome husband’s help, remove the 40 year old U-joints as I purchased new ones to put in. Then I want to use a wire brush to remove all the rust and clean it up, sand it and then paint each piece with rust reduction primer and then black paint to make the unit good as new. Then we will eventually add the new U-joints I bought later on.

(The drive shaft underneath Journey’s undercarriage still attached)

(Looks like it will be fun getting it out!)

Besides looking rusty and crusty, I recognized all the parts of the drive shaft as I lay under Journey thankfully as this will be my first real task that is more complicated, you might say, and not just physical labor.

I put a basin under the front end of the drive shaft as when that gently is guided out, the transmission fluid still inside will pour out so I was ready to catch whatever is still inside. Progress!!!

(It’s out!)

Whew! The drive shaft is now separate from the vehicle! That was fun! Now, let’s see what kind of condition it is in….not too shabby!

Now the fun part! We have to get the U-joints out! Thankfully, you can rent a tool that is made just for this from AutoZone so you minimize the damage you could do if you try to hammer them out. See the box below. So as hubby removed the U-Joints, I began cleaning up the drive shaft parts to remove the years of rust and grease. I used a 4″ wire wheel to get started.

So here you can see in the left picture where the wire wheel has been and now the first layer of rust has been removed and then the second picture is it all cleaned up in round 1 of the cleaning process.

Then after making sure all 4 parts were cleaned with the wire wheel, I then cleaned each piece with gentle soap, water and a wire brush as 40 years of grease and nastiness took some muscle to clean. You can see 3/4 pieces hanging after they were smooth, washed and cleaned. I then used our air compressor with the nozzle to dry every nook and cranny of each piece before I would spray the primer on it.

Hubby said when he owned his own mechanics shop, they would color code things in the ht rods they would build underneath, so like black for generic parts, red for things that represented fire, yellow for dangerous and then another color like the black. This way things were cleaned, painted and easily identifiable underneath. So, that is the method I will be doing for each thing were remove, replace and re-install. She is going to be clean and spiffy underneath someday!

OOOOH! What do you think??? From what looked to be dismal and sad coated with rust, now looks like each piece is brand new with a silver primer coating on them now! I am soo stoked! What a productive day today thus far!

So, I sprayed primer to each piece and then let them dry with a heat lamp near them overnight. Then first thing in the morning, I added a good coat of glossy black Rust-Oleum paint. Then I added a second coat. Now look at the almost finished product below! All that is left is to add the brand new U-joints to the areas needed and then the drive shaft is completed! AWESOME!!!

Since we were so productive today, tomorrow my goal is to drop the fuel tank and see if I need to order a new one and to get familiar with the fuel lines as I am not familiar with any of that! Another adventure awaits!

Thank you so much for following our journey with Journey!! Make sure to subscribe if you want to be notified by email when new posts are made.


Merry Christmas fellow adventurers and vanner family!!!

— Owl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.