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06-26-2013 08:45 PM Still More Revelations
After still more research I've learned some wanting to improve the handling of their Town Panel have turned to using the complete chassis and rolling stock of Durangos. In the meantime another option may have surfaced. It seems Kugel components may make a cross member to replace the original that accepts rack and pinion steering and disk brakes. The rest is relatively easy. However you must get beyond the request to "Measure Outside frame wheel width at the centerline and the hub to hub width flange to flange." I'm scratching my head trying to understand. I find it fascinating that I'm encountering more and more people are choosing to make this sort of adaptation to their trucks.

  [Entry #8]

01-15-2013 08:31 PM Alternative to the Ramcharger front clip
I saw an ad for an almost completed project very nearly what I'm working towards that substituted a Volare front clip. Once upon a time those were thought to be very plentiful and cheap. There have been several conversations about that in the Forum here that I just found. I haven't changed my plan but I'm wondering what else I've missed in the Forums. Take a look at the pic of what I hope to achieve someday. In the meantime I'm still searching for a way to pull it off.

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #7]

12-29-2012 10:50 PM Hello 2013!
Southwest Volusia Habitat for Humanity will have 3 more families in Habitat homes shortly but not much has happened with Hutch, the 54 Dodge Town Panel. The chassis fellows scheduled to take measurements several times but never made it to do so. In the meantime I have been developing a tally on what I have invested in the project so far and what is still to be invested. Armed with this I hope to be able to persuade a to be determined wealthy investor to finance the project. A couple of new local hot rod shops have moved into the area that may be resources to move things along. Obviously the goal of Hutch moving under her own power by the end of the year is out of the question. The family has become increasingly frustrated that while a compact pickup and a two seat sports car are cool, we were accustomed to having more room to accommodate more passengers and cargo. We may be faced with deciding to abandon the project altogether.

  [Entry #6]

09-09-2012 09:14 PM Sugar Sand
The 3rd Annual Night Out With Habitat, our Southwest Volusia Habitat for Humanity fundraiser is occurring 9/15. I have been embroiled in the planning process for the event. I have also realized that welding the Ramcharger front end to the 54 Dodge is the next big step in this project. This means removing the Ramcharger's engine and transmission to ease the transition. Have you ever tried moving a loaded engine hoist or rolling a mechanics creeper in sugar sand? Don't even think about it. It's not happening. The good news is I've found a local outfit that has been talking to me about making the front end switch. They build racing chassis's. All I have to do is strip the Ramcharger's front end first. The chassis company is willing to give a quote on the welding work. I just have to find some one willing to pull the engine and transmission. Wow! It's mid September! If I'm gonna pull this off by 12/31/12 I really need to get moving on this!!!

  [Entry #5]

04-15-2012 08:58 PM Progress Interrupted By Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity
That's not entirely accurate. I've worked for and with the disadvantaged all my life. Lately the local affiliate , Southwest Volusia Habitat for Humanity, has been taking advantage of my retirement time. When I'm not running tools and materials out to the build site I'm managing their 730 square foot warehouse. Once upon a time I dreamed they moved into a building large enough where I could work on Hutch when things got slow. No such luck! A donation of drywall won out! Thanks Lafarge, I mean it! Habitat doesn't give away houses. There's a NO interest mortgage. Jimmy Carter didn't found Habitat. Millard and Linda Fuller did. Now that that's out of the way, if there are no other questions, progress on Hutch has been agonizingly slow. I've put together a spreadsheet outlining resources and prices for most parts and services. There are still some that need nailing down. I found a vacant service station I thought might work if I could attract some partners. I'll visit it this week to see if a deal can be struck. Darn! I find that my "donations button" hasn't been working. Have to talk with my IT department about it.

  [Entry #4]

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