I finally got some time to hit the right side of the Diamond T box. Trimmed the fender to fit, made the small lower panels, lengthened the running board and got everything mocked up. If I'd stuck with my intial plan of running the cab/front fenders with their original, faded paint, I could just mop some tractor paint on, sand thru a couple spots and let it rust. But, NOOOO, I'm not doing that.
Got the bed for the DT almost wrapped up today. Cut, fitted and mounted the inner diamond plate skins, fitted the Cepele wood floor, and had time to admire my work a little. Now, I can fit the passenger side rear fender and make the running board. With that, the fabrication is done, and I can start blowing the truck apart for detail and paint work.
Standing back and looking at the box of the DT with the fenders and running boards (loosely) mounted, it just didn't look "right". To plain, needed an accent at the top, something to make it line up with the beltline character line at the cab. So....
Off to ALRO Steel again, and I found some heavy wall 1" stainless tubing, a short stick of 5/8" stainless round bar, and had them slice me 3/16" pieces of 2" round stainless bar. I bought some stainless rod, went home and whipped up a set of "grab rails" or tie down rails, whatever, for the top of the box.
I think the end result is perfect. The top of the box now has some character, the rails line up perfectly with the character line of the cab, AND they will give me something to lash stuff to inside the box. I had to be careful not to make it look like an old fire truck or wrecker box, or I'd have dropped the rails down the back at the same angle...
I go the running board fitted, trimmed, and welded to original today. The result is great, it fits perfectly and really makes the Auburn fenders look like they belong on the truck. I cut and fitted the bed side panels mounting flanges to the box as well, and got the outer panels screwed on. I used some self drilling/tapping screws for now, but plan on using stainless steel carriage bolts that I'll polish so they'll look like rivets. The inside panels, polished diamond plate, can be attatched with rivets or stainless sheet metal screws.
I'm getting very adept at clamping, propping, and leaning parts up against one another on this project, although some actual work got done yesterday.
I finished up the front fenders, both of 'em, and welded the filler panels in solidly. Didn't warp anything up too badly either! I really like the wider look, although now the headlights need to come back in a couple inches each side. No big deal. My shoulders are sore from using the shinker to bend the 18 ga stock, but the result is worth that and the blisters...
My buddy John let me use his brake again, I made patch panels for the filler panel below the cab to the running boards, and new running boards to extend the cab length originals. Since I had two 16"x48" scraps of 18 ga, I reproduced the profile of the originals, and will simply butt weld these to the originals. It'll work just fine.
Happily, with the front fenders/running boards shoved out 3 1/2", the running boards meet the width of the Auburn rear fenders perfectly. I'll trim the boards to the profile of the fenders, and they'll "float" off the fenders about half an inch. I'd like to make some of the Auburn style trims for the rear of the fenders, we'll see If I'm clever enough to make these things and have them chromed.