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11-17-2008 06:39 PM Diamond T project makes progress!
So, after some angst over the too wide front track, and bad free advice, I got out to the garage today and made some progress.

I dropped the C20 Van crossmember out from under the Diamond, and with a metal cutting blade in my Skilsaw, cut 3 1/2" out of the middle of it. This makes it fit the slightly narrower DT frame.

I knew the Dodge one ton wheels and tires would still hang outside the fenders, but after clamping the crossmembe up to the frame and mounting the wheels, it's not bad.

The front fenders can be shoved outboard enough to cover the tires by adding a very simple filler panel to the inside edge, and the running boards moved out a like amount. This will cover the tires, let me drop it another inch or so, and it'll have a killer "Cowboy Cadillac" stance. I like the Dodge rims and huge tires.

Now I'll clean up the crossmember and the Dana 70 one ton rear, and the truck will be a roller. One step at a time!

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  [Entry #83]

11-11-2008 06:19 AM Diamond T project snafu...
Armed with advice from somewhere on the internet, as my last post noted, I've got the van suspension mocked up under the Diamond T, with one ton spindles, rotors and calipers mounted. The idea was that by using one ton single wheel rotors, I could mount dually wheels, thus pushing the front wheels back under the fenders where they belong, as the modern truck/van track is so much wider than the DT's.

Good idea, bad advice.

Yesterday I tried to mount one of the dually wheels I got for the project, and, VIOLA ! Won't work. Rim doesn't clear the upper control arm ball jount. By about 2". Using a spacer will put the rim exactly where the non dually wheel (that I also have on hand, and are shown in the photos) set, outside the fender line.

So, what to do? After some thought, I've decided to narrow the crossmember by 4 inches. This will put the frame mounts tight against the DT frame rails, and eliminate the need for a spacer or frame mods on the truck. This will leave the tires still slightly outside the fender line, so step 2 will be widen the front fenders by 2". This can be done just outside the hood mount flange, where the fender has no crown. The running boards can be likewise widened easily. I don't think it'll be noticable when done, although it does preclude switching back to the original beam axle. Not that I forsee doing that anyway.

The moral is, don't believe the free advice given on this board, or others, as it may not be based on actual knowledge. I'm philosophical about it, it's just one more little challenge to overcome, and the end result will still be an original appearing, but much better handling and riding truck.

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  [Entry #82]

11-06-2008 08:08 AM Diamond T project starts
Got the front axle/springs out from under the DT and the van susp. mocked up. Mounted the one ton spindles and brakes on the control arms, sure enuogh, the track .is way too wide to use the Dodge wheels I bought. So, I'll use dually wheels.

I've decided to use sigle wheels on the rear rather than duals, it'd be way too much width, unsprung weight for the truck. I'll start looking for some 17" steel dually rims for it.

A guy on the HAMB board is building a DT and sent me some pics of his, using modifid front fenders on the back with a box, looks great. it's inspired me to do the same,

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  [Entry #81]

10-14-2008 01:10 PM Addendum to Pile 'O Parts
A couple of posts back I was forcasting how much I stood to recoup of the purchase price of the Chev van for scrap that I parted out for the DT. I'd thought close to 600 bucks for the van body, a pile of scrap I've been accumulating and the several aluminum wheels I had laying around. The old saying, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" was never so true.

Guess what went down with the stock market last week? If you said scrap metal prices, you'd be right. The price of steel went from 195/ton to 115/ton over the weekend, and aluminum down even more. I ended up with 300 bucks all told. Not bad considering it was "found money", but I sorta wish I'd gotten the stuff into the recyclers a couple of days earlier!

  [Entry #80]

10-14-2008 06:01 AM Fordillac nose job
The aftermarket grill shell didn't fit well at all. Now that I'm going to make it pretty, the hood and grill shell have to fit better.

I cut the grill apart at the top, and pulled the center bar out about 3/4", untill it lined up with the hood peak. Then I clamped the lip of each hood side to the (now free to move) sides of the grill shell and tacked things together. This brought the sides of the grill out, which not only lined up the top halves of the hood and the top of the grill, but also the hood sides and grill shell now meet.

The new 1/2" gaps on each side of the upper grill rail and center bar were filled with sheet metal. These are hidden under the hood ornament. I also cut a piece of sheet metal to radius the corner whre the grill bars meet the grill side and upper rail, more like an original '36 grill.

All in all , it looks much better.

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  [Entry #79]

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