Been tired as of late so haven't been out in the garage much this week. I'm still working on frame prep but decided I would cut the front rails for the IFS crossmember install instead of continuing on with the grinding etc. As mentioned before I decided to go with the Chassis Engineering bolt-in IFS kit. For the hell of it I placed the crossmember on the frame after I made the cuts just to see what it will look like (note that the frame is upside down currently). When I put it in place it rocked a little across the diagonal plane and I was worried that I might have a twist in the frame. I did some remeasuring and couldn't see where a problem could be until I noticed that the rails themselves have some waves in them from the years of abuse that the truck took while serving as an oilfield vehicle. I took the pipe wrench to each rail and straightened things out to make them as true as I can. The crossmember fits much better now with minor rocking. I may look at the rails again when I next get the chance to look things over again. Anyways I have some new pics showing the marking and cutting of the frames - I made the rough cuts using my saws-all and then used the grinder to take things down until I had my clean edge- matching the required specs as per the CE instructions.
The weekend is here and the weather went from great to crap again and snow is in the forecast...it's fantastic living in the Great White North eh? Not sure how motivated I'll be but maybe I'll sit in front of the fireplace and have a rum or 2.
Have been able to get more done on the frame this week and am pleased with the ongoing progress. I am almost ready to move to the inside of the frame rails to remove the rust and scale. I even did some welding to repair one spot on the lower rail on the passenger side. At some time during its life the frame took a hit and there was a strong but ugly repair done to address a small crack. The original repair included a bolt (with head removed) welded across the split for additional strength. I have removed the bolt and cleaned up the weld (pics 2 and 3). Since I plan on boxing the frame I will weld a plate inside the rail for extra support.
So I'm not as far along as I wanted to be but am still headed in the right direction....forward.
My week off is coming to an end so next week I'll only have a few evenings to get an hour or two in but I get what I get.
My neighbor Jim reminded me this week that I need to be patient and this is going to be a long project. He asked me how would you eat an elephant?, to which I replied one bite at a time. I think he made his point pretty clear and I'll keep that in mind when I feeling defeated. Thanks neighbor.
Spent part of the day finishing up the bathroom plumbing as per the wife's request. After that I went to the local Princess Auto to pick up some more supplies to work on the truck and when I came out I saw a 50s GMC parked in the lot. Well I waited about 10 minutes for the owner to return and was able to spend half an hour talking about the truck and what he had done. The truck has a small block 350 with 400 transmission, Rear diff from a 87 Chevy 1/2 ton and a Mustang II IFS. He described it as a work in progress but at least it is up and running and he is driving it around. A few other people joined in the conversation and when the guy left he had a big smile on his face. Nice guy too and I thanked him for taking the time.
Sonny boy helped me out a little tonight with grinding off some extra brackets and then I tuned him loose with the wire cup on the grinder to get more of the frame stripped of rust and scale. He's a little uncomfortable with the grinder but I encouraged him to keep working with it - he hates the vibrations in his hands. I told him it is a necessary step in the process.
Tomorrow I intend to get a few more hours in on the truck. Here's hoping.
No additional pics to post yet but I did get the front and rear suspension components off the frame and have had the wire cup and stripping disks on the angle grinder. My wife was surprised to see shiny metal under the rust as she thinks the truck is a waste of time. I may yet alter her perspective on the subject. I going to search the posts for info on what method/product is recommended by other builders. POR 15, Chassis Saver, Rustoleum paint etc.
\Will post some pics this week- lucky me I have the week off and hope to put in some of that time on the chassis.
I am more motivated than ever to get working on the truck since the weather has improved here in the Great White North and a health issue I have been dealing with has finally been diagnosed and now I'm being treated - big improvements noted and I am happy to be feeling better.
Weather has improved (above freezing finally) and I moved some things out of the garage to provide a little more space to work in. I really wish I had a bigger garage to work on my project. With some room to move about I have been out with my son a few evenings and weekends to remove the cab from the chassis, pull the engine and transmission, and remove some brackets and other misc parts from the chassis. We also measured up the chassis to check for square and it measures the same corner to corner so were all good. Once we have the front and rear suspension removed by next weekend we should be able to install the bolt-in IFS kit and then make templates for boxing the frame. then is on to the rear suspension install.
I had thought about offering the engine up for sale to someone wanting an original drive-train but discovered that the engine cannot be saved. While we were removing it something broke free in the bottom of the engine/oil pan and nearly 3 and a half gallons of water poured out the bottom of the engine (got a pail under it and there was 3 gallons plus whatever made it on the floor) followed by a half gallon of sludge oil. Further inspection of the engine revealed a crack and a missing frost plug - obviously resulted from the water inside freezing over the past winters.
The old drive-train will be off to the scrap dealer along with the original cab and a few misc parts. The parts truck I picked up last year has a better cab and front end sheet-metal so I will be using them instead of the original.
I even coaxed my son away from his computer a few times to help. hopefully he will catch the bug and develop a real interest. Here's hoping.