First off, anyone following the progress on this, expect things to slow down a bit. I'm coaching ball this fall and that means that 3 evenings a week are eaten up by that commitment and my Sundays are pretty well shot for the next several months. =( It's for the kids so it's all worthwhile.
The latest bit of forward progress comes by way of the removal of the front suspension brackets from the Jaguar...photos attached. These are the badboys that the sway bar and main front mounts tie to. Since I haven't decided whether I'm hard mounting or soft mounting the jaguar suspension in the 57 truck, I figured it'd be best if I took them off of the donor vehicle. All that's left to do on the donor is remove the parking brake cable and the rear suspension and then she goes off to the junk yard. Hopefully I can get some of that done soon because the wife is already complaining about junk vehicles in the driveway.
Now it's story time...There was a substantial amount of cutting involved with getting these brackets off. I started at it with a cut-off tool and let my son do some of the cutting too. I figured this might be a job for Mr. Oxy Acetylene and I grabbed my bottles from outside of the shed. They've been outside for a good time but otherwise haven't been molested. I cleaned them up, tossed on the regulators and made sure everything was seated down. Oxygen was leaking a bit and needed to tighten it up some. Entertained doing a leak test on everything but we don't keep dish soap in the house and I didn't want to make a special trip for it.
Fired up the torch and got some cutting done. I had my son standing by with a hose because the undercoating on the frame was catching fire and letting off some nasty fumes...I'm cutting and crap is flying everywhere and then my son says DAD!!!!! THE OXYGEN TANK IS ON FIRE. I told him to spray it, but he instead froze in a panic and dropped the hose. I snatched it up and hosed off the top of the Acetylene tank (it wasn't the oxygen tank leaking)...closed everything up, disconnected regulators etc. and put the bottles away. The seal in the top of the acetylene tank is leaking...no good. It was quite the little scare and it just goes to show that you should leak test stuff. That could have been catastrophic.
As I've been sitting around entertaining how to get this jag suspension in the 57 truck, I realized that I don't have the tools or the expertise to do it...and I don't really have the money to send it out to be done 100% by a shop. I was hoping my buddy in CT would help me but he's got too much going on and that's a bit of a haul to get there and back.
There's a guy who I work with that I've never met, whom Ive heard about. He owns 3 first generation camaros and works down in the welding/fabrication shop here at work. The welders/fabricators here are an odd group...well some of them. Some of them refuse to work on cars at all. For this guy, it's not a problem.
I finally chased him down and met him yesterday and spoke with him for a time. He has some projects at his house currently. He lives about 15-20 miles away from me and he'd be willing to let me bring the 57 in with the jag parts and we'll work on it together. I'll help him out with some jobs, learn some stuff and he'll oversee the work I'm doing. I'm also probably going to have to throw him some money throughout all this, which I don't have a problem with.
Currently the 57 is trapped in my driveway behind the jaguar. It's sitting on flat tires all the way around, and one of the spindles is broken. I need to get the rear suspension out of the jaguar, get the jaguar gone, get the truck rolling again and then get in touch with him to get it to his shop. The plan is to get the truck to the point of a rolling chassis on the jaguar front and rear suspensions...perhaps when I talk to him we might take another approach with the rear suspension but I haven't decided yet.
We'll also figure out whether we hard mount or soft mount the jaguar suspension. I'm leaning towards setting up the 57 frame to be able to bolt and unbolt the jaguar suspension. I think this will be the cleanest / most professional way of doing it and it will leave the door open in the future for servicing the front suspension or replacing the entire unit if need be.
So the inner steps+rockers showed up the other day...they look nice, except for being made in Taiwan or something, seems almost evil or something to be putting Taiwan steel into an old Chevy Truck. Hell, if I had the money, I'd pay someone like Randy Ferguson or Wray Schelin to make an all aluminum body for this truck. Yeah I know it doesn't have the value that some other vehicles do, but I've been in love with the styling of this rig for a long time.
In any case, not sure what to plan for this weekend. Rear suspension needs to come out of the jaguar and then the shell of the car needs to get gone. How to get the front jag suspension in the truck has been something I've been researching and thinking about when I can.
Didn't accomplish a whole heck of a lot over the weekend. I gave the front suspension from the jaguar a wash...a couple of cans of engine degreaser, some scrubbing and plenty of water. I also started cutting the mounts out of the jaguar for the front suspension. Smart thing would be to fire up the torch but my rig isn't put together and I might need the bottles refilled...plus my son really enjoys using the cut-off tool and it's something he can do.
Still waiting on some parts from Brothers trucks. I have some other commitments in the evenings now 3 days a week so that's going to bite into some time spent working on this project.
Last night after worked I went out with my son and we tried to get the jag suspension moved out from under the car...hmm, not seeming as though she wants to go. Oh, it's because I'm stupid and left the sway bar(?) connected to the jag...4 bolts later and she was ready to roll out...well after we let the air out of the tires.
I posted on an OZ hotrod forum because this conversion is very common in those parts...turns out that it's going to be more of an undertaking that I had planned...they told me to scrap the rear end or actually use a live axle in lieu of the IRS. I've got plenty of time to decide what to do here. It might be the smart thing to do but the $800 I paid for the entire jaguar was with the intent of using the rear suspension as well...I'll figure it out.
In the sheetmetal world, I ordered the inner steps with rockers today along with cab mounting hardware. All that will be left sheet-metal wise after this is going to be the cab corners.
here's a photo from last night that I just got around to posting. suspension is dropped but she's trapped under the car at the moment. I'll get that out tonight and then plot on how to drop the rear suspension out of this beast.