Progress over the last couple days. Frame rails are boxed in and fully welded on both sides, and I got the fish plates cut out tonight. I still need to notch and bend them so they fit a little better, but one step at a time. New bushings for the rear springs showed up today, so I can start mocking up the Barnes spring hangers I got sometime soon. Hopefully
3/16" plate may have been a little overkill...
Plug welds forward of the rear cab mounts, and a giant gaping hole where the frame rotted around the slider frame plate welds:
Frame box plates tacked:
Frame rails boxed and fully welded:
Fish plates (mostly) cut. I forgot I needed to cut some holes for plug welds, so I'll have to go back and do that next time I have a minute to work on this thing.
It's annoying to squeeze between the frame rails and the garage door to get to the driver's side, so all my pics are of the passenger side. That said, I did end up taking the driver's side rear cab mount out and have an OEM replacement sitting on my workbench. The frame where it goes is pretty thin though, and I really want to plate it all the way back over the plug welds I mentioned in my earlier post. The downside is that'll push the centerline of the cab mount probably 1/4" out of alignment with the cab. So, I could either 1. ignore the fact that the frame is tin foil and glue it back on, 2. hack the OEM mount up to try to make it work, or 3. get some box tube and fab my own mount. Option 1 seems appealing because I am lazy, but I will probably regret that.
Anyone have any better ideas?
Also, I've been trying to get ahead of future rust issues by painting the interior of everything I'm welding up with steel-it. I'm sure most of it has burned off at this point but I don't really have any better ideas. Eventually I'll cut drain holes in the new frame rails every couple of feet and coat the inside with that Eastwood internal frame coating. And also not drive this thing in road salt. God I hate that shit...
YouTube has lied to me about how long fabrication takes.
Also it’s been a billion degrees below zero here for the last two weeks, so I haven’t had much interest in hanging out in my uninsulated, unheated garage. But tonight I had a few hours and got 3 of the 4 main fish plates tacked in place. I got the 4th rough cut out but got hungry and said F it.
Drivers side outboard fish plate is fully welded and the body mount is fit up, and I rolled the axle under it just so I could remember what it used to look like. Still got a TON of welding to do but seeing that made me feel a little better.
Then the main water line to the house broke and I got to start digging.
Kinda starting to look like a truck again. New frame rails and fish plates are fully welded and I started mocking up the spring hangers this morning. Hoping to get them tacked in place on Monday afternoon.
I also found the guy who originally built the truck on facebook and he sent me a couple pics of it from back in the day. Apparently he had a full PSC hydro assist set up ready to go on, but those parts weren't with the truck when I got it.