Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chassis Paint

Eastwood's Satin 2K Chassis paint over PPG DP90LF Black Epoxy Primer, Shot with a Sharpe Cobalt with 1.4mm tip at 25psi at the gun.I'll let you know how it dries.

Update: The satin finish is very nice. I like it better in this application than the flatter finish of un-topcoated Zero-Rust.It is also very tough. I painted a test piece and after letting the paint dry for 48 hours I tried to scratch it and even tried dropping on to the concrete floor of the shop. The marks and scrapes were so minor as to be hard to see.We'll see how it holds up to being underneath a truck on the road but I think I have also found an excellent paint for Motorcycle frames when powdercoating isn't an option.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Body Panels

The rusted but solid inner fender

After media blasting

Mixing Zero Rust 4:1 for spraying

Sharpe Colbolt with a 1.4mm tip.
Everything got either PPG DP90 black epoxy primer or Zero Rust. Top coated with Eastwoods semi glos chassis black.
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The Tank Selector Valve

Being fuel injected the tank selector has to be able to accommodate the spill over or return from the injectors. you could pip this into one tank but then you run the risk of forgetting it overflowing that tank.this valve was from a marine supply will work quite nicely.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First Fuel Tank Mod

Being a fuel injected Diesel means that there has to be a return or overspill line from the injection system back to the fuel tank. This truck has the factory duel tanks and the pictures here are from the lower one. I pulled it out and after draining it,  washed and removed the rust ready  to receive a coat of Zero Rust  (even though it’s cad plated the plating has been breached in a number of places and it was starting to rust). Here I turned the threads off a brass 1/4” NPT to 3/8” hose barb fitting from home depot and drilled a 7/16” hole near the filler neck and vent. I figured this was as good a place as any for the fuel return. I’m not going to show you pictures of the fitting after I brazed it in place because my brazing sucks and I had far too big a torch tip so I made a bit of a mess trying not to blow through the steel of the tank or completely melt the brad of the fitting. Suffice it to say it’s brazed well enough to hold a liquid tight seal. I never said I was a welder.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mod to the Cross Brace

In order to get the Getrag 5 Speed trans that is currently attached to my Cummins 5.9 I had to cut the cross brace that is riveted to the frame rails right where the steering box is bolted. 1 minute with the plasma cutter and we had a notch. Once the engine and trans are in place there is plenty of clearance but notching the cross member was easier than cutting the rivets and bolting the whole thing back in. Fill pieces were cut and about 3 minutes with the mig welder and everything was good to go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This May Be Eaiser Then We Thought

We are just having great luck with this swap and things are looking easier and easier. The transmission clears the Aux fuel tank with plenty of room, and here you can see that the radiator from the Dodge 3500 that gave us its motor fits perfectly into the 69 ford radiator support with no modifications and in the stock location. There will be 2 mounts that will have to be made but they will be just 2 pieces of 2” angle iron with holes drilled in them to fit the rubber bushings on top of the radiator. They can be bolted to the radiator support with all of 15min of work. And it gets better. The Dodge intercooler and air conditioning condenser will similarly fit perfectly right in front of the radiator. There is also plenty of room between the engine and the radiator for a big electric fan. And there should be no clearance problems for the front grille and the a/c condenser. Likewise the sheet metal of the transmission tunnel only has to have the shift lever hole opened about 2” to the rear to accommodate the new transmission shifter. There’s still a lot of work to be done but this is a lot less difficult than it could have been and is even easier than we anticipated.

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Measuring for the New Motor Mounts

The bolt in transmission brace from the old 4 speed isn’t useful for anything here so it’s out. There is a riveted in brace that looks like it braces the frame at the steering box against forces induced by the steering arms against the wheels. We had to cut a notch in that to allow the Getrag trans to clear, but other than that everything seems to fit in with plenty of clearance. The oil pan clears the main frame cross member by about 1-1/2”, and the rear most valve cover is about 1” from the firewall. Even the bell housing clears well. I got new motor mounts (pillow blocks) and it looks as though we can mount one of those directly to the cross member with a 3/16” reinforcing plate that we will weld onto the cross member to help spread the load. This may just be precautionary. But because the pillow blocks mount with only one ½” threaded mount and are usually bolted to towers that bolt to the frame with 3 or 4 bolts I think it is therefore smart to spread the load a bit. The mount on the driver side will be more elaborate but still very simple.
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Test Fitting the Engine

Looks like it will be a fairly straight forward fit. We may have to notch the cross right in front of the transmission (looks like a brace by the front suspension mounts for adding extra torsional rigidity to the frame) because there is a boss for the transmission drain plug that makes it impossible to slide the transmission back. if this is all we have to do before we fabricate the engine mount towers then we are way better off than we thought we would be. it looks like the oil pan on the Cummins will clear the main frame cross member and still leave room for the steering linkages underneath. On the other conversions I've seen there was a need to notch the main cross member but I believe those trucks were 4x4's and there for a different frame. I'll have better pictures after we put the motor in place for real measurements. At this point I have to degrease de-rust and paint the frame before any of that happens. I will also be completely redoing all the brake lines with stainless steel hard lines and then re-bushing and rebuilding the entire front end with new springs and steering linkages.  
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Before and After

Cummins Before Make Over
Cummins Before Make Over
I spent far too much time prettying up the engine this past week. I don't really want to add up the hours because it would be a little embarrassing but either way the Cummins looks a damn sight better then it did. All I did was take off all the covers and brackets, degrease, bead blast where appropriate and paint with Zero-rust or engine paint after first treating bare steel Pickel-x zinc phosphate rust inhibitor and adhesion promoter.
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Lipstick on a Hog
Cummins After Makeover

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Out With The Old! Guardian Auto Sales are a Bunch Of Liars!

I bought this truck from a used car dealer in Idaho call Guardian Auto Sales. Apparently run by a guy name Jim Fenton. Guardian in my opinion strongly lives up to the stereotypical used car salesman reputation. I first have to admit that I broke my own rule when buying this truck, in that I bought it sight unseen save for the photos Jim emailed me and posted to the eBay auction (Yes eBay auction, What was I thinking?). I do have a rule that when buying anything over a few hundred dollars on eBay it should always be within driving distance so that I can inspect it before paying for it lest someone exaggerate the condition of an item on eBay. But I fucked up. I trusted Jim Fenton. I wish I could post the original eBay listing here but it has long since expired and I never thought to grep it for my records. The truck was described by Guardian as rest free. This was lie number one as there were places in the rocker panels, radiator support, Cab corners, and front fenders where the rust had eaten clear through the sheet metal. The floor pans were obviously replaced too. They also claimed that the truck had 78k original miles and that that it came from its original owner (who they claimed to know), who only really drove it on the highway when using it for camping. They made sound like it was used but in excellent shape. There is no way the truck had 78K miles on it. The Odometer has only 5 digits after the tenths and so I have to believe that 178K is more likely. That however is irrelevant as it didn’t have the original motor and transmission anyway. I looked up the Vin and found that this was originally a column shift manual and what I got was a floor shift 4 speed. But that isn’t even the best part. After the fire I had a closer look at the motor and realized that it didn’t have the original carb on it. There was also evidence that mine wasn’t the first fire under the hood. But the real beauty came when we pulled the motor getting ready for the engine swap. We had a lot of trouble getting the old motor out and noticed that the sheet metal around the shifter tower on the trans looked like it had been cut with tin snips. We had to turn the motor sideways to get the transmission to clear the welded in frame cross member. This was not right. After getting the motor out I ran the serial number from it and found out that though it was a 360ci (which was the size of the original motor) this one was a heavy duty 360 out of an F600 dump truck! This motor and trans are definitely not the same as the pickup 360s as the bell housing is much bigger to accommodate the very heavy duty clutch of the dump truck. Long story short this truck didn’t even have its original motor. Last but not least this truck came from the factory with 2 tone paint. And it was poorly repainted at some point. All that said, the price I paid for it, though High for this condition, wasn’t a complete ripoff. In my opinion this truck is worth about $500 to $1k less than what I paid for it and that Guardian auto sales knew full well about all these issues and lied in the eBay auction and to me on the phone.
BIG Round Bellhousing.Tthis is an F600 Engine and Trans
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