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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We Start

Hood off, not tor drain all the fluids

Chris pets his imaginary friend.
This motor allegedly has only 32K mi on it butthe truck it was in was a work truck and lived it's life out doors.

A bit of Cancer. One of the goals of this project is to go through as much as possible remove rust and repaint and rust proof. I want this truck to last.
Here is where we finished for the day. Tomorrow the old 360ci V8 comes out and we measure for the Cummins
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Phoenix Rises (Literaly)

Just to give you an Idea of how big the building my shop is in here is a little perspective.8 floors high, 1100 feet long and 200 feet wide. a little over 1.2M Sqft

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