Monday, April 17, 2017

more door work

I cleaned up the inside of the passenger door last week and gave it a good coat of POR15
Then, I got the door scuffed up, some bodywork done, and all prepped for another coat of epoxy primer (I am going to use white epoxy primer on the inside since we are going with a cream/ivory interior paint, so I have to get some on order before I can go further on this).  There is still some pitting around the window opening that I didn't mess with - that will be covered by the window garnish molding, so I didn't think it was necessary to smooth that out.

New steering

This was the original steering joint that attached directly to the steering box from the Dodge

We decided to go with a u-joint there instead and then a DD shaft up to the rag joint.

It turned out great!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Custom console, part 1

Using the same buck as we made for the dash extension, we hammered a curved flange on the top edge

Marked and cut out shifter hole

Then bent flanges on the edge in the brake, and ran them through the stretcher to create a curve.  I like how the original dash, the dash extension, and the console have a layered look.... we are calling it a waterfall.

With the seat in, we measured for a flat section of console that will have cup holders and probably a tray (and boot for the aux. transmission). 

I made the second part of the console basically like a box with short sides.  It will bolt to the curved section then bolt to a support that will be welded to the tunnel near the seat.

I think before I bolt the two pieces together and shorten the curved section where they bolt together, I would like to try to get a bit more curve on the first section.

The sides will be covered to the floor and to the firewall with an upholstered panel.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Dash extension

Sometimes the metal worker has to be the woodworker first.

Brian has been wanting an extension to the dash for a while - something to hide the wiring better and to put switches and ignition on.  So, first I made a cardboard template - then cut it out of plywood.  Then, adding 1'' on either side for a flange, I drew it out on 20g steel.

Brian cut it out with the plasma cutter

Then, I realized I would have to have 2 of the plywood templates (bucks) to bend the flanges.  Clamping the steel between the two bucks, I started to bend the upper flange first.  At this point, we had to use the shrinker on the corners.  We used the stretcher a little on the center curve as well.

After the flange was done, it looked like it was going to work!  Now, to bend the lower flange....

We had a scary moment when we overshrunk the lower curve a little and the panel wasn't flat anymore - but after clamping it hard between the bucks again and a LOT more hammering, it turned out pretty darn good!  I did have to flatten the face a little after this pic

After several hours - finally, the extension after it was all cleaned up and ready for epoxy primer.  I am really happy how this turned out!  And, my arms are sore today from all the hammering!  We will have to cut a large hole in it for the steering column unfortunately.  Now I need to pick up some attractive stainless bolts to attach it to the dash - and think about making a center console next....

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Peterbilt parts

Brian and I worked on the DT today... he welded some holes in the roof left from the semaphore and cab lights and I cut plugs for the holes that were too big to just fill.

I also worked a bit on the dash top prepping it for primer.  A while back I got a dash vent on ebay from a 40's DT.  When I started working on the dash from the 37, it was obvious that this truck had the option of a dash vent, but it didn't ever have it installed.  The hole is punched, but not removed.  I don't want to install it on top like they would have done at the factory though.  I plan to cut small oval holes the size of the vent openings and trim them with these Peterbilt glove box trim pieces.  They have a little visor on them so it will help direct the air to the windshields.  Where the bolts would have gone through to hold the vent on, Brian will weld on studs on the back so it can be bolted on from underneath with a grate of some sort sandwiched between so nothing can fall in the vents.

Then, we narrowed a Peterbilt visor... I am not sure I love it yet.   It might grow on me.

Monday, February 27, 2017

rusty screws

We have the doors from the 37 parts truck that I knew we would probably need inner door parts for.  It turns out we need BOTH latches - and the window regulators are in better shape than any others we have (as well as the latch release mechanisms).  Soooo, I set off to remove all the %&$# rusty screws from the doors.
My weapons of choice.  Gunk penetrating oil, a hammer, a selection of screwdrivers, a small crescent wrench, and a hacksaw blade.
 I cut a sharper groove in the rusty screw head for the screwdriver, insert screwdriver, give a couple of hard taps with the hammer and most of them came loose without my cussing.
 After a particularly stubborn one, I would yell ''I WIN!'' because it felt like such a victory, haha!

Then, there would be the occasional super stubborn one, ugh.  This one I ended up grinding the head off of it - it was a screw from the non-existent arm wrest, so I didn't need to save the threads for right now.  We are going to sell the door, so the next person will have to worry about that one loan screw on this door.  Amazingly, this door has NO ROT on the bottom of the carcass.  It is also interesting to see what an original door with no rot looks like!  It has two elongated (factory) drain holes in the bottom as well as a channel on the bottom with a door sweep rubber.  Interesting!

Whew, finally got the door panel off!  Underneath was this color - I had no idea they originally did a khaki brown interior on these trucks, haha.

This one was a bugger.

I ended up starting to grind off the head - and then it moved.....  so, I was able to get it out with the pliers.

whoop whoop!  Working door latches in both doors now!  It was a MIRACLE that I got those little headless screws out  that hold the handles in.  Seriously!  The passenger door knob is keyed - which is weird (why not the drivers door?) - it is at the locksmith now HOPING to get it functioning and a key.  I am also HOPING he doesn't ruin it because it almost irreplaceable!  I have had a total of 4 sets of doors and it is the only one I have!

I am ordering window regulator bushings today....might as well replace the rotten ones while I have it all apart and have smooth operating regulators with the new fuzzy channel and new rubber setting channel when I get new glass made :)  I think we will just go with clear glass and we can tint the glass later if we decide we want to.

Anyhow, feeling victorious with those door latches!  I win!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Latches and templates

Today I decided to start to work on the latches and get templates done for the glass.

This latch spring is broken:

I have this latch that has the same mechanism, but the wrong plate.  So, the trick is to take the mechanisms off both plates and put the working one on the smaller plate.  Fun.

Drilled out the  spot welds and I still cannot get those tabs loose, arrrgh!

Finally end up cutting the tabs off.  Now, all switched over and ready for tack welds.

I forgot to take pics of it after the tack welds, but it turned out great and after a little WD-40 'Specialist', it worked fantastic!  BTW, I *love* that WD-40 Specialist - is is a corrosion preventer for long-term storage.  I have used it for parts after I did a rust remover on them (either electrolysis or molasses soak), and it is great!  It keeps a thin layer of a thin grease on the parts - so works good for moving parts (probably not good for parts you want to paint though).

Sunday, February 12, 2017

It drives!

We are over the moon excited about this huge step in our project.  So much to do still but so much work behind us now...

Saturday, February 11, 2017


We got the power wire ran to the starter as well as the ground wires!  Cab grounded, engine grounded!  Tomorrow we can install the battery and start it.  We are going to test the clutch (since we recently installed a new reservoir) before we reinstall the driveline... so hopefully tomorrow we will be doing our first test drive!   ::crossing fingers::

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New seat

We had originally planned to use the gray leather 3rd row seat from our 98 Suburban.  So, we 'engineered' the mounts to use that removable seat when we built the floor pans in the truck.  As the build went on, Brian decided that he no longer liked the gray seat.  It was going to make the color choices more difficult on the interior as we really wanted a mainly cream interior with touches of wood (dark brown).  So, I searched for months for a tan leather seat from the same generation Suburban.  Well, last week I finally found one, in immaculate condition.

This last weekend, we finally got around to adding fluid to the new clutch reservior and bleeding it. 

And.... we started working on the battery cable wiring.  These special fittings allow for a pass through of the fuel-tank-turned-battery-box.  They also allow for the battery box to be removed if necessary.  The battery leads bolt onto the inside from the battery (with a power shut off between).  Then, from the outside to the starter/frame rail.  Those doubleD holes were a little challenging w/o the special punch tool.

Inside the battery box:

The terminal connections from the outside (and the battery shut-off on the right)

We had planned to have the starter all wired up this last weekend, but the special solder-on ends I purchases ended up not fitting our wire.  I thought 1/0 fittings would fit 1/0 wire, but apparently I was wrong?  LOL.
I ended up buying another batch of connectors at Motor Trucks - and hopefully Remy Battery will return the ones that didn't fit.  I emailed them, and so far have not heard back :(