Monday, December 19, 2011

another step forward....

Brian did most of the work, but we got the frame/axle out from under the box van yesterday!  He ended up unbolting it from the body, and cutting it just in front of the transmission crossmember.

We blocked the body up, and here we have the frame/rear axle ready to pull out from under the body:

That did NOT go off w/o a hitch..... OOPS!  The frame rubbed on the back of the body and pulled it off the blocks :P

 But, we got the body back up on blocks, and Brian cut out notches on the back of the body under the doors to allow the frame to slip under w/o rubbing..... we only had one small wiring fire on a tail light, LOL


At this point, I had to get cleaned up and go to the grocery store - but Brian got the wheels/tires back on the axle, and he said it's much easier to move around now.  I'm so glad that part is over!  Now, we just need to remove the heater assembly and some of the steering that we might be able to use, then we can call the wrecker to come get the van body.  It will be nice to have that parking space back again and that ugly thing out of the driveway!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

front wheels

I meant to post this a while ago - but we finally figured out the wheel situation.  We had the front hubs machined so they fit the GMC 19.5'' wheels.  So, if we decide to get chrome or something at a later date, we won't have to worry about them fitting.  We also put new studs (5/8'') to accommodate the larger wheels.
The wheels now fit the hubs like a glove!
 and, yes, we know the lug nuts are on 'backwards' - the wheels don't have any taper at the holes, so they needed flat lug nuts, so we turned them around........

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We're definitely not purists.........

Well, if you hadn't noticed, we're definitely not purists when it comes to old things and making them how we want them.  Although, Brian did restore a '64 Corvair Spyder many years ago that was pretty close to 'stock/original', that's it as far as our other projects have gone.  He sold this years ago to buy his first snowmobile.....

The Serro Scotty has some resemblance of being 'restored', but it's more 'remade' really......

And, then of course is the Snowtoaster.  The 1961 Thiokol 4T-10.  Definitely not stock with the Ford 300, auto trans, reduction box, and a rear end from a Bombardier........

And, then there is our son's '87 Pathfinder 'wheeler' that has a SAS (that was a fun/interesting project, lots learned there!)  Wish the body still looked this straight :P

And, now this Frankenstein -

Diamond T cab (and rear portion of the frame probably)
Dodge engine/trans/front suspension/front frame
Ford radiator
Chevy (GMC) rear dually axle and front wheels
and Cadillac hood ornament, LOL.

I was calling it the Diamond Dodge because it was only going to be Diamond T and Dodge to begin with - but now I think we're gonna have to come up with something else to call it.......

As far as progress on the project - we had the front hubs machined to fit the GMC wheels, now we are waiting for new wheel studs for the front.  We were hoping to use 9/16'' studs like are on the GMC donor van, but they were unavailable to fit the Dodge hubs (yes, I tried very hard to find them!), so we had to go with 5/8'' studs.  No big deal, just means a little adjusting necessary on the wheels and new lug nuts as well (all this piddly stuff ADDS UP!).  So, hopefully this weekend, I'll be able to show you a pic of the Dodge chassis with the front hubs back on and the new wheels installed!  ::crosses fingers::

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a new donor

Well, we've got our wheels/tires at least - and perhaps we've got our dually rear axle too (hoping).

We bought all-we-want from this truck from the wreckers yesterday, and they delivered it!  We basically paid for the wheels/tires and he's letting us scavenge whatever else we may need off of it.  They will come get it to crush when we're done scavenging! 

So, we know that the front wheels will work for the front axle of the Dodge chassis, but we are going to have to have the centers machined so they are hub-centric on the Dodge hubs as they are just a fraction of an inch too small to fit snug on the hubs.  So, Brian will take the wheels and the Dodge hubs to the machinist - hopefully today when he gets back from fishing.

The rear axle just might work too - we measured the overall width and it is right there - we will just need to find out if we can get the right gearing for the rear end (our son says it's a 14-bolt, but we haven't even looked close enough to find out yet).  If it ''fits'' for the Diamond T project, we'll just run it with it's slow gears until the project is up and running, then we'll worry about gearing it up if it's too slow (which it probably will be, LOL).  Hopefully it fits though!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Diamond T shirts!

I have added some Diamond T shirts to my eBay store here and here.

This is the one I made for Brian while he was fishing this morning :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

metal working......

You can see by this picture that we will need to do a lot of work on that irreplaceable grill (we have the piece that is missing on the bottom, so we can weld that back on too).
We started straightening it out yesterday and actually got pretty far on it!  Further and better than expected!  So much so, that we decided that we needed some metal finishing tools.  Today I made a metal fabricators sandbag!
 I used leather from one of my grandpa's hides (I'm not sure if it's deer, elk, or moose and I don't know how to tell - if it was deer, it was a very large one by the size of the hide!).  It's about an 11'' circle with 3 rows of stitching on my sewing machine in upholstery thread.  I think it should be secure!  I filled it with sandblasting media and it seems like it will work great if the media stays within :)


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nothing left resembling a Dodge.....

The Dodge cab is completely off now - and we're almost ready to start the BUILD process!
(just drips of residual coolant underneath here)
Brian and Karin

Monday, September 12, 2011

Project Diamond T

I am starting this blog to document the build of our 1936 Diamond T 221D project.

The plan:
1936 Diamond T 221D body on a 1991 Dodge 3/4 ton pickup chassis.

Hopefully with as little modifications to the DT body as possible.  We'll probably have to modify the Dodge frame a bit where the DT cab will sit (and maybe shorten the front end of the Dodge where the radiator originally sat, but we'll cross that mountain when we get there).

For now, some pics:

These pics are all 'how we found it'.  This truck has been in NW Washington it's entire life.  It was originally owned by Harold Moyer of Everson - who was the Diamond T dealer in Bellingham the time this truck was new and for years afterwards.  Interesting story about Harold here.    Anyhow, we got this truck from the person who originally got it from Harold.  So, we are only the 3rd owners of this 75 year old truck!  It had 80-some-thousand miles on it in it's life.  Which is quite a bit for an old truck like this!  Our 'donor' truck (which I'll talk about in a bit) has 97K miles on it.

Here is the truck the day we brought it home:

I love how the cab already looks like it's 'chopped'.  We have the doors for it too, but they are in SAD shape.  We (meaning Brian on this one!) will have to rebuild the entire bottoms of them (or find donors in better shape).  The original floor on this was oak.  The doors hinges were originally held on by oak too!  Needless to say, most of it is rotted away now, so there was nothing holding the doors on anymore.

I am keeping all of the pics of the rebuild on Flickr, so you can see more pics here.  You can also bookmark that page if you just want to look at the pics.  There is a lot more pics on there than I have shared so far here.

So, onto the donor vehicle. 

A 1991 Dodge 3/4 ton pickup.  It has a cummins diesel 6BT engine and a 5speed transmission.
Ugly as all get-out.

I won't feel bad tearing this baby apart at ALL.  It runs fantastic, that's all we care about!
The beginning of the tear-down process started 9-10-11.  We have 2 good days into tearing down  and we are SO close to getting the cab off.  One more day I think!

That's me inside tearing apart the dash........
Deconstruction is FUN!

We have 19.5''x6.75'' front wheels on order for the front so we can do mock-up with the DT cab when we get the Dodge cab off.  we just have to find some used 19.5 tires now (new ones are TOO expensive!)  The 19.5 wheels are the dually-type (that look like 'big truck' wheels).  We are hoping to keep this truck as a dually (so we will need to find a dually rear axle eventually).