Tuesday, October 16, 2012

we have primer!

Brian got off work early today, so we were finally able to get the primer on the sandblasted parts!  We *had* set aside the whole day Saturday to do it - and then the primer didn't arrive in time :(  Of course it came on Monday, grrr.  We will be sure to order the next primer in plenty of time *before* we get parts sandblasted!

We made a paintbooth in our daylight basement, turned on the space heater until it was around 70 in there (and left the door open for ventilation), then Brian sprayed the epoxy primer we got from Southern Polyurethanes.  Black (of course!).
Such a relief to have primer, now we can set the cowl/firewall section on the frame and get it bolted in place so we can start working on the fender hangers (oh joy)........

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a little support

The radiator now has supports and is mounted!

 Looks like there will be room under the radiator for an intercooler :)

The grill shell is just sitting there, it still needs a support made.  

 We used square tubing bolted to the front crossmember for the support, and then used rubber grommets between the support and the tab on the radiator.
Not a lot of room to spare, it was tricky to try to come up with an idea for the supports!  I think we will still find a way to tie in the top of the radiator with the hood support too though (will be a rod from the firewall to the grill shell).
NOW, time comes to figure out the radiator hoses!  EEP!  I think we'll be able to figure out the top one, but the bottom one will for sure have to have something modified.... the outlet also faces to the passenger side - and only a little over an inch from the frame rail :(

We have several pieces back now from the sandblasters and I ordered the black epoxy primer - it should be here by Friday!  So, Saturday will be primer day!  We might have to roll the chassis back and make a 'paint booth' under the carport if it's not too cold out.  If it's too cold/rainy, we'll probably make a paintbooth inside the basement (it's a daylight basement for those who haven't been here) - with heat lamps and then doors open for ventilation.  I got plenty of plastic to section off an area in either case.  We will have to rub all the parts down with wax/grease remover, scuff with a scotchbrite pad, then use the air to blow off any dust/debris - then primer!  I've not seen the epoxy primer in person yet, but I've seen it used on Overhaulin' and it looks like really THICK stuff.  I bought our primer from Southern Polyurethanes Inc. as I have heard their stuff is the best!  No tax shipped to WA and FREE shipping too!  Nice!  I got a quart of primer and a quart of activator (and it mixes 1:1), so we will have a half gallon to work with.  Should be plenty for what we're going to be spraying!
We will be spraying the cowl/firewall section, the 3 back panels of the cab, and the dash.  I am afraid to take the roof section to the blasters since it's such an awkward piece!  We don't want it set on the ground like this, and we don't want it set on the roof upside-down, maybe we'll take it with the table we have it sitting on, LOL!  All the other pieces so far I've been able to take in my Outback wagon, but this piece we'll have to take the Suburban for sure.
I guess we are going to wait until after our Thanksgiving week hunting trip to get it blasted, then we can finally start assembling the cab..... 
 I'm not sure if I've shown the visor we got before - this came off an older Peterbilt logging truck..... I think it's stainless..... it's a two piece unit and can be shortened to fit the width of the cab at the center.  It's a near perfect angle match though! (of course it will be just over the windows when it's mounted).

Anyhow, next update will be primer pics!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A sandblasted cowl/firewall section that is.

It feels good to start work on the body pieces!  The firewall had some cracks in it, so Brian started welding on it on Sunday.....

Took me a minute to figure out what was with the corners of the cowl section.....  it was a leaded seam!  This may need body filler as it's pretty porous........
There is some more welding to do - patch panels to be made for these sections (they are the areas that are behind the fenders)
I was actually surprised that these didn't get larger with the sandblasting - even the little edges are strong still!  Brian will just cut out a rectangle and patch in a new piece, probably this weekend.  We have more parts at the sandblasters, so there might be some epoxy primer going on this weekend hopefully!
This was an inside seam of the back of the cab.......
I thought the pieces of the back of the cab were going to be easy to come apart.........  boy, was I mistaken!

You can see in these pics - how there is a seam right above the frame rails that separate the back corners from the back window section.  There was a molding over these on the inside where they came together - I had to grind off the bolts holding it together (what I thought was all that was holding them together), but once I got the bolts off (screw heads on the outside), the molding was stuck like glue to the seam.  Could not get it off for nothing.  We ended up cutting them off :(  They are irreplaceable as far as I know, so they will have to be welded/repaired to be reused.  THEN, we thought the panels would fall apart after those were off.  NOPE.  They were spot welded!  We wanted to get all the rust blasted in the seam, so we ended up cutting the spot welds with our narrowest grinding wheel between the seams (from the inside).  It was a major pain, but they are apart and seam to be none the worse for wear where they will show anyhow!
Now, after the molding pieces are repaired, we will have to decide what to use to reassemble them......  screw heads showing aren't the most attractive, and aluminum pop rivets don't hold paint real well.......  don't know what we'll use yet!  Any ideas???!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

tale of a wall tent

*WARNING* this post has nothing to do with the Diamond T :)

Brian has *always* wanted an old-fashioned ''wall tent''.  You know, the kind you can put a wood stove in and actually walk around in?  Well, his boss had an old one, and got a new one just recently (smaller and easier to set up).  So, Brian ended up with the tent for a pretty good deal!

This was what the tent looked like when we first got it set up:
To say it needed help was an understatement.  The legs on the ridgepole were too short so the peak wasn't high enough (thus the strange wrinkle).  The ridgepole/legs were also 2" pipe and were SUPER heavy.  Too heavy for hubby and I to wrangle by ourselves really.

So, first thing we did was buy new smaller diameter pipe, and at less than half the weight, it was a dramatic difference when setting it up.  Easier to set up and looked SO much better!

Hubby and I talked about putting a divider in it.  Because it was HUGE.  14'x18'!  He worried that when we camp in it for hunting in November that it would be too big to heat for just the two of us.  I had some canvas I had inherited from my grandparents, barely enough for a divider, so I borrowed my brother's heavy duty industrial machine.  Not a fancy one mind you, but it has dual feed and is meant for this type of sewing that I'd hate to even attempt on my Pfaff or even on my antique Singer.

 Then hubby got the CRAZY idea to make the whole tent smaller!  EEEEEK.  Yes, I freaked out more than just a little.  I whined, I complained, I resisted.  But, resistance is futile when a hubby has his mind made up!

So, we took the tent down.  It had 6 widths of canvas sewn together, so he decided to remove 2 of them, which would make the tent 14x12.  So, he removed the end of the tent about 4'' from the rear seam, then just on the front side of the 2 back panels.

I put right sides together, and did a felled seam so there was no raw edges.  Here I was replacing zippers in the 'vents' that someone made along the tents journey (there was one in the upper peak of both front and back walls).  They put in ugly orange garment zippers that were in pretty bad shape.  I replaced with heavy duty outdoor zippers with nice big chunky plastic teeth, they should last the rest of the tents life.

 Hubby helped guide the fabric when I sewed the two parts of the tent back together, and it actually worked better than I thought it would.  I was pleasantly surprised and am SO relieved that it worked out and it's DONE.  And, that we were able to remove another 6' from the ridgepole, and 4 wall posts, so it was even *easier* to set up this time!
 Here is the seam from the outside:
 Inside view from the doorway:
 Here is the seam from the inside:
 inside view from the rear corner:
It's still a BIG tent at 14x12, but much more manageable.  Still big enough for 4 comfortably though.

Brian also color-coded the frame so it will be easier for someone to assemble it if they borrow it that way too.  The middle leg is optional, we thought it might be handy for hanging things on though (there are loops inside the tent so we can make a mini clothesline too)

So, now all we have to do is install a zipper on the doorway (it overlaps and has ties and velcro, we want a zipper)...... and the separating zipper has been ordered and is on it's way.

I also have on order some seam sealer for the seam I stitched, and I plan to use the leftover canvas that we removed from the tent to make a bag for it.  Then, we'll just have to locate (or build) a woodstove and we'll be ready for winter camping!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

old Dodge hood = new radiator shroud

Brian said to me the other day that he wished he had some sheet metal that he could make a fan shroud with.......  I said, ''something about the thickness of an old Dodge hood?!''.

He did a pretty good job I think!!!!!!1
So glad we had that electric fan already from another project!  It's the perfect size!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

starting to look like a truck!

I am very excited to see the Diamond T start to look like a truck!

We got the new rear driveline last week and Brian installed it.  It's SO close to being a finished chassis now!

You can see in the pic above that we also got the air tank for the suspension installed (although that was a couple weeks ago).   You can also see the crossmember Brian made and welded in front of the c-notches ahead of the rear end.  He plans to have another one behind the rear end too, but that one will probably be removable.  When letting the air out of the system, we found out that the rear driveline hits that crossmember that goes over the air tank.... we were hoping it wasn't going to have to be messed with, but looks like we'll have to notch it for the driveline.  It's still riveted in, so we'll take the driveline back out and alter it in place.

We worked on mocking up the front end on Sunday (my birthday), it's so exciting to see everything go back together.  I'm sure these will be off and on many more times along the way, but it looks good to see them where they are going to be!
We had to notch the grill shroud to get it to fit past the front crossmember:
I was *thrilled* to see that the turbo WILL fit inside the hood w/o altering anything! It just BARELY clears, but it does clear, yay!
Brian also got the fan shroud made, and the electric fan installed on the radiator, but I forgot to take pics!  I'll share that later in another post!

Monday, September 10, 2012

recycle day

Brian had a couple days off work last week (work truck in the shop), so we did recycling one day:
Here he was salvaging some flat-ish sheet metal from the 'chop' Jacob did on his Pathfinder (his wheeler):
Here is a pic of Jacob's wheeler to show the chop:
Anyhow, that was only a *small* portion of the steel we've acquired.  A small portion of the 2400 pounds!
Which we got just over $200 for - not bad me thinks!  And, we turned right around and purchased new galvanized poles for our 'new to us' wall tent!  Sorry for the pic quality, this pic is taken with my cell phone JUST before dark.....
The old poles we got with this tent were 2'' (ID) steel and were SO heavy! (We replaced with 1'' ID galvanized)  Plus, the legs were a little short so the ridgepole didn't go high enough to fully support the tent.  Here is a 'before' pic with the old poles:
I am SO glad we replaced them - they are less than half the weight (plus, then tent is much more functional now!)

So, back to the Diamond T.......
Brian salvaged an old truck light bar from the recycle bin that was badly dented.  We worked on it for a couple hours getting it straightened out as best as possible:
And, then he gave it a new 'finish' since the aluminum was pretty stained/etched:

Personally, I'm not real fond of the light bar and it's location, but he says it stays.  I wish the frame rails were 6'' so we could put a light bar IN the frame rails in place of that crossmember (and move the crossmember forward where it was originally).  Brian says it ain't gonna happen though :P  Or even if the logo'd crossmember was wide enough to cut 4.5'' holes for brake/turn lights, THAT would be cool, but it's only 5'' wide, and it wouldn't work :(

Anyhow, I do have some more progress to share on the Diamond T - I just need to take some pics!