Thursday, October 10, 2013

my favorite screwdriver

Brian and I were JUST saying that without this screwdriver we inherited from my grandpa, we couldn't have done a LOT on this project.
It's a big beefy screwdriver that fits well in a lot of the big screws in the doors.  And, wouldn't you know it, while trying to get one stubborn one out, we chipped the corner of the screwdriver.  ::tears::  Hoping that with some grinding, we can make it good as 'old' again ::crossing fingers::

Weekend before last, I decided to work on the Diamond T while Brian was napping :)  So, I cut out the patch piece for the driver's door and bent it up.  The skin-side flange had to be hammered out (it is a curve), but the inside edge I bent on the brake.
Just as I was finishing, Brian came down and it was ready to go!  So, we clamped it on, and he welded it on.  We also got that corner piece patched in (where the hinge is rotted out), but I forgot to take a picture of that.

Brian also gave me a mini-lesson in welding.  Kinda fun.  I did about a dozen short welds...... I can probably build something now that it doesn't matter if the welds are pretty or not, LOL.  The hardest part for me, was seeing where I needed to 'go'.  It is SO dark behind those helmets!
 (We have a wire-feed welder, but no gas - so these are flux-core wire welds, hence the splatter)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

fall is here

This summer has had some fantastic weather, and now fall is here.  We got a lot accomplished around here, but not as much as we'd hoped on the truck.  We did a little bit of fishing
Catching pink salmon on an ultralight fly rod is a BLAST, especially those humpback bucks.  They are a handful!  We let a lot of them go, but did keep a few hens to smoke and to can.  Not personally a fan of eating the pinks though, bleh.

The most important accomplishment this summer is we put a new roof on our house.  That was a HUGE accomplishment.  We saved thousands of $$ by doing it ourselves, but that was a LOT of work.  And a LOT of sweat.  It took us 3 good days to put the roof on (Brian and I - and it was a total of approx 23 squares of roofing and I think 13 new vents.  SO glad I bought an air nailer and the hook blades!  I think this pic of the thermometer tells it all though.  HOT HOT HOT.

Brian has been working on the support for the a-pillar (the hinge support for the passenger door).  It is a lot more difficult than we thought it was going to be - and we knew it was going to be tough!  We got it together enough to hang the door:

Then, back off with the door to make it even sturdier.

Eventually, this will be covered in a metal trim that will hide the welded supports and the hinges.

I wish we had nothing else to do on weekends, but work on the truck, but there is always something else!  The last couple weekends was working on this Craigslist score:

We've been wanting something to keep our wall tent and accessories in for a while.  Storage is an issue with that thing, everything is so bulky and heavy!  Now, we can keep the stuff in there, and it will be easier to get ready to go hunting/camping.

It just needed a little TLC.  So, we replaced the interior - new plywood floor/walls - and plastic ceiling with a dome light.  Complete new wiring and all new bearings/races.   Then, finally new paint inside and out.  It already has new tires/spare, so it should be good to go for many years to come!

A sweet little trailer I think!!!  We do still plan to make fenders and paint the tongue, but another time for that.

Monday, August 19, 2013

hanging a door

Our goal for this weekend on this project was to get a door hung.......

Saturday, we replaced more of the hinge-side metal (decided to replace a larger section by the upper hinge), and then we got the hinges installed in the door.  We had to make indentations for the bolt heads to fit in so they would sit flush.  We really dislike this hinge set-up, makes it really hard to make ANY adjustments at all.

But, with some trial and error, we finally got the door hung on Sunday.  I think this was the most stressful part of this build so far.  Even more stressful than attaching  the IFS!

It still needs some tweaking and more support welding, but it's basically hung.  We'll pull out the pins in the hinges to do the tweaking I think.  And hopefully get RID of the orange!  ick.

Not sure if we'll start the driver's door rebuild yet - I think we'll maybe work on the upper part of the reveal on this door - the cab roof/windshield section is still not secured in place.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Little progress

We have only little progress over the last few weekends.  Sometimes I feel like it's 2 steps forward and 3 steps back......

We did finish the rear cab mounts.  We used the cab mounts from the Dodge pickup and modified them.

And we worked on the framing on the inside of the cab.  These 1x2's I cut slots into the back side of to go over the vertical seam on the back of the cab - and Brian was able to weld through from the back to seal the original screw holes.  These long straight(ish) cuts were ''fun''.  Cutting these is where I caught my coveralls on fire, LOL.

And, we did get the seat pan frame and seat mounts made too.
I cut out the 1x2 for the frame and Brian welded them into a box..........

And I fabricated and cut the seat mounts using large rectangular tube and grade 8 bolts to simulate the mounts that are in the Suburban.  (And Brian welded them of course - I really should learn to weld though!)  The seat is removeable, but fits VERY snug! (The seat is the 3rd row leather seat from our '98 Suburban).  I am very happy how that turned out!  Not happy how the pic turned out though!

But, now we can sit in the truck with the seat installed and make VROOM VROOM noises :)
(this pic was before seat pan frame was done. during mock up)

Seat installed:

And, the seat folds and I think we might have a little room behind the seat near the floor to make a cubby or something possibly:
Now I wish we would have made the seat pan front corners rounded like the original seat pan.  I suppose we can still do that........

And the 3 steps back......  we spent most of the day Saturday bending and drilling a piece for the a-pillar for the hinges - and then after we got it almost done, we decided to make it differently with beefier material.  It will be better though, so I am glad we changed our minds anyhow.  I am headed to the steel store today, (where they know me by first name!), and hopefully we will possibly have a door hanging next weekend?  Maybe????

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Electrolysis and seating

About a week or so ago, I decided to finally set up an electrolysis tank.....  let me tell you, this is amazing science!

Here is a 'before and after' pic:

On the left, one of the original door latches completely covered in rust.  That is the same as the latch on the right looked like until about 4-5 days in electrolysis!  Amazing!  Unfortunately, that rust-free latch appears to be broken ::sigh::  Good thing we have others!  We will still have to figure out how to get the handle removed from the latch though - we need that one as it's our only passenger side handle........

We did get a little work done this last weekend.  Mostly we got lots of planning/problem solving done though.

For months, I've been telling Brian that the 3rd row seat from the Suburban would be perfect for the DT.  He wanted bomber-style seats, but I was worried our fat butts wouldn't fit in the standard ones and we'd have to have some custom-made.  I liked the idea of using the Suburban seat for several reasons: (1) We owned it already, no need to pay for something we already own, custom-made always means $$ ugh (2) It's a bench seat, no worries about our butts being too wide for it, (3)it's leather and in really great shape (4) it's just taking up space and not getting used anyhow (5) we already own it! :)  And we can plan for the flooring layout and have the bracing in the floors in the right spot since it's here for mock up :)

So, here's mock up:

I think it looks like it was MEANT to be in there!  I just need to get to the junk yard and get the 3rd row seatbelts - they have 2 clips in them - one goes to the latches on the side and stay latched while the seat is in, the second latches across your lap so you have a lap and shoulder belt.

Brian plans to have the master cylinder underneath the drivers seat floor pan, so we are going to make the seat removeable just like it was in the Suburban.

Oh, and I guess there is your sneak peek at the tunnel - we have a little more to do for fitment of that, but I think it's a keeper.  I can't wait for floor pans to go in!

Monday, June 24, 2013

hinges, doors, and floors, oh my!

Well, we have decided to send the door hinges off to be professionally restored......

While we were able to get the pin out of this hinge, it was very dificult....  The '36 originally had 3 hinges per door.  But the '40, that we got the doors off of to use on the '36, only had 2 hinges per door.  We have 5 intact hinges, but one  is bent....  We are SO lucky that the previous owner of our '36 somehow managed to acquire those hinges - because ALL of the original hinges from the '36 AND the '40 were ruined/unusable.  Anyhow, the restorer will drill out the original brass bushings, insert *bronze* bushings and new pins.  Our shop is just not set up to do this with precision.  It really is critical that we get these door hung right - and we didn't want to drill new holes in new framework for old saggy hinges, then have popping and creaking and hard-closing doors.

We worked on squaring up the door openings and getting things tacked into place this weekend.......

 The upright body panel pieces (on the hinge side behind the vents) Brian had to make - the driver's side was missing, and the passenger side had 3 notches cut in it for the 3 hinges of the original door.  Since we decided to go with 2 hinges per side, we figured it was better to remake the piece than to repair the old one.
We got those new pieces tacked into place, then got the under-door panels tacked into place too - squaring up the lower portion of the passenger side went pretty smoothly, but the driver's side proved to be a little tricky.  We will have to work on the upper portion of the openings another time.  We have one piece (door reveal piece above the door) that missed the last round at the sandblasters and we didn't want to tack in the rusty icky piece, so we decided to move on and work on the floor instead.........

We got the basic structure of the flooring in - 1x2 tubing, very rigid stuff.  The rear cab mounts will be near the intersection of the 1x2 tubing - there are holes already on the top of the frame there that we will utilize. We will frame the trans/driveline tunnel area with 1x1 tubing.  We started on the trans tunnel, but we'll wait to show pics until we decide if it's what we want to go with.  We bent a piece in our brake (we originally wanted round, but the 18g steel proved to be a challenge to bend that large of a piece!).  We are still unsure about the bends on the tunnel, although I have a feeling we will probably just go with it since it will be covered anyhow.  Maybe next weekend, we'll be able to get some flooring in!  *Hopefully*!

We have decided to make part of the flooring out of wood - the part right by the door opening....  we have lots of maple, and originally we were thinking quilted maple, but our quilted maple is pretty light in color.........  our maple burl is much richer/darker in color, so we might go with some of that instead.

This project has definitely challenged us along the way - and many more challenges to come!  I have NO idea how guys build hot rods on their own!  Some things take more than 2 hands for sure!

 with the windshields in temporarily:
 This truck sings to me......... ''You're gonna LOVE me'' :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

door nightmare continued

We were able to work on rebuilding the first door this weekend.  The bottom panel was a bit tricky, but we did really well I think (only had to recut a new piece once!)
We were able to put the inside bend in with the new brake, but the flange end had to be bent the old-fashioned way.  With 2  pieces of plywood cut to the curve, sheet metal clamped between the plywood and sheet metal flange hammered over.  It is a very gradual curve - only 2.5'' towards the corners, but 3'' deep at the center.
The outside edge toward the bottom, we used a piece from the original doors that was near the latch to patch the rusted corner and 'terminate' the layered bend also.  It worked out really well I think!

After replacing part of the steel where the top hinge was, we realized that more needed to be replaced when Brian started welding and the original steel was just too thin, so we cut out more rotten steel.......

I forgot to get a pic of the repair on the upper hinge, but this is what the bottom looked like at the end of the day Sunday....

 The hinge dimples might be a challenge in this thick steel.....
 This pic shows the curve of the bottom a little better.......
Hopefully by next Sunday, we'll be hanging this door.  New skin from the beltline down will be done at a later date.