Sunday, October 25, 2015

Interior framing

Brian had a couple days off work this week, so we got quite a bit accomplished on the interior framing of the truck!  We decided to tackle the curved portions first.  We took square tubing and cut slits in the tubing on 3 sides every half inch the length of the curve - until it fit the curve.

After it fit, Brian tacked it back together and then welded it up solid again.  Unfortunately, this made the metal move into a tighter radius every time, so we had to go back the other direction with a couple slices the opposite way.  It worked out in the end though.

We ended up making the curved pieces for the top, beltline, and floor level (6 pieces total).  I might talk Brian into one more set below the beltline though - more for the support of the upholstery than anything.  The b-pillars are in also - and they are STOUT.  Makes me feel good to have the structure there just in case a rollover ever happened.  You never know.  Better safe than sorry!  (In this pic, Brian was welding the middle cross pieces through the holes in the skin that had originally had screws into wood for the framing)

We also did supports for the floor level under the door.  We didn't need nearly as many slits in the metal to make the right curve for these though.

We used the buck that I had made from plywood that we used to make the curved bottom of the doors that we had to replace.

This morning, we did some gusseting on the framework, then we moved onto making the seat pan.....  We got some beads rolled in it, but it started to get wavy, so we stopped for the night until we can determine how to go on from here.  The pan needs to be removable to access the brake system that is under the drivers seat area.  We wanted a bead or two in the middle, but our bead roller won't reach that far.  We might have to make the pan into 2 pieces, not sure yet.  I really wanted it to be one piece!  It will be covered in sound deadener and carpet (or rubber mat?) and it would be much easier if it was one piece :P

I am really happy with this progress!  No more boards and what-not holding the skin in the right position - we had shims and clamps and all kinds of things holding it in the right place until the framework was done.  Thank goodness all that is unnecessary now!

We will probably work on the a-pillars and above the door next time we work on it :)  Now, this week, I will have to pick up new coveralls for both of us - Brian burned a hole in his welding (and mine have had a hole in them for a long time from catching on fire from grinding, LOL).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Runningboard bodywork

we are working on trying to get the cab aligned with the doors now, so decided we needed to put the runningboards back on so we can put the below-door panels on....  so, that brought us to needing to do some repair work.  We decided the drivers side runningboard was most 'in need', so we tackled that on Sunday.

I forgot to get a before pic of the outside, but the side of the runningboard was caved it - there was actually a crease where the nice rounded edge should be  (you can kinda see it in the home page header).  This is the runningboard clamped to our metalworking table with the edge down.  It was caved in a LOT.

We decided to heat it - and make a body tool with pipe for the rounded edge.  So, after a couple hours of heating and beating, we had this:

Then, finally, after more heating and beating, we had this!  Not perfect, but - wow - it is a LOT better!

Not completely happy with the lower lip, but I think for now we will live with it.  It was stretched out from the body damage, so it didn't want to go back where it should be.

The rotten part of the running board (where it attaches to the supports) cut away and ready for new steel:

I got steel yesterday, so this weekend, we can weld-r-up!  Well, Brian can anyhow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Window frame union

Well, we finally did it.  The window frame is now married to the cowl.  Til death do them part, lol.

The reason it took us so long to get to this part - the curves of the bottom of the window frame didn't match the curves of the cowl.   So, this was a project that we skated around for a while.  Originally, there was a thick gasket between them instead of it being connected permanently.  We didn't like the look of the gasket, so we decided that it would need to be welded.  In order for the corners by the doors to line up, we started there first.  Which left a 1/2'' gap almost the whole way across between the window frame and cowl.  So, we started filling it in with a v-shaped piece of square stock in the center for good structural support, then filled the rest with carefully trimmed sheet metal.  I went ahead and mixed up a small batch of epoxy primer and brushed it on the bare metal - it was way too humid that day for bare metal out in the open.  It all went smoother than expected and I definitely had trouble getting to sleep that night! Even after 3 glasses of celebratory wine, LOL! So excited for this progress!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Skin me once again

Working on re-skinning the second door today.  It had major rebuilding done to the bottom and hinge side, and we were finally ready to do the skin....  until the welding helmet died!

Then, we figured out - the welding helmet wasn't liking the new bulb we put in the shop light above the table.  WEIRD!  As soon as we unplugged the shop light, the helmet worked again.

New skin cut - and lines marked for the bends:

Bends done (and they were SPOT ON I might add!) and clamped in place for welding:

Upside down and primed:

We plan to get the doors (and possibly the cab too) ''dipped'' to remove all the paint/rust and then epoxy primered so that we can do bodywork at a later date. 

We decided to add a middle hinge to the doors... and we only had 5 hinges to begin with that we had restored.  A while back, I bought a set of hinges off ebay.... so the best hinge from that set we took apart and the pieces are now painted with SEM's ''Rust Seal''.  It is an amazing product we have been using for many years that converts rust into a black coating.  It is VERY expensive (over $40 for a 16oz bottle), but a little goes a long ways and it is worth it!

So, we should be able to get all the hinges on the 2nd door next weekend and everything is ready to hang it.  Super excited to have gotten this door skinned this weekend!

Brian had a little fun after I primed the first door we re-skinned:
It's only temporary, but it's fun meanwhile :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fuel tank conversion

We (mostly Brian) finally finished the fuel tank conversion!

I made a plywood floor in it (it is in 3 pieces and the center part is removeable).  This will be where the air compressor and the battery will be located (and the center will be for a tool box perhaps).

We used BBQ type hinges for the lid 

We did get it hung too - just opposite of the matching fuel tank - but I forgot to take a pic!  Next post I will show a pic of it in position :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back in the saddle

After a hiatus to gather more parts - we have started work again on the Diamond T......  this last weekend, we finally finished up the belt reroute and water inlet/outlet swap!

We got new upper and lower water outlets - the old upper pointed toward the passenger side, and we got one that points up now.  The lower water outlet also pointed toward the passenger side - and would have interfered with the frame rail, so we got one that points downward now.  The old lower water outlet had the bracket for the tensioner built-in, so we got a bracket to move the tensioner to the top of the engine - and it worked out really well.

Brian shortened the stock alternator bracket and made a new lower mounting bracket (which turned out very well!)  We had to try out several belts before we got the right one.  It ended up being 5'' longer than the stock belt I believe.  First one we got 2'' longer than stock - it was too short.  Then, got one 6'' longer than stock - and it was too long.  Finally we got one an inch shorter than that - and it was actually a bit too short, so we had to make the lower bracket shorter than we had intended.  After we did that, it fits perfectly!

And, this is the first time we've had the radiator in place in ages!

For those wondering, the radiator is a triple core aluminum radiator meant for a model T with a chevy 350.  We are crossing our fingers the aftermarket electric fan will be 'enough', but we won't know until it's ready to start again.  NOW we need to find hoses!

The second project of the weekend (while we were avoiding door-work), was the fuel tank battery box.  We picked up a second fuel tank from a commercial GMC box van - it's a 33 gallon round tank and exactly the same as the one we got from an Isuzu box van (that one we will actually use AS a fuel tank, LOL).  The second tank is destined to become a battery box (and compressor and tool box too).

The first step was to clean out the tank.  We did that a week ago, so it had time to air out.

Then, Brian knocked off all the extra bits and pieces on the tank that were no longer necessary (handles, inlet, outlet, etc.).  We will keep the fuel filler cap, and just fill the other holes either with welds or plugs.

Then, we decided where the 'lid' is going to be:

I marked it off with tape and Brian started cutting:

Viola!  The inside looks pretty good!  No rust!

Brian ended up cutting those baffles down shorter and will use them as part of the support for a plywood 'floor' in the box.  This week, I need to pick up some thin flat stock steel to use around the perimeter of the door opening - and maybe try to find a hinge system of some sort.  We were thinking a piano hinge, but what was at the local hardware store was just a bit too lightweight.  We were hoping to find something bare steel that could be welded on.

Anybody have any good ideas for the hinge area so it can be semi water proof?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The holy grail

We finally got our hands on the holy grail   grill.  It's not perfect, but it's been powdercoated, and it's pretty darn good.  I am beyond happy!  I think this grill is about as sexy as they come!

Aaaand, we actually HAVE the ''filler'' piece that covers the hand-crank hole in it too - just need to send it to be powdercoated to match :)