Here’s what I was able to get done to close out 2010:
I pulled off the heavy-duty back bumper, then un-did all 8 of the bed mounting bolts (the front two were rotted to nothing), then pulled the bed off with the help of Laura, Mike and Jose. Mike and Jose were here building a deck for us. Nice of them to pitch in.
The bed wasn’t quite high enough here for me to drive all the way out, and the front of the bed fell onto the frame. The truck didn’t have a gas tank at this point, so I pushed gas into the carb with a turkey baster, and I was trying to drive it up the hill into the garage one carb bowl at a time.
The bed is light enough that I could lift the front end while Laura positioned this 2×4 on the saw horses.
Once the truck was in the garage, I drilled and cut the rivets off of the frame cross-member between the rear spring mounts, then knocked it out with a sledge hammer.
I should probably brace that area, as there was likely a good reason for that cross-member.
Then I measured the opening against the tank,
and determined that I needed to carve out 5/16” on either side. Considered buying a plasma cutter, then made the (very sloppy) cuts with a sawzall.
Measured and cut 1” square tubing for a support frame, then welded it together. The second welding project of my life.
Next (hopefully today) I’ll get hardware to mount the tank to the frame, fabricate brackets to cope with the kick-up of the frame over the rear axle and test fit everything. Before I put the bed back on, I’ll wire-brush the frame and paint it with POR15.
Next big challenge is to figure out where to put the filler and to run a filler hose without kinks or low spots.