Happy New Year!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

This is as high as the tank will go before the frame rails are trimmed.

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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.

Sloppy sawzall cuts.

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Measured and cut 1” square tubing for a support frame, then welded it together. The second welding project of my life.

Frame test fit.

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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.

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About lc

dad, husband, dog owner, computer guy, race fan, classic car fantasizer, fiscal conservative, mmmm...beer, lover of chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream
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