Posts Tagged ‘Jeep Project’

Got some more work done on Frank. Not as much as I had anticipated, but we made very good headway, considering we did not get started until almost 14:00.

I really wanted to chop the cab today. I got the electricity fixed and was looking forward to testing it all out. Daniel came over and helped me out with my welder regulator issue, and we went to fire it all up when we found I had no gas.

You see, we were not able to fix the regulator gauge, so we just plugged that port. That happened to be my bottle pressure gauge, so I was unaware that I had no gas in the bottle. Oh well, we did mark out the cuts to perform the 4″ chop, and as soon as I have a welder available again, we are ready to start cutting.

In other parts of the build I did, however, make some forward progress! (Opposed to backward progress? But I digress…)

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I had to notch the wheel wells for the new fuel tank that Luke gave me. He believes it to be a 30 gallon tank; the thing is massive! (50 bonus points to the person that can correctly tell me what that fuel cell came from! [And no, “Luke’s house” is not the answer I am looking for here.]) You can see there is no room back there for the window I had planned, so I made another use of the second DJ-5 barn door I had sitting around the garage.

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I got started on the tailgate for this thing! In order for the tailgate to be finished, I still need to shave the hole leftover from the latch on the barn door, and then cap the top. Those are more things I need a welder for, but it is otherwise coming together nicely. I am still in the process of figuring out if I want it to be a functional tailgate and drop down, or if I am just going to weld it there. Even if it is “functional”, it is still useless as I only have room for batteries and an air tank back there. Nonetheless, I think things are working out pretty well for Ol’ Frank.

The Story of How This All Came to Be

Tony and I had spent the most of the day removing the cab from Hyde and relocating it to my driveway. This was not much of a catastrophe, not enough to write about at least; but we did manage to get it to the ground without anyone, or anything, getting hurt or damaged. We spent the rest of the day looking the cab over and deciding the best route for cutting, and which pieces would fit best where. We could not find the correct angles to cut at, and I was just not happy with the way that this cab was refusing to cooperate with me.

Tony had to leave early and I was sort left by myself for awhile. That is when Bobby called and asked me what I was up to. I told him I was having a hell of a time trying to figure out the best way to cut up this cab to use for pieces, he told me to hang tight and he would be right over.

He drove over in his Cherokee and checked out where I was at in the build; he had yet to see it in real life. He came by and looked it over with me. You see, Bobby had already read my writings here on the interweb and knew my original intentions. That is when he said:

“What if we put that, over there?”

He had pointed to that cab, and motioned to put it over there onto the frame… just as it sat.

BOOM. Mind Blown.

I looked at him and he at me; we both looked at the venerable little Jeep, knowing there would be some metal destruction in order for this to work properly – the front half of the Jeep tub would need to be cut off.

“How much time do you have, Bobby?”

“Why?”

“Because it is almost 21:00 and I am crazy enough to cut this up (in a home owner’s association) right now.”

 

He asked for, and I supplied him a reciprocating saw. He got to the side of the Jeep, and looked at me once more for the green light, asking if I was positive I was ready to go through with it. You betcha! Cut away my friend!!

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We used the sawzall to cut the verticals, and a cut-off disc to cut all the horizontal metal.

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We cut the tub in half and separated the two piece, sliding the front half off of the frame.

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Then the two of us dragged the cab over to the frame, dropped the frame off the jack stands and on to the ground, and then heaved the heavy cab up onto the frame. We scooted it back toward the rear portion of the tub and checked for clearances as we put the frame back onto the jack stands.

This was the mock up I made that night.

 20160814_15324420160814_165634WHOA!!! I did NOT see THAT coming!!

Remember way back in January, of two-thousand… and FOURTEEN (*gasp!*) I had mentioned that I wanted to take a Willy’s truck cab and graft it onto the little Jeep, chop the top and have a cabbed vehicle?

(Check out Genesis – The Look if you have forgotten.)

 

I take your Willy’s truck cab and raise you one Kenworth cab!

Yep. That just happened. Everyone knows that I brought home the Kenny cab, and I wanted to chop it up and use the metal for Frank…

Not for this guy!

Project #2 – Peaked / Split Windshield

Well, I happened across a guy that was selling a cab. This was not a taxi for sale, it was the “body” of a truck, the cab. But this was not just any truck cab; this was a 1947 Kenworth truck cab, thank you Jim!

We are talking semi-truck (sem-eye or seh-mee)… 18 wheeler… big rig… transport truck… a single… tractor-trailer… an articulated lorry (or just an artic)… Whatever you call it where you come from, we are talking about a very big truck! And I bought it!!

For a peaked / split windshield?? You are crazy Mac!

No silly! Not just for the peaked / split windshield. For the corners too! I wanted to use the corners for up-armour on the flat rod. You see, no offense to any one previous owner, the sawzall cut on the Jeep tub was a little short, plus I needed to do some hole shaving (that means, I get rid of the hole by welding in some metal). This made for an easier way to do that, if all I need to do is cover it with another sheet of metal, then we are good to go!

So, Jim jumped into his tractor and got the cab onto the forks, he lifted the cab into the air, we put it into the back of Hyde and to my house I went with my new cab… in my bed.

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When I found out about the instrument cluster…

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That just made for a bonus! You bet I am going to use that – the speedo is a jenu-wine Kenworth gauge!! How badass is that?! Plus, now I have switches to activate switches and gauges to gauge those switches!!!

Alright, so I recently wrote about getting my caveman on with all of the hunting and gathering I did for the flat rod build. I also promised you that I would tell you some of the ideas I came up with, there was a caveat that I needed to materialize each project before I spilled the beans…

What was that Jack? You got some beans for a cow?! Can I hold on to them?? OOPS!! I accidentally spilled them!

Project #1 – Buck Saw Windshield Brow

This is not a fold-down, inside the cab visor. Nope, we are going old school Cholo with this idea. I am talking about the above the windshield brow on the outside. I want one made from a buck saw!

As my pseudo-Irish luck would have it (hey, I am a Mac [technically a Mick] after all, even if that is the only Irish that I possess, it still counts! Right??)… Anyway, as it would so happen, my mom and her husband had a buck saw. AND, it happened to be the right kind too!

You see, I needed a long saw that was not tapered to one end, and the one they had was built just right. I made negotiations, and it was decided that as long as I kept it for my own use as a spring board to fame and fortune, I was allowed to have it.

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For Free? You heard ‘em right, free. Now, I did not actually plan on using it as a literal spring board, (I do not really think it could hold even my weight). But, I will be using it for this windshield brow / sun visor idea… and they were okay with that.

Cool Mac! So you managed to get a buck saw that you are going to use as a windshield brow. Why is this of any consequence??

Well, for me, it is of great consequence! For one, I was going to resort to buying one from the Craigslist if I was not able to procure one from a shop, and what kind of story is that? But this one was WAY cooler! WHY??

I found out that it was her grandfather’s saw and it could very well be over 100 years old!! That is almost ten decades of hanging out in the world! Plus, do the math for me, as it is not really one of my strong points – Grandfather (1) + Dad (1) + Mom (1) + Me (1) + Mini Mac (1) = equals FIVE generations of family that it has passed through! Well, not literally passed through, but… anyway, you get the idea. Right??

That is pretty impressive! I mean, it was not like that saw thought, when it was just a little buck (Haha! Get it?): “In 100 years, I’m going to be on the windshield of a flat rod named FrankenJeep!” Probably not.

What have we done this time Mac?

Well, nothing was done directly to the little flat rod. As mentioned in the title, I did a lot of hunting and gathering. I also saw some family up in Washington State that I have not seen in awhile.

Great. But what new things have you got for US!

Technically, you are reading it. This is what you get, a story of what I did. Ta-dah!

Haha! Okay, on to some of my findings. As you may have noticed, FrankenJeep sort of has a pseudo military, very industrial vibe to the build and I have been feeding off of it quite a bit lately. While I was a work, I was given a menial and repetitive task that allowed me to think of what I was to do next with the little flat rod. Oh boy did I come up with ideas!

Now, in order to keep them from materializing in the real world before I get a chance to do them, I will only mention these ideas when I have the means to complete their fabrication. But, you will get a full inside scoop of all the projects before the rest of the world sees them, if you can just hang tight.

 

By the way, there is also a set of teasers on the FaceBox. Yep. I finally succumbed to the biddings of the devil and made a FaceBox page so I can get my twerking on!

Check it out at facebook.com/AZFrankenJeep

You may have noticed there has been quite the gap in progress on the little Jeep affectionately known as “FrankenJeep”. I am hoping to soon remedy that as my truck mechanic moonlights as a metal fabricator.

Craig, at KNI Automotive, has agreed to check out my Dana 44 drop axle conversion project and see if it is something he is willing to tackle on the weekends. I will be dropping it off to him on Monday, so we will see what he thinks.

I did get the truck on the road, not without its little problems, but that can all be read on the J20 build site. This is also my alibi to where I was on at the time of questioning.

I know you are all wondering when I will get off my computer and into the garage to build this darn thing. Well, the answer is – I now have a truck, and a guy looking into building my front end. As soon as I get my truck back from him, I will be picking up the GM 400 and the 12 bolt rear end.

I have also decided to look for a Muncie transmission. If you know a guy, send him my way. If the Muncie thing does not pan out, I still have the TH400 automatic transmission ready for install.

I will let you know what happens with the front axle project as soon as I know. I will also update progress on the little Jeep and how it is doing as soon as we have some new developments.

Now that you have been caught up on the last few months, what are the plans for the little hot rod? Well honestly, everything hinges on… that is right, getting a truck! Yes, I realize I just told you I got one, but this one is not street legal, yet. That is something I have been working on for the past two weeks. Once I get the truck legal, I will be taking the drop Dana to a welder, and I will be getting my 12 bolt rear end home, then we can start fabbing up suspension.

Until then, hop on over and see what is going on with the J20 Build, I think you may be impressed with the progress that is going on over there.

Here I am, on my way to work, and it is just a few days after Christmas. I left home on the morning of the 26th. It is now the 28th, and I just left Dubai, I am currently in Mauritius, approximately 11,339 mi (18,249 km) away from my Jeep… but, I was able to get some new goodies for the build before I left. Check out some of this stuff!

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(Thank you Rick! You have been a great asset to the build!) Rick stopped by and dropped off a truck load of stuff for me! This is just a select few of the things he had to give me, I apologize for the MTV photos … I did not make time to properly showcase any of this, as I never meant to even post these pictures, they were only taken so that I could show Nathan and Tony the cool new toys I got. There is something about that steering wheel, that I really like! I think that it is the fact that the leather is all worn and perfectly patinaed. That big ol’ radiator fits perfectly behind my grille, and we are going to make the Hurst shifter handle longer, so that it comes up higher. In case you are wondering, I got two of the side-by-side seats. I plan on covering them in a seabag green canvas, but I will probably pay someone to do that, as I do not have a proper sewing machine in order to get these done they way they should be. If you are wondering what “seabag green” looks like, just think of any United States military member in transit. Or, you can check out this stock photo of one.

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What now? Since it is going to be some time before I get back to the garage, I will try and get my administrative duties taken care of while I am not so distracted with all of that garage business. Although, once I do get home, I may need to hold off on the Jeep build, as the Pirate Ship will be requiring my attention due to its restrictive timeline. I will be focusing time and energy to that, until I can put it to a proper stopping point. The Pirate Ship is due to set sail the first week of April, and that means I have a lot of welding to do there. It should not take me too long though, as my welding projects are short, in nature – I just need to weld up the wench’s deck and the poop deck (the aft seating). But all of that is for another blog, this one here is for the FrankenJeep build!

I have most of what I need to make the front drop axle. (Thank you Jerry!) He provided me with the cut up Dana 44 so that I did not need to go chopping up a perfectly good axle. He also hooked me up with the trailer drop axle. Now, I just need to get a hold of some 220V welding, and I can get to axle fabrication! I would show you some pictures here, but the problem is, I do not have it in a comprehensible state. What I mean is, even if I did have photos for you, they would make absolutely no sense, as I only have half a Dana 44 with outers (there is no center to it), and an eight foot trailer axle. I will ensure to get some build pictures for you though.

I do have a new idea, a more concise idea, on how to do the fuel tank/gauge system. I am still going to utilize the 30 lb gas gauge,IMAG0574_1[1] I have just refined its use. You see, I was trying to figure out how turn the flange 90°, so that the gauge faces outwards, towards the rear, instead of sideways. Instead of doing that, I will just mount it to the side of something back there, say… a Jerry can.

I will mount the fuel gauge to the Jerry can, like shown in the photo, and then hard mount the can to the bumper, so it is sturdy. Next, I will grommet the can through the tub of the Jeep, connecting it into the fuel cell. This does multiple things for me. Among them, it solves the fuel gauge dilemma. It gives me a fill point, in order to actually fill up the Jeep, without having an unsightly gas cap cover. It also provides me with a guaranteed five gallons of fuel, and that is good.

When I get home, I should be able to go and retrieve all of my tools. That is a very good thing! I am pretty stoked about that. I should have a fairly decent stock of tools that should get me started, at least I will be able to have most of the tools I need in order to make my jobs easier. I do not know if you are aware how difficult it is to even do maintenance on a vehicle, let alone build one, when you only have a 285 piece tool set (thank you Wes!) and an Estwing claw hammer. My brother hooked me up with a nice tool set a few years ago for Christmas. I have been using the crap out of it, and keeping it clean, ever since. The problem comes when I have more than one person working on the vehicle, and when I need two wrenches, or when I do anything electrical. So, I got a tool box and some tools coming to me, and they should be ready for pick up when I get back.

So, between the work on the Pirate Ship, and the (anticipated) short stay home, I fear that I will not make too much progress on the Jeep when I return, in February. I will ensure that I give you any updates on the projects that I do complete, and I hope to see you here again soon…

Much has gone on here since I last wrote. Actually, this is a milestone at Mad Mac’s! This is the first post I will have written with real followers (that is you!).

Every post prior to this, was written with the hopes that someone may stumble across my little (mis)adventures. But you here, have already done so. You have decided that my story is worthy enough to occasionally fill a slot in your inbox. I thank you for that.

If you are not yet a circus goer, but you like what you have seen here, look to the left and click the “Join the Circus” button. All you need to do is fill in your email, and vi-ola! you only get emails when a new story comes out. So, come on! Support the clowns, and join in on the debauchery!

If for some reason, this is your first time, and you have managed to land yourself here… Well, it is safe to say that you are no longer in Kansas anymore. So, hold tight onto your little dog, look to the upper left corner, click the “Start at the Beginning” button, and prepare to be launched forward, straight into the past! As the saying goes… “The best place to start, is at the beginning.”

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As I was saying, much has gone on here since I last wrote. In fact, I have gotten one Dana 44 axle and my Dana 20 transfer case traded for a hopped up TH400 automatic transmission (thank you for the hook up, Rick!). I sold the AMC 20 rear end to a guy that was a day late to buy my NP208 transfer case (sorry Jerry, your buddy Tad got there a little bit before you did, but I do appreciate the hook up with that vacuum operated D44 and the trailer drop axle*).

I went through the garage, like a tornado, and cleaned up a lot of the clutter that was congesting my work area. IMAG0474

Those bins were empty when I started cleaning.

I have a few items left over from the Transmission Shaft Swap Calamity, which I am hoping to relieve myself of very soon, (mainly the two TF727 automatic transmissions). I still have various Jeep parts, and that damn Nissan motor, lying around. I do have some guys coming over to swap and trade with me, so that will also help open up the garage a bit.

Some things I had, I was not able to swap for anything worthwhile, except cash. But that worked out really well too, because I was able to get a jump on some of these killer Christmas deals and buy Mad Mac’s some tools!

Jaiden was telling us that he did not want anymore tools, when he got presents. When we went to Sears and walked into the tool department, that was remedied quickly… “Woah! Look at this tool box, Dad!” he said, grinning. “Ooh! Can I get these?!” he asked, excited. Since then, he has been dropping me subtle hints that he wants a tool box, “Are we going to Sears to get me a tool box?” he asks as soon as we are in the car. And I have to tell him, “No, Jaiden. We are just taking you to school. It is Monday. You have class today.” That kid is hil-arious!

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Chris got me welding on the Pirate Ship… Oh, why the hell not! Here you go…

Some spy photos of the Patina Cantina:

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If you remember correctly, I mentioned something about this in June, in the Getting Started post. If you do not remember, this was Christian’s idea. He had a 1969 Chevy 1 ton flatbed pickup truck laying around the yard, and started drinking. When a thought came to him… like lightning – “What if we drank on the bed of the truck? No… What if there was a bar on the bed of the truck? Yes!” And, we went to work, like little busy bees, or carpenter ants! As I was working there, doing whatever it was I needed to do, his wife Liz came about and exclaimed, “Oh, a pirate bar! Cool!” When asked why she thought “pirate”, she simply said, “Because you look like a pirate, Jon!” and there it was: the Buccaneer’s Bowtie was born.

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Now, I have told this tale to many a man, and nary a one can wrap his brain around such a daunting feat. There are those that still wish to contribute. These Kings of their various lands give what they can, to support a just cause… Belligerence and pilfering? No, not that one! A kickass pirate ship bar! (Thank you for the pirate recruiter’s flag John!)

You see, Chris supplies the truck and the rum, he also does all of the wiring and specialized engine work (but that is secondary in importance to rum). Sean works the carpentry, and spacial engineering (spAcial, not special). I am there to provide positive pirate imagery, I also do some welding and metal work. We even got Nathan in on the pirating! He got to weld some seat brackets in the aft end (we are on a pirate ship you know, there is no back end), Nathan even came up with some new ideas for the Wench’s Deck, up forward. Hopefully, he will be around when we christen it for its maiden voyage. I think that will be the perfect time to break out my stash of 30 year old Captain Kidd rum that I got in Gran Canaria.

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I got a proper (i.e. running) 350 motor, from a 1984 GMC truck (that other one was in pieces, plus it had an electric fuel pump), and I still have that 12 bolt rear end. Now, I still have yet to put them in the garage, but that is actively in the works, and I am hoping to have them in my possession before I leave for my next hitch.

Let us see what materials we have: Motor? GM 350. Check! Transmission? TH400, with a street/strip shift kit and a kick down. Check! Axles? 12 bolt rear / Homebuilt trailer drop/Dana 44 hybrid. Check! and Whoa, not quite! Frame notched? 18 inches. Check! Air bags? Got ’em! Suspension? Same as the ‘bags – got it! Steering? Nope! Tub/body? It’s thereWiring and electronics? Not even a thought yet! 

Yeah, I think I have everything under control!

*I am sure you were curious about the little asterisk after the shout out about the axles. No? Surely you noticed it! Well I shall explain it anyhow… because I am dying to tell you!

You see, hot rod guys like to use a front axle that drops the suspension, keeping the front end low – a drop axle.

It looks something like this: yhst-92388287498660_2253_13408816_1

When it is placed on the car, it looks something like this:Screenshot_2014-12-10-20-39-00_1

My goal is to use a drop axle from a trailer, splice it and weld the spindles on from a Dana 44. That should make a Jeep-worthy drop axle! It should be pretty burley when it is finished. I must remember to get before/after (AND during) photos.

Well, that is what I have for you, as of now. I will get some more pictures once the garage is cleaned up better.

Until next time…