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Old 02-11-2011, 09:57 PM   #51 (permalink)
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I had to drive up to Washington to pick up that engine, and picked up a TON of other parts along the way, including a bunch of wheels and a brand new cab (still in the crate, or what was left of it). The cab on mah deuce was in great condition, but I got such a good deal on the new one that I couldn't pass it up. It was galvanized, and looked like it wasn't prepped correctly prior to paint, because the paint was flaking off in large chunks. It's since been sandblasted and primed, waiting to be painted and reinstalled.



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Old 02-12-2011, 06:10 AM   #52 (permalink)
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I like that couch design. i live in a 78 Class C MH and had never thought about the space between the back and the wall as storage. I may have to look into replacing it. I started reading this and almost made myself late for class LOL
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:07 AM   #53 (permalink)
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I actually did! ... It's not pink it's salmon!
Ok, now that I see those pictures (and the UHaul trailer pictures) I recognize your truck from other posts you've made. Glad to see you're finally doing a build thread for it!

Is the Bobcat Txxx yours? I've been debating an upgrade to a tracked model, but am somewhat torn because I do some snowplowing and I hear they have horrible traction on snow...
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:20 AM   #54 (permalink)
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No, just used that bobcat to unload the engine where I was storing it for a little while.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:43 AM   #55 (permalink)
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My friend Jamie works at Metolius, where they make climbing harnesses and gear. He helped me turn my queen-sized Tempurpedic mattress into sort of a futon couch/slide-out bed-thing. I don't know that to call it. I just designed and built a custom bedframe that converts from a couch into a queen-sized bed. This was the first time I've ever done anything with soft goods or sewing, and I loved it! Although, I mostly just watched and helped Jamie here and there when he needed an extra hand. For anybody else that's interested in this kind of stuff, I've found DIYtactical.com to be a great resource.

This is what the Tempurpedic mattress looks like after I cut it out of the casing. Kind of disappointing actually, that only half of it is really tempur material. The bottom half is just regular old mattress foam. I wouldn't have bought one of these mattresses for this project, but already had one, so...




Jamie had a special tool that we used to cut the mattress in half (actually more like 2/3rds & 1/3rd). The wide 'half' of the mattress is the same size as an XL twin mattress, so I can put fitted sheets on just that half if I want to.




I purchased this Sunbrella fabric from a local upholstery shop. Hope I made a good decision going with this material. I have FOUR large dogs that will be living in this motorhome with me, so I wanted something that would be durable and stain-resistant, etc. I wanted the stripes oriented a specific way, so we had to put a seam down the middle of the mattress, but Jamie did a real nice job of hiding it by matching the pattern.




Once that was done, we laid out all the materials and got to work marking dimensions.




We used some type of heavyweight ballistic nylon that Metolius uses to make their haul bags and portaledges. The idea was to make the bottoms extra durable, so I can drag them outside or up onto the roof without worrying about ruining them.




I learned a lot about pattern-making and sewing! I've done a lot of templating and pattern-making, but mostly for metal fabrication. It's amazing how much of that translates though. I think I'll be able to pick this up pretty quickly after I get the hang of the basics.




We assembled the top and sides first (note the burly waterproof zipper and grab handles), and then we fit the bottom. We ended up taking in the seams around the top and bottom a couple of times, until we were happy with the fit of the cover. I'm thrilled with the way that it turned out, and it was really cool to get to learn how this kind of stuff is made.




Thanks again Jamie!



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Old 02-12-2011, 09:45 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Making the mattress with Jamie is when I met this guy:
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A while ago, I was over at Metolius, where my buddy Jamie was helping me turn my queen-sized tempurpedic mattress into a futon (here's a pic) and he introduced me to another employee there, who also lived in a truck. We started talking, and I was asking him about his setup. It's a late-model Toyota Tacoma with a regular camper-shell on the back of it. He's got a couple of deep-cycle batteries and a small invertor, a bedroll, a backpacking stove, a few gallons of water, and all his hang-gliding equipment. He lives out in the wilderness east of Bend, and comes into town to work a few days a week. Showers at the gym. Sounded like he was really happy with his whole situation. When he asked me when my project was going to be done, I immediately replied, "It's pretty much done as soon as we finish this mattress". At the time, I had only just barely finished all of the woodwork (cabinets and all that stuff) and there was no plumbing, heating, or electricity, but this guy made me feel like such a bitch.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:07 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Awesome build thread! I would soo love to be able to do this. My dream is to build something similar, drive it to Alaska and live in it. Unfortunatley, due to having Narcolepsy I am seriously limited on driving, so I doubt it will ever happen. At least I can watch your progress and keep dreaming.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #58 (permalink)
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If you build a vehicle to travel, I seriously doubt you'd have any trouble finding a driver!
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Very cool build.
I'm planning on something on a smaller scale in an m725 but appreciate all the links and info.

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Thanks. This is the biggest project I've taken on to-date, but it's smaller than I was originally thinking. Started looking at 5-tons, but in the end I decided that I'd rather be able to go more places than have more space. An M725 camper would be rad!
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:30 PM   #61 (permalink)
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I don't have room for a couch/bed set up so am going to graft a flip pac or maggiolina to the roof.

I'm looking at the same size shower drain and curious how you put the toilet in there.

I should add that I have long way to go, I have to get it running which means finishing the 6bt, cucv axles and brakes.

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Old 02-12-2011, 03:44 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Very cool build
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:24 PM   #63 (permalink)
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I don't have room for a couch/bed set up so am going to graft a flip pac or maggiolina to the roof.

I'm looking at the same size shower drain and curious how you put the toilet in there.

I should add that I have long way to go, I have to get it running which means finishing the 6bt, cucv axles and brakes.
What about a hard-sided pop-up (like an Alaskan Camper), or slide-outs? A slide-out to the rear wouldn't be too difficult. That's how I'm planning on building my new trailer.

I'm using a Thetford Electra Magic toilet. Decided to go this route after doing a ton of research (even explored the idea of incinerating waste). This toilet separates liquid and solid waste, so the same water can be reused to flush the toilet multiple times. Water conservation is something that I've given a lot of thought to, and will be collecting rainwater, recycling grey water, etc. The Electra Magic toiler has a small holding tank built into it, and I'm going to pump waste from that through a Shurflo macerator, then to one of two holding tanks. Alternating between the two tanks, I'll be filling one while the other is composting. The goal is to avoid ever having to visit a dump station.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:57 PM   #64 (permalink)
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The choice between building a military or a civilian truck really came down to whether I wanted to 'civilize' a military truck or beef-up a civilian truck. I've already explained why I found these deuces so appealing, and I wasn't unaware of the downsides. These big old trucks are loud and slow and the ride-quality is... not great. So before committing myself to building on this platform, I looked into each of these problems and determined that I wouldn't have much trouble modifying mah deuce to make life on the road a little more pleasant.

But before I get into these modifications, I want to say that I put more than 4,000 miles on it before making any changes and didn't find it to be anywhere near as unbearable as most people make these vehicles out to be. Sure there were springs poking through the driver's seat and sometime I felt like my teeth were going to rattle out of my head and there was a warning sticker on the passenger's side door that said "WARNING: hearing protection required for driver & co-driver" and the top-speed is only about 55mph, but you know what? I absolutely LOVE driving this thing. Might just be that my perspective is out-of-wack, but I didn't mind it a bit. Not in stock form, and definitely not after I made some improvements.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:16 PM   #65 (permalink)
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muffler

First item on the list was to add some sort of muffler. I don't know why these trucks were not equipped with any sort of mufflers in the first place, but the exhaust exits right above the windshield on the passenger's side of the truck, so it resonates through the whole cab. In any case, I figured that adding a muffler would be an easy way to tame the drone. Started by searching on steelsoldiers.com and saw that most guys were using a Walker muffler (part number 21470). Not one to follow the crowd, I proceeded to look at all the alternatives and in the end, came right back to where I started. The guys on SS really know their stuff, and had already figured the muffler thing out. SO I ordered one of the Walker mufflers and spliced it into the exhaust stack. Thought about re-routing it to dump in another location, but with all the doors and windows, I think the stock exhaust configuration might be the best choice.

The Walker muffler is 3.5" diameter in/out, which allows it to slip over the 3.25" diameter exhaust tubing perfectly. The overall diameter of the muffler is 7", the body length is 30" and the overall length is 38". The larger diameter of the muffler meant that I would need to make a new mount for the exhaust and modify the mirror mounts for clearance. Was able to modify and reuse parts in both cases though, so there was almost no fabrication required. This was a quick and easy cut/weld project and made a measurable difference as far as the noise that's transmitted into the cab. Still wear earplugs on long drives, but no longer consider them mandatory for shorter trips.



















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Old 02-13-2011, 05:18 PM   #66 (permalink)
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muffler

...continued:













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Old 02-13-2011, 05:41 PM   #67 (permalink)
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turbo

Next up was the turbo. Mah deuce was equipped with the coveted 'whistler' turbo, officially designated as a C model turbo. For some reason people love these things. The reason why beyond me. The novelty of that shrill whistle wore off almost immediately, so when I found out that the later-model D-series turbos were quieter AND made more power I started looking for one. Was prepared to pay, but it seems there's no shortage of people looking to trade their D-series turbos for whistlers. Responded to this post made by someone looking to trade a brand new D-series turbo and it was a done-deal.

Really did look almost brand new when I opened up the box, but was less-than-happy when I looked inside and saw that the turbo was full of packing pellets. Had read about a turbo-porting service that one of the members on steelsoldiers provided, and this seemed like it would be a good time to go ahead and have that done. Ken provides this service as a favor to fellow enthusiasts more than as any sort of money-making proposition, so the price was very reasonable. Haven't put more than 50 miles on mah deuce since installing it, and made too many other changes at the same time to be able to say whether or not it made any difference performance-wise, but it's a lot quieter and that's what I was really after.

(new D-series turbo / old C-series turbo)


(new D-series turbo / old C-series turbo)


(ported intake)


(ported exhaust)


(new D-series turbo installed)
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:00 PM   #68 (permalink)
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These two things alone (muffler + turbo) made a huge difference. Still going to insulate the new cab and do a few more things to help with the heat and noise, and expect to be able to hold a conversation at a normal volume when it's all said and done.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:59 PM   #69 (permalink)
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wheels/tires

Spent a bunch of time researching wheels and tires, considering 1) speed, 2) ride-quality, 3) payload, 4) traction, 5) fuel economy, and 6) price. It was only the fact that my truck was originally equipped with archaic bias-ply NDT tires that made it possible for me to improve on ALL these things at once.

Knew that I wanted to stick with 20" wheels so that I could take advantage of all the cheap military surplus tires. If I was planning to travel much internationally, I would probably switch over to 10-lug hubs and 22.5" rims, but that's not a big concern of mine right now. But for anybody that might be thinking along those lines, Ouverson said they're able/willing to custom-make their rockwell hubs with a 10-lug patter, and there's a SS member working on custom 10-lug adapters.

After looking at all the different sizes and types of tires that have been used on these trucks, I settled on the 11.00-series Firestone T831's as the ideal tire for this application. Was tempted to go with the larger 395/15.5's, but managed to restrain myself. The T831's are 43.5" in diameter, where the stock 9.00 NDT's were about 39.5" tall. Figured this would give me a little more topend without bogging the truck down too much.

The T831's are rated at 7,390lbs in a single-tire configuration, which is more than the NDT's were rated for in a dual-tire configuration. The load rating and the reduction in weight / rolling resistance made dropping the duals and run singles all the way around seem like an obvious choice. The only benefit I could see to having all that extra rubber on the ground was all the extra built-in spares. I was actually pretty concerned about that given some of the places I'm likely to end up traveling, but I think I figured out a way around that problem. I kept an eye on the military surplus auctions, and ended up buying twelve T831's that were all practically brand new and they cost me less than $200ea.

Running single T831's would prove to be a bit of a challenge though, when it came time to find wheels to mount them on. My choices were very limited, due to the narrow width of these tires and specified 8" rim width. The stock rims were very close to the right width, but the track-width would have been WAY too narrow if I ran them as singles and if I ran them to the outside the front/rear axles wouldn't track. The fact that these 2.5-ton rockwells have kind of an odd six-lug pattern wasn't helping matters, and I couldn't afford to have custom wheels made. There is a Canadian version of the deuce that was equipped with combat-style bead-locked wheels and 11.00 series singles, and those are available at pretty reasonable prices. But they still have a pretty narrow track-width, so I decided to go another route.

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Old 02-13-2011, 07:09 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESSE_at_TLT View Post
But before I get into these modifications, I want to say that I put more than 4,000 miles on it before making any changes and didn't find it to be anywhere near as unbearable as most people make these vehicles out to be. ... but you know what? I absolutely LOVE driving this thing. Might just be that my perspective is out-of-wack, but I didn't mind it a bit. Not in stock form, and definitely not after I made some improvements.
I'm thinking I better apologize in advance if anyone related to me ever shows up and kicks you in the nads... I've always loved the Deuce but have also always talked myself out of the idea of owning one as being totally impracticable - much to the relief of those related to me. You're being a baaaddd influence here...
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #71 (permalink)
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I read all this by 10:05. Its 10:50.

.MOAR!!!!!!
.MOAR!!!!!!
.MOOOOAAAARRRRR!!!!!!!
please?
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:09 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I'm thinking I better apologize in advance if anyone related to me ever shows up and kicks you in the nads... I've always loved the Deuce but have also always talked myself out of the idea of owning one as being totally impracticable - much to the relief of those related to me. You're being a baaaddd influence here...
These things are cheap enough that you can't afford NOT to own one. Or two or ten. There's a deuce for every occasion. If I wasn't planning on living in mine fulltime I'd have just built a simple camper by throwing my old 10ft Alaskan Camper on the back of a regular deuce with a cargo bed. Would happily drive one as a tow-rig. Hell, I'm seeing that it could actually make a viable wheeler if it was built right (bobbed, linked, etc.). Not much bigger than a Jeep when you strip it down to the essentials. Possibilities are endless. I am not any sort of military vehicle enthusiast by nature, but I'm fully infatuated with these things.

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I read all this by 10:05. Its 10:50.

.MOAR!!!!!!
.MOAR!!!!!!
.MOOOOAAAARRRRR!!!!!!!
please?
Working on it. Please stand by.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:42 PM   #73 (permalink)
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These things are cheap enough that you can't afford NOT to own one. Or two or ten. There's a deuce for every occasion. If I wasn't planning on living in mine fulltime I'd have just built a simple camper by throwing my old 10ft Alaskan Camper on the back of a regular deuce with a cargo bed. Would happily drive one as a tow-rig. Hell, I'm seeing that it could actually make a viable wheeler if it was built right (bobbed, linked, etc.). Not much bigger than a Jeep when you strip it down to the essentials. Possibilities are endless. I am not any sort of military vehicle enthusiast by nature, but I'm fully infatuated with these things.


Working on it. Please stand by.
Me too! I mean, you can get one from $100 Man for like $6k bobbed and everything. And they are DIRT simple to work on. Really, of you wanted to, you could bob it, and sell the second rear axle for more build funds, or keep it for spare parts. The parts on these trucks do not wear out as fast as even a 1 ton truck, and those are decently tough! And don't even get me STARTED about Ouverson parts, 5.9 and 8.3 liter Cummins swaps, 7.2L Caterpillar swaps, HEMMT wheels...

SOO MUCH WANT!!!!.

Oh, and you are doing a GREAT job with this build thread. Keep up the good work, and by Jove, keep us posted!
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:43 PM   #74 (permalink)
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wheels/tires

What I ended up doing for wheels is this the following, and it's not anything that I thought of on my own. Somewhere on steelsoldiers I read about it being possible to flip the center-sections in the older deuce wheels that were riveted together. All the details are posted here, but only members can view images so I'll cut/paste.


gringeltaube created these drawings that he posted on SS, comparing the geometry between a stock wheel and one that has had the center-section flipped.












Rounded-up a bunch of old riveted wheels, which was a bit of a hunt, because they were used on the older deuces but the newer wheels are all welded. Started blowing-out the rivets with a cutting torch. It's been suggested that there are a bunch of other (better?) ways I could have done this, but I was just working with the tools I had and everything came out OK in the end. This step took me about 1/2hr per wheel.





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Old 02-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #75 (permalink)
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wheels/tires

I used an angle-grinder to knock-off the slag and take off the paint where I had to weld-up the rivet holes, then filled the holes and ground all the welds down. This was pretty time-consuming.




Then I mounted the center-sections to one of the axles on mah deuce, which made a handy fixture to hold the center-sections while I trimmed an inch off the lip of each one. Used a square and a sharpie pen to mark a line 1" in from the lip, all the way around the wheel. Then I used a 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel to remove that ring (shown laying up against the center-section). I cut it freehand, but rotated the hub/wheel as I cut, to keep it in a comfortable position. Did this because I wanted to maximize the backspacing by welding the flipped center-sections as close to the outer lips of the wheels as possible.




Backspacing ended up right at 6", exactly where gringeltaube said it would be. That guy really knows his stuff.




This is how I checked to make sure the wheels ran true. Hammered on 'em until I got them where they needed to be, then tacked them into place. Was able to get them all within 1/8" (and most within 1/16"), which seems to be a better than the runout on an average stock rim off one of these trucks.




I only welded-up one wheel at first, just to see how it would go. Removed it from the axle to be welded, and welded that first one on the the frontside and the backside of the center-section. Then mounted it back on the axle to make sure the welding hand't affected the runout (it was fine). But when I posted pics on SS, gringeltaube commented that it might be a bad idea to weld on the backside of the center-sections. Welding in that nice deep V sure felt right, but I what he was saying made sense so I started a thread on pirate to ask about that. Brighter minds prevailed and convinced me that I should only weld on the outside of the center-sections. Glad I had only built one wheel at that point, and I got an extra for exactly that reason.



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Last edited by JESSE_at_TLT; 02-13-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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