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Old 05-08-2019, 10:45 AM   #651 (permalink)
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Next issue I figured wind might try to drive rain under the cover from the front. So I made a lip to go on the front edge.



I welded it on the cover with aluminum "stick" welding rods. I have a Tig, but I wanted to try them. They worked pretty good for this. This is the first time I have used them. I think they are a good deal for someone that doesn't have a Tig or if you run out of argon.



I welded about two inches at a time after tacking. I did get some warp. Just a slight curve to the cover. This actually worked in my favor because now rain should run off the cover. (It would suck to pivot it after a rain storm and get a face full of water)



Next was the hard/scary part. Cutting a hole in the roof.



It looks tight, but there's enough room to stand behind the console comfortably. It would be easy for a bikini girl to wave in a parade or a guy to wave a gun. LOL. Not sure if a spotter would be much use there.



Unobtrusive closed. (There's also a rollbar that goes across right behind the opening)



From the inside, it's far enough back not to be in the way.



There's a little post on it to grab so you can open and close it after loosening the knob.



I still have some work on this, but I'm on vacation now. So it will have to wait.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:02 PM   #652 (permalink)
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Not a lot getting done. Mounted the gauges in the dash. (bought them years ago.) Of course there not wired.



They look pretty good. I can see the speedo and tach in the wheel. A little tough to see the first two little gauges.



Not sure the final order of the small gauges. (They all have to come out later for paint.)

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Old 06-11-2019, 07:37 PM   #653 (permalink)
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So I finally finished welding the roll bar. I did everything possible to make sure it didn't warp when I welded it. Of course, it warped and I had to use a jack and torch to get it back in to shape. You can see some holes in the bar. They are bushings I welded in. They add some rigidly and give me something to bolt on later. The bushings are sized that they can be threaded for 1/2"-13 or a 3/8" bolt will go in right now.



I got some headlights and buckets. These were halogen. I wanted LEDs, so I got these bulbs that go in a halogen mount.



Fitted to the lens.



Cutting a mount hole in the front of the truck is scary business. So I first cut in a scrap piece.



I was going to trace this hole on the truck when I came up with another idea. Since I was going to use a holesaw, I made a template for the pilot holes.



This worked really good. I just cleecoed the template on and drilled the pilots. Then in with the saw.



A cutoff wheel finished the job and in went the bucket.



Did the other side and it has eyes!



A little more work and I had turn signals.

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Old 06-12-2019, 01:48 PM   #654 (permalink)
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Looks great!!! Getting closer!
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:28 PM   #655 (permalink)
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Looks great!!! Getting closer!
Thanks, are you getting some more seat time in yours? Haven't seen an update recently. Could be the subscription is not working.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:04 AM   #656 (permalink)
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I've been on a couple of trips, broke an axle shaft and replaced that part.

But i haven't been on a trip in the past couple months as i prepare to move to the PNW.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:44 AM   #657 (permalink)
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But i haven't been on a trip in the past couple months as i prepare to move to the PNW.
Wow, that will be a change. How soon? There's good and bad to every location. Should be some interesting wheeling there.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:50 AM   #658 (permalink)
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It'll definitely be a big change, i'll leave next weekend and i'll be outside of Seattle, WA.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:37 PM   #659 (permalink)
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So I need to update this before I get too far ahead.

I mounted some LED tail lights. (Not wired) Simple looking, but I like em.



Also note the license plate mount. It's just a piece of stainless with some "nutzerts". First time I have used my nutzert gun. Pretty nice.



I ordered a block to mount on my AC compressor. Of course, it didn't point the right way. So I cut off the tubes.



Then I welded them back on the other side and pointing down. (I put plugs in the original holes.)



Here you can see it on the compressor. Still need to get a longer bolt to hold it on.



I also got some Spal fans for both the radiator and AC condenser. (2 for each) I had to make a new shroud for the rad because I was set up for a Flexilite. The Spal come highly recommended and they appear to be better quality. (They are very proud of them)



I like the idea of four identical fans. If one fails, I could move one to the other location.



I know this is not the most exciting update, but some are totally uninterested.



Even when prodded, they give you that "you woke me up for this?" Look.

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Old 07-18-2019, 08:19 PM   #660 (permalink)
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I needed some aluminum welded and it had to be good. That ment I couldn't do it. Lol. So I hooked up the tow bar.



It didn't tow very well and I only went about 30 mph. I've towed with this same set up before and it worked fine. I found out later I had the front wheels locked and the T-case was in 4Hi. Fortunately, it was only about ten miles. It was wild looking in the mirror.



The part I needed welded is the fender lips. The guy who welded them is a aircraft welder. His welds looked good enough to leave as is.





I choose to grind the welds down.



Although they are easy to see here, it doesn't show much in person. I think they will disappear once painted.



I ended up driving it back because of the bad towing manners. It was all back roads.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:12 PM   #661 (permalink)
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And Den?

Rig's looking sweet, I dig your metalwork

But . . . those front steps bug dafook out of my OCD "hazard alarm"

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I know you've had at least 1 close call and it bugs you too:

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In other news, I decided to test the ground clearance on the floatless truck. So I pull up to the only hill on my property. I don't know if I'll ever get use to how close it gets before it starts climbing.



It was a good thing I stopped for this pic because I left the driver's step down and it plowed in to the dirt hill. If I would have kept going, it would probably be torn off. This is the second time I've forgotten to put it up. I think I'm going to redesign the step so it is held down by an electronic solinoid. Then I will have them triggered by the tranny shifting out of park to go up.
Have you considered adding some controlled flexibility?

I've always liked steel cable steps:

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But wide strips of thick reinforced rubber:

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could be set up flexible fore-aft & vertically, but semi-rigid laterally if desired.

Even just giving the bottom tread some wiggle could prevent a few "oh shit" moments.

Also, I couldn't find it in your thread - did you post a pic of the steps retracted?
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:50 AM   #662 (permalink)
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Thanks,

I haven't got a lot further. I'm working on the doors and a retractable step for the rear tailgate. But I'm installing a swimming pool right now that's taking all of my time.

As far as the front steps, the current plan is to make them auto retract when I shift into gear. But I kind of need the cab off to work on them. I will be removing it soon for paint and final riveting. So that's when I plan to fix them.

If I can't make them work the way I want, I might change them completely. I could make them similar to a real HEMTT. They use a hinge on the front and a chain on the back. There kind of cool, but I could see them hanging up on a ledge if I was backing off.

There are several pics with the steps retracted. In the pic you quoted, they are up. (At least on the side you can see)
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:17 PM   #663 (permalink)
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Small update.

I want this to look millitary. I'm thinking green and black camo. I did some research on "Steel Soldiers". I found the numbers for the proper colors. Also recommendations on paint. It might sound funny, but those guys say the best paint is latex house paint. Specifically, Bahr marque. The guys over there said I might not want to go flat because it's hard to wash. The consensus is satin will still look authentic and be much easier to keep clean.

I got a sample can of paint. I have never been a painter. I would never attempt to paint a nice car, but in this case, I'm thinking a run here and there will probably look millitary. I decided to spray the center float for a test to see how the paint lays.

I was told I must etch the aluminum first. I got some aircraft etching stuff and wiped it on. After a minute or so I rinsed it off. Then I wiped on a alodine "conversion" coating. This stuff is suppose to be the best stuff to stick paint. After it sits on the metal for a few minutes, your suppose to rinse it off with lots of water and let air dry.

Of course that would take along time, so it would be much easier to just wipe it off with a wet rag. That's what I did. Well I guess I didn't quite get all the stuff off. I sprayed the paint in the evening and it looked great. The next morning it looked like this.



I sware it didn't have any of this when I went to bed. It was almost completely dry. I figured next morning the sun would have it baked on. I'm guessing it was the alodine.



I have since done the other side of this float. I still used the etch and alodine, but I thoroughly rinsed it before painting. I don't have any pics, but it went much better.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:08 PM   #664 (permalink)
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Yeah, Alodine does that if you leave it on the metal. Not sure how good it is for things to do that, I'd always take the paint back off and clean it properly if it happened.

The cleaner the water you rinse it off with the better too.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:48 PM   #665 (permalink)
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Yeah, Alodine does that if you leave it on the metal. Not sure how good it is for things to do that, I'd always take the paint back off and clean it properly if it happened.

The cleaner the water you rinse it off with the better too.
It's going to be done a lot better on the visible parts of the truck. Not sure if I'm going to strip this. Depends on how hard it is. Also, I'm still not sure if the floating part will be successful. If not, I don't need to spend the time.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #666 (permalink)
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The rig is looking good! I like the idea of having the same fans everywhere for the same reasons you mentioned!

Keep up the great work!
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:48 PM   #667 (permalink)
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Over due for an update.

If you follow this, you remember the exhaust came out the back like this.





Right after I got it finished, I had people tell me that the back of the truck will be covered with soot if I drive it down the highway. I wasn't to keen on getting soot on my clothes, but I figured I would cross that bridge when I come to it. Now something else has come up. When standing on the side of the tailgate while idling, you get exhaust in the face. There are other issues I won't go into.

So I guess it's time to redesign.

First I cut the tube off and welded a flange joint on. The length between the two mounts is for a muffler. (If I decide to install one)



On the other end of the flange I welded a 45 and a short straight length. I cut the straight length off at a 45 just outside the side skin.



Of course, I had to cap the ends and purge with argon. Even though I did this, the welds don't look that great. (Should be leak proof though)



Cutting the hole in the finished side was kind of scary, but it went well.



I think the slashed exit looks good. Hopefully, the exhaust exiting the side will keep the soot from getting sucked into the vacuum of the rear of the truck.



Now of course, I have a hole in the back where the previous exhaust was. I will address this next up date.

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Old 10-24-2019, 03:46 AM   #668 (permalink)
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You are still going to get soot on the back of the vehicle with the exhaust there. Not as much as having it come straight out the back, but a fair amount will collect on the back corner. About the only way to keep exhaust off the body is to point it into the ground or straight up in the air. About the only real thing to do is just wash the truck frequently, but if you take it on a trip it's going to get pretty filthy on that corner.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:08 AM   #669 (permalink)
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You are still going to get soot on the back of the vehicle with the exhaust there. Not as much as having it come straight out the back, but a fair amount will collect on the back corner. About the only way to keep exhaust off the body is to point it into the ground or straight up in the air. About the only real thing to do is just wash the truck frequently, but if you take it on a trip it's going to get pretty filthy on that corner.
Yea, I suspect your right. After the next update, you'll see my main reason for moving it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:02 AM   #670 (permalink)
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Ok, now I have a hole in the back of the truck. Of course, I could make another aluminum piece without a hole. It's not that big or complicated piece, so it wouldn't be that hard to duplicate. But I have another idea. I'm making a step so I can climb into the bed. It will be a tall step and really needs a place to grab to help you pull yourself up. I figured this hole will be the perfect location for a handle.

First, I made the hole alittle bigger and squared off a bit.



I didn't want people to be able to see into the fender from this hole. So I made a inner piece to block the view.





The actual handle was easy to make out of some scrap. I didn't have to be concerned with looks to much because most of it won't be visible. I made it bolt to the same holes that held the previous exhaust mount.



All and all, it came out good. Very comfortable to grab and pull yourself up. The pics didn't come out so good. But you get the idea.





Next update I'll show you the step I'm working on.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:19 PM   #671 (permalink)
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Nice! That looks good as well as being functional.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:40 AM   #672 (permalink)
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Put a bunch of heat insulation so that handle is not hot from the exhaust nearby.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:07 AM   #673 (permalink)
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Got to love it!. Every time I see pics it looks more like something factory off another planet. Lots of details very well thought out.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:10 AM   #674 (permalink)
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Nice! That looks good as well as being functional.
Thanks. I have another update with the fold-down step, but I'm having problems with my Supermotors account. For some reason I can't upload pics. I'm doing it the same as I always have. When I figure it out, I'll get it up.

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Put a bunch of heat insulation so that handle is not hot from the exhaust nearby.
I wonder about that. Haven driven it more than twenty feet since I finished the handle. I don't feel like insulating it unless I have to. So I will probably forget about it untill I drive it for a bit. Then I'll go back there and burn the shit out of my hand. Lol

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Got to love it!. Every time I see pics it looks more like something factory off another planet. Lots of details very well thought out.
I try to think it out, but the reality is I build it and then think of a better way. (Sometimes more than once) So I build it again. Case in point, I'm now working sideview mirrors. I bought the mirror head. So I only have to make the mount to the door. Obviously, that is a simple project....

I'm on my third design. Im sure you (in particular) understand!
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:44 PM   #675 (permalink)
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Thanks. I have another update with the fold-down step, but I'm having problems with my Supermotors account. For some reason I can't upload pics. I'm doing it the same as I always have. When I figure it out, I'll get it up.
!
Supermotors has been slow as hell the last few days. It took me a while to get my pics uploaded yesterday as well. It looks like they are having some server issues.
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