This truck has been done-ish for a while, but a few people have been asking me to post up a build thread for it. So here we go...
A few years ago I heard about some old trucks for sale from a friend who lives near Carnation Washington. His neighbor was an old timer who lived alone, off the grid. When he started having trouble surviving on his own, his family took care of him and put his stuff and the property up for sale. The old guy had an awesome collection of vintage tractors, heavy equipment, trucks, and other odd contraptions scattered across the property. I originally went up there to check out a pair of Nissan Patrols, but the old Power Wagon really caught my attention.
According to his daughter and the neighbor, this was his last running vehicle. While he was out gathering fire wood, he broke a rear axleshaft, then winched it up to the top of the hill to rot. I made an offer for the truck (paid 800) and hauled it home.
I originally wanted to restore the truck as a family project with the kids. But when I got it home and really started to look at it, I realized it was better as a parts donor than a project. I'm sure some of you are offended that I cut up a Power Wagon, but you'll have to take my word that it was a rotten piece of junk. Beside the dented up cab with a rusted out floor, every mechanical part was worn out. It looked way better in pictures than in reality.
Meanwhile, bad thoughts were entering my mind. Mostly inspired by Don Brown's Willys truck from a while back, and a pile of Cummins swap parts I had in the garage. A plan started to come together.
I decided to part out the Power Wagon, but kept the sheet metal. The parts sold more than paid for the original cost of the truck, and hopefully are keeping a few more old Dodges running.
Originally I had something like this in mind. Must be from before I decided to use the 12 valve.
I started by attacking the cab. Because I was curious and wanted to keep the weight down, I weighed some of the heavier items. Here's the cab minus doors and seat.
Some sweet wiring. check out the 120 volt light switches.
Hard to tell from this picture, but the entire rear cab wall had separated from the floor.
Cab up on the fab table for surgery. Notice the driver side not touching due to floor being racked/rotten.