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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
'74 W-950 Power Wagon

been planning/building this truck for a while - figured it was time to post up.

The rig is being built to get to/from the mountain trails out here in Colorado, and occasionally haul me to work. A long-term project for sure, but the one thing I have a lot of is 'time'....

2015 Edit/update: the truck turned out awesome, and essentially very close to the initial plan, with some small changes and/or upgrades - now back to the regularly scheduled program...



I wanted some real rubber under it and got a set of 46" XMLs, and with the long wheelbase I decided to go woth rocks and take advantage of the strength and the shaft angles, and I found a set under a 67 deuce. The bed is from a 68 M101 trailer that I shortened about 1.5 feet. The frame is from a 92 Cummins Ram that I am boxing tip to tip. The engine is a non-intercooled 6bt Cummins, trans is a 47rh (2wd), a divorced Ford 203/205 (ORD kit), wheels are 'deuce pattern' 20x11s from RBC, and the tires are 46" surplus XMLs. It looks like the rig will have about a 34" belly.



Plans are to mount the front axle 180* from factory (take advantage of some caster) and swap the knuckles to the back and install greasable u-joints. Planning to run crossover steering and twin smaller rams at each knuckle. We're fabricating adaptors for the front rotors (F650) and calipers (F550), with all F350 rear including internal e-brakes. When money permits front and rear Grizley lockers will go in as well as lockouts. Will use either a 99 Ram or F650 hydroboost assy.



Nothing too major on the engine - just the usual VE44 tricks and good breathing. A Bendix TF750 compressor will be where the factory vacuum unit was, with a Vickers V10F series power steering pump behind it. That should provide plenty of power for the hydroboost and ram(s), and the compressor will provide all the air I need.



Suspension will be 56" front leafs, 63" rears - simple and strong. Interior will be fairly spartan and 'military' themed. I'll make seats from brown heavy duty canvas tarps, and I'm planning to fab up a dash that looks like what would come from a military vehicle. And it needed to be its own make/model, so with a 1/2-ton being a 150, and a 3/4-ton being a 250...well a 2.5-ton ends up being a '950' - so there it is.

Long way to go, but my wife and I are having a bunch of fun designing and building it :D

this is my crappy artists' rendition of what I think it will eventually look like (a combination of Air Force/Army nomenclature)



It is all being built as if the truck had actually been contracted by the Air Force in the mid 70's for local or deployable 'search and recovery' missions for down'd pilots/crew. As a result, I'm trying to keep the voodoo hidden as much as possible and use 'low tech' hardware and hopefully keep the rig relatively easy to maintain with as much off-the-shelf equipment as I can muster. Nothing real fancy, just functional and durable. I'm also building it with themes from dad's '52 M-38 Willys, which he restored in 1976.

front brake hardware on right, rear caliper on left (D60 front hub for comparison)



belly cradle - still in mock-up (just decided to go d-side drop...) -





Anyway, I'll post up a bit more when I get some more actual progress - the voodoo is pretty slow right now.

Cheers,
- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
for sure a Cummins-powered older crewcab Ford would be a real nice rig!

figured I'd post a few mroe pics of the project -

the military surplus M101 trailer - removing about 2 feet and this is the basis for the truck bed. Not a new idea but definitely fun one -



the TF750 air compressor -







coolant inlet from the head - I'll be using the port just forward of the one pictured -



cooling return back to the pump -



...some 'articulation' mock-up pics - not super awesome but aught to do well enough for this rig -



I 'divorced' the 203/205 by installing the Ford components, then decided to go drivers-side-drop, so traded my Dodge doubler for a Ford doubler (no pic yet of the Ford version). I originally mated the 203 to my 518 by drilling a 6-round bolt pattern in the front of the 203, then used a pair of 1" spacers from A.A. and a 23/23 male-female spud shaft (not pictured). Worked great -



the RBC wheels - had these made with lug chamfers on both sides, so my wheels are reversable. Plans are to mount the deep dish (6-5/8 offset) to the inside - truck is still plenty wide. I'm going to replace the current valve stems with shortie 90* versions (to clear the rotors) and make fresh holes/install another set on the short side...



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
the 40's I had originally planned, but were ultimately too narrow for the wheels, so sold these to a buddy with a Unimog and got the 46's, and I'm all kinds of happy with the extra mph...and it was a hell of a lot cheaper than a gearvendor -



the belly is 100% flat, and abour 34" clearance - should help make up for some of the wheelbase - this is one of my buddy's 36's under the frame -



this is how I'm planning to 'maintain' the doubler. I'm replacing the entire swiss-cheesed floor with two trimmed sheets of 16g 4x8 sheetmetal. I'll brake a tranny tunnel along the middle, and the front and rear will both have a respective dog house to get to the driveline without having to drop the belly cradle -





the rear 63's (front) and front 56's (back) -



Just finished painting the hood, testing some paint theory and it worked great. My mother was here for a couple weeks vacation, and she loves to paint, so we cranked up the heat and had some fun on the hood :p I'm doing this whole truck just like how dad and I did his Jeep way back in the day - with rustoleum, oil-based military Gilespie paint, and a brush! Sanded the hood, primed it, and paint is drying now. It really looks good...but I have upgraded the process a bit - I'm using me a roller too! ...but I'm not screwing around with spraying anything on this thing. Simple :smokin:







Hoping to get some good work done on it this year, hoping to have it rolling spring of 2014.

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Are you plannning on street-legalizing this monster? You did mention gear vendors OD
absolutely. I have a feeling I'll be driving this rig around town a lot - it'll be too fun not to. My wife and I have several friends in the local sheriff's office and each have seen pics of the truck/been told how we indend to use it, and they have all reassured us that it won't get too much 'flack'. When I was planning on 40's I was also looking at a GV, but with the 46's it became moot. With the Cummins, overdrive, rocks, and 46's, the rig will spin a very comfortable 1800 rpm @ 55 mph, which will be just about as fast as I'll want to wind it up.

But, in order to drive it on the street with some manner of reliability and confidence we're putting a ton of voodoo into the steering and most especially the brakes so the rig will (hopefully) have reliable and powerful system(s). My buddy Steve in Alabama is also building a rock-equipped rig, and he and I have been designing our own version of front disc brakes. The rears will have the fairly common 'F350' system (rotors, calipers, and e-brake), but we're using F650 rotors and F550 calipers up front. Pretty sure I'll be using the hydroboost from a F550 or F650.

Steve designed a monster front rotor adaptor and my buddy Ray (local friend with a CNC) is cutting them for us. We're using 3/4" hot rolled plate, and the final piece will be 11/16" thick. The wheel studs will hold the adaptor to the back of the hub, and the rotor will be held in place by ten 9/16" studs or bolts - won't know which will work better until we mock it up. The adaptor prototype should be done this week. The caliper will be held in place at the spindle but we don't have that adaptor made yet - that's where we're currently 'at'.

The big ticket item (pun intended) will be the rear tires. The bed isn't as wide as a factory bed, and with the hubs out the tires are pretty much fully 'exposed'. To satisfy the law I am building semi-permanent/detachable HD mud flaps which will angle forward on the top third, which I am told will satisfy the requirement. Fortunately Colorado is pretty good about all of that nonsense.

What I'm really looking forward to doing...is towing the Jeep to the local parades with this thing :)

This is the Jeep.



My dad bought it from the Air Force in 1976, restored it, and it has been in our family ever since. He is unfortunately now in an Alzheimers care home, but I have reassured him the Jeep will never leave our family and that I will keep it running and rolling as long as I am able and that I'll never modify it, and he's very happy about that.

My wife and I love showing the Jeep, especially at the annual gig at our local Veterans home. This...this is what it's all about -



Holy hell - that's a long answer to your question! Oh well...I like to write. And besides...it's all about the 'stories' right? :D

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
...and...the hood is 'blue' :smokin:. The pics look better than the actual finish, but I'm 100% fully happy with all of it. I'm doing the whole truck just like this.





...it wasn't too smelly, but with mom helping I wasn't taking any chances



...this shit goes on THICK, especially the second coat



So to recap - this was one coat of rustoleum rusty metal primer and two coats of blue. That's it - Done
 

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Sub'd. Looks like the enjoyment factor in this build is very high for you. That is what it is all about. Sweet truck too. Nice choice on the frame. Beefy 8" tall channel and boxed to boot wow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sub'd. Looks like the enjoyment factor in this build is very high for you. That is what it is all about.
very much so. I cut my teeth on the Jeep when I was 7 yrs old, and Bud (my truck is named "B.U.D." - Big Ugly Dodge :D ) is 'my' Jeep :) .

Sweet truck too. Nice choice on the frame. Beefy 8" tall channel and boxed to boot wow.
Thanks. I'm hoping it will be 'enough'. The cage will come later once I have thrown the rig on some local trails - see how it twists, etc. I'm pretty much isolating the cab from the frame because I know with my wheelbase the cab won't be able to aid the anti-twist without literally ripping itself apart. That's one of the reasons the belly cradle is so stout. The factory crossmembers were pretty wimpy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
cool - picked up some rustoleum flat white, and the hood is officially 'done' :smokin:







I really like how it turned out, and now I finally know my paint idea(s) will work. Progress on the rig will probably be slow, but I'll post up some juicy stats when I can.

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Did you thin the rusto? How about wet sanding? Gonna paint my rig in same fashion.
nope, no thinning or wet sanding. I wanted to see how the 'primitive' approach would work, and so far it's working awesome. Plus it was only around 52* in the shop - might brush on a bit easier once the weather warms up.

Merry Christmas!

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
sure. I tried to replicate how the Air Force did vehicle nomenclature in the 70's, and it's really tough finding good representation in the history books or online, but I found enough Jeeps, M151s and M35s to get a decent idea of how it 'could' have been done if this truck had actually existed.

The fender will read slightly different than what I have in the pic, but it will read U.S.A.F. with 4-28830-S below it. The 4 represents 2.5-ton truck, the 28830 is the serial number (last 5 of the vin), and the S means radio-suppressed (I'm only planning to have a 'CB' radio in this truck) :p

On the door, the R means 'reconnaissance vehicle' followed by the serial number. Below that normally reads FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, which I modified accordingly :)

The bumper will read '1 ASA' and 'RECON 44', each on either side of the roller fairing. ASA Modifieds is a small business I operate. '44' means this is the 44th vehicle I have put plates on :eek:

I'm going to also have stencils that read "MAX SPEED 55 MPH" on the tailgate (which will be pretty accurate...), and my two favorites of "DANGER JET INTAKE" and "DANGER JET EXHAUST" on the respective intake and exhaust stacks...just 'cause I can.

The stars appear to be on both Af and Army vehicles of the 70s, and while many AF vehicles had gold/yellow nomenclature I have also seen many with white. I think it boiled down to whatever color the GIs had in the motor pool at the time :D ....and I prefer the white. I may yet 'augment' the star into the 'star and bar' version tho...

- Sam
 
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