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PostPosted: December 26, 2017, 8:15 am 
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This topic is about replacing the chassis - frame on a 1965 Ford F100 and swapping it with a 1996 Buick Roadmaster, this is a complete chassis swap including drive train and electrical, basically a body swap, keywords...... 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 Ford F-100 pick up unibody step side style side, Buick Roadmaster, Chassis, Frame, Swap, Crown Vic, complete frame swap, I'm adding this text to help with SEO (search engine optimization) so the thread - topic is more easily found from a google search.

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Mock up (part 4)

The radiator support or core support has the job of carrying all the weight of the front end sheet metal so it needs to be mounted to the frame securely but also needs a little bit of adjustment for the alignment of all the parts it is supporting. The original slick frame was a lot narrower than the RM so mounting points were going to be in different locations, there are a lot of different ways you could mount the radiator support to the RM frame but in my case since I had to cut out bad metal from the old support and replace that metal it just made sense to reinforce the area right above the RM frame that the radiator support spanned and use that area to mount the support to.

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Once again I reused some of the body mounts from the CV as I did before mounting the cab, these mounts are molded rubber with a plastic center and use a steel insert to support the bottom of the mount and provide a tube for the bolt to pass through, I found the proper location in the frame and drilled my holes then cut a couple pieces of 2x2 tube at a 45 degree angle to make the mount that I would weld to the support.

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I test fitted everything using multi-able levels to make sure everything was flat and level, then tacked the pieces of 2x2 to the core support.

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Then tore it all back apart again and welded the mounts to the core support.

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Then reassembled the front end again... this is what the mounts look like, they are on the engine side of the radiator support.

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So with the radiator support mocked up I again removed it and gave it a coat of the rust converter and let it dry over night.

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With the radiator support drying I removed the drivers side fender and inner fender after marking the firewall with the inner fender couture and started mocking up the brake booster, I had done a little measuring previously and had a good idea where it was going to wind up, I had to cut the driver side brace that reinforced the firewall for the slicks master cylinder then used the pattern I cut from the RM firewall to mark the location for the RM booster. Then cut that out with the plasma cutter and a step drill for the mounting holes. It just had enough clearance under the cowl and inner fender to fit in a good location.

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So with the booster mounted of course I could go inside and check out the brake pedal location....and mock up the steering column.

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And the shifter hooked right back up to the linkage and steering shaft, the way it looks like now I won't have to cut the firewall for the column as it's stuck through the slicks original hole in the firewall, the geometry looks good.

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We threw the seat in the truck to check it out......not too bad.

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More tomorrow....

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Jon


Last edited by Blanger on December 27, 2017, 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: December 26, 2017, 1:47 pm 
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Very good point about leaving battery hooked up. I saw a video on YouTube by bleepnjeep regarding making a jumper wire and using your drill battery in a pinch.

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PostPosted: December 26, 2017, 4:56 pm 
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shipwrecked wrote:
Very good point about leaving battery hooked up. I saw a video on YouTube by bleepnjeep regarding making a jumper wire and using your drill battery in a pinch.


Yup, I found it out the hard way taking a power seat out and having already removed enough of the wiring and battery to not be able to hook it back up, what could have been a very easy job with a ratchet turned into a PIA with a end wrench... lesson learned! lol

Jon


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PostPosted: December 27, 2017, 7:17 am 
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Mock up (part 5)

We are quickly coming to the end of the mock up phase of this build, all we really have left to do is find the location of the under hood components which is what I did on Christmas day..

Like a broken record I'll say it again, everything pretty well went right back into its original position, on the driver's side I mounted the cruise control unit, the washer tank from the CV, and the ECM, on the passenger side I mounted the battery tray out of the RM to the slicks inner fender in the location of the slicks original battery (it was in better shape), the coolant surge tank I had to make one leg to support the rear corner and cut a slot in the inner fender for a mount to go through the inner fender which will just rest in that slot, the other mounting I just drilled a hole and bolted it up.

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Also on the passenger side I cut the bracket that held the AC accumulator (dryer) and the PS reservoir removing the AC part of it and bent the bottom to fit the couture of the slicks inner fender. The last item was the power distribution box which all I had to do is drill the holes to mount it as it already fit the shape of the slicks fenderwell.

All that remains to the mock up is the gas pedal and a wiring connection that passes through the firewall on the passenger side, I stuck the heater box back in the truck and found the location the wiring has to go through but will wait till I take the front end apart for the last time to cut that hole in the firewall. The gas pedal can be done at any point and I'll do that when we take the seat and column back out before the cab comes off for its last time.

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Next item to take care of is making the mounts for the bed, I'll have to put the bed back on the frame and square it back up, finding the right height to match the cab body lines then make the front mount, I think in the rear of the bed I can use the existing bed mounts at the very rear of the bed and just slide a body mount in there and bolt it up after putting a hole in the frame in the proper location. When I cut the hole in the bed for the RM suspension I didn't have to cut the area where the braces in front or behind the rear end in the bed are so I could also mount the bed in those locations but probably won't, the truck will never see heavy loads put in the bed so....

Once the bed is taken care of it will be time to take it all apart again (the last time I hope), the cab will get the extra holes in the firewall welded shut, the rear cab mount can get welded to the frame securely along with the bed mount. Then I'll do all the replacement parts on the motor while its wide open on the frame and once that is finished we can install the cab for the last time. With the cab on I can do the front end wiring while I'm hanging the front sheet metal..... then it's on to the 2000 pound gorilla in the room which is the interior wiring harness. lol

I'm tossing around the idea of mounting the fuel tank to the frame instead of the bottom of the bed, I'll have a better idea and plan once the bed is back on the truck next weekend making the mounts for it and can see how that might work out, after thinking about it it might be better mounted to the frame but we'll see if it's doable without a lot of fabrication nightmares.

When I get the interior harness thinned and installed we should be able to fire it back up with VATS in place since we are reusing the RM column, but it will get defeated because I don't want to deal with it when the key switch or something fails and the truck is immobile.

But like I said at the beginning we are getting close to the point where we can start the final assembly, I think the wife has settled on a wheel and tire combo but no color choice for the truck, and as long as the bed is off we can do the paint at any point... she still has time on that aspect.

Another thing is once the cab is on the '65 for the last time I can get the other '62 cab that is sitting outside in the shop and on the cab dolly, we can pull the windshield out of it and get it installed in the '65 with a new gasket, and I can do a evaluation on that cab to see if it's worth investing any time in it.

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Jon


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PostPosted: December 27, 2017, 9:55 am 
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Jon,
Zip...Zip...Zip....you're moving this build right along! Looking good. I'll bring my "mess" to your garage....lol.

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PostPosted: December 27, 2017, 11:35 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
Jon,
Zip...Zip...Zip....you're moving this build right along! Looking good. I'll bring my "mess" to your garage....lol.


Yes Sir! it is progressing quickly, a lot faster since I have a idea of what to do instead of looking and scratching my head for hours...lol

Bring it on......but wait till spring! lol.

Jon


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PostPosted: December 28, 2017, 7:14 am 
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Misc Stuff (part 2)

A couple items I'll mention, one being the under hood components could or will get moved around or repositioned during the final assembly, everything in that regard I have done so far is what I'd call a rough mock up, it doesn't mean that that is the final position everything will be in the end.

What I am trying to do with the mock up under the hood is to not only find a good location for the parts but to look at it astatically also, there are things like the windshield washer tank that I'm not happy with....will it work? of course, but it will probably get moved to another location in the end.

Doing this type of swap you have to find a place for everything, and some things like the horns that will get reused will find themselves (there are 4 of them on the RM) in a totally different location then they were on the RM simply because there isn't room on the slick in the same location ( they were mounted two per side in the inner fender well), they will find a new home in front of the radiator support or under it behind the bumper. Of course the wiring will have to be extended to reach these new locations.

The steering column is in a good position for driver reach and the angle of the steering shaft (intermediate shaft) is almost perfect to line up with the shaft going to the steering box, the column does stick out a little further under the dash which reveals a portion of the column that was covered by the RM dash, I'll have to make a trim collar to cover that area so it doesn't look out of place.

The 9 hole steering wheel and 3" adapter that was on the '62 fits the column nicely and puts the steering wheel in a good location (pretty close to where the original slick wheel was) so all of that will work out fine with a very limited amount of BS.

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The wife did decide on wheel and tires, they are ordered and suppose to arrive today, if that happens then I can get them mounted on Friday and we can see what they are going to look like over the weekend. We sold her Kia this week so we are down to just the '62 and the '95 GMC pickup (and of course the Camaro, it won't see the streets again till spring), it's not really putting pressure on getting her truck done faster, but does make spending the money on wheels and tires easier to do.

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I'm a little surprised at the differences in the cab between the '62 and the '65, what I'm talking about is the amount of leg room, the '65 seems to have much more distance from the seat to the toe board giving you more area, The '65 is more comfortable for me with the stock slick seat where in the '62 I'm a much tighter fit driving..... what a difference Ford made by just lowering the floor a few inches and getting rid of the steps inside the cab.

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I'm leaning more and more towards saying that the RM is my chassis of choice (between it and the CV), I think in a lot of ways it is a easier, cheaper, better to build off of, but of course it is all in what your trying to achieve or accomplish. Just the fact that things like the steering column are reusable, that's a saved expense that is making a big difference, just the steering column alone will save between $200 -$700 (depending on what you bought) on this build, that translates into either money saved or money that can be used in other areas if you're doing this on a budget like we are.

Like I've said before the fuel tank being between the frame rails is also a plus depending on your point of view, on the CV after the body was removed the fuel tank was still mounted to the rear portion of the trunk floor but only at the top so it had to have a brace made to tie that to the frame so the tank was supported from the bottom also. Then that area of the old trunk floor can be seen from under the truck (from the rear, following the vehicle) once the bed is put on and had to be painted black to hide it. Of course all of this is change able depending on what you are willing to do all the way up to just replacing the CV fuel tank and adding a tank under the bed.

There is also very little of the CV stuff from the interior like the column that IMHO can be reused in the swap, yeah the brake pedal and gas pedal assemblies can but so can those from the RM, I've already went over the power train and I guess it again is a Ford vs Chevy thing, the 4.6L in the CV is a "mod motor" with over head cams (OHC), while the 5.7L in the RM is a standard cam in block push rod motor (OHV) that GM has made for over 50 years, both are proven very reliable. If you wanted more performance I'd have to look at it from a cost per HP ratio and I think the 5.7L would be cheaper per HP then the 4.6L but of course the RM could get a LS swap or the CV could get a Coyote swap and then it really starts to get interesting cost-wise.

For a daily driver I can get over the RM having inferior rear suspension and brakes (WATTS & rear disks) compared to the CV P71, both have trailer towing capacities very close to 2ooo pounds, both chassis are pretty well a wash both being so similar that the differences frame-wise don't even need to be mentioned because neither have advantages over the other.

If you used a civilian CV that wasn't a P71 you would have the same anti theft stuff to deal with (PATS vs VATS), CV P71's are plentiful in just about every place you live, prices are all over the map but there are still a lot of deals to be had if you look and wait.

Neither require a lot of fabrication skills to transplant the slick body on them, everything is pretty straight forward and easy neither has any real advantage over the other in that respect, although the rear frame rails on the CV are lower than the RMs in relation to the rest of the frame which does make a difference if you were building a unibody on that chassis....but for a cab and bed the RM rear frame rails I don't think will be a issue. (I'll know more on that next week after I mount the bed)

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If you want a lowered stance and are using a cab from a '61 - '63 both frames will give you that look like our '62 has without any modifications to the donor suspension, but if you're using a '64 - '66 cab you can't get that stance without doing suspension mods of some sort on either chassis, those cabs without the inner step won't sit down around the frame rails as low and while they do cover the frame rails as you can see looking at the '65 front wheel openings it looks like a stock slick and will have to have the coil springs cut or drop spindles installed to lower the front end, I'm probably going to cut the coil springs on the '65 (1 coil) which should lower the front end by 2"....we'll see.

The cooling system on the CV is better laid out having the surge tank mounted above the radiator, the RMs remote surge tank is big and holds a lot of coolant, the CV had a single large electric fan while the RM is a dual fan unit, I'll have to wire the RM fans together so both run since the smaller fan was set to run with the AC on only but that is a easy task to either break out that circuit and use another temp switch to turn it on or just wire the two together if the amperage load isn't too high for the relay.

Both radiator packages mounted easy by cutting the lower support from the donor vehicle and welding it to the slicks core support, the CV P71 has a EOC (engine oil cooler) in the lower radiator hose that is heavy and does require mounting to support the weight, the RM has a double transmission cooler (one in each radiator tank) since it had a towing package but no EOC, the CV had a trans cooler and PS cooler combo unit that mounts in front of the radiator and is air cooling only. So the CV being a P71 has a much more robust cooling system, it has more areas to fail also, the CV also has VAPS which is variable rate power steering which while not a problem does add stiffness to the steering turning from a dead stop since it used inputs from the CV steering column that is no longer there.

All in all the RM is a simpler platform with less systems and wiring to deal with if you chose to use the interior wiring harness like we do, the CV has many more modules and wiring, some of it can be removed others cannot and if you start to take too much of the CV harness/circuits out it would get to the point quickly where just eliminating all of it and using a stand-alone aftermarket harness would be a better option just for the simplicity of installing the wiring.

Of course there are varying levels of the GM B body cars that the RM is part of that family, some had air ride, some had 4 wheel disk brakes, and rear sway bars, like any model there are lots of different options that a vehicle could be built with so your donor may be different along with your experiences in using it in a swap.

Again it's all in what your trying to achieve and how much you want to have invested, time-wise and money-wise, we are trying to do this at the lowest cost while making it a safe vehicle to drive that is dependable, we are not trying to restore a slick or trying to make a show truck, both of these trucks are daily drivers nothing more, nothing less. The more donor source parts we can reuse the cheaper the build becomes, we have standards and limits, we don't want it to be or look cobbled together although to a lot of purest folk I'm sure anything less than a totally restored slick would look that way but we are not trying to please anyone or offend anyone, we are just doing our own thing to the best of our abilities.

I'm still on the fence till I drive the RM and see how it handles, and rides, but like I said above I'm leaning in that direction especially if I was using a 61-63 slick to build...we'll see...lol

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Jon


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PostPosted: January 2, 2018, 7:40 am 
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Mock up (part 5.5)

We got wheels and tires.....

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Wheels are American Racing Torque Thrust aluminum polished wheels 16x7 fronts and 16x8 rears, tires are 215x70 front and 255x70 rear.

With the wheels and tires we could get the bed mounts made and the rest of the rear of the truck mocked up.

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Trailer hitch installed.....

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Front bed mount made....

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Front of the bed repaired...

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Rear bed mounts fabricated....

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All that is left is to mount the fuel tank and the mock up is complete....we'll cover that tomorrow.

Jon


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PostPosted: January 3, 2018, 7:15 am 
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Mock up (part 6) almost the final

You folks ever just "eye ball" something?

Normally I don't do that, I normally measure more than once, but when it came to the fuel tank from the Roadmaster I kept looking at its physical size, looking at the hole it has to occupy in the back of the truck between the frame rails (which it came out of originally), and guess-ta-mated that it would drop right into the area it had to occupy. I was only short by about 1/2".....lol

I hate doing things twice, I also hate to waste materials, and I really dislike removing work that I already had done just a hour before... but I had to cut out some bracing for the rear bed mounts that I had installed, welded in, and was basically still warm from welding it all together. lol

While the fuel tank that I thought would be easy has turned into a little more work then I had originally planned for, it's not that bad but is going to be more involved, part of the problem is the way it mounts (the brackets that hold the bottom of the tank are hinged on one end), part of the problem is that it's a plastic fuel tank (HDPE), and part of the problem is that I wanted it mounted to the frame.

It will turn out fine in the end....and it will be easier to replace the fuel pump if it has to be serviced (it's getting a new one during the final assembly), I had to cut the bed floor above it and fabricate a rear mount for the brackets that support the bottom of the fuel tank (this I have mocked up and temporally tacked to the frame), then I'll have to make a stop or brace for the top of the tank to support the top of the tank so the bottom bracing has something to push the tank against and a mount for the front portion of the brackets that bolt to something I have yet to fabricate.

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I'll wait till it's all finished to say if it's a plus or minus using the RM fuel tank, it's probably because I thought it would be less of a issue, and I have all week to come up with a plan on how I'll get it installed. It's not like it's going to cost us extra money because it's not and I have plenty of materials in-house to make it work, it's just extra time that is throwing me about a week behind my self-imposed schedule. (as you can tell I don't like screwing up when it's avoidable, but I don't mind sharing with you folks so you don't make the same mistakes!)

I think if I use another Roadmaster chassis I'll cut the trunk floor that the fuel tank mounts to out when we tear down the car (like we did on the CV) and at least I'd have that area as a rough pattern to use, I would have done that this time but just didn't know or think to do it. lesson learned!

This might have been avoided if I would have measured before I cut the frame rails in the rear also, they had to be cut for the bed to fit and I had a extra inch or two to play with, next time I'll know. ...and in my defense it's the first time using a RM chassis so I expect to have a learning curve, and really this is the only screw-up I've had, and it's totally my fault for making a assumption instead of measuring .

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On the bright side of things this is the last hurdle to jump, once the fuel tank is sorted out it can all come back apart for the last time and when the truck goes back together it will be for the final assembly, and I'll only have a couple areas to address in that phase which is just adjusting sheet metal in the frontend so it is level, the truck was wrecked at some point in its life and the inner fenders were shimmed on the passenger side at the firewall, I'll have to re-shim some of it to get it back lined up and running flat to the core support..

If you look at the pictures from yesterdays post you'll notice that the stance of the rear end (bed) is low, the body lines between the bed and cab along with the cab to bed spacing looks really good to me. I did install air shocks on the rear last week because we will want to be able to adjust the rear ride height especially if we pull a trailer with the truck.

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I still think I'll lower the front end a little, I like the stance of the rear of the truck right now and there is still a lot of weight to be put back on the front of the chassis (hood, doors, windshield) and again we'll wait till it's all together to make a final decision on that..

With the bed sitting as low as it does on the chassis more of the rear suspension had to go up through the bed floor, before I started the project I thought from looking at other pictures of builds on a RM chassis that it would be a lot less, but on our build it's right about where the CV chassis was on the '62 uni which isn't a plus or a minus just the cost of doing the build on this chassis the way we set it up, it'll get a false bed floor just like the '62 did but we haven't discussed if it'll be the same style or something different, there are lots of options in that regard.

Most of this is because I'm trying my best to avoid doing suspension mods if I don't have to, we have set the cab as low on the RM frame as it was possible with the cab floor about 1/4" off the RM frame rails, so matching up the bed to that height put it lower also. Still not as low as a '61-'63 cab would have set, but as low as we thought it was practical, we were trying to get the stance by just dropping the body on the frame to its lowest point. I don't have a issue with doing suspension modifications but since everything has to be mounted to the RM frame why not get all the body drop you can get there first.

It will all work out even if I have to cut the coil springs to lower the front end but in doing that the ride quality will suffer a little making it more harsh and if I can avoid it I will, of course even cutting a coil out of the front springs and the harshness that it will impose will still be a better ride than the old twin I beam front suspension the '65 originally had on that chassis.

The 255 rear tires are tall, not as wide as I would have liked but it is just about as big a tire as will fit in the wheel house with the bed lowered, there is about a 1/2 inch clearance between the tire sidewall and the lip of the fender on each side and of course the lip could be rolled if needed, the rear wheels have the same off set or back space (4") as the factory steel wheels had so it puts the tires in a good location.

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It's fippin COLD! Stay warm folks!

Jon


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PostPosted: January 3, 2018, 8:39 am 
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Moving along and looking great! I love the wheel and tire choice. The truck is going to look awesome!

....and yes...its is COLD....Frigidly Cold! Everywhere....lol.....

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PostPosted: January 3, 2018, 10:16 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
Moving along and looking great! I love the wheel and tire choice. The truck is going to look awesome!


Thanks Steve....

The Torque Thrust wheels have been my favorite wheel since the '70s, use to be they were just gray or charcoal painted spokes back then but today they are made in just about any combination you could ask for, we opted from the polished aluminum wheels instead of chrome, we really wanted the Anthracite or Gun metal finish on the spokes but they don't make them in a 16" wheel with the right back space and rim width (at a reasonable price). My wife really worked hard to get the wheels and tires at a great price working Summit and another site against each other, in the end she got the wheels and tires from Summit for $890 shipped (she tore them up on the live chat...lol). (and they waved the over weight charge for the tires $40) That was one hell of a deal IMHO.

One down side to using the RM chassis has been wheels, for the CV there are always people selling Ford factory wheels or aftermarket Mustang wheels on Craigslist, the wheels and tires we put on the '62 came from a seller there, the tires were almost brand new Pirelli P Zero's which are performance rated tires and the wheels were aftermarket Mustang Bullet type wheels that were in great shape all for $500 and the guy delivered them to our door...lol The RM using a standard GM pattern you would think would be plentiful also but other than factory type wheels they are few and far between around here, so we bought new.

The truck will need a little "Bling" and the wheels should do that, we are getting closer to a color for the truck.....the clock is ticking....lol

Stay warm...

Jon


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PostPosted: January 9, 2018, 7:47 am 
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Mock up 7 Final

Saturday morning I removed the fuel tank and built the mounts for it, I needed something removable to hold the top of the tank, I took a old aluminum bed rail I had and cut it to length, a couple bolts, washers and bushings and I had a removable top mount.

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With the fuel tank finally sorted out we removed the cab for the last time put it on it's dolly and moved it out of the way for the time being.

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I could then do the finish welding on the rear cab mount and front bed mount, the gave them a coat of etch primer and paint.

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At this point the "mock up" phase was really completed and I could start in several different directions, I opted to do the front of the firewall first patching the holes that will no longer be needed, a couple hours later and I had the firewall finished and shot a coat of paint on it to dry over night.

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The next item I need to do is all the engine work, I thought originally that I'd need the cab off to make it easier but really it wouldn't make any difference there is almost a foot of clearance between the back of the engine and the slicks firewall, we want to get the '62 cab that is outside in the shop in and will need the cab dolly to sit it on, we have to ask our friend Ryan for another favor to get it picked up and set on the dolly so I need to have it free when he has the free time to do the lifting....so we decided to put the cab back on the frame for the last time and get it all bolted down, this also let me mount the brake booster to the firewall and take the stress off the brake lines and get it out of the way.

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Tomorrow we start on the engine and front end work.

Jon


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PostPosted: January 10, 2018, 7:16 am 
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Engine (part 1)

With the cab finally back on the frame for the last time we could start on the engine, we have a pretty good list of things to do....

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I pulled the water pump first because it has to be removed to access the distributor, with the pump off I pulled the pulley off the harmonic balancer which gave me access to the "opti-spark" distributor which is driven by the cam shaft. With the distributor removed I pulled all the plug wires, replaced the spark plugs then turned to rebuilding the distributor. The cap is held on with the smallest inverted torx screws I think I've ever seen, they are E4 torx and I didn't have a socket so I sat it aside and moved on to other stuff.

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With the water pump out of the way I could pull the AC compressor and install the delete pulley, with that installed I went up top and removed the valve covers to take a look at the top of the motor and replace the gaskets, nice and clean, for a 140k engine it is remarkable clean with no sludge at all which was nice to see.

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Installed new valve cover gaskets and reinstalled the covers, I put the distributor and the rebuild parts in a box to take to work and do the rebuild there, so I'm at a standstill until I can reinstall the distributor, in case any of you are wondering the distributor shaft is keyed to the cam with a dowel pin and the timing is controlled by the ECM so there is only one way to install the distributor you can't get it 180 degrees out of time.

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The ignition system is odd, nothing like the old small block Chevys and nothing like the newer LS series of GM engines like I said before this was a transition engine for GM, doesn't make it bad or good it's just what it is, the ignition system is pretty well trouble free but a big pain in the ass to work on with a vehicle put together, the parts are expensive but really only need to be serviced every 100k miles.

The engine also uses a crank sensor for the injector timing so the ECM knows which cylinder to fire the injector on, I also replaced the fuel filter and I have a new fuel pump assembly to install before the bed goes back on for the last time.

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All of this took most of Sunday, tomorrow I'll cover the rest of what we got accomplished on Monday.

Jon


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PostPosted: January 10, 2018, 9:16 am 
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Moving along....

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PostPosted: January 10, 2018, 10:29 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
Moving along....


Yup, we should be able to finish this portion of the build this weekend and then start hanging the sheet metal on the front end and doing that wiring, I'm kinda' chompin' at the bit to get to the interior wiring, looks like I'm a week or so away from getting to it. I really want to get it to the point where it will start and move under it's own power then I can slow down a little...lol

Jon


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PostPosted: January 11, 2018, 7:18 am 
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Engine (part 2)

Monday I'm still in a holding pattern on the rebuild of the distributor waiting on that E4 torx socket so I spent most of Monday working on the front end, I had to cut the front shocks off (original) and had to cut the sway bar links, while I was doing that my wife was applying paint stripper to the dash.

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I had to pull the front tires to remove the shocks and sway bar links, and got to looking at the control arm bushings and while not shot they do need to be replaced, but if you're going to pull the a-arms to replace the bushings you might as well replace the ball joints also, which got us thinking about entire control arm assemblies..... Rock Auto has them for about $50 each and if any of you have ever replaced the lower ball joints in a GM vehicle you'll know they are pressed in the control arm, we do have a press at work but by the time you total up the cost of the bushings and ball joints and free labor the Rock Auto units are cheaper, in the end we ordered new Moog parts from Summit and again my wife worked Summit and another site against each other (price match), Summit is pretty good about matching prices with other companies as long as it's a apple to apple comparison (same mfg and part) but the difference a lot of the time is nothing more than their free shipping...still a saving.

Pulling the A-arms will also free up the coil springs which I'll cut one coil from while they are out to lower the front of the truck.

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So while I was working Monday I also removed the AIR (air injection pump) system and all of its related plumbing, the tubes that went into the exhaust manifolds I cut off about a inch above the flair nut smashed the tube flat and silver soldered the end closed, this is temporary until I can find the correct plugs to replace the fittings, we use to be able to buy brass plugs to do this but so far I've found no one who carries them....the threads in the manifolds are not a standard pipe thread, could be metric, this is one of those vehicles where half the fasteners are SAE and the other half are metric. lol

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I also took the time to spray the inner fenders with the rust converter on Sunday, then on Monday gave them a coat of black paint along with the radiator support so they are both ready to install, we also installed the wiring connection on the passenger side of the firewall, we had to file the hole I cut with the plasma cutter a little to get it to the right size, this connector has a gasket to keep moisture out of the passenger compartment so it needed to fit well so it would seal against the firewall..... I'm trying to be more aware of possible air leaks then I was on the '62 so I'm being a little more precise in the areas where air can get into the cab, the '62 with its vents does leak some air when closed and the '65 has doors that you can close for those vents that I'm assuming Ford made this change because of stray air leaking into the cab in the winter.

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I also took the time to weld up the holes in the front fenders where the "twin I beam" badges use to be the wife wants the hood trim like the '62 has and the hood that came with the other '62 cab had two good emblems. To weld the holes shut I tried the piece of brass wrapped around a body dolly to hold behind the hole while you weld the hole shut, the idea is that the steel wire the mig welder uses won't stick to the brass and I have to admit it did work out well but I think the brass sheet I used was maybe a little thin since it did stick to the weld and tore a hole in the sheet when I moved the dolly away...still it did allow me to weld the holes with a limited amount of "blow out" and a smaller amount of welding.

I ground the welds down and gave it a shot of primer.... I'll have to do the top of the hood also since it had a hood ornament at one time in its life that is long gone.

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So it's now Tuesday and I'm back at work, I brought the distributor in so I could use one of the guys E4 torx sockets, ooops, it's too short to reach two of the screws, so I need a deep torx socket, quick call to the auto parts store and $7 later I have the right socket..... guess what? two of the screws twist off flush with the base (aluminum) and no matter what we do they are just too small to get out and have anything left, call the auto parts store and $140 later I have a complete distributor unit to install, I sent the new cap, rotor, and base back that I had bought a week or so ago and it's like $40 difference.... another lesson learned because I should have just bought the whole unit in the first place (lifetime warranty).

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Here's a pic of the distance between the slicks firewall and the back of the engine, it's a little more space than the '62 has with the 4.6L, lots of room if you had to pull the transmission.

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PostPosted: January 11, 2018, 9:52 am 
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Jon...I am by no means a professional welder. With that said, I will share a tip that a friend, who is a professional welder, gave me. He told me to get some 1/2" or even 1" copper plumbing pipe about 2 feet long (or there about) and take a large hammer and flatten it out about 3 -4 inches on one end. I did that and used it to weld up some holes on the top edge of my bed. With the pipe being 2 feet, or so, long you have a 'handle' to hold it with, and the flattened end can be bent to different angles to reach different places. It makes great backing to weld up holes with a mig. It you get 'build up' on it, just hit the copper pipe with a sander and you're good to go. This was one of the best welding tips that anyone has ever given me.

Also, I noted that your wife was using stripper on the dash...I hope that worked better, quicker and easier than trying to sand all of those little nooks and crannies. To me that is the best way to remove paint...brush it on, let it set, putty knife it off.

The build is looking great!

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PostPosted: January 11, 2018, 11:16 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
He told me to get some 1/2" or even 1" copper plumbing pipe about 2 feet long (or there about) and take a large hammer and flatten it out about 3 -4 inches on one end


Thanks Steve, I'm not even close to a pro welder although I have welded all my life and did go to school to learn how to Tig weld (still can't do aluminum to any degree of success), thanks for the tip and that makes a lot of sense, the thickness of the smashed pipe would make all the difference in the world.

SteveCanup wrote:
Also, I noted that your wife was using stripper on the dash...I hope that worked better, quicker and easier than trying to sand all of those little nooks and crannies. To me that is the best way to remove paint...brush it on, let it set, putty knife it off.


Yes Sir....thank you for the suggestion, we basically just wanted to remove the black paint that was not only thick but has reacted with the original paint and blistered, she did one application then sanded the dash, I shot a little primer on a couple areas then to make sure there wasn't any residue left and we'll see if that lifts this weekend. (haven't been in the shop since Monday)

SteveCanup wrote:
The build is looking great!


Thanks for the kind words, this truck will hopefully turn out better than the '62 (there is nothing wrong with it...lol) because it's a lot different and the body (sheet metal) is in so much better shape than the uni.

Funny short story: I had a customer come in yesterday to pick up his truck and said "your a big Ford fan...right?" I said "we'll I'm kinda' agnostic to car brands after working on them for so long, every manufacturer makes good and bad products" he looks at me kinda' funny then turns around and looks in the direction of the '62 sitting outside. "Oh" I say you mean because I'm driving a Ford? "yeah he says I figured since you spent all that time on that truck you were a big time Ford fan", then I proceeded to tell him about the '65 and it being on a Roadmaster chassis and his eyes kinda' glass over...lol To his credit he has 6 or 7 Ford trucks all of them from the '70s into the '2ks, he was genuinely interested in both trucks and asked a lot of questions.

It's interesting that people most of the time think you are loyal to one brand or another based just on what you drive, to be totally honest I really don't like new Ford trucks I've worked on enough of them to see the flaws where Ford could have done a much better job, but every manufacturer is that way in my opinion I wouldn't buy a new GM car either because most are crap, which is one of the big reasons I have always driven older vehicles and the main reason I built the '62 to drive everyday, I could go on and on about crap vehicles but lets just say if you pay a mechanic to work on your vehicle it's a really great idea to look at what he drives and ask why....lol I can't count the number of times a customer will ask for a vehicle recommendation to buy, or will buy a vehicle and bring it for service and ask "what do you think?" sometimes I just have to bite my lip and look for a positive aspect to say about their new purchase, if they are a long time customer I tell them right up front that they screwed up and it's going to cost them in the long run to own what they just bought....sorry for your luck.

I actually had the daughter of a long time customer come in a few years ago that had just bought a 2002 Ford Escape even though it had the DOHC 3.0L V6 which is a pretty good Ford motor I asked her "you bought this because it's Yellow....right" she laughed and said yes, how did you know?.... she had it about 18 months and in that time spent over $1200 on repairs, then sold it to her parents for the remainder of the loan and they probably put over $4k in repairs in the next 4 years, if they would have just done a google search for problems or just asked before they bought it I could have warned them.

I have lots of stories like that.... people are just weird when it comes to buying a car, too much emphasis on color and looks or style and not enough on what it is going to cost to own.

Take care, we have snow in the forecast for tomorrow somewhere between 1" and 1'....lol I think I'll drive the GMC tomorrow.

Jon


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PostPosted: January 16, 2018, 7:38 am 
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Engine (part 3)

Saturday with the new complete distributor I was able to get it installed and the plug wires ran...then turned my attention to installing the water pump, thermostat, and hooking the water lines back up.

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With the engine put back together we could rebuild the front suspension.

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Not really what you would call a fun job, better though then pulling the control arms and replacing the ball joints and bushings, but replacing the entire control arm assemblies goes reasonably fast and in a few hours we had one side finished and moved to the other side.

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I did cut one coil from each coil spring before installing them which I hope will lower the front of the truck a few inches, in a few more hours on Sunday we had the passenger side complete, while removing the outer tie rods from the spindles I decided that they should also be replaced and it was after lunch Sunday before the auto parts store had them ready to pick up. (had to come from another store across town) once they were installed the truck could be sat back on the ground and we could move on to other things.

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Tomorrow we'll move to putting the front end sheet metal back on hopefully for the last time...lol

Jon


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PostPosted: January 17, 2018, 7:20 am 
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Final Assembly (part 1)

With the front end rebuilt, the engine repairs and tune up complete, I forgot to mention yesterday that I changed the oil and filter...it's a good thing that I did because the oil filter was finger tight, that's not really finger tight as in one turn with your hand, that is ready to fall off tight, it's a wonder it wasn't leaking...so we are finally ready to start assembling the truck and see if all the time we spent mocking things up is going to pay off by saving us a little time.

One of the things that needed attention is the front fenders and their alignment, when we disassembled the '65 in the beginning I noticed that the passenger inner fender and the passenger fender were shimmed to get them aligned, since the entire dog house was a different color than the rest of the truck it's a safe assumption that it had been wrecked at some point in the past.

Of course all the modifications we have done to place this body on the Roadmaster chassis has negated a lot of the alignment issues you would have going back on the slick's original frame....but still everything needs to be aligned and adjusted just like it was on the original frame, the thing is that I knew this would be a issue and took counter measures to limit the hassle. One area where I planned ahead was the holes in the frame where the radiator support mount, I made these over size, kinda' oval from side to side so the radiator support could be moved right or left to get the fenders aligned with the cab.

We are dealing with used sheet metal, not perfectly straight, that has seen it's fair amount of use and abuse over the years, our end goal like with the '62 is that it looks correct (as much as possible) and is safe to drive, it's just the nature of what we are building, since it's not a show truck or a restoration it can and will have flaws but we will try to keep them at a minimum.

So first item is to loosely hang the inner fenders on the firewall and start looking for issues, at the same time I'm running the heater hoses on the passenger side, remounting the components that we had mocked up earlier in the mock up phase like the coolant tank, PS reservoir, battery tray, and power distribution box on the passenger side inner fender.

On the driver's side I remounted the cruise control unit and started to mount the ECM in the mock up location and had a better idea, I moved the ECM to the location I had originally mocked up the windshield washer tank, it was a better area and the wiring loom just kinda' flowed around to that point, doing this left a much better area for the cold air intake and air filter to live but again I had no place for the washer tank. I looked at a couple other areas for the tank and nothing said yeah here so I sat it aside to figure out further down the assembly phase...lol

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We then installed the radiator support leaving the bolts that hold it to the frame loose so we could move it around but bolted it to the inner fenders in a couple spots. I could then install the new radiator and work on the plumbing for it, the radiator sits higher in the slick than it did in the RM, it's mounted to the very bottom of the slicks core support which probably makes it 6" or so higher, I don't think the height is going to be a issue since the surge tank has a air bleed, the cap, and is just slightly higher than the top of the radiator but it is something I'll be keeping a eye on, and if I use another RM chassis I'd probably make some mounts to lower the radiator another 4" or so, the problem with that is it would be unprotected which might be a problem although the bumper would protect it a little. The bottom radiator hose is of course too long and I had to cut it down and used a piece of 1.5" OD tube to connect the two pieces of hose together (at a later date I can pull this back off and take it to the auto parts store and match it to a new hose that is all one piece).

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The upper hose is of course too short and looking on line a upper hose from a 2k5 Neon with a 2.0L is about the right hose length and configuration, my wife goes down the street and grabs that hose from the local auto parts store, it's almost perfect just needed to remove a couple inches off the engine end and it fit. Then it's time to sort out the transmission lines going to the radiator.

Typically to most GM products the RM has hard lines that run from the transmission to the front of the motor, then turn into rubber lines to make a 90 degree bend then back to hard lines to complete the connection to the oil coolers. Since this RM had a towing package it has two transmission coolers and one line went to each side of the radiator (one cooler in each tank) and a hard line connects the two coolers together.

The connection where the hard line turns to rubber is a crimp connection, a die grinder and a cut off wheel makes short work of removing the crimp (just be careful not to damage the hard line) and new longer 5/16 hoses make the connection, I use hose clamps (doubled up, two per connection) to seal the connections and in a short amount of time have the transmission plumed.

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So now with the coolant and transmission plumed up most everything under the hood is ready, I grab the wiring harness that has the front lighting, horns, and a couple other circuits in it and feed it through the hole in the passenger side of the radiator support and plug it back into the engine harness, the wires are plenty long, in fact almost a perfect fit, I mount the horns (4 of them) two on each side behind the radiator support on the back side (lots of room there), the rest of the wires are just about right to hit the turn signals and headlights without any lengthening of the harness.

Radiator fans are mounted also and plug into the front lighting harness along with the low coolant sensor for the surge tank, everything is looking good.

Tomorrow I'll cover hanging the front fenders and doing that alignment.

Stay warm folks.

Jon


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