BUMP 4 A REAL THREAD Y0!!!! (Little in-joke there for our older members)
I bet you thought you'd seen the last of this eyesore on here. Well BAD LUCK as I still have it and its not going anywhere just yet (actually perhaps thats not a surprise)
I ended up not touching it for about 8 months after getting demoralised at how long it was taking to get anywhere with it. I think I've had it 2 years now and have not even got the bastard through its MOT! I am in my mid-40's, in decent health, I have an alright wage coming in from my 9-to-5 job and no kids so I reckoned I should be able to dedicate a bit of time to this thing. But after doing all the more important shit that you have to do as a grown up (working, commuting, shopping, cleaning, looking after your house, pets, partner etc) I was getting like 2 hours on a sunday if I was lucky and I figured it was going to take me till I was 90 to finish the friggin thing, by which time I would not be strong enough to turn the steering wheel (and old Perkins diesels would have been long banished from the roads anyway). So I just left it on the drive for 8 months with a wheel off. Didn't even shift the muthaload of magazines and brochures stored in the back (they're still there). Remember the days when i was stressing about it being an eyesore on the drive? Long time ago that.
Now though I am on LOCKDOWN and just maybe I will have a bit more time to piss about with this old heap. I have actually been on it today for an hour painting some bits under the cab so lets see if we get some decent time in on it over the easter weekend. The omens are good so far and I'm feeling hopeful.
Lets see where i got up to before I chucked all my tools down in disgust.
So, I did actually get the whole cab floor welded up. Check it:
I chopped great sheets out the floor and stitched new bits in carefully. i have to say it turned out quite nice. Gave it a couple of coats of red oxide and a couple more of that blue Tractol paint.
I was trying to do a nice job. Made a new metal plate to screw down the bellows round the handbrake mech and some lad on the dodge forum 3D printed me a new placca square thing to go in the top of the bellows. Looks neat right?
The nice thick layer of paint seems to have made good job of the whole thing, certainly no sign of any rust coming back through yet, and thats not for a lack of water ingress (more on that later)
Look at all that under the cab!!! Like a flippin patchwork quilt man. Theers a mix here of my efforts and those of Al Bundy. Not the neatest in the world but its all nice and strong and I think it should last alright. Ive got a tin of Dinitrol Schulz stuff that I am gonna lash over all this red oxide paint.
Remember this transmission cover? I spent ages carefully welding it up (it was MEGA rotten) then went to fit it and it was a mile out. Ended up chopping it about a load more before i could get it bolted in. Eventually it nipped up so I removed it and threw £60 at having it sandblasted and powder coated!!!! Talk about rolling out the flippin barrel. Still, it will look nice for a short while before i stick some sound deadening pads on then put the scratty old rubber cab floor mat over the top of it.
Remember me smashing that replacement screen like a massive ham-fisted dickhead? Well i had a stroke of luck when i found a bloke breaking a Dodge 50 near my work in Stafford. He charged me £50 for the screen out of that, but I had to pay up front!!! (wise strategy to be fair). I learned my lesson last time so this time I cut it out with a Stanley knife and got it out and home no problem. As you can see I have carefully stored it down the side of my house. I was sure that those big storms we had a few weeks back would have a bad ending for this screen but it has survived unscathed thankfully. Its in fine condition unlike mine so I will get a pro to fit this for me.
So thats about where I am up to. The next job I really ought to have a look at is the rotten scuttle.
Rainwater pisses in through it all over my new cab floor, so it needs sorting before I put the floor mats etc back in. But accessing it is a BIG DEAL. You have to remove the steering column, clocks, dashboard, heater box, brake servo/master cylinder/pipes, half the wiring loom and the wiper motor. Basically the bits they put on first when building the cab. Obvs when you remove the master cylinder you are then obliged to bleed the brakes on reassembly, and I expect the chances of that going smoothly without any broken bleed nipples is about 0% so I expect a further consequence of tackling this will be that the rear cylinders end up coming off and being sent to Past Parts for a rebuild. So basically a lot of spannering.
The scuttle itself is quite a complex bit of metalwork. I'm not sure where I'm gonna chop and stitch, i suppose I won't know till I get it all accessible. I do have this which may or may not prove helpful:
I chopped the scuttle out of that yellow/white cab I bought for spares. Its got rust problems:
But its nowt like as bad as mine. Maybe it will be able to donate some repair sections, I hope so.
So I have a 4-day weekend coming up and am thankfully unable to spend it going round IKEA and friggin garden centres so my plan is to wade right on into this job and see how it goes. If I get a decent few hours on it for maybe 3 of the days I reckon I could have it more or less sorted. Then surely to god I will have finished welding this rotten old thing (famous last words)