Spring 2021

Well, actually this starts in the fall of 2020 but I only did a little bit then before winter hit.  The first thing I tried to do was make a down pipe for the exhaust.  My first attempt was well clumsy at best.  I tried working around the shock mount and I wanted to use a 4 inch pipe and well the result was less than perfect. I would have ended up with the tire hitting the pipe every time I made a right turn.  That’s no good. Here is what that looked like.

After thinking about it all winter long I decided a couple of things.  The first thing is that I’ve set a major goal along with a bunch of minor goals. The major goal is to drive the truck to the 2024 Armed Forces Day event in Findley Ohio.  The minor goals are to have all the fabrication work done and the truck stripped and media blasted and in primer by fall 2021, Frame rebuilt done and rolling chassis by Fall 2022, Body both cab and bed done by fall 2023 and whole truck driving Spring 2024.  I decided that with the shock mount being in the way on the passengers sides like it is that the best thing to do was move the shock mount.  After some research I found that a near vertical shock is better than one on a 40 degree angle.  So I set about to make new front shock mounts. I got the shock at nearly 90 degrees on both sides and I’m pleased with how they came out.










Next I got to making a new down pipe.  This time I decided to go with 3 inch pipe as though 4 inch would give “better breathing” 3 inch fit better and when you do enough research you find that 4 inch doesn’t improve performance all that much.  So go with factory settings and I decided 3 inch would do fine. I decided that I didn’t want to get a bunch of bends and try to figure out how to make it work by guessing. So, I cut up some lumber I had floating around from other home projects and made the wood into a plus (+) configuration where it was 3 inch from the top to bottom and 3 inch left to right.  This simulated a 3 inch exhaust pipe and I could make as much dummy pipe as I needed without spending a dime to do so.  It worked out great to get the down pipe figured out. 

Once I had all the angles figured out I ordered in the bends and straights I needed and started to make up the down pipe and the exhaust pipe for the truck. The results I think are excellent.  I’m very happy with them.
















I made the end of the exhaust as a bolt on flange so that the truck could be changed from an exhaust tip to a fording pipe which is normal for MVs. Remember I’m trying to make this look like the truck might have actually been produced for the military and put into service.  Oh one thing you can’t see is there is a pipe hanger just before the 90 to help hold everything in place.



Next thing I’ve moved onto is repairing the little bit of rot in the front fenders and the spot on the corner of the cab that I didn’t do earlier when I rebuilt the drivers side of the cab.  I’m very happy with the results of these repairs also.










Spring 2022

I finally got the frame, front clip and cab to the sandblaster where they sandblasted it and primed it for me.  I just couldn’t do that work in my small garage and keep neighbors and family happy.  I dropped the truck off in mid October 2021 and got it back in early Jan 2022.  I got the parts home just before the worst of winter hit.  Here are a few pictures. 










After sandblasting I found a few pieces that didn’t fair as well as they should have.  Here is one example.

After a little CGW (Cut Grind and Weld) it looks almost like new.

June 2022

Got the cab and frame separated so that I can start painting.   The cab is now sitting out of the garage by the house.  The frame is in the garage.  Looks like the sandblaster who was also paid to prime everything had the cab sitting on 2x4s on the frame and just painted around it as the little red circles indicate.  You had one job to do….:( 

July 2022

Turning things Army Green is very exciting.  










Now I have to figure out how to turn the frame over to paint the underside of it.  That should be fun.

Aug 2022  

I got the frame flipped on it’s side using my engine hoist.  With my son and son-in-law I was able to get it on it’s side, painted and then using the engine hoist again and the winch from my 1500 Ram was able to get back on all four.  Easy peasy!










Sept 2022

Got a little more work done on the frame.  Most of the bolt on parts are now installed on the frame and bolts have been painted.










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