Here's the progress from the big push before the show. Not nearly enough to bring the truck but it's still progress nonetheless
Got the passenger side frame rail completely transitioned/welded/capped. Still need to do some welding on the underside when the frame gets tipped up but for the most part this rail is now done
I also was able to take some measurements and found out that while the 2wd sections of the frame will be a 3.5" bodydrop to lay rocker, the 4wd front frame clip will need a 5" bodydrop to lay. I also just realized the other day that I'll need to have a front driveshaft tunnel that runs through the drivers footwell area.
Simultaneously with this I had a buddy working on the gastank crossmember. First he ground down all the rivets then got the crossmember out, then got the rivets out of the crossmember. Then I marked and cut the top of it
The crossmember is getting moved back (which also moves it upwards since the frame is angled in that area). So the top got flattened out and will then get sectioned down a bit to fit under the bed floor. Then the dip in the middle of the bottom is turning into a notch by cutting 2 pieces and flipping them left to right. For now the notch area will function as the UniBag upper mount, but eventually it will just be used for the driveshaft notch. The gastank will be moved back so a little bit may have to get sectioned out of the back of it for link/axle clearance but I'm not sure yet. The tank hopefully will be raised enough with the move and it will also provide more clearance to the cab since the bed gap got shortened. The crossmember is still in process so I'll get more pics of it as it comes along
Then I moved onto the front suspension. I trimmed the bumpstop mount enough to get the upper bag mount able to weld on then welded it
It was mocked up using a 2600 but the placement of the bag on the rear leg of the arm behind the halfshaft just didn't leave enough room for turning when running the 2600. By placing a 2500 in there not only did I gain clearance next to the half shaft but I was also able to push the bag back away from the wheel due to the slotted upper mounts.
The upper arm got pie cut
And everything got clearanced to lay
Then I cut the arm in half to separate the rear leg with the bag on it from the front leg that was laying out. A clamp held the rear leg at 3" gap while the front leg lays. The arm will get plated back together in this form, creating a drop arm
Inside showing cuts
Overall shots. The half shafts hate me lol
And that was all the farther I got before I ran out of welding gas
Yeah I definitely have lots of motivation after going to the show (JJ, only the trucks didn't make it... I was there though ). Right now though the main focus is on the Sonoma, to get the compressor issues fixed, fix all the air leaks, put the interior back together, get the Taurus fan on, get the brake upgrade done, etc etc and just get that thing totally reliable so that I don't ever have to be in a position where I can't at least take that to a show.
I'm thinking that I've decided 100% to do suicide rear doors on the crewcab, and I'm pretty positive that I'm going to attempt to do it with no B pillar, so stay tuned for that
New (hopefully realistic) deadline for having this thing put together is for Dropt and Destroyed in Oct. Being a pilot makes me really want to make it to a show at an airport where all the trucks get to park on the runway :evilg:
So, last night when a friend was over I mentioned how I hadn't realized til now that I would have a front driveshaft tunnel running through the drivers footwell area. I told him that I thought it might be close enough to the trans tunnel to not have to be an additional hump but more of a bump in the tunnel, but he then pointed out that if I do plan on running a 5speed that I simply may not have enough room for 3 pedals between having that tunnel and having the big firewall tubs.
So that would leave me several options... I would either be forced to run an automatic, I would have to flip the transfer case over onto the passenger side, flip the axle shafts on the front diff and make custom mounts to mount it on the passenger side, or make the truck right hand drive.
Now, while I think RHD is cool, I wouldn't want to have to do it to be able to have a stick shift. I just don't think I could ever get comfortable shifting with my left hand, so I think that option is out. Now I could do RHD and an Automatic but I really don't want to have to do an Auto if I don't have to, and RHD is a lot of work and I wasn't really wanting to go that direction with this truck.
It may work to flip the diff to the pass side but that is also a lot of work. Along the same lines as this I had considered possibly narrowing the front diff to tuck the driveshaft even closer to the trans all while allowing more length on the half shafts if I end up narrowing the front track width. The only concern there would be having driveline angle issues between the narrowed diff and the non-narrowed transfer case, as well as oil pan clearance issues and exhaust clearance issues.
If I kept it all in the stock locations and ran an Auto that would definitely be the easiest, but I really don't want to run an Auto. However, the concept of V8/Auto/Awd 1st gen pickup did kind of give me a Syclone +2 cyl/doors vibe and I had an idea of then turboing the LT1 if I would go that route.
But then the idea grew on me even more and I thought why not build a "Sy-Crew" or "Crew-Clone" or "Syclone +2cyl/doors" and essentially build the truck into a bagged crew cab Sy laying frame and custom 4 door cladding with a turbo LT1. Not laying rocker would mean I wouldn't have all the issues with the driveshaft tunnel and raised floorpans, and even if I ran 22s I could still run inner fenders of some sort. Plus then I'd have pedal room to do the 5 speed if I really wanted. To lay the cladding I would need to do a 1.5" bodydrop on just the 4wd front clip and leave all the 2wd stuff at frame laying height. Obviously the cladding would be ridiculously expensive, but it would be pretty badass.
I know there are lots of ideas here... throw up your opinion on what you think I should do (if you were actually able to read all that lol)
i think it laying frame with the cladding would be sick imo, i mean all are sick ideas to say the least, but this would be less work and unique in more than one way not to mention im sure all the body work/fab on the crew cab i would hate to mess up rockers as i know when i rockered my dime, i was like i wont drag it very much....well i was damn near at a 4 inch body drop after i drug it so much...your ideas motivate me and your intentions are great....the real questions is, what do you really want out of it????
I just want a badass daily driver that my daughter can ride in. I loved the concept and challenge of doing a functional 4wd/AWD on air, and I also love how bodydropped trucks look layed out and the fact that I could be dailying a bodydropped truck was a thought that would just give me goosebumps. But I've seen a lot more lately with my Sonoma that having a daily on air can be challenging and a pain, and I'm sure a bodydrop will only complicate that, especially if it's a 4wd/AWD truck. I want to be able to drive all season if I ever need to, so when it comes to that respect maybe a bodydrop isn't the best idea. And I still have the '91 and it will for sure be bodydropped, so if this one only lays frame it would be that much more motivation to get the bodydropped '91 done. When I decided to go through with the build I also decided that this would be her truck (even though she's only 1 lol). Simply because she's the main reason/inspiration for it, and once it's done her and I will spend a lot of time together in it. And if it doesn't rust out or get wrecked in the next 15 years then it will be hers when she gets her license if she wants it. Also, since my plans for my two 2nd gens are for one to lay frame and one to lay rocker it'd be cool to have the pair of 1st gens be the same way.
Lastly, since the truck will be a daily, the less amount of parts that I modify means that many more parts that remain stock and can be replaced with stock parts should they ever break. Plus this truck was originally intended to be a test mule for parts that I want to design and begin to produce and market, so if I can keep it as stock as possible that allows every other guy with a 4wd to buy and bolt on my parts.
So I'm really really really leaning towards the "Syclone + 2 cylinders & doors", but now the question would be what to call it, and if I do the 5speed or not. Maybe I'll throw up a poll
Throw up your opinions on everything, but also on what to call the truck if I go the crewcab Sy route; "Crew Clone" or "Sy Crew"?
Honestly, if you are truely building this with the intentions of giving this to your daughter when she turns 16 I would make it an auto. Not saying she can't ;earn to drive a stick, I just know how 16 year old girls are when they drive. They don't focus enough as it is and adding the factor of shifting is just one more worry.
Also just to give you a little inspriation on the no pillar idea, here's a full size being built with no pillars.