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richingalveston

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I was able to get most of the electrical work done. I picked up two more relays. I am using the glow plug relay for my aircraft landing lights that are on the front of the truck. I did this mainly so I would have a spare glow plug relay. I am using one relay for each light even thought I could use one for both lights. If my glow plug relay goes out on me then I can easily move one from the lights to the glow plugs. Attached are pics of the finished panel. This is the latest part number I found for the relay.
I also had some interior lights that have been on the shelf for about 4 years that I finally got around to installing. I used some 1x1 angle to make the brackets. The lights work great, they can be used for the front seat, back seat or they can even be shined out the door for some exterior light and the look really cool. Already set up for night vision if I ever get the goggles.

I will need to remove the brackets and paint them and I still have to install a switch for my rear window. I can use the key from the back to roll it down and I have the wires run to the dash but have not installed the switch yet, once I do the switch, the electrical will be done until I add the roof rack.

I got new plates and sticker so it is ready for the road but I purchased new rear calipers with the e=brake built in so I am planning to get those changed next week. I have to order some new brake lines because the banjo bolt on the new calipers is a larger size. I have a transfer case brake that I managed to get working well enough to pass inspection but it rattles a lot and does not stay adjusted so I am changing to the e-brake calipers and removing the t-case brake.

Items left to do:
Roof rack, rock sliders, front and rear bumpers.
At least the truck will be driving while I add the last items.

Thanks
Rich
 

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richingalveston

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Yours is looking really good.
unfortunately work gets in the way of progress.

Yes, it is taking a long time but it is my escape. I do not watch tv because I cannot sit still and veg unless I am completely worn out. So every night I am home and do not have office work, I go to the barn and work on something.
I enjoy working on it almost as much as driving it. I have done a lot of things different because I like the challenge and I would like to have a truck that is different from others. I could have bought a jeep and then purchased a bunch of kits but in the end I would just have another jeep not much different from the other million that are out there.

I am sure many people frown on the changes I have made but I do not care, It is my truck and I will keep making changes that make me happy. Maybe some one else will get some enjoyment out of what I have done but if not that is ok with me.

Thanks for looking.
Rich
 

richingalveston

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roof rack and rock sliders

roof rack and rock sliders are in progress. I picked up the metal today and got started on the roof rack.

I have way more metal than needed, they only sell it in 20 ft pieces so I have about twice what is needed but that is ok, I like having extra metal around, it will be put to use some day.

The roof rack will be 8 ft long, and about 7 inches tall from the center of the roof. It will have legs that come down the side of the vehicle and connect through the sides of the top. I will have internal braces that support it on the inside of the truck that sit on the top of the bed sides.

If I ever take the top off (I do not plan to) the rack will come off with the top.

I plan to have the top of it water tight with a rubber roof liner and aluminum expanded metal over that to protect it.

The roof rack will hold one spare tire not on a rim but will have a cover with a top I can open and use the inside as dry storage. (extra tow straps, snatch block,other recovery equipment and my rubber boots).
the back of the rack will eventually have a roof top AC and down each side will be enough room for jerry cans and other items.

The heavy wall 2x2 will be used for the rock sliders, they will be 2 inches wider than the sides of the truck in order to keep the doors protected as much as possible. The tops will have flat plate that will be 8 inches wide so they will be running boards and go from wheel to wheel.
 

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richingalveston

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started making some good progress on the roof rack and ran out of welding gas. What really sucks is I cannot get the bottle refilled until monday. I went ahead and started sanding and priming all of the metal I am going to use. I have most of the parts cut just need to get it welded. I am using high temp engine primer so when I weld it will not damage very much of the primer and as I finish each weld I can touch it up.

When the roof rack is finished the truck will be 7 foot 9 inches tall without the spare tire on the roof. About 8 foot 2 inches at the top of the tire.

Have a good Thanksgiving.
Rich
 

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richingalveston

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I made some more progress. I cut the 2x2 bottom frame into 1x2 to save as much weight as possible. I have to flip it over and get all of the welding completed then get it on the truck so i can figure the rear and front. The front bottom rail will have a couple of bends in it and I do not plan to have a top rail on the front. The tire will be in the front and I do not plan to store anything in front of the tire so I don't think the front needs a rail. The bottom rail will be sufficient to mount the lights to and hold the visor. The back end of the rack will have a top bar and I will probably angle the rear corners.
Thanks
Rich
 

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richingalveston

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I have finished the basic frame for the roof rack. The major welding is done and it is primed. I am now working on the visor which will attach to the front of the roof rack. There are some minor modifications to make, The rear of the roof rack has water scuppers. the sides will be cut down some. The center post for the antenna mounts will get some additional bracing and a plate to mount the antennas. If anyone reads this thread and knows the answer, I am trying to find out how far apart the antennas need to be. The center antenna will be for CB, There will be two additional antenna, one for scanner and another for am/fm Radio. The radio antenna will be a short 12 inch or less flex antenna and the scanner antenna for what I have seen is only a few inches long. I am using a 3 foot fiberglass antenna for the CB. If anyone here knows the required separation between the antenna please chime in.
The roof rack will have some additional aluminum added. It will have an aluminum pan with 3 inch aluminum sides to create a water tight roof rack. The water will exit the roof scuppers in the rear corners of the rack. At this time I am at approx. 80lbs with the steal work, I will add another 20 to 30 lbs. of aluminum and rubber (tape for the corners). I am a little over my goal of less than 100 lbs but I think my nerf bars will balance out the weight up top.

Attached are the front and rear view of the rack. It is primarily designed to hold the spare tire and a roof top AC the tire is approx. 100 lbs and the AC is about 75 lbs. I can carry additional items around the edges such as water cans and fuel cans if needed. Both sides will get an awning and lots of lights.

Thanks for looking and any advice you can give. I will start working on the attachment to the truck this week.
 

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richingalveston

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I have not made much progress on roof rack. I am at the point where I have to start building the attachment to the truck. I had to work through the holidays so tomorrow I get to start working on the truck again. I did receive my night vision video camera and it works really well with my night vision head lights. It is really small and has some great features. I will mount it on the dash. The camera is high definition and can do 120fps in hd. On the highest setting it gets 30fps.
Connected to an external monitor it has a really good picture and the IR headlights make it look like daylight but in black and white.

unfortunately my lap top does not have an HDMI in so I will have to get a small monitor or a new laptop. playing with the camera, it can be used as a web cam but the IR function does not work when using it as a webcam on a laptop. The lap top connection is USB only. The IR function does work when you use the HDMI cable to a separate monitor. I may just get a small monitor and put it on the dash plate behind the laptop mount.

I also received all of my led lights for the roof rack so I have a lot of work to get done over the next couple of weeks.
Rich
 
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richingalveston

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Did not get much done today. I had to take a friend to the airport and then watch the Texans game.
I did get the majority of my Visor completed. I added bondo to some of the welds and then got that sanded down and ready for primer. Then I ran out of primer. Attached are pics of the Visor. It took a while to build because I could only weld small amounts at a time to keep the piece from warping. I made the vents so they should be waterproof and The front lip so the water will shed off the sides at slow speeds. The Visor will be mounted to the roof rack and cover approx. 8 inches of the windshield. It will have a rubber strip on the back side which will seal it up against the windshield gasket.
If it works as designed it should keep the windshield mostly dry when sitting or traveling slow.
I have the tabs cut that will mount it to the roof rack but i want to get the roof rack attached and the truck off the jack stands and sitting at its normal stance so I can get the visor installed level or a slight forward lean.
Going hunting tomorrow (last day of deer season) then monday I will be back to work on the rack.

Also once the rack is mounted, I have to make a hole for the exhaust pipe and then finish the sides, The sides have not been shaped yet since I need to get it on the truck to make the final decisions.

Thanks
Rich
 

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richingalveston

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well I had to jump on the year end sale and go ahead and get the HVAC unit. I saved about $500 all together getting the AC unit, Heat strip and a Thermostat. All three parts cost me $860 with tax. It will be a little while on the inverter. The one I want is approx. $1000.00 It is still cheaper than an in dash AC system and I can use it with a generator or plug it in and have AC when I am sleeping in it.

I am glad I got it before getting any further on the roof rack.
The bad news is I have to do some reconfiguring on the frame work of the roof rack because the supports wont be in the right places. I was using a schematic of the hvac I got from on line and it is not the right one or something changed in the model number.

It is nice and short, only 8 inches tall so it will only stick above the side rails of the roof rack by 1 inch.

Thanks,
Rich

yes, the ac is white. they wanted $100 more for a black one. So it will end up being green like the truck. A rattle can is a whole lot cheaper than the black cover
 

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richingalveston

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finally got some more work done, I had to take a break due to work.
I am building the interior bracing for the roof rack. I just finished the front braces and hopefully in the next few days I can get the back braces done. The back will be similar to the front.
The angle braces were built so that they are grab bars also, The lower ones work great for the rear passenger to hold on to something and the upper ones really help when getting out of the back seat. No new holes, using the bolts that hold the top on.IMG_20200209_210206657.jpgIMG_20200209_210146859.jpgIMG_20200209_194812231.jpg
 

richingalveston

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more work completed. I finished the rear interior supports and got the sleeves cut and holes drilled on one side of the truck. I have to fix one of the bolt locations, it came out to close to the window. I will be able to move it over about 1/4 inch but it is going to require some interior frame modifications and filling the hole I just drilled and drilling the new hole. Not a big set back but will add a day to my schedule. I knew this bolt was going to be close but not that close, until it was drilled I did not know exactly where it was going to come out. The sleeve corrects the curve of the top so that the carriage bolt heads will not be sitting at an angle on the outside.

now that the sleeves are installed, they will be welded to the interior frame work. The top is sandwiched between the inner sleeve and the outer arms that will extend up to the roof rack. It was necessary to drill and temp bolt the sleeves in place so that they are flush with the inside of the fiber glass. There will be no space between the inner sleeve, fiberglass and outer brace to allow the bolts to crush the fiberglass. The fiberglass is thicker than it looks, it is approx. 1/2 inch thick at the bolt holes.

I plan to fix the one bolt hole and get the one side welded up tomorrow before starting on the other side. Once the 8 bolts are done I can then start fabricating the arms that go to the roof rack. The inner frame should take all the stress of the top and the way it is built, The roof rack will come off with the top so if I ever decide to go topless it will all come off in one piece.
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richingalveston

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I was able to get all of the interior braces complete, painted and installed. I have carriage bolts sticking out both sides that will hold the arms that will attach to the roof rack. The bolts will not stay sticking out, the head of the carriage bolt will be flush with the side.
I am now ready to start building the arms. This will be somewhat challenging because the arms are curved. I also have to figure out how to drill square holes for the carriage bolts. I have done it before using a 1/8 drill bit making a center hole and the four corners then drilling the center hole out and filing the corners, it takes a little while to do this. I have looked at some videos using a broach. I may try to make one and do this, I have a hydraulic press but not a drill press. So I may be able to press the square stock trough the round hole.
I did test the carriage bolts that are sticking out the sides and they are very strong. I weigh about 225 and using a ladder I could step off and stand on each carriage bolt. Since there are 8 carriage bolts, I think the rack will be pretty sturdy.
on the inside, the bracing in the front makes for great grab handles and the bar across the back you can do chin ups with it. The tabs that stick up are there so when I hang my clothes hangers on it they do not slide off the sides.
IMG_20200223_202803202.jpgIMG_20200223_202748756.jpgIMG_20200223_202738543.jpgIMG_20200223_202648360.jpg
 

richingalveston

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I made some quarantine progress.
Instead of using carriage bolts and trying to make square holes, I switched to all thread and welded the all thread to the arms then ground everything smooth. I got the arms built and temp welded. I now have to take them off and do the final welding, grinding and painting. The arms are made out of 1x3 box steel 1/8 inch thick. very sturdy.
once the arms are finished I have to take the rack off and rework some of the cross bars for the AC unit and make some modifications to hold the spare tire. I also have an idea for a small crane/hoist to get the tire on and off the rack. It is heavy.
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richingalveston

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I finished the roof rack attaching arms and now I am working on the last details of the roof rack.
I got the visor partly mounted and ran out of welding gas. I will find out tomorrow but I may be delayed for a while if the welding shop is closed for the virus.
I have to weld tabs on to the rack to mount all of the lights. I was able to mount the front lights but the sides and rear lights all need tabs welded in place for the lights to bolt to so I will find out tomorrow if I can get gas. I may have to call around and drive a little further to find an open shop. I probably only have about 30 minutes of welding left and the rack will be finished.
IMG_20200405_222034352.jpgIMG_20200405_222034352.jpgIMG_20200405_222132318.jpgIMG_20200405_222147366.jpg
 

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richingalveston

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Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
galveston/Texas
I was lucky and found a welding shop that would sell me some mixed gas for my welder. The don't fill, they just trade the bottle out. I had to wait outside while they ran my credit card and then they let me drive around back and trade the cylinder. No one was allowed in the store but they would bring you anything you needed to your car.
Weird times we are going through but that is ok with me.
Now that I have gas, I might get this truck on the road before the virus shutdown is over.
stay healthy everyone I will keep posting my progress.
 
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