making connections… and more destruction


Got little done on the truck but important stuff has been brought on its way.

A few days ago i took delivery of a bunch of Borgeson parts, universal joints and materials for a telescoping shaft. Which led to this:

Unfortunately i had to grind a notch into the drivers side frame rail but now i have a steering rack in the truck. Well almost, the rack needs attaching to the frame crossmember.

To do that i made another jig. Or better: I am in the process of making another jig, because that’s where i stopped last week.

This is a piece i cut out of the ’05 donor frame cutoff i have in my shop (for taking measurements and such). It’s been centered on the crossmember and pinned for permanent alignment. This jig will receive guide bushings for a 10mm cutter (a regular drill would not work at that angle) to make the first bolt holes.

Using this jig i was also able to determine that i could raise the rack another 3/8″ so i get almost flat tie rods.

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more destruction

I kind of regret tearing this thing apart. It’s been such a nice truck.

Anyway, let’s get on. If destruction, then the real deal.

I stopped with the umpteenth iteration of the upper coil bucket and shock mount. With the addition of the sheet metal function to Fusion 360 i proceeded to make a model and fiddle with it.

This is the stuff i will forward to my sheet metal guys to create the parts to actually mount and test on the truck.

In parallel and to keep a sane mind i continued working on other parts of the vehicle. Such as brakes and steering.

I procured an OEM booster, master cylinder and steering rack from rockauto and began test fitting these to the truck. Turns out that the MC reservoir is close to the hood but fits with enough clearance.

The steering rack fits better, with lots of clearance between the boots and the frame rail, no notching required.

I tore out the windshield and dash in preparation of cutting and re-doing the firewall.

You can barely see the dotted line where i want to cut.

It is close to the booster and i will have to see about that. One option is moving the whole pedal box assembly over 3/4″ to the drivers side.

I am jumping between topics, sorry for that.

Since the pictures above were taken, i made a jig for the steering rack.

Now i know that the steering linkage – without considering engine and exhaust placement – is a pretty straight forward setup.

In these pictures the steering column has been shortened 4″. I need a collar and a bearing to support the lower end of the column but that’s a simple task for a machine shop.

This truck has a collapsible steering column. The stock Chrysler design consists of standard 3/4″ and 1″ double-d tubing!

Just the same stuff that Borgeson uses for its steering shafts. So i am replacing the lower part with a nice piece of 1″ shaft and a fat steel u-joint from Borgeson.

The connection between the end of the steering column and the steering rack will be made with another collapsible shaft. I like to implement safety measures wherever i can.

If this thing ever hits a wall, tree, other vehicle, it will be travelling fast.

Everything else is rubbing. And rubbin’ is racing.


Where does it go from here?

On lifting the engine into the truck i noticed i will have to do something about the way i lift the engine. My method of using four chains, one on each corner of the engine does interfere with the firewall and will interfere even more when i want to lift the engine into the cutout in the firewall.

Therefore i aquired the OEM lifting tool from Chrysler/Miller.

This way i can lift the engine in its center. Way easier to position in the cutout…

I did not cut yet. Need to stiffen the cab with some braces before i do that.

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Milestone reached

It’s been “a while”.

This is usually how stuff starts on this blog 😉

I did not post in a long time because life happens. Wrenching on my trucks and vehicles is part of this happening, so there’s quite some news to go through.

First of all: Mary is road legal. She’s been classified as a historical vehicle, insured and tagged as such and after a small amount of fiddling with adjustments, she drives really nice.

This is basically how she’s been inspected by road authorities and deemed road worthy.

NO! Zero, zilch, nada deficits, defects or anything. They did not even criticize the tiny leaks on the engine and transmission.

I was pretty stoked. Right now i am fixing small bugs, like an overfilled transmission:

It turns out that the original 727/36rh’s transmission fill tube and dip sticks fill marking do not work with the A518/46rh.

They differ by about 1/2″ in a way that you would overfill the transmission going by the marking on the 727s dip stick. Once that’s corrected, the transmission works awesome.

The converter is worn out though. I kind of anticipated that.

The outer appearance will not change by much from the shown status. The original wheels will be reinstalled once i get tires for them and had them mounted and balanced.

Stuff i still need to do is:

  • replace pressure side hose on the power steering, leaks on both fittings
  • adjust power steering box and center the steering wheel and turn signal return cam
  • rebuild the steering column
  • install a new carpet
  • have small defects in the paint fixed (cracks in the roof seam)
  • procure new tires for the second set of rims
  • spray bomb the cavities with wax
  • remove, de-rust and paint the core support (winter project) and inner fenders and battery tray
  • find a replacement for parts of the emission equipment (defective canister and valve)
  • drop in new lifters, re-seal the intake
  • high voltage ignition conversion (Chevy HEI + Ford coil, my usual performance mod)
  • optimize fuel consumption (new converter and mod ignition, maybe torque cam)
  • mod the fuel pickup in the tank with walbro pickups (like i did on Mother Hulda, this time without cutting holes into the tank)
  • create a set of rubber mats for the bed
  • install beeper helpers for parking in tight spots

Ya, lots to do but now that it runs and drives fine and thereby adds a permanent grin to my face i got rid of a lot of pressure.

I can now partially focus on my race truck which for itself saw some progress (read: destruction).

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Could not help myself, had to install the bench to see what it would look like.


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a little less fail

Getting closer. The fourth iteration should net a close fit.



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She’ll be coming home!

Mary is making very good progress and she will be coming home this week!

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cardboard aided fail

Hi there.

I have not written anything about the race truck recently, because nothing happened.

I have been rolling around a few ideas for the front suspension in my head. Basically i have been “working” on concepts for a coil spring based suspension (like the stock ’05 Ram 1500) or a coilover based setup.

Both have serious problems i have to find a solution for before i start mocking stuff up.

With the coil springs, the location of the upper spring perch in relation to the frame is a problem.

The center of the spring locates about halfway up the frame but a whopping 6.3″ outboard!

Talk about one long lever trying to twist the frame rail around. It’s about twice the distance the original spring perch center is away from the frame rail. I think i can come up with a solution to brace the spring perches against each other. Add some more gussets and it should be solid enough.

The coilovers only problem is – and i can’t find any info on how to do that – that i don’t know how to affix them to the LCA which has a coil spring perch.

Both have in common that parts will have to be fabricated and i don’t know if i can actually get approval from technical authorities for that.

Somehow i decided that i want to try to build a mockup coil spring perch to see where that will take me.

Apparently, i had some misconceptions about the design. This is fail no. 2. Well it tought me some things so it is not a total fail but i got some measurements wrong that led to this construction. It locates the spring 40mm too far inboard. Bummer.


The metal spring perch you can see there is the spring perch cut from a ’05 Ram 1500s frame.

It will be welded to the underside of the rounded shape on top of the custom spring perch.

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