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RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/11/21 7:52 a.m.

I drove the truck into work today. Terrorize Corporate America: South Carolina Edition is complete.

There were a few bolts that clanged on the ground at one point but I did a brief bolt check once I got to work and everything important is still attached.

iansane Reader
3/11/21 10:09 a.m.
RacetruckRon said:

There were a few bolts that clanged on the ground at one point but I did a brief bolt check once I got to work and everything important is still attached.

I loathe those moments. "Were those mine? Where'd they come from?" The rest of the drive is just me repeating "Not dead yet...? Good." 

This truck is amazing.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/11/21 10:21 a.m.

In reply to iansane :

It was unnerving but they were clear zinc bolts, everything important on this truck is either rusty or yellow zinc plated.  I think they were the engine stand bolts I couldn't find after I unloaded the bed from the move.

JeremyJ Reader
3/11/21 11:06 a.m.

I love that you still have sample vinyl patches on it. 

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/11/21 11:34 a.m.

In reply to JeremyJ :

Gotta see how they look out in the wild!

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/31/21 8:57 a.m.

It's been a minute since I updated this thread.  The day I drove the truck to work it almost caught on fire on the drive home just as I was pulling into my driveway.  My hydroboost rebuild apparently did not go well, it is leaking worse than ever and dripping ATF right onto my driver side header. There wasn't any open flames but a lot more smoke than I would have cared for.  I bought a spare that hopefully doesn't leak otherwise I'll be sending one of them out for a rebuild.

I had been doing a bit of reading on leaf spring rates and rear sway bars. I discovered I have the softest rear spring of all of the C4 leaf springs. I found a Z51 leaf in good condition on ebay for cheap and installed that last night.  Truck is sitting a little bit lower in the back now which is what I wanted. Just need to fix the hydroboost so I can see how it feels on the street.

Z51 spring on top, comfort ride spring on the bottom.  Z51 spring is thicker and a reasonable amount flatter.

Speaking of sitting lower, tire to fender clearance needs to be improved.  I could spend 50 hours in CAD designing a set over fenders that I would then have to 3d print in several pieces, we are talking about several hundred hours of machine time here.  After that I'd have to make a mold and then do fiber glass layup.  I don't have that kind of time, need a different solution.  I would love to do a similar transformation to this, pulled from the box fenders thread, but I also want to drive the truck this year.

We don't have a lot of poke but in the neighborhood of .75"/1.5" front/rear.  I'm worried about the tires contacting the fenders during some hard driving or at an AutoX.


I'm thinking about pulling the fenders and bedsides out a bit.  I don't think it will totally ruin the body lines like some cheapo ebay drift boi fenders would.  Wasn't there another minitruck or ranger thread on here that did something similar?

Kinda digging this honestly.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/31/21 9:12 a.m.

The fenders on bluej's B2300 moved out a surprising amount when pulled by hand- basically, just grab the inside of the lip and yank.  You may be able to get even more out of them by disconnecting or spacing certain parts, depending on how they're mounted.

Ranger50 UltimaDork
3/31/21 10:00 a.m.

gumby did this on his Ranger. Although the fronts are prerunner-esqe fiberglass.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/31/21 10:38 a.m.

In reply to Ranger50 :

And JGRAHAM did sheet metal box fenders on his ranger. I thought there was another ranger or racetruck on here that did something similar without adding metal to the cosmetic surfaces. Maybe I saw that on instagram...

gumby (Forum Supporter)
gumby (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/31/21 10:41 a.m.

My fronts are full fender replacements, yeah. I believe JGRAHAM is the droid you are looking for.

He started with trailer fender flares, then flared his flares with box flares. Dude loves flares.

Box flares would work well with your body lines, but it takes time to finish them out well. I cut and flared the rear bedsides on mine like a box flare, but have never gotten back around to actually boxing them in.
I bet for the small amount of flare you need, you could get away with a simple prerunner style fender pull as Nonack suggests. May need to "massage" some of the inner bracing for the rears.


*edit: TREE'D!!

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/31/21 10:50 a.m.

In reply to gumby (Forum Supporter) :

That's the shot I was looking for, I missed that in his thread last night.  That's what I get for skimming threads on my phone at midnight. 

"Precision" hammer seems like the best path forward until I run out of tire and need wider tires, then we can go next level stupid and ruin the truck even more laugh

I could spend 50 hours in CAD designing a set over fenders that I would then have to 3d print in several pieces, we are talking about several hundred hours of machine time here.  After that I'd have to make a mold and then do fiber glass layup.

Is there an opportunity to outsource some of this work?  

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/1/21 1:44 p.m.

In reply to jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) :

Can I outsource the CAD work? No.  Could I outsource the making of the flares? Maybe.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/5/21 10:29 p.m.

I had to pull the fender off to scrape some weird 30 year old gummy glue off.  The finest $60 fender roller that Lord Bezos could source from China showed up today.  I also pulled the front bumper and lower valance off to scope out some ideas for different radiator and sway bar mounting since I kinda rushed both of those last year.  More stupid to come.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/6/21 12:29 p.m.

I got a chance to play with the fender roller over lunch and tried my hand at stretching the passenger front fender.  Here's the drivers side fender as a control.

And the passenger fender after a thorough abusing.

I probably should have gotten the heat gun out to try and prevent cracking the paint but it's whatever I'll end up painting or wrapping the truck eventually.  I need to do the other side and then get the angle grinder out to pull the bedsides.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/7/21 7:56 p.m.

Time to commit big stupids.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/7/21 10:49 p.m.

Cutting the inner fender and working it out with three wood clamps was tough but effective. I need to steal the bottle jack off of my hydraulic press to really work these fenders out quickly.

I forgot to measure wheel mount surface to fender before I got jiggy with the angle grinder so we will use the driver's side as our control for these measurements.  Driver's side WMS to Fender 7/8" the molested passenger side fender to WMS is 1.5" greater than that.  I need 2.5" total to be comfortable with room to grow the rear tires.  Granted these measurements were taken at full droop and camber goes negative as the wheel cycles upward.  I also haven't messed much with the alignment yet.

Not a bad look


RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/10/21 6:32 p.m.

I pulled the bottle jack off of my press and maneuvered up inside the wheel well.  It's heavy, hard to get into position and definite overkill but it moved the fender out another inch with easy. I need to figure out how to patch the inner fender and re-roll the fender lip.

I can't keep on one task all the way until I have it finished so I started testing out the new welder so I can patch up my LS3 block.  This spare head that has a dropped valve should be the same A356 Alloy I think the block is.  This new welder throws down way better than the Vulcan I used to have.

Hot electrode surgery in process.  I got this aluminum block cheap off a buddy who cracked the starter ear off. He tried to get his trans mated to this engine with an impact gun and had the wrong flexplate spacing for his torque converter.  It's just the starter and we wont be trying to make +1000hp like we has, it'll be fine.  I'm hoping to get close to 500whp with this 6.2L engine.  I still need to install my new gear set in the spare diff I have.  I'm having second thoughts about wrapping the truck and thrashing on it to take to LS Fest this year.  I might pass on LS Fest this year and head down to the Challenge to spectate this fall.  I want to field a car next year but might just come down to check it out and help with a parking lot build.


RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/10/21 9:10 p.m.

The engine block welded way nicer than any other GM castings I've welded.  I'm lending some of that to the Prime Weld 225x, it has way better control of AC balance and AC Frequency.

The cut and pull on the fender turned out great.  I took the clamps off and rolled the lip a little bit.  It looks like it has room if I step up to C5 Z06 wheels eventually. This 5x4.75 Corvette bolt pattern sucks sometimes for wheel choice.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/10/21 11:36 p.m.

Looking good! I wrapped a car for my brother almost 2 years ago now. It takes some patience, actually a lot of patience, but can be very satisfying. That said the truck looks great as is too. 

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/26/21 8:36 a.m.

When you need a 17mm allen key but all you have is a TIG welder.

In the name of Frankenstein-ing everything I give to you a weld repaired LS3 block with L92 rotating assemble.  I'm going to see if I can clean up the deck surface on a set of 243 heads without going to the machine shop.  I have a set of good 823 LS3 style heads but I don't have an intake manifold that will work with them.

mmmmm wrinkle blue

I went to install me new 3.54 gear set this weekend and the threads on the pinion are completely berked.  Pinion threads at the start are 50 thou larger than the stock pinion I pulled out of the diff and the pinion nut will not thread onto the new pinion. I need to reachout to Summit and see if they can help. This gear set and all of the other Dana 36 gear sets from this manufacturer are either backordered or discontinued everywhere.  I hope I'm not left with my hootus in my hand on this one.

Mezzanine Dork
4/26/21 12:18 p.m.

Hootus in hand, for real. I hope you have some luck with the vendor, but I'd be looking for a lathe myself. What a pain. 

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/26/21 12:36 p.m.

In reply to Mezzanine :

I have been thinking about how to repair these threads or what would be the next size down to cut new threads. I'm moving to a different office in the next week or so and we have a mill and lathe at the new digs.   That might be my best move.

Mezzanine Dork
4/26/21 12:58 p.m.

I don't think you'll need to go down to a lower size. The thread metal might be a little on the hard side, but you should be able to still cut the part that is oversized. I'd just turn it all down to the proper OD and put a short taper on the end to see if you can get the die to thread on and chase them all. Triangular hand files are your friend here. I've cleaned up mushroomed or damaged threads like this many times and given your options seems like you don't have much choice. If you fail at this, then you can look at reducing to a smaller root diameter. 


**Edited to add: 

If you were a legit machinist (which I am not either), you'd just recut the threads on the lathe and skip using a die at all...I'd be terrified of getting it timed right, but I do recall it isn't that hard to do. 

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/26/21 6:53 p.m.

If that were my hootus in my hand, I'd have a grinder in the other one knocking the first couple threads clean off the end of that pinion. The rest of the threads look peachy, and if no replacements are available, I wouldn't let this hold up progress.

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