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Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/1/18 10:11 a.m.

Bought some thinner 12ga sheet since I've been playing with mostly 3/16" plate.  Time to play a game with the bandsaw.  I'm actually getting excited to weld some thin (relatively) wall steel since my torch won't start searing my fingertips after a 45 second weld.

Gusset fit check.

Tacked up the front lower shock mounts.  The truck will be back on it's own feet by this weekend unless life keeps throwing wrenches at me like it has been lately.

I still need to weld the back side of the tabs.  The mounts were too hot to handle and it was getting late so I called it.  I just need to keep picking at the little jobs, small wins add up to big victories.  No working on the truck tonight I am helping a friend plan what we are going to do for a downpipe on his 924 Turbo.  This will be Rev3 of 924 Turbo downpipe, I'm just glad we made the manifold fit on the first try.

Scottah Dork
8/1/18 6:42 p.m.

Gotta say I was pretty disappointed in this thread when you got rid of the 4g63 plans but...

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/3/18 9:44 a.m.

In reply to Scottah :

Understandable but that 4G64 block was roasted, plus all trucks deserve 8 cylinders.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/6/18 12:34 p.m.

Too busy for my own good sometimes but I did make some good progress this weekend on the suspension mounts.  The front upper and lower coilover mounts are now attached to the truck.  I will probably end up adding some cross bracing to the upper mounts but I want to see how they deflect when I put the truck under it's own weight.

I adopted a new mantra for the rear end which I do not recommend. Cut once, weld once, cut again, drill some holes.

This is what I wanted to do with the rear lower coilover mounts.  I should have measured better and planned more I ended up cutting these up and popping a 16mm hole in the middle of these so I could mount them to the factory strut mount.  The same mount I said in a recent post I wasn't going to do... oh well we'll see how this goes.

Proposed coilover location. The zipties are a structural member for now.

I wanted to have the rear suspension finished up this weekend as well but life gets in the way.  She does look damn good with those Magnesium wheels on the front.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/7/18 10:10 a.m.

It's always a productive day in the garage when my roommate has a freshly adopted lawnmower he's fixing up for a Craigslist flip.

I kinda lost track of time and wound up in the garage until 11:30 last night but I did manage to get a lot done.  Here's the new old new lower mounts, I may end up taking the spring off of the rear coilovers and adding the monoleaf back on the rear. We'll see.

Upper mounts. I want to add some bracing to them yet but position and angle is set.

Gussets added to the trailing rod mount.

I'm aiming to set it on the ground and set the bed back on it tonight after work to marvel at it and so I can clean up the garage.

It's the little details that really standout. 

I still have a little over 6 weeks before my target deadline to have the truck running.  I still think that's feasible.

Things I need to do still:

-Remount the engine 


-Fabricate firewall and trans tunnel


-Design and fabricate new shifter


-Wiring and ecu

-Plumb fuel

-Power steering/hydroboost lines

-Brake lines


-Mount seats



-Overhead switches 

-Sway bars

Upon further investigation this is a pretty long list I guess we'll see how this goes.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/8/18 1:23 p.m.

I took the truck off of jack stands last night to look at it and make sure that I actually did all of this suspension work correctly. 

This thing is gggggnarly!!! (emphasize the G)   This all just started as a crazy idea in mind crazy head and somehow I managed to make it happen.  I know there's a lot left still before it's driving but this is awesome to see one of my "so crazy it  just might work" ideas actually work out.  This is a huge win for me! I can't wait to drive this stupid little truck now.

Can't wait to tell the scrapelife minitruck guys on the Mighty Max pages "Berk your 4" blocks and drop spindles!"

And then we put the bed back on for the full perspective.

I couldn't resist I had to sit in it and make racetruck noises.

She's got a nice butt.

I can count on one hand how many times I have seen this side of the truck more than 24" from a wall.


Go_Gators Reader
8/8/18 1:42 p.m.

lookin GOOD!


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/8/18 1:49 p.m.

Damn thats hot! 

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/8/18 2:11 p.m.

Thanks guys!  This turned out way better than I ever imagined.

java230 UltraDork
8/8/18 3:21 p.m.

Looks amazing. I never would have thought you would not need giant ass flares to cover the tires. Super sleeper!

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/8/18 4:00 p.m.

In reply to java230 :

You and me both.  I doubled down on the dark art of wheels specs and found C5 wheels have close to a +60mm offset as compared to the zero offset SLP wheels I was previously using in mock ups.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/8/18 4:02 p.m.

that's hot!

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/8/18 4:15 p.m.

Thank you all for the kind words.  Here's a profile shot of how she sits currently.  There's no engine in the front and I haven't played with the coilovers at all so the ride height and rake will change slightly.

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/8/18 4:17 p.m.

Bring the front down about 2 inches....

Engine should do it

gumby GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/9/18 10:20 p.m.

Helluva job. Love this build!

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/10/18 11:19 a.m.

My buddy from college who rebuilt a turbo 2.3L in his basement and swapped it into his daily driver Ranger in his college house garage (I believe he has been mentioned in the past) came over the other day for help mounting an electric fan.  He showed up with some random fan he found at the pull-a-part that he wanted my help trimming the shroud to fit and making mounting brackets.

Scrap steel, map torch and metric flange nuts made for some quick and easy mounting brackets.

Some previous welding I did on the truck a couple years ago that I never snapped a picture of until now.

I started installing the starter and flywheel while he was busy wiring up a switch and relay.

One more picture of his truck because I have a weird love for oem diesel turbos in non-oem applications.

badwaytolive Reader
8/10/18 1:53 p.m.

How exciting to see it sitting on this wild suspension swap! Congratulations!

Great work, as usual. You must be dying to get this on the road-


Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/10/18 2:12 p.m.

In reply to badwaytolive :

Thanks dude! I've been itching to drive this thing a lot lately it's starting to look like that might actually happen in the not so distant future.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/20/18 10:42 a.m.

One step forward two steps back.  I recut my rewelded motor mounts, I think we are going on Rev 4 for the motor mounts now.

Also I seem to have misplaced the clutch alignment tool that came with the Collins Adapters kit. I found a step model on Thingiverse for a subaru clutch alignment tool with the same spline size and pattern as the nissan trans.  I changed the diameter and length of it to fit my pilot bushing and torqued the pressure plate down. 

I could not for the life of me get the trans to be friends with the engine.  The clutch disk is a relatively tight fit onto the input shaft by itself and the pilot bushing is a tight fit on its own as well.  I ordered a new 350z alignment tool because I think the 3d printed piece is not rigid enough and is sagging as I clamp the pressure plate down and introducing unnecessary slop into an already tight tolerance stackup.  I'm going to try the new alignment tool and hopefully swear at the clutch less this time.

In other news the radiator that I traded a $40 454 block for has been deemed to big to make it worth the hassle of making it fit.



I plan on running a single 14" fan and making my own shroud. The radiator will sit 2-3" lower to clear the hood and  so I can weld the top core support and hood latch back in.

I also started on revision number 3 for the downpipe on my buddy's Porsche 924 Turbo that has a custom manifold and a Borg Warner EFR turbo. This time with more planning, pie cuts and 3d printed templates.


MulletTruck HalfDork
8/20/18 11:33 a.m.

Great progress!


As far as fans go look into the Dorman 1993 Lincoln Mark V111 replacement (620-101 if I remember correctly). They can be had for $80-$100 brand new. I usually hook up the low speed to the temp sensor and the high speed to a toggle switch. They move A LOT of air. 


Spectre has the same fan a little cheaper, but I prefer the Dorman.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/20/18 12:56 p.m.

In reply to MulletTruck :

I'll have to look into that fan it would be nice to use an off the shelf component. I might end up just running a slim 14" fan and make my own shroud. I kinda want the fan on a switch because overhead switches are cool as hell.

MulletTruck HalfDork
8/20/18 3:20 p.m.
Ram50Ron said:

In reply to MulletTruck :

 I kinda want the fan on a switch because overhead switches are cool as hell.


Exactly! especially if you can find a stock overhead counsel from a Suburban or the like.

I always try and use as many stock parts in my builds. Its nice to walk into any autoparts place and get what you need and just bolt it on. I am having to notch my frame to fit the Mustang rad in it too. Uor minitrucks are so narrow in spots. 

rustomatic New Reader
8/21/18 5:34 p.m.

Goal might look something like this:

There's a turbo in there somewhere (still messing with HP Tuners), and the engine was not always under the windshield, but the dynamic qualities are excellent.  As for trying to use LS headers that worked with the NA version of this setup, you can see that one of the tubes became a radiator line, hence the following mess:

Keep at it--I look forward to seeing how the CD009 works out.  How do you like the H-F Tig so far?

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/22/18 9:23 a.m.
rustomatic said:

Keep at it--I look forward to seeing how the CD009 works out.  How do you like the H-F Tig so far?

I really want the CD009 to workout well as it's relatively cheap and easy to source. 

As for the Vulcan Tig I think it's a great rig if you treat it like what it is.  It's a hobby welder, limited gizmos and duty cycle, but if you treat it like that it is an awesome welder.  The startup and arc stability is so crisp and smooth on DC, smoother than the Miller Diversion 165 I really cut my teeth on.  I have had the hf start not want to light off a couple time on AC normally just a scratch of the tungsten on the work piece will result in an arc next push of the pedal. The removable power cord makes it pretty easy to transport as you can disconnect literally everything from it and roll up all of the cords and hoses separately. I also like the limited dials and switches it makes it less confusing when adjusting settings. It's a great intermediate step between something with just polarity and amperage adjustment and a big blue with a million dials and buttons.  I do really wish it had pre/post flow control but that's my only real complaint about it.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/23/18 3:30 p.m.

Slight update on the cooling package.  Dual 10" fans are too big for the core of the new radiator but the Jegs 14" low profile fan will work great. I haven't had a lot of free time to work on the truck lately but I'm still shooting to have it moving early this fall.

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