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'Short Bus' buildup/down/up thread

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thedrip, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Here's my build up/down/up thread. A few quick pictures of the last build, then on to the current build!

    The day I got it
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    Gutted the interior, used it for parts storage since I was renting a room at the time
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    Rebuilt the 203 with a part time kit
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    Got a citation from the city because it was non-op (no axles for 3 months, on jackstands) in the driveway. Eaton in the back, 3/4 ton d44 up front, moved it to the backyard
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    Painted it obnoxious yellow
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    Added the namesake stripe and lettering
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    Along the way I did everything else needed to drive it. brake lines, square tube front driveshaft, HAD 1350 cv rear shaft, seats, dash, etc. Wanted to wheel it before I put it on the boat for hawaii.
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    Once I got to hawaii, I stripped the dash out and made a square tube dash. This will get reused in the current build. I also rewired with a ez2wire harness & fuseblock.
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    Nothing quite like rock crawling 100' from the ocean.
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    At this point the truck was getting to be reliable, safe on the road, reasonable to drive. Go to finally register it, it won't pass a safety inspection because of excessive body damage. I have a tight windy wheeling course in my back yard, lots of trees, rocks and mud. Makes for lot of dents. So I decided that it was time to rebody the truck. This is where I got myself in trouble. ... con't in next post!
     
  2. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
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    So I get a deal on a m1028 CUCV truck. D60/14bolt, can't go wrong. Figure I'll make a towrig out of it with the bus' 3/4 ton gear, put the 1ton stuff in the bus. ROCKIN. Its hard to get parts in Hawaii, and the 1028 needed a tranny/tcase. So I decided to strip both down, and make one truck. This is where things get a little crazy. REAL crazy. Try and keep track, heres the list of parts from each truck that will go into the final build

    1977 Jimmy "The Short Bus"
    Chassis (bobbed)
    Transmission
    t-case
    front driveshaft
    rear driveshaft
    rear brake lines
    front brake rotors/calipers (on rear axle)

    1985 m1028
    front axle
    rear axle
    engine
    cab
    front clip
    rear leafs

    ... Sounds so simple doesn't it? So I started by stripping the yellow truck down.

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    Got down to 2 frame rails and 3 crossmembers.

    Then I stripped the m1028. Not so many pics of destruction, more parts just laying around afterwards

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    6.2 went immidiately under cover inside the shop
     
  3. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
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    And now, finally, build UP begins!

    First, I wanted to locate the front hanger for the rear spring. I'm going with 56's, long side forward, and the front hanger moved forward 4". I want to reuse my spendy HAD driveshaft, so the axle had to stay in the same position. It works out really easy, as the holes for the bracket on the bottom of the frame are spaced 4" apart (actually, 1-3/8,4",1-3/8"). This means I can reuse one of the holes to locate the hanger bracket forward 4" exactly. After mocking the bracket up, I realized the 1ton brackets I am using are taller, so I will be adding a 1" spacer between the bottom of the frame and the support bracket, lining up the hanger, and drilling. Heres the hanger mocked up 4" forward of stock, but without the 1" spacer. It worked well enough for mocking up a leafspring to find my rear hanger location.

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    Second, I wanted to locate the rear shackle hanger. I played around with a number of hanger locations, but found the shackle eye being a hair ahead of the stock hanger front rivet holes gave me the angle I wanted. This is a little further forward than off-the-shelf flip kits. Later on I fabricated a VERY sturdy brace from the bottom of the frame to the back of the hanger. It's STOUT.

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    I also made sure to mockup the front hanger location, so I could drill all the holes, then paint afterwards. I will be using 56's, long side back for the front springs.

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    With most of my mounts mocked up, I decided to clean up the frame, and paint it. No pictures turned out though. All pleased with the progress I've been making this week, I pulled apart my 4 leaf packs, wire wheeled them, and painted them.

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    I also painted all of the various suspension hangers, mounts, brackets and braces. Got real adventurous while the leaf springs were drying, and bolted up the rear spring shackle hangers & braces. All hardware is 3/8" grade 8. Good hardware costs an arm and a leg on this island, so I had to mail order it. Ended up ordering a little extra hardware so I'll have plenty around.

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    When I was done, the leafs were dry enough to assembled. All 4 leaves, put together. Right now I'm trying the top 6 leafs (out of 9 original) fromt 1ton packs, on all 4 corners. Fronts got zero rates. My rear bracketry ended up adding some height, so I figure I'll need the inch up front. If something turns out too stiff or too soft, I have lots of leaves lying around to experiment with later.

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    And that gets me to where I am today. Doesn't seem like much when you skim over it like this, but theres months of working on weekends and evenings off and on.
     

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