Now that we are back from SEMA, I've gotten a big kick in the butt to get some real progress done on Project Pile House. I saw a ton of cool rods out in Vegas, and it helped me gather some ideas and inspiration for this project.
So this week we have dug into the truck pretty good. The big problem we've been having is trying to get both front wheel wells center over the front wheels. It seemed each time we changed one little thing, the other side was off and we were chasing our tails. So we decided to take the mounting of the body one step simpler. Instead of trying to get the cab and front end lined up at once, we decided to start at the front, center the front end over the wheels and chassis, and tack weld them into place. We used some scrap metal and tied these into the inner fenders and right onto the chassis. Now we can wiggle the cab around to fit against the fenders with out changing the spacing of everything. Perfect example of where we should have started with the K.I.S.S theory!
After lining the cab up with the front end, we could then eyeball where exactly the cab mounts were going to sit, and how to strengthen the floor of the cab to hold the weight of the cab on the new mounts. You may remember in some of the last posts we welded some plate into the A-pillar post and the kick panel. We need to do the same in the rear as although the rear portion of the floor is fairly solid, we'd rather add some extra integrity while we are there.
The first thing we did was trace out some patterns out of manilla office folders (don't tell the bosses thats why we needed a pack of 50 folders from Office Depot!), and cut the patterns out of 1/8th mild steel with our Versa Cut Plasma Cutter. Once cut and test fitted I needed to clean the area of the surface rust, then etch the surface clean with our Fast Etch, and lastly add some of our Self Etch Weld Thru Primer to keep the original floor sealed from rusting further.
Once the original floor was prepped, we laid the 1/8" plates in and got them welded into the cab with our MIG 175. We tied into some of the heavier gauge metal in the floor as well as the B-pillar post where it meets the floor. This should keep the mount area sold while the cab is sitting atop of the chassis. You'll notice the bolts tack welded to the plates, more on this little trick later.
Now that we have these parts welded in place, we can begin measuring and drilling the holes in the plates in the floor to sit the cab down on, as well as begin making some of the front floor/kick panels to replace the old rotted stuff we took out. Once the floor is solidified a little more, we can make the body mounts for the front end so it's all a bolt-on-affair from here on. More to come soon, watch this space!