Tag Archives: dodge truck

  • Somewhere to Lay the Cab

    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!

    -Matt/EW

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  • Pile-House- Somewhere to rest it's cab

    After another week span, I got a few minutes to work on Pile-House today. I began by measuring, aligning, and clamping the original '50 Dodge cab mounts to the chassis. It looks pretty close to the original holes in the cab. Therefore, all I should have to do is move the holes towards the outer edge of the cab a little more to align with where the cab mount holes currently sit on the brackets.

    After I had them clamped in place I used our MIG 175 to lay the first tacks/beads to hold the mounts in place. Once I get the cab to chassis height situated, and the front end mounts welded in, we will be removing the entire cab and front end to begin digging into the suspension, chassis, and running gear. Stay tuned!

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  • The welding has begun

    Busy with some other projects, I haven't touched this for almost a week. We got back into it today. After cutting the firewall open even more for added space, we were able to roll the chassis back into place so the wheels are centered in the wheel wells. Our next job is to tackle making plates in the cab for where the mounts will rest. The front mounts are the main concern as the floor around the original points is quite crunchy...

    We decided to cut some steel plate and tie the cab mount plates into the front door pillar for added strength. It may be overkill, but at least I can rest easy when driving the hell out of it! Below is the first plate we added with the help of the Eastwood MIG 175 and the Versa Cut Plasma Cutter. More to come this week.

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  • Project Pile-House is getting lower!

    Today we spent a little more time on project Pile-House. We got the cab and front fenders off of the blocks and sitting down on the chassis. This gives me an idea of about where the rolling ride height will be going down the road. From here we will fab up the cab mounts.

    The first real issue before we can get the cab and front fenders centered over the front wheels is clearance with the floor and firewall for the bell housing and engine. It is currently butted up against the lower firewall not allowing us to go forward the few more inches we need to center the wheel. Hoping to tackle the last bit of cutting of the firewall and floor this weekend/early next week.

    As it looks now, we will be able to use a combination of the front stock S10 cab mount brackets, and the original Dodge cab mounts to fix the cab to the chassis, it's shocking how well that all lines up with the stock mounting points in the cab! More to come this week, thanks for watching!

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  • First Cab Mock-Up

    With all of my other projects I have going on at once, I haven't had much time to make progress on Project Pile-House. But, this past weekend I got a free Saturday morning and a set of extra hands to help, so we went to town on making some big moves on the truck.

    After some discussion with some of the older, much more wise guys here at Eastwood (I am a bit wet behind the ears with American cars), I decided to ditch the OE S10 firewall and floor all together. Instead I am now going to just fab up mounts for the S10 steering column, pedal cluster, and brake booster. So we started by disconnecting and pulling all of the wiring out of the cab, the steering column, pedal cluster, booster, etc until we were down to the bare firewall and floor. Surprisingly the floors and cab corners were quite bad on the S10!
    Once I undid the 4 cab mount bolts, we lifted the last pieces of the cab off of the chassis.

    Next I got the spare tire holder removed, I plan to probably run my airbag suspension tank, valves, etc, in this area, so I need the space. Not to mention the holder was extremely rusty and the flat spare tire won't do me any good!

    After that it was time for the next big move to put the Pile-House cab onto the donor chassis. As we were dropping it down onto the chassis, I found we had to chop the front bed mounts off of the chassis to clear the cab where it has the natural "channel". Once the cab was on the chassis enough to roll it around the garage, we were able to see where we were at with the cab mounts to the chassis mounts. I was surprised to find they aren't that far off!

    I can already tell it is going to be quite easy to lay the sidesteps on the ground when "aired out"; and anyone that knows me, knows that makes me extremely happy.I did notice I will need to cut out the floor of the cab around the bell housing of the trans to allow the cab to sit flat on the chassis. I figure I can make a tunnel/cover for this once every thing is all sorted with the final mounting place of the cab. I also noticed that driveshaft is going to run pretty close to the floor of the cab as well, This could become an issue as I drop the truck to the height I want, so possibly a full tunnel in the floor will be needed. Time will tell I suppose.

    Next we went on to doing the first trial fitment of the front end of the Pile-House onto the donor chassis. From previous measurements, I had found that the front chassis legs needed to be shortened to almost flush with the steering box to begin to hang the front clip. An electric reciprocating saw made quick work of that!

    After our first test fit it was apparent I needed to cut the "hoop" on the bottom of the clip off where the OE radiator sat to allow the front clip to slide over the frame rails. Again a reciprocating saw made things easy.

    From there we still need to do some adjustments, but the front end will at least hang over the chassis (sorta!) enough for visualization of how it will look. It seems the cab will need to be shifted a bit more forward so the bolts for the fenders line up, more on that later this week.

    The next steps are to cut off some more of the OE cab/bed mounts that are hanging up on the cab, cut out the trans tunnel opening in the cab floor, then reposition the cab and front clip so they are positioned correctly over the chassis and front wheels. Now that some of my other projects are slowing down for the fall, I expect to update much more often. Stay tuned and thanks for watching!

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