18 August 2011

HUGE hurtlocker truck update

Like the title says,
this is a HUGE update on the '56 or 57 chevy truck project.

I can't believe it has taken this long to throw some pictures up here.
The last time you had intentionally seen this,
 I was working on the top fender attachment points.

last update

It was alot of work to just to get it to this step.
Someone had welded washers to the body and fenders as a quick fix.

perich brothers (and sister): hurtlocker truck goes DONK!

The fenders were removed,
the new piece was welded from the bottom,
than a bunch of grinding.

stronger than new

This was a big step.
Whenever you had seen pics of the truck mocked up,
clamps and jackstands were holding the fenders up.
The fenders finally  had a fixed locating point.
Now what...

corvette front stub

A stock '85 corvette front stub had been grafted on,
not the prettiest version of a frame.
Many ideas had crossed my mind as to what to do.
Many bad ideas hinged around saving these ugly front stubs,
so figured the best thing to do would be to cut them off.

nose job

There was no turning back now.
I did have a plan.

front body panel stock

The first part involved modifying this front panel,
the part underneath the grille connecting the fenders.

modified front panel

The imaginary frame didn't line up with a flat spot on this panel,
so basically a flat spot was extended inward.

another jack stand mock up

With everything bolted up,
a vague template could be made for the new frame stubs.

sliced and diced

The green is 1/4" plate and the grey is 3/16" plate.

bumper mounts

The stock corvette frame was stamped and layered 1/8",
so figured this would be way stronger.
I wanted the outside part really strong to hold up the bumper.
Some stainless 1/2" inserts were tigged in place.

tacked in

These new plates were tacked in,
than the bottom boxing parts cut and tacked in place.
After it seemed square,
some fat welds held everything together to remove them for a bench weld and grind.
Much easier to clean up than lying on my back.

bottoms up

If you look at the ends they are long.
The outsides slid over the frame and the insides slid into the original frame.
Then there would be 2 separately welded seams on the inside and outside,
before the top pieces enclosed the box.

boxed up

With a bunch of cutting, welding and grinding the stub tops were all boxed up.
They seemed really strong but not enough to trust with jackstands.
Not that they moved I just didn't want to risk screwing things up.

done yet?

With all the beefiness of the original truck frame and the new stubs,
I couldn't trust the chintzy 12" section of corvette frame inbetween.
Some "fish plates" were made to tie everything together.

fish plates

Not the prettiest but definitely strong.
Ken gave the go ahead to do some top plates as well.

top templates and plates

Besides the added strength the top pieces really cleaned up the frame joints,
well, as good as they were going to get anyway.

strong now?

I like using these threaded inserts instead of nuts,
so tried to plan out any attachment points beforehand.

bottom view

It's hard to see here but if you look near the welders ground clamp,
there are 2 little holes underneath the stubs.
One is the original frame hole and the other is the new plate.
This is the stock location of the front sway bar.

front spreader bar

Nope not finished yet.
A lightly curved spreader bar was than welded in.
It matches that front panel almost perfectly.

primed up

Mixed up a quick batch of my favorite toxic epoxy primer,
and double coated the new frame parts with a brush and roller.
Later on I'll sand it smooth for the top coat.

Everything was mocked up again and looked square and level.
There is a gap between that panel and the top of the pad,
enough for a rubber donut.

one piece front end

Instead of using the stock bolts to hold the front sheetmetal together,
everything was welded up solid.
The modified panel also has extra plating underneath the mounting hole,
since it is now holding up the front end.
It will be a pain in the ass to remove,
but it is really stiff and there are no gaps.
(that above pic is an in progress shot, that inner panel is fixed now!)

more primer

Funny after all the frame stub work,
that front diagonal plate is all that is visible.
I was really lucky that the corvette radiator box barely slid in between!

front end mounted

It is surprising how rigid the front sheetmetal is,
even without the inner panels.

There is a shit ton more work to do,
and I've got some momentum to work on it,
so i'll try to update more often.


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