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Discussion Starter #1
The Purchase
Had been after a buddy of mine to buy this truck from him for a while. I'd helped him install a used tranny a couple of years prior, then that tranny started making noise and he parked it. He'd rebuilt the engine some 20k miles ago. It ran terrible when I checked it out. We finally came to an agreement and I drove it home after putting some used takeoffs on it just to get it to roll!!

Here's how it looked when we got it home. My family and I call it "BR" because it's Blue and Red. The truck was formerly a landscape company vehicle. My buddy replaced the trashed bed with this red one. The cab and bed are in pretty good condition, straight and very little rust to speak of.



Starting Point - A Meager Build Up
The first order of business was to figure out what was wrong with the tranny. It made a distinct "tap" as if someone hitting the case from the inside with a small ball ball peen hammer. Since the previous dead tranny came with the truck I decided to tear into it and see if it was feasible for me to rebuild the one in the truck. Needless to say, it wasn't pretty and I was way over my head. Have a new appreciation for the internals of a manual transmission and those who work on them. But, had nothing to loose...

So out with the old and in with the new. A newly rebuilt Marlin that is. Ordered the G54HD 5sp and forward shifting t-case with a 4.7 low range.


The new (in the excitment of new parts forgot to take pics of the trans and t-case before install!!






Decided since the tranny was out, might as well pull the motor and spruce it up a bit. Didn't rebuild because it didn't need it so pulled it down as far as the head and crank. Cleaned, painted, bead blasted, pressure washed etc...
Replaced the timing set and yes, one of the guides were broken off. All new seals, gaskets. Forgot to take a pic of the engine in it's orginal trim.

Nasty engine before....






Cleenie weenie engine after... still some final assy to do. Had a little Helicoil work to do on an exhaust stud hole in the head. Ended up using bolts instead of studs just to be different. Works very well so far...


Simple Green is your friend... so is my helper (youngest son)


Soaking...


Pressure washing...


Engine in! Fillin'er up with oil. Still a lot to do before firing it up again. New Doug Thorley header... all nice and shiny but not for long!!


A look from underneath. Just a reminder to me that it "was" clean at one time.


Dumped the awful running factory carb. Bead blasted the intake like new. Installed a new Weber 32/36 with some cool block off plates and plugs.


Here is a pic of the new turbo muffler and pipe. Nice easy sound, not too loud. Oh yeah, and a new center drive shaft bearing too... other one was shot.


Tail pipe...


A little better pic of the new Budbuilt cross member and skid.. Nice guy that Bud is!!


I bought an '86 4Runner from the same buddy that I'd bought BR from, kind of a package deal so to speak.. We robbed the buckets out of it. It's an improvement, but not by much!


Finally For Now
Found some lightly used 8" steelies and 31" BFG AT's off our Ga TTORA board. This is how BR sits for now. Engine fired right up no problem. Weber has worked great (except for some brass shavings that I had to clean out of the bowl). Nice smooth power (well, for a 22R:p ). And the tranny shifts nicely with the new clutch (actually had to replace the new clutch from Marlin... but they made it good!!). I'm most impressed with the 4.7 t-case.. it's really awesome!! Even got the AC working ;)


Here are a few pics of BR at Tellico. Nothing extreme, just trail ridin'.




The Future
Have made a few minor adjustments here and there. Not really sure what we'll be able to do next to BR. I'm between jobs right now so have to be careful with the spending (and oh man, have I spent!!). Have the IFS rear from the 4Runner that we'll be using along with a disk brake conversion.
Would love to bob and dovetail the red bed. Have a pretty good idea what I want, not really extreme but enough to help departure angle. Take care of a few small cancer spots...

Of course there are lockers, sliders, bumpers, interior mods, gears, bigger tires, RUF, 63" chebbys.... it goes on and on.... we'll see how it all pans out.

And Closing
Most of all, I've enjoyed workin' and wheelin' this thing with my two boys!! I can't express how much fun it's been. It's also been a great opportunity to get to know the Ga TTORA guys and gals too. What a great bunch of folks. Their tech knowledge and help along the way has been fantastic!!

Thanks for watchin'!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
BR Get's a Battery Tray

Wasn't easy, but worth the experience.
Mig; .024" wire 75/25 air.

Was going to use this box out of my spare parts truck (Chicken Runner) but it had been damaged and wasn't in good enough condition.


Before pics... I forgot to take pics with the box out of the truck.
So ended up getting this one from a local member, it was perfect, no rust (very slight surface), no bends. He went way out of his way to plasma the thing out... Coool!










BR refuses to receive parts that are not red, primered or both! :p






After, all primered... dang, missed a spot!




Ended up patching the small spot near the bottom, right where that softball size indention is. That part KICKED MY BUTT. I couldn't keep from blowing through!! :mad: The deal was; the multiple compound curves of that feature would not pull up tight to the new box, which had the same feature. The other thing was undercoating. I prepped the padookie out of it but I think the residual goop had an affect. Anyway, the other side is ugly, but it's hard to see thank goodness.


So the long and short is, sheet metal work is tricky but fun. I had to get my feet wet somewhere so might as well have been at the rust battery box. MUCH LEARNED! No, it's not perfect or the greatest welds in places but at least I won't loose the battery goin' down the road!! :eek: Slap some undercoat in the wheel well and good to go!

So now I'm eye'n that red bed but BR keeps backing up against the wall.... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brakes Soon

Small Update:

BR got a new 1" MC and manual proportion valve. The LSPV got scrapped - it hadn't worked in years - and the MC was giving some trouble. Got the MC from Marlin on sale some time ago.



Have everything to do the rear disk conversion with Cheby (boo) stuff and Sky brackets and diff armor on the wider axle housing. New bearings, seals etc. Waiting to collect front brake upgrade parts before breaking into the system again. Kinda wondering if I shouldn't have gone FF and Toy brake conversion :confused: We'll see how it goes, can't break it if I don't wheel it!! :rolleyes:



Got a line on some used 35" SSR's ;) Now I have to decide how I'm going to lock the axles... and re-gear... and lift... sheesh, gotta save a bunch more cabbage $$$ :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Some Progress

A few updates. Money is tight so instead of waiting to collect the rest of the parts - lift, gears, lockers, high steer, etc.. - figured might as well bolt on what I could with what I already have.

Ol' BR finally hits 200k


Added the SR5 gauge cluster last summer. Took several gauge clusters to get one full working unit. Did my homework about adjusting the ODO and making sure to use the proper oil pressure sender. Note: IF YOU DO THIS SWAP, YOU CANNOT USE THE IDIOT LIGHT SENDER FOR A GAUGE!!! It will cook the gauges noodle. Got all the bulbs working too! It's a nice creature feature I guess.


V6 Calipers, LC Rotors, 1.5" spacers, new hard lines, pins, pads, studs and lugs. Repacked the bearings, changed diff lube.. yadda, yadda...


Found a dual diaphram booster. We'll be using all the "left overs" for my son's FJ40 :D


Out with the old....


Rattle can rebuild I call it!! :p
Naw... it's goin' back in stock 4:10 and open. Yeah.. yeah.. I know but money is too tight so it'll have to wait a little longer... doing the BHCS stud mod while I'm at it.


BR patiently waiting.


Housing in temporarily... Stupid me, got rid of my Ubolts and brackets thinking I'd be goin' UBolt flip kit... well, I guess I'll be goin' Ubolt flip kit!! :rolleyes:


More to come!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
ForwardBackForwardBack

Two Steps Forward - Three Steps Back
So my son is laughing at me for doing these upgrades to the old truck - which always lead to some other upgrade - then another and yet a another... (I guess he has a point :rolleyes:)

The dual diaphragm booster hit the steering yolk/ujoint. I was actually aware there might be an issue with that. So I carefully bent the lip over but it still interfered. So I contact one of our chapter members and he has several spacers that would probably fix it.

But, after doing a little more research found out that the later trucks/4R's had a smaller steering yolk/ujoint assy and I juuuuuust happen to have one. A tilt, intermittent wiper version that I'd planned on eventually installing but just wasn't a priority till now. So, out with the old one and in with the... not as old one.


Can't see the lip mod in this pic but the smaller yolk/ujoint sure made a difference.


Now BR has tilt and eventually delay wipers. :D He's gettin' waaaay tooo fancy!! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Rear Almost Finished

Progess

Brown Truck stopped by this week...

Finally assembled and installed...
Hate leaving those ugly, worn out, low rider springs on there but they'll have to do till more $$$ comes in. Original shocks are staying too :eek:. Believe it or not they still work fine!


Not real crazy about the flex brake lines installation on the housing. I like the hard lines better, fits the housing tighter.... we'll see how they do.


Still have to weld the shock mounts on. Stock position basically.


2lb residual valve installed.


To Do List:
More brake bleeding :rolleyes: (where does the air hide?) DONE
Weld the shock mounts. DONE
Save up for a pinion brake $$$$ :eek: DONE
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Almost let the weather get the best of me today but decided I was gonna finish this thing rather than lay on the couch and watch TV.

Welded the shock mounts on... wasn't text book but not too bad either.



Pulled the master off and bench bled it just for insurance. The peddle has a lot of travel so it feels mushy to me. However, it'll lock down and stop like never before. The rear locks up first even with the proportion valve adjusted all the way out. That's on a wet road... will test dry and see what happens.

I need to verify the peddle free play and adjustment per the FSM. Might have to tweak the booster push rod a little too.

Observations:
1) The steering feels heavier. I assume from the wheel spacers changing the pivot point of the tire center line.
2) The wider track didn't seem to handle any different other than what I experience with a heavier wheel. One trip down my wet driveway covered the side of BR up though! Looked like I'd been wheelin' all day! :)
3) Monte Carlo calipers are probably way too much brake. A caliper with less piston surface area would probably work. I don't know that vented rear rotors bring much to the party either.
4) I was impressed with how well the rotors and calipers are protected in the wheel - with the current back spacing anyway.
5) This rear set up lends itself to easy axle change. If I had a spare axle :rolleyes:
6) Look forward to quick and easy clean up after wheelin' trips.
7) Was it worth it? Cost wise? Probably not. Cool factor? Oh yeah. :D

To do list for this phase:
Pinion brake. DONE
Verify peddle adjustment. DONE
Might bleed the system one more time. DONE
Bump stops. Still NOT done
Cut U bolt excess. DONE
 

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Discussion Starter #8
BR Gets a New Radiator

Finally got around to replacing BR's radiator. Just had the AC converted to R134 by a local shop. It'll freeze ya out!!

The tank had been repaired by the PO and still had a pin hole in it.


Remove the four shroud bolts, two hoses and four radiator mounting bolts and bodda-bing, it's out.


The side mount fell off during the removal process :rolleyes: I guess it's the original rad to the truck... who knows??


Goin' back in with the new!! Took about an hour and a half to do the job... purtty easy for us mechanically declined. :p


Stay tuned... Brown truck brought more goodies that will be installed very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
BR Gets a T'Case Brake

First
Had to replace a bent rear axle. Made this little rig to help get the bearing off. Used BR's old housing as a donor....






Borrow pic.. not mine, but gives you the idea how it works.


The disc conversion sure makes assembly/re-assembly a breeze...


Tried the Sky kit this time around. Not too bad. Had issue with the weldment not to spec but they made it good and the replacement fit fine.









Used my trusty farm fence wire splice (Necopres) to make the brake cable length a bit shorter. Worked out perfect... kind'a fuzzy pic though :rolleyes:


Conclusion
Having installed and used both the All Pro and Sky PBrake I'd say both are good products. The bracketry designs are different but the operation concepts are the same. The AP is smaller and lighter as I remember (have since sold the truck with the AP kit) and I didn't have any quality issues. The Sky rotor is tapped for the drive shaft bolts vs. AP being drilled through and used longer bolts. I'm happy with the Sky unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
BR Get's a Lift & Tars!!!!!!!!!!

Sold the 35's I had. Figured it was a bit much for BR at this point. BR has to be a daily driver, trash hauler, farm worker, yard keeper, honey-do truck. So he got an 'el-cheapo' Rough Country 3" lift and some new Maxxis 33-12.50x15 Big Horns!!! :woot:

This set up will have to hold him over for now... which will probably be a loooooooong time. But, that's kinda been the spirit of this build up; mild, and low banana factor. :shiner:

All four springs to be replaced.... BR was really saggin'. Talk about a pain getting those rear spring bolts cut outta there!! Sheesh!! Everything else was purdy easy.


Before pic w/31's... The AT's went on my kid-o's Taco ;)


After... not a very good pic. Hopefully wheelin' pics soon!! :D


Pre-shock install and drop drag link. Had a good buddy practically give me a drop drag link and a spare J arm for BR. :cool:


Have since installed the shocks and driven BR around a little. The springs are settling and shackle angles improving. Drives good too! A little stiff but handles darn decent. (tossed the sway bar long time ago) Tires are VERY quiet which is a nice surprise.


Had another buddy suggest the drag link flip mod. Since I got the drop link I won't bother....

Current TO DO LIST:
- Drop link install. DONE
- New steering stab. DONE
- Longer flex brake lines. DONE
- Cut rear u-bolts. DONE
- Bump stops. Not done!!! Aharg!!

Of course there are tons of little things including cabin upgrades. We'll just have to work that in where we can. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
2010 April Update

Found this on the tranny drain plug magnet when changing the oil. :eek:


So I talked to Mr. Marlin and he very graciously repaired the tranny free of charge. That Marlin is a good guy.


Marlin signed it in his own BLOOD!! :p JK


Got sick and tired of replacing center bearings to went to a one piece unit. Had a local drive shaft shop modify a 4Runner shaft I had. New joints, balanced etc...
Soooo much smoother!!!!!



Installed longer brake lines.



Did some flex testing today. Got a stuffage problem or two. Beat the pinch welds back up front. I have a set of relocation plates that I'll be using on the rear to help center the rubbage.




No mind blowing flex but BR is getting closer to where he needs to be for now.

On the list of things to do:
- Bump stops & re-center rear (high clearanced instead)
- Wheel well opening trim/mods. DONE.
- Sliders. DONE
- Lockers. Rear DONE
- Bumpers
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did some measurin' and markin'



Did some hackin' and whackin'




Better stuffin'. Bumper and slider designs almost complete. Gotta collect the materials next.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been messing around with adding old springs that I had re-arched to help the load carrying a little. I'll be glad when I can upgrade the suspension one day. :rolleyes:






FiNaLLy got some sliders from Mr. Stubbs. :D




 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lunch Time!

Tryin' to get ready for SETO. Local shop installed the lunch box locker in the diff along with a new pinion seal and a multi-drilled flange that I had laying around. Just didn't have time to try it myself. :rolleyes:

Installed the third last night and replaced a leaking engine oil pan gasket. That's the most work I've done in one evening EVER! LOL

 

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Discussion Starter #15
SETO was a BLAST!! BR did great! Drove up, wheeled, drove home without an issue!! :woot:






Minor carnage.... had to use a large cresent wrench to bend it down like it is in the pic. Both front fenders at the firewall got a little dinged too.


This was a fun obstacle. Not extreme... just right for BR







 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rear Bumper Build

So I'm finally getting around to building the rear bumper. Talk about taking forever working on it here and there.

First real welding project so there were a ton of errors and/or learning curve lessons along the way.

Used 3 x 2 x 3/16 tube and flat stock.
The design is nothing new.. same ol' same ol'



Hacked up the original dealer hitch :saw:


5/8 x 2 Bar stock for the "D Ring" mounts.


6 mounting bolts per side.




Mock up can get... sketchy.








So I made a major measuring mistake.. somehow put the mounting plates 3/16" too far inboard so had to make shim... sheesh.. I measured 99 times it seamed like :rolleyes:







 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rear Bumper Build - Continued

Tag mount lock ;)


Paint and side hoops still to come


Yeah okay so I had my reading glasses on while beating the thing into submission. Actually, was "tweaking" the alignment before it was fully welded. Well... I missed with my dead blow and hit the bed... Yet another lesson learned... don't wear reading glasses with hammer in hand!!! :eek:
Spent A LOT of time trying to make it level to the frame/bed and perpendicular. NOT easy!!


Bottom view. One of the few "better" welds :rolleyes:


Complete... well, almost.


Weighed it with my old scale. It's between 80 and 85 pounds.



Receiver tag mount. Chopped the original off... gotta figure out a light next. Those simple LED type rigs may do the trick if I can't recycle what I have.



Was going to use "thru bolts" on the forward two (not pictured). Ended up tapping the frame 7/16-20... I just couldn't get my fat fingers up the frame to install the nuts!!!


Since this was my first real weldment project I did a lot of experimenting with wire feeds, power settings, torch speeds etc... it's was fun too!!! Look forward to the next project.

You can't tell in the picture but the gusset is cattywampis. The tack broke on one end and moved while I was welding it. Thing is I didn't even notice... just kept welding!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Got it painted and reinstalled so we could drive the truck tomorrow in the snow North of us. Still have to get some side hoops.
Then I've got some sheet metal work I wanna do around the bottom edge of the bed where it meets the side "wings"s.

Got some SNOOOWWWWW!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Forgot to post pics of the hoops and paint - installed :D









Would like to build a front bumper but sheesh... that'd take forever. Prolly just buy one... one day.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
BR get's 63" Cheby's

- Sky bracket kit
- Junk yard springs from '88 thru '98 Chevy 1/2 ton pick up
- Overload spring removed
- Farmed the install out to SBC Offroad

Still have to change up the shocks/mounts... but even with the stiff ol' Rough Country's it rides much better.



 
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