Grinding Disks Inhaled: 7
Mini-Snickers Consumed: 3
Flesh Wounds: 6
Average Temperature: 85
This project started off innocently enough several months back when the idea to 4-Link my truck was born. It was simple really, build some trailing arms, a couple upper links, grab a Ford 9" from the junk yard and walla I would have a linked truck. Yea, didn't happen. It just snowballed into a massive pile of parts and four months of planning. But now finally the day has come! The building has begun!
Since I'm working on such a tight schedule they shouldn't be any time to waste so I am going to do my best to give you daily updates. Naturally we start with Day 1.
Day one began with backing a perfectly good working running breathing truck into my backyard where it will spend the next few weeks. Progress began slowly by removing all the parts that needed to be salvaged such as dust lights, shocks, antennas, tail lights, bedsides, old shock hoops (which are now for sale by the way), and my trusty hi-lift jack. Then with the help of my trusty friend Jon we took the bed off for good. Then came the fun part, removing everything else. We took a methodical approach to this removing one piece at a time. First the axle, then the leaf springs and shackles, next came the gas tank, the wiring was next, then the EVAP can, and then the trusty sawzall came back out to start removing all of the unneeded and in the way cross-members. Darkness slowly crept up on us and Jon had to leave, but in his place Brian showed up trusty Plasma Cutter in hand. This made getting those stubborn brackets and cross-members that were in hard to reach places and at awkward angles easier to remove.
After dinner and setting up the trusty Craftsman work lights we continued on. Grinding the frame rails clean, including the spots where the 4-Link frame pivots will mount, and grinding off remnants of past projects consumed several more hours. Day 1 ended as Day 2 began, at 12:10am Sunday Morning. We called it a night after sliding the new axle under the truck and mocking up where the upper links will be going so we would have an idea of what still needed to be removed and ground away.
We finished Day 1 felling like we had accomplished a lot, and we had.
Day two was a lazy day, but a productive one. I was working solo today and spent most of the time finishing cleaning off the frame rails. The stubborn left over's of past projects were being just that, stubborn. But in the end the grinder prevailed and I won, the frame was now clean and almost ready for the next step.
I finished up Day 2 by fabricating a new 'trailer' hitch for the truck. 'Trailer' is in quotes because this hitch is actually for recovery only, it won't ever actually be used to tow anything besides another broken down rig off of the trail or back to camp. The hitch is constructed from 4"x3" Rectangle tubing and a standard receiver found at most RV shops. The frame was measured before any of the stock metal was removed so that this piece could be remade to the proper width. By welding this piece in the frame once again regained its shape and some of its rigidity.
Tune in tomorrow for Day 3!
*Disclaimer: Safety first! Always wear approved safety glasses, masks, hoods, gloves, and other devices when working with metal. Remember, do as I say, not as I do.