Diamond T truck progress! Finally!

Posted: June 7, 2010 in backyard builder, Hot Rod

I know, it looks like nothing has happened since my last post, but wait, behind that partially stripped cab, you’ll notice a de-skinned box, which is also partially sandblasted! 

Actually, much more isn’t visible in this admittedly bad photo.  The interior of the cab has been completely blasted and cleaned, including the floor boards.  The frame is stripped and needs only a little touch up work to be ready for primer and paint, likewise the suspension and rear axle. 

That little bit of progress was two days of dirty, gritty work sandblasting, re-cycling sand while my little compressor wheezed and puffed trying to catch up.  It actually works pretty well, I did all this with 3 bags of white sand, and have most of it left.   It’s easy where the paint was still on, i.e. the cab and interior, but the frame rails and suspension stuff, where there was no paint and rusted, are a big job for my little outfit.  The upside is that the low pressure, low volume of abrasive doesn’t warp sheet metal.  Plus, I’m not paying someone else to do it.

I hope to have the chassis finished up and painted today, with fleet enamel from Tractor Supply.  I decided to paint the chassis black, as it was originally, after finding that under the red paint on the frame behind the cab (under the original flatbed) was covering the original black.  So, black it is. 

While there buying the paint, we found a really nice diamond plate aluminum storage box, shown here, on clearance for 1/2 the original price.   The lock had been jimmy’d, but a new one was included.   Took about 10 minutes to fix it.   We plan on mounting it on the tongue of the “Tini-Home” trailer, but it does fit the DT box perfectly.

Also bought a single diamond plate trailer fender, which I’ll cut in half for wheel houses for the box.  I won’t be able to have quite 48″ between the wheel wells, but since they’re flat on top, I can make a couple of other “ledges” for the box sides to lay sheets of plywood, or whatever,  as modern compact trucks have.  It’ll also keep stuff off the varnished exotic hardwood floor. 

I think it’ll look nice, and will keep with the theme of the diamond plate interior of the box.  Diamond T, diamond plate, it all fits, right?

Last night I rolled the engine/trans out and power washed it.   In order to save a little time, I decided to just roll the engine on the cart out into the (gravel) drive, rather than load it onto the  utility trailer and clean it up on that.  Great idea, except that when I was about half way through, the cart, being on the now wet gravel, sank in, and of course tipped over, dumping my engine over in the dirt.  Great. 

Happily, nothing got hurt, aside from a slightly bent stud on the left side exhaust manifold, so all’s well.  I picked it up with the cherry picker and finished with it hanging from that.  The end result is much better than I’d hoped, with the hundred thousand mile engine cleaning up very well.  Thank goodness for aluminum heads and valve covers, they, the aluminum accessory brackets and plastic intake all look like new.  The oil pan likewise is cast aluminum, so I think my “detailing” is done aside from a little spray bomb work on the pulleys and maybe polishing the valve covers.  I’m happy.

It feels good to have gotten something done on the truck after a couple of months of life getting in the way.  The goal now is to get the chassis painted, firewall bodywork done so I can paint the cowl and get the engine in and wired up.   The body can then be shot with epoxy primer, and I can get the chassis plumed, brakes rebuilt, and get it running before cold weather sets in.   We want to get a spot cleared for the “Tini-Home” trailer and get it, and the truck done for next summer.  Seems reasonable, yes?

That’s all for now, more news as it happens…

  1. Kim says:

    life gets in the way?!!!

  2. Brother Barry says:

    Nice work.. the devil is in the details so it’s said..
    oh, and I hope you used secondary containment for your drive train powerwash…. you don’t want to be drinking it in 4 yrs.

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