Progress (a little) on the Diamond T

Posted: November 4, 2010 in Antique trucks, Hot Rod, Rat Rod, Tin Can Tourists, Vintage trailers

Finally!  After what seems like months, I got out and actually accomplished something on the Diamond T!  (OK.   It hasn’t been months, I have worked on it a little lately.)  The rear fenders are finished and actually bolted to the bed sides, and the running boards are nearly finished. just a little finish work yet on the seams (I made extentions to have them extend between the front and rear fenders).   It looks pretty good.

Todays job was to make mounts and straps for the gas tank.  I had two strips of 18 ga. stainless sheared and made the straps from that.  The tank I’d blasted and painted a few days ago with “Cast Finish” paint, which looks pretty nice again the black frame.  I used the ends of the tanks original straps (from a Chev G20 conversion van I took the front suspension from), and simply folded the other end back on itself, and bolted that end to the frame.  Simple.

The tank fits neatly between the frame rails, although I need to make some permanent spacers to go between the tank and frame.  The fuel lines exit over the side, so there needs to be a gap for them to pass thru, and the tank has a bulge on the top for the pump/sender.  It would hit the box crossmember.  No problem.  I have some white oak that was the original spacer between the frame and flatbed rails I’ll rip up.  It’s “patina’d”!

I also welded up the seams on tailgate frame.  The gate is made from a section of 3″ DOM tubing, sliced in half, to make the roll at the top.  This is welded to the 2″ square mild steel tubing that makes up the main part, which has insert panels inside and out.  It weighs a TON, but I won’t have to worry about anything denting the top!

Then, I made some filler panels to box in sides of the open tubing.  This turned out really well, I’m pretty happy with the way the gate looks. 

The handle is a garage door handle from the hardware store, and the latch is from a Ford Ranger pickup.  There’ll be a set of hood stainless and the Diamond T brass plaque just below the handle.  This will match the  hood trim, and will give the tailgate a finished look.  At least, that’s the plan.  You can see the rolled pan below the gate and the sides of the box in this shot too.  I like it.  A lot.

I cut some strips of aluminum bar stock to make running board trims from, and laid them on the front section.  They’ll look fine with the ends tapered, the sharp corners rounded over and polished.  I’ll make a short set to put on the boards in front of the rear fenders.  The rear of the boards I had to modify a little to fit the fenders after they were bolted on, the boards were touching  the glass fender.  Strange to have to modify stuff I made to fit, but the fenders weren’t finished and bolted on when I made the running boards.  I gues they moved a little.

Tomorrow I hope to get the gas tank mounts finished up, the spacers cut, and see if I can fit the lines I scavenged from the Silverado 2500 that the 6.0 LS came from!   The goal is to complete one task every time I go out to the shop and work on it.

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