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trimster

Wheel well build begins

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Cut the 10' bed rail today. That Harbor Freight bandsaw, with a good blade, cut the 6" C channels like butter.

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Positioned for the ramp storage gaps, looks like the ramps will fit between the tires and over the steps in front of the tires. This will allow for 2 ramps stored below the bed. I'm good with that.

Shown here 1.5"x1.5" angle (it will be 2x2 when built) the ramps will slide in on this angle iron, bottom and top corners.

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The ramps are 6' folded in half, so the remainder of the space across the bed will be enclosed storage for the winch arm, etc.

Weather will be... wait for it... 47 and sunny tomorrow. Maybe 60 on Thurs thru the weekend. The heat from welding is welcomed.

Edited by trimster

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Well, it warmed up and the metal wasn't frozen. So out came some new tools, the MIG thing and more progress. 

Fabricating brackets and getting the rail caps all plumb and square, took a bit. All this is new, so learning curve.

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The gap between the 2x6 C rails is 21-1/4". The ramps are 19", add the box material (1/8" flat stock) and a bit of room so it will slide in nicely. Maybe room for some long things like a broom or ????

Once the frame rails were mounted and the ramp openings set, I could recheck the placement of the wheel wells. 

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So minor cuts and trimming, all seems good. Now to punch 1/2" holes for the mounting bolts (Grade 8).

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Had to lower (reduce) the 'aired-down' tire clearance to clear the ramp box. It was just a 'titch'. (that's a technical term. Very specific measurement).

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The black spots on the fender is a paint test. Upper one is DipIT rubber paint. The lower one is Rustolium bed liner. Had a bit left over from a previous project. Neither sticks well. It won't rub off but the fingernail takes both off. The Rustolium seems to stick better. I want to try some bumper paint for plastic. That's supposed to eat into the surface.

So the fender supports are 1x2 thick wall tubing 100% welded to the beefy brackets. The arms are 30" long which spans all but the outside inch of the fenders. 3/8" carriage bolts will go though a piece of 11.5"x 1/8" flat stock that runs on the inside of the fender as a stiffener/backing plate.

The fenders (window wells) have molded in flat surfaces on the back side so the stiffener can act like an oversized washer and stress distributor.

Until next time...

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If the weather holds.... I'll be outside with the truck.

 

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There is a product called Bulldog adhesion promoter.  Works well to get paint to stick to plastic bits.

IMG

 

Edited by Parrformance
Fix the picture

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8 minutes ago, trimster said:

Fabricating brackets and getting the rail caps all plumb and square, took a bit. All this is new, so learning curve

Now you’re just bragging.....  Plumb and square?  really?

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I also think I have a solution for the stress on the fender brackets... I'm going to attach strapping stock from the underside of the bed to the end bolts on the fender arms.  That should take most all the leveraged load off the welds. Might do what is done with muffler brackets and add a bit of rubber in the mount in case the tires/axels articulate enough to rub the fenders. This would allow them to flex a bit.

And if you notice in the earlier photos of the window wells, there's pre-drilled holes on the ends. I'm going to tie the two between the tires together with flat stock. It could be connected with material from an old mud flap. Hmmmm.

The flange at the rear will get a bit of angle iron to bolt on the mud flap.

If I can get the matching holes for the brackets drilled through the new frame rails, I can test the whole configuration today. Thank goodness for carbide drill bits and a spot of cutting oil.

Edited by trimster

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2 hours ago, trimster said:

Thank goodness for carbide drill bits and a spot of cutting oil.

Good drill bits are a wise investment, as is a good sharpener.  I have a Drill Doctor and am pleased with it.

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I like your approach to the brackets.  They look like they will last.

(I was kidding with the plumb and square comment, your work looks NC milled compared to mine. 🙂)

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3 minutes ago, usbusin said:

Are you going to put oak strips between the truck frame and your deck channels?

No. Did research, asked around. Weighed the info. Think I'll stick with frame-on-frame. My luck, it will squeak. 

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11 minutes ago, trimster said:

No. Did research, asked around. Weighed the info. Think I'll stick with frame-on-frame. My luck, it will squeak. 

Mine was built that way and it squeaks. Nice dusting of rust powder along the frame and body sills. 

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Did a further paint test on the window wells. Wiped them down with alcohol then put on a good coat of binding primer.  The primer fish-eyed in places meaning even it could not overcome the plastic.

Then hit it with Rustolium black paint. It fish-eyed in places. 

So, put a self etching primer over the binding primer. Then paint. Better result.

The best result was Flexi-seal. I had a partial can to play with. It flowed on nicely over the binding primer. I think spray on bed liner would do the same and maybe dry harder. I'll try that tomorrow.

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The first 2 fenders (passengers side) are mounted.

2vKBtWkl.jpg

They sag about 1/2" on the outside ends because the bed frame rails are not tightened down all the way and they are not tied with the cross members to the other side frame rails. Still, the wheel clearance (shown aired up), looks good.

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The 1-1/2" x 1/8" stiffener strap on the inside/underside of the fender works great. With the 4 stainless carriage bolts in place, these babies are solid.

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This shot shows how the surface binding paint is rejected in certain places on the plastic. My guess is that it's residue from mold release agent. I'll hit it again in those spots with soapy water. Most release agents are soluble with water and soap.

The fender flanges between the tires will be connected with stiff mud flap material. This should reduce their vibration and keep the crap thrown by the tires from getting between the fenders. There's 8+ predrilled holes in each flange, to mount the connecting material. Piece of cake.

The big time consumer that reared its ugly head on this build was when I decided to put ramp storage under the bed. I had cut and welded the fender brackets before that decision. It has added a full day of 'futzin' ' to the build to tweak the brackets so they will clear the soon-to-be fabricated ramp storage boxes that run the full width of the bed.

I also changed my mind (often) on how the support arms would be connected to the frame rails. First plan was to weld them in place. I changed to bolting them on. Better plan for a number of reasons, but drilling sixteen 1/2" holes in the brackets and frame rails is time consuming. And tiring for these old arms.

So my thoughts on using these plastic window wells for fenders...... I like them. They are beefy. the downside is appearance. They have mold marks on the most visible, outside edge. That could be filled with some of the plastic body filler. If you're concerned about overall appearance, maybe the expensive 'for truck' fenders will fit your needs better. However, these are not awful by any stretch. Covered in bed liner, most of those small defects will disappear. 

Sunday the snow flies here...again and the temps are on a long term, downturn. I'll have both sides done and the rest of the build can hold until we get back in the 60's.  Maybe April... the lord be willing and the river don't rise.

Oh, I am going to put 1/8" vinyl between the truck frame and the bed frame. The matting material is used under shower pans in home construction. Tuff yet flexible. I've used it in other 0ff-label applications and its proven to be tough. The other material I considered was the the rubber material used on roofs to help with frost/freezing damage. Commonly referred to as 'bitch-o-thane'... cause it's a pain to work with. This stuff is softer than the vinyl which could prove to be a problem with the weight of the bed.

Finished install photos after the weekend. Thanks for all the great input. It's been very helpful.

 

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Update on painting the plastic.

Tried the Rustolium bonding promoter. Was not impressed until 3 days later. Stuff works. Rustolium paint applied to the bonding promoter adheared.

Got a few cans of the Bulldog stuff. Spendy by the way. $26/can. Be warned that this is really caustic stuff. In Calif it will kill you. Outside Calif., you will just get cancer and die. Respirator and good ventilation required. But I first scrubbed the surface with a prep scrubby and a paste abrasive for plastic. It broke the surface of the plastic like one would lightly sand any other surface. It went really fast.

Then painted directly over the Bulldog stuff and 24 hrs later, the Rustolium paint is still tacky. I'll give it a bit more time before calling it good or bad. But it is way more 'bonding' than the Rustolium bonding promoter.

As of this morning, all fenders are mounted, drilled, and fit. Now I will pull the assemblies apart and finish paint, etc. 

 

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I am working on a finish made out of crude oil, from a pipeline. 

What?! the what? you ask

Well, environmental people say it will last for 500 years if you spill it on a rock. 

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23 minutes ago, noteven said:

I am working on a finish made out of crude oil, from a pipeline. 

Eastern Alberta pipelines have great crude oil for projects like this. Let the diluent evaporate, and it's instant pavement. 

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That’s right Darryl. In winter if you spill a bit just go have a coffee and come back and shobbel it up, like toffee. 
 

It can jump up to 12.6 meters to get on your clothes when it is warm. 

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Just performed a distructive test on the Rustoleum adheasion promoter. Power washer. Took it off. No sticky.

Bulldog stuff clear winner. Worth the money.

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Busy last 48 hrs.

Mass paint day yesterday. Prep, prime, paint.... Weather was stunning.

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Today the build went together. Managed to get the passanger side assembled. Weather will close in tomorrow. But the drivers side will be assembled before the day is done.

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3 minutes ago, Sculptor said:

Beautiful work!  In the last photo you capped and welded the rectangular tube shut Right?  Nice touch.

First crack at doing something like that. Well, most of what I am doing now is a first for me. Learning a ton and enjoying it more.

Thanks for the complement.

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