I am working on it, I swear, everything just takes so much longer these days.
Closed up the holes in the firewall where I had to make clearance for the headers, and got the transfer case shifters mounted and the hole cut in the trans tunnel cover. I have to say I really being able to remove the whole top of the trans tunnel, good design for serviceability on these trucks.
Driver side mocked up
Passenger side welded in
Built a tube bender using arms bought from SpeedMonkey here on Pirate, takes Pro-Tools 105 dies. It works really nicely, Air/Hydro is pretty nice to have when working by yourself in a small shop, and I like not having to have it bolted down taking up floor space.
Used the new bender to make a hoop to support the radiator, so that it isn't tied to the inner fenders. Ideally I'd like to be able to drive the truck without any bodywork on the front. You know, for those mad max reenactments.
I am using a Griffin 8-00009-LS radiator (https://www.summitracing.com/parts/gri-8-00009-ls) meant for a LS swap in a Chevelle. Brennan (Mieser) gets credit for the find - its about the same size as the popular 26x19 universal rad, except it comes with mounting flanges on the sides welded on and has a 2 year warranty rather than the 30 day warranty the universal 'racing' radiators have. Oh, and its $100 cheaper.
Of course to fit where I want it, I promptly voided the warranty by lopping off a corner to make some more clearance to the steering box. But all in all it fits well and I think will give me plenty of cooling capacity.
Made brackets that bolt to the radiator bracket to pick up the bushings I'm using to isolate the radiator.
Bottom of the radiator hoop mounts to the frame using a pinch bolt arrangement
Hoop in place
Lower tabs mocked up - you can see my mockup bracket I built to hang the radiator in space while I was building mounts, this was pretty handy
Finally upper tabs in place, and the radiator bolted in the car for the first time. The long brackets will get some gusseting to help with the weight of the radiator full of coolant.
I will tie the inner fenders into the frame using some bushings, and will also probably have a crossbar at the top that ties into the radiator hoop (with bushings) so that the nose of the body is well supported. I cut out the stock front body mount (part of the core support that tied the bottoms of the inner fenders together) to make room for the crank pulleys, which led me to extra work to make sure everything is supported.
Next steps are to finish up the suspension (bump stop mounts, lower coilover mounts) and start working on cleaning up and finish welding as much as I can for the engine compartment. It'll get the same sound deadening treatment as the underside of the body, as well as some additional heat insulation.
Got the radiator mounts fabbed and tacked in, including gussets for the longer tabs.
The bottom on the drivers side is TIGHT - downside to using an inside-the-frame steering box I guess.
I confirmed that the corner I'd cut off the radiator previously gives me enough clearance to the steering box, so I brought it in to work and had our welder tig weld in the patch panel. He does nice work, wish I could claim this as mine.
One final piece to the radiator mount - I made up a cross brace to tie the tops of the inner fenders together and to the radiator hoop.
The bar has some turned bungs welded in that let a socket head cap screw sit flush, and a rubber bushing to provide some compliance to the hard mounted radiator hoop.
The bottoms of the inner fenders sit on some small tabs, also with a bushing.
And finally on to bump stops!
As I have a huge interest in suspension design and tuning, I wanted to start out with a good ruybber bump stop but leave the option open to run a hydraulic bump stop later on. I made up some patent pending FakeBumps(TM) that hold a GM rubber bump stop. Always fun to put the old LeBlond to use.
Pulled the springs in the front, and all but the main leaf in the rear so the truck is at full bump, if I were Mieser this would no doubt be my target ride height
Rear bump stop mount, I used mounting cans from Poly Performance and am impressed by the quality and price.
Got to put my new SWAG press brake to use making landing pads on the axle
The front was really tough to package, and may still need some clearancing once I have it all together and can really flex the truck. The Passenger side landing pad sits on top of the panhard bar bracket
The drivers side has a corresponding riser so that the bump stops hit at the same height
The Bosch fuel pump i'd been using earlier when I fired it up apparently siezed up from sitting for 6 months - sucks, but I kind of had second thoughts to using the stock tanks and an external fuel pump anyways. I ended up buying a tank for a CJ, adapting a walbro fuel pump to the fuel pump/sender unit, and making up mounts to hang it behind the axle. Its a really tight squeeze and I may need to massage the skid plate some to prevent axle housing contact at full bump.
It looks like it hangs down low but its above the axle at full bump. I think I may end up making a custom tank down the road, but this will work and get me driving at least.
Didnt get any decent shots of the tank mounts, I welded on a piece of angle iron between the frame rails for the front, and added rivnuts through the rear crossmember at the back. I made spacers to take up the gap.