Hackster's crew cab first gen cummins


So I wanted to get this underway before posting up here. This is a cut and paste from pirate but I will keep it going over here as I am finally getting to the expedition portion of the build...

Off we go.

So my tow rig for the last three years has been a 1993 w250 that has racked up 249,000 miles on it. It has been hands downt the most dependable, hadest working truck I have ever owned by a long shot....even better than the 07 cummins I bought off the lot brand new in late 06.

Truck is all turned up with timing bump, denny t fuel pin wh1c with 14 cm housing, leveling kit and 35's with 2" dom tube bumpers. Its a standard cab long bed and I love it.

Here is the dirty old girl in all her glory, doing what she usually does, towing the car trailer around with some project on the trailer.

Well, have sold off a few cool cars in the past few months in order to build the rig that I have wanted for the last few years. A crew cab short bed cummins 5 speed with some one tons under it.

So the search began for the right truck......well more like trucks right? After lots of searching I found a 1993 extra cab long bed w250 with a cummins and a 5 speed 4 wheel drive. The truck had was in an accident but I really was not interested in much of the body. Not to mention I got it for a good price. So I loaded up the trailer and headed up into the sticks to pick it up.

Two first gens...happy times.

Not much to look at but good running gear with pod's denny t fuel pin kdp fixed and a rebuit getrag.

So this will be the donor drivetrain...

I brought it home on Friday afternon and could not get the tools out fast enough.

Had a little help from a friend but we made pretty quik work, the cab was entirely stripped of everything, harness was all unplugged and removed in one piece, it was in great shape with just a little bit of hackery to clean up but nothing too bad.

Cut out a bunch of the firewall so that I would hopefully be able to weld in the right opening for the heater box and the firewall harness plug.


Stripped it down to the frame, pressure washed everything and threw some paint on while it waits for more work.

Pushed it over into the corner of the shop waiting for the next phase.

So part two was located up in the seattle area and arrived here at the junkyard today courtesy of my dad... he lives up there.

1979 crew cab long bed dually 2wd, in ok shape, not the greatest but a lot better than most.

Had the afternoon to work on it today.... and got a fair bit of work done.

Thanks for the compliments, worked a lot to make the garage be a nice place to spend time. I spend a lot of time out there....too bad these things are just a bit too large to fit in the shop.

Once the Dually was home and I drove it around the block once, I pulled it in and started on the teardown. I think it had been at my house for maybe an hour before I got started.

Stripped the frontend down in preparation for the body to come off.

Then moved onto the interior. It was in really nice shape with the black dash all in one piece.

This is pretty much how I left it last night. Column is loose just needs final disconnect, Four bolts and the cab is ready to come off.

I have a couple questions and I was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on them.

For the heaterbox, are you guys cutting out the entire section and welding in the new panel from the cummins truck? Eyeballing it last night it almost looks like there are just a couple sections that need to be cut and patched to make the newer heater box work in the older cab.

Clutch assembly and harness bulkhead. I cut out the entire firewall from the old truck so I have all the holes already, guessing most people are cutting about a 12" by 12" square out and replacing it with the newer firewall with the right holes for the electrical and clutch.

Removing the cab......So, here is my only real problem so far. I have no lift at home, no back hoe, forklift or anything else. How have you guys removed these big cabs from the truck? I am sure someone has some ingenious way that I just have not figured out yet.

Thanks in advance for the help.

The plan for the truck is very minimal lift with some modified front fenders to clear some 37" BFG Allterrains on Hutchinson beadlocks. 4:10's in the diffs with some type of locker (ARB's I am guessing but it comes down to price) tube bumpers front and rear and roof rack. Still toying with whether or not I want a sheetmetal 6' bed or just build it all out of tube and have it be functional and never have to worry about damaging it.

The truck will be used for a tow rig and adventure vehicle all in one.



Thanks guys,

I am attempting to pull the cab without pulling the bedoff for now, and I have a winch on my buggy so that might work.

I also have a Warn Pullzall that I think I will hook up to a big a frame that I have at work and see if that will do the job.

The dually has a 360 and a torque flite 727 in it. Runs and drives really great.
I am thinking about putting a really early 30's cab on it and building a small hot rod hauler out of it. Would be ************** to see the crawler on the back of it :p

As far as the heater box goes, it was one of those things that I was dreading doing, so I got everything out and laid both heater boxes side by side to see just how different they were. Turns out that they really are not that much different than one another.

I had already cut out the firewall from the other truck so I was acutally able to overlay the new firewall right over the old firewall and see exacty what needed to happen.

I Marked the new opening and got to work with a step drill, cut off wheel, die grinder, hammer and dolly.

I left a 1/4" inside the two small areas that needed trimming passenger side top corner, then I trimmed out the new opening. Once that was done, I took the hammer and dolly to it to get a nice radius to mimmick the factory flange. The heater box still covers the entire area so with a new seal, it will look just like a factory opening. Cut out a small hole for the heater lines to pass through, then enlarged it to make it just big enough for the lines to fit through.

It really was not too painful, if you were closer I would be more than happy to lend a hand......I followed along on your build for the last few years. We have a lot of the same ideas.

So I also was dreading the drivers side, but I think I came up with a nice solution.

I was trying to figure out a way to stiffen up the firewall near the pedal assembly and the same time I needed to cut up the firewall to move the harness cutout. Lots of factory firewalls are doubled up with sheetmetal in the pedal box area and spot welded together.

I trimmed out a panel from the 93 firewall that I wanted to use. Once it was trimmed to fit right, I took to the hammer and dolly and beat a lip all the way around the outside of it and trimmed it all up with a flapper wheel on the grinder.

I think it turned out ok, Just wondering how it will look on the firewall, I really like the idea of it though stiffening up the firewall, covering up some holes and not having to do a bunch of bodywork on the firewall. What you guys think?



Work week has been busy so not much progress.

I did manage to get a bit done tonight though, got home from work fed the dog ate some dinner and headed out to the big tan turd!!

Here is what I started with, a hole that is too big for the electrical and in the wrong spot and no location for the clutch master cylinder (So excited to have a clutch master cylinder at all:D )

I decided against the plate on top of the firewall....It was just not going to be clean enough in the end.

Made a patch panel out of the old blue firewall since I know it is the same guage and I had plenty of it.

Tacked a screw onto it for something to hold onto and tacked it in place.

tac tac tac repeat over and over again

So with that welded up, I cleaned up the weld with a 4" and used the firewall as a template for where the holes needed to be and were an exact template to make my marks for the electrical and clutch.

It worked very well.

Hole saw, die grinder tin snips and a couple files and this is what I ended up with.

It really was not too bad of a deal except that now I really have to paint the firewall so add that onto the list of things to do before I set the body on the extra cab frame.

We have a gantry at work that I am brining home tomorrow to lift the body off the frame and hope to get it set back down on the new frame by the end of the weekend.



Got home from work late yesterday after loading up the Gantry and all my other crap in the Isuzu.

Got to work right away though and began setting up the Gantry. This thing is pretty large and quite a pain to setup. Scott and Motornoggin were tricked in to helping me get this setup so we can get the cab off.

Got the Cab all unbolted setup the gantry...had a couple beers all around and setup the Warn Pullzall and got the straps setup. Took some creative strapping but finally got it figured out.

Ended up having to pull the bed off as we could not get the cab high enough to get over the bed so we pulled that too.

So here is where whe sat for the night. The side yard is an absolute disaster, looks like a truck blew up over there, tan and brown crap everywhere.

Ill snap a pic later this morning of the damage. Hope to be able to get the firewall cleaned up and painted and get the floor notched out and patched up. Gotta move the body mounts on the frame back today too....Its gonna be a busy day. :p


Good day of progress sort of....

Got started early by starting a little bit of cleanup in the driveway, there is crap everywhere, tools, beer cans, pizza boxes and tons of car parts.

Then picked up some 14 ga sheetmetal for the impending floor board work, some .023 wire and tips for the welder and refilled a tank of shielding gas in case we get some good progress.

Came back home and got to work, removed the last bits from the firewall, installed the new manual pedal assembly (Thanks Asher) cleaned and cleaned the firewall, found the cracks in the cowl, drilled the ends of them and welded them all up, also found a little bit of rust in the cowl area so we made some patch panels and got to work welding them up. With the firewall all cleaned up, I da'd the entire firewall, cowl area and welded up any unused holes.

Got some high build primer on the old girl at this point.

Sanded down the primer and got it pretty darn flat for a firewall that you will never see. Cleaned it up one more time, got the seam sealer on everywhere that needed it.

Bagged up the truck finished masking it and got to shooting. Omni, single stage is what I picked up. Not high end but descent paint.

Loaded up some paint in the gun and got to shooting. Paint laid down nice and flat, nothing in the paint and it looks great, good shine especially for being shot outside.

Too bad the color is all wrong.....crap. Guess Ill be scuffing this again and reshooting when I get the right color on Monday.

Tomorrow I think I am going to try and tackle the rear floor board areas to get some clearance for the extra cab area to clean the frame.

Still got lots of work to do...More tomorrow =)



Good Day today.

Worked on the crew cab cab measuring and measuring some more, then took the cut off wheel to just about the entire floor of the old girl and ended up with this.

Then we got to work removing the stock body mounts and front bed mounts on the extra cab frame, that was a bit of a pain but not horrible.

Then grabbed some lunch and came back with a chain fall and set the cab on the frame for the first time. Amazingly, it dropped right on with no issues, cuts were spot on with my measurements.

Total chaos at my place today, the boss (wife) made us clean up this afternoon so we used the buggy to move the crew cab to the side yard.

Here you can see how I am boxing everything back in, made templates and cut them all out with the plasma. You can see that its not too tight, but it is snug.

Top plate all tacked in and ready to weld it all out tomorrow.

Hope to get some paint tomorrow and reshoot the firewall so I can get the cab on for good tomorrow night or Tuesday morning.

Oh, also got the top of the fuel tank modified to clear the crew cab.


Went down to Industrial Finishes this morning and took the cowl with me down there. They had the right code and when we put the paint chip up to the cowl, it was very close, but the paint was not. I left the cowl panel with them and they got it really close and did not charge me for the paint and appologized for the mismatch.

Good bunch of people there!!

Got back home after a half day or so of work and lifted the cab up again, scuffed the firewall up, cleaned and taped up the truck again and shot some paint on the firewall again. Little too much reducer so I ended up with a run behind the block so no big deal, Paint was a bit thin going on so I layered on a few coats.

Looks Waaaaay better and the color match is pretty darn close.

Finished welding on the floor boards, you can see what it looks like from underneath.

Ran some seam sealer all around the welds and seams to seal everything up and shot some bedliner coating on the raw metal to clean it up, protect it and give it a somewhat finished look.

Found some rust on the floors, so I need to cut that out and make some patch panels for those spots.



My typical ocd kicked in yesterday morning and I welded up all the holes in the inner fender wells, sanded them down, shot with high build primer sanded em and shot them with some color, they are far from perfect but they are not bad for the inner fenderwells.

Cut out the rest of the rusty patches on the floor (Keep in mind I was told there was no rust on this truck.) Cut out some nice new 14 ga and welded it back in.

I used some rust killer and sealer on the floor and it appears as though it ahs done the job.

I got the clutch master cylinder bracket all mounted up to the firewall, stabbed the brake booster through and dealt with the emergency brake cable as well.

Got some double foil sided insulation for the firewall and glued some of that down before I started to run the harness and install the dash.

Tore the heater box down for cleaning and replacement of the heater core.....I was a bit suprised to find this mess in front of the evaporator.

I started to clean up all the wiring in the engine bay yesterday but really need to get the heater box installed. I need to build my own gasket for the firewall and am struggling with what to do there...any ideas?



So started the morning with just a raw dash..... big job ahead of me.

Started by cleaning off all the old gasket from the heater box, then used armaflex cut to fit around the box. It turned out, well ok, not extatic about it but it will work.

Then put the bulkhead connector in the firewall and stated to lay out the harness. Soon found out I had missed a few items like the hole in the cowl for the heater resistor. Cut that out and got the ball rolling with the rest.

By the end of the day I ended up with this...

I am pretty pleased with how the dash came together, It was not a nice dash by any means and will probably get changed out down the road.

I cleaned and scuffed all the dash pieces with wax and grease remover and a red scotch brite pad. It was grey before and well you can see its nice and black now.

Somehow, I ended up with an all black dash bezel and it was actually in descent shape!!

Cleaned up the firewall a bit more, ordered up new pos and neg battery cables and they should be here in the morning.

Don't know for sure, but might be able to see if the old girl will fire up again tomorrow.



So something happened with either the temperature outside or the mix on the paint and the paint on the core support ran like crazy and never setup. So Friday morning when I got up, the paint was a nasty sticky horrible mess. Tried to dry it but zero luck with that so I tried to sand it and it just went downhill from there.

So I took the whole core support over to Jon at Soda Blast in Tigard and he did a great job of cleaning up the mess I had been so successful in making.

Got the core support back friday night hung it in the garage, cleaned it, primed, sanded, scuffed it and heated it all up nice and warm as well as the garage.

Shot more paint on it and this time it turned out great.

Saturday morning, paint was dry so I was finally able to begin the reassembly process on the frontend. Inner fenders, trimmed for future fender cutting and core support mounted up.

The fenders and all the other stuff was next, so I got to mounting stuff.

Here is where I ended the day early as we had a wedding to go to.

I also spent some time cleaning up the engine since the engine bay was starting to look descent. Cleaned and painted the engine with some high temp black paint, pulled the top valve cover cover and shot that tan and re painted the cummins in red and used some stove brite on the exhaust and turbo exhaust side.

Other than figuring out why it wont start, and getting a radiator installed, the engine bay is pretty much buttoned up.



Went out this morning and had it in my head to get this thing running. A few minutes of troubleshooting had me at a bad clutch safety switch. With that jumpered out, it fired right up!! I was pretty excited.

So it runs now to finish it up and make it drive,

Picked up lower radiator hose, heater hose, vacuum hose and some other misc bits and installed those this morning along with the grill headlights and started to go through the light wiring as I have no parking lights or turn signals but lost interest in that when Asher showed up.

We turned to some exhaust fun, ran the 4" Diamond Eye exhaust out the back, descent system but a bit close to the transfer case no matter how you run it, 4" seems big on this truck.

Put the seat back in it, got some loose ends tied up and moved the old girl for the first time...barely fits in the garage door.

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Clutch feels great, tranny good so far and the brakes and steering are nice and tight as well.

Intercooler behind the 79 grille!!!

And just for fun since its actually in the garage....



So that brings me up to speed now. I have been reading this forum for a few years with really nothing to add worth while.

I have read the do it all dodge over and over and it was quite motivating and gave me some good ideas on this.

Now the plan is for the wheels and tires to show up next week so I can start trimming the front fender wells and building the bed.

More fun to come soon.




Wow I wish I had your work ethic! Keep up the great work. There are a lot of times when I wish my 1st gen had 4 doors. I have looked for a cab, but have had a hard time finding one. LOOKS GREAT!:sombrero:


Renaissance Redneck
Fan-freaking-tastic! Love the whole idea. I was in Portland on Saturday... Wish you had posted this sooner! I assume you spend some time at ipd? I did up a '90 745 turbo with a bunch of their goodies. That was a fun car.