Sawzall serenade

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
I'm having dirty thoughts about a 80's 4x4 Suburban, a Sawzall, welder, 12v Cummins and spitting something out that looks like a one of these on a suburban platform.

http://www.innovation-campers.com/d_home.html



There are several under $1000 4x4 subs that are rust free and straight for sale near me. Most with some engine problem that may or may not be terminal to fix noting that in the end couldn't be rectified with a Cummins jammed under the hood.

http://www.innovation-campers.com/d_home.htmlI have a 88 Sub in the driveway that is pristine with 87,000 miles and the 454 and 2wd are really not fitting my needs. I figure I could sell it for enough to buy most of the parts I would need to get the body done and the base truck.

a 1500 but I would prefer a 2500
http://atlanta.craigslist.org/car/406020779.html


http://atlanta.craigslist.org/car/404503884.html with the hunting reference it is proably 4x4


Here is a very nice start 3/4 ton (emissions exempt here) and I could swap the brand new Michelins and MT knock offs off my burb on it before I sell mine.
http://atlanta.craigslist.org/car/395864199.html Only thing I don't like is it doesn't' have barn doors on the rear. I would like to retain the back doors to make the build simple. There is a loose set of doors on the parts section. I could probably wave $500-600 and have it and I honestly think I know the guy that has it for sale. I worked in that city for 6 years and that truck look familiar.

That Burb will have a TH400. I actually has a peddle set for a manual that would bolt right in from when I was thinking of converting my Jimmy to a 4 speed. Find a Doner Dodge with a NV4500 and with a little luck the axles are 3.73 and would be a perfect match for a NV4500 and a Cummins.


Evil evil thoughts. I can hear the Makita calling me.

This a a chop (courtesy of one of the Chalet guys) of a Chevy Chalet on a burb, My idea would be a little more along these lines. I like the height but instead of popping up like a Chalet or a Sportsmobile it would hinge at the front and be like the Inovattions design. Easier to build. Simple design that I feel would be much stronger then the hole top lifting. I would not want the extra length because this will also tow our 22ft Camper so mine would end at the stock rear.
 

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big sky trapper

Adventurer
Now thats got me interest! If you were closer I say drag em over here to the house and lets get it going....For now I guess next time i'm In GA Ill stop and check the progress...

I just gave away an 84 cargo body sub, dana 44/12 bolt and 373's, 350/700r4 to get the yard cleaned out...

We had kicked the idea around of doing the same thing with it, 'cept looking for something from a VW camper top from a salvage yeard to graft into the roof that way, with drop down bunks....
 

Colorado Ron

Explorer
Sorry I didnt get back to your PM. I like the idea, but I still disagree with the one side pop up. You waste so much useable space that way. And I woudnt use the chalet top either. By the time you cut the floors to change wheel well and stratch it and and and, you might as well start from scratch.
 

Ruffin' It

Explorer
Do it. DO IT!!! Holy God, you should do it. I can't think of many things that make more sense to me than that. Most importantly, do a highly detailed build up report on the net so I can copy it at a later date..err...I mean for posterity.
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
Colorado Ron said:
Sorry I didnt get back to your PM. I like the idea, but I still disagree with the one side pop up. You waste so much useable space that way. And I woudnt use the chalet top either. By the time you cut the floors to change wheel well and stratch it and and and, you might as well start from scratch.
You are making it harder then it has to be if you get into cutting the floor. I'm not cutting the floors. I am not changing wheel base or body below the windows. I really don’t see any reason. I don’t want to get into fabricating doors either.

A sub behind the back seat (2row) has as much floor as a chalet with the extra bit hanging off the back. From the windshield to the back of the back doors is an easy 4ft so that top bunk will only need a 24 inch extension when being used With the 2nd row folded you have a bed area 4x8.

Hinging it at the front by the windshield with 24 inches of already open space to store bedding when traveling on a fixed bunk over the stock front and rear seats. In fact there is almost enough room to sleep without the top open. The floor to ceiling hight behind the 2nd row would be nearly 5ft before the top is opend. The roof where you would actually be able to stand is going to be over 6ft. It the peak at the very end it would be nearly 8ft. It’s the simplicity I am looking for. A single piano hinge at the front of a lightweight frame with a couple gas struts. KISS at its finest.

Small galley area in the driver side rear where it is open for a spare tire. Stick a small 3Way in that open fender area. Cut out the inner fender on the passenger side to make room for a house battery and possible a heater. Water tank in a side saddle under the truck like the Pickup fuel tanks. Propane tank off a Wesfalia on the otherside. Van spare tire carrier on one of the rear doors. $99 AC above the back doors.
 
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fisher205

Explorer
DO IT!

I had considered Big Sky's idea also but finding one with a 6.2 or 6.5 diesel already in it. Not as strong as a 6BT and the NV 4500 but workable with the right pumps in them. But I still love the Cummins more.

This made need a whole new Category. Burban Conversions. - Brad
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
fisher205 said:
DO IT!

I had considered Big Sky's idea also but finding one with a 6.2 or 6.5 diesel already in it. Not as strong as a 6BT and the NV 4500 but workable with the right pumps in them. But I still love the Cummins more.

This made need a whole new Category. Burban Conversions. - Brad
You just don't see many 6.2's down this way especially 3/4 ton and I want to stay Pre 92 to get a solid front axle for simplicity. Honestly I am a little scared of them and the 6.5. Buddy had a 6.5 and broke a crank. He tells me thats not uncommon. Now if one showed up for the right price I might be tempted but a 350 with a 700R4 will get 17 on the hwy stock and has more power so I am not sure I would gain anything over starting with a 350 that I can run for a while before doing a repower. The 350 would probably have better sell off value then the 6.2 as well.

The 12v is a honest to god Diesel truck engine from the word go, not a modified gasser. Its a motor that if maintained will go 400k. It would be the most ideal power plant I can think of that would be the most bang for the buck. Plus a Big Cummins "C" logo on the side would catch peoples eye.


I am really tempted to do this. Of all my crazy ideas I can see this one as being able to handle all my needs out of a rig. It will pull the camper and is a camper. I could drive this thing to AK on my dream trip to see stuff off the beaten path. With a Diesel it would get something close to 20mpg so I could afford to drive it to AK.

The reality is this probably won't happen this year. I need to get a couple projects wrapped up first (including finishing restoring a 59 Airstream). Maybe I can make some headway on them this next week on vacations. Hell I might just put the 88 on Craigslist at a top dollar and see if I get any nibbles. If it sells then maybe the game is on sooner then later.

I refuse to start with a truck older then 82(older then that and the rest prevention measures GM did are ZERO) and it will have a 14ff. Vehicle of this weigh has no buisness with a 10 or even a 12bolt. Preferably start with a real 3/4 ton because of the Vin. 8600lb makes it emissions Exempt in GA.

Couple things that are musts is the main support frame for the top must also serve as a roll cage. We are not talking nascar cage here but I want something there that if I flop this thing there will be some protection for the family and hopefully hold together well enough to make the trek home.

It will have down legs at the A,B,C and D pillars. The frame will be .120 wall 2x2 box the halo bar and the base that will carry the top. 2 inch .120 tube for the down legs in the interior. Frame mounted braces that are still bushing mounted. The rest will be 1x1 box to keep the weight down and thats a nice common size for blue insulation board.

Skin I am still mulling over. Aluminum for the roof for sure. The sides I am debating .030 prefinished aluminum Keep the weight down, rust would not be a issue BUT it has to be riveted on so it will be like the side of a cargo trailer. Steel I could tack weld from the back side and paint it the same color as the truck and make it "pretty" but its is a penalty of weight and lets be honest....this is function over form and there is little to no resale. My spending the time to finish it to that level is not going to make it increase in value so its money out the door. Prefinish skin is about $67 4x8 sheet.

Interior I think I may go with a combination of material. The main cabinet frames will probably be steel and skinned in aluminum and Luan.

Truck will be minimal lift, proably 2.5 inches on the front. Rear may stay stock with a set of Helwig helper bags. Sway bar will proably be needed and I will probably put a torque arm. Then one day I may 4 link it. This is going to serve as a tow rig so I really don't want a lot of lift and height. 2.5 inch should clear 33's no problem. I managed to get 35's on my last K5 with 2.5 inches and a little cutting.

I think 33's will do the job and I have a goal of under 9ft (a K5 on the same lift and 35's is 7ft. a 24 inch top extension should give me the room I am looking for and keep me under he 9ft goal.


Why?

I like the idea of the sports mobile but I really don't like the platform as a 4x4. Beside WAY out of my budget even for a used one. Suburban is a much better 4x4 out of the box with plenty of off the shelf parts and I am VERY well versed in this vehicle. The loss is interior room is the only down side I see.


Why not a Chalet?

Rare vehicle in any sort of shape and yes I really like them but it doesn't serve my needs. The wheel base doesn't work well for towing especially with the extended bumper. This is going to be hauling a family and the dinette seats do not impress me from a safety stand point. I feel much better about the kids in the back seat of the burb when underway not in a flimsy fiberglass shell sitting nearly on the bed rails. It goes turtle that top will fly apart with my kids in it. 4 doors is just a lot easier to live with.
 
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