sunnybean's M416 build

sunnybean

Observer
Updated 6/3/16

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Hello all,

Figured I need to get off my butt and start a build thread. I'd like to start by saying thanks for such a great forum. I've been lurking for a while and am amazed at all the knowledge and ingenuity here. I have learned so much from you guys and know that will only continue as I work through this build. So, thanks to all of you for all the build threads!

A little background on me, I have been wanting to do a simple M416 build for a few years. It's just the wife and I and three small dogs but the FJC bulks out quickly. A trailer will help immensely. Since my job requires me to pull a trailer through all sorts of forest roads/trails across the country, it makes sense to me to drag one while camping.

I have very limited experience in working with metals. I took Welding 1 in high school way back in 1992. Never got to touch a MIG welder then. A few years ago I enrolled in a welding class through the local technical college's Continuing Education program. There wasn't a lot of teaching welding techniques. The class was mostly a safety rundown and then we were turned loose in the shop. I've spent a bit of time at on Jody's excellent www.weldingtipsandtrick.com website for technical help. But I did build a hitch basket at the class which can in handy this fall. Yippee!



I needed a welder of my own. I did a lot of research into what welder to buy. I decided on a Hobart Ironman 230. This is way more welder than I need for the trailer. But, like buying a gun safe, I went with the buy once cry once/go bigger than you think you'll need theory. I waited three months for the local Hobart dealer to run a sale. On Black Friday they had a 15% store wide sale. No sales tax in Montana so my OTD price was $1189. I'm very happy with that.



I have been searching craigslist for a year and have only found one M416 for sale within a reasonable distance from me. So, when it popped up last spring I jumped on it even though I had to pay through the nose. I could see from the add that it had a bit of body damage. It was used as a pump unit by some firefighting agency (wish I knew which one). When the pump was removed they used a cutting torch to take it out. There are numerous holes on the sides, one large hole in the floor, and the center crossmember of the frame was cut. With basically zero metal skills I thought this would be a fun project to learn on. Here's some photos of when I bought it.






At this point I was thinking I would just patch it up, build a lid, throw on new paint and some new rubber and be done. Boy was I wrong! After tearing it down I could really see what I had bought. There is way more wrong with it than I knew. Besides the holes in the body I could now see that the tongue forging was cracked above the landing leg and most likely not repairable, the landing leg was bent, one of the leaf springs was broken (bushing ceased and cracked the main leaf), the other leaf had lost a lot of arc, the front and rear top rails on the bed were bent, the fenders were all sorts of crooked, and that the tail light mounts were bent. It guess it has seen more hard use since 1966 than I had hoped. Ugh!

Besides all of that I decided that I don't want to run the stock axle and wheels. Instead want to run the same size tires as the FJ Cruiser (one spare for both units) and want the simplicity of EZ lube axles. Since the pintle is getting tossed I might as well extend the tongue to get clearance from the FJ door. There goes any budget I had!!!

So, I have been on a spending spree trying to assemble all the needed parts to put this together the way I want it. I bought new 6x5.5 16" wheels, new 265/75-16 BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires, new leaf springs, Daystar .5" lift shackles, new Dexter 3500# 57" axle, new leaf spring hangers and U bolts, new shocks, a Max-Coupler, and new bal c jack stabilizers.

Some issues I've run into since buying all these parts. First was that the axle comes with 1/2x20 lugs. The acorn nuts are 13/16". Even a thin walled socket will not fit into the small diameter holes of the factory aluminum Toyota wheels. Of course Toyota doesn't make the splined nuts that come on the FJ in a standard thread pitch. So, I ordered some splined nuts to fit the smaller factory wheel holes but they take a different socket than the metric nuts. *Note to self* DON'T LOOSE THAT SOCKET!

Second, one of the Daystar shackles was welded up wrong from the factory. It was canted pretty bad and not useable. Daystar was OUTSTANDING to work with. I called them up and without any questions they sent a new shackle direct to me. That is good customer service!

Third, the new axle is slightly larger in diameter than the original. New hangers are needed which means new shock mounts needed to be fabricated.

I patched most of the holes in the body and got the fenders pounded out straighter than I could have hoped for. I also made new shock mounts. I should get the frame and tub back from the blaster today and see if there is any other rust damage that needs repaired. Next will be to extend the tongue, cut a tailgate in, and build the lid. I'm looking at how to finish it. Kinda leaning toward Monstalining the entire tub once it's done. Dunno. I'll run a Tepui Kukenam ruggedized RTT in top.




Thus far I've been really bad about taking photos of the process. More photos to come once I get it back from blasting and the work continues. I will also be adding a WTS ad for the pintle, axle, handbrake unit, four military wheels and possibly the tail lights. Although, shipping costs will probably prohibit most of that from selling.

Stay tuned...
 
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DonBeasley

Adventurer
Welcome to the M416 club!!!!!

They are great projects to work on and will quickly eat up your time and spare change but are worth the effort!

We REQUIRE lots of pictures (so we can borrow all your good ideas).
 

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by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
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Motorcycle Messengers 2: Tales from the Road by Writers w...
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sunnybean

Observer
Welcome to the M416 club!!!!!

They are great projects to work on and will quickly eat up your time and spare change but are worth the effort!

We REQUIRE lots of pictures (so we can borrow all your good ideas).
Thanks Don! I still need to learn the secret handshake. ;-)

Actually, your build has been inspiration for me. It has also had me in the great internal debate as to whether or not to cut the gate into it. I'd like to skip it but the utility of one is very appealing. In the end, mine will probably look a lot like yours as far as the paint scheme is concerned.

I tried to pick it up from the blaster last Wednesday only to find that his helper did not realize the frame was unbolted from the tub and he needed to take them apart to get at all the hidden rust. But in the fleeting light and freezing temps it looked pretty good without all the layers of paint. I could see a few more holes that will need patching. Fingers crossed that today is the day it comes home again.
 

sunnybean

Observer
Received everything back from the blaster last night. A quick pass over things revealed at least two more small holes to fill in the floor of the tub.



Also, here's the new spring hangers with added shock mounts.



It's supposed to get good and cold for the weekend. We'll see how long I can make it. My hope is to get the new extended tongue built and attached.
 

sunnybean

Observer
Was able to get a little work done. Bolted the tub back onto the frame. That required a bit more finagling than I had planned. In order to get the middle of the tub to sit flush I needed to have the Mrs. stand in it with a few cases of ammo. Sorry no photos of the wife. This was not her idea of how we were to spend the day. Ha!



Once everything was bolted back together I tried to straighten the tub rails out. They pulled out some but they are still not perfect. I'm going to try to pull them a little further tomorrow.








I also fixed the cracked welds on the fenders and patched the holes on the tub that became noticeable after blasting.




I also pounded out a lot of the little dents but failed to get photos. This thing is always going to look pretty beat up but I was able to get it to look a little better.

Tomorrow I will grind down the welds on the fenders and tub holes and see if I can get the rails a little straighter.
 
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sunnybean

Observer
Looking good. Keep it up.
Nice FJ too.
Thanks!

BTW, I've read through your build thread and appreciate the tire and shackle information. I'm really hoping I can stuff the 265/75-16 tires and Daystar .5" lift shackles under this without going spring over.
 

sunnybean

Observer
Wow! Now that is a project just to get to where you can start your build.
You're telling me!

I wasn't able to get as much done today as I had hoped. Honey due list is taking over. However I did manage to get the rails straightened out a little more. I think this is as good as I can get them.




I also spent more time pounding out all the dents in the tub. I got the back corner looking way better than I thought i could. It's making me reconsider whether or not I should cut a tailgate into it. Other than ease of access to the interior I was hoping to use the gate as a table. But now I'm starting to think I could add a receiver to the rear and have a table that could be supported with the receiver. Any thoughts on this from the audience?
 

sunnybean

Observer
Okay, no thoughts on whether to cut the gate or not. Anyone, Bueller...

I picked up the 1 1/4" angle iron to cap the tub rails and also the metal to build the frame of the lid. Additionally, the lid hinges came in. I hope to find time this weekend to start on the rails and lid.
 

Sikocycles

Adventurer
I would say no to rear tail gate. For me I just would like one less spot for leaking and a way a thief can get in.
Just one less thing to worry about but saying that a tail gate may be handy.
 

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I like a tail gate but they come with a long list of structural issues to work out. I would recommend using your trailer for a while and if you feel like you really need one go for it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

sunnybean

Observer
Well, I've decided to go with siko and grnhornets advice and postpone the tailgate for a little while.

More progress today. I started out by making the top rails for the tub frame. In an effort to minimize any rust I shot the tub and the rails with a little primer before welding them together.





I was also able get the outside of the lid built. I'm going with a 1x3 flat lid.




Tomorrow I hope to get some of the cross members welded to the lid and some grinding done that I negelected last weekend.
 
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