Sunday, January 16, 2022

Applying Some Restraints & Turning Some Knobs

 Seat Belt Tabs are in and Custom Knobs are Ongoing

The 40 is done with principle fabrication... 18 months, a pandemic, and other grown up things later and the 40 is ready to get final prep and paint done. We welded the seat belt tabs to the roll cage and test fitted them and we got the mounting plate for the center console welded to the seat belt frame. We installed the 37x12.5 Maxxis Creepy Crawlers too. The truck is a hair over 7 feet where the hard top will sit.

I used a lathe for the first time and "helped" to create the template for my custom pull knobs for the dash.

Seven more to go! I will have them anodized black, and I'll probably texture the top ring of the shifters to match the knobs and have them anodized too. This should tie the dash and shifters together very nicely.

Next up: Media blasting the tub (again) as well as all the body panels and doing body work sound/thermal insulation, undercoating with Raptor Liner and in the interior floors and firewall.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Take A Seat...

 How About Two!

We got the seat mounts built and the interior test fitted this is the first time I have sat in my Cruiser in almost four years! Very excited for the progress we are making. I have the body shop booked and we have just a few things to wrap up before I drag it to them for paint.

The seats, center console pad, and the new dash pads will all go to upholstery for matching leather. We also wrapped up the steering.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

DASHing Progress!

 Looking Good... Better than OEM!

We got my dash fully welded and test fitted a few of the knobs I'll be using. Actually I am planning on milling my own billet knobs and found a guy whose making me customer transfer graphics for them.

Hopefully it will go to body and paint no later than Jan 15 and we will start prepping for final assembly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Long Overdue Update

Back At It And Making Progress

Finally had some time to devote the 40 and we got the spring over 60% completed, still need to cut and turn and fully weld the front perches and mounts. We also wrapped up the tub work, steering column mount, and are in the final stretch of finishing the dash. We lost power during the big rain storm and called it a day.

We also wrapped up the tub work, steering column mount, and are in the final stretch of finishing the dash. We lost power during the big rain storm and called it a day.

We are pushing hard to wrap up the tub so I can get it to paint, so the plan is to finish the dash and seat mounts in a couple weeks, then drag the tub home so I can get started on final body and paint work.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Returning from a Long Break

 Getting Back Into Resto Mode

Life events forced a detour from building for several months, so I put on my working sandals, rolled up my sleeves, and braved the 100+ degree summer temps on Saturday to try and kickstart the project back into full swing. In my naïve early estimates I thought I'd be driving and enjoying my 40 by now... I probably have another year or more to go before that happens.

We got the rear springs flipped the "right" way and the auxiliary fuel tank mounted between the frame rails.

Doing this put the axle/tires right where I want them in the wheel openings... except that really doesn't matter since the springs are all wrong anyway.

We also got the transmission tunnel cut and the shifters installed for mockup purposes.

Next Up...

Finish steering mock up, finish dash, tidy up a couple lose ends on the tub, probably some other things I am not remembering right now.

Sunday, January 24, 2021


 Cage and Rust Repair on the Tub, Complete!

We got a lot done this weekend! The main cage is built and fully welded. We have a few additional tubes to weld up for utility purposes, and we are waiting until the tub is weighted down and bolted into place to do the frame tie-ins.

It was a great weekend of hanging out, cutting, welding, fitting, and planning. Next visit we plan to fit the two gas tanks, flip the rear springs around to see if we can center them in the openings, and get started on laying out the dash.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Cut, Weld, Grind, Repeat!

Major Progress on the Tub Today

We got a solid amount of work done on the tub today. The rear seal is in and it looks great! There's still some work to be done to massage the rear quarters into place, but there's only a handful of smaller things to be done on the tub before we bolt everything together and get the chassis under it for fitting the cage, seat cradles and seats, sliders, bumpers, etc. January will hopefully be a big month for all of that and we will finally start running wires and plumbing fuel and brake lines... then blow it apart again for paint!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Groundhog Day!

 Don't Build Angry

So I got the springs back from the round 2 work... and they're still wrong. But I am sticking with them for now and will make them right once the 40 can move under it's own power.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Body Work Round 3!

 Progress Continues

Both bedsides are replaced and the rear sill is next.

I also picked up a small batch of powder coated parts and got to visit with "Vulcan" the Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff). He looks and barks like a fierce beast, but he is a total sweetheart.

Next up for the 40? Refitting the springs on the chassis, the rear sill and sill cover, LOTS of unneeded hole patching in the floor pans, and patching the passenger side outer sill.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Body Work Round 2


    Made some good progress on the tub today! Got the passenger bedside in but it still needs some more tacks, then I need to sand them down and even the panel out with a hammer and dolly. Ryan and Tai are amazing and did most of the hard work but I got to do lots of prep work, some hammer and dolly work, I patch some unneeded holes on the floor boards. So much more to do... one of those Aquila tubs might have been a better option, but $$$$...$

Once the panel is in place we have to... cut it up. I have to add the second filler neck opening for the auxiliary tank and we will likely be moving both wheel wells back at least two inches. I have a set of spare arches for that purpose. Other things that need to get done is the driver's bed side, rear sill and cover, finish patching unwanted holes, mount the tub to the rolling chassis to measure the wheel opening and get the cage welded up. Then I have to take the tub and the cage for media blasting and powder (on the cage). Then it is filler, primer, liner, seam sealer, and paint time!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tanks x2!

 Such a Gas!

A buddy and I took the drive from Reno to Stockton to pay a visit to Valley Hybrids. My Aussie built Long Range Tanks finally arrived!

I also received word that my "corrected" springs should ship this week which means there is a chance that I will be able to get the rolling chassis down to my friend's shop to mate to the tub (hopefully finished with sheet metal replacement/repair this weekend) so we can fit these tanks and get the cage welded up.

Things are coming together!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Break It Down!

The Dreaded Day Has Arrived... Body work!

I loaded up the 40 tub the cage, and all the patch panels and hauled it down to my buddies shop so we could start cutting and welding. Talk about nerve wracking! Up to this point there is nothing that has been done in this project I couldn't undo myself in a pinch.

My buddy repairing the passenger side upper cowl. Notice the massive creases below the heater vent?

My other friend doing magic with straightening the same cowl. 

All that remains of the creases are the hammer marks! Amazing


The laundry list is pretty big for this phase.
  1. Replace both rear quarters.
  2. Add a second fuel filler in the back of the panel.
  3. Move the wheel openings back about 2.5-inches.
  4. Replace the rear sill and sill cover.
  5. Patch the outer rocker corner piece on the passenger side.
  6. Plug about 100 holes in the fire wall and floor pans.
  7. Set a custom switch panel in the dash and add holes for 3.5-inch speakers.
  8. Test fit the fuel tanks.
  9. Weld the cage and setup the frame tie-ins.
  10. Fine tuning the body work, filler to even out the panels, and prep for paint.