Diary

Here I will post what's happening with the F100 project, I will try and update it as often as possible.

10/27/12 Thought it was about time I updated the site and actually add the workshop section I mentioned earlier.  Haven't done much on the truck at all.  Other than repair the damage done when it was shipped to the US. I have added some details of the damage under the general section Relocation.  One thing I have done recently, though is get my Landrover on the road here in Washington State.  It is now registered and Insured.  I changed the ignition system, as there was an intermittent fault in the previous one.  So far so good, but I haven't driven it any distance.
10/09/11 It has been over a year since my last update and since moving to the US.  Marie an I now have a house in King County Washington State, about 45 minutes from Seattle.  A lot has happened in the last year and not all good.  The actual move of the truck turned into a real nightmare.  To cut a very long story short.  The truck was dropped in the docks when getting it out of the container, the right front fender, cab and front suspension were all damaged doing thousands of dollars of damage.  Then to add insult to injury the truck was left in the docks by the shippers for about a month in the salt air.  Then the docks told me that I owed them thousands more dollars because the truck had been left in the docks when it shouldn't have been by the shipping company.  After many phone calls, emails and discussions with Lawyers I finally got some recompense from the shipping company for all of the damage and the additional fees because of their incompetence.  But I was still well out of pocket by a considerable amount at the end of it all.  I am not going to make a point of naming and shaming the shipping company I used, but they are supposed to be one of the top Vehicle shippers.  Needless to say I will certainly never use them again and if anyone asks me I will certainly advise them not to use them. 

We bought the house back in December and over the following months I worked on getting a workshop built at the side of the house to be able to work on the truck.  Finally this weekend the truck was pushed into the workshop by Marie and I.  So now, hopefully I will get some time to be able to start work on the truck again.  I will add some pictures of the workshop and the truck in its current state to the build section.  New Workshop section added.
14/12/10 So there has been a significant delay in any progress on the truck while it was being shipped over to the US.  We then had to find a house to live in and then get the truck delivered to the new house.  It turned out to be a bit of a nightmare, with the company I used to ship the vehicles not being very professional and basically changing the amount I was to be charged on at least 3 separate occasions and then at the last minute telling me that I had to pay more as the vehicles had been kept in the docks for an extended period of time at a charge of over $200 per day and were now being held by the dock owners until paid for. All of this took over 3 months but the day finally came that the truck and my Land Rover were due to be delivered.  It was a a typical Seattle day and raining heavily.  I got a call to say that the vehicles were on their way and should be with me by about 10 am. 
23/08/10 Today is the big day that the Truck and my Land Rover get loaded onto a Low Loader/transporter and trailer to then get placed in a 40' Container to make the journey over to Seattle.  The Truck turned up at the house first and unhooked the trailer to load the Lightweight onto the truck bed and then hooked up the trailer again to head over to the workshop to get the F100.  The F100 went onto the trailer with no problems at all.  I was worried that without any steering it would be a difficult job but it was very easy just pulling the wheels into place while it was winched.  I put a cover over the F100 as it was raining and there are no windows in it yet.  Then tied and cable tied the cover down to stop it from flailing about in the wind. 
21/08/10 My mate Steve came over the workshop today to give me a hand to bolt the front end up.  There was no one over the workshop as Wayne was off on holiday and the rest of the chaps all headed home early.  So it was impossible for me to hold the front wings in place and bolt them up.  I spend an hour or so struggling with it before calling Steve to come and give me a hand.  It literally took 5 minutes with his help.
07/08/10 It was off to Metal supermarket today to get some steel tube to make the shock absorber replacements.  I put tubes in the rear end replacing two of the shockwaves at the top of the travel and made a couple of shock replacements for the front that mounted using the original bushes to provide a little bit of give.  One other thing I did was to cut the oil filter in half and then seal it up with tape and plastic to be able to seal up the side of the block and help prevent any oil leaking.
25/07/10 I fitted the Cab and bed today and started to fit the front clip too.  It is finally starting to look like a truck again.  As I have a number of parts that are not yet fitted and that I cant fit I intend to put as much together as I can and then put the remaining parts in the rear bed.
24/07/10 I picked up all the remaining body parts from Fintan today, it took two trips up with Rogers Flat bed transit.  My Mate Guy gave me a hand to get them, we got the cab and front end on the first trip then went back and got the rear bed and remaining parts.  It took us about 4 hours in all to make the 4 trips, there and back twice.  Now I just need to refit them all to the chassis to make it look like a truck again.
10/07/10 Today's job was hooking up the air suspension to raise the truck up off the floor.  With it on its wheels and off of the axle stands (That it has been sitting on for years now) it gets very low.  In fact too low to load onto the container.  So I connected the compressor up to a battery and pumped up the air tank, then activated each set of valves manually using some wire and a battery.  The truck raised quite a way and gave a good idea of travel and the length of shock replacement I needed to make.  To transport the truck I will be removing the shocks from the front and two of the 4 shockwaves from the rear and replacing them with solid tubes to hold the truck up high enough.  If I didn't the air would eventually leak while it was being transported and then make it pretty difficult if not impossible to move as it would be bottomed out on the floor.
03/07/10 Today I popped down a local tyre shop to get some old worn tyres put on the alloy rims I already have to be able to make the chassis into a roller. It turned out that I actually had a relative working there and never realised it, Jamie - Marie's cousin's husband.  For just some beer money, they put the tyres and new valves on for me and I went back and put them on the chassis.
26/06/10 I put the engine and gearbox back in the chassis today and bolted it all down properly.  The gearbox came out pretty well with the clear coat.  Even though it wont really be seen, it means that it wont now oxidize and should clean off very easily with just a quick rinse off.  I also spent some time clearing up the workshop a bit more this week and took a fair few of my tools back over to the house.  My welder is going to be going with me as it will work on 50/or 60 Hz so if I can get a 230V supply it will be perfect.  It was a bit of a struggle getting it off the back of the truck over at the house on my own but just about managed it without putting my back out.
12/06/10 I finished cleaning off the gearbox today and then put a couple of coats of clear over the aluminium to stop it from oxidising again.  I bought some special clear coat that is specifically designed to go straight over bare aluminium, even highly polished.  It is a 2 part Por 15 product called Glisten PC It is a super clear extra hard finish.  It went on well and looks pretty good, I just hope that it lives up to the claims.  I just have to put the engine and gearbox in the chassis now ready to transport.
05/06/10 Haven't done much on the truck lately, as I have had a lot of other things to sort around the upcoming move.  I did however manage to borrow Rogers flatbed transit and got the bed and front clip up to Fintan so that he could do some more of the metalwork for me.
05/05/10 No real update on the truck, but there is a big change coming regarding my job.  I have been offered and accepted a new role at our head office.  Only thing is that is based in the Greater Seattle Area of Washington State USA, so we are planning on a relocation.  It seems a little ironic, that I have spent the last few years importing everything from the US over to the UK, now I will be sending it all back over to the US again.
24/04/10 I rebuilt the front end today, putting all of the front suspension and steering back together. Once that was done I moved over to the gearbox.  I am cleaning all of the outside off back to clean aluminium.  I have tried a variety of different cleaners but the best one so far seems to be an acid based cleaner de-oxidiser.  I am not really sure how to protect/finish the exterior of the gearbox casting, but I am considering either painting or maybe just a clear coat.  I want to protect it with something though, simply to stop it all turning white with oxidisation again.
17/04/10 The front cross member and engine mounts are all painted again, I asked Wayne to do it during the week to save some time.  So I could get on with cleaning all of the front suspension components and then reassemble them.  Before I did that though I took over my engine stand and assembled it to put the 2 valve engine on it.  This makes life a lot easier at the workshop as I can now move both engines around and also makes things a lot tidier.  I had to modify the engine stand slightly by adding a slot so that the arms would reach the bolt holes, but once this was done it went on fine.  I will be looking to sell the 2V engine soon.
10/04/10 This week I received the new flywheel and clutch I had ordered.  As noted previously, I only found after stripping the old one down that the Ford Modular engines come with one of two possible configurations on the crankshaft to flywheel bolts.  One uses 6 bolts and the other 8, as I found after stripping everything down I had 8 bolts on the new engine, but 6 on the old flywheel. So I had to get a new flywheel.  So while I was at it, I also got the clutch.  The kit came with a lighter, stronger chromoly flywheel, and a stage 2 clutch rated to 500BHP.  It all fitted fine and then I bolted the gearbox and engine back together.
27/03/10 Just some finishing work on the engine mounts today.  I cleaned up the edges and filled the corners with Plastic Padding then sanded it all down flush and smooth ready to be Primed and then painted with base coat and the clear to match in with the rest of the chassis.
13/03/10 I delivered the cab and doors to Fintan at F H Ellis today.  I borrowed Rogers flatbed transit tipper.  Three of us manually lifted the cab onto the truck and the doors went in a large cardboard box that one of the front fenders came in.  I tied down the cab and tied the box to the cab.  F H Ellis is about 45 minutes drive away from me, I took it nice and easy and didn't go over 60 up the M3.  I got there in good time, but Fintan explained that there were a few people coming in at the same time and if I was not in a rush would I mind hanging around for a while.  I had a look around at some of the projects that the guys were doing while Fintan sorted out someone else before we took the cab off the back and stood it on a pallet.  I realised half way up the M3 that I had forgotten to take the trolley that I had made (Pallet with some wheels) so that it could be used to move the cab around easily.  It was not a big deal though as Marie and I would be passing again tomorrow on my way to see my mum so would drop it off on the way.
11/03/10 As I had now moved the engine location up but left the gearbox mounts where they were the engine now sat at a slight angle from where it was.  As this meant that the rear of the engine was now closer to the cab by means of the arc through which it had moved, I decided that it would be a good idea to refit the cab just to make sure that all was ok.  As I was scheduled to take the Cab and doors up to F H Ellis on 13th and if there was any modification needed it would need to be sorted before I dropped it off.  It was a good job that I did check, as it was clear that the engine was now a bit too close to the bulkhead and I would have to remove a section on the left hand side.  I marked the area then removed the cab from the chassis again.
9-10/03/10 I had a few days off work to finish the cross member and the engine mounts.  I called down the local metal supermarket early and picked up the steel that I needed to box in the cross member and extend the engine mounts.  Then spent the next couple of days with the angle grinder and welder fabricating the required parts.  I used 6mm plate to box in the cross member, though the actual box section is made out of  considerably thicker material.  It is more like 10mm thick, but that is pretty heavyweight and I would be struggling with my welder at that thickness.  I extended the engine mounts by cutting the bottom edge straight and welding a strip right round the bottom edge just as I had done previously.  After finishing the mounts I bolted them to the engine and dropped it back in place to get the positioning correct before tacking the mounts in place.  Once I had measured again and checked all positioning and clearances I welded the mounts into place proper.
06/03/10 Having the centre of the cross member removed, I lowered the engine into place until it hit the cross member and then measured the distance to the engine mounts.  I would have to raise the engine at least 50mm.  Another thing that came to light when positioning the engine was that the oil filter was also going to cause issues.  The oil filter mounting on the Cobra engine has a built in oil cooler, this means that the filter is much further out from the side of the block.  What this means is that the oil filter is much too close to the chassis rail.  In fact its only about 10 mm away and would mean that to change the filter the engine would have to be raised to do so.  Luckily there is a simple solution, an oil filter adaptor that turns the filter round by 90 degrees.  I then set about the arduous task of cutting away the engine mounts trying to keep them in as good condition as possible to be able to extend an re-use them.  It was a long had job, but I eventually managed it by using a combination of cut off wheels and reciprocating air saw.   One thing that came to light while I was laying under the engine measuring clearances was that I managed to find the MG engine number.  It was not where I was expecting, it is on the underside of the engine where the sump bolts up, on one of the ribs.  The engine is number 46 of the number built.
13/02/10 I continued to strip down the parts off of the old engine today moving on to the gearbox and then removed the clutch and flywheel.  Next major problem.  The flywheel is 8 bolt on the new 4V engine but the original 2V only had 6 bolt mounting.  After reading up a little online, it looks like all 4V engines are 8 bolt but the 2V could be either 6 or 8.  Just my luck with a 50:50 chance it turns out to be the wrong one.  So I bolted the flywheel and clutch back up to the 2V engine.  I did however bolt the gearbox up to the new engine, so that I could try the whole engine and gearbox assembly in place in the chassis to check on clearances etc.  Before I even got the engine near to the chassis it was clear to me that the engine sump was going to cause some serious issues as it is considerably larger that the sump on the old 2V.  My concerns were confirmed as soon as I got the engine in place on the crane.  I couldn't get it anywhere near the engine mounts before the sump bottomed out on the front cross member.  After a lot of head scratching and pondering, I decided that the way forward was to cut the front cross member to provide additional clearance and also raise the engine mounts a bit. My intension, to leave a good part of the cross member still in place for strength and then to improve rigidity I would triangulate the front section.  I took the angle grinder to the front cross member and cut the centre section out on the top and rear edges.
12/02/10 I cleared up the workshop a bit to give me some space to work on the engine.  I dismantled the front clip and piled it all up in the rear bed.  I started to strip some of the ancillaries off of the 2V engine that would be moved to the new 4V.  This included the starter motor, power steering pump etc.  It wasn't long though before I found some issues.  Firstly the power steering reservoir and bracket is not interchangeable.  The bracket mounts off of the front face of the left hand head.  As the head is considerably different, none of the mountings line up.  So it looks like I will have to make something up or try and find a proper 4V bracket.  Next problem, the water pump is a different length so the pulley wheel is a different shape. 
30/01/10 I spent some more time looking over the new engine to try and see if I could find any more identification marks but couldn't see anything other than the casting numbers.  I need to do a little more research and contact Sean Hyland (The engine builder) to see if I can get any more details.  In the meantime, I decided to repair the door latch mechanisms.  The shaft on one side is badly chewed up and needs to be replaced.  As I am using covered door cards in the inside of the doors the shafts actually need to be slightly longer to enable the levers to still fit on the shafts so I replaced both of them with 1/4" longer shafts I bought some months back.  It is a fairly straightforward thing to do.  You just need to open up the mechanism and replace the shaft.  Only issue I had was one of them had previously been repaired and had been brazed back together.  So I had to clean all of the braze off well with the Dremel to get it apart and then I welded them back together.  I came to the decision a while ago that I was fighting a losing battle trying to do the necessary bodywork in my workshop.  What with the damp, cold and leaking roof, it just isn't suitable to paint and prep.  With this in mind I have been considering getting someone else to do some of the bodywork for me.  I have been chatting to F H Ellis and today Fintan came down to look at the truck and let me know what he thought.  We decided to get back in contact in Feb and see how things were at his place as he was pretty busy.
09/01/10 I haven't done anything on the truck lately, its just been too damn cold.  We had quite a few inches of snow recently and with freezing temperatures the roads around my way have been pretty treacherous but I did manage to get over to the workshop today, to tidy up a bit and also try and get some more details on the new engine.  I emailed Sean Hyland who gave me some additional info on the original build specs and I also found a Forum for MG SV owners.  I did post a few times on there to see if any of the owners could provide some additional info, but didn't get much from them.  I am a member of a fair few forums on lots of different topics (Not just automotive) and on the whole most are great with very helpful and polite people, but it never ceases to amaze me at how certain people seem to take offense at the slightest thing.  While researching exhaust manifold possibilities for the engine, I posted what I had found and suggested that it might be something that others may find useful.  Only to get a response from another member effectively telling me I should know what I am talking about before offering advice to others as the manifolds would clearly not be of any use.  There is a big difference telling people what to do, and offering something up as a possibility.  Needless to say I wont be wasting my time posting there again.
30/12/09 I took a drive up to Worcestershire to pick up a new engine for the truck today.  I have been keeping an eye out on the usual auction sites ever since I started the truck for the particular engine that I was originally after for the truck.  I was originally looking for a Modular 4 valve unit, but never saw any around at the time so when I saw a deal on a 2 Valve complete with gearbox I decided it was to good to pass on.  However a week ago I happened to see an add for a 4 Valve engine that someone was selling.  After calling and discussing what they had it turned out that it was actually a new tuned Sean Hyland 5.0 Litre modular.  This is an Aluminium block engine that has larger bore liners to give the extra capacity.  There are also a number of additional modifications on the engine which all equate to approx 385 BHP in the original application
(MG SV-R) and that was with pretty restrictive exhaust.  With a decent free flowing exhaust I have been reliably informed that it should generate approx 410 BHP.  The good thing is that the engine mounts and my original gearbox will all fit with no modifications required.
28/11/09 I popped up the workshop just to check out the state of the truck after some heavy rain that we had had recently.  It was all ok, although the roof is leaking again this year.  It was supposed to have been fixed during the summer.  I had a chat with Wayne who said that he would check with the Paint rep with why the Koba had not taken correctly.  He said that he had had a chat with him and he reckoned that I had put too much hardener in as it was supposed to be mixed 5:1 and not 4:1.  Thing is I know it is 5:1 and that is exactly how I mixed it.  So anyway I won't be using any Koba again and now I have to strip the entire firewall down again and start over. I wont be getting much done now though before Christmas, as I am busy pretty much every weekend now until Boxing Day.  I have a trip to the US then Christmas Parties and a weekend in London so looks like the next update will not be until the New year. 
14/11/09 Didn't get anything done on the truck during October as Marie and I went on Holiday for most of it.  We went to Phuket in Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  It was  great Holiday and it was a real pain having to come back to the Dreary UK winter Climate.  Even worse was coming back to find out that the entire Firewall was a mess, due to the last lot of primer peeling off in every corner.  I was pretty Pi$$ed off when I saw it and really had to control myself to prevent me chucking something very heavy at it.  I just walked away from it.
03/10/09 Another whole day rubbing down the firewall and then giving it another couple of coats of hi build.  I found that there was a bad area in a corner of one of the ribs that had either been contaminated or had not been degreased/cleaned properly as the primer had not keyed to the surface.  So the only thing I could do was to take it all off in the local area and feather the edges before re coating it.
26/09/09 I spent the day today rubbing the firewall down again before giving it another 3 coats of Koba.  It is looking much better now.  There are still a few little imperfections but I will probably leave it for now until the final paint.  There are now no seams visible and all of the old spot welds are now no longer visible across the front lip or down the sides.  I have added some pictures under the build section to show the progress.
19/09/09 I managed to get the firewall painted in Koba primer today.  It is still not perfect, but with a good 3 coats of Koba I should be able to flat out many of the minor imperfections.  I didn't do anything on the truck last week as Marie and I went over to Monza to watch the Italian Grand Prix.  It was a great weekend although Milan is very expensive.  Shame that Lewis Hamilton lost it on the last lap.  But then again he is a racer and was pushing right to the end.
05/09/09 I am getting close to completing the front of the cab now.  I have completed most of the filler work on the bulkhead and I will be in a position to high build prime the front end the next time I am over the workshop.
31/08/09 It was Bank holiday here in the UK today and Marie was off out with her sister and mum on a trip to London for the day, so I made the most of the day by spending it over the workshop ploughing through more filler work.  I did take a slight break from it though to cut the holes out of the dash to mount the Push start button I have and mark the centres for the Light and wiper switches.
29/08/09 More filler work on the bulkhead today, I do hate filler work.  It seems like a never ending story to me.  For some reason I seem to have to do everything 4 or 5 times rather than the usual 2.  I picked a few little bits up for the truck last week when I was out in the US and sent back some of the brackets etc that Midfifty sent to me in error.  They were supposed to send the correct ones out to me to replace them but got it wrong.  I actually received a set of completely different brackets that I already have.  So I packed it all up again and sent them back while I was in Seattle.  Hopefully I will get the correct ones soon.
15/08/09 More work on the bulkhead today, I am trying to get as much done on it as possible as I will be out in the US all next week so will not get a chance to get over to the workshop next week, as I will only be landing back in the UK on Saturday afternoon.
08/08/09 I worked on the bulkhead today, most of the work done was trying to straighten out all of the badly dented and distorted flat sections.  Its a slow job that included heat shrinking some of the areas to stiffen them up and take out some oil canning. 
01/08/09 No Work on the truck this weekend, instead I went to an all day workshop up at F.H.Ellis Coachworks in Odiham.  The workshop was run by Ron Covell who was over from the US.  He spent the day making a rear fender for a 34 ford from scratch using 19 SWG steel sheet.  This included working with various tools including swaging/bead roller type tools, English wheel, Tig welding and various hand tools.  He covered a number of stretching and shrinking techniques using all manner of tools from simple hand tools (Hammer and dolly) up to pullmax and wheeling machines. 
25/07/09 Today's job was to remove the standard firewall wiring loom grommet mounting hole and making it flush.  I intend to relocate the loom exit point to somewhere underneath the cab to neaten things up.  I cut the entire area out of the firewall so that I will be able to weld it back in elsewhere and still use the standard grommet mounting.  I made a matching flat blank to weld in in place of the old section now cut out, then welded it in place by repeated small tack welds to minimalise any distortion.  As it happened the rest of the firewall (that had already been repaired previously by someone else had been done very poorly and I needed to do a lot of shrinking to get it anywhere near flat.  I had a good look at the rest of the firewall repairs that had previously been done, with the paint all stripped off it was obvious that many of the repairs were a bit of a bodge.  In fact with a lead lamp inside the cab I could even see light through from the outside at many of the previous repairs.  I decided that the only thing to do was to strip all of the paint off and go over everything again to make sure that it was done right. 
20/07/09 Another late night after work.  I worked until about 10PM again to get the holes on the other side of the Firewall all welded and ground flush.  Both sides are now complete, I also welded along the front edge of the two pieces of sheet metal that meet as raw edges to give a neater look.  It meant me welding along the edge then grinding back to a neat straight edge.  I covered the areas with a light dust coat of rattle can primer just to stop any rust.
18/07/09 I spent the day (well most of it) working on filling the holes in the corners of of the cab where the Hood hinges mounted.  As I will be using a forward tilt hood hinge I wanted to fill and smooth off the firewall area where the old hinges mounted rather than use the supplied cover plates that came with the hood tilt kit.  It is a slow painstaking job, having to weld carefully by taking then tacking again and again until all the outside edges are welded, then grind everything down flush.  I managed to get one side done before it was time to go.  I had to head off early as Marie and I were off to see Madness playing at Broadlands in Romsey.  It was a great gig by the way.  The rain held off and the sun even came out a few times.  The support bands - The Dualers and Aswad were excellent too.
17/07/09 I finished work early today so decided to head over to the workshop to do some work on the truck.  Friday evening/night is quite a good time to work on it as it tends to be pretty quiet as everyone tends to go home early.  I managed to get a good bit done.  I spent a large part of the time there cutting discs of sheet metal to use to fill the holes from the old hood hinge mountings.  Without having a decent press/punch its a slow manual job.  I used tin snips to rough cut the discs out and then a grinder/files to get them to the final shape/size required.  The holes on the passenger side were almost half as big again as those on the drivers side.  With all the discs cut and marked up to match the relevant holes I packed up and went home (About 10PM).
11/07/09 Today I finished repairing the bulkhead after removing the fender alignment brackets.  There were some holes left from having to drill out the spot welds on the underside of the front lip where the cowl lacing usually goes.  It wont actually be seen once the replacement brackets are in place, but I want to get all the metal back to the original state to neaten everything up and ensure that there is no chance for water to get in.
04/07/09 I plan on replacing the original fender alignment firewall brackets that are mounted to the front edge of the firewall.  They are spot  welded to the firewall and usually painted the same colour as the rest of the body.  I am removing them to replace them with bolt on polished stainless versions.  I drilled out the spot welds but a couple were a little awkward and I ended up having to cut a section of the firewall away where they had been. 
27/06/09 I stripped down the front end again today to try and make it all fit better.  But it looks like I still have a lot of work to do, the front fenders fit to the gravel pan is terrible and the radiator valance still seems to not want to fit without being under serious tension.  So much that I think it would possibly suffer from paint cracking.  Looks like I will have to pull the bottom apart again and get the oxy acetylene torch on the front bottom corners of the fenders to pull them to the correct shape.  I had a look at the new radiator that is supposed to be a direct fit to the original mount.  Funnily enough the Radiator top valance I got was sold as "Works really well with Cross flow radiator"  Huh, if you don't mind not being able to get a radiator cap on or off that is.  The way it has been made means that the top of the Radiator sits directly underneath the Radiator valance.  Another complete waste of time and money, I would have been better just picking any old cross flow radiator and making it fit.  Now I have a custom made radiator that I now need to make special brackets up to fit it.  Oh well, I am beginning to realise that a lot of things sold as "specifically designed or made for..." usually have never even been tried.  If they were they would know that there was no way they would ever fit.
20/06/09 I started to assemble the front end today, it was the first time that I had managed to get the two front fenders out together so that I could see how they compared.  I got the right front fender in the UK from a company that had ordered the wrong side.  They told me that it came from LMC and I have to say that I was very impressed with the quality of it as a repro.  The drivers side I ordered from Mid Fifty with a bunch of other parts.  When I looked at the Left fender in detail it was very clear that it was not the same quality as the one from LMC (I thought that they were all made in the same factory, but obviously not).  The one from Mid fifty is very poor quality, all of the edges are very sharp, mal formed and the general construction method seems to be completely different and very poor.  In one area on the top edge there is actually a raw edge with a hole that looks like a sharp angle where it should be a smooth radius.  It looks like the inner edge that runs along the underside of the bonnet (Hood) is impersonating a mountain range it is so lumpy and the return edge, that on the Right fender is a very neat 1/8th inch is varying anywhere from 1/4" to 3/8" in a wavy manner.  Lots more work required to get it in a usable state, or I might even not bother with it and use the old fender I already have.  It may be less work to get the old one sorted.  Another waste of time and money getting new components to supposedly save time. :(  Am off to the Southern Internationals show tomorrow to hopefully see a lot of nice cars and trucks to get some inspiration.
13/06/09 Lots more sanding down and then more coats of high build primer on the Radiator valance today, it is getting close, but still needs a bit more work.  One thing that I did was add the couple of extra holes required to mount the hood tilt kit.  It looks like I will need to make up a couple of spacers to fit between the brackets and the valance as they are completely different angles and will not sit flush.  I managed to get the front wings (Fenders) and running boards over to the workshop.  Space is now a bit restricted, so I will probably have to have a bit of a clear up and re-organise things to make sure that I have space to work.  I flatted down one of the front wings and gave it a couple of coats of high build primer at the same time as painting the Radiator valance.  Hopefully I will be getting round to assembling the front clip this week to make sure that all the individual bits fit together.  I am still undecided about how to repair the doors, the first tests I did with the bonding adhesive were terrible.  The joints literally fell apart when I pulled at them.  It looked like the adhesive had not cured properly, so I decided to try again making sure that the adhesive was well mixed (2 pack) and well covered for the single part.  I left the test pieces for a few days and then tried pulling them apart.  The two part adhesive had definitely cured this time and was very hard, but when I pulled on it it came apart.  It did take a reasonable amount of force but it still split, which does not make me confident about using it.  The single part seemed much stronger and did not come apart but after some effort it started to move at the edges so I stopped, as it looked like it was still not cured.  The single part seems more of a flexible joint with the bonding remaining flexible.  This seems to bond well, but I am not sure about how well this would work for the filler over the joint if it moves.  I will do a little more investigation and make my mind up based on what I find.
06/06/09 Today I took a few of the parts over the workshop with me that had turned up during the week.  I couldn't fit both the front wings in the back of my pickup so will borrow a van and take them and the running boards all over together next week.  I fitted the drop down battery box and had a look at the fit of the lower door repair panels.  I am still thinking about whether to bond the outer skins in place or weld.  I bought a couple of different panel adhesives, one a two part and one a single part adhesive and cut a couple of test pieces of steel to bond to a sheet to see how well they work.  I will leave them to cure a day or two then try to pull them apart and if I am happy with the bond, use whichever is the best.  If  I am not happy with the adhesives I will weld the panels on.  I got back to work on the Slam panel (Radiator Valance) I decided to braze the ends where there were deep grooves around the mounting holes and then started the filler work.
30/05/09 I recently ordered a number of parts I need for the truck from the US, they all turned up during the week in a very big box.  There were a number of bits including some of the repair panels I need for the doors.  I also got the hood forward tilt kit and a new drivers side front wing (fender).  It all seemed to get here ok, with a few minor issues (couple of dings in the fender) but nothing I wont be able to sort.  Well that's what I thought anyway...it was when I came to assemble the slam panel (Often referred to as the radiator valance or upper valance) that I found I had a problem.  I ordered a modified version, thinking that it would save me time, as I want to flatten the top section to make it neater.  I will be using a short cross flow radiator so would have a large gap up above it otherwise.  Anyway, I came to fit it up only to find that the panel was either in an accident in the past or more probably been welded up after modification in the incorrect place making it unusable.  The drivers side seemed to be severely stretched forwards.  so much in fact that the holes to bolt up to the air deflector were about an inch out, too far forward.  Putting a straight edge along the panel revealed that the entire end including the rear flange was badly out of shape.  So bad in fact that after about 3 hours of hammer and dolly work and oxy gas heating and shrinking I still only managed to get the holes within about 3/4" of the correct position.  So I decided that I had to take some drastic action.  I sliced right through the panel with a small pie cut and then re-welded it back together to get it back into shape.  The long and short of it all, I spent over the odds for a modified panel hoping it would save me some time.  When in fact all I got was a damaged modified panel that I had to spend about 5 hours on to get it anywhere near usable.  I am still not happy with it and it will take a lot of prep work to get it good enough for paint.  In fact the holes at the ends that will be in full view are so worn and out of shape and the washers have worn big grooves all around them too.  I am still not really sure what to do to sort that out. 
23/05/09 I re-assembled the door handles and trial fitted them with the bear claw latches to check on the operation.  They seem to work well, but I still need to put some form of adjustment in them or work out a way of putting in a return spring to make sure the handles stay flush when not in use.  I trial fitted the gravel pan and air deflectors, they look very different now all in white.  One thing I have been thinking about for a while now is what to do to the firewall to tidy it up.  It has suffered from all of the years with multiple holes having to be filled etc.  I cut the alignment rod brackets off as I will be replacing them with some bolt on stainless ones.  They were a pain to get off as they are spot welded on and the brackets are 10 or 12 SWG where the cab itself is only 16 or 18 SWG.  Some of the spot welds where very hard to see and get to as they were hidden under sealer on the inside or the brackets themselves from the outside. In the end I had to drill right through the brackets and firewall and then use a thin chisel to cut through the remaining joints that I couldn't get to with the drill.
16/05/09 Today I polished up the face of the new Air Ride control panel and the modified door handle leavers ready to re-assemble them. I also did some more work on the gravel pan and then gave it and the air deflectors a few coats of Primer.  I used the new Koba high build primer, one thing that I noticed straight away is that it is very thick, I sprayed it with my standard primer gun with 1.7 tip and it seemed to go on pretty well.  One slight issue I found with it though is that it is white rather than grey.  This means that it is very hard to see where you have painted, I was told after using it that a good tip is to add a little black base at mixing so that you can see it easier, so I will probably do that next time.  It smells completely different to the other 2K paints I have used so far, it seems to have an almost fruity smell to it.  Anyway I will see how it sands down next time I am at the workshop.
14/05/09 I picked up the doors from the shot blasters yesterday and the door handle levers and air con control unit from the machine shop today.  The doors were worse than I had originally thought, the blasting exposed a lot of holes and dents that had been covered by filler.  I will be repairing all of the holes etc. and then when the repair panels arrive replacing the bottoms of the doors.  The door handle levers have been modified to have a 10mm square aluminium bar welded to the rear of them to use as a lever on the lock mechanism.  I may have to drill and tap the end to provide adjustment but will check that out when I come to assembling the doors.  The Air Ride control unit is coming along nicely, the front Aluminium Oval plate came out reasonably well so I had the face milled off the original box.  I just need to do a little manual fettling to get the edges nice and then polish the face to match the Heater/Aircon controls. 
11/05/09 I headed over to the workshop after work today to do a bit more work on the Gravel pan, I ended up having to cut the top corner sections out and re-weld in some new stiffening plates where it had split before re filling and then sanding down again.  It is just about ready for a few coats of high build primer.  I was recommended some different primer to use (Koba from PPG) so I have got a tin and will try it out on the gravel pan and the front air deflectors at the weekend.
09/05/09 I continued the work on the gravel pan today.  Lots more tin bashing and re-welding the cracked sections.  I started to fill and sand but realised at a late stage that one side was a completely different profile to the other, so I decided to do some more hammer and dolly work to level out the side that was high.  This meant that i had to hit it pretty hard and the inevitable happened, it split on one of the sharp corners.
02/05/09 Started work on the Front valance (Gravel Pan) today.  After stripping it all down it was clear that it has been in the wars in the past.  There is a lot of lead over the panel where it has been repaired in the past.  One end was quite deformed and had received a rather botched repair in the past which meant that the curve where it should meet up with the wing was way off.  I needed to cut the end out and re-weld a new end section to the correct profile.
01/05/09 I dropped the doors off down the Shot blasters today to get them blasted and primed ready for when I get the repair patches.  I decided to get them primed just to stop them from rusting again.  I also dropped the door handle levers off to be modified, I am getting the levers reshaped to provide the correct motion to push the door lock mechanisms, rather than pull as they are designed.  While at the machine shop I spoke to Ted about getting a new face plate machined up for my air suspension control head unit, but he does not have any CNC equipment so couldn't do it, but he did suggest a small local company that engraved signs.  I popped round there with a drawing and they said that the could do what I needed.  So I am getting a 3mm thick piece of aluminium machined to an oval similar to the Heater/Aircon controls but slightly smaller.  If it turns out well I will then machine the face off of the original control head unit and bond the new oval on in its place.  This will give a much nicer look to the dash and means I will not have to hide the air suspension controls away out of sight.
25/04/09 I finished the passenger door repair that I was working on last week by finishing some welding and grinding.  The repair came out pretty good, just a wipe of body filler required before paint.  I wont be painting the doors yet though, I am going to get them shot blasted before I do the major repairs to the bottom halves.  I stripped the vent window frames down today and have all the pieces cleaned.  I am not sure yet what finish they will be, I am toying with the idea of having them either black or anthracite rather than chrome but will have a think on it for a while.  I have added some more pick to the build door section showing the repair work.
18/04/09 I tackled one of the problem areas on the passenger door today.  The top section of the door just at the point were it curves over to meet the bottom of the vent window was in poor shape, there were  a number of holes through the inner skin, so I had to cut the section out to replace it with good metal.  It was very awkward due to there not being much room to get any cutting disc in where needed.  In the end I made the cuts using a variety of tools, including the dremel tool.  Once I had cut the section out, I made a replacement by welding 3 separate sections of steel together to make the correct shape then ground the weld down flush.  I then fitted the replacement piece with a few tacks before final welding and folding the outer door skin back down over it.  I have ground the majority of the weld back down to leave it neat and tidy, but I still have a little bit more work to do on it to finish it off.
11/04/09 I moved on to the drivers door today and completed the bear claw install, patched the old door handle holes and cut the new opening for the new handle.  I cant really do the remainder of the work required until I get some repair panels for the bottom of the doors.  The Drivers door is very rotten and the passenger door is bad in a couple of places that I could probably repair without panels but I think if I have to get the panels for one door I may as well get them for both.  After looking back at the passenger door I noticed that the wing mirror had obviously been hit hard at some time in the past and had bent the door skin down to such an extent that it had also split it top and bottom of the cut-out. I had to make a small tool to hook under the skin to bend it back up then welded up the ends again.  After grinding the weld down again and squaring the hole off again, it was done.
10/04/09 I made patch panels to blank off the original door handle mountings and welded them in before then cutting out the new oval hole required for the new modern flush handles I am using.  There were a few bits of the door that after closer inspection needed a bit more attention.  The gap between the inner and outer skin where the window comes through was very bowed.  it looked like someone had had something in between them and levered the two apart.  The gap was about 7/8" in the centre and about 5/8" at the corners.  I had to get a large wooden block and give it a good few hard smacks to get it to move back in.  In doing so, the top edge of the door split. So I had to weld the split area and grind it back down flush again into the window channel to ensure that the runners would fit correctly.
04/04/09 I did some work on the passenger door today, stripping it right down.  I removed all of the hardware and glass then started to clean off the old door seals that have taken on a new consistency somewhat reminiscent of road mending tar.  The only way I have found of getting it off is by scraping the majority off with an old screwdriver or whatever I had to hand and then getting a wire wheel on the end of my drill to get the last stubborn bits.  I initially thought that the passenger door was in pretty good shape, but after having a much closer look I found a number of areas of rust.  Why is it that the Rust is always in the most awkward places to get to and repair...  I started to unpeel the door skin in the areas around the rusted sections to be able to cut out the rust and replace with new metal.  Its going to be a very fiddly and time consuming job.  I cut out the section of the door where the locking mechanism is and trial fitted the Bear claw.  I have had them for a year or so stuck in my room full of truck bits, they are Altmans Easy Latches that I bought from Mid fifty.  They come with a cut out template that uses one of the original mounting holes as a datum.  So I was able to make the necessary cut-out before fitting the door.  I just hope that the old doors were made to a reasonable tolerance and that the locks will line up with the strikers when I hang the doors. 
28/03/09 After finishing the front bulkhead modifications ready to mount the A/C Heater unit I had a bit of a nasty surprise when I came to offer it up to the mounting holes to test fit it.  Not really sure how I managed it, but I failed to take into account that the unit has a deeper section that protrudes in from the outside edges.  So when I pushed it up to the mountings it went up to the point where it fouled on the middle section before the mounting holes lined up.  AARRGGHH, I was ready to throw something, but just picked up the angle grinder with a slicing disc on it and made a cut through the bulkhead about an inch below where it actually needed to be cut.  I decided that I would rather cut out too much than mess about any more.  I then fabricated a small triangular section to fit in below the the original cut-out. Once it was fully welded in place I offered up the A/C Unit and bolted it in place.  Due to the location of the A/C Unit, there will not be much room for the glove box or the wiper mechanism under the dash.  I had to cut and modify the passenger side wiper arm to put a slight kink in it to clear the A/C unit.  It was a simple mod that only took a few minutes though. I cut the original arm and added a small piece of steel cut from some box section and bent it slightly to replicate the shape of the original arm.
21/03/09 Today was the the day that I would be attacking the A/C Heater unit mounting.  I am mounting it on the passenger side of the firewall behind the glove box.  Only problem is that the firewall is not flat where it would need to mount.  So I decided I would have to cut a section of the transmission tunnel hump and flatten it out.  I made 3 vertical cuts in the hump with a cut along the bottom, then did a bit of hammer and dolly work to straighten it out.  I then welded some new metal in along the end and the bottom to complete the mod.
20/03/09 I headed over the workshop after work today to see if the vents will still fit.  Luckily they do fit so I started cutting the holes out.  I am going with the 3 vents as I previously laid out with my templates.  I cut the holes out with a mixture of drilling, jig sawing, Dremel tool grinding and simple filing.  I did all three in the evening and was done by approx 9pm.
10/03/09 I got hold of the heater vents and had a bit of a shock when I opened them.  They are bigger than I was told over the phone, so all of my mocking up to see how it would look was a waste of time.  I was told that they were 3 3/16" long by 1 3/8" high, however they are actually 3 13/16" by 1 13/16".  It looks like the chap gave me the actual cut-out size required, rather than the size of the vent itself.  I am also not very impressed with the finish of them, they are supposed to be billet Aluminium.  However it is very clear that they are cast.  My understanding of billet has always been that the part is machined out of a solid piece.  What makes things worse is I have now found a company that actually does make the vents out of Billet Ali (It looks like the cast items are a copy of the original machined Items).
07/03/09 Today I did a bit of painting, I had a few bits sitting around that needed priming and painting so did them all together.  I did the the headlight bowls, dash gauge surround, Cowl Vent and the Glove Box door in filler primer.  Once Primed I then painted the Headlight Bowls and Dash Gauge surround in satin black.  I also took the door hinges off the doors ready to get new pins in them.  They are as one would expect of 50 year old hinges, fairly loose with the drivers door being the worst. So I am reaming out the holes to make them round again, as they are pretty oval and then fitting new oversize pins to stiffen everything up like new again before fitting them back on the doors.
06/03/09 I am not sure if I actually have any regular visitors to my site, but if there are any of you out there you will have noticed that my site was down for the last week.  Unfortunately my original hosting server was decommissioned so I had to get the site migrated across to a new server.  Anyway I just found out today that it should now be available, so I am just about to try and upload the whole site again.  If you are reading this then it works!
04/03/09 I finished work at a reasonable time today so headed over the workshop to do a bit of work.  I stripped the dash gauges down ready to paint the surround before fitting the Dakota Digital unit in place.  I am still undecided as to whether to re-chrome the surround or just paint it Anthracite.  I will probably get the surround chromed anyway to see what it looks like then, if I don't like it I will simply paint over it.  I also stripped the glove box door back down and gave it a fresh coat of etch primer using a little touch up gun that I borrowed and it went on a treat this time.
28/02/09 I filled the now redundant hole in the dash today by welding in a new piece then skimming with filler and sanding flat again.  Then I cut out the hole now required for the Heater/AC controls.  Its quite a large square hole so drilled 4 smaller holes in the corners then used a thin cutting disk on my angle grinder to remove the centre.  I bought some etch primer to prime the parts that I am painting that were previously chromed.  It just gives a much better key to the surface than standard primer as it contains acid.  Unfortunately I did not have the spec sheet for the Etch primer and tried spraying it with my standard primer gun with a 1.8mm tip. It spattered it everywhere.  Later on I took a look online and found that it is supposed to be sprayed with a 1.2-1.4.  Oh well, looks like I will be stripping it back down again...
22/02/09 I started to lay out the dash components this weekend to see how I could get everything that I am using in the standard dash but still have it looking like it was supposed to be there.  When I originally repaired all of the old holes etc. I decided to leave one hole that looked like it would be ideal for a starter button (I originally wanted to use a push to start button, but may well revise this now) but when I started to lay out the AC/heat controls that I got last week it was clear that they were a lot larger than I had imagined.  The implications are that I am now thinking that I will need to fill the hole that I was going to use as it will just be too close to the AC control.  This is a real pain as I had pretty much finished the dash with the exception of cutting the holes out.  It means that I will need to rework the entire front to make sure it is all flat and level again after repairing the whole.  I rubbed down the cowl vent panel to see what it looked like under the paint.  It had a few dings in it and the bottom bar holding the mesh was a little bent/twisted, but a few minutes with the vice and a hammer and dolly and its nearly good as new.  I just need a small wipe of filler across the top back edge and then it should be good for paint.
14/02/09 So I didn't even get time to order the bits that I was after last week while I was out in the US.  I was working from about 7am to 7PM all the time I was there then heading out for dinner and just not able to sort out what I needed.  I did however bring a few small bits back with me as I had ordered them the week before setting off for Seattle.  I got all the small fiddly bits to pipe the brake system up.  I just haven't found anywhere in the UK that supplies the stainless AN fittings etc. other than resellers of Speedway motors bits (what I bought anyway, but direct).  I just didn't see the point of ordering these in the UK and paying twice as much for them if I was going to be in the US.  The Cowl vent that Chuck said he would send to me turned up just as promised and packed very well in bubble wrap and cardboard. It is in excellent condition and will paint up a treat. (Thanks Chuck!)
07/02/09 I went over the workshop today but didn't stay for long.  I wanted to have a look at the dash and seat belt mounts in the light of day and also take a close look at the condition of the doors.  I am heading off to the US tomorrow and will be trying to get a few bits while there.  I have also been talking with a chap on one of the UK forums about bringing some stuff back to the UK in a container that he is shipping.  I will see when I am out there next week what sort of a deal can be done on the parts and make my mind up then.  It's just not a great time to be buying stuff from the US at the moment as the pound has dropped like a stone.  When I was buying stuff back in September it was just about 2 dollars to the pound, now its as bad as 1.3.  I had a real result during the week, I was looking for some advice from some of the good guys on FTE about where to get hold of a new Cowl Vent.  I was informed that these are now not available new anywhere.   (I think there could be a market for these, as many I have seen are rusted due to their location and the fact that they act as a rain trap.)  One of the great chaps (Chuck, alias CharlieLed) on FTE mailed me to say that he had a cowl vent that was in good condition for sale, so the deal was done and Chuck even shipped it off to the hotel I am staying at so that I will be able to bring it back with me next week. Thanks Chuck! Oh back to the doors, the passenger side is pretty good.  Just a little surface rust that should be ok after a go with the shot blaster.  The drivers side door is another matter, it is doing a good impression of Swiss cheese The bottom 4-5 inches are full of holes and rust.  Looks like I will need to get some repair panels for it.
31/01/09 Today I fitted the shoulder seat belt mounts, it was a pretty straight forward job.  I first jigged them in place by bolting them in then I trimmed the brackets slightly to make them fit a bit better before welding them in place.  I have added a new page under the build section with all the details of how I did it with pictures of the progress.
28/01/09 I finished work at a reasonable time on Wednesday so decided to head over to the workshop to try and get a few hours work in on the truck.  I rubbed the dash down again and gave it another couple of coats of high build primer.  It is looking pretty nice now and I am now looking to start concentrating on other parts of the cab.  The next job will be to fit the seatbelt mounts.  I decided to fit proper 3 point belts as opposed to the simple lap belts.  It means that you have to sort out the non existent third mounting point behind the driver and passenger shoulders as these old trucks never had them fitted originally.  In fact, at the time, seat belts were an optional extra.  I bought the shoulder mounts from Mid fifty, they say that they can be welded or bolted in, but after an initial trial fit I cant say that I am that impressed that they fit as neatly as I would have expected.  So I may need to modify them slightly to make a decent job.  They mount behind the door frame and behind the rear window frame so are effectively using the strongest parts of the cab structure.
24/01/09 Yet more work on the dash today, it is pretty close to where I want it now.  After a morning of more filling and sanding I tried my new primer gun I bought a few months ago on Ebay.  It was only £24 and that was complete with a decent air regulator too.  I thought that even if it lasted for just a few uses, it would be worth it.  It has a 1.7mm needle which is ideal for spraying high build filler primer.  It is a cheap import from China or somewhere by the look of it, but I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the results.  I put 2 coats of filler primer over all of the worked areas to see how it all looks.  I will put a guide coat on and flat it all down later this week to see how it looks.  I have added some pics under the dash section to show how it looks in primer.
17/01/09 Another full day working on the dash, I picked up a couple of new sanding blocks during the week, one of which is a curved block made of a rubber compound.  It seems to make life a lot easier to get the curved profiles on the dash ends.  I seem to have sanded down the equivalent of a couple of pounds of filler so far on the dash.  It is a long slow job that I am not enjoying.  It looks like I might be heading over to the States in a few weeks, so if I do I will try and get a few of the small items that I need to complete the brake setup.
10/01/09 Lots more work on the dash today.  I ended up having to refill and then rub down the ends and once I had flatted down across the centre of the dash where I had filled all the old holes it was clear that there were a number of high spots.  So I ended up having to get the hammer and dolly out again and hammer down all of the high spots ready for re filling.  It was a really cold day again so I was very glad that I had my little space heater that I bought last winter.  It was well below zero at the yard and I ended up having to use the space heater to help cure the plastic padding by having it blowing hot air directly into the cab, even then it took a lot longer than usual.  It was so cold that all of the water was frozen solid in the pipes so the only way to have a cup of tea was by using bottled water.
07/01/09 Another year goes by, I have been working on the truck for over 3 years now and I still don't even have the body on the chassis L. I haven't been over the workshop over the holiday season, its been pretty cold the last few days (minus 10 degrees) and I was not feeling too well last weekend.  One thing I have been doing is watching Overhaulin on DVD.  I got the second series DVD box set for just £6 from ASDA (not bad as the retail price is over £30).  I have never seen it before as I don't have Sky or cable but have been told about it by many people in the past.  I have watched about 6 episodes so far one of which was working on an old 1950's GMC 1/2 ton truck.  It has been quite good seeing some of the things that they have done for a bit of inspiration, but I don't really like the way that they seem to always stick massive 20" plus ultra modern, shiny wheels on old classics.  It just goes to show what you can do with unlimited funds and about 30 people all working 24x7 on a vehicle for 7 days.
23/12/08 Did some more work on the dash today, I patched all of the holes that were in the front panel and did some more filler work on the ends that are now moulded in to the sides of the cab.  I have added a new section under build that includes a couple of pictures showing the work.
13/12/08 I started with the filler work on the ends of the dash today.  I didn't have any steel to patch the holes so thought that I would get on with the shaping of the ends and get to the patching later.  I hate filler work, but it has to be done.  I just don't have the patience for it, I want it to be right straight away but it usually takes me 3 or 4 attempts to get the shape just right.
15/11/08 This week I was supposed to be working over in the US, but as with many others at the moment with the state of the Economy my company too is cutting back on costs.  So my trip was cancelled just the week before I was supposed to go.  Anyway it meant that I could work on the truck and I finally got round to working on the cab.  I decided a couple of months ago that I would like to de-seam all of the dash inside the cab.  After going to all the trouble of de-seaming the exterior it looked like the interior had just not had much time or effort taken on it.  So I set about welding up all of the gaps.  I managed to get all of the welding done and ground most of it back down ready for final filling.  I still have to patch the dash front panel to remove all the holes, but that will be next weeks job.
08/11/09 I went over the workshop to measure up for some fittings etc. that I will need for the brake system.  While there I noticed a stream of water coming in through the roof into my cupboard where I keep all of my tools and supplies.  So I ended up having to get up on the roof to find where it was leaking and repair it.  The workshop has a flat roof that was only re felted a short while ago during the summer.  I found the problem after just a couple of minutes, after clearing all the dead leaves and moss away it was clear that the metal frame on top of the stairway had a sharp edge on it that had cut its way through the felt.  I decided that the best thing to do was take an angle grinder to the offending section and cut it all completely away to prevent it happening again.  I cleaned the torn section the filled it with some Tiger Seal and then just for good measure put a rubber matt over the top of it.  Hopefully that will keep the water out.
05/11/08 Well its been a difficult month, haven't really done much on the truck at all as I have been elsewhere and now my website has been moved to a new server that no longer supports FrontPage Server  extensions.  So now a number of things on the site are broken including the guest book.  I don't know when I will get round to sorting it all out.  What's worse is that the weather is now really cold and wet.  Oh well, lets hope this global warming starts to have an effect round here soon.
18/09/08 Today I managed to finally get the base and clear coat onto the front grille and the other bits I had already prepped, including the radiator support, the compressor bracket and the brackets for mounting the air valves.  Just as I was leaving I noticed that there was a bit of paper towel stuck under the edge of one of the light bowl mounting points (bloody typical!).  I started to pull it off but thought better about it and decided to leave it until tomorrow when its cured properly.  I might be able to get away with just touching it up, but knowing my luck it will have to be redone.
30/08/08 I haven't done much on the truck the last few weeks, what with being up in Essex one weekend then up to see my mum the next then I was out in Seattle for a week.  I did manage to pick some bits up for the truck though.  I needed some of the small clips and fixings to mount the headlights in the front grille.  I also got some bear-claw latches for the doors and managed to get a couple of new Air deflector panels from Mid Fifty.  I did do some more work on the front grille today, after looking at it in the light of day I noticed that one side was slightly concave on one of the lower edges so I decided to rework it before I paint it.  I also fitted some high tensile stainless ARP bolts to the Radius rod mounts.  They were a little on the long side to get the required smooth shank for the rod end, so I had to cut them down by about 3/4".  I wanted to keep the rear end as neat as possible and have used stainless bolts where ever I can.  The radius rods bear quite a lot of the forces from the rear end so I decided to use ARP stainless bolts.  These are highly polished stainless but are as strong as Grade 8 steel bolts.
02/08/08 I rubbed down the front grille panel another couple of times to get all of the repairs as good as possible before giving it another couple of coats of high build Primer followed by some guide coat.  It should be ready for a final rub down and then I will put the base coat and clear coat on.  I am not sure if I will get a chance to paint it this week though as we are supposed to be going to a friends BBQ up in Essex and we are staying up there.
01/08/08 I stripped down the front grille panel today.   Its my intention to paint the grille panel in Anthracite, the same as the chassis so I thought I would do a bit of body work for a change as I haven't done any for some time.  There was a fair bit of light surface rust inside the headlight mounting bowls so I decided to get my shot blaster out and give the ends a blasting in all of the hard to reach areas. After starting to strip the Grille down I noticed that it was a different shape on one side to the other.  After inspecting it in detail I found that it had suffered in the past from a sideways impact to the passenger side headlight mounting.  It had obviously happened some time ago as it had been repaired with lead.  I just did a bit of reshaping to get it back as close to the original shape as possible.  I also welded up the mounting holes in the centre where the old V8 Badge sat and did a little tin bashing to sort out a few dents and high spots.  I then gave the grille a couple of coats of high build filler Primer.
31/07/08 As I have some Anthracite painting to do, I though that I would look at getting a few other bits sorted ready to paint in the same colour, so that I don't end up wasting paint.  So I stripped down the Radiator support and treated it with metal ready before priming it with 2K primer ready for final paint when I paint the mounting brackets.
30/07/08 I have 3 days off work this week so will try and get a bit done on the truck while the weather is good.  Unfortunately it's a bit too good, it is really hot in the workshop (in the 80's) so doesn't make for a pleasant working environment.  I primed the Air Valve mounting brackets ready to be flatted and then base coated/Clear Coated.  I modified a couple of big flat stainless washers to make them into locking washers by cutting slits in them around the periphery.  They are used to lock the radius rod mounting bolts in place.  I fitted the radius rods too, the rear end is all pretty much complete now. 
26/07/08 Finished making the Air valve mounting bracket ready for Paint.  I also had a go at polishing some of the Stainless steel fittings on the rear axle.  I bought a polishing kit that included a couple of polishing wheels and an adaptor to convert one side of the Bench grinder I have in the workshop.  It seems to work pretty well.  I managed to polish all of the rear axle dome nuts.
19/07/08 Not a very good day today, I seemed to be taking two steps forward and 3 back.  I decided to bolt the front spindles on but found that the bolts I had were a bit short.  They were special ARP high tensile stainless bolts that I bought specifically for the job of bolting the top mount of the air bag spacer in place.  When I bolted them up and then had a closer look I could see that the bolts were not long enough to pass through the nyloc section of the nuts.  So they would not lock properly.  Unfortunately when I put them together I neglected to use any anti seize on them.  After realizing that they were too short I started to remove them again and then that's when one of the bolts seized.  And as the nut underneath is so close to the edge of the airbag top mount you can not get a socket on there.  So Now I have a nut and bolt that it looks like I will have to ground down to remove. It looks like I will have to re-paint the top mount again too as the paint work had been damaged by all the effort to remove the seized nut and no doubt it will only get worse when I grind the head down.  I started to make a mounting bracket for the air valves, it basically consists of two L shaped brackets with a stainless mounting plate between them where the valves will sit.  I did manage to take a few pictures of the rear end this week, as I forgot the camera last week.  I have added a few pics to the rear axle and rear brakes section.
11/07/08 I had quite a productive day today, still working on the rear axle.  I decided that I would fit the original diff cover rather than get a new one.  When its under the rear with the chassis members and brakes etc in the way you cant really see it close up.  I did clean it up a bit more though using my Dremel tool to get rid of the black marks wherever I could.  I also had to modify the cover slightly to clear the Brake Caliper connections.  With the calipers now mounted on the rear the brake pipes need to be connected just where the cooling fins sit on the cover.  So while I had the Dremel out I decided to get the small cut-off wheel attachment out and use it to cut the outer fins down to provide the necessary clearance.  Once that was done I made a small blanking plate to cover up the hole where the old speedo cable was. I then cleaned off the mating surfaces and fitted the cover using some Loctite 598 sealer between the cover and the diff casing.  The modern axles use sealer rather than a gasket, so I decided that I would do the same.  After fitting the diff cover I moved on to fit the polished stainless bottom diff plate using some stainless socket cap head bolts and then re-fitted the calipers for the final time and safety wired them in place.  I then also fitted the hand brake (safety brake) calipers too.  I still need to work out how to actuate the hand brake, but from the positioning of the levers it looks like I will be able to use a simple cable arrangement.
05/07/08 No work on the truck today as Marie and I went to the British Grand Prix.  It was a great race apart from the fact that we had to sit out in pouring rain most of the day.  We were sitting in the Abbey Chicane grandstand.  Its not the fastest section of the track but we did get to see a lot of incidents, as it was obviously one of the trickiest sections of the track in the wet.  At one point we saw Adrian Sutil fly through the air after hitting one of the kerbs side on when he lost it completely under braking on the way in to the chicane.  We saw a number of drivers spinning or going off on the grass including Lewis Hamilton.  He just managed to keep it going and finally ended up winning the race by over a minute.  He lapped everyone up to 3rd on the circuit.   I am having Friday off this week to try and get a bit done on the truck as next weekend we are off to the Goodwood Festival of speed so I wont get anything done then either.
28/06/08 More work on the rear axle today, I stripped everything down again to be able to get the correct shims setup, first thing was to get the shims in under the lower arm pivot bracket. When I stripped the axle down there were a number of shims under one bracket only.  I kept them and marked them up but they were in pretty poor condition and rusted.  When I put everything back together I decided that rather than just put the same back again, I would try and find out what was supposed to be set and then start from scratch.  After quite a lot of searching and even looking through an original Jaguar workshop manual, I couldn't find anything anywhere that stated how to determine what shims to use and where.  Anyway I worked out my own method and set to it (details are in the build/rear axle section).  Once this was done I then tightened the bracket bolts up to the required torque and safety wired them. I then set about getting the brake discs central in the calipers.  I found that I needed 0.040" of shims on one side and only 0.020" on the other.  This should give me 0 degrees of camber at ride height with no camber shims either side.  Not sure if I will get anything done on the truck next week as Marie and I are off to Silverstone to watch the British Grand Prix, hopefully Lewis will have better luck than he has had recently.
21/06/08 Today I continued to assemble the rear end to see how it all went together now that its all painted.  I drifted the other bearing cage on to the remaining Hub.  I fitted the outer oil seals but left the inner seals out until the final spacer is in place to provide the correct hub end float.  I decided to try and fit the arms and drive shafts to see how many shims were required to get the correct Camber on the rear wheels.  It looks like the new brake kit that I have requires a bit of adjustment in the Caliper mounting.  If bolted directly to the bracket the caliper is no where near the disc.  It looks like I would need approx 4mm spacers behind the discs but then the Camber would be way off.  The only solution I can see is to shim off the caliper from the mounting bracket with some washers.  Its not the neatest solution, but I cant see a better way around it.  The rear end looks pretty neat with the arms fitted with the Air Ride Shockwaves installed.  I have taken a few pics and they can be seen under the build-rear axle section.
14/06/08 This week I carried on with the work on the rear axle components, I started by drifting the bearing races into the hub carriers so that they are ready to assemble.  I had a bit of a job drifting them in without damaging the nice polished hub carriers.  I had to rest them on a piece of wood to make sure they were ok.  Unfortunately this just makes it twice as hard to knock the races in place as the shock force is absorbed by the wood so you end up having to hit twice as hard.  Its then harder to tell when they are seated correctly too as you don't get the nice high pitch ding that you do when resting on a hard surface.  It was when I started drifting the taper bearing cage onto the hubs that I noticed that the oil seal tracks for one side of the Axle were badly grooved.  So I had to order a couple of new ones, so that I didn't have that niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I would have had if I had just used the originals.  Only problem is that they are a part that is special order only, so now I have to hope that they turn up before the weekend so that I can resume the axle work. I also finally managed to fit the Air tank and Hydraulic Pump mounting bracket.  I had to re-tap one of the fixings on the chassis first though as I managed to strip one of the bolts the last time I tried fitting it.  This time it went on ok as I enlarged the rear holes to provide a little more clearance.  I then dry fitted the air tank and hydraulic pump to  make sure they went on ok.
07/06/08 It was a hot sunny day today which made a nice change to what has been the case most of the time lately.  My Plan for the day today was to dry fit all the rear end components to make sure that it all fits.  First thing to do was mount the diff to the chassis.  As there was now paint in and around the mounting holes I had to clean them out first.  I am using two of the original tapered mounting bolts up front and two normal hex head bolts at the rear, this is because the original mounting holes were drilled incorrectly, so I had to slot the rear two. One thing that I have noticed is that the tapered mountings no longer seem to come with the cross drilled wiring holes. They just have thread lock applied now.  I would have preferred to have wired them, but as the old bolts are just too corroded it looks like I will have to just go with the thread locked variety. After mounting the diff to the chassis I fitted the brake caliper mounting brackets, then trial fitted the discs and calipers to check on alignment.  It looks like I will have to space the calipers off with a few washers to get them anywhere near they need to be to get the discs central.  I will also need to get some shims to move the discs themselves for the final adjustment.  I then trial fitted one of the bottom arms to make sure that it fitted with the UHMD bushes in place.  You need to use the original large flat washers either side of the bushes and a couple of them are quite corroded so I will need to get a couple of new ones.
05/06/08 I picked up the Brake Caliper mounting brackets from the Anodisers today, the brackets came out well and I have put the bushes back in too.  So now its just a matter of assembling all the rear end components now.  I still need to get some shims to set everything up as needed but I can dry assemble everything just to make sure its all as it should be.
30/05/08 I headed over to a tool suppliers first thing today as I needed a large countersink drill bit.  They only had professional bits and not the usual cheap Chinese sets you see on ebay that usually blunt after a couple of minutes, but I can't believe how expensive it was.  Then when they said that will be plus VAT too I nearly gave it back, if I hadn't of needed it I would have.
Unfortunately when I got over to the workshop and had a look at the paint work from the previous day it was clear that there was a couple of areas on the bracket that I had not got enough base coat on as they looked too light.  So I spent the first hour or so putting the bracket right, I soft edge masked the good paint and then blew in the areas that were light on paint with a couple more coats of base coat followed by a couple more clear coats.  I then de-masked the diff and the drive shafts.  They seem to be fine, I just need to get ready to start assembling all the bits now.  One thing that I will be doing though before putting it all together is getting the brake mounting brackets anodised.  I rang a company in the local area for a bit of advice as the brackets have hank bushes fitted and I was not sure what effect the anodising process would have on them.  They confirmed that they would have to be removed as the anodising would attack any steel parts.  So I have removed the bushes ready to drop the brackets off to be blacked.
29/05/08 I had the day off work today and spent the day over the workshop working on the painting that I started the other day.  I managed to get the basecoat and clear coat on the drive shafts the Diff casing and the Hydraulic pump bracket
24/05/08 I prepped and primed the drive shafts today.  I had to rub down and blend all the areas that had previously been painted and then chipped/damaged when they were being assembled.  I also had to rub down the ends of the new shafts back to bare metal as they had been painted with aerosol primer with a very light dusted coat that just fell off with the lightest rub, so I needed to get it all off to make sure that the 2K primer had a good key.  It was a real pain, but I decided to mask the rubber seals of the UJ's with fine line masking tape.  I had considered just painting over them, but decided that I would rather the rubber was left bare to retain its flexibility.  While priming the shafts I also re-primed the hydraulic pump/air tank bracket.  I might get back over to the workshop in the next day or two to base coat and clear coat the shafts, bracket and the Rear diff.
21/05/08 I got the new drive shafts back from Wisbech Engineering today.  They are definitely different shafts and they appear to be a lot better in that the UJ's actually move now.  I am going to have to re-paint the ends all over again, but I am going to leave the entire shaft assemblies assembled before paint this time.  I am not sure how well they will come out painting them assembled, but it seems that this is the best chance I have of getting them half decent.  
I would like to say though that Wisbech Engineering have been really good in sorting them out.  I was dreading getting the silent treatment as I have done from other lesser suppliers in the past when they have supplied faulty or incorrect goods.  It is nice to know that there are decent companies out there that do care about their reputations and their customers.    
10/05/08 I picked the Ali diff cover up from the Polishers.  Its a lot better than it was but its just not as good as I want it.  So it looks like I will have to buy a new one, it was worth a try as it only cost £20 for the polishing, but the tarnishing/age related marks in all of the really hard to reach corners etc. just make it a little too hard to get good enough.  I might have a go at working on it a little more myself with a small hand Dremel tool, but I am not hopeful of getting it as I want it.  \no work on the truck next weekend as I will be out in the US all week and only get back Saturday afternoon.
26/04/08 I managed to find a metal polisher nearby who said he could polish my rear diff cover, so I left it with him to do when he can, whilst I carry on with the rest or the rear end work.  I re-assembled the output shafts with new seals and O Rings ready to be put back on the diff.  I managed to save the bearings when I took them apart so only needed to replace the seals which saved a fair bit of money as there are 4 taper bearings (2 each side).  I finished cleaning off the outside of the diff casing and gave it a couple of coats of primer in readiness for the base coat and clear coat.  Hopefully the driveshaft's will turn up again soon and I will be able to paint all the rear end parts together.
24/04/08 I  look at my Guestbook occasionally and I just had a quick look through to find the last entry from a chap in Bellevue Washington US.  Its a real shame that the guy didn't leave me his email address as I tend to be in Bellevue every few weeks.  It would have been nice to say hello and check out his 1956 Effie.  Oh well maybe he will read this entry and drop me an email.
23/04/08 Well I am pleased to say that after a mail to Wisbech about the drive shafts they have come back to me to say that they will remanufacture them.  They have said that the issue is not unfamiliar to them and that they had the same problem on some shafts a few years ago but made a jig to overcome the problem and haven't had the problem since.  I guess I will just have to wait and hope that they manage to sort them this time.
 22/04/08 I received the drive shafts back from Wisbech Engineering today and I am not happy at all.  I have only ever heard good things about Wisbech form others in the past on the NSRA Forum etc.  but the experience I have had regarding these drive shafts makes me wonder about the quality of their work.  I received a mail from them a few days ago stating that they had managed to assemble them but that they were difficult and that I should paint them assembled as they would be difficult to put back together again.  I asked if they were free running and was told that they were.  

Looking at them today, there is no way that anyone could say that the joints are free running.   One of the drive shafts is virtually seized in its current state and the other is only slightly better.  The only joints that are free running are those that have not been modified in any way.   It is clear that the only thing done to try and rectify the problem was that the Circlips have been ground down to make them fit in the grooves.  I could have done this myself but did not as it is just a bodge, and means that I will not be able to fit standard UJ’s/Circlips in the future (as no doubt they will need replacing often as they are virtually seized) as they will need to be modified to fit too.   Even with the Circlips ground down you can see that they are under so much pressure that they do not even sit correctly and are bent under the strain.   The circlips on the really stiff joint are actually bending up as they are under so much pressure.  It is physically difficult to move this joint at all as it is effectively seized under the pressure.  In my opinion it is certainly Not fit for purpose in its current state and would probably not last very long anyway.  I have mailed Wisbech to let them know my feelings on this and will await their response.  I have suggested that I get an independent inspection of the shafts to verify if they are ok or not.
20/04/08 Today Marie and I took a trip up to see my Mum and on the way back we called in to pick up my new smooth Running boards.  I bought them a few weeks back from Smoothie Fabrications in the US and Steve Lang (langy) from the NSRA Forum brought them back to the UK for me with a shipment of other parts he was already shipping back.  I had a quick look round at Steve's workshop and some of the stuff he was working on too, looks like he does some good work.  Unfortunately I had to get off pretty quickly as Marie was sat in the car on her own and we had to drive back to Southampton as it was getting late.  Although we did end up chatting for about half an hour...  I also bought a couple of reels of stainless steel brake line from Steve too. 
19/04/08 Today I finished stripping down the output shafts from the rear diff so that I could get the new seals in place.  I thought that I was going to have to break the bearings off but I managed to get them off in one piece.  I borrowed a couple of decent pry bars from Richard across the yard and they did the job perfectly.  It means I wont have to bye new ones after all.  I also cleaned the outside of the diff casing off ready for paint and also pulled the rear diff Aluminium finned cover off.  I want to see if I can get it polished, if its not to expensive.
18/04/08 I heard back from Wisbech Engineering today that they have managed to get the UJ's in the ends of the half shafts.  They said that they were difficult, but they are in and free running.  I don't know how they did it and if they had to modify the ends at all.  So hopefully they are now ok and I will now be able to paint the ends again and then re assemble everything.  I just have to wait for them to come back again now to see.
12/04/08 After fighting with the modified half shafts for half the day and then having the use of one of the local garages 30 Ton Press to try and get the UJ's in the end of them I reluctantly came to the conclusion that there was no way the UJ's were ever going to go in properly.  The only conclusion I can make is that the ends have distorted when welded. The problem is that the when the UJ is in place the Circlips (Snaprings) used to hold them in place have no way to go into the grooves.  It looks like the distance between the grooves, which should be the same as the total outside length of the UJ is in fact about 1mm less that the length of the UJ.  I contacted Wisbech Engineering who modified the shafts to explain the situation and they have told me to send them back to them and they will sort them out.  Looks like I wasted a lot of time on painting the ends as no doubt they will be burning all of the paint off again. 
05/04/08 I woke up about 11 am after being up most of the night (Still Jetlagged from flying back from the US yesterday) so decided to not bother heading over the workshop.  I doubt I would have been very productive if I had.  Some slight news on the the truck though, while I was in the US I managed to get my engine wiring harness and also get my ECM re-programmed to remove the anti-theft components and have it set up for an aftermarket Fuel pump.  The standard Ford Fuel pumps are a variable voltage that increases or reduces the pressure as needed and has no fuel return.  I will be using an aftermarket pump, so need constant Voltage and I will have a return back to the tank.  I got the wiring harness and had the ECM re-worked at the same place: The Detail Zone.  They seem to be one of a very few companies who seem to know the Ford Modular engine wiring at the level required when fitting in an aftermarket application.

One other thing I did manage to do whilst I was out in the US was go to a Mopar Car show at the Strip in Las Vegas.  Having never been to a pro drag strip before it was a new experience, there were some very nice vehicles there and there were even a number of them doing the 1/4 mile run.  There were a few out and out dragsters and some very nice muscle cars that were doing the 1/4 mile in well under 7 seconds, that's Fast!
24/03/08 I am sitting in the departure lounge at Heathrow terminal 4 waiting to get on a flight to the US.  I still don't have to much of an update as far as the truck is concerned, but I am happy to say that Marie and I had a sit down and a long chat on Friday and we are now talking and things look to be back on track.  It was a mistake on both our parts, me for not understanding and realising that there was a problem and Marie's for not talking to me and letting me know how she really felt.  Now that we both understand how each other feel I think that we will be ok.
18/03/08 I haven't really got much of an update as far as the truck is concerned, but I felt that I had to put down my feelings about the weekend just gone, even if nobody reads it.  I was told by my long term partner and fiancé on Sunday that we are finished.  We have been together for nearly 10 years, basically a 1/4 of my life.  I knew things were not the same between us for the last couple of weeks, as the conversation was almost non existent and I just felt a distance, Marie has not been very well lately and I just put it down to her being low.  But something snapped on Sunday after a night of not talking and an atmosphere, for her to say nothing other than I am leaving after putting all of her things in a couple of bags and then just walking out the door.  I know that she was not happy, and I am sure that this was down to me and I would have done anything to put it right if I had knew how she was feeling and what she was being driven to do.  But I didn't until it was all too late.  I suppose its easy for me to say that I would have done something to make it right if I had known something was wrong, but I guess I should have just known without having to be told.  I know that Marie feels let down by me and I also feel like I have let her down, but I didn't even get the chance to try and make it right.  The first I knew of how she really felt was when I found her ring on the side and saw that she had cleared all of her things out.  I have to go away on business for a couple of weeks from Easter, which is the last thing I feel like doing right now, but Marie will not talk to me and has said that she has made her mind up and that is it.  We would usually speak every day whilst I was working away so I am not looking forward to sitting in a Hotel room on my own every night for 2 weeks contemplating the situation.  Looking back on things, I have come to realise that this truck that I am trying to build obviously caused problems between us recently.  Recent comments like "maybe I should get F100 tattoo'd on my xxx" now make sense to me.  Even though Marie never discussed it, I now see that she resented the time and money that I spent working on the F100.  I purposely only ever worked on it on a Saturday and always left Saturday evening and all of Sunday for us, but that was obviously not good enough.  I should have given more time and attention to Marie.  I doubt I will be doing anything on the truck for a while, as what enthusiasm I had has gone.  I am now wondering if it is really all worth it.
15/03/08 I finished off modifying the output shaft bearing housings today by cutting away the now redundant original caliper mountings.  I also had to file a very slight chamfer to the inner edge of the new brake mounting brackets.  This is because I left a very small radius (approx 2mm) at the inner edge of the machined face of the bearing housings.  When I came to try the brackets in place I realised that they were very tight to the inner edge and had a 90 degree edge on them, which meant that they didn't sit flat. After sorting that, I then stripped and cleaned all of the small axle components that I will be re-using.  All of the fiddly inner bearing parts and the shafts etc. Finally I re-painted the Hydraulic pump and air tank bracket and the Hydraulic pump resevoir.
12/03/08 I picked up the output shaft bearing housings today.  They were actually ready yesterday, but I did not have time to go and pick them up.  They are now machined down ready to accept the brake mounting brackets.  I also picked up all of the rear axle components that I painted on Monday and de-masked them.  I am pleased with the end result, they look a lot better than I thought they would.  I just need to be super careful with them all now though when I come to assemble them.
10/03/08 I managed to paint all of the axle components that I had prepped earlier at the weekend.  I also re painted the front Shocks and the Hydraulic pump/Air tank mounting bracket, as I had missed some areas of them the first time I painted them.  I am surprised how well the lower suspension arms have come out, as they looked pretty bad after they had been shot blasted.  The drive shaft components also look a lot nicer than I thought they would, being pretty rough forged pieces I thought that the metallic grey would look a bit rough, but it actually looks really nice with the very shiny clear coat on top.  I had to leave all of the parts out at the end of the day as I just painted them in my workshop with no heat, so I would leave them all until tomorrow before trying to move them rather than get finger prints on them.  The clear coat was still pretty soft when I left for the day. 
I didn't hear anything from the machine shop that I dropped the output shaft bearing housings off at on Friday.  They told me that they should be done Monday so I will have to give them a call in the morning and see how they are getting on.  I also need to get new seals for the bearing housings, so I will give the local Jaguar Dealer a call tomorrow and see if they have any.
08/03/08 More prep work on the rear axle components today.  After rubbing down the lower arms it was clear that they would need a lot more work on them before being ready for the top coats.  So after rubbing them down as much as possible, it was a matter of applying another 3 coats of High build Primer.  Hopefully I will be able to apply the base and clear coats on Monday.  I have the day off work, so hope that I will be in a position to start assembly soon.
07/03/08 I had the day off today so decided to do a bit of running around that I needed to do.  I set out early and dropped off the rear lower arms at the shot blasters just after 8.30 and Malc told me that he would have them done by 11.  So I made use of the time by heading down to a local machine shop with one of the output shafts.  After a couple of minutes discussion it was clear that they would be able to machine down the flanges for me.  So I headed back to dismantle the pair of the shafts from the bearing carriers.  I managed to get the large nut and retaining washer off, but I just couldn't seem to shift the shaft from the carrier.  It was the oil seal holding it together.  I ended up taking both assemblies back down the machine shop and the helpful chap there let me use one of his presses to press the shafts free.  I left the two carriers with him and he said that they should be ready for Monday. 
By the time I had finished with the output shafts it was time to pick up the bottom arms from the shot blasters. I then spent the rest of the day priming the arms and other rear end components with high build primer, ready for rubbing down again the following day to then put the base coat and final clear coat on.
01/03/08 Spent the day mostly prepping and priming parts for the rear axle this week.  I already had the majority of the parts stripped down, so it was just a matter of cleaning them all up thoroughly ready for primer.  I ended up getting hold of a couple of new hub flanges as one of the originals was badly damaged.  But after looking at them I realised that there was a bearing thrust plate on the old ones that I needed to get off.  It was not the easiest of things to do.  I ended up breaking off the old bearing outer then tried heating the inner part up and levering it, but it just wouldn't come off.  So I enlisted the help of a couple of chaps in a nearby unit who have some gas cutting equipment.  They cut through the majority of the bearing inner then it was just a matter of breaking the remainder away.  I was then able to lever off the bearing thrust plate.
I primed all of the drive shaft components and the hub flanges ready to paint them to match the chassis.  I will paint these next week and blow in the areas I missed on the mounting bracket at the same time.
I got hold of the UJ's and Bearings and seals for the rear end during the week off of a couple of Ebay Sellers.  I also started to strip down the new Rear Diff.  I have the output drive shafts off ready to be machined down, but I need to talk with Mike at CWI (who supplied the Wilwood Brake kit) to confirm exactly how to machine the flanges down.  The ones I have appear to have a stiffening web on them and I am not sure if this should be machined down or not.  It will mean the difference between being able to simply turn them down in a lathe, or possibly having to machine them down with a mill or CNC Mill.
23/02/08 I didn't get over the workshop this week as I was feeling real rough.  I had a bad chest and a real sore throat too so thought I had better stay at home and try and get better.  However I did manage to get a new Diff during the week.  It's a late XJS unit (89-95) with a 2.88:1 ratio and power lock (Limited Slip Diff). I also managed to get some new rear discs and am hoping that i can start on building up the rear axle soon.  The discs are EBC slotted and dimpled.  I thought that I would go with these rather than the standard flat solid discs as they will compliment the fronts better.  I will have a very similar setup front and rear, in fact the rear callipers are identical to the fronts.  I still need a few bits though before I can do this:- UJ's, Hub Bearings, Seals, Shims and new nuts to fit it all together.  If I am not still ill this weekend, I want to steam clean off the diff and then get down to stripping it down and getting the work done on the modifications required to fit all the new components.
16/02/08 I finally got around to painting the mounting brackets for the Air Tank, Hydraulic pump and Air compressor this week.  They were already primed so just needed the basecoat and clearcoat.  Unfortunately as they are very awkward shapes, I found after finishing up that I had a couple of areas where I was too light on the basecoat and I will have to blow these in again.

I found out this week that the rear diff I have is not compatible with the Brake upgrade kit that I got in the US a couple of weeks ago.  Bugger! It turns out that the Diff I have is a Dana unit and the brake kit will only fit a Salisbury.  So I had to make a decision, either stay with the original Brakes etc and use the Diff I already have, or try to source a Salisbury Diff instead so that I could use the new brake kit.  I decided on the latter and spent a few days calling round a number of places before finally tracking down a Salisbury 2.88:1 Powerlock Diff off of an 89-95 XJS at a reasonable price.  
10/02/08 I didn't do a whole lot on the truck this weekend.  It started off bad, so I decided to tidy up the workshop instead.  I managed to drop one of the top suspension arms on the chassis and damaged the paint in about 3 places :(.  I suppose it was bound to happen, I just didn't think it would happen on the first thing i bolted up.  I decided to leave it and wait until I am nearly finished assembly otherwise no doubt I would repair it only for it to happen again later on.  So I will leave it for now until I am nearly finished and then just touch up any marks all at the same time.  I did also manage to further strip down the rear axle as well as clear up the workshop.  I have got all of the UJ's out now and also dismantled the rear arms from the diff casing.  A mate of mine also dropped off my new rear brakes today, he brought them back from the US for me last week.  I have a couple of mounting brackets and two wilwood Callipers to go in place of the stock brakes.  There is also a couple of Wilwood hand brake callipers too (safety brake, as its known in the US).  It looks like I have to modify the axle casing to fit them though and I will have to machine the stub axle flanges to clear the mounting brackets.  
02/02/08 I didn't get over to the workshop this week as I only landed back from the US on Friday afternoon and was still a bit jetlagged.  However I did manage to get over to the stainless bolt suppliers and get the UNC bolts I needed to mount the air valves to the brackets that came with them.  I also managed to get some engine components last week, I got two new valve covers, a set of under drive pulleys and a timing adjuster pulley.
19/01/08 I started to assemble the front suspension this week.  I bought a couple of cans of satin black plasti-coat paint and painted the steering rack before I bolted it up to the front end.  I also painted the cast spindles with some black rust bullet, ready for final assembly.  I bolted on the bottom front suspension arms but haven't yet bolted the top arms on as I was concerned about alignment (there is a lot of scope for adjustment as there are big slots in the top hat sections) I did a little research on the web and found an article that gave advice about initial setup prior to taking the truck for proper alignment.  I prepped and primed the front spacer pieces that sit on top of the air bags and also the mounting brackets that I made for the compressor and air tank/hydraulic pump, ready for base coat and clear coat to match the rest of the chassis.  I wont get anything done next week as I will be working in the US for a week, but I will see if I can pick any bits up I need whilst there.
12/01/08 I haven't been over to the workshop for a few weeks, I went over on 22nd December only to find more marks on my chassis and I decided I was wasting my time.  So I thought I would give it a miss for a while.  I did manage to get over again today, to find that the light bulb was gone again.  I can see that I am going to have to start locking up the light bulbs as well as my tools.  Wisbech Engineering came back to me to explain that they were unable to make any stainless rear suspension arms for me.  As the way that they have made them means that the shock centres would foul either the drive shaft or the mounts themselves would foul the lower arm.  So I will need to rethink what to do there.  I have had a look at some other sites who make a similar thing but keep the original dimensions by making a ladder frame that is straight, i.e. parallel sides rather than a tapered arm.  I will look into this to see if I can make something similar.  Otherwise I will just tidy up the original arms.

I got hold of a 3 in one Tig/Plasma/Stick welder just before Christmas, so I decided to give the plasma cutter a try.  It works a treat.  I just made some test cuts on some thin sheet and also a piece of 1/4" (6mm) thick steel and it cut through both like a hot knife through butter.  I just need to get some filler rods and some tungstens to have a go with Tig welder.

As far as the truck goes, I got the chassis down onto the axles stands again and put the new breathable cover over it.  I also finished grinding/filing down the mounting brackets for the air ride valves.  Not really sure why, but for some reason they come with incorrect centres in them i.e. they do not match the valve body and they are also too wide.  So they don't actually fit together.
I suspect that you are only supposed to use 2 of the 4 brackets supplied as they only provided enough bolts for two, but I think it looks better with all 4 so that's what I am doing.
15/12/07 When I left the chassis last week I was going to go and buy a cover for it from Halfords, but Wayne told me he was off to a supplier tomorrow that was cheaper and had better ones and that he would pick one up for me.  As there is a lot of painting done out in the middle of the workshop I didn't want to get any overspray on the now finished chassis.  I have already put up a tarpaulin between my area and the rest of the workshop to try and stop the dust and paint coming in.

I went over to the workshop today to check on the chassis in the light of day now that it was all complete.  The chassis was still left completely uncovered, but even worse my tarpaulin was pulled back across half of the opening so effectively providing no barrier at all.  I found that someone had been in my workshop again and now I had a rub mark on the front corner of one of the suspension mounts.  The paint has been rubbed through right on the sharp edge.  As I found an airline hanging from the window in my workshop across to Wayne's workshop it was probably an air line being dragged across it.  So after me spending months on the preparation, then days on painting and then repainting it to get rid of all the imperfections, someone decided to ruin it by bashing into it or dragging something across it.  I am beginning to think I am wasting my time.  Oh, and the light bulb was gone again from my workshop.  I have had to buy 3 bulbs now in the last 2 weeks, they have not blown, they just disappear when I am not there.  This is the problem in being in a workshop that is part of a shared yard. 

I stripped the rear axle down under the light of my lead lamp and sent off a rear lower arm to Wisbech Engineering to get a quote on making stainless replacements.  It was a bugger getting the UJ's out and was a shame that they ended up getting mashed, as they looked like they were new.  Probably put in by the chap who I bought the axle from.   I have the week off between Christmas and the new year and I was going to try and spend some time on the truck, but after this weekend I don't know if I can be bothered any more.
10/12/07 Today I spent a couple of hours tidying up the workshop and putting a shelving unit up in the cupboard to make things a bit more organised and be able to get everything up off the floor.  Its a pain having to stack everything up and then have to pull it all out again when ever I want anything.  Now I have most of my materials up in the air which will make life a lot easier.  The rest of the day I spent sorting out the final little bits on the chassis paint.  I had a run on the back right hand corner and another on one of the air shock top mounts .  It was not anything major, but I wanted to sort it out.  So I used some 1500 grade wet or dry on them with a block and the runs came out nicely.  It was then just a matter of re polishing the area with a little G3 paste. 
There were also a couple of areas where the clear coat was a bit flat (Orange peel) so I decided to go over these again.  I also had a couple of imperfections, one from something falling on the chassis whilst it was wet, probably some dirt off the air hose or roof and another area right over the rear axle where it looked like I may have hit the chassis with the air hose and rubbed off a small line of the base coat before it was dry.  I rubbed both of these areas down again and blew in the areas with base coat again and then covered all of the repair areas with clear coat again.  I just have a little bit of polishing to do on the fade out areas and then the chassis is completely painted ready to start assembly.
08/12/07 I bought a small propane space heater last week and decided to give it a go and see how well it heated the workshop up.  It is only a tiny thing but outputs 10-12KW.  I ran it for about 10 minutes and the whole of my workshop was nicely warm.  Just ready to paint the base coat and the final clear coat.  This was my first time painting anything on this scale so it was going to be interesting to see how well it came out.  I started by applying a couple of coats of the base coat that seemed to go on nicely.  It was then a matter of waiting approx. 20 minutes for the base to dry off, then I started with the first coat of clear coat.  I just started laying the first coat on, when I could see that there was something wrong.... It looked like the clear coat was coming out of the gun like under seal rather than a nice glossy finish it looked like orange peel all over.  After a quick chat with Wayne (Professional Painter) it was obvious to him straight away that I had not thinned the clear coat enough (or as in my case, at all!).  After emptying the gun and then thinning the clear coat I had another go.  Wow, what a difference, it now went on nicely and I set about applying the two coats required.
07/12/07 After flatting the entire chassis down again and filling a few small imperfections (I hate this job) it was time for another two coats of primer. It was then a matter of waiting until tomorrow to flat everything again (I still hate this job) ready for the base coat and clear coat.  I need to get the base coat and clear coat on within an hour of each other (Preferably about 20 minutes).
01/12/07 I rubbed the whole chassis down again to key the surface of the rust bullet ready to accept the high build primer.  The Rust Bullet seems to go very hard and needs keying well.  You also need to make sure that you paint over it within a 24-48 hour window after applying it.  I am assuming that this is because after that time the surface is very hard and difficult to adhere to.  I now have 3 coats of high build primer on the chassis ready to be flatted.  I am hoping to have the Anthracite top coat on by the weekend.
30/11/07 Well the chassis is all painted in Rust bullet.  It looks pretty neat, but unfortunately the colour doesn't fit in with the scheme I have in mind.  So I am going to have to rub it all down again and then prime with some high build ready for an Anthracite top coat.  The chassis will match the wheels and the front grille and maybe a few other small items.  The chassis will be visible whenever the bed tips so I wanted to make sure that it matches the colour of the rest of the truck rather than the usual gloss black.
29/11/07 Spent yet another day working on preparing the chassis.  I finished filling and blending in all of the welded corners and also smoothed off the rear where the tipper hinge mounts.  I have screwed a bolt into each corner of the chassis and intend hanging it up in the air from these tomorrow to get access to the underneath rather than try turning it over when painting.  I will hopefully have it all coated in Rust Bullet by this time tomorrow. 
28/11/07 I got myself a shot blaster this morning to get into all the little nooks and crannies of the chassis.  It is basically just a large bucket with a hose coming out of the bottom.  There is a shot blasting gun on the end of a long hose that is then fed with a compressed air supply.  The grit/shot is then pulled up the hose by the air in the gun causing a slight vacuum.  It seemed to work pretty well, but got the entire workshop covered in grit.  I managed to get all of the internal surfaces cleaned off and around all of the inner edges and around rivets etc.  I will be running over all of the external edges with the DA sander tomorrow and then I should hopefully be able to get a coat of Rust Bullet over the entire chassis.  I am off work for three days this week, so hopefully I can get a good amount of work done.
24/11/07 I finished tidying up the rear end today.  I cut two plates up and blanked both chassis rails off completely.  They are now all closed of, this finishes the rear off nicely.
17/11/07 I ran out of filler (Well it actually went missing somehow as I never locked it away) So I went down to the paint supplier to get some more but they never had any of the Utlima that I have been using:-(.  So I couldn't be bothered to head over to the workshop as I had it in my mind that I would be finishing off the chassis filling.  There are plenty of other jobs still to be done, but I was just not in the mood.  Maybe that's why the truck is still sitting there in a sorry state, I cant believe that its been over two years now and I still haven't started to put anything together yet.  Hopefully I will make some good progress over the coming weeks as I have booked a few days off work in November and December and then I have all of the period between Christmas and New year off.  So if the weather is not absolutely terrible I will be over the workshop.
10/11/07 I managed to get the additional steel plate and finished boxing in the rear end of the chassis this week.  I also decided to cut out the rear cross-member that was looking very beaten and replaced it with a new piece of 50x50 box section.  The rear end is now all boxed and the new cross-member in place which now looks a lot neater. 
03/11/07 I didn't get to do anything on the Truck again this week as I only landed back at Heathrow at midday and then by the time I had gone through passport control, stood waiting for an hour for my bag to come out of the jammed carousel then drove back home it was well after 2.  So I couldn't be bothered to head over to the workshop.  I did manage to pick up some air valves to complete the air suspension setup whilst I was away.  I have all of the components that I need now to complete the air suspension setup.  I went for the Air ride Technologies Big Red Valves in the end.
27/10/07 No work on the truck this weekend as I am of back over to the US for the week to work.  I am hoping that I will be able to get hold of a few more little bits that I forgot to get a few weeks ago.  I sat there looking at the catalogue for days before we went on holiday working out what small bits I needed and could get to bring back.  Then as soon as I landed I thought of some other bits that I should have go but didn't. I think I will have to take some time off work soon to get a good few days work on the chassis done and to get it in paint, before the weather starts to get too bad.  Its already getting dark real early now that the clocks have just gone back it will be dark at 4 o'clock before you know it.
20/10/07 I am getting on with the chassis filling.  It seems that the more I do, the more there is to do.  I am now thinking that I need to plate the rear of the chassis to neaten up the area around the rear cross-member that I made to support the tipping bed.  It just looks like all of the rest of the work is more finished than this area.  I want to get all of the visible areas of the chassis to look as neat as possible.  So I will be getting some more steel plate and completely boxing in the rear section too.  I am off to the US again next week, so I will see if I can get a few more bits and pieces whilst there if I get the time.
06/10/07 I haven't done anything on the Truck for the last few weeks as I was on holiday.  Marie and I went on a Driving holiday around the West side of the US.  We started in San Francisco and ended up in LA.  Whilst we were there I did manage to get to a couple of Truck part suppliers.  We got to Sacramento Vintage Ford on the way from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe and we also visited Midfifty travelling from The Grand Canyon down to Lake Havasu (Where London Bridge is).  I got a few small items from each that I could bring back in my luggage.  I really wanted to get a new front Bumper or an air conditioning unit, but they wouldn't fit in my suitcase.....
08/09/07 More filling and smoothing of all the chassis joints this week.  I hate this job! its just a matter of making sure that there are no weld high spots, if there are they get grinded off.  Then fill the entire area with Plastic padding then Sand it all down again hopefully leaving a nice smooth joint which flows between the two parts making them into one.
01/09/07 Today I started to fill all of the welds on the chassis where ever they will be easily visible.  Unfortunately as I am making a tipper, this means pretty much all of the rear of the chassis.  So I started with the frame that I welded in to mount the Jag Axle.
25/08/07 I finished the bracket for the ancillaries today.  I made the necessary holes to mount the air compressor bracket and also welded on the captive nut mounting sections to the two inner rails.  Only slight problem I had was that the inner faces of the chassis rails are no where near parallel, so I had to space the mountings off at a bit of an angle to make the bracket fit.
11/08/07 No work on the truck this weekend or next weekend as I will be working out in the States for the next week.  If I get a chance though I might see if I can get a few bits that I am after while I am over there if I get any spare time.
09/08/07 Today I took a trip down to metal supermarket the spent the rest of the day cutting and welding the box section I bought to make the bracket that will mount the Air tank and the Hydraulic pump.  I am making a single bracket that will mount between the chassis rails and go underneath the prop shaft.  I will then make a loop to go over the prop shaft so that it will cage the prop shaft.  I now have the two brackets made, the small one to mount the air pump and the large bracket that mounts the air tank and Hydraulic pump.  I needed to work out how to mount these to the chassis.  I had thought about welding them in place, but I wanted to have them removable.  This then meant having to have fixings on the chassis, but as I had already boxed the chassis this was not going to be a straight forward task.  In the end I decided to weld some nuts inside some short lengths of box section and close the ends off.  These will then be fully welded to the inner chassis rails leaving the mounting points.  I will add some pictures of the final solution under the build section.
08/08/07 I have 3 days off of work so will spend the next couple of days working on the truck.  I am determined to finally get the chassis ready for prep and paint.  This means that I need to sort all of the brackets that will mount the air compressor, air receiver and hydraulic pump.  I spent most of today tidying up the workshop, then re seating the engine and gearbox to make sure that I had all of the necessary clearances when locating the pumps etc.  I decided that the air receiver/tank and the hydraulic pump would go either side of the prop shaft and the small air pump would be located on the rear left hand side of the chassis inner rail.
28/07/07 I welded up a small bracket to mount the air pump today.  It will mount to the chassis rail, but I haven't yet decided exactly where it will go.  Its just a simple double L shape bracket that lines up with the rubber mounting feet of the pump.
21/07/07 The truck got moved from one part of the workshop to another.  I now have a separate area to work in rather than the corner of the large workshop.  I think that this will be better as I will be able to my stuff tidy and out of the way and I will not be in the same area as half a ton of filler dust each week.  I have put a divider (a large tarpaulin) up between the main workshop and my area to try and stop the majority of the dust and it seems to be working.
12/05/07 It is feeling like I am going backwards.  I have the truck back down to the bare chassis again, to finish off some of the welding on underside of the rear end.  I find it a lot easier and neater to just flip the chassis over and weld it the while its upside down rather than weld overhead.  I flipped the chassis by using the engine hoist to lift it up on to one side then drop it back down again after pulling the bottom under.  I have now completed all the welding, but I am sure there will be more required.  I am in the difficult situation, whereby I want to get a coat of paint on the chassis but I just know that I will have to be taking it back to metal again to fit the other bits I haven't yet sorted, such as the hydraulic power unit.
05/05/07

Well its been a slow few weeks on the truck.  I ordered a Brand new hydraulic power unit, only for it to be the wrong one when it arrived.  I am still waiting on the supplier, who promised to swap it for the correct unit when they get them.  I decided that the body all had to come off the chassis again now so that I could finish the welding required on the chassis.  I had to notch out the front end to clear the exhaust manifold on the passenger side and I still need to fully weld the underside of some of the rear end where I made the modifications to clear the Air bags. Things are getting a bit tight in the workshop now, as there is a lot more work going on there.  I am going to make up a shelf unit so that I can stand the cab on it over the bed to try and make better use of the space available and hopefully will also limit the risk of more damage from people having to move the cab out of the way when they want to get another vehicle in or out of the workshop.

07/04/07 I spent the day making the Hydraulic ram mountings today.  The ram I have was sourced of of some chap on ebay for £20.  It is a brand new single acting ram.  The only thing is it is a very heavy duty item, probably more at home on a car transporter or something similar.  It will probably lift 10-15 Tons easily.  As my rear is only lifting for cosmetic purposes, it is a real overkill, but at £20 I decided I would use it anyway rather than spend lots of money on a new lighter duty unit.  I have come up against a slight problem, the bolt heads are so big that the one mounting the top or the ram will need to be machined down by about half its height to clear the side of the chassis rail.  I have added some more pictures of the progress under the build section.
06/04/07 Marie and I went to Wheels day today.  It's the first large scale show of the year, I didn't drive the Land Rover up this year though.  It was a really hot sunny day and we saw a lot of nice cars and trucks.  I took a load of pictures of all of Ford trucks that I saw.  You can see them under the General section.  It's Easter Bank holiday this weekend so I should get a couple of days in on the truck this week, to make up for the lack of progress lately.
24/03/07 I picked the two pieces of steel up from the sheet metal shop during the week that make up the new front panel.  They put one of the return edges on the separate top section on the outside rather than inside as I had asked, but as it happens it probably made it easier and neater that way anyway.  The only thing is that I now have a returned edge along the top.  I used the return to weld against the front panel by drilling holes along it and then puddle welding into them.  This leaves a small blob of weld, but looks pretty uniform.  I haven't decided yet whether to bother grinding them down, or just leave them.
The other side of the top section needed to be fully welded along the edge.  I did this a little at a time using small tacks then after cooling, filling in between them.  Until all the gaps were filled.  Then it was a matter of grinding down the edge to try and make it look as neat as possible.  It came out reasonably well and after a bit of filler and high build primer it should be perfect.  I have added some pictures to the build section showing the details.
17/03/07 Didn't touch the truck this week.  I was waiting for a few bits so couldn't be bothered to head over and then look for something to do.  There is always plenty that needs doing, but I tend to stick with one thing at a time rather than jump between jobs.
10/03/07 Didn't do very much at all this week.  I cut the front panel out of the bed to take it with me to a local sheet metal shop to see about getting a new one made.  I ended up nearly slicing the top of my finger off on one of the ground down rivets so gave up on the truck for the rest of the day.  Instead I popped down the sheet metal shop with the front panel to see what they thought about making another one up.  Unfortunately, due to the very deep U section on the top rail, they are unable to make it in one piece, as it needs special tooling.  So instead, I have asked them to make two pieces up that I will then try to weld together to make the piece required.  My only concern is that it will be very difficult to fully weld along the entire length of the panel keeping it neat and straight.
03/03/07 This week I welded the truck bed to the frame.  I used some 3mm thick steel to shim the bed up a bit to get it to sit parallel then I welded the Bed, frame and shim piece all together using a few short stitches.  I then tack welded the rear cross-member to the rear frame rail across the top edge.  The bed is now in need of a new front panel.  I might have a go at making one from fabricating it out of some box section and a sheet.  I have added some pictures to the build section showing the progress.
24/02/07 Another slow week this week LStill focusing on the bed, I did manage to replace the rear Cross-member with a new section that I had folded up at a local sheet metal shop who has a big brake press.  I had a C section folded up the size of the original cross-member out of 16swg Steel.  It did not need to be anywhere near as strong as the original as the welded frame is now the thing that takes the strain.  The cross-member is more  a cosmetic thing now.  I also now have the bed up the correct way with the frame located in the correct position.  Due to the different thicknesses of the returned edges, I need to make some spacer pieces up so that it all sits flat, then I will weld the bed and frame together.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so I don't have any progress pictures.
17/02/07 Didn't really get too much done to the bed this week.  I stripped the actual bed down and made sure that the frame would fit.  This consisted of cutting out the rear cross-member and then removing any of the bed metalwork that would foul the frame.  These were only small areas where the sides had been returned.  I now need to get a new rear section made up to replace the cross-member and will probably also make a new bed front panel as the original is in very bad shape.  I have added some details in the build section.  I am still trying to source a small hydraulic pump and cylinder to power the bed.  I can't believe how difficult it is to get some people to sell you something.  You give them the details the specs. everything other than the price which you want from them and somehow they manage to fail to get back to you with it.  I sometimes wonder how half of these companies do any business.
10/02/07 I finished welding up the hinge section of the tipping bed today.  It was fairly straight forward, I just used what I had left over from the frame, i.e. the 2" square box section.  I made some mounting pieces with some 16mm bore tube welded into them.  Then used some M16 Stainless steel hex bolts as the hinge pivot.  I have added a few pictures to the build section.
03/02/07 I welded up the frame that will become the base of the bed.  I had to use the chassis of the truck to make sure that the frame was level and square.  It was just a matter of making sure that the chassis was level first, then use the chassis as a jig to position the frame rails before welding.  I made a few measurements across the diagonals to make sure it was square then a few tack welds to hold it all together.  Then before welding, i flipped the whole thing over and measured everything again and made sure that it was still sitting level.  A few more tacks on the other side, then it was all ready to be fully welded. 
I just need to work out the hinge now and then the power.  I was going to use a standard heavy duty hinge but couldn't find anything suitable, so I am going to make it up.  I am going to use a couple of 16mm stainless bolts as the hinge, I just need to fabricate the frame and metalwork for the pivot point.  It all looks a little heavy, but I could do with the weight over the rear axle to help with traction and better to over engineer than under.
30/01/07 I went over to the workshop after work this evening to get on with the Bed frame.  I have cut all of the frame up and chamfered the edges all ready for welding.  My tungsten carbide tipped mitre saw really came into its own in cutting all the rails up to length.  It looks like I will have to utilise the chassis rails to make sure that the bed frame is flat.  I don't think that the floor is flat enough.
27/01/07 Did a bit more work on the tailgate, but it still has a way to go yet before it will be ready for paint.  The Brake pedal assembly turned up last week, so I drilled the necessary holes to mount it to the Firewall.  it was a fairly straight forward operation.  I just had to mark the hole pattern from the pedal to the firewall then drill the 4 mounting holes 1/2" Dia.  The centre hole to clear the rubber bellows on the rear of the servo unit (Booster) is about 2" diameter.  Luckily I had a hole saw just about the right size so I saved quite a bit of time that would have been spent cutting and filing.  I have finally decided (after pondering for some time) to make the Bed a Tipper.  I haven't yet decided how to power it, I will make it tip first then try and work out the power.  The favourite option though will be a small self contained hydraulic pump with either a single or double acting ram.  I have drawn up a rough diagram of the frame that I intend to make up to mount the bed to.  This will then tip from the chassis.  I am going to fabricate it out of 2" square box section.
20/01/07 I welded up the new chamfered end sections on the tailgate and ground the welds down ready for some plastic padding.  I also welded some end caps in the ends of the top rail on the tailgate and fitted some hidden latches that go inside the rail.  There is one slight problem, in that the top rail was badly dented on one side.  Unfortunately the dent is right where the latch goes.  So I need to modify the small latch knob on that side to make it slightly longer, to allow for the extra thickness.  I took that tailgate home with me so that if I get any time during the week I will have a go at the filler work in my garage.
13/01/07 I have decided to do a few mods to the tailgate.  I bought some hidden latches to replace the standard latches and chains.  I have cut off the old tabs that the latches hooked on to, to smooth the outside surface.  I am also going to weld in some new sheet at approx. 45 degrees from the outside sections to neaten everything off a lot more where the original corners are very poor and have uneven gaps and uneven sized returns.  The plan is to have the tailgate looking smooth but not too radical.  I will add some pics to the build section as soon as I can.
06/01/07 Well it's been a while since I updated the site.  I haven't done that much to the truck over November and December.  I was pretty busy with work and the weather was just so bad that I couldn't face getting up early to drive all the way over to the truck to have my fingers freeze off as soon as I touched the sheet metalwork or tools.  My enthusiasm was probably at its lowest during November and after a few supporting comments from some of the guys on the Truck Forum I decided to just have a break.  Anyway, the break is over and I am getting back on with it now, my enthusiasm is getting back to somewhere near to where it was.  I thought that I would get back into it again with a few small bits to start with and ease myself back in gradually.  I finished cutting the transmission cover so that it clears the Manual transmission gear shift.  I also tidied up my corner of the workshop as it was under about 3/4" of dust and dirt.
28/10/06 I finished trial fitting all of the steering mechanism, including the Universal joints and the double D shaft.  I fitted the drivers side header so check on clearance.  Wouldn't you just believe it, there is loads of room.  I could and should have left the engine on the centreline of the chassis.  But as I didn't have the headers when I put the engine in I erred on the side of caution, leaving more room to allow for the steering linkages.  Oh well.  I stripped the column, Rack, steering linkages and headers all off the truck again and put them away now that I know they all fit.  I have now started to fill all of the seams in the tailgate to make it look smoother and fill in all of the gaps.  I have lead filled the corners and am putting smooth radius's in.

I have been thinking about what to do with the rear bed.  The top rails are badly bent towards the rear and the rolled edge is flattened out in a number of places.  I am thinking that I might remake the top edge out of some tube and I am thinking about putting a sweeping curve towards the rear, a bit of a batman wing look.  I made some cardboard templates to mock up the look and I think it will look pretty good.

21/10/06 I trial fitted the right hand exhaust manifold (Header) to see how much I will have to trim the chassis.  There is actually just about 2mm of clearance to the chassis, but this is too close as the engine will move on the mounts.  I marked the chassis for a section to be notched and then re-boxed.  But I will wait to do the actual cutting and welding when I take the engine out of the chassis again.  I also started to fit the steering column and the steering linkages.  I have fitted the column drop and the floor mount.  I found that the left hand engine mount had to be notched out to make room for the universal joint on the steering rack end.  I have still yet to fit the left hand exhaust manifold to see how to route the steering rod from the column.  I am hoping that it will be a simple straight run from column to rack, but the way things have been going I am anticipating having to have to go round a corner.
14/10/06 Didn't really do a great deal this week, I did clean all of the exterior of the rear wings off to make them bright and shiny, with the intension of getting a sealer coat on them.  But I didn't get around to getting any paint on them.
07/10/06 I finished filing the lead work down using a body file (Vixen) to leave both rear wings complete.  They now just need a shot blast on the inside and thin skim of plastic padding on the outside to remove all surface imperfections before painting.  I also had a bit of a clear up and took the cab back off of the chassis in preparation for a few coats of high build filler primer.
06/10/06 I took a trip down to Brighton first thing today, one of the chaps on the NSRA forum (Grant Fuller) was selling off some parts from his abandoned Rover P5 coupe project.  So we came to a deal on a Dakota Digital DHC-2002 Ride Height Controller with Ride Height Senders and Pressure Senders.  I have everything for the air ride system now, except for the pump, Receiver (tank) and the valves.  After I got back from Brighton, I spent the rest of the day Leading the rear wings.  The method I used of clamping the two together made it really easy to handle them and I managed to complete both wings with just 1" of lead left over.
05/10/06 I finished the welding and grinding on the rear wings today, I made some stiffening (doubler) plates to go in behind the front bottom edges where the they mount to the running boards.  I drilled 6 holes in them, then puddle welded them in place.  I also made a couple of curved sections to weld to the inside of the bottom edge where I had to make the cuts to get the curve.  Once all of the grinding was done, I set about thinking how I would do all of the lead work.  I wanted to mount the wings to something to help keep them in the correct shape whilst I leaded them.  I couldn't mount them to the bed as I would not have the room needed and I didn't want to risk distorting the bed sides with the heat.  After a few minutes pondering, it came to me, why don't I just bolt the two wings together, they will hold each other.  While I am leading one the other will be cold and hold the shape.  All I had to do was find some thin aluminium sheet to put between the two to prevent me leading them together.
04/10/06 I filled and sanded the rear of the cab today, it took 3 attempts to get the rear into shape.  There was quite a low in the centre just below the third brake light and two highs either side of it.  I tried a porta power (Hydraulic Ram) to push the low out from the inside of the cab, but it was just too springy.  So I ended up just filling the area.
03/10/06 Today I made the repair patches for the front lower sections of the rear wings.  To get the curve required I cut slits out of the bottom edge and then welded up the slits when they were in the correct position.  I butt welded the panels in flush, so once ground down, I did a little hammer and dolly work to make the join just slightly low as I will be lead filling the area.  One of the wings also had a bad split in it and the centre of the outer lip was pulled out a way.  So I cut this section out and welded in a new section from the other set of wings that cut up.
02/10/06 I welded up both rear wings and ground down all of the welds ready for finishing.  The wings were a little distorted from the welding so I had to do a bit of hammer and dolly work on them to get them back into shape. I now just have the two bottom repair sections to make and weld in place now.  The bottom front edges where they bolt to the running boards were rotted through.  I don't have access to a shrinker, so I will have to make the repair panels by hand by cutting and welding to generate the curve required.  Once these are done I will then Lead fill all the seams.
30/09/06 I managed to get hold of a spot welder, so I welded in the third brake light Bracket.  All I need to do now is weld a couple of studs to it to mount the light itself.  I started on the Rear wings (Fenders) today.  I have two sets to cut up to make one wider set.  I started off by deciding which of the 4 to use as the rear or front sections.  This was not a hard task as one set were pretty beat up and the only usable part was the rear edge.  I cut a 2" wide strip off the rear and then removed just the rear return flange on the soon to be mating wing.  Once both halves were cleaned up and aligned by bolting the rear edge to the side of the bed to keep it in the correct shape, clamped the ends together with a couple of standard welding clamps, then proceeded to cleco the rest of the wing together.  I was then able to remove the wing from the bed with the cleco's holding everything together.  As I had the spot welder handy I thought that I would use it to weld the to pieces together as it would save a lot of time on the finishing, but unfortunately there was just not enough power available to get a decent weld.  It did not seem to matter how long I held the power on it just didn't want to flow, after a number of failed attempts I decided to give up and resort back to Mig welding.
29/09/06 The filler arrived so I finished off the roof profile.  It was a lot of sanding and all by hand (No power sanders).  The only remaining item to do on the cab now is to weld in the stiffening bracket for the third brake light, then I will be able to fill and sand the rear panel.
27/09/06 Still no filler turned up so I had to get on with another job again.  Most of the panel work is still at the shot blasters so all I had left was the bed and the tailgate.  So I decided to have a go at trying to get rid of the oil canning in the centre of the tailgate. it was sprung into a concave shape, you could press the centre and it would pop out, but as soon as you let go it would spring back again. I did a bit of reading on the best way to try and resolve the problem and came to the conclusion that the best way would be to heat shrink the metal i.e. Heat a small area in the centre of the oil can and let the cooling metal then pull the stretch out.

I was cleaning up the tailgate getting ready to take on the task when Roger (Old Guy I rent the corner of my garage from) came by asking what I was doing. I explained what I was about to do and he winked at me and then proceeded to tell me how I SHOULD do it. He told me to find a lot of old newspaper and make myself some paper mache. Then make a doughnut out of it around the area I was heating, effectively making a heat shield for the rest of the tailgate. This ensures that all of the metal around the heated area remains cool and the heated metal has nowhere to expand other than in its thickness. It was a very simple thing and fairly obvious, but I never thought of it.  After cooling, the tailgate is as taught as the day it was stamped . All I had to do was a little plannishing. Needless to say, I am well chuffed with the outcome.
26/09/06 No Filler today, so instead of working on the roof again, I made a replacement floor panel that the steering column will go through and I stripped the tailgate down to bare metal.  I started to sand it with a DA sander, but it was slow going and the DA could not get into half the places due to the stamped F O R D lettering.  So I decided to strip the tailgate of paint by using some Nitromoors (Paint stripper).   It took 3 coats to loosen then strip the paint.  I then Steam cleaned the tailgate to get rid of all paint stripper residue before a panel wipe with thinners to prevent the tailgate from rusting.
25/09/06 Today I spent most of the day working on the roof.  A little hammer and dolly work to get rid of some highs and then a skim with plastic padding before lots of sanding down.  I then put a second wipe of plastic padding  over half the roof and ran out.  So after rubbing down the one half I had to stop.  I have ordered some more Plastic padding, hopefully it will turn up tomorrow so that I can get the entire roof finished.
23/09/06 I spent all morning cutting a slot out the back of the cab for a new third brake light.  It was my birthday present from Marie.  I saw one installed on a 1953 F100 and really liked the look.  It is a flush mounting LED type brake light.  The lens is only 6mm (1/4") high by 10 1/4" long.  This meant I had to cut a very neat slot these dimensions in the rear of the cab under the rear crease line.  I was hoping that I would be able to cut the slot using my Dremel tool.  But it was just not up to the job.  So I ended up having to cut the slot by Drilling a hole at each end then cut between them with an angle grinder with a 1mm thick cutting disc. Then it was a matter if filing by hand to get a perfect fit.  It took a couple of hours but it turned out perfect.  The only problem is that the cab now flexes quite a bit where I have cut it, so I am cutting a stiffening piece out of 16 swg (Approx 1.5mm) thick Steel with returned edges to spot weld on behind the slot.  After cutting the slot, it was back to more filling and sanding  of the repairs on the cab.  Marie came over the workshop today too and even got stuck in sanding the cab down getting it ready for a few coats of high build primer later in the week.  I now have two weeks off work and will be spending most of the time working on the truck, so I am hoping to make some good progress.
16/09/06 I spent the day spreading and then sanding plastic padding over all of the areas that I worked with lead.  I had a nasty high spot on the front of the roof as I hammered it to get it down, I realised that the steel was very weak and thin.  It had cracked slightly as I hit it.  I had no option, but to clean all of the plastic padding off from the area and hammer the whole area low then fill it all with lead.  At least I know that it is done properly.  I block sanded all of the rear of the cab after applying a guide coat to show all of the lows, it is not looking too bad.  It looks like the roof has a few wobbles in it that I will have to sort out, it also springs in the centre (Oilcans) if you lean on it.  Looking at the roof from the inside there is quite a gap between the roof skin and the brace that goes across the centre.  I am not sure if it is supposed to be, but I think I will fill the void with some Tigerseal flexible sealer to bond the two parts together to help stop the flexing before I try and fill the roof.
13/09/06 The lead turned up, so I finished all of the remaining seams.  I also leaded the entire front section of the cab gutter that was in poor shape.  It now is completely leaded and all of the holes are now completely filled.  I Filed off all the lead work and I started to lay on the plastic padding.  I have had one rough pass at sanding the roof front but it has a bit more work to be done to get it right.
12/09/06 I moved on to the front today, but unfortunately I ran out of lead after just one of the front lower seams.  So I finished the one side by filing it and then skimmed it with plastic padding, before a final block sand to shape.  As I couldn't do any more lead work, I moved on to the top right  section over the gutter rail that had been cut and welded.  I needed to do a fair bit of grinding the filler work to try and get it back to the correct shape.  It is a very tedious job as there is nothing to follow.  I am trying to make the shape up as I go.  I have had a couple of passes at it and it is a lot better than it was, but it still needs more work.  I ordered some more Lead from a local supplier, who said that it should be delivered by the next morning.
11/09/06 I got to the workshop early this morning and after making a cup of Tea and deliberating, I decided that I would have a go at De-seaming the cab.  The rear seam looked untidy and unfortunately the two pieces were not actually in line when they were spot welded together.  I just couldn't see how I would get the rear neat without removing the seam altogether.  I have heard of people de-seaming the Cab in a number of different ways, including just filling with Plastic (Bondo), welding then filling etc.  But I decided to Lead fill the seam then skim with plastic before painting with high build filler primer.  I am real pleased with the way it came out
10/09/06 Today I welded up the fuel filler hole then lead filled any low spots. I also filled in the old aerial hole as I will not have an external aerial as it doesn't keep the nice lines.  I also Filled the rear section of the cab under the rear window.  It was very wavy, so it needed a fair bit of work to get it back straight again.  Something that helped a lot though was the new Flexi sanders that I bought recently.  They are excellent.   I have the next three days off work so I intend putting them to good use.
02/09/06 I filled the crease on the top of the tailgate with Lead.  It has come out pretty well, better than I expected.  I have now also started to do the filler work on the Cab.  I have decided that I am going to relocate the fuel tank to under the rear of the chassis.  This means that I now have to fill in the large hole on the passenger side where the filler was.  I have already cut a section so weld into place, it was a section from the inner front wings (Fenders) that I cut out to clear the Mustang front suspension.  It is just about the perfect shape to maintain the correct profile.  I am going to butt weld it in place so that it sits flush.
28/08/06 I lead filled the holes on the cowl, I decided to lead them as they were along the top edge and potentially be hit by the hood.  I filled and filed off the cowl area ready for a final skim of plastic filler prior to paint.  I have also started to do a bit of work on the tailgate.  I have managed to get the small dents out of the top rail by lead filling them.  However there are a couple of problem areas.  a large crease at one end of the top rail and the centre of the tailgate is stretched and oilcan's.  I think I will get away with lead filling the crease but I have not yet decided how to attack the stretched centre section.
26/08/06 Spent most of the day mocking up a steering column out of an old broom handle,  I have decided that a 32" column should be about the best fit.  Although it is hard to tell without any exhaust manifolds (Headers) in place it is still a bit of a guessing game.  I also started to try and straighten the top section of the cowl on the cab that sits under the hood.  It looks like the cord sealing strip that was fitted originally was nailed on.  there were lots of holes with a big dent around each of them.  I did a fair bit of hammer and dolly work on them to bring them back as far as possible.
19/08/06 I got the rear axle all bolted back up again and checked on the shockwave clearances when the air was on.  The clearance is now much better.  Now that the chassis is pretty much all sorted I decided to put the bed back on so that I could use it to mount the rear wings while I start work on them.  I have two sets of Rears that I will be cutting up to make one set that are 2" wider.  I started to clean off the old paint on one wing using a DA sander, I got it all clean about 6" wide near the mounting flange.  It is a long job and I decided that as I have 4 of them that I would get them media blasted instead.  Hopefully I will get them back before the weekend so that I can start on the cutting and welding.
12/08/06 I spent the day sorting out the rear frame rails to clear the Shockwaves.  I notched out a diagonal section on the lower half of each side.  It proved to be a little more hassle than I first thought as the old mounting tubes were still welded in position, which meant that I had to cut through them too before I could remove the material for the notch.  In the end I removed the rear axle to give better access as I was struggling to get the angle grinder in place.  It also provided for much better access when I welded the notched over again.
05/08/06 I have now got my 4 Air Ride Shockwaves for the rear end.  I thought that I would do a trial fit and see how it looked.  It was a good job that I did.  What I found was that the rear bags when inflated got very close to the frame.  They don't actually foul but they are just too close.  I decided that I had to do some surgery on the rails.  I am notching the rear support rails to give at least a half inch of clearance all round.  I just want to make sure that there is no chance of a stone getting trapped in between the rail and the bag. Unfortunately it means that I will have to strip everything down again to do it, but it has to be done.
22/07/06 Wont be doing anything on the truck this week or next as I am off working in the States and wont be getting back until Sunday, so I doubt I will be feeling much like doing much, what with the jet lag and serious lack of sleep (I just don't sleep on planes).
15/07/07 Test fitted the drivers side front wing (fender) to make sure that the cab and front metalwork still lines up.  I had to mount the Radiator support as the whole front end seems to hang off of it.
08/07/06 Covered the majority of the chassis in an anti rust treatment before I fitted the engine, gearbox and the cab this weekend.  Now I am looking at the steering options.  I like the idea of a nice Brushed Ali steering Column, but they are very expensive.  So I might take a trip down to one of the local breakers yards and see if there are any decent looking columns  in any late model cars that I could modify.  I am a little concerned though that it would not be in keeping with the period look that I am after.  I think that there might be a couple of companies in the UK that make columns for rods, so I will see what I can find in that direction too. 
01/07/06 I cut the old tubes off of the rear suspension mounts and ground the inside faces off flush.  It makes the whole thing look a bit neater.  I also decided to grind off the inner corners of the rear notched triangular sections to tidy it up a bit whilst the chassis was upside down again.  Now that the old tubes are no longer in the way it is easy to get a grinder in. 

I am now at the stage where I could paint the chassis, but I am thinking the best option might be to do a rebuild before finally stripping everything down again for final painting.  As I am sure that there will be more modifications needed that I haven't worked out yet.  I am thinking of coating the entire chassis in POR15 Metal Ready.  It kills rust and coats the metal in a Zinc phosphate.  I could rebuild the truck, make sure everything fits ok and do the body panel fitting.  Then just strip it all down again for final paint.

24/06/06 Finished welding the new rear suspension top mounts in place.  I now need to decide if I am going to grind everything up to make it look a bit neater or just leave it as is.  I guess it will not be seen by anyone unless I get a see through bed or a tipper, neither of which are likely so it just comes down to whether or not I care about it.  I still need to cut the old mounting tubes off as they are now in the way, I might fill and grind the old holes up completely to neaten it up.
19/06/06 Didn't do a great deal on the truck today.  I needed to find out the size of the eye mounts on the ends of the airspring/shock units before I could make the mounts the correct size.  Unfortunately because of the time difference to the US, I only found out towards the end of the day that they actually supply two sizes of bushing.  1/2" and 5/8".  So I got some thick wall tubing that is about 16mm bore. Unfortunately I could only find seamed tube so I will have to run a drill or reamer down the bore before I can get the bolts through.  I have now made all of the bits required to make the new mounts, I just need to jig it all up and weld them in place.
17/06/06 I started working on the new rear suspension mounts today.  I decided that the best way to go about it was to make some mock spring/shock units by drilling some box section at the ride height length of the airspring/shocks and then set the chassis to the required ride height and rake.  I could then work out how to make the mounts to suit.  One factor to consider was that the angle that the springs sit at has a direct effect on their efficiency.  So the idea is to keep them as close to vertical as possible, but work within the limits of that space available.  To get the required stroke the ride height length of the airsprings is 14 1/2".  This is about 2 1/2" longer than the standard units.  The only problem now is that to get the extra length I either need to put the springs over at a severe angle or raise the mount so that it would be above the normal bed height.  In the end I decided that I would raise the mount and worry about the bed later. 
16/06/06 Turned the chassis upside down again today to fully weld the radius rod brackets in place and finish weld the last remaining boxing.  I also started to have a look at the rear spring/shock mounts.  As I intend to put airbags under the rear as well as the front I am now looking seriously at how I achieve this with the Jag Rear end.  Unfortunately, I naively assumed that I could get air spring/shocks in the same or similar length to the original coilovers used, therefore placed the mounts in the original positions.  However, I have since found out that the suitable air spring shock combination units only come in a few lengths and because of all of the seals required and their construction the minimum length units are still much longer than the original coilovers, therefore I will have to move the top mounting points.
15/06/06 Today I finished making the radius rod brackets and tack welded them in place on the underside of the chassis rails. I also had to do a bit of running about today though to find some 1/2" UNF Bolts for the rod ends.  In the end I could only find Stainless Steel ones, but that would have been my choice anyway.  I also got the stainless washers and nyloc nuts to go with them.
14/06/06 Finished boxing the chassis off today, the chassis is now boxed from front to back.  It still needs a bit of tidying up underneath but I will do that when I turn the chassis upside down again. I also started on the brackets to mount the ends of the Radius rods.   
13/06/06 Shortened the Gearbox Cross-member to take into account that engine will be mounted slightly to one side to allow more room for the steering linkage on the drivers side. I also made some small doubler plates up for the inside of the chassis rails with nuts welded Captive to mount the Gearbox cross-member.  I then tacked these onto the inside bottom edge before the chassis was boxed.
12/06/06 I have the whole week off work, so I am hoping to get lots done to the truck over the coming days.  After I had tried the Steering rack to check on sump clearance, only to find that the engine was now too low I had to now do something about the mounts.  I ended up welding an extra 3/4" to the bottom edge to raise everything.
10/06/06 Did some more work on the engine mounts, I decided to plate the front face over to give them added strength and make them look neater.  The drivers side  can not be completely plated over as the end of the steering rack pokes through it.  I test fitted the steering rack to get the right clearance for the hole through the mount and noticed something that I had not accounted for.  The pipe work on the rack has a nasty bend that effectively goes straight up right about the mid point of the engine sump.  This means that it it now fowled the sump when the engine was on the mounts at the height I had made them.. AARRGGHH.
04/06/06 Didn't do anything on the truck today, but Marie and I went up to the NSRA Fun Run at Billing Aquadrome.  Saw a few nice trucks there and I picked up the rear diff strap and the lower diff cover plate from Wisbech Engineering.  I also ordered the two Radius Rods to the IRS setup too.  I had already measured up for them.  They needed to be 44" long with the axle end at 8 degrees so that the rod end lines up to the middle of the chassis rail.
03/06/06 The engine mounts turned up during the week, woohoo!  So I got to work on fabricating the pieces out from the chassis to fix to the mounts.  I decided to try and triangulate 4mm thick steel plate up.  It is a tricky job though, getting the engine in the correct place, and making the mounts to suit.  It is lots of tweaking and cutting. 
29/05/06 I got fed up waiting for the engine mounts, they still haven't turned up yet, hopefully I will get them soon.  Anyway, I decided to just hang the engine and gearbox roughly where they need to be so that I could finish making up the Gearbox cross member.  I have updated the build section to show the final item.   I managed to get hold of a second set of rear wings (Fenders) during the week.  I have been looking out for some for a while now.  I intend to make a slightly wider set out of the 4 that I now have.  I will be cutting the rear section from one set and welding them to the other set to make them approx 1-1 1/2" wider.
06/05/06 The engine mounts still haven't turned up.  So I didn't really do much on the truck this week.  I did decide to do some welding practice though.  So I had a go at working out how to make the joint required for the gearbox cross-member.  I decided to make the side sections that mount to the chassis out of 50x50 box section.  I am getting much better with the welder now, but I am thinking of going on a one day course to learn all of the little tricks and tips from a pro. 
31/04/06 It was Bank holiday Monday and Marie came over to the workshop with me to help out.  I did a bit more work on the gearbox mount and took the old mount off of the chassis while Marie had a go at cleaning the surface rust off of the cab repairs and then coated them in an anti rust treatment. We didn't spent too long over the workshop as the back garden needed some attention (The grass was getting a bit too long), so as the weather was good we went and sorted it. 
29/04/06 Whilst I wait for the engine mounts to turn up, I thought I would have a go at making up the gearbox mount.  I got some steel rectangular box section from the local Metal Supermarket and welded up the centre section with the necessary angled brackets to accept the rubber mounts on the gearbox.  To get the spacing and angles correct I took the mounting rubber bracket off of the gearbox and used it as a guide.  I am not sure how high the cross-member needs to be, so I will have to wait until the engine and box go back in place to get it right.  I will probably make the cross-member a bolt in type.  This means that the gearbox can be dropped out from under the truck if necessary in future.
24/04/06 Well I took the Jag mounts back and ordered myself some Mustang Prothane 4.6 Poly Motor Mounts.  They are not as sophisticated as the jag ones but are about half the price.  I had to order them from the Stated so hopefully they will turn up soon and I will be able to weld the chassis mounts to suit and get the engine and gearbox in place properly.
22/04/06 Well I got the Jag engine mounts and they are massive!  There is just no way that I will be able to use them.  The problem is that the aluminium castings come out so far from the sides of the block that the centres of the hydraulic mounts are just far enough apart to foul the chassis rails. So looks like I will be taking them back and sourcing some standard Mustang type mounts. 
15/04/06 I found reference to some hydraulic engine mounts being used on a Jaguar XKR, so I decided to pop down to the local Jag dealership to find out.  The lad in the parts department was pretty helpful (Turns out he remembered me from buying bits for my Land Rover, he used to work at the Land Rover garage before moving to the Jag one.)  He pulled the picture of the mount up on the computer screen and it looked just the same as the one used on the MG ZT 260.  So I ordered a couple.
I started making the engine mounting points to weld to the chassis.  I have cut and folded them but will not be able to weld them in place until I get the hydraulic mounts as I do not know how high they are.
14/04/06 Didn't do any work on the truck today, but I did go to "Wheels day" and had a look a a few finished examples to get the enthusiasm up.  I drove my Lightweight Land Rover up.  I have never been to Wheels day before apparently it has been running now for a few years and that showed.  Even though the weather was terrible there was a great turnout with many different motors of all varieties, Rods, Customs, US, Kit Cars etc. We stayed until about 3.  I bumped into a couple of people I know there, Steve who I met on the Ford Truck Enthusiasts Site (he is rebuilding a 1954 F100), and Mick who lives round the corner from me who bought my old prop shaft for his Ford project.
08/04/06 Fitted the Cab to see how the engine would fit up against the firewall and also check on where the gear change would be compared to the seat in the cab.  It looks like I will just get away with
01/04/06 Trial fitted the engine and gearbox to see roughly where the mountings and cross members will be. it looks as though I might have to find a dry sump kit as the sump is very close to the front cross member for the front suspension.  But I wont know for sure until I trial fit the cab back where it should be.
18/03/06 The engine turned up today, it was on a broken pallet and looked like it had been rolled over completely.  Some of the components were broken, the fuel rails were bent up and one of the valve covers was cracked.  So I was not very impressed.  Finished off the boxing of the rear end.
11/03/06 Worked on the rear end boxing in the frame rails after fitting the Jag mounting frame.
04/03/06 I Was out in States working over the weekend so no work done on the truck.  I wasn't even there long enough to pick any bits up either.
23/02/06 I bought the engine for the truck today.  I was watching a couple of engines on eBay that came up.  One was a Supercharged Mustang 4.6 and the other was a non supercharged version of the same.  The supercharged engine just disappeared after a day.  But the non supercharged looked to be running its course.  Anyway to cut a long story short, I didn't win the auction, but soon after, the company selling the engine contacted me to say that they had 4 of them.  So I managed to get one complete with 5 speed manual box.  Apparently they were all ex MG Rover group engines, the ones that they used in the MG VF.  The only thing it is missing is the ECM module to drive the fuel and ignition system.  It will be delivered after 6th March as I will be out in the States next week. While I am out there I will see if I can pick up an ECM unit.  I have seen a few on US eBay for as little as $5.
21/02/06 I decided to slot the holes in the top diff mount during the week, so I could concentrate on locating the axle correctly in the chassis.
18/02/06 I decided to test fit the rear axle on the frame before welding it into the rear of the chassis.  It was a good job that I did.  I found that the mounting holes for the rear diff were incorrect.  it looks like they are about 5mm out of centre.  Which is not an easy thing to rectify as it is 1/2" thick steel plate.  It also looks like the centre line of the axle does not seem to be where it should be.  I will have to have a think about this before I go much further, but this wont be until next week now.  We are off to Cadbury world tomorrow so no work on the truck.
12/02/06 Didn't do anything on the truck today.  I did take Marie over to the workshop to see the progress though.  I also sold the old Propshaft to a chap that saw my axle for sale on ebay.  No takers for the back axle though, even though it had 26 watchers.  Oh well.
11/02/06 Started to fit the rear axle mounting frame.  It was a little nerve racking having to cut a big chunk out of the lower rails of the chassis.  But it had to be done, only after measuring a few times though.  I managed to get the frame within the rails and located on the centre line of the axle.  I am just unsure of the height in the frame now.  I may have to fully build the front end to get it on the floor so that I can then make sure I get the correct rake and ride height.  I will have a think about that one...
10/02/06 Finished off the front end welding and test fitted the suspension arms, Air springs, spindles and brakes. 
09/02/06 Had the day off work today so went over the workshop to try and finish the front end welding.  I managed to weld the spring hats and the shock mounts on.  The only thing left to do for the front end now is the spacer pieces on the cross member that are used to make up the width of the lower arms.

First day of the website going Live!  Everything before this point will be added to the best of my memory and the dates on the photos...

   

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