Builds 10 years with the 74/after-the-fact build thread

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Oct 8, 2003
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The panels were wired (in series for 24V) with nice Ancor 10 gauge duplex marine wire



Into the standard Victron 75/15 MPPT charge controller with the bluetooth dongle. About 2 minutes after I bought it, Victron introduced the improved version with bluetooth built in, for less money of course.



My 81 has a solar setup with the excellent Morningstar MPPT charge controller which has worked awesome, but I sure like the full on geek factor of the bluetooth Victron app. Good for in-camp pissing matches with your pals over who's solar is putting out the most power :lol:



So far it's keeping the 24V array in float mode, so it's time to fire up the fridge, put a load on the system and see how well it really works.
 
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The nice thing about the length of those 65" Thule bars is they left a nice amount of space at the back to mount an awning.
I don't know what the hell I was trying to take a pic of here, but you can see one awning bracket hanging off the right bar...



After scoring a Foxwing 270 degree awning for my 81 off craigslist, I had a small CVT left over gathering dust so on it went - oh yeah, I also removed the fuel can swing out from the bumper. Since the 74 will be mostly a day tripper or weekend rig most of the time I figured it was dead weight. Easy to throw back on if it gets pressed into "emergency back up wheeling rig" status on a long trip though.





Pretty good fit, though it does stick out past the sides of the 74 top some. We have some pretty tight brushy trails here that I would probably remove it before doing, but I think the majority of the time it should be ok.



Nice to have shade/dry space at the back of the truck.





I'm pretty happy with the whole rack/panel/awning set up, it looks decently tidy. Badly needs an air deflector up front though.

 
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The ARB fridge slide didn't bring the fridge out far enough to lift the lid very high without hitting the top of the storage, so we cut a flap to allow better access. I'm trying some rare earth magnets I found at Lee Valley Tools to hold it shut.
One magnet held it pretty firmly closed, but they came in a 2 pack so may as well use 'em...





With both of them installed, you have to give the flap a sharp rap to break it free. If you pull up slowly, the chintzy L brackets will bend!

Need to get it out on a rough road and see if they're going to rattle or break free, but I doubt it.
 
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Aug 28, 2005
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Squampton
 
 
Great job on the story. Just bought a 74 a couple of months ago with almost no electrical at all. Was a repo a few years back. Your build is super interesting as the end result is almost identical to what I have mechanically. Was also thinking that 37" tires would work for my/your setup. Sure I'll see you out there soon
Garry
 

jblueridge

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Those magnets look like the kind I buy for my science classes.
Kids like to let them clash together til they shatter.
I smear some clear silicone over the magnets to make a thin rubbery cushion.
 
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Great job on the story. Just bought a 74 a couple of months ago with almost no electrical at all. Was a repo a few years back. Your build is super interesting as the end result is almost identical to what I have mechanically. Was also thinking that 37" tires would work for my/your setup. Sure I'll see you out there soon
Garry
Hey Garry, Greg told me you'd bought that 74. I knew it back then, I thought I had a few pics of it at River Shiver 2010 but I can't find them. IIRC it was an Outback truck? And pretty nice, at least 10-12 years ago. What happened to the electrical?!

I think it had the same Mark's T Case gears with the 1:08 high range? If so, yeah 37s would probably put the highway gearing in the sweet spot nicely. But even with the front axle moved forward 1" I don't think you'll fit a 37 on there with an emu lift without cutting some front fender. 35s are a bit tight as is (with the axle moved), and Greg's old MTRs were a big enough 35 that they rubbed the back of the fender.

That said I'd love to see you make it happen.
Anyway, welcome back to the slow lane buddy :cheers:
 

Honger

Joel, TLCA #21509
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Just saw this thread for the first time. Very sweet truck. Your love for your cruisers is born out in how much you put them to proper use.
 
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@Greg_B was so impressed with my work he thought it should be in the thread, so...

Recently noticed the switch cover on the ARB compressor switch had broken. Today while doing some self isolating in my garage, I found a cover for a front locker...

There, I fixed it :hillbilly:
]
 
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Finally got around to chopping down those front storage boxes.


Painted - lucky I had lots of that stinky marine paint left over from the last round...


Some more piano hinge for the doors, then used my patented "measure nonce, drill thrice" method to put some clasps on


And re-installed. That was a lot of work to be able to move the seat back back a few inches, but worth it.


I got those little clasps 4 for $15 off amazon, so used the other 2 on the side box. Seem good so far.
 
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This isn't totally 74 related, but as it will get dragged behind the 74 at times I'll throw a few pics in here. My late fall/early winter project.
I've had this M101cdn for about 15 years or so. I had plans for it, but never really got too far.
Cruisin' off road Jason had cut a tailgate in it for me 5 or 6 years back so I could put my race bike in it... which worked, but as a bike trailer it was less than ideal :lol:



He also made a lid, and a set of fenders that I never installed.

I had already changed the hubs to a Cruiser pattern, and had a pair of 35s on 80 rims on.


The poor thing had sat outside for 15 years and was starting to deteriorate pretty good. It needed to be saved before it was too late.
Once again @Greg_B offered to help, and we tore into it.
First we fitted those ******* fenders I'd been banging my shins on for at least 8 years.


Sanded, primed, painted with Aervoe Woodland Green.


Tub stripped down.


All the old seam sealer removed (THAT sucked!), sanded, painted with Rust Bullet


Seams sealed with Sikaflex
 
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Paint!


Jason had delivered the lid to me all primed and ready to paint... which of course I didn't do. I decided it was smarter to let it sit outside for a bunch of years and let it rust instead... :bang:

Anyway... sanded down best I could,


Decided to try Corroseal on the lid, its supposed to convert the rust and turn it black, leaving you with a sealed, paintable surface. No primer required. First coat:


Second coat


Painted with a roller - colour matched, water based paint compatible with Corroseal. 3 coats.


Same process for the inner tub:


 
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Assembling...




The colour match isn't perfect but it's pretty darned close.


Parachute loops cut and rewelded for fender supports


Rear fender support struts and cool tail light mounts/ plate holder




A 50 cal ammo can just fits behind the strut.


That's where it's at now. I have a few more projects to tie up on my 81 then I can get back to the trailer, get my old Technitop RTT mounted up, then decide how far I want to go with this thing. At least it's now officially "saved" and should be good to go for another 20 years. By the time it starts rusting again it should be someone else's problem :lol:

Huge thanks to @Greg_B for all the time and effort, much appreciated.
 
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