Bat Cruiser build

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May 12, 2013
Old Fort N C
So after following all the build threads for motivation, I am finaly starting my own.
The name comes from the fact that my 6 year old son wants a Bat Cruiser, so we will have to find some neat " bat" stuff to incorporate into the build. Purely cosmetic I am sure, cause I cannot afford to make this thing fly!
On hand already:

A great 78 cowl, it is in real good shape, and seems to be unaltered.

A 71 tub to graft on ( no pic yet)

A clean frame , almost finished SOA shackles.

A 85 ish 2F

And the 4spd trans and tcase.

I have a 71 hardtop also, which will have to go through a referb, and front and barndoors.

The plan is to build a reliable daily driver, and capable trail rig.
I will add pics of the frame and Trans tomorrow.

I can join the cowl to the 71 tub, right? They seem to measure the same. I plan to delete the box under the driver seat and go with the 78 seats.

Are the gas tank wells the same?

I will have a million more questions, and
looking forward to sharing this with mud brothers.

I used a later transmission cover in my 68 to get better clearance for a four speed. The earlier fuel tank is bigger and would go that route. I run 74 buckets seats and kept the tool box so I have a secure place to lock up tools.
Have a few 78 cowls laying around but never got around to switching it. Ended up with a few later 40 series. The later 40 series have better clearance with the torque tube behind the transfer case and longer transmission cover. While I used a later cover cut it off at the back. If I change anything in my 68 it will be to go back closer to stock. Not sure what year frame you using but would be at least a 73.
@Living in the Past , not sure what you mean by " at least a 73". The frame is 78. Is there a difference with the body mounts?
I got the whole 78 truck, tub was swiss cheese, but cowl grest. So I am using all the 78 stuff I can.
Guess didn't catch the fact you were using a 78 frame. Seen 78 seats and cowl, missed the frame part. That's the same as a 73 except for the rear frame member with later rectangular tail lights.
Trying to decide whether to tear into the engine that I do not know the history of. The oil pan had a lot of water in it, I believe it was left in the weather, and water went down the carb, which means it went thru a valve and thru rings.
I pulled the oil pan, anDwhat I could see of the cylinder walls looks great, except for #3, which looks like a little rust is smeared onto the wall.
I did soak the cylinders before turning the engine over, changed the sludge gor oil. and even poured a little gas in the carb and ran it for a few seconds several times.
I really do not want to go into this, cause I can just see $100 bills falling into it.
As I said before, it looks like it was rebuilt, then a tree fell on the truck, and the project was abandoned.
I pulled the main bearing cap, second from rear, and here are pics. What else should I check? The scratches in the bearing can barely be felt with a fingernail.
What do you think?
Hey Frank, You got some good parts to start building with. The casting date of the engine block is on the driver side, toward the rear. Cyl head date is on top face, outside valve cover. Post pics and we can decode. If it is a 79-newer engine, it has lost it's oil cooler & t-stat housing.

Trade the long H42 & split case for a 74-80 H42 & t-case. This will net a tranny that almost fits under floor, a shorter tranny that fits a reasonable rear d-shaft, and a t-case mounted p-brake.
Get a 74-80 BH and BH mounts as well, so the drivetrain just bolts to the '78 4-pt engine mounts.
Thanks Jim.
Looks like I am going to use the SM420 and 3spd tf case from another truck. I will just have to see how the Trans hump works out.
That will also work well. The SM420 and adapter plate is almost the same length as an H42, so stock d-shafts drop in. OTOH, With the suspension mods you're doing, the shafts will probably need tweaked anyway.

And the 3speed bell housing will have the bolt-on side mounts to fix the boogerwelded FJ60 BH.

Lastly, the 3spd T-case will have the park brake the connect to the 78 handle& cable.

It's a great plan!:bounce2:

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