Let's not call it a restoration... Chopped down FJ40 to 45ish on an FZJ80 chassis BUILD!

HandForged

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Aluminum is never cheap, but is nice because lightweight and rust free. Should be a very useful design with lots of room for gear. I have an 75 series bed sitting in my shop that i might end up bobbing on both sides to fit up on my truck. I want the bed length to be in the 5' to 5.5' range, so im not getting hung up on the back end in the rocks. I haven't decided fully on the 75 series bed or just making a nice removable side flatbed...

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Aluminum is the way to go for sure. I do have a mild concern with structural integrity should my truck end up on it's side somewhere on a trail and yes it has happened before. I don't know why but I thought a riveted stainless skin on it would look good... painted of course.
 

HandForged

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Hung the drivers door so that I can tack up the hard top section. It will need a good bit of work to make the window work out on the side. I am mildly concerned with the door fitment as I will need to use it as a guide for fitting the hard top section. The gap looks off so I guess I'll play with the door to get it correct before proceeding. My doors are pretty beat up but they'll work fine. They don't have glass or regulators in them which isn't really an issue as I had planned to go to electric motor anyway.

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HandForged

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well today's folly is brought to you by the letters CO2..... ran out of gas for the welder about half way through putting in the last floor panel. The bright side is I did get the corners burned in and ground out. Got a nice clean edge all the way around, hard tacks every 2" on the inside and a full bead around the outside that was ground back to the stock panel. Creating this little 90 degree angle in the rear of the cab for the fuel tank might have been one of my best ideas. Had I not done this here, It would have been about 30 gallons worth of dead space. I'm trying to find someone locally with a brake to bend up the 1/8" plate for the tank, turns out to be harder to find than I thought. I'll be heading down to the welding supply in the next few days to pick up some more gas but until then I have plenty of grinding and fitting to do. Squirt some primer on all of this for now and call it a day I guess.

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HandForged

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Well I was able to get into town today and pickup a steel order. Now I'm stocked up on square, round tubing and flat stock again but DAMN that bill hurts when you back the flat bed up to load it. Picked up my welding gas bottles at Gendco and got to try out the new Miller welding hood, hated it. Tried the new ESAB hood out as well, the one that makes you look like the Gunny from that video game. Didn't like it much either. I was looking for a possible replacement for my Miller Digital elite hood which is still the industry standard for the most part. I'm lucky that our local store has a welding room to try out some of this stuff before you spend that kind of money. I will say, I wanted to try the 3M forced air hood but that thing is some kind of expensive. I figured if I tried and liked it I would need to shuck out the 1500 bucks to get one and at this point I would rather not know... HA! Did get a free miller welding shirt and cap with my business account, so at least there's that.
 
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HandForged

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got all my new materials on racks in the big shop, so now it's over to the temporary shelter where the project truck resides for now. I'm really wanting to bend some tubing... Even though I have had the tubing bender for a few months now, I have not used it as of yet. It's just been sitting there, staring at me in the corner. I know that I SHOULD be getting right back on the sheet metal work, picking up where I left off with the rear bulkhead and then continuing on to the hard top but DAMNIT, I WANT to bend some tubing! 4 sticks of 1" and 4 sticks of 1-3/4" DOM are calling my name.

Tube fenders: After looking at every picture of tube fenders on the internet for a few weeks now, I think I am going my own way. I am concerned with rattles and metal contact with some of the designs that don't include a way to tie the tube into the aprons. In this instance, I think the correct way to start this is by bending up some 1/4" flat stock to shape first. Follow the contours of the tub into the apron and into the Bib. Leaving about 1/2" reveal on the outside and the rest inside to have a solid SQUARE location to fabricate inner fender wells later. Then the tubing can be bent and tied to this flat stock. This will also allow me to bolt the tub, aprons and bib into this assembly securely so I don't get a rattle rolling down the montana washboard roads...Hopefully.
 

HandForged

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Didn't have a lot of time to play today, busy working on things around the farm. I decided to stay the course and work on the rear bulkhead instead of playing with my new bender. Got the topline worked out, stitched it all together, ground it out and primed. Finished welding out the rear of the floor pan and the new gas I got was a little off...just wasn't performing like my old gas and shielding well. Made some adjustments to my flow gauge and sorted it out but I had some boogers to grind out where I wasn't getting good shielding. Getting close to finishing up the rear of the tub. I have a sheet that finished off the enclosed area cut but didn't get to it. Then it will be a slow matter of wire wheeling the tub floor to get the first coat of bedliner in it.

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HandForged

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On the road most of today and I was able to get the dimensions for my fuel tank over to a friend at a steel supplier in great falls. Originally I had planned to have the sheet steel bent to the shape I needed. As it turns out, if I modified my dimensions by just an inch he was able to source a VERY large piece of rectangular tubing that will suite my needs. Talk about a friend! So instead of making a ton of long seam welds, all I will need to do it cap the ends, build a sump and install the filler neck, tank vent and fuel gauge.
 

HandForged

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Build a heavy duty fuel tank they said, it'll be fun... Well, here is where this one starts. My steel guy sourced the largest piece of rectangular tubing I have worked with. It's 64"x 16"X 8" and it weighs 190 pounds. I'll need to wire wheel and clean the inside but I got it for scrap prices as it was purchased for a larger job a while back and it was actually a drop. I'll cut some baffles, figure out the filler neck and where I want to install the fuel level sender. It will be hard mounted across the frame rails and become a structural part of the tub essentially. I might have overdone it a little this time but there will be ZERO doubt about strength, it's just over 1/4" wall!!! The exposure of the tank on the sides of the cab is now a non-issue.

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HandForged

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OH and before I forget, volume on this should be a little less than 40 gallons. Now I know it will never hold the full amount with baffling and whatnot but realistically 35 gallons. I always carry two full Jerry cans so a cargo load of 45 gallons of fuel before fill up. Multiply that by approx. 30 mpg. That is a respectable range.
 

HandForged

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got the tank in place and it's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I had originally intended to have it shaped the same as the tub but that wasn't realistic, capacity wise. So I extended it to the maximum dimensions that I had. The sides of the tub will finish to the tank, the rear will be covered by the bed. Should work well.

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47coeman

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Build a heavy duty fuel tank they said, it'll be fun... Well, here is where this one starts. My steel guy sourced the largest piece of rectangular tubing I have worked with. It's 64"x 16"X 8" and it weighs 190 pounds. I'll need to wire wheel and clean the inside but I got it for scrap prices as it was purchased for a larger job a while back and it was actually a drop. I'll cut some baffles, figure out the filler neck and where I want to install the fuel level sender. It will be hard mounted across the frame rails and become a structural part of the tub essentially. I might have overdone it a little this time but there will be ZERO doubt about strength, it's just over 1/4" wall!!! The exposure of the tank on the sides of the cab is now a non-issue.

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Lord have mercy yes that will be structural, go get um.
 

HandForged

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Lord have mercy yes that will be structural, go get um.
I'll start by welding up the tabs that tie the tank to the frame. Then a few mounts that will tie the cross member that I fabricated into the tub to the tank. All with UHMW slugs. It should be ridiculously strong. Then I can remove the tank for the final work before it's primed and finished. It should dissappear when the bed is installed.
 

HandForged

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Haven't been able to do very much in the last week. Dealing with snow, shop work and various things that pop up when you live way up in the mountains. I was able to get all of my fuel tank baffles cut and fitted. I have some surface rust on the inside of the tube that I need to remove before I weld in the baffles. I was hoping to use some sort of surface rust convertor instead of wire wheeling it all smooth but I'm not sure how stable those things are with diesel. There are no flakes in the rust just that slight surface coating and some chips and debris from cutting the tube that should wash out with wd-40 blast or two.
 

HandForged

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How's the progress going?
A little slow at the moment, nothing really noteworthy. I have been playing catch up in my shop to get work done and out to get some new parts in. Should kick it back up in a week or so. Blacksmithing work takes precedent but I can usually do both, just haven't had the energy lately. Long days with a hammer make short days working on the Cruiser.
 
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