Builds My 40 Build... 20 years and Counting... Purists beware, this may hurt... :D

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My 40 Build... 20 years and Counting... Purists beware, this may hurt :D

Time to document a few of the things I've done all in one place. I'll start with some pictures and add more as I've got time.
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I purchased it towards the end of 1991. Before driving it the brakes were all done. I’d a thorough inspection as a bare minimum... in my case everything was replaced or rebuilt to ensure it was at 100%.
 
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I didn't take any pictures of building the tub back in 1992. Here are some of the finished product... now.
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Keep in mind, this is what it looks like in 2012... and it was built back in 1992.
 
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The tub'll likely be good for another 20 years too. :D

Here's a sketch of how the sheet of steel was cut up...

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I had the steel shop cut the 4'x8 sheet of steel across the length. If I recall correctly at 42" (to the width between the fenders). I then clamped the steel between two 6'lengths of 6" channel. I then heated the metal using a cutting torch till it was chery red... I made multiple passes from side to side while standing on the end of it. I made the first bend across the floor and then repositioned the channel iron. After repositioning the Iron I repeated the process. I then laid it into the truck, tacked it into the truck and then cut off the excess from the rear of the truck and from the front of the beam under the seats. I then made a template of the inner fenders out of cardboard. I made each fender out of one piece of metal with one weld and three bends. The weld is on the inner edge to the inner fender wher it slopes upwards from just behind the seats. The bends were across the horizontal edges of the top of the inner fenders and at the front of the inner fender where it meets the cross member which runs across the back of the front seats.
 
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1993: 2 Years and 20 thousand miles later, the front brakes were shot. I was going to need a pair of brake drums, brake shoes, and... I was tired of no brakes after water crossings, and if I hadn't adjusted them recently enough.

Long story short, picked up a 7/76 front axle from a wrecked 40 for $100, and swapped in some rebuilt disc brake parts. I learned the hard way that a proportioning valve is needed in the rear circuit to keep the rear brakes from locking. Without one it was scary as heck to drive.
 
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1994: The rot in the back of the frame was becoming a problem. Rather than rebuilding the rear of the frame, I sourced a newer 1976ish frame from the wreckers... $150 later I had a solid donor frame. The frame even still had some original paint on the rear section of the frame... It wasn't rust free, but by far the best looking frame I'd seen in the years before (and after).

1995: Pulled the rear axles to fix the Oil seals... bugger... the bearing surface was toast. So called up a guy I met a while back. He agreed to sell me the rear axle from his 45 for $50.
Soon after getting home (and before going back to get the axle), he called me and asked if I wanted what was left for $100... A $50 tow bill later I had a rusty 45 in my driveway. And soon after, I had a FF axle in the rear of my 40. Once again, I needed another proportioning valve. This time I got an adjustable one to ballance the huge 45 rear brakes with the 40 front discs.
 
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1996:The tired stock F motor developed a knock... boo!
The machine shop estimated it would be ballpark $1600 to rebuild it, but they wouldn't know for sure till they had the motor apart...

The final numbers came in... $2500 plus tax... even before a new oil pump. But, the 2F would be way cheaper, they claimed. Bull CR@P... $2600 before tax... and then for this fine service they billed me $350. I wouldn't have paid it, but a friend already had when they picked up the quotes.

Downey to the rescue with a SBC kit.
 
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Donor motor was built Sept 16, 1969. A 350, 250hp from a four door two owner Bel Air. The PO practically grew up in the car... his best friends family bought it new from the dealership, and it had just over 100,000 miles on it. It came stock with a two barrel carb, single exhaust, and Ram Horn exhaust manifolds.

1997 or so, Replaced the rounded off cam, and added a four barrel card. The test drive was the first of three times I've spun the tires on the asphalt... yeah I know, I drive like an old man. Just because I can spin them through 1st, 2nd, and likely 3rd... doesn't mean I need to. I estimate approximately 300 hp from this RV camed, 10.25:1, 350 = plenty of power.

Still running recored high density copper rad, LUK low diaphragm Clutch, Downey conversion kit, and stock 40 4 speed.

Cost: $2000 + $300 for motor. Including new exhaust, clutch, and 120 amp Alternator... About $1000 less than keeping the stock motor.
 
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Time to add some more pics...
Back in 1997:
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And in 2011:
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Rear Discs:
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1997: When the rear brakes went I swapped in rear discs. Then hubs were cleaned up to fit 77ish 6 bolt Chevy Blazer rotors on the rear, and I paid too much money to have custom mounts fabricated and welded to the axle. They'll be cheap to rebuild in the future and work like you wouldn't believe.

1998: Paid to much to have the trans and Transfer case rebuilt... but they're done and won't need to be redone.
 
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I purchased it towards the end of 1991.

Got ya beat by a whole decade. I got mine in 1980, a used '76 (after driving a new '79 at a dealership). Mine has also been sitting in my shop for the past 20 years where it waits patiently for me to tinker on it. My pace is glacial at times but I've actually spent the past couple of months doing a full court press on it and its starting to near an end. There really not much left wrong with it, basically its some body work (dents not rust) and a coat of paint.
 
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Around 2001...
I added a rear hoop to the six point cage I'd added around 1995...
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It fits tight to the hardtop in the rear... almost to tight, but it clears.
 
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Mostly drove it for the next few years.

2005, almost sold it... but parked it till 2007. After sitting for two years in a carport, It started with some fresh gas and a jump... then drove it home 75 miles on the highway... :D.
 
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Got ya beat by a whole decade. I got mine in 1980, a used '76 (after driving a new '79 at a dealership). Mine has also been sitting in my shop for the past 20 years where it waits patiently for me to tinker on it. My pace is glacial at times but I've actually spent the past couple of months doing a full court press on it and its starting to near an end. There really not much left wrong with it, basically its some body work (dents not rust) and a coat of paint.

:cheers: Ya, I'm sure there are others too. I'm getting to body work... should have that done in another 10 years or so.



Just in time to start over.:D
 
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I like it ! I am just about to pick up my first 40, I have always wanted to have a 40 but life got in my way, and I have ended up with 4 different 60's. I have been looking at buying a member's 40 off and on for a few years and now I am finally ready to bite the bullet . It has sat under cover for a few years and will get a "freshen up " before becoming a summer toy.
 
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The points type distributor is a good indicator to the age of your SB.
I haven't even seen my dwell meter in over twenty years!
Nice tub, i like it, but wouldn't ceramic armor over say, 18ga be somewhat lighter?
 

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