Builds The never-ending build: My 80 Series

Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Hey everyone. Things have been kind of crazy recently so I haven’t made time to post anything for a bit. Hope everyone is well and staying safe through all of this. I was hoping this quarantine time would allow me to get some extra time in on the cruiser but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way. Ha. I’ll try and start where I left off.

I had been on and off working on the swing out for the rear bumper. I had the tube bent how I wanted where the tire would be mounted. Now I needed to make everything to hold the tire. I made some templates out of cardboard and took them to my buddy to be transferred to metal. He cut them out on the CNC and had them ready for me within a couple days.

I welded the large plate on the inside of the round tube first.

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Next I had to hold the tire up to get it positioned where I wanted and make a mark for my next piece. My dad has this old air lift that I used a lot on this build. Comes in so handy since I’m mostly by myself doing all of this. Had to do a little rigging with a jack stand and a ratchet strap but was able to make it work pretty well.

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Once I had where I wanted the center of the tire to be I welded on a large round tube to space the tire properly away from the vehicle. This tube holds the plate that the tire mounts on. I installed 3 wheel studs to bolt the tire down.

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Once I had stuff tacked in place good and the tire was hanging on it I realized that it was going to need more reinforcement. The 1/4 inch plate that I welded in first was just not enough to keep the tire from shaking. I cut some gussets out of scrap metal to see if they would work. They were perfect. Made everything nice and rigid.

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Next on the list was some bracing at the bottom where the round tube meets the 2x3 tubing. I tried letting things cool in between welds but still managed to warp the 2x3 tubing somehow. Not bad enough for me to cut stuff apart and fix it though. Ha.

I wish I would have known that the cb antenna mount was part of the package when I bought this bumper. Not a huge deal but I really don’t like the location. Puts the antenna right in the middle of the taillight. I cut it off and moved it.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I ordered some seat extensions from LandTank. I just got a set for the driver side for now. Not sure I’ll ever need it for the passenger. I was anxious to get them on and try it out. I wish I had taken better pictures of this process but I did not. I was in a hurry that day and just got them installed as fast as I could.

I really like having these on. Definitely worth the money in my opinion. I am 6’4” and all legs. 2 more inches back is much more comfortable to me. Great product.

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After being able to get this thing out of the garage and test out the suspension I noticed that if I turned at all while one of the front wheels were tucked that there was something rubbing. I ended up needing to cut more away from the front of the fender. This required me to have to cut the front fender flare mount off and make a bracket to mount it up inside the flare. This gave me just enough room to cut off what I needed for the tire to clear.

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Then it was time for another test drive!

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I also installed mounts for my hi lift jack. I simply welded on two tabs and installed some wheel studs in them. This works great. Now my jack has the same lug nuts as my wheels.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Here are a couple more pictures of the tire mounted.

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I was trying to figure out what to do for a third brake light when I ran across a little round light at advance auto parts. This little thing fits right in one of the holes of the wheel with no modification.

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Perfect. Now I can make another center like I did for the rear wheels instead of putting a light there.

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Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
1,559
Location
Morro Bay God's Country
Great idea on the extinguisher, however you have it mounted to a plastic panel. In an accident it might become quite the projectile!
I have to agree with the mounting not being safe,same with the air tank. Mounting to plastic is not sufficient especially if you're going to have your family riding in the vehicle. JMHO
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I have to agree with the mounting not being safe,same with the air tank. Mounting to plastic is not sufficient especially if you're going to have your family riding in the vehicle. JMHO
Ok. Maybe everyone just misunderstands. I have a bolt that goes through to the metal on both of these items. I do not think that either of these tanks will come loose in the case of an accident.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Ok so I just looked back at what I typed. My apologies for not explaining the entire process. I did say it was bolted to the plastic but I never finished explaining how I ended up doing it. Sorry. In no way would I expect the plastic to hold something that heavy from being ripped off. And yes everything I do I keep in mind that my son will be in here with me. I plan to make mounting points to strap down all of our gear as well.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
It only took one trip around the block to refresh my memory that the windows didn’t go up and down very well. They could barely go down by themselves much less go up. Extremely frustrating. I knew it had to be fixed. When I first bought the truck I took the driver side runner out and cleaned it. That helped a little bit not a whole lot. Tried a bunch of different products to try make them slide in the track better but no luck. Eventually I realized I was just going to have to break down and buy new window runners. I ordered for all 4 doors. A little pricy at $320 shipped but still think it’s worth it. My windows work so much better than before. Like.... they actually work. Lol

The front windows are pretty easy to get out. The rear windows are a little more tricky. I started on the rear first. I first lowered the window and pulled the old channel out. Then buy removing the glass from the regulator you can work the glass out of the track and toward the outside of the door. Then I worked the new rubber into the channel. There are two bolts holding a section of the track at the rear of the door. With those bolts out I was able to work the glass back into the track. Put the bolts back in then you can reassemble everything. The first rear door I did I took it all apart. Even the small stationary glass. This was a pain to do and unnecessary.

For the front doors you just have remove the door panel and the plastic behind it then lower the window until you can see two 10mm bolts that hold it to the regulator. Remove the bolts then just work it up and out. New rubber went in pretty well.

If anyone would like more info on this process feel free to let me know. I know there are some other people that have explained this process with better pictures. Another case where I just got started installing stuff and didn't take many pictures.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I ended up taking the front seat upholstery that I bought from Lseat.com to a local shop to have installed. They did a great job fitting these. They look great and I'm very pleased. They installed the heating pads that I had bought also!

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Despite the fact that I have a bunch of work left to do and my bumpers are still raw metal I joined some friends for a cruise through the woods. They wanted to go to test out some stuff on their own rigs. This gave me an opportunity to see how mine would do. We just went down a fairly short and mild trail but was really fun to get out. I am pleased so far with the performance on and off of the road. I need to fine tune my steering adjustment but all in all not bad for just a couple test drives.

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Was the first time on the trail for my buddies Tacoma after his front straight axle swap. He's running 37s. His little secret is his chevy 350 under the hood. Ha. Thing is sweet.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
So now you guys are all caught up! This is the current stage of my build. I am working on getting the bumpers and sliders all ready to go. I really want to have everything powder coated but we will see what the quote is for that. Might end up with some paint on them. While all my armor is off I would love to get this thing painted. Not sure that will happen this year though. If nothing else I'll throw everything back on and start putting miles on this thing. I will try and post more as I get stuff finished. Thanks so much and hope everyone stays safe!
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Great build and skills. Takes balls to work on a rig to this degree with a new born in the house. 🍻
Haha. Thanks. It has been tough to get stuff done. It was moving right along before the little guy came. Family comes first. Honey do list gets done first then if there is time out to the garage I go. Mostly been a lot of late nights to make it happen. Lol. I just can't wait to take my son camping in this thing when its done.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Hey guys! Stuff has been a little crazy lately but I have been able to work on the cruiser a bit. Chasing a rear driveshaft vibration. I’ve been through just about everything from correct phrasing to replacing u joints that were brand new. Still there. Hopefully I will be going back down to 4 inch springs instead of the 5 inch but I want to get the rig finished and see where I’m at. The shaft also has 263k on it so it might just be giving up. Slip joint has a little play. It was fine with 3 inch lift but now I’m pushing it more and I think it’s getting angry. Lol. I really want to do a rear DC shaft but not sure my spring perches will handle the axle rotation. I’m building lower control arms to try it out. I already have adjustable uppers. I figure if it doesn’t work at least I’ll have some beefy lowers instead of the stock ones.

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I got a bent arm from BlueCruiser84 to cut up. Thanks again man! Going to try and use the ends for the axle side then use some Johnny joints I have left over for the frame side. It appears that these are cast ends so I’m going to ask my buddy at the machine shop the best route for welding them. I might then try and find some tubing that is the right size for the bushings . We’ll see.

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I had to grind the weld down quite a bit to get them out of the tube but I wanted to save what I could for welding into the new pipe

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Hopefully I’ll be able to get these done through the week. Work scheduling has been a little hectic with this quarantine but I’ll try to update when I can. Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Ok so I got the arms welded up!

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Here is a picture of old vs new.

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I have them together. Prepped them last night and brushed on the first coat of POR-15.

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Have to modify the holes on the frame side to 9/16 to make the Johnny joints work. Hopefully get the parts later this week and get that done.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I’ve been playing around with spring rates in the front. Trying to use some springs I have to cut down cost. Had 14/14 300/400lb. Wasn’t working out. I moved 300s to bottom and got 250lb springs on top. So 14/14 250/300. Seems much better. Now I have preload at close to the ride height I want. Need to get armor installed and drive it a little and see where it sits.

Working on rear lower arms now. Had to make some washers to downsize the hole on the frame side. Had my buddy at machine shop cut me some washers 1/8” thick, 1 1/2” O.D. with 9/16” center hole for bolt. I think it’s going to work perfectly.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
So I got the rear lower control arms done and on.

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Also picked up bumpers and sliders from powder coating. Family friend really hooked me up. Turned out great!

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I started putting them on right away!

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I had some wiring to do to get all of the lights working. License plate light, third brake light, and the work lights in the rear bumper.

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I’m really pleased how everything is turning out!
 
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