OK boys and girls here we go. Please note this entry is not about words - it's about the pictures. Trusty me there will be pictures. Just bear with me.
Before we get started here are the details on this truck
1984 Full Size with Free Wheelin' Package
True duals no cats
Dana 44 TTB
4" Rough Country Lift with F250 leafs out back
All new steel encased in Raptor from U-POL
A little about me. I'm dad of one a half, husband and the Director of R&D at a big food company. Not one you have heard of but I am confident you have eaten my products everyday for the last 20 years unless you grow your own. My dad is a retired master plumber, journeyman electrician and machinist but grew up on a farm as did my mom. I grew up in NE WI hunting fishing and playing outside my whole life until college. Now I'm in my 40s and needed to learn how to do something with my hands and make memories with my son. Oh and I love cars and trucks.
I have been updating my blog as a draft for this here entry. I was also affected by the photo sharing deal. I normally keep my stuff on Google Photos but they will not import anymore. So what I ended up doing to hosting them on my blog and pulling them in from there.
Nonetheless here we are. I'm honored to be nominated and I need to preface these posts with a few words. I JUST "finished" this truck this weekend. I took it in right from the PO's father and rolled it right into my shop and it has been unmolested ever since in rehab. However, it's life prior to my ownership was VERY rugged indeed. The the last 25 years of it's life it was used as a plow truck and then a dedicated mudding rig in Michigan and not driven on the roads. I WISH i had pictures of that!!!
So today my boy and I are headed out to thh store and are looking to buy a new Drone so we can get some good footage and cool shots. My buddy has a couple acres in the woods that we can use as a playground so we are going to do some running next week with his Duramax 2500.... he'll get stuck for sure. So I hope to have some action shots later in the month.
It took about three years worth of work and a whole lotta tools and trips to the stores to get the hardware but we are finally done with one exception. The badges need to be reapplied. From this day forth this truck will be called Patches.
Here is the progression from the same location over the 2.5 years
Day we Brought it Home
New Steel Installed
Completed - Jack is now 14
Let's See What We Got Ourselves Into ----
The day we brought it home.
Now to take a good look at the rust
Hmmm. Yeah it's that bad - The whole truck looks like this.
See That black? That's the floor mat. Flintstone Time
Time for Repairs - some of them. Please see below for all the rest in detail
Fabricate a new Cross Sill
Two of the Body Mounts...
After taking off all the panels and doors it made sense to replace the core support rad too.
Rear Bed is Gone
Rear Bed is Fixed
Cab Corner is Gone
Cab Corner is Fixed
Rockers are Gone
Rockers are Fixed
Time To Replace Panels
Done - looks so easy on this blog.....
Fabricate a Mount for the Winch
Install Lift Kit (did NOT use blocks like this picture shows)
"New" Leafs off an F250
Install Exhaust While I'm at it.
Another highlight - the hoist installed this made the process better. Specifically headers and lift kits.
Lift kit installed and ready for a cruise.
Token Leafspring finger picture. MUCH easier with the hoist now!!
Time for Paint
POR15 on All Surfaces
Best Selfie EVER - Scuff and Shoot Raptor
Done with Body
Time for Trim
Sound Deadener (Frost King) Thx
New Carpet AAC
New Rubber Matting and Side Panels (DIY)
Seats are bolted down and Interior is Clean!
After using a heat gun on the interior panels they look great!
Pretty much finished.
Head on - body is a tad crooked. I know exactly why though.
During the last three weeks I have done quite a bit of work.
It was headed for the crusher for sure. Here is the list of the body panels replaced
- prepped and painted the whole truck (plastics, frames, bumpers and all)
- installed new carpet
- installed new flooring in rear
- install all new weather stripping
- aligned the exhaust
- installed winch
- installed new LED headlights
- made new wheel well panels
- But that was just the icing on the cake. This truck came to us on it's last legs aside from a rebuilt 5.0.
- Both doors thx
- tailgate thx
- Both rockers
- Both cab corners
- Both quarters
- Both fenders
- radiator support
- the entire floor except for the tunnel
I used an Eastwood plasma cutter and Hobart 140 welder for most work. I used a Lincoln AC stick welder too.
Mechanically all of this was replaced, I'm sure I'll miss some stuff
Here are the improvements that we added
- steering linkage
- ball joints (oldsmob455 on youtube)
- tie rods
- leaf springs
- body mounts
- gas tank
- LED light bars
- 9000 lbs winch
- LED headlights
- Dynomax Exhaust
- Shorty Headers
- Push bar
- 4 inch lift kit Thx
Looking at that list it doesn't seem like much but to be quite honest but that's a lot of work! When we got this truck all I had was a set of sockets, screw drivers and hammer. Now I have a full set of fabrication tools (plasma cutters, welders, brake, press etc) and a 6-foot tall chest full of hand tools nicely organized as well as two stage compressor. Oh and a TWO POST HOIST in my garage.
I took a couple videos during the process and put them on YouTube and also have over 900 pictures in an album to help build a slide show That can run on a tablet while we are at car shows.
The Alpha Project Bronco album is here (1000+ pictures) - >
But for a more specific view I also kept separate albums but the various sections of the build. This helped me keep track of what I was doing especially when I did not know how to reassemble something. I missed some stuff and there is some duplication but here it goes ..
Many of the photos in the albums above are featured in write-ups on this blog so if you are looking for any details other than pictures please do a search on my site and you will probably get to hit that might explain more.
Now that we are nearly complete I look back at things I will do differently with my next build.
In no particular order -
- Buy less rust. This truck was as rusty as it can possibly be. Now that being said it was great to learn how to weld and fabricate. That was the most enjoyable part of the build. If this was pristine I would never learned this much.
- Never throw away ANYTHING. I lucked out here and did hold on to a great deal of the bolts and nuts but did end up losing quite a few so it was tough to find the replacements.
- Do not fiddle around .. pull the tub and work off the frame properly. Much of the work that I did was based on fixing the body mounts and cleaning up the frame. It's really easy work but its really tricky getting to the parts to do a good job. I now have a hoist I'll be able to pull off the tub and the frame work better.
- Take your time and make sure you ask for help when you need it. I was wrestling with the leaf springs and all it took was a helping hand from my son to make the world a much better place. Four hands are better than two. Sometimes little hands are REALLY helpful. Also having the FULLSIZEBRONCO.COM team in your corner helps IMMENSELY!!
- Buy a huge inventory of screws washers and bolts stuff. You'll need them.
- Take hundreds of pictures. This helps you out later during reassembly and also forces you to slow down and think.
Running out of space here --- will continue on next post.