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Old 04-10-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
Smittee
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Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Well, I have been around for a couple of months now and figured I needed to start a thread on my truck. Not that anyone would benefit from it but what the heck.
This is the 2nd time around for me on rebuilding what was "the coolest" hot rod truck in town when I was a kid. About 12 years ago I was able to buy that truck from the long time family friend that owned it. I was ecstatic. Our son drovve it to high school his senior year in the configuration it was in when we bought it. (His buddies were definitely envious) Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was in primer and things started rusting. I had to take parts off to get that stopped. Mind you, when I bought it I had told my wife that it would NOT be a project. OOPS! Well, one thing led to another and before I knew it we were down to a frame only.
I had NEVER done any work like this so it was going to be a challenge. Fortunately I had some REALLY talented young guys that I could draw on for advice. Maybe you have heard of one-Darrin Cutter from Cutters Custom Stitchin! Great kid even BETTER at interiors! He and his buddies have taught me a lot. You "old" guys remember this, the younguns CAN teach us some things!
Fast forward to today. Last August I got the itch to replace the old suspension and start driving the truck more. A Harley Davidson had put it back to second fiddle! Started tearing the front suspension out and ordered a TCI bolt in front at the Street Rod Nationals. Couldn't wait to get it installed, but was going to have to since we were riding said Harley to WY and back during the last two weeks of August!
While on that trip I, unfortunately, herniated several disc in my neck. Nope, not a wreck at all. Hit a couple of bad bumps and bottomed out several times is all I can figure. So once I got home the m/c was put to rest for the winter and the truck was NOW NUMERO UNO! Of course, it was going to have to wait until I got healed up from the NECK SURGERY! I was able to get the old front suspension out (easy really) and the bolt up stuff in before the surgery.
Once I could I ordered the Ridetech rear Strong Arm suspension and got it in. Since then I have been trying to get the other items all in place on the frame so that I can then repaint it.
Also replaced the gas tank and rear cross member. Plan to replace the cross member in front of the tank as well.
I must say that I have been having much more fun working on the truck this go round since my wonderful wife allowed me to build a new 30'X54' shop back in 2012! The old shop was a 1.5 bay BARN that I had kind of cleaned up to make a "shop". Working in there now is night/day different then back then.
Well, sorry to be so windy but just wanted to give you the back story. I hope you can get some enjoyment out of my thread. Stay tuned-later on I am sure I will have some parts that need a new home.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Cool truck. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it this time around.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:59 PM   #3
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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Cool truck. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it this time around.
Thank you. I had a great truck when I bought it. The original owner hasn't seen it (to my knowledge) since I bought it. I hope he is happy with it when I get done.
I see you are a faculty type too! I am at a technical & community college!
Hope to use my time this fall to get a lot done on the truck. I work Spring and Summer; off in Fall.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:09 PM   #4
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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Thank you. I had a great truck when I bought it. The original owner hasn't seen it (to my knowledge) since I bought it. I hope he is happy with it when I get done.
I see you are a faculty type too! I am at a technical & community college!
Hope to use my time this fall to get a lot done on the truck. I work Spring and Summer; off in Fall.
That would be neat to see what he thinks of it. I am still in contact with the son of the original owner of my truck and I try to give him updates every now and then because he had some sentimental attachment to the truck.

Yes I am! I fill in as a substitute professor when they need me on campus, but spend most of my time doing research and managing our nanotechnology lab. I work year round but my schedule is very conducive to working on the truck when I want.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Working on brake lines at this point. Also have the cab back on and interior is gutted. Going to tear out the existing dash (that I fabbed up the first time around) so I can get ready to put the Vintage Air in place when I get it.
The bottom right picture above is about where I am at right now.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:18 PM   #6
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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That would be neat to see what he thinks of it. I am still in contact with the son of the original owner of my truck and I try to give him updates every now and then because he had some sentimental attachment to the truck.

Yes I am! I fill in as a substitute professor when they need me on campus, but spend most of my time doing research and managing our nanotechnology lab. I work year round but my schedule is very conducive to working on the truck when I want.
Nano-so you know Mork and Mindy!! Just kidding of course!
We don't have any research on campus; otherwise I might be doing that.
I need to go visit the old guy I bought the truck from! I guess take my laptop and show him pictures. Not sure how his health is.
I am guessing he will understand my build though, last I knew he still attends the NSRA Nationals in Louisville. So he has seen the "improvements" I am making to the truck. I recently saw the guy that brought the truck up from TN back in the 70s and he really liked what I have done. He worked for Lokar several years back so I know he knows wht is going on with these trucks these days. Made me VERY happy to get his approval though.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:40 PM   #7
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Those hidden door latches are interesting. Real smooth.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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Those hidden door latches are interesting. Real smooth.
I designed those and built them for awhile. Not a whole lot of interest so I stopped. BTW, there is a LOCK hidden in there AND it is ALL MECHANICAL.
Darrin (the guy mentioned before) said I couldn't create a smooth handle that could be locked so I JUST HAD TO prove that I could!
I still have all of the CAD files, so when I retire you never know. Oh, CAD is one of the things I teach.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Very cool back story, I'm subscribed!
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:14 PM   #10
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

That is a nifty looking door handle. How exactly does it lock? Do you have to open the handle partially to access the lock?
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:24 PM   #11
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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That is a nifty looking door handle. How exactly does it lock? Do you have to open the handle partially to access the lock?
Yes you open the handle to get to the lock. If it is locked the door will not actuate; if it's unlocked it will. I very rarely have to lock it because nobody knows how it works!
I will try to find a picture or two. If not when I get time I will snap a few. I have a video explaining it BUT I cannot attach it here. That is unless someone better at this forum stuff can clue me in on how to.

UPDATE: I found some of those files. Here is a little tease!
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:00 AM   #12
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Hmm, pretty cool gizmo there, would be interesting to see how it is engineered Beautiful truck to Smittee
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:54 PM   #13
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Well, remember that dash-IT IS NO MORE! Pretty much got the brakes done yesterday so it is on to some body mods.
Thanks to the hints on a post from LockDoc I was able to pop the windshield and back glass out by myself today. Then I was able to cut out the old dash. Trying to make room so I can get the Vintage Air unit in there. Then I will build the dash around the unit.
Also plan to smooth the area above the windshield similar to a procedure used in this article.

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/shavi...c10-driprails/

Last time around I cut the drip rails off but had a sharp lip above the windshield that ALWAYS has bothered me. So this time IT IS GOING TO BE GONE.

Probably going to remove the cab from the frame again tomorrow so I can get to that area easier. Having LOTS of fun right now.
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:05 AM   #14
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Looks like you have plenty of work in front of you also Look forward to seeing the new dash and what you have in mind
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It is easily overlooked that what is now called vintage was once brand new.

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Old 04-23-2017, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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Looks like you have plenty of work in front of you also Look forward to seeing the new dash and what you have in mind
I do Larry! FOR SURE. Looking forward to it though. The last time I built that dash I figured maybe a week or so-WRONG. About a month later I finally had it where I wanted it! Several iterations in between start and finish though. Probably will be the same this time.
I think you and many others on here have also convinced me to go with a wooden floor when I go back! The old bed is metal but VERY wavy. So I had planned to replace it also.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:34 PM   #16
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Well, the Vintage Air Heat-A/C came in AND the Front Runner serpentine system! Just HAD TO go ahead and install the Front Runner! Loose mind you; it all has to come back off so no need to button it up.
Figured I would share a couple of pictures. Isn't that what we are supposed to do?
Took about four hours total (including installation of pulley on the power steering pump). I really went slow though AND read the directions to make sure I didn't screw something up. Way too much cost involved to get in a hurry.
I hope you can enjoy the pictures.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:37 PM   #17
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Got some things done tonight for a change! Recently took the exhaust off to get it coated. Had it Cerakoted. We'll see how well it holds up a on a daily driver (if I ever get it done).
Also went ahead and fabbed up a new cross member in front of the fuel tank. Once that was done I re-routed the brake lines away from the rear end and onto that cross member. Should be a little cleaner AND if I have to work on the rear end I won't have to mess with brake lines.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:58 AM   #18
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Finally finished up the firewall patch panel for the Vintage Air install! Close enough for a skim coat when it comes time. Still have to close up the fan motor hole AND fill in the indentation on the left side above those locations. Smoothing that thing out!
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:00 PM   #19
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Absolutely love the attention to detail with those bulkhead brake line fittings. Awesome work man!
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:56 PM   #20
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

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Absolutely love the attention to detail with those bulkhead brake line fittings. Awesome work man!
Thank you for the complement.
Believe it or not, I have a couple of REALLY GOOD young guys coaching me. One guy fabricates and does everything build wise and the other guy is one of the top notch interior guys in the country!
I told one the other day just how much I hate them! They have made me step it up a WHOLE LOT this time around! I go to their shop about every other week and just look around. I see something I like and have to go home and start over! That is the second time I have plumbed up the back brakes.
But really I am so happy that they are pushing me. I just know I am going to be super pleased with the outcome AND SUPER PROUD.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:25 PM   #21
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

I think I am FINALLY satisfied with the firewall fab work! A little skim coat and done! Done with a shrinker/stretcher and grinding wheel and mig welder. Wish I had other fab tools BUT.

Not a professional but trying to make it look somewhat respectable!
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:38 PM   #22
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Re: Guess I need to start a build thread! (68 SW Fleet)

Back again! Jumped a MAJOR hurdle today. Got the lip removed above the windshield on the 68. That mess had bothered me since I had done it! All taken care of now though. Was actually easier than I had anticipated. Thanks Hot Rod Magazine for the "how to" article that allowed me to pull this off.
The picture with yellow paint was the before and the blue paint was today
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