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Old 11-23-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
Father&son56project
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Project Fargolet- S10 Swap

Hello all! I am about to embark on an S10 swap build “with a twist”. First, a little background: My son Brian and I signed up on this site 10 years ago when we embarked on a build together and found lots of great info here. We restored a stock ‘56 Chevy 3200 series pickup as Brian was interested in old Detroit iron, rather than modern stuff. After that we had so much fun that we fixed up and slightly modified a 56 Chevy wagon, and it was during this build that we stumbled across a project that we just couldn’t resist. We found a post war pickup that was incredibly solid (turns out it came from western Canada) and it was so cheap that we both chipped in and bought it, then tucked it away in a barn. Since it had no drivetrain, and the steering, suspension, brakes, etc were shot, and the frame had seen some serious abuse, this was a natural candidate for an S10 swap. For a solid couple of years I have been researching the swap, and a good 95% of my information has come from this site, in particular the 47-59 board due to the popularity of the AD series swap. I finally found a perfect (for my needs) S10 donour and would like to start a thread on my swap, but there is one little twist here. The cab/fenders/hood/box that I am going to swap come off of a………………….Fargo!






Aside from the tinwork, everything else will be Chevy/GM, either from my donour S10 or from a junkyard. My swap looks like its going to be very similar to the work done by members such as Skymangs, Joedoh, etc. and some of the unique challenges that I tackle along the way may be of interest to anyone doing an S10 swap. This is the best forum on the entire internet for S10 swaps, and a respected senior member suggested that I go ahead and post my thread here. So if the membership and moderators are OK with my “slight twist”, I’d like to document my build right here.

Stephan

Last edited by Father&son56project; 11-23-2019 at 11:31 AM. Reason: more accurate title
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Project Fargolet

love that style . I'll be followin
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Old 11-29-2019, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: Project Fargolet

Here’s where the project stands right now. The truck was in very good condition rust wise, but it clearly was a hard worked farm vehicle. The previously posted pic was taken after I had used a hydraulic ram, bars, levers and 2x4’s to remove the most massive of the dents. With the exception of the doors and hood, every panel had been bashed at some point, and the tailgate had a hole punched right through it as if the truck had been backed into something very solid and pointy. The truck was also covered in “farmer fixes”, which involve the use of a stick welder to firmly attach anything that has come loose or been knocked off. This included the running boards which had been firmly welded to the rear fenders. All of this is however OK, as my plan for this build is quite simple. This truck took over 70 years to reach this state, and I plan to leave it looking exactly as it is. The build formula will be:

-Keep the body the way it is
-Use as much as possible from the S10 donour
-Make the interior quiet and comfortable
-Do everything myself and use junkyard or other second hand parts rather than aftermarket stuff
-Keep the cost to an absolute minimum

So far, the work has been the usual prep stuff. I started out with a good cleanout, and was fairly disgusted when I filled an entire, big contractors garbage bag with mouse nests/droppings. It was so bad inside that after scraping, vacuuming and high pressure air blasting I had to soak the entire interior in Nature’s Miracle to get rid of the lingering stench. After that I spent a fair number of hours loosening every nut, bolt and fastener that I could find so that I am not battling stuck hardware when I am trying to concentrate on making parts fit. After that I took a ton of photos, measurements and notes. I also planned the wheelbase and stance that I wanted. I am aiming at keeping the front roughly at or just slightly below original ride height. The rear will hopefully be several inches lower than original as these trucks had a pretty serious rake to them when they were unloaded, and realistically I will never be putting any serious weight in back of this thing.

To get a better picture of the wheelbase and stance I want, I made these “wheels on a stick” out of scrap lumber and cardboard. In addition to making it easy to picture things, its a lot easier on my back to move these things around:







My donour S10 took me a year to find, as I did not want a rust bucket, and was waiting for something that would likely be in good enough repair that I would not have to spend a ton of money replacing parts. This truck had been oil sprayed often, and it only had 129,000 km on it (80,000 miles). It had also been through a safety check about 18 months ago, so hopefully not a lot has gone bad since. Its a 1996, standard cab long bed with pretty much no options (which is exactly what I was hoping for). Waiting so long for a good donour was a double edged sword. While its going to make my life a whole lot easier not having to deal with rusted parts, its gonna break my heart to cut up a perfectly good truck!








With all the measuring and figuring done, I moved on to disassembling the Fargo and doing the few bits of rust repair that it needs.
I started off with the tailgate which was a bit of a mess. In addition to being badly twisted and dented beyond words, it appears that someone had backed into a very solid object which rammed a big hole right in the middle of the tailgate. A little persuasion with a hammer got rid of most of the big dents, and by sticking one end of the tailgate into my shop press and twisting by hand I was able to get it back into shape.







As for that giant hole, here’s what I did. The truck looks exactly like what it is, namely a farm vehicle that was worked hard and then parked in a field for a long time. I am leaving most of the “farmer fixes” in place, as they are part of the truck’s character. In order to patch the tailgate, I did not want a new piece of metal sitting there, looking like I just did the repair. Some of you may have access to old truck panels that you can slice up to make patch pieces, but if you don’t there is a simple source of aged metal available: old agricultural equipment. I have access to a ton of this stuff, and a few months ago I collected a small pile of farm implement sheet metal of various ages. I went out to the pile and found a piece that I believe came off an old seed drill thats about as old as the Fargo, and cut a chunk out to use for my patch.






The section that needed a patch had a bead in it, and I don’t have a bead roller, so I grabbed a piece of MDF and used a carbide bit on a die grinder to carve a groove down the length of the MDF board.








The patch piece was then clamped over the MDF board, and a piece of solid bar was hammered on it to conform to the shape of the groove. The pic shows the rear of the patch piece, which still has some of it’s original red paint on it (that’s the side of the seed drill that was protected from the elements), but the side that I was trying to match to the tailgate’s patina came out way better than I expected. My father was over the other day, and he asked me why I cut a rectangle out of the tailgate, just to weld it back in place. Thats how close the patina from the seed drill matched that of the Fargo.
















I still need to do something to rust the weld lines where I welded the patch and the cracks around it, so that the repair looks older. More to follow!

Stephan
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:08 PM   #4
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Re: Project Fargolet

Looks good....salt peroxide and vinegar will make it rust quick...heres how...
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RjAPyFQGYp4
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: Project Fargolet

now that's some talent !!!
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Project Fargolet

Great start to the project.

I share your 'Build Formula' as well,

Keep the pics coming
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:46 PM   #7
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Re: Project Fargolet

Heres some inspiration. I know its still dodge parts, but I think it looks tits with the chevy headlight buckets!
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:33 PM   #8
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Re: Project Fargolet

very cool paintman, nice pic
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:04 PM   #9
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Re: Project Fargolet

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I am looking forward to trying out that recipe from the Youtube link sent by Mongocanfly. From what I saw, I should be able to get the welds to look far older that they actually are. In the meantime, some progress has been made. The cab was removed using an engine hoist, and set aside so that I can do the required repairs on rust and “other stuff”.







The rust work was very easy, just a couple of edges where the toeboards and kick panels meet. Its just flat metal patches so I won’t bore you guys with those details. Things got a little more interesting when I dealt with the “other stuff”. At some point in time, someone installed a radio in the lower left corner of the dash. Of course the part that was cut out was on one of the raised lips of the dash, so I had to grab some wood to make a quick form to pound the replacement patch into shape.











The other item was however a little tougher. At some point in the past, someone had removed the under-dash mechanism that allows you to open and close the entire front windshield assembly. While that’s going to be a future pain for me, the big issue is how they did it. They simply cut a giant "not so round" hole in the dash, using some very crude type of saw. Of course there is no worse location possible, as the decorative ribs that adorn the centre of the dash are right there.








I normally would make a wooden buck with channels ground out to hammer these raised ribs out (like in my previous post), but I saw someone on this site who did this kind of stuff by actually making a form to press the shapes. It looked interesting, so I gave it a try. I grabbed a scrap of metal plate and cut out the female half of the form, and then used a piece of flat bar to form the male half. It took a bit of playing around with a die grinder to round the edges just right, but in the end it worked. By using my shop press I could easily form the raised ribs that I needed, and the shape was awful close to the factory ones. Here is the test piece I was playing with:











Once I was happy with the shape of the ribs, I cut out a piece of 16 gauge metal to make the final patch. Yup, 16 gauge, thats what this dash was made of! The patch panel looked like this, once all 3 ribs were formed:








Unfortunately the dash in that area is curved, so a 2nd form was going to be needed. This time I used some wood to again form the male and female halves, and again used a die grinder to shape them. This was a pleasure to do as a die grinder makes short work of wood. Once again I went to the shop press, and after a few gently squeezes and some adjustments of the forms I was able to put the curve into the patch panel. Using the shop press was a pleasure, as those raised ribs on 16 gauge metal make it hellishly strong, and very very resistant to bending.







And here is the final patch panel, loosely held in place by some magnets. It still needs a little hammer and dolly work, but the final result is presentable. I won’t weld it in right now, as I discovered that the giant hole is actually quite convenient for doing work inside the dash, so I will use it as an access hole for the time being.








More to follow!

Stephan
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: Project Fargolet

well thats just a bananas amount of cool tech
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re: Project Fargolet

If it makes you feel any better......I will be staring my 46 Dodge soon, and I am also missing the windshield lever mechanism. I better jump on one before you steal out from under my nose.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:15 PM   #12
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Re: Project Fargolet

impressive metal work...well done....wow!
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:27 PM   #13
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Re: Project Fargolet

I love the details on forming. You do amazing work sir.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:59 AM   #14
Father&son56project
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Re: Project Fargolet

Thanks for the kind words! Paintman, those windshield regulators are horribly expensive, so go right ahead and snap one up if you can find a deal! I suspect I will try to make a cheap alternative, or opt for a windshield that does not lift up (easier to make it leak-proof as well!).

Using my shop press and some homemade dies is actually kinda fun, as well as practical for me. When my son Brian and I worked on builds together, it was pretty quick & easy to clamp stuff onto a table and make bends with 4 hands available. Now that Brian is an hour and a half away, I’m finding a lot of things a little tricky to do alone. A prime example of this is the header panel that runs across the top of the windshield and encloses the wiper motors. I knew I had some rust, but once I started to poke it with an awl I found many spots where the metal was razor thin due to rust hidden inside. This panel is both rounded, and “V” shaped. With 2 people, it would have been easy to form the curves on a bench. Doing this alone I decided to use the shop press & die method. Here’s how things went:

Here you can see the header (not sure what this panel’s official name is). It’s got bad spots across most of its lower face:












First thing I did was to use a contour gauge to get the required curve off the header, and then compare it to materials I had kicking around the shop. I got lucky and found a section of fence post with a very similar curve (moral of the story: NEVER throw anything out!!!). By cutting off the 17 inches I needed and then making a couple of cuts lengthwise, I had the male and female halves I needed.











The bad section is 34 inches wide, but because of the “V” shape its far simpler to make 2 pieces and weld them together once they are in place. I pressed the patch between the 2 forms (the big metal tube in the pic is just there to spread the load evenly across the top form).







The first test fit showed that the radius of the curve in the original header actually tightened up a bit in one area, so back to the shop press I went. By simply using a smaller diameter piece of solid round bar as the top die, I could sharpen up the curve without leaving an obvious bend line. A few gentle squeezes of the press and I had a replacement patch that matched very nicely.







I did this again for the 2nd patch piece, and here they are, held together by a magnet. I was going to weld them in, but it occurred to me that I will be installing wipers at some point and this will be a whole lot easier with most of that header panel cut away. I will weld the new panel pieces in after the wipers are finished (I haven’t decided what to do about wipers yet).









Prior to making the above patch panels, I had removed the rearview mirror & mount. I have no idea how this was assembled originally, as it was all rotted together, and it did not come out peacefully:
















After I removed all the rusted crap, I discovered that the arm is actually threaded, and since this mounts into my new patches I can reinstall it by simply drilling a hole and bolting it back in place.







The rust and damage repairs were now done on the cab, except in spots that may have to be modified once the S10 frame and drivetrain was installed. There are quite a few firewall holes to be plugged as well, but until I know what firewall modifications will be needed there’s no point spending time on it. With this in mind, I started on the front fenders, hood and grill. The entire assembly can be removed in one piece, but I decided to just do a panel at a time. First to come off was the driver front fender, which came off easily and had no serious rust. The headlight bucket was removed, and a rusted out area was found on the underside. I got out the mallet & sandbag and started to pound out a replacement patch. I had forgotten how much work goes into pounding compound curves into metal, but eventually had a decent patch. I was about to start some light metal bumping to smooth the patch out perfectly when the lightbulb went off in my head. The whole point of this build is to NOT spend all kinds of time on bodywork, and instead imitate the farmer fixes that give the truck its character. With this in mind, I stopped working on the patch and just welded it in. I knocked the tops off the weld so that it will sit flat, but no further work went into this patch. I was however very curious to see if I could use the rust accelerator to age the new steel to blend in better with the rest of the truck so I gave it a test. The new patch is on the base of the headlight bucket, so it can’t be seen anyway. Here’s how it turned out. This is the bad area and the shiny new patch prior to trimming and welding:








And here is the piece after a “farmer fix” weld and application of the rust accelerator:







I’m quite pleased with the result. Its not perfect, but I suspect very few people will be able to tell that this is not a patch that was done decades ago on the farm. Actually, nobody will be able to tell as this patch gets sandwiched onto the fender and can hardly be seen at all. But for more visible patches I will continue to use donour metal from old farm equipment as I can match the patina perfectly and will just have to treat the weld lines to make it all blend.

The 2nd fender came off easily with only one small hitch. At some time in the past, that headlight bucket must have been a bit loose, so the fix was to weld it to the fender. Of course the weld was in the deep crevasse where the bucket and fender meet. It’s an easy spot to reach in with an arc welding stick and deposit a nice blob of molten steel, but it’s a bugger to remove that blob down the road!

Once that fender and bucket were fixed I cleaned up the shop and took a good look at the front end sheet metal, where I discovered some real horrors that will entertain me for the next week.

More to follow!

Stephan
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:30 AM   #15
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Re: Project Fargolet

once again, great work.

You make fabrication look so easy, and it is not.

thanks for sharing, and keep it going
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:49 PM   #16
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Re: Project Fargolet

Its been a bit since I posted, but there has actually been some progress. In my last post I mentioned some horrors in the front end sheet metal. I had examined the front clip and discovered that the frame was bent and cracked from a front end collision, and the front clip was all misaligned, with the frame actually poking through the driver side grill fins. Most of the panel pieces had cracks and dents/twists/creases etc. The main bottom support for the entire front clip was also broken, and had allowed the rad cradle to fall downwards and forwards a good ¾ inch. I was getting myself mentally prepared to deal with a real mess when I discovered something very interesting. The front end sheet metal brackets are supposed to attach to the rad cradle with 6 large bolts. But on closer inspection I discovered that all 6 bolts were missing. So the entire front end was currently being held in place by……..gravity! It had all fallen down until it came to rest on the frame. This actually turned out to be very good news. I started to take the front end sheet metal apart, piece by piece, each time examining the fit and then working out the twists and dents with hand tools. I also had to weld numerous stress cracks, and retap all the bolt holes. My son Brian came over and gave me a hand with some of the larger panels that had dents requiring a serious whalloping, and then we put it all back together. I won’t know for sure how good a job we did until we try to put it together with the hood and cab, but it appears to be pretty good from a quick eyeball inspection.


I can honestly say that doing one of these builds with no intention of nice bodywork and paint is a liberating experience. On our last build (a 56 Chevy wagon) we wanted a decent looking final product, so we tried our best to do really good body work. It turned out OK looking, but the build took over 7 years to do. I am never doing that again!

With the rust/crack/dent repairs pretty much done, it was time to start on the S10 disassembly.
The S10 disassembly went well, but it sure was slow. Since I plan on using as much as possible from the S10, I was very careful in the disassembly so that I did not end up with cracked/bent/cut/broken stuff. This, added to the fact that I have zero experience with modern cars led to a very slow disassembly. With the body removed, I had a chance to examine the frame where I had a pleasant surprise. The oil spraying created a thick layer of caked on crud which was easily removed with a scraper, exposing the waxy factory frame coating that Skymangs refers to in his S10 swap thread. This coating also came off easily with the scraper, after which a quick wipe with a varsol rag unveiled something rarely ever seen in Ontario: shiny steel on a 24 year old frame! I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, as most frames this age are rotted out due to our road salt. The oil spraying also resulted in easy removal of the nuts and bolts, with most stuff just requiring a hand ratchet to remove.

I got a 2nd nice surprise during the teardown as well. As I carefully unhooked the entire wiring harness, I discovered no evidence of anybody monkeying around with it. No cut wires, no crappy splices, no bizarre fixes, just a nice factory wiring harness in wonderful condition. Since I don’t know what most of these wires do, I carefully labeled EVERYTHING, and made notes in a build book where I write down a ton of stuff that I know I’ll never remember.







I removed the drivetrain and cut off the body mounts that were in the way, but didn’t do all the grinding as I want to do that outdoors when the cold weather breaks. I’m sick of that fine dust that coats everything and turns your hands black every time you touch something!

With the frame now stripped, it was time to see if this whole thing is going to work for me. While the A.D. swap has been perfected by guys like Skymangs, Joedoh and others, there is almost nothing on the internet about the 39-46 Fargo swap. However, when I checked out Joedoh’s Hannah and Fenix projects I realized just how similar the GM and Mopar trucks are in the 40’s, and Joedoh did a great job of dealing with the unique body shape and tight, tapered engine bays of those trucks.

To get things going I tried to fit the entire front end in place, but that wasn’t happening. The idler arm and steering box are in the way of the rad cradle, and the radiator air dams inside the nose cone also bash the frame. To get the front end in place, I removed the steering box, idler arm, and interior sheet metal air dams. I also had to do some serious trimming of the frame horns, as the front grill and steering box will just fit. Next I made a bunch of wooden stands to allow me to set the front end, cab and box roughly in place, and allow me to move it around to see how things are gonna fit and look. My goal is to have the truck at roughly stock ride height (I’m not a fan of lowered trucks, and I want this thing to look as much like an original ‘46 Fargo as I can). I also had to whip up a couple of the rods that run from the firewall to the grill that adjust the grille angle and stiffen the entire front end. My son Brian came over and after a marathon 2 day blast we think we got things sorted out. Here’s what it took to do it:

The lower rad cradle is too wide for the S10 frame (even with the steering box and idler arm removed), so after a lot of measuring and thinking we cut off the bottom, and replaced it with a 3/16” U channel:







We cut the cradle high enough to leave sufficient room to be able to install the steering lines into the top of the steering box. We will be using one of the recommended Speedway 19 x 22 rads, and there is a ton of room to mount this in our cradle. With this done we were actually able to slide the entire front end into place (while suspending it from a hoist), and we set the fender centres with the front wheel centrelines. We did a little bit of measuring, some eyeballing, and finally found the sweet spot where it looked really nice. We cut some 3/16 tube to act as frame mounts and then drilled holes to allow us to bolt the revised rad cradle into what should be its final position.











We knew that we might encounter some interference where the front of the steering box meets the grill, but the gods were smiling on us and it just fit. Here’s a shot of that grill, gently curling around the front of the steering box:





At this point we are still doing a trial mock-up, so everything is lightly tacked in place. Once we know that its all going to work, we will add gussets, braces, etc and fully weld things in place.

Now that the front clip was in place we could set the cab into position. I had made up a cab lifting attachment for the hoist (I can’t remember which site member’s design I used, but it works like a charm!) and we used this to set the cab onto some 4 x 4 blocks cut to height.





I had also made wooden stands for the running boards, bedsides, etc and as a result we were able to set things into position easily. Here she sits on the various wooden stands, with the cardboard “wheels on sticks” to show us how its going to look:







We were pleased with the way it looks, and it appears to be right at the original ‘46 ride height (which is what we are after). The rear axle is going to have to slide forward about 1 ½ inches to get a visually pleasing spacing in the fenders, and we will have to raise the bed floor about 2 inches to clear the frame kickup. Other than that, it appeared to fit, so we took a bunch of measurements and fabbed up the mounts, which were tacked in place. Once we are positive that everything is right I will add some gussets and do the final welding:





More to follow!

Stephan
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:50 AM   #17
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Re: Project Fargolet

really outstanding progress!
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:08 PM   #18
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Re: Project Fargolet

Good looking mock up.........keep it up
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Old 02-29-2020, 06:50 PM   #19
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Re: Project Fargolet

You are doing a great job. Grey county...up near Midland, Collingwood area. Just a few hours drive from Me...Hope to see this finished sooner than later....Roy
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Old 03-20-2020, 05:35 PM   #20
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Re: Project Fargolet

With the S10 rubber cushions in the newly fabbed mounts, I was able to put the cab back on and add the box, fenders and running boards. With everything in place I started measuring and playing around with the gaps until everything fit nicely and I had everything pretty much into what should be the final resting places. Before installing the drivetrain, I wanted to get the running boards and the rear bed area figured out.

The bed was quite straightforward. I wanted to have as little loss of bed depth as possible, so I decided to do 2 things. First off, I will most likely use steel checkerplate as the bed floor as this saves me about ¾ of an inch vs wood (and its simple, cheap, and once rusted will blend right in with the look of this truck). If I later want, I can always lay down some thin, weathered boards to have a wood floor, and the checkerplate will only cost me a fraction of an inch in depth.

Secondly I decided to drop the floor down from the stock S10 position. My goal was to have it very close to the top of the frame at the highest point of the kickup. The original S10 bed was roughly an inch above this, and as I recall there were no serious clearance issues to be had by coming down a bit. I was relying on memory (bad idea), so time will tell if I was wrong!

My brother came over and gave me a hand fabbing up the basic tube steel frame, which snugly fits inside the box. We made sure its 100% square, so this will make lining things up easy, and will force the somewhat floppy box into perfect shape. I wanted to be able to remove and install this tube frame easily, so here’s how I did it.

I set the tube frame in place on top of the S10 frame, then I spent a ton of time getting it perfectly level, and dead square in relation to the S10 frame. I added all the spacers while it was clamped in place, and did the same for the mounts that I fabbed and then temporarily bolted to the frame. I wanted to be able to install/remove this frame easily so I opted to use studs, so that I can install the tube frame by simply setting it into position and then adding nuts from underneath (easy one man job). I drilled all the holes and installed the studs (just 7/16th bolts with the heads cut off) while it was clamped and square. Here is the tube frame in place:









Here is the underside of the tube frame which shows the spacers, studs, and a notched crossmember (this sits on the high point of the frame above the rear wheels):








And here is a side shot, that shows how low it sits on the S10 frame:






Once it was all done, I did a test removal and reinstall, and its super easy to lift into place, and it drops right into place (no fooling around trying to square it up every time).

More to follow!
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:21 AM   #21
LOW A D
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Re: Project Fargolet

Cool build! Please keep posting
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:17 PM   #22
joedoh
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Re: Project Fargolet

good plan!
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:38 PM   #23
twinshadows
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Re: Project Fargolet

A very good start for your " Fargo " build ………. I'm in & following along. You are doing some great work here , and I'm liking the "theme" of this build .
I was watching - "Full Custom Garage" (2020 - S6 , E6) (yesterday) , and He was building a 54 Chev p/u (sbc , ?) , but - - doing a new 'TCI frame' . . . . (way outa my league) . Point is : I'm right here with you guys , thinking about "up-grading my 53 International 1/2ton p/u - - -to an "S-10 swap" ; using "the whole Buffalo" …….. Thanks to joedoh's builds . I'm in the works - looking for an S-10 , 4.3 - donor …… 'shopping' .

Stephan, nice work and coming right along ; we're watching … have fun.

later , jim
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:19 AM   #24
Father&son56project
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Re: Project Fargolet

With the mounting of the body and bed panels figured out, it was time to get at the drivetrain. Although I had done a ton of measuring, it's not until you set something in place that you realize if it's gonna work. I built some beefy supports out of cinder blocks and lumber that would set the engine and transmission pretty close to stock height, and then slid the whole mess into place as best as I could. I was going to go back a little over 9 inches, when I remembered a posting I had read a while back. While I can’t remember the author (but I think it may have been Joedoh), the posting said that if you move the drivetrain back 10 inches, you can use a regular cab short bed driveshaft instead of buying a new one or cutting down/welding/balancing the old regular cab long bed shaft. I have to shift my rear axle 1 ½ inches forward, so an 8 ½ rearward shift of the engine/tranny would give me the 10 inch shorter distance (if I’m wrong on any of this, please feel free to point it out!). I set the whole mess back 8 ½ inches and much to my surprise it fits!






The Fargo firewall has a recessed centre (to fit the original straight 6 engine), so there is a ton of room around the distributor, and I will have about a quarter inch clearance at the tranny dipstick tube, which seems to be the furthest obstacle rearwards. Up front I should have ample room to install an electric fan. The shape of the front sheetmetal on the Fargo, combined with the new radiator size (19 x 22) gives me the opportunity to install the radiator high enough that the waterpump snout is actually at the very bottom edge of the rad.







With the drivetrain setback sorted out, I removed the front grill and used shims to get the angles and height and passenger side offset bang on. Doing this alone is actually a pain in the butt. Everytime I shifted one thing, something else would move just a little bit out of position. I eventually made a wooden jig out of a 2x4 and another scrap of wood with a hole drilled in it that catches the tranny mount bolt. By clamping the 2x4 to the frame, I could set the exact position of that tranny mount bolt, thus allowing me to fool around with engine position without bumping the tranny out of position.







With everything in place, and all the angles right, it was time for the mounts. Naturally the mounts ended up sitting where the S10 frame bends in all kinds of directions, so it took many back and forth trips to cut and grind the plates to get an exact fit. Then came the pleasure of tacking them into place. The tops were fine, but the gussets could only be reached from underneath, where it was so tight that my welding helmet didn’t fit. Thankfully I just had to do some quick tacks, as that spatter hurts!







Once the engine was all tacked in place I fabbed a tranny mount, which was just a piece of rectangular tube with a mounting plate that was angled to match the slope of the tranny mount surface.







At this point I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. It looks like this swap is actually going to work! I was not 100% convinced up to this point, as I have still not seen any decent threads about using an S10 for this series of Fargo trucks. There will be some minor clearance issues to deal with, but all the big stuff appears to be OK. Next step is to remove the drivetrain and finish cleaning and grinding the frame. I just need some decent weather (it was snowing outside again as I wrote this post).
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:45 AM   #25
Tempest67
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Re: Project Fargolet

Looks Great, keep it going
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