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Old 04-09-2017, 09:45 AM   #26
cooperhw
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Sorry for re-posting these pics. I kinda got hung up in the suspension sub-forum and posted these there when they should be here in my build thread. As you can see from first pic or two I cleaned off the top of my original frame and the bottom of the donor section of frame. Bought it off of Craigs for $50. I wish it was about 6 inches longer towards the cab, but it was much easier than driving 80 miles, loading my donor truck, bringing it home, cutting it apart, etc.
So without further ado;
I sat the donor on top of my frame and spent hours leveling, tacking, head scratching, until I was sure it was right where it needed to be for my plan to work. I dropped the crossmember out and cut only what I had to (for the moment) in order to raise it up 6" and bolt it in place. Sounds way easier than it was.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:54 AM   #27
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Following over from the suspension section. Looking forward to see how this will be section together, etc. Nice job so far...Jim
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:54 AM   #28
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

more
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:13 AM   #29
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

few more.


This reminds me of the first Pro-Street car I built about 20 years ago. Had all the parts in the garage to back half the car and before I started it I went to the Goodguys show in Scottsdale hoping to find someone who had done one already that I could gain some insight from.
Found a guy who just finished the exact same install. I asked him lots of questions but the most important one was "what is the hardest part of the install? Without hesitation he replied FIRST CUT". Once you hack the frame in half, you have no option other that to continue on to the end. Never forgot it.
If all goes as planned and I am able to go get my donor today, I should be able to bolt the control arms back on and sit the front end back on tires.
We'll see
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #30
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

I was wondering where you were going with this after seeing some of the earlier post then checking out your badass dually.
I will take out my notepad pull up a chair and sit in class for this one, watching you do what you do, build new boxes.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:24 PM   #31
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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I was wondering where you were going with this after seeing some of the earlier post then checking out your badass dually.
I will take out my notepad pull up a chair and sit in class for this one, watching you do what you do, build new boxes.
Thanks 3drburb,
I might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I sure as heck can usually get there from here. Just don't have much quit in me.
I was a carpenter for many years before I became an inspector. I usually just try and follow a logical path on how to cut something apart and put it back together as strong as possible.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #32
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Didn't get much done today on "downlow-littledough". Had to drive out to my work (bout 80 miles round trip) and pick up my semi-donor 78 pickup. Just a cab, long bed, and front and rear end. I plan on using the a-arms of it as well as some of the other stuff I need. gonna cut the frame down and make a pickup bed trailer and try to peddle it. It's got a real nice cab too. Probably dump it as well after I get some pieces off it.
Too bad you guys in the rusty world are so far away. Good cabs are pretty plentiful out here.

Anyhow, I was able to get my outer plates in place. Welded on the edges and one side got it's 8- grade 8, 7/16" bolts. Man, that drilling takes it out of your back. I forgot how hard it is. I want to get all the bolts in place and tightened down before I weld in the inner plates.
Few pics for anyone interested;
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:59 PM   #33
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

I'm interested to see what differences there are from what I had to do with my 4 inch Z.

Any reason you are bolting and welding it as opposed to just welding it?
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:48 PM   #34
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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Originally Posted by oldman3 View Post
Following over from the suspension section. Looking forward to see how this will be section together, etc. Nice job so far...Jim
Thanks oldman3.
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Originally Posted by tinydb84 View Post
I'm interested to see what differences there are from what I had to do with my 4 inch Z.

Any reason you are bolting and welding it as opposed to just welding it?
Just me. Welding would have been fine, & bolting probably ok too. I always like to do both, just cause I can. Love redundancy.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:33 AM   #35
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Looking forward to see how you do the trailing arm setup. Really curious to see how much more work it is, if any than what I did.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:01 AM   #36
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

In for the build. You are making quick work of that frame. Looking forward to seeing it back on the ground!
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:05 AM   #37
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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Looking forward to see how you do the trailing arm setup. Really curious to see how much more work it is, if any than what I did.
You and me both Paul. I am not etched in stone on anything yet. I will start looking more serious at that end of the chassis as soon as I get the back side of the crossmember bolted, welded, and plated back together. My plan is to then tackle the rear suspension, Sit the cab back in place bolted tightly. Then I can start making measurements on the front section of frame as to what stays and what goes.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:08 AM   #38
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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In for the build. You are making quick work of that frame. Looking forward to seeing it back on the ground!
Thanks hewittca. Hopefully in the new few weeks I can have it rolling around again. I will pull it apart later to have the chassis powder coated, so I don't need to worry about any of that stuff now.

"Hang on, gonna be a wild ride".


Truth be told this is the part of the builds I love the most.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:34 PM   #39
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

The Camino was cool, this oughta be killer!
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:38 PM   #40
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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The Camino was cool, this oughta be killer!
Thanks Low Elco. In my little carpenters brain, it seems like a very easy way to lose some vertical drop. Not free, but a dam sight cheaper.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:44 PM   #41
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Now that you guys can see my vision of raising the crossmember coming along, think of this.
I am going to bolt original a-arms back in place with original springs, and original wheels/tires on the front of this truck frame. They will be the exact same distance from the ground as it was before the project started. The crossmember & a-arms will have the exact same amount of clearance that they had when they left the factory. A ton of clearance.
Just the body has dropped.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:47 AM   #42
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

I like the bolts and welds on the frame. I will do this to my next project.
I can't wait to see this back on the ground with some body panels.
Do you have your engine for it?
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:39 AM   #43
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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I like the bolts and welds on the frame. I will do this to my next project.
I can't wait to see this back on the ground with some body panels.
Do you have your engine for it?
Right on. I really like to do both just because I am really "not a welder". I can stick metal together, and run a decent bead, but, "that does not make me a welder". That said, I am a builder. So I figure if I can build it and weld it enough so it does not move around, once I bolt the outside plate to the frames, even if every weld failed, it would never break in two.
As to getting the cab and front clip back on that's gonna be a challenge in itself. I need more concrete at my new house so I can roll the cherry picker around. I will figure it out though.
Engine? Yes, I have a brand new (6 years old with about 3 miles on it) built 496 in my drag car project I have decided to pull the plug on. It has the wrong cam in it for the street but I can change that out once it's in and driving.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:02 PM   #44
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Wow! It gets even more interesting, a big block drag car engine.
It makes me wonder if there is any big block bagged body dropped trucks on here.
Maybe with a pancake crossmember?
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:13 PM   #45
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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Wow! It gets even more interesting, a big block drag car engine.
It makes me wonder if there is any big block bagged body dropped trucks on here.
Maybe with a pancake crossmember?
I thought about a pancake but with the frame already lower than the crossmember I now don't see any sense in it. Maybe once the a-arms are back on I will then see the need? Gain.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:44 PM   #46
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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I thought about a pancake but with the frame already lower than the crossmember I now don't see any sense in it. Maybe once the a-arms are back on I will then see the need? Gain.
I guess you are correct.
I was just thinking out loud, typing, not even thinking about the drop but about getting as much space to lower the engine and trans in the bay as it meets the cab with some fabbed motor mounts for clearance.
I don't think I have ever followed a body drop build. And this is the 1st I have seen like this.
Btw this is good to see it attempted, someone has to think outside the box every now and then, that's why we are driving cars and trucks and not riding horse and carriage.
I checked your suspension post and have to agree with you, if this works it will be sick and if it doesn't then it's only metal and can be reversed or cut a long bed frame and start another direction.

So I am trying to learn and take notes as YOU build.
Keep at it.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:52 PM   #47
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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I guess you are correct.
I was just thinking out loud, typing, not even thinking about the drop but about getting as much space to lower the engine and trans in the bay as it meets the cab with some fabbed motor mounts for clearance.
I don't think I have ever followed a body drop build. And this is the 1st I have seen like this.
Btw this is good to see it attempted, someone has to think outside the box every now and then, that's why we are driving cars and trucks and not riding horse and carriage.
I checked your suspension post and have to agree with you, if this works it will be sick and if it doesn't then it's only metal and can be reversed or cut a long bed frame and start another direction.

So I am trying to learn and take notes as YOU build.
Keep at it.
Right on.
To my carpenter/builder brain it looks simple and I cannot believe it has not been done like this before. But, it's not done by a long shot. I still believe this is a super easy way to lose 6 inches of distance between the body and the pavement for a really cheap cost. We'll see.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:01 AM   #48
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

Got off a half day today for Good Friday.
Came home and got the other plate bolted to the drivers side and the inside boxing plates welded in on both sides. Inch by inch.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:08 PM   #49
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

I assume this will keep the wheels centered in the wheel well. I like your thinking for sure. I added you to my low buck build thread. It a great place to hang out and "research " ideas and builds. Lol. Looking good.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:49 PM   #50
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Re: 78 downlow-littledough

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I assume this will keep the wheels centered in the wheel well. I like your thinking for sure. I added you to my low buck build thread. It a great place to hang out and "research " ideas and builds. Lol. Looking good.
I will check it out. Low buck is my main theme on this truck. I am just finishing a 72 El Camino with an LS & 6 speed. All my play money is tied up there so I have got to watch the budget. As far as the wheels being centered I hope so, should be, but if not I have a cut off wheel & welder that will take care of it. Thinking about dropping the wheel opening to match the rear anyhow.
Wish me luck
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