Finally after all this time, im actually starting to put parts back on!
Rear bumper back on:
Fit the rear flares
...and then installed the front bumper, and installed/trimmed the front flares as well!
I need to trim the rear flares a bit as they hang down below the bumper, but im not sure yet how i want to trim them, ill look at them again next week.
Bumpers getting painted:
Rear all done:
the front is done, its on a cart in the garage. I need to roll it outside tomorrow, so ill snap a good pic then.
I yanked the front clip off and primed all the wheel well pieces; tomorrow (weather permitting) theyll get some chassis black on them too.
I hung and aligned the red doors to the cab; they need a little love with the hammer, but i dont think they need any rust repair at all
Theres a couple small dents in the hood, but i dont think that needs any rust repair either.
my biggest problem now is, im not a body guy so while i want it perfect, im not sure i have the skill to do it. Also, its gonna end up getting pinstriped in the woods anyway, so it really doesnt need to be perfect. So basically, its a battle against my OCD.
I wish i had some super awesome update but i dont.
I came up with a solution that works, but im not super thrilled with. There is a lot less space than the pics show. Also, the clutch lever is tilted back towards the motor, and the gearbox can only be clocked every other position, so theres really no 'perfect' position; each one has its own issues to deal with so i stayed with this one.
I straightened the clutch lever...
...and then made a removable extension for it:
It might look like theres a ton of room in this pic, but there totally isnt. I actually had to notch the bumper, valance & grill to get this to fit.
This is the 'lock' position. The handle swings forward into the grill, and over towards the passenger tire when in freespool. It works just fine with one hand, but its not much to look at. The problem is, it will become a very tight space, once the radiator/condenser, and trans/p.steering coolers go back in. Because of this, im stopping right here. This will work, but im afraid if i try to design something more elaborate, itll be in the way later down the road. So im going to keep this for now, and once i get closer to the truck being complete, ill revisit it and see if i cant come up with a more elegant design, that doesnt interfere with anything else (i already designed, mostly built, & then rejected a 'better' design because it took up too much space).
So i went over to Eastwood today, bought some epoxy primer, and their extreme chassis black. Supposed to be pretty durable, and its an aerosol so i dont have to worry about trying to brush it on the bumper, and into all the crevices. Hopefully i can start painting them in a week or two, but first i need to deal with this:
I dont want to cut the sheetmetal, so im modifying the clutch lever again. If all goes well, ill have this sorted tomorrow!
In case you were wondering, i weighed it, and the bumper comes in at 130#. The winch weighs in at 72! And thats w/o 90' of 7/16 cable on the drum.
So id call this project complete but if you look closely, youll notice the clutch lever is behind the valance!
Im gonna look into it tomorrow to see if ill be modifying the lever again, or making an extension or something.
Welding is basically done!
Mocking up window for fairlead:
This Powerwagon winch has an usual handle (it was also cut down at least once before i got the winch). It also doesnt clear the bumper.
Pulled the winch apart to modify handle, as i dont want to cut a notch on the bumper. The inside is nice and clean, and recently greased too
i straightened the handle and reassembled to mock up:
Then bent a 90º in it in a different place.
Tomorrow im going to do some touchup on a couple welds & corners, then pull the cap back off the winch to reseal it (it still needs rtv on it). Then ill throw the whole thing back on the bronco for some proper 'finished pics'!
Gussets for the bumper brackets:
I decided on two for each side. While im sure one would probably be sufficient, it just looked out of place with one, and i figure a second cant hurt.
Time to weld those seams!
...and more welding....
...and more welding!
So if all goes well, ill be removing the bumper wednesday to begin grinding all the seams and getting them cleaned up, then lots more welding & grinding after that.
I got the driver corner finished:
I knew i was going to be doing some tube work, so i ordered some stuff, and took a couple days to upgrade the bender:
New base with swiveling locking castors, and a hydraulic conversion courtesy of SWAG Offroad.
Just in case i might ever want to switch back to manual for some dumb reason, i added 1/2" holes to bolt it to the floor, and the castors are bolted in place via tapped holes in the base plate.
It is soo much easier to use than by hand! Wish i did this years ago, makes bending tube so much easier to do by myself. No spring-back on the bends either, which is a huge plus over manual bending. So with that done, lets bend some tube!
Monday i took some measurements and got the main hoop bent and tacked in place:
..and then bent up some side bars yesterday:
Man, i am super excited with how this thing is coming out!! Hopefully tomorrow ill be out there working on it again; i want to add some gussets to the bumper brackets, and then im going to start welding up all the seams.
At some point, the bumper needs to come off so i can mount the winch, and then lay out the window ill need to cut for the cable to come thru. We're getting close to completion on this thing!!!