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5spdman's slow and cheap XLT build

It almost looks like a good foundation for a swing out tire carrier.

Already got one of those lol. Put too much into the body work to junk the current one and get one of those receiver mounted swing carriers. If I make a bumper mounted one, it'll be when all this gets switched over to a 2dr.


Nice! I'll refer to this link when I fab bumpers on the previously mentioned future 2dr. :D
 



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Well it didn't work out to get the axle for the school's D**** Ram, so for the automotive class I "teach" on Tuesdays, I finished up the receiver.

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There's a little more welding I could/should do on it, but I needed to get it out of the shop. I'll grab some more pics with the roll pan off when I get around to finishing it all up.
 






Here's that picture as promised!

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It will be fully welded along that crossmember before I attempt to use it, and I may throw on some reinforcement plate along the bottom of the frame as well. But what I did do tonight, and will be the next reason for fully welding the receiver, was the addition of recovery points out back.

I took the "hitch" from an 80's Dodge van (same van the roll pan was made from) and cut me off two bars.

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After wire brushing both pieces and shaping them, I drilled a 1/2" hole (biggest bit I had) 3/4" back from the end and then welded them onto the receiver against what was left of the tabs towards the frame rails.

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I may throw a reinforcing plate on top and underneath as well...sorry for the blurry photos.

After fully welding both recovery points, I grabbed the cutting wheel and took out two chunks of the roll pan for the points to stick through; and also managed to have the BFH slip and hit a knuckle on my left pinky...took a small break to try and stop the bleeding, wipe all of the blood off my hand and arm, and tightly wrap a Band-Aid on to control said bleeding and keep pressure on.

Once my wounds were all temporarily patched, I went ahead and threw the roll pan back on quick.

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All it needs now is for the welding to be all finished up, some paint and d-rings. Went over a few ideas before I closed up the shop on how to fabricate and mount the front recovery points. With spring break being next week, I'll probably go ahead and put my plans into action, without hurting myself again preferably. Speaking of, I need to see if the bleeding stopped and clean it up... :D
 












Try not to get killed in the garage:salute:

I'm doing my best... ;)

While I'm here, anyone know anything about mid-90's Dodge Ram drive lines? The axle I picked up from the junk yard I believe is a Spicer axle (says Spicer on the diff cover and spindle), which was not what the truck had in it originally (they looked pretty close and the only other axle I found was missing parts). The rear drive shaft not only is a little too long, but also has smaller u-joints than it needs to hook up to the spindle correctly. Right now it's being driven in 4wd with the rear drive shaft out so that it at least can be used.

Could I just replace the spindle, is there a universal joint that is bigger on two ends than the other, or should I look for another drive shaft?

I would just go back and grab the shaft from the donor truck, but I believe it was on a short bed chassis and the schools truck is a long bed. I leave in less than three months and I would really like to get this thing running properly before I leave for the schools sake.

Sorry to hack my own thread... :D
 






Also, I was informed (and had noticed myself) that the links for my pictures (on the first page of the thread) were no longer working. Those have been fixed, and a few more were added as well. Enjoy! :)
 






Also, I was informed (and had noticed myself) that the links for my pictures (on the first page of the thread) were no longer working. Those have been fixed, and a few more were added as well. Enjoy! :)

:thumbsup:
 






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Got the front tow points welded up yesterday. Be ordering d-rings soon to finish it all off. And here's a pic of that finger I smashed the other day...at least it's feeling better and not bleeding anymore! :D

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Did some more work the last two nights. On top of replacing the thermostat and rear motor mount on a Grand Am, and beginning front end work on a Trailblazer, I managed to finish up most of the new luggage rack yesterday.

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Outside, middle brace, leg supports and legs are made from 3/4" EMT conduit, and the sides and bottom of the rack are made of 1/2" EMT. The legs are welded to strips of junction box covers with nuts welded to them and run through the existing runners on the truck. A bolt on each foot through the nuts secure them in the runners. The two strips on either side can be made functional. I still haven't decided if I want to mount a hi-lift jack and a long handle shovel up there, or add light to the sides...

I have my halogens mounted onto the rack at the moment, but I'll have a new 40" TuffStuff LED bar (new, 5w CREE's instead of 3w) and possibly two 6" TuffStuff LED work lights for the rear waiting for me to mount to the rack once I move home. Then it'll get a good coat of paint or some kind of rubberized coating as well.

Also did a little photoshop the other night....plan to have the XLT built like this within the next 10 yrs (seems so long from now).

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Plans are:
"Sportrac" style chop, cut and turned beams, 3ish" lift, extended radius arms, long travel rear, 33's, King coil overs, full skid plate, 4.88 gearing, 302 bored to 347, rear mounted and fan cooled radiator, full rollcage, bucket seats with 4pt harnesses, removable rear bucket seats (for a larger racing fuel cell), plexiglass windshield (removable for racing), skinned hood, fenders and bedsides replaced with flared fiberglass, two 33" spares, rear mounted boxes for tools and Rigid LED lighting. Will probably lose the blue two-tone to lime green. :D
 






I had posted another thread on wheel bearings two days ago...had hit a trail on Saturday and coming back, there was an awful noise coming from the front that was louder when I turned, so I naturally thought the wheel bearings were out.

All 5 lug nuts got loose on the passenger side some how, and it ended up striping the lug bolts so they weren't solid in the rotor. Managed to get the lug nuts off and threw one of the old rotors on and there is no noise...wheel bearings are still good. Gonna go into NAPA tonight and grab another rotor........still not sure how it happened as I always make sure everything is torqued down....
 












Thanks! I try to keep others up to date with the truck, but it also helps me remember just how far I've brought it and how much work I've put into it as well.

Speaking of work, I started a little rearrangement on the dash and center console.

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I didn't like the way that the CB looked like it was just sitting in the dash where the ash tray had been before moving it. The bottom of the cubby behind the cupholders was cut out and was almost a perfect fit for the Uniden PRO 510XL (just a little snug). Will get some screws and washers to hold it in place more securely, but it doesn't move around unless I really force it to do so.

It also didn't help that when I first wired the lights, I didn't put in any relays (stupid me) and ended up after a while melting at least two of the switches for the lights. I bought two new switches and put them in the center console like the others before them, but being a different style switch, they didn't sit the same and where difficult to switch on and off. A piece of thin flat steel will be cut to fit in the dash where the tray was, will bolt into the dash with existing screws, and will have plenty of room for 5 switches (roof light, rear work lamps, rock lights and e-lockers, the last three of which I do not have yet).

Will have pics of the switch plate installation as it comes into existence.
 






I hate how i cant really have a drink in the cup holders while in town because im constantly shifting. Cb looks good there.
 






I hate how i cant really have a drink in the cup holders while in town because im constantly shifting. Cb looks good there.

I had thought about that when the center console was custom built and filled with switches and all sorts of stuff, therefore taking away any cup holders. I've been keeping and eye out for the shift boot from a ranger, as the bottom is where the cup holders are....thinking I may still do this, just to add some more "storage."
 






I hate how i cant really have a drink in the cup holders while in town because im constantly shifting. Cb looks good there.

I had thought about that when the center console was custom built and filled with switches and all sorts of stuff, therefore taking away any cup holders. I've been keeping and eye out for the shift boot from a ranger, as the bottom is where the cup holders are....thinking I may still do this, just to add some more "storage."

Both of y'all need to find a cup holder from a gen 2 explorer (xl or sport) and grab the cup holder that sits the cups in a stair-step pattern (in front of each other versus side by side). You can drive with 2 32oz drinks (if you need to) and shift. The forward cup holder is better suited for a bottle versus a bigger cup for ideal shifting.

The mazda ranger shift boot and cup holder sucks. I have lost many drinks because of it not being very deep and cornering. It is supposed to have an extension to support a cup but good luck finding one in tact.
 






I'm sure I could figure someway to modify it and hold drinks securely...

Haven't been on in a while, what with my parents being out here and all...then my girlfriend came as well and we ended up hitting a few trails...

First we hit up Pyeatt Draw in Payson...

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Then on our way up from Phoenix the next day we stopped by Broken Arrow trail in Sedona...

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I have more from Broken Arrow, including going down and up "The Stairs," but all in video form, so I'll work on putting that all together to post...

And we didn't do any wheeling yesterday, but we hiked to Tonto Natural Bridge just north of Payson and....

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...she said yes! Looks I'll have less and less to put towards the truck...although, she does enjoy wheeling with me! :D
 






Congrats to you and the future Mrs. 5spdman!!:chug:
Best Wishes for many great years together.
 












Thanks guys! Still workin on that video...
 



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