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The floors are done! My friend Ryan Ballis has been working on them, on and off for almost a year. His business, Ballis Welding snd Fabrication in Fresno, has been booming, so he could only come out on Sundays after church, so it took a while. Ryan can weld almost anything- stainless, cast iron, MIG, TIG, ARC, etc., but the floors on my '52 Suburban were a challenge! The PO, when asked about rust, said the floors were solid. "You can dance on the floors" he claimed. Actually they required 3 out of 4 floor sections and most parts of the rockers to be replaced. Definitely a Flintstone mobile. I used aftermarket patch panels from a USA company, Classic 2 Current Fabrication, and was very pleased with the fit and quality. During the process, I asked Ryan why some of the welds looked perfect and others more irregular- he had to stop and start a lot, and had trouble creating a continuous bead in some areas. He thought that the rust and sound deadening material residues, even after wire wheeling and cleaning, were been pulled into the bead and contaminating the weld. With my (lack of) welding skills, I'm sure I would have blown holes all over the place if I had tried! Before we started, he welded an 1/8" steel beam across the underside of the wagon to help keep it square. I test fit the doors and we are still good. Now on to cleaning up the welds that are going to show, and primer and paint.
Hi, Been a little while. My buddy Craig and I finally got moved into our new shop space. It's a 600 or so Sq ft shop in Mountain View CA. It's small but much better than where I was working. At least a car fits inside, under a roof! We're still getting set up. We have some electrical work to do for the welders and compressor. The Dodge is a Wayfarer Business Coupe. It's complete except for the drivetrain. It's missing the engine, transmission and drive shaft. Front floors are shot too. All the trim and other miscellaneous front end parts are in the trunk, except for the hood,that's in the garage. The plan is to take a bunch of parts from a 1997 Jeep Cherokee 2 wheel drive and adapt them to the Dodge. More likely I'll be adapting the Dodge to fit the Jeep parts. Parts from the Jeep that I will use in the Dodge: Engine 4.0L (244ci.) Inline six. Fuel infected and all. Automatic tansmission and shifter cable. Will be adapted to use the column shift for selecting gears. Rear axle. Chrysler 8 1/4" Rear leaf springs I'll adapt or make new spring mounts on the frame. Parking brake system (equalizer box and rear cables) I will adapt the Dodge front cable. Power steering gear box. I don't have a plan for how this will work yet but I would like to have the power steering. HVAC. The entire under dash evaporator box and controls. I'll have to use the passenger side firewall from the Jeep to mount the HVAC to. Gas tank with sender and pump. Some of the gauge guts to make the old Dodge gauges work with the electric sender's from the Jeep. So far the fuel gauge and speedometer. The power brake booster, master cylinder and pedal assembly. The driver's side Jeep firewall will be moved to the Dodge. I will be using most of the Jeep firewall, transmission tunnel and the front portions of the floor pans. I won't be using the Jeep front disc brakes, instead I'll get an after market setup for the Dodge. This will be a long project. I plan to just make it right. The thought behind using as much of the Jeep as possible is that I will be able to service the Dodge almost anywhere. I want to make this my every day car and keep my Ranchero (currently the daily driver) for when I need a pickup. I will post some current pictures too. Thanks, Greg
Hey all, I just wanted to heap some praise on a crankshaft shop I've used couple of times. For you who are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area, there is a shop called Tripple 'N'Gin, (yes, that's the correct spelling) and the guy, named George, has done some excellent work for me. A while back, I took him my 265 crank to have the rear seal surface welded up and ground smooth, and he did a fabulous job, leaving absolutely no sign of the deep pitting that had been there. You couldn't even tell it was welded - it just looked factory original. Other shops in the area had said that portion of the crankshaft was too narrow for their grinding wheels, but this gentleman has many different sizes/widths. In fact, a big local crankshaft repair shop had sent me to him, saying they sub out a lot of their work to him, and that he always does a great job. As best I can tell, he's just a small, one-man show, but I like that even better. Well, fast-forward several months, and I haven't gotten around to installing the crank into the engine yet, and although I had it covered with a plastic bag, some humid air had found its way under the bottom of the bag and onto the bottom couple of journals and seal surface. As it turns out, it was mostly just light surface rust, but I wasn't able to satisfactorily polish it myself, and I thought it might need welding again, so I took it back to George a couple of days ago. He looked at it and said it only needed a good polishing, not welding, and he polished up all of the journals right there on the spot (I was expecting to have to leave it with him). He then coated each journal with a thick, oily substance, to keep them from corroding again. To top that off, after spending about a half-hour with me, he didn't even charge me anything. I tried to give him something, but he wouldn't take it. Now my crank is back in shape, and I thought I owed it to him to spread the word about his good work and honesty. I don't think he has a website, but he is on Facebook. His number is (972)259-2474. If he's away, you can also try his cell phone, which is (214)529-2436. Both numbers are published on his business card and his Facebook page, so I don't think there's an issue with me posting them here.
So, spent more time welding on TODD this weekend...posted a few pics on FB...a buddy of mine messaged me that since I'm using MIG, once the cab sits in the sun, I'm gonna start to see issues regardless of the body work after welding.... So, on that note, I'd like to hear from the guru's of welding.... Will I have issues since a MIG weld is so much harder? Then there is the finish grinding, etc.. Sould long welds really be TIG'd? Etc. Discuss....and thanks