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Old 01-20-2018, 04:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Tuesday November 7th... I start harvest on Saturday the 11th. Once that gets going, all bets are off on getting anything else done. So, I invited my brother and father to come help me in a marathon day of bolting everything on. My plan is to get it all together and running and just secure the bed on temporarily so I can move trees just not the ability to dump them. Only one pic from the day late in the afternoon. This is my brother making some more connections. Needless to say... Spoiler alert. I didn't get done. No truck for harvest. Just too much to do. I ended up hiring one for a day and borrowing it again for over a week or so. A big pain in the ASK!

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Old 01-20-2018, 04:34 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Harvest over and a few days of rest and recovery and through the Christmas holiday. Back to work on the bed. Using the excavator to flip things over so I can get a full weld on all sides. I am pretty good at horizontal welding and can lay a good bead up to about 45 degrees. I can put down a functional weld in the vertical position, just not very pretty. Overhead is out. I just can't do it. So I have to flip things over to get a good deep penetrating weld. Not entirely done with the flat parts yet, but got all sides done and some primer on things so I can leave it out for a few days without rusting up too much.

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File Type: jpg IMG_3761.jpg (120.5 KB, 4 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3765.jpg (122.4 KB, 3 views)
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
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And Now it's time for a Headboard! Again, word of the day is measure, measure, measure.... I was not too sure how the window would turn out. I like to have as big of a grid on the headboard as possible to match the truck cabs' rear window. That way I have as much visibility as possible. Turns out it worked out almost perfectly. The main bed rails will be 34" apart on the outside, with the middle uprights of the headboard on the outside of those. Just added a couple of 2x4x3/16 cross members and wa'la. The screen is some old rock screen I had from my last truck project. It's heavy duty stuff. 1-1/4" squares on the inside and made of about 3/16 material. Only thing to make sure is get it flat and start from the middle taking the time to weld up all the contact points. I then use the 3,4,5 triangle method to square up the headboard to the main deck. Lots of clamp work as you can see.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3768.jpg (123.0 KB, 3 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3778.jpg (90.7 KB, 3 views)
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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One last day on the bed. This time it's making it pretty. I spent the day finishing up a few welds and then to the stake pockets to smooth them out. I also want to point out my chain rail for securing straps and what have you. You can see it in a couple of pictures previously posted and also in the background of one here. It's the heavy flay bar at an angle to the bed and underneath on the inside. The idea is you can take your ratchet strap and hang it on one side and go to the other side and it will not have fallen off in the time it takes you to walk around the truck. The fact that it is angled also means the strap is pulling against the long side of steel (stronger) at an angle that then wraps around the underside of the bed. The pickets are all ground and sanded smooth with the top of the bed so nothing for things to catch on. I did not do this to the bottom, as I don't really care that it is entirely smooth. I did however take out the high spots so it's pretty uniform. Bed all ready to go now.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3789.jpg (47.4 KB, 3 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3788.jpg (126.4 KB, 4 views)
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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More little bits now. Added some supports for the eventual dump hoist installation. FWIW, the dump hoist has been in several of the pictures already. It is in a couple of pieces waiting for it's eventual rebuild. Also worked on mounting up the hydraulic tank. Bent up some c-channel for side support and alignment of the main bed rails.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3794.jpg (124.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3795.jpg (227.6 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:28 PM   #26 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Got some parts back yesterday from my machinist neighbor and went to work on the main bed rails. They are 3x8x3/16 rec. steel. I have some more 1/2" leg angle I will be bolting to them as the main mounting point for the hoist. I had my neighbor bore out some DOM I had picked up to accept 3/4" bolts. These were then welded inside the main rails. Smoothed over on the inside so the angle lays flat and a little long on the other for an even a better weld on the DOM. At this point, I am real close to welding them onto the bed. I just need to redo the hinge. I'll post that next week after it's done, again. Meanwhile, here is where things stand as of yesterday. I have some other stuff I forgot to take pics of, so I'll try and remember to go over those as well.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3798.jpg (144.5 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3799.jpg (182.5 KB, 1 views)
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:26 PM   #27 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Hello, It's been a while and we have a pretty good storm that has rolled in this weekend, so time for some updates. & no still not finished.

Lets finish up the rear end lighting and bumper.

I had made the truck side hinge once already and some measurements changed so I cut it apart and rebuilt it. First image is parts, second is mostly back together. After a lot of measuring and re-measuring, I finally welded the hinge in place and took the whole unit off the back of the truck for final weld up and paint. I even welded in a couple of grounding bolts for the rear lighting. One on each end.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3803[1].jpg (90.4 KB, 2 views)
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Attach the bed is next. This is kind of a big day. Hopefully all my measuring and figuring has paid off. Put the rear back on the truck with the 10ea 3/4" Gr8 bolts and Gripco nuts. I really love those things. If you are not familiar, they are like nylocks only all steel. I believe they are a little out of round so the threads grab like crazy. They do not come loose or rattle off where the nylocks will, but I digress. Beams in place and measure, measure, measure... One final look before they are welded up. With some good solid tacks in place, turn them horizontal for finish welding.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3813[1].jpg (85.1 KB, 2 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3816[1].jpg (68.2 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3819[1].jpg (100.8 KB, 2 views)
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Before I put the bed it's self on, time for a couple of small bits and pieces. First some brackets on the inside of the frame to route all the air hoses through and eventually cinch down with some zip ties. Had to make a little bracket for the electric brake controller. Made some big hinges for the mud flaps. Made a cross member over the rear axle to support the hoist and make that install a little easier. Eventually that cross member will get an old tire tread attached to it to alleviate steel on steel wear.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3817[1].jpg (70.6 KB, 2 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3801[1].jpg (173.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3805[1].jpg (64.0 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3806[1].jpg (113.9 KB, 2 views)
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:24 PM   #30 (permalink)
XTreeFarmer
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Final prep before the big day. This included welding the bed onto the main beams. Sorry, so pics, just a lot of welding. Everything lined up just as it was suppose to so nothing to see here anyway.

Finally the big maiden voyage and a true shakedown of the truck. First stop is the DMV to register the truck and get legal. Second stop is to get some new rubber all around. The third and final stop is off to the steel supplier and pick up the 1/4" plate for the bed floor and the 3/16 tread plate for the headboard. I will just go home in town overnight before taking the truck back to the farm in the morning. It's going to take all day to get through all those stops.

Driving the truck for it's maiden voyage, I am trying to figure out all the little idosyncrasiesncies about it. Brakes work great. Power up and down the hills out of the farm seems good, although I really do not have a load. After the DMV, I hit the freeway and that is were I notice a little issue. I seem to be loosing a little top in speed on the freeway. Over 50 mph, the power just seems to fade and my speed drops some..... That's concerning, but I have not even done a full service on the tranny or engine yet. Get to the tire store no problem. 4 hours later, off to the steel supplier, no issues. Then through town to my home. Next morning back in the truck to take it back to the farm and continue working on it. I probably need to get some new fluids in it.

But then, no start.... CRAP! Several hours later and a tiny amount of either, I just can't get it started and have extremely limited tools... Time to bail and have it towed to a professional.

Late in the day I get a call from the shop, all fixed. Now I know a few things about diesels. 1. they need compression to run. I had compression just fine the day before and I'm sure it didn't go bad overnight. 2. Diesels need fuel. If you have these two components, you can start a diesel engine. The service mangler tells me the only problem was dead batteries. "OH REALLY", that wouldn't have to do with the 2-3 hours I spent turning it over trying to start it? IDOIT, I don't believe him, but its running again! I did have them take care of a couple of small sensor issues since it was in the shop. Electronics are not my strong point. Then I wait for them to call me as I am stranded at home with nothing really to do. Finally, I just get a ride down to their shop and ask for my truck back. They never called. Furthermore, they said the truck had been worked on overnight and they needed more info before they went any further...... WELL WHEN WERE YOU GOING TO CALL? ARGH! I just took the truck. $1000 for new batteries and fixing two (2) bad grounds.

On the way home, the high speed loss of power issue was still a problem, actually even worse. Had to get off the freeway and go surface streets out to the country. Even then, going up the hills to my farm was a challenge. CRAP! Time for all new fluids and filters.

More on next post.

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File Type: jpg IMG_3821[1].jpg (144.9 KB, 3 views)
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Christmas Tree Farmer (Oregon)
2001 Chevrolet T7500

Last edited by XTreeFarmer; 04-08-2018 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Pic added
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