Electric Steering Installation

This video walks through the addition of an electric steering box from a Prius into an antique truck; this process is much like the one Brian did on Slowflake a couple of years ago. As I’ve gotten deep into the weeds in power steering woes on the Red Bus, and realizing how difficult it might be to find a PS setup on a truck with an I-beam front suspension, this direction might be the way to go.

2023 In Review

It’s January and currently about 44˚, so there isn’t much getting done outside on the trucks in an unheated garage. In the interest of keeping my motivation level up, I suppose I should recap the events of 2023, as they were pretty eventful for the Dugan IH Barn (or whatever I’m calling this assemblage of vehicles).


March 2023


December 2023

So from the top, in rough order:

Wow, writing it all out like that really helps put things into perspective.

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Price Comparison

I spied this red ’65 Travelall on eBay a few weeks ago and it came back up in my feed yesterday, having been sold for $5880 in Marfa, Texas. Old trucks are typically much cheaper in the southwestern states due to the climate being much friendlier, so the (low?) price isn’t that much of a surprise. The outside of the truck is in relatively decent shape, but clearly has some visible battle scars; the rear tailgate, for example, looks lousy, and the front clip has lost paint in exactly the same places mine has.

The most interesting thing about this truck is that it was built and delivered to a dealer in Tuxedo, Maryland, which is right outside of Capitol Heights to the east of D.C. From the build sheet it sounds like a nice upgrade from mine: the same 304/T-18 driveline (2WD) but power brakes with front discs, extra sun visor and both armrests, as well as front bucket seats. OH, THE LUXURY. Most interestingly, this says it was originally Vegas Blue Metallic, so it’s been resprayed at some point. I’d bet a look under the hood would reveal the original paint. There was only one shot of the interior, which was sporting some seriously bizarre aftermarket bucket seats.

There’s a lot here I like—Western mirrors look really good (I’m waiting to mount mine until the springtime, when I can pull the cover off). More and more I like the look of white wheels and roof on a red truck. I think I’m being convinced to change my paint scheme around a little bit. It’s interesting to see the same kind of aftermarket roof-mounted reverse light mine had; I guess this was a thing after a certain point.

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Hello There Friend

Driving out to Ellicott City yesterday, I spied the distinctive shape of a C series pickup parked in front of West End Service, our local IH dealer. On my way home I stopped to look it over and snap a few pictures. It’s clearly a heavy-duty model, sitting on a beefy front axle and sporting a dually rear, but everything else was a normal C-series cab. It had recently been painted and a very pretty design applied to each door, but there was a lot of overspray on the steering wheel and knobs in the cab.

I took a lot of pictures of the floor and seat base (the seat itself was missing) so that I’ve got reference for my seat install and eventual floor replacement.


Inspiration

Dan over at the Binder Boneyard posted a picture of a rig he worked on a couple of years ago that I remember lusting after; it started out as a 2WD Travelall that he converted to 4WD, lifted, and did a bunch of other upgrades to. What I’m looking at specifically is the roof rack, which is the setup I’m going for: an eight-point rack with a solid bed and a very minimal rail. Ideally I’d build the metal sections out of aluminum, but that’s a welding skill I don’t currently possess. I’ve got six of the eight drip rail mounts I need, and I intend to spend a cold winter sketching out a plan for the rack itself. I wonder how much a used TIG welder goes for on Marketplace….?

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Market Research

A Travelall popped up in Pennsylvania on Marketplace yesterday, and I of course clicked to take a closer look. It’s a 1962 4×4 with a transplanted 392 in the engine bay, and originally came from Colorado. There’s only one shot of the inside and none of the engine bay. It’s got a liberal coating of what the kids call “patina”, which is to say, the Colorado sun blasted off all of the paint on the horizontal surfaces. There are a couple of underside shots which look very similar in condition to the red bus in my driveway, and there’s rot in the front fenders in the same places. The seller wants $17,500.

As a 2WD, my truck isn’t quite as desirable, but if I can get the red bus up and running for half of that cost, I figure I’ll be far ahead of the market.

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Wing Window Installation

In February, before I found the Travelall, I ordered a set of new wing window rubber to replace the old brittle stuff on Peer Pressure. It’s been sitting in the box downstairs since then. I pulled it out and looked it over several times but I knew I didn’t have all the information I needed to tackle the job, and nobody had written up any instructions (there were none with the kit—thanks. Anything Scout just published a detailed installation video with all the tips I need to do the job. Looks like I’ll have to buy or borrow a rivet gun to do it properly.

Weekly Roundup, 7.21.23

I had to make some space in the garage on Sunday after we got back, and took the opportunity to break out the wire wheel and clean off both seat bases.

After a coat of Rust Encapsulator I brushed on some black chassis coating and let them cure.

Monday we dropped the Scout off at a mechanic for them to replace the manifold and gasket.

Out in the garage I looked over the two seat bases and test fit them in the truck. The rear base will need some bracing but it’s definitely usable. Then, looking for someplace to store parts, I hauled the rear bench out and put it in the truck. It’s really not in bad shape at all, and it looks right at home in there.

The new door cards, behind all of the grease and rust, were originally the same gray as the ones in the truck. I test fit the drivers side to test a hunch, and I was right: there are two holes present to mount an armrest behind the door handle which line up with the door cards. So I’ll have to keep an eye out for those in the future.

I started cataloging parts and identifying what they are. Two of the door assemblies are clearly from a later truck, and they’re both for the right side, so I’ll see if I can resell them at some point. The rear door hinges are in good shape, and I started soaking them in PBblaster to remove various bolts from the assemblies. The glass went up into the attic. I’ve got to pick up a third bin for spare parts and keep working on storage solutions. One thing for sure is that the two PT cruiser seats left over from the Scout are going to the dump instead of taking up space.

Thursday after work I went right outside and decided it was time to lose the platform and old seats. I don’t have a ton of free space in the garage, and what better location to put it all than in the truck. Plus, I wanted to see what the floor looked like underneath.

First the seats came out; they were held in by eight bolts each, and the four rear inboard bolts on both seats were inaccessible underneath, so I had to use the grinder to cut them off. With those gone it took a little while to free up the platform and pull that out; underneath I found decades of dirt, one mouse nest, and some garbage.

After donning a mask and cleaning all that out I disassembled the rear platform base and the extender on the back step.

The floors are all in fantastic shape. The worst part is on the driver’s rear step by the door: water was probably getting in through the door seal and pooling between the wood and the metal. I should be able to cut that part out and weld new metal in. Under the driver’s seat there’s mainly surface rust which can be ground out pretty easily, and a few other small areas that can be cleaned up.

And when those seats are gone, I’ve got to figure out how to get a 4×8′ sheet of 18 gauge steel home from the supplier in Elkridge next week. I purchased it over the phone Thursday afternoon for pickup, and hopefully I’ll have the Scout back by the end of the week. With that and a $30 pneumatic metal nibbler I should be able to start welding things back together on the truck.

Practice

Here’s a set of practice tack welds I put down on a sheet of 20 ga. metal this evening. I think, after some trial and error, I’ve got a good setting for this thickness. Most of the metal on the Travelall is between 16 and 18 ga. so I’ll have to do more practice with a new sheet of that before I touch the truck.



Overall I’m pretty pleased; on this last piece there was no burnthrough and I got solid welds down the line. You can see the places where I hadn’t snipped the blob at the end of the wire—I’m going to buy a spring-loaded wirecutter especially for this. I was rushing things so the metal did warp a little, but when I do the truck right I’ll definitely take my time and space things out.

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