1951 Interdurangunal Hemister
Hey ladies and gents,
Almost finished on my slightly odd first hot rod build, I found this forum and started to browse the threads on here and was taken aback at the sheer amount of talent out there, beavering away in workshops, barns and garages all over! Feeling inspired, and although I've been pretty busy on the build, I thought I'd take a few minutes to share a few pictures of my build journey.
Now I'd always been a fan of pre and post war American trucks, but I've always had to be a distant admirer, having not been born on this fair land, only until I was in my mid 20s did I arrive on this continent and able to get my hands on some US machinery.
I cut my teeth working on old British stuff while in the UK, classic mini coopers to be precise.
I didn't really consciously think that I would ever have the chance to own a classic truck until something hit me. I was nursing a classic Audi quatttro as my daily driver, constantly fearing what would break next or where to park it that it would be safe and not get scratched. A car so precious to me and the Audi community for its rarity and unbelievably perfect condition, however worth so little that fixing the AC would cost half as much as its worth.
At that time I was contemplating selling the Audi and buying something boring as my next DD, something I can't bring myself to do...
Meanwhile I read a forum thread which got me a trifle excited, nestled within a retro themed forum designed to host European retro unicorns, a yank with a master plan, to combine modern American practicality and muscle with old timey farm truck clothing, keeping the patina rich body allowing a modern practicality DD and a park it anywhere and use it classic...
I was inspired, not just because the idea combined the two things I was looking for for my next DD. But because it was going to be cheap, within a reasonable budget ...
A plan was hatched, a cursory phone call to my bank manager, the beautiful Mrs non grata.... the reply "you have to sell the Audi first"....
I was attached to the Audi, I had wanted one for years, I searched for the perfect example, I'd found it, I had it, it was to be mine forever. Erm well.....250k miles and its a ticking time b*mb...time for its next owner.
It took 1 day to sell it, I didn't even have time to have 2nd thoughts, sold for the asking price...gone....
So I had my plan, I had the money, I had no DD....
I bought the donor for what was going to be the powertrain for my new "vintage" Daily driver
2005 dodge durnago 5.7 hemi AWD
More to come.....
17 hour solo trip
Too modern for ya? Yeah thought so... and ugly too right? Well good job I start reconstructive surgery later on...
Now the Durango was cheap, very cheap, why? because it smelled like the a** end of a dog? Yep you bet! It also had some body damage here and there ( I was obviously not bothered about) and the engine misfired.
The misfire could have been a number of things, but I used it to beat the guy down on price..
At home I pulled the codes, misfire on #2 and #6, I checked the valve springs and all seemed OK, so I changed the coils and hey presto, a V8 again.
This was June 2016, i continued to use the truck as is for 1 month, to weed out any other issues and also hunt for my other purchase, the vintage one....
Craigslist did it again, I'd found a cool 1955 GMC 3100 just down the road in Tennessee, all solid, about 17 different colors and rust for about the cost of the trailer rental to get down there.
I organised the trailer and a day off, but the night before, the guy (much to his credit) text me to let me know it was sold.
Well I got back on CL and searched further afield, and there it was, in Wisconsin, a really solid looking 1951 IH L110 in its splendid original green paint with added rusty patches. Man i knew it was the one.
I haggled a but on the price to get it within my budget, rented a trailer, borrowed a big truck and hit the interstate.
Now when you go and pickup a vintage truck, you take wheel dollies, a floor jack a winch, and a couple of buddies for help right?
Well I didn't have any of those things, I bought a ****ty little come along, a couple of tow straps and I went by myself. Looking back I'm an idiot.
I got there after a 7/8 hour trip, and the PO had already got the truck on some wheel dollies as the tires were shot, (I did had the foresight to take a large compressor with me, but the tires would not hold any air).
Now what struck me straight away was the sheer size of the truck! I hadn't realized the scale of the thing, look again at the photo of the truck in his garage, that garage was HUGE, it made the truck seem smaller by comparison! I really doubted if I was going to get it on the trailer, and you will see how close it was in the next photo.
I was also surprised at how much it weighed, it's so solid, the metal is 16 gauge (twice the thickness of modern stuff!) We tried to push it out of the garage closer to the trailer, but it would not budge.
Luckily the PO had a Jeep with a winch, so we were able to rig up a pulley arrangement to drag the truck onto the trailer.
The drive home I was so giddy, on my own for 9 hours, tired to hell, pumped every time I looked in the rear view mirror at what was looking back at me! My own vintage truck, my first ever pickup truck, and she was awesome! I had thumbs up from cool people that passed on the interstate, I had disapproving looks from others and most didn't even notice me at all. But to me she was beautiful, and she was mine!
Just fits on the trailer
I got home at 2:30am, frustratingly the last 50 miles of my journey took 2 hours due to some construction (the only hold up on the whole journey). I reversed the railer onto the drive and hit the hay.
I had managed to cajole some friends into helping "push" the truck off the trailer in the morning. Dutifully they arrived at 8am, not knowing what truck I had bought.
They were a little shocked with what they saw, I heard the word 'asylum' uttered at least twice, but they were good sports and we "tried" to push the truck. It took well over 2 hours to get that thing off, in the end Menards was visited for more come alongs and tow straps and we rigged something up macgyver would be proud of. The truck came off with a fight and we slid it home next to my 1960 Austin cooper...
Here's some shots my wife took of the exercise.
Next installment I get quite dirty and hurt....
Of mice and men
that smell of ammonia, I could tell straight away what it was, used on the crops in the fields near my place of work, we also use it in our tests at work to inject into the exhaust system of modern diesel engines to make them emissions compliant.
It gets into your nostrils and burns the hairs....
See the holes in the seat, the holes in the door trim panels and headliner? Made from rodent friendly cardboard, perfect for making a nice mouse metropolis. removal of the seat sounded akin to those wooden percussion instruments that simulate rain. Instead of making music it showered the floor with thousands of mouse presents...
Lifting the floor mat, unveiled another ecosystem of dirt and maggots.
Probably fed by decaying corrugated cardboard used as underlay..
Although I was shocked to find a pristine firewall, its a shame that most of it won't be staying.....
Most of the parts came apart with much less fuss than I had anticipated, only fired up the grinder to section the bed and remove the rotten floor.
Stripped of her front end and her dignity, I proceeded to decapitate her...
The chassis was then dragged out by the 'Rango and offered free to whoever came first with the right equipment to haul it away, which generated quite a lot of interest on CL, but took 4 or 5 attempts until eventually someone competent arrived. I don't like doing CL business at my house either so I showed them where it was, garage door closed, no questions answered about its origin... Also the HOA I live in would not take too kindly to my new "yard art"...
The next steps were to start to repair the IH parts and get them ready for their new re-purposed home....
excellent! nice to see another i.h. being saved. I had a 50 now a 54. there are a few of us i.h. guys on here. looking forward to seeing your build. oh yeah and welcome!!
Porous metal, patches and Por15 painting
what are those black marks under football players eyes? Eye black? used to reduce glare but has the added benefit that it makes them look tougher it would seem...
Well I sort of had that in mind when I looked at this
Where the original turn signals were i guess were soem rust traps that hold all the stuff thrown off the front wheels.
What to do with this mess? Make it original or make a big patch and let it rust from the front to match the rest of the rusty patina, but protect from the back with POR15?
Well I called in to my local scrap recycle/steel yard and they sell offcuts of anything, I grabbed some 16 gauge offcuts.
I cut out all the rotten metal and make these huge patches, that did away with the original turn signal recess but followed the curve of the headlight, I ground back the welds, (not that pretty with fluxcore)
I made a template with card originally, so I just had to flip over the template to make a patch for the other side, ta da!
Here it is outside, image flipped upside down to see what it looks like.
It was 100F outside, so whats better than wearing full length clothing and painting POR15 over all the insides of the body panels? I'd already wirewheeled all the loose rust off, the paint went on a treat and I used 1/2 a can.
So I already got sweaty and dirty stripping the IH and prepping it ready for its marriage with the Durango, but when did I get hurt? I hear you say...
I was actually quite sad to start chopping the 'Rango really, sure it smelled as bad as it looked, but it was solidly built and had all the creature comforts...I guess that what you get for truck that cost a $35k new.
That solid build quality is a bad thing when it came to tearing it apart, it absolutely kicked my butt. It took over a week to tear apart, the most difficult being the interior, just when I removed a layer, there would be another sub layer and so on...
I saved everything that unbolted, and unplugged and labelled every connector. I started the tear down August 9th 2016.
The dashboard took a while, and I originally wanted to keep the HVAC in situ, as I had already had the AC gassed up, but I had to eventually give in and remove it...
Once all the interior had been stripped, and wiring removed, I could break out the sawsall...
I removed the windshield with a guitar string pulled tight, that was a work out right there!
Right, pause. See the rear part of the roof still intact? Even thought its modern sheet metal and subsequently thin, its still quite heavy, something to do with making it safe in case of rolling over or what not..
How would you go about cutting and removing the roof on your own, safely? Would you cut it into a few small pieces, throw a tow strap around it, maybe those handy dandy roof rails that are attached up there could be used to support the weight with a engine hoist?
I previously told you I'm an idiot, and like all idiots I like to aim for efficiency in this situation, go big, go fast, ninja. Including the footwear. See those pictures above where I'm painting the panels, sat like a small child (yes even at 32 I sit like I'm 10!) I'm wearing some sort of "vans" style foot wear. Yeah, don't wear those in the garage, especially while welding, cutting, handling heavy pieces of razor sharp metal etc..
Don't worry it's not as gory as I'm making out, and I still have all limbs and digits. I just had to throw those shoes away due to one of them filling up with a lot of my own red stuff..
I sliced the roof into 2 pieces, a cut along the middle, and 2 cuts below the rear windows, so they resembled delorean doors. I managed to wrestle one side down to the floor and propped it against the wall, while I turned around to grab the next side, it slid down the wall and shoved full force into my ankle, I looked down and thought ah well, its just a scratch, until I pulled my leg away and it was stuck on a pointed, sharp, jagged edge of steel. It probably went in until it touched something hard, like my ankle bone. It sliced something main vein like because it started pouring. I hobbled to the house and called to Mrs non grata, where I got all the sympathy you would get from someone working in TSA! I was told to get out of her kitchen as I was dirty and blood was getting on her rug. But she did throw to me some sort of towel so I could stem the bleeding.
I must have a lot of white blood cells though because it stopped pretty quickly and I lived.
But lesson learned, I did throw those shoes out and dig out my ankle boots....
Last edited by persona non grata; 09-30-2016 at 06:00 PM.
your an animal, way to get after it!
Thanks for the welcome HoS! I read your thread, starting to look good man!
Originally Posted by harvester of sorrow
You're using Dakota drive-train right?
I spotted there was a lot of IH trucks on here, its cool! Would be great to go to a meetup with all these IH one day....
more S&M action for the Harvester
I could spread this out more, but I'm currently laid up in bed sick with a stupid head cold or the plague? Probably the plague, as a cold doesn't really sound manly enough....
Where were we last? The Durango was retaliating. So I kept on hacking it apart, and just like any car killer I disposed of the body parts bit by bit in the local dump over a series of days.. that'll teach it.
I just kept cutting until all I had was one rolling chassis with partial floor, trans tunnel and firewall. These pics were taken August 18th.
I wasn't planning to run the Durango chrome rims and tires, so in the meantime I scoured CL for a set of Dodge Ram 17" Steel wheels, and a set of tires. I found the wheels about 2 hours away, and I bought them out of the back of an ambulance! The guy was a paramedic on call and met me in a parking lot off the interstate in the ambulance, it was all very surreal...
I got some Dunlop tires from a local chap who had just taken them off his 2015 4runner after 5k miles to put mud terrains on. So I knew they were OEM fitment tires and pretty new to boot.
I sanded, primed and painted the wheels satin black and had the tires mounted and I think they look rather splendid. Even tried on the IH hubcaps and they would fit nice with some retaining clips.
I cleaned up the 'Rango rims and sold them on CL for about what I paid for the ram wheels and Dunlop tires.
About this time I spotted I had ****ed up the windshield on the IH, even though it had some large scratches from someone running it without wiperblades. I hadn't covered it up while I was grinding on the front end in the garage. so there were tiny molted blobs of metal in it, grrr I thought. As I really wanted to use that windshield for a while until I could find a new one.
So I taped the glass up inside and out, welded in a cross brace inside the cab and proceeded to cut the floor out!
Well it didn't go that fast...I measured the Durango firewall, then the IH firewall, then back to the Durango, then back to the IH, and so on and so on.... until at last I was sort of happy with my sharpie marks, I took a grinder to it.
I stood back, admired my lack of handiwork, my hands were filthy with Harvester grime, I felt like I had committed an atrocity, our S&M session had gone much further, possibly too far......I sat in a corner and rocked back and forth....
Giant leaps and false hope
if you ever want to loose a few pounds, don't go to the gym and run on a never ending walkway, build a truck, in summer, by yourself, and spend every day and evening doing just that...
you wont have much of a life, and your family wont see you, you will only be known as the filthy bearded man who lives in the garage and makes loud noises..
Luckily I have a very "understanding" wife, meaning she is fed up of chauffeuring me to work and wants me to finish my truck!
So in an attempt to appease her a little I thought I'd change one thing that she complains about, the beard. My 6 month experiment was not well received my Mrs non grata, so I underwent facial reconstructive surgery, and became a child again. The ironic thing then was that she didn't like it! She wanted beard, but not BEARD! AH its so simple to know what they want right? Well it will grown back, and my goal is to have facial insulation again by the time winter hits us...
So the next few steps were actually giant leaps forward, I've not somehow overlooked a ton of photos in between, they really are 2 days apart or something like that.
You wheel the cab into place, then drop it over the floor, simple!
And then drop the front on, and were ready to drive!
Erm, nope. The cab didn't exactly plop straight on, the durango firewall and floor were still too wide and needed chopping 5" from the drivers side and 1" from the passenger side as measured from the centerline of the floorpan.
Eh? hang on. 5" and 1"? I cut the door frames off the firewall at exacly the same point on either side? How does it end up being uneven?
Lots of measuring later I saw it, wasn't obvious at first, but the engine, trans and subsequently the tunnel were shoved over to the passenger side a good 2-3"! Thanks Chrysler...
So my centerline on the trans tunnel was not in fact the centerline of the truck at all.
So I measured underneath at the chassis to body mounts and used those as the reference points and determined that I had to chop 2-2.5" from each side. Which I did and also chop into the cross brace on the floor to allow the narrower cab to fit over.
Then to make sure it was in a good position I would need to drop the doghouse on and bolt it onto the cab. Hence the picture of it looking rather like a truck.
But really its just a mock up, giving me false hope that I was further along than I really was.
Meantime, I had Durango parts listed on CL and Ebay, and someone wanted to buy some parts, that meant I could buy a 80cuft bottle of 80/20 gas for the Mig and convert it over and get some much nicer welds where I needed them, welding the cab to the floor.....
Next I impersonate an 11 year old russian gymnast and climb inside the harvester foot well for a weldathon....