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80's Grandby Rebuild

canvas fwc pop top frame jacks paint roof aluminum epdm rubber

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#1 HughDog

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 11:56 PM

Got a new project delivered.  Not sure what year though?

 

Got it delivered on Saturday and stripped down Sunday!  Had a sink and stove, but did not see a furnace.

 

I am thinking to do the following and appreciate any advice for this build:

 

  • Make it a shell that rest on the truck's bed rails
  • Chop the frame so that the base is 6.5' to fit my truck (cabover nub will go full size)
  • Chop most of the back wall so that I can make a hatch opening and keep my tailgate
  • Fabricate Jack Brackets
  • New Canvas
  • Will incorporate solar and quick release appliances ran from LiPo (i.e. fridge)
  • Not sure on lift mech, probably will avoid re-making panels. 
  • Not sure on windows, but will update these too
  • Not sure on skin, but love FWC's Silver Spur look and Project M diamond plate
  • Not sure about interior on this one

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#2 HughDog

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 07:41 PM

More photos of the teardown process.  I was excited to do this build having recently completed one (83 Fleet) that was very similar.

 

Last time, it took 3 or 4 days to end up at the same point (frame off), because I had contemplated keeping and fixing certain things and working around them – pretty much a dream stage of doing a light fix up before the OCD kicks in. 

This time, I only had to think about what to rip apart, what to keep, how to store it, and how to get it done quickly so that the honey-do’s could also be accomplished. 

 

And BTW, since we are sharing, my advice is don’t ask for permission and beg for forgiveness.  My approach on this is to have all of your good friends “randomly” stop by just as your new toy is being delivered.  This helps buffer the rage when you have honey-do’s and a heap of rotted wood and 30 year FWC smell gets dropped onto the driveway!   

 

 

 

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#3 HughDog

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 10:53 PM

Off to the Dump and Back to engineering / "dreamer" stage. 

 

Will get the frame on a jig (aka my utility trailer) and begin figuring out what I'm going to cut and what support aluminum I will need. 

 

Probably a good idea to figure out the window situation and base platform I will use to secure it to the bed rails.  May be a while!   

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#4 HughDog

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 11:52 PM

Back at it ! Finally got the honey-do's finished (for now), . . . 

 

Basically chopped pretty much everything but kept the roof and the crown piece.  Working the aluminum has been a lot of fun!

  

 

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#5 hebegebe

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 02:08 AM

Back at it ! Finally got the honey-do's finished (for now), . . .

Basically chopped pretty much everything but kept the roof and the crown piece. Working the aluminum has been a lot of fun!

Nice Dog that will be a sweet camper!!!
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#6 Vic Harder

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 05:03 AM

Back at it ! Finally got the honey-do's finished (for now), . . . 

 

Basically chopped pretty much everything but kept the roof and the crown piece.  Working the aluminum has been a lot of fun!

looks to have fewer cross members in the alum framing than what I recall seeing in either my Hawk or Puma.  Are you going for ultra-lite?


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#7 HughDog

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 06:17 AM

looks to have fewer cross members in the alum framing than what I recall seeing in either my Hawk or Puma.  Are you going for ultra-lite?

 

Kind of ironic - I know !  Ultra-lite on a 1-ton truck ! 

 

So as of now, I'm minus the tub and its tubing, . . Also reduced the base length back by  >1.5,' . . The entire back end should look different and will only have a bit of space on each side of a hatch lid . .. .  In it's current state, the same amount of vertical supports are on the side and front as when it was a Grangby, but I chose to use a fatter gauge tube all around and welded on multiple sides at the point of contact(s) vs. the single weld that these old frames use to get.  I'll have a few truss spots that will be incorporated with the platform that will rest on the bed rails.

 

I've wanted to build a shell / topper for a long time for just skiing and biking and because my bed is not always accessible on the fly, . . this next photo tells a little more about that story -  

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#8 HughDog

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 08:52 PM

Nothing like explaining to the wife why you got 300lbs of rusty I-beam in the back of her suv!  I got the press brake kit from SwagOffroad - they have some pretty sick stuff for micro garage fabricating and playing w/metal.

 

I'll incorporate into custom brackets for my pickup bed and to do something fun with exterior skins !

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Edited by HughDog, 21 August 2020 - 08:52 PM.

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#9 HughDog

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 11:14 PM

Finally got the skin bent the way I had sketched it.   Cut and fitted windows.  got a  front slider to match the pass through portion of the truck's rear cab window  Bent the rear hatch door in place and backed it with some welded tubes for rigidity.

 

Really wanted to offset the body's sheet metal for some contrast while also bringing a robust appearance.

 

Had a lot of room to work with the back end but decided early on that I wanted it to somewhat resemble a shell from the past (i.e. international scout or cruiser top).

 

Will paint the diamond plate and keep the other sheet metal closer to natural aluminum.

 

Been staring for 15 hours at a lift mechanism re-design, probably going to do something similar to the "easy up bars" that Jayco uses. 

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet


#10 HughDog

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 08:26 PM

Got my lifters on, . . . freakish how well the lifts work and lock with the correct hinge points and offsets to geometry!  

 

Will have to post more pics, but the angle was tough.  I decided to go with some ginormous height (canvas is 34"), which put standing height truck floor to roof at 84."

 

Seems kinda high, but I like it, think it created enough room to sit right on the bunk and allows a better angle for snow to drop of the back when only one end is kept up.

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Edited by HughDog, 03 September 2020 - 10:14 PM.

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2014 Ram 3500 MegaCab, 1983 FWC Fleet






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