77 Crewcab Build

maddogjohnson
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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby maddogjohnson » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:52 am

It looks to me like you've got the grill fitting quite nicely thus far.

As far as the Freightliner hitch plate that also looks fantastic! I like how cleanly the lights are integrated, though I'm curious what the additional holes are for. I presume the mid-size holes just inboard of the brake lights will be for trailer wiring connections?

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OrthmannJ
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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby OrthmannJ » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:28 am

Thanks for the update. Looks like you're making steady progress. I have found that the closer you get to the finish line it becomes all about the details.
1969 F-100
1996 F-350 Crew Cab Powerstroke
Previous rigs:
1978 F-250 crew cab
1994 Explorer XLT
1978 Bronco Ranger XLT
1981 F-100 shortbox stepside Ranger XLT
1994 F-150 XLT S/C 4X4
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Bullistik8v92
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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:46 pm

maddogjohnson wrote:It looks to me like you've got the grill fitting quite nicely thus far.

As far as the Freightliner hitch plate that also looks fantastic! I like how cleanly the lights are integrated, though I'm curious what the additional holes are for. I presume the mid-size holes just inboard of the brake lights will be for trailer wiring connections?


The holes below the brake lights are for the backup lights. They're the same basic housing so it made laying out the plate easier, but the parts house didn't have the backup lights in stock last Friday. I've got them in my hand so I'll get them installed this weekend.

Yes, the smaller holes toward the middle of the plate are for the wiring plugs. The left side will have a 7 way flat blade ("RV" style) and the right side will have a second 7 way round pin.

I wanted an old school look on the Freightliner, the only LED's in it are the headlights, so I went with old skool flange mount brake lights and backup lights and then went overboard and tapped the mounting holes rather than thru drilling them. It takes a LONG time to GENTLY hand tap 17 10-32 holes!

The grill is looking ok, but there is a long way to go. I think I've trimmed the grill as much as I want to. I could probably trim it a little more if I have really had to, so now I'm going to work on massaging the intercooler mounts some.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:53 pm

OrthmannJ wrote:Thanks for the update. Looks like you're making steady progress. I have found that the closer you get to the finish line it becomes all about the details.


Yes, it's really getting to the point where I'm actually still spending a fair amount of time working on it again but with a long time between visible changes. Getting all the body panels lined up again, fitting the grill, wiring, and so on. With any luck I can keep plugging away on it this weekend and at least get the grill and inserts bolted up.

I'm probably going to wait on final assembly on the nose until I get some new hood hinges so I can make sure all the body lines are acceptable before I start cranking everything down.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:34 pm

I ran out of split loom so I took a break from wiring on the Freightliner and spent some extra time on the crewcab. Mostly all time trying to get the grill shell to fit again. With the AC condenser the intercooler isn't quite as close to the core support as it would be in a non-AC truck and it was giving me fits. So I massaged the lower mounts on the intercooler a little, took a couple spacers out of upper mounts and trimmed the shell a little more. I'm getting closer!

Image20190714_142748 by Patrick Oilnut, on Flickr

Image20190714_142733 by Patrick Oilnut, on Flickr

I forgot to get a closeup of the shell by the intercooler. I had to cut a LOT out of the bottom, but not any farther than the thinnest part of an OEM shell. Near the center post in the grill shell they have a thin spot on the bottom where it tapers and narrows in, basically I took that dimension and carried it out just past where the lower intercooler mounts are.

With that, I lost a couple of the mounting tabs for the inserts so I'm going to have to come up with new mounts after I trim the inserts to fit. Getting the inserts to fit is also going to be quite a time consuming operation.

For now I'm pretty happy with it. My next steps I think are going to be finishing up the grill and then I need to get my aux tank installed and the bed set on. I need to get the bed lined up before I get too carried away incase I need to shim the cab up any. Once the bed is fit then I can put the hood back on and finish lining up the front sheet metal.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:14 pm

Got the new grill inserts this morning so I spent a little time trimming. I'm not really sure how to mount the inserts yet but I've got a couple ideas. I think what I'm going to do is screw them to the center post in the grill shell with a couple spacers. Then on the top and bottom I'm going to build a bracket to hold the inserts and epoxy them to the shell using some Plexsus.

It took a LOT of trimming (ok, hacking) to get the inserts to clear, but I'm pretty close to getting them to fit without rubbing anywhere.

Image20190720_191001 by Patrick Oilnut, on Flickr

Image20190720_191010 by Patrick Oilnut, on Flickr

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby maddogjohnson » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm

The new grill inserts look really nice! I hope to be switching to the 78 style grill on my truck at some point.

I couldn't help but notice the R134a refrigerant in your last picture. Do you know how many lbs of charge a factory A/C system would take in these old rigs?

I'm finally back in town after two weeks out of town for work. I got the package you sent so I'll PM you to square it all away.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:29 pm

I debated on which grill inserts to use. The truck is a 77 but all the other ones I own are 73/74's so I just went with the 73's. Pretty sure I've got them where they'll fit with as much clearance as I'm going to get. I had to order some more hardware, when that order comes in I'm going to start trying to mount them.

My plan, at this point, is to use the factory mount locations around the headlights. The top and bottom middle mounts are now gone so I'm going to have to build some kind of support bracket which I haven't quite figured out yet. I have some 10-32 stainless screws to mount the end that is in the middle of the grill.

The next front end challenge will be making the hood latch and support bracket fit without rubbing the grill or the intercooler, or anything else up there. I have a couple ideas, but I think it's going to be one of those deals where I just have to start hanging parts and see what I like best. Still sorta playing around with the wiring, but haven't started building a cab harness yet.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby Bullistik8v92 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:26 am

I was SOOOO close to getting the inserts installed and getting the shell mounted for good. Until I had the brillant idea of buying 10-32 nylocks to go on all the 10-24 screws I have. As you might imagine, I didn't get too far like that. New nuts procured for the next trip over to the shop.

Also decided for sure I'm going to run a Bronco poly 33 gallon tank for my auxiliary. It's the best price vs capacity tank I can find in poly and I can also get one without the EMS hole which I like since I'll use this just as a transfer tank. One the tank shows up I can build a crossmember.

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Re: 77 Crewcab Build

Postby maddogjohnson » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:36 pm

Isn't that a bummer when you realize you don't have exactly what you need to continue forward progress, especailly when you thought you just bought what you needed only to find out you didn't when you start wrencing again? Yes, I definitely speak from experience. ;)

Good for you on the 33 gallon poly tank. I ran into multiple challenges with my aft rear axle gas tank install that ended up with me throwing everything on the shelf for an attempt another day.

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