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WC53 Carryall Restomod - Cummins ISB170, Allison, ORI Struts

More work on the exhaust shield. Got the thing mounted. I needed an M10-1.5 to, well, anything really as a stud bolt for the heat shield bracket where it was mounting to the PTO. I wanted it to stand off from the cover to allow for sliding adjustment, install fitment, and also creating an air gap to not transfer too much heat from the shield bracket into the side of the transmission (over thinking as usual). Anyways, McMaster wanted like $9 ea for their cheapest anything. I could have machined some from hex bar but honestly by still not having my small lathe up and running (needs alignment and some tooling) I decided to just booger weld some up. A 5/16" socket cap screw fit perfectly inside the flange head of the M10.





I also finally received some hardware that USPS lost for 3 whole weeks.

Since I'll be leaving the interior metal exposed and not be running carpet, I decided I wanted to match the countersunk rivet look with some screws too. I was called a masochist for chosing this method, but I do believe that this entire truck is an example of my own self hate.





More work on this dumb old thing.

The soft top channel wasn't big enough to fit the new thicker top through it so I machined a little soft steel bullet and use the air chisel to drive it through to open it up from .375 to .415 and that was just enough clearance for the new top to slip in and it stays just fine it appears.


Pulled the kick panels and am going to clean those up and install some sound deadening on the back of them.


Started to sound deaden the transmission cover. The stuff is rated to 450 deg F steady heat and there are other locations where it is on the truck already, and has been for 10 years, exposed to exhaust heat and it is perfectly fine. I ran out as I did the access door. I will remove that and it gets a gasket as well just to keep air from pushing through.


Then the foil..


And I think I am going to attach this piece of Jute to it also. The amount of noise and heat that comes through the transmission cover as it was, was just really impressive. Also didn't help I had a million open holes from other "ideas" along the way.

Theres no kill quite like overkill.

Im waiting on some "corner" type nut plates that are stuck in USPS, with a number of other things. I can then finish installing the floors.
I have a small trip coming up with the thing and before that I want to:

Paint the seat frames
Build relocation adapters for the rear seats to move them around some
Clean up and thermal wrap / loom some wiring under the truck.
^wire up the cruise control and air tank gauge in the center console during this task.
Adjust the caster and reset my toe
Build some sort of roof rack thing
Get the driver's window winder working right.


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More tinkering. Pulled the seat cushions off and started to get the frames cleaned up and painted. Been clear coating the floor sections and getting all that put back together too.





Also had some holes a little too close to the edge and one that was in a weird radius change so I snagged some of these corner clip nut plates to use where the floor panels affix to the existing truck sheet metal. Nifty little buggers.

Had an old friend from my Jeep building days come up and visit for the afternoon; he was a local college kid when I was at my old place rolling out projects and was helping him with building up a TJ, that has evolved into essentially an Ultra 4 chassis now that he's graduated and making adult money as an Engineer. He helped me a ton today when it came to the testing and production work on making these brackets below. He said he lurks here but doesn't post much.

The past few days I have been daydreaming about how to build a simple roof rack for this truck so that I can throw my canoe on it, and also I have some surfboards that my nephews use when we are at the beach. I had this stick of 1.75" Stainless Schedule 40 laying around for a few years now and decided it would work for this. The brackets are 16 ga cold roll mild steel sheet. I still need to finish drilling and installing the Rivet-nuts into the tubes, bend the feet on the other 5 brackets, and I also want to machine and weld some end caps onto the tubes. I figure a threaded insert cap thing that will allow me to bolt other brackets, rails, tie downs, etc to the rack would be useful. There will be 3 individual rails on the roof.This also allows me to put stuff on the roof without it tearing up the soft top or preventing me from installing or removing the soft top.



Floors are clear coated and going back in.


Soft top is on, after trying to find the right size footman loops to fit the thicker webbing but have the right existing screw hole spacing that was already drilled into the truck.


Recharged the ORI struts up front, dialed the caster angle back some and re-set the toe. I was getting the beginnings of a DW type shake last time I had it at the beach and was running around with sub 20 psi tire pressure on the pavement between the ORV beach access points. The quick fix then was to spin the tow way out, and it did in fact stop the issue, however I never dialed it back. You can see one of the roof rack beams on the back. Finished building those and laying them out for where I want to mount them to the truck. I have an oil pan gasket leak and have had a replacement gasket for it for while, just haven't gotten around to dropping the pan. That might get done this week too.

what did you use for shock towers?

Made some out of mild steel, I think it was just dumb old A36 because it was what I had at the time. They bolt to the frame to reduce chance of a fatigue failure from a welded on bracket. The more I worked with the factory frame on this thing the more I found it was harder in some areas and not in others so there is nothing welded to the frame other than the boxing plates themselves; everything else bolts on or was hot riveted back in place.
Go back a few pages and there is a post where the truck is hanging on a lift and you can see the brackets there.

Did some more work on this thing today. Seats got reassembled but I still need to make backing plates for the front passenger's seat and the two back seats. I can't build up the guts to pull the trigger on buying the piece of CR sheet I need to use.





Decided to put the back seat in facing rearwards for a bit; more room to put a cooler or something when the truck is empty. And if there's that many people that need to ride, others can open the gate to let them in and out. I'll mess with mounting the seats longways at some other point.


Went for a spin with it between the rain and the sound deadening work was totally worth it. Almost concerning how much quieter it was; like it felt like something was maybe wrong. Got the roof rack brackets laid out and some Rivet-nuts set into the roof. Pulled it all back apart and numbered the parts so that I can clean everything up, coat it, and reinstall it all. Due to the hump in the roof and all 6 brackets being the same, all I had to do was find the center of the high spot and then moved the front and rear bracket sets inboard on their mounts one set of screw holes and then spaced it all out to where everything is flat across the top.


Still some more things to tinker with but its mobile again. It did give me a good scare when I went to start it back up this afternoon; but it definitely requires all of the major connectors to be fully seated in order to run... big dummy.
Looking good. I remember when Lee was building it the first go around and then it got wrecked. It's amazing to see what you've done with it.
Truck sat with the batteries unhooked from March until this past week.
Hooked them up and they had a little left in em but not much. Charged them overnight on Saturday night. They seemed happy yesterday starting the truck. Unhooked them for the day today, then this evening, hooked them up, drove the truck 15 miles one way, started it a few times and then got home edge of dark and noticed the headlights looked a little dim. Let it idle for a bit in the shop while checking temps of the transmission, diffs, tires, etc.

It sat for 20 minutes and I went back to start it and just a Clunk... and starter stopped barely engaged. I pulled the terminals loose and cleaned everything up, put the load tester on each battery and it is just reading "low" but the load test says it just needs to be charged. Putting it on the battery charger and it is saying its charged... Putting the voltmeter on it and holding it I can watch it tick down though...

What causes a battery to just decide, "now is the time to just say fuck it"?
Over/under voltage charging, if lead acid, low fluid maybe, or perhaps they just aged out. It happens.
I happily pay the extra to run AGMs in my old iron as they don't leak and rust out battery trays.
So yep, I pulled these and my nice pretty battery tray was already starting to show some signs of decay and a small spot of rust and the powder coat peeling.

Yeah, I hate lead acids now a days. AGMs in all the things.

Ya'll convinced me but FUCK $$$... They aren't even anything super fancy either.



Seat frames look good. Quite the family hauler:)

Yea, back before I went and got all limpy gimpy and did a lot of surfing, this was intended as my Surf Wagon beach buggy. Life is what happens while we make other plans.
Hoping my nephews show some interest in surfing and I can still use it some for the intended purpose.
Fun adventure down through the OBX. Trailered it to Avon, and then went both north and south on some adventures, including a Ferry Ride to Ocracoke.



Had 4 adults and 3 kids, coolers, chairs, snacks, and tools all packed into the truck for the trip to Ocracoke.


There was an Osprey doing touch and goes for a better part of the day while we were on the island. Dad brought his little YJ down there too.




It loaded itself on the trailer this morning after ZERO problems and pulling 24 mpg running around the Outer Banks...
Went to unload it this afternoon and DEAD again. No communication to the front power-cell according to the CAN on-board diagnostics. I had to unload it with the skid steer and shove it back in the garage that way. I actually think I know what it is, just from a long time ago thinking "I should order a dummy plug to keep dirt and water out of that daisy-chain comm port. Well, at a glance the pins have some corrosion on them and a little bit of sand built up in the open port... I'll clean that out tomorrow and hopefully it didn't fry the blinky box.

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Yeah those terminating resistor circuits don't like dirt, corrosion or anything else.

Outstanding trip. That picture of the Osprey in the background might make it onto my laptop as a screen saver.:usa:
Thanks for the comments on the pic; I felt like it was a pretty cool moment and nearly busted my ass trying to get out of the surf and up on the beach to grab my phone while dragging my bum leg through the sand. I had been giving my nephews a surf lesson and that massive bird flew in out of nowhere and then kept doing it for another 2 hours or more.

Anyways, the CAN issue was pretty simple. When I was cleaning up the wiring, I guess I didn't have the clip seated all the way for the can connection and it was engaged but not enough to keep all of the wind from towing at 75 mph from interrupting the connection but good enough for driving it around and seeing 65 or 70 a few times. Once the system senses an issue like a short or connection problem, it locks up until you reconnect power and fix the issue. I pulled the com connector and it basically fell out of the port into my hand. I cleaned up all the other connections too and reseated them and it fired up and is happy as can be.

HOWEVER... This DAMN DRIVELINE NOISE. I am about over this thing when it comes to the noise from the driveline.

Symptoms are the SAME as the last transmission so its not something in the transmission build. It also doesn't make any noise when cold, its not until a few miles of driving that the noise gets louder as things get warmer. The transmission temp is getting to around 150 degrees (case temps and pan is all of 135 degrees). The noise is loudest in OD (5th) but is somewhat audible in 4th gear, and a touch in 3rd. It goes away under zero load, is lighter but can be heard under engine braking, but is obnoxious in OD under regular cruising load and even when rolling hard into the throttle it doesn't really go away but is very loud.

The old transmission did this (not the first one but the last one that was the Duramax donor with 300k miles on it) and now this nice one from Grendal does it. I sadly am just now getting around to putting longer trips on it and it takes about 15 miles of driving before it really starts to show up where you can hear it.

I have checked the fluid level a dozen times, and even when the floors were out I used the dipstick the transmission came with to set it for sure. The engine has new mounts, the transmission mount is new, and the driveline angles are much flatter, but the noise is all the same.

I posted in an Allison group about maybe its an issue with the tune and that it was a line pressure issue causing the chatter. The only response is that this year of transmission (01-05) doesn't use the tune to control line pressure. When I was working on this thing originally, I had the local Western Branch shop flash the TCM for me as the one that came with the engine and transmission was actually out of a Duramax and not the industrial protocol thanks to the yard that I got the original setup from, also the yard that sent me a trashed converter that killed the first transmission. So they installed a tune that they "believe" was correct but I have no way of validating this. Is it possible that the tune is causing the chatter? The truck shifts great, up and down, and has no problem finding the right gear. It has a ton of power and pulls hills great, but this damn noise!

What is the sound? Its just a rattle / chatter noise thats almost a tapping but has other smaller clicks within it, certainly a gear rattle sound, but its loud. It sounds like a throw-out bearing rattling in a big ol' truck when you lug it down but its constant.

Also, could it be the transfer case? It sounds like it is coming from the transmission and not the transfer case, but things do resonate around under a truck... the NP205 that is in this thing was rebuilt, but before it was, the original condition was so rough and the seals were all so worn that I don't think they could have kept mice out much less oil in. It had new bearings, and seals, but still... is it possible that the T-case is getting up to temp and the oil is thinning and it is rattling? It only gets to around 100 degrees or so when the transmission is up to operating temp and I am laying on the ground checking it all with an IR thermo.

Driveshaft balance? Does the oil in the transmission get thin and then the driveshaft balance of the intermediate shaft starts to allow things to rattle? The fact that it is operating distance specific is what the kicker is here though, driveshaft balance should be evident and I don't have any vibrations either.

Lastly, the engine is a rear gear-train... is it something to do with the common rail fuel delivery, engine operating temperature, and something in the rear gear train? I talked to the Ashland Western Branch and the service manager mentioned something about them having issues with some rattles in the Mack and Detroit engines that are rear-gear and how they are messing with the fuel pressure to help adjust that out. They are going to call me this week to see about bringing the truck in and having a tech spend a few hours with me to see if they can tap into the ECM and TCM and check things out.

Since the transmission is a completely rebuilt unit, the driveline angles have been changed, the engine and transmission mounts changed and its still the same situation, it lends me to the things I have not changed.

Its the same TCM and programming as well as ECM programming too. The Brazilian F250 calibration is what is on the ECM right now, those had 6 speed fullers behind them and when the calibration was installed, they set the ECM to Auto Transmission and adjusted the tire and gear ratio settings but maybe something still isn't right. We upped the gov and also set the fuel map to 120%.. maybe thats it?
Its the same T-case and driveshafts - that I built.. Balance issue?
The engine itself is still the same with the same rear gear-train system.

So WHAT THE FUCK is causing this chatter / tapping sounds when things are up to temp? I am at the end of my rope.
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Does it make the same rattle at the same frequency if you cruise at equivalent engine and trans RPM but with the case in low range?
Had the exact same sound on a samurai.

Ujoint angle on the front driveshaft was the culprit. Chattter was coming form the front output shaft engagement collar.