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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's official - Bud...is 'back' :)



Hi folks - in light of the renewed shenanigans, I've decided to begin a new thread to document the forthcoming chapters for the big beastie. So, that said, henceforth begins 'part 2' of this saga :) .

To recap the reacquisition...it's all my oldest kids' fault really - she's grown up watching the video's of the 'big blue monster truck' that mom n dad drive around...and...well about a month ago we just decided to bring the big beastie back into the family. The truck has been for sale a few times since we let it go in April '17, and it has made its way from Cheyenne, to Richmond Virgina, to where I just picked it up from in Jacksonville, Florida. About a month ago Tracy n me were talking...and we've always loved watching the video's n such, and it was just such a hella-fun 'toy', and we just decided to try to get it back from wherever it was. I still had the (now previous) owners' contact info, and we made a good deal, and I just completed a 3500-mile round trip to pick up the big beastie.

Big Mack (our 07 Dodge Ram 3500 mega4xdually) was a rock star throughout the whole trip - never missed a beat save for one single instance when the cruise control cancelled itself - I must have hit the button or nudged the brake pedal 'cause it never did it again - other than that the trip was literally flawless, which considering the size and weight of everything is saying something.

What about our Dakota, you ask? It ain't going anywhere - it remains our nice, 'quiet(er)', off-road machine, and Tracy's '94 Grand Cherokee will still be built up on 33s. We just wanted our giant family 'toy' back in the stable for those times we wanna git jiggy wit it and have some primal off-road fun - not the go-destroy-stuff kind of fun, just the big silly kind like we've enjoyed all along when we had it before. And yes - I will be addressing ways to make it a bit 'nicer' to be in, mostly involving making it quieter, including another muffler or two, cab insulation, and noise-cancelling insulation specifically made for the 6BT Cummins - all of which should really help tame down the raw noise. I'm also going to work on things like door panels, seals, and, heat - always nice to have. I'll get the chance to 'finish' it, and improve some things along the way. Should be fun :) .

The truck could use some TLC - it's only got about 150 miles put on it since we sold it - otherwise it's just 'sat', much of the time on blocks (thankfully), occasionally being started up and/or driven around, but otherwise very little has happened to it - it's a bit of a time capsule really, but despite needing a jump it fired up instantly when I hit the button, which was the very best thing I was hoping for, and it was the best kind of music to my ears :) .

SO - there it is. Lots more shenanigans to come :p

here he was - sitting sopping wet in Florida - any major issues will likely be related to 'rust'...



Loaded and ready for the 1700-mile return trip -



...and back 'home' -



We're really stoked to get the rig back; it definitely needed/needs some love - it hasn't exactly been maintained too well - seems like it just kind of 'sat around' for the most part, unfortunately outside for the last year or so. Fortunately tho most things check out - I've had it up to operating temps a couple times with no issues transmission seems good to go - shifts through all gears including OD and LU, doubler is good tho needs a re-seal, front axle needs new boots and the r-rear needs a seal but otherwise seem good, and lots of rusty panels to clean up which will likely be a project for next winter. Front winch is functional but the rear isn't - not sure why but I'll figure that out.

Still need to confirm all fluid levels and no water in the diffs, and if that all checks out we should be good to go for this weekends' trail ride on 'Chinaman' - one of our favorite local trails, which coincidentally is the first trail the truck ever did. Should be fun :)

...way more to follow... 馃槉

- Sam
 

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What axles are under that thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
What axles are under that thing?
It's got rockwell 2.5-ton axles from a Kaiser M35 deuce and a half...in fact, 'this' M35...with my Dad in the pic :)



front -



rear -

 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
this was my route for Bud's 'Spirit Mission' - took off due east, made a stop in South Carolina to see a friend, then on south to Jacksonville, then took the west route along the coast and back up into Colorado to try to avoid some weather. 6 days all in - Worked great (y)

 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
alright - Bud's first day out since his near-literal hibernation was a success, tho not without some issues 馃槣. We went to Chinaman Trail out near Buena Vista - always a great trail, and always a bit 'bigger' than the previous time. Bud did just fine, tho about a quarter of the way into the trail I started noticing a burning smell, which upon inspection I noticed the r-rear rotors was 'dripping'. Yeah apparently the corrosion from being out east and not moving for several years took its toll on the rear calipers and the pistons weren't retracting, and the rear brakes were dragging, enough so to liquify the grease in the hub, which was dripping out the bottom of the slotted rotor - literally smoking hot. Also noticed the left rear was almost as bad - not smoking but too hot to touch. Our solution was to unbolt/pry off both calipers, wedge a small tree branch between the pads, and duck tape them to the top of the leaf springs. Worked great, and since were in lo-lo most of the trail I really didn't 'need' brakes most of the time, and the front F550 brakes are so strong I didn't hardly notice not having the rears. Also interesting is the grease apparently cooled off enough to become 'grease' again and never dripped the rest of the trail.

The rest of the trail was uneventful - the truck seemed to 'remember' why it was built and performed just like it always has - it was like spending quality time with an old friend :) . Ok - pics n vids -





alongside Homers Jeep -
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
so one of the things I'd like to 'simplify' is a parking brake. I'm looking at a setup from High Angle Driveline (pics below), but the info I got back was this setup is not intended for vehicles heavier than 7k lbs. So, as always, I'm looking for other ideas on how to achieve a 'good' mechanical parking brake that does not involve the wheel ends.

I'm pretty sure this setup will bolt up right to the back of my Ford 205, but I'm not sure it'll hold the weight on a decent hillside, but if I could find a 'bigger' version of this I'd dig deeper into it. I also do not think I can run two of these calipers in series either. I'm still going to try to get the OE D80 e-brakes to work as intended but I'm not sure they will ever be a reliable option...



 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
our club had a UHF/VHR radio clinic at our place, and I took the opportunity to line up the hardware from tallest to smallest - some interesting comparisons :)





 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
sure thing, but it'll take more than one pic ;) . Here's several of the cage I have on file, and hopefully these will help(?). Of note - my floor was worse than swiss cheese, so, I chopped it totally out. Then I welded in the mains with square tubing. I have three main hoops, the two rears are the HD units, and are actually repurposed Ramcharger OE roll bars. I fashioned my cage to fit literally within a fingers' distance to the cab roof, which gave me maximum head room, and there's plenty (y). The main hoops are welded to the floor main joists, and then I added 'triangles' and such as I thought would 1) fit and 2) function. I'm pretty confident the occupants won't get crushed if the truck rolls over, but I am also pretty confident it'll only do it's job 'once' - walk away and build another cab. There are 6 main cab mounts - 4 on poly bushings, and another in the middle directly connecting the middle hoop to the frame via a 2"x2" square tube triangle 'outrigger' welded direct to the frame on both sides (I don't have a great pic of that but I can get a couple if you'd like).

Bottom line is the entire cage is directly connected to the frame.

One of my favorite aspects of the cage/cab are the expanded metal 'nets' across the bottom to catch gear, trash from exiting the truck with the doors off :) .

























 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Using the roll bars really helped me save a lot of time, but I still had to make some careful cuts and welds to get the cage literally 'just below' the roof, and it worked out great. Plus, with the roof off the cage retains the roof line 'profile' so it still looks like a truck. I love it.

Took the rig to the Independence trail system in Penrose CO where we did the Liberty trail. Right down a washout, lots of big boulders, and lots of overgrowth - it was the second time I've had the rig on that trail...but the first time I've used almost 'all' of the armor - it's getting pretty 'tight' - not sure I'll take the truck back down in there.

The trail has really gotten 'deep' - even with 46" tires the truck scraped the diffs, belly armor and sliders a lot, and the front end got a bit thrashed - bent the tie rod a little and kinked both front leaf springs - drove it off the trail but I'll need to address those. I had my buddy Jason drive a bit and I watched it go through some boulders, and I could see the front shackles hyperextending 'in', which when the weight came back down tries to kink the leafs and then the shackles 'boing!' back into proper position. I've been wanting to weld up some positive stops so the shackles (front and rear) can't invert back in themselves, and now that's gonna get bumped up on the list of things to do before the next run. Couple of fresh small dents and scrapes rounded out the list of 'trail damage' - expected for a rig this big.

Anyway here's a couple pics - can't figure out how to get video's just yet on Imgur...





 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
...so an 'odd' thing has been happening since getting the truck back - when I first start up the truck, a small bit of ATF pukes out the top of the dipstick tube - not a lot - I'm talking maybe a tablespoon or so, but enough to leak down the tube and onto the exhaust downpipe, which naturally makes for a nice smelly mess. But, once it's running it doesn't happen again, and I'm near certain it is not happening when it's shut off - just on start-up.

When I repaired the shifter cable I had to drop the pan to re-insert the shift lever detent, and when I refilled it I left a quart out just in case it was too full - could have been - I hadn't checked it since getting it back, but I don't think it puked as much/maybe none at all, and after this last trail ride it definitely did not puke out the tube after the whole day of running. So - it's weird, and I'm just 'monitoring' things. I also noticed the seal on my dipstick tube is ripped, so I might look for a new seal, or whole dipstick.

I tapped the pump vent and have a 90* fitting aiming out the top/through the top of the bellhousing and have a rubber hose running down the bellhousing, and I could blow through the vent which pushed a bit of fluid out the dipstick tube, so the vent appears to be functional, and no fluid has come out the vent line.

Anyway, just another item on my long list of 'things that make me go hmmmm' ... {think} . I'm just gonna run it for a while -see if things get better or worse.

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...so the last trail we did was the most 'abusive' to the truck in the whole time I've wheeled it, and among the carnage was a bent tie rod - bent it about 10-15* - not terrible but it needed to be repaired. We're taking the truck to the big regional Mopar show in a couple weeks up in Denver at Bandimere Speedway, and I needed it to steer correctly. To try to straighten it out I found the perfect use for the Harbor Freight 'tubing bender'...and that is for un-bending a bent rockwell tie rod - the HF bender worked perfectly...especially since 'precision' is not not the #1 priority - this just needed to be eyeball close enough 馃





I've kind of been waiting for this moment (a bent tie rod) before going through the motions to do something 'better', and soon as I have a couple free days I'm going to fab a much bigger tie rod, and I'll make it with 1-1/4 x 1 heims and the uber strong tubing I already have (DOM tubing is ridiculous right now), and it'll bolt up above the knuckle vs its current position, below. Anyway, these are the heims for the new tie rod - should be beefy enough eh? 馃槇



 

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Coors, really? C'mon man. That stuff is like having sex in a boat - f'ing near water! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
never diss another man's beer, man {dont} - you drink what you want - I'll drink what I want {yes}
 

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I was only joking Max. We Canadians used to always make fun of American beer. Its an old rivalry thing and thats all it is.
 
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at my age and health I'm just glad I can still drink, beer or otherwise, and ironically Coors Light is one of the ones that 'agrees' with me nicely...and it's local too so "represent" n stuff too I guess... (y)
 
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Every time we drove to Seattle we could not find 5 or 6% beer anywhere! The best we could find was 4.5% and THAT was hard to find and so we used to chuckle at that, thats all. All our mainstream beer is 5% minimum. The micro brew stuff is 6.5 and higher. Anyways, cheers man!
 
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