New photos and text added below (11/28/04)
Here's a few quickie shots of some of the work done
on Blew for your opinion. One is the gauge cluster I built, houses the tach
and water, oil, volt, with the boost gauge mounted in the dash. One of the
interior framing in the rear, the rear door opening cut out, still have some
additional framing to do and the lower corners will be radiused instead of
square, and the fuel filler cover i fabbed up, the old filler was just an
exposed gas cap that was originally about 6 inches higher, I removed it and
mounted the door type lower so the hose to the tank runs below the floor
level instead of in the fenderwell, because I removed the original large
inner fenderwells also to save floor space inside. The fuel tank was also
replaced with a larger late model unit that carries 19 gallon now compared
to the 15 original.
The rear door is starting to take shape. The
original step up when entering the rear door is now going to be a storage
compartment with the floor extending clear to the rear when completed. The
other is just a shot of the rear suspension and some of the doodads I added
on, the dual shocks, torque arm, axle housing gussets, ect.
Seemed like it was a long time getting it done but it finally all came
together and now its time to just drive and have fun with it. As you know
it all started with an old worn out 78 truck and a really worn out 75
Chinook, the frame and running gear from an 81 4x4, and whatever else I
could find to use from various years and models of Toyotas, then some
ideas and a determination to see if I could build what I had thought of.
With the other Chinook I didn't need another camper so I went in a
different direction building this one for a play Toy instead, although it
could still double as a weekend sleepover rig on rockhounding trips, beats
a tent I suppose.
Started out with the bare frame, cut it in half, stretched it out to fit
the length I wanted, then started the assembly back together. The camper
shell was completely gutted, down to even removing the floor, a new floor
was built using 5/8" ply instead of the original 1/4" for strength, it was
insulated with styrofoam inbetween the floor layers to help cut noise and
add warmth or cool whatever the case may be, then a steel "H" frame was
built and welded to the frame and the camper body was set on the frame,
the "H" framework adds a lot of strength and holds the floor flat and
straight so ot can carry some weight if needed, plus adds a lot of places
to anchor it down so it will stay flat and straight over time.
After that the camper shell was stripped of all the windows,
compartments, poptop roof mechanism, rear door assembly and all the holes
were glassed in, the roof was mounted down solid to the shell via a steel
tube framework welded inside, then the roof was molded and fiberglassed
into the shell so it forms a single piece camper shell. The small rear
side swing door was removed, the entire rear cut out and a framework built
along with a handmade rear door that swings upward via gas shocks.
The entire inside walls and ceiling are all insulated with foil back
foam insulation, from 1 to 4 inches depending on the location, all the
rest of the voids were filled with the spray foam to give a complete
insulation job. The shell was bolted to the cab instead of riveted like
original plus its mounted to the frame in 15 spots, its pretty solid to
say the least, plus no squeaks and creaks running down the road, its
actually pretty quiet. The entire rear was carpeted inside and
undercoated underneath also to cut noise.
After all the construction was done, the bodywork, painting, interior,
ect. was attacked, I can say that all the work was done myself with only a
few items farmed out, those include building the driveshafts, some sewing
on a few interior pieces, and the machine work for the engine parts, the
rest was done here in my carport or garage whatever would fit in at the
time. But after all the fabbing, the finish work began and all the bells
and whistles to make things different was finished up to get it to where
it is now.
Features I added include,
88 22R block, bored, balanced, blower pistons, homemade dual timing chain
conversion, windage tray, ARP head studs, big valve 22R head with bronze
guides, heavy springs, Shnieder camshaft, Hooker header, Mallory ignition
sytem, electric cooling fan, and the side mounted supercharger with Holley
500 cfm carb. plus a molded in hood scoop, gotta have one of them if ya
got a blower don't ya :)
Has 7" lift, dual steering stabilizers, reversed pitman arm, runs 33"
tires, and has 4.38 gearing, driveshaft hoops for safety, dual rear shocks
and a custom built rear axle torque arm, plus overload springs in the
rear, a 19 gallon fuel tank plus a 2-1/2" exhaust system pretty much
round out the underneath stuff.
Inside creature comforts include power steering, AC, power windows,
tinted glass, custom steering wheel, custom racing seats, remote control
rear halogen lights, front driving lights, blue halogen H4 conversion
headlights, remote controlled under dash am/fm/cd/dvd/tv tuner head unit,
with 8" lcd visor monitors, plus a rear vision infared wide angle camera
that plays through the visor monitors, has a dual battery setup for the
rear, plus a portable propane wall mounted heater for the rear just
incase it gets cold out rockdigging.