The frameover


It turns out that while Eastern trucks rust out, trucks in the high desert die from mechanical tiredness. So there are frames around, and if you've been paying attention you know that Basil has a bit of a cracking problem. I tracked down a frame that had been in a fire - the body had melted off, but much of the paint was still on the frame! Another truck will be providing a pristine bulkhead. The goal is to get this frame galvanized and under Basil by the US Thanksgiving, as that's when the next project arrives in town.

October 4: We picked up the frame and installed my garage, far from air tools. I have to remove all bolts and the frame bushings before it gets galvanized. I'm just looking at that rear tow plate and shuddering - I've done this before...

October 7: While tooling around in the mountains, I started to consider the approach. I'm going to build a new wiring harness while I'm at the work. The rear harness in Basil needs replacing anyhow and all of the wiring insulation is cracking. But how should I improve it? Well, relays for the headlights are a good start.

October 11: The harness design is coming together. It'll have a hookup for a winch, trailer wiring, internal power sources, lots of relays and waterproof connectors. Meanwhile, I've started unbolting everything from the frame. It's going pretty well - the rear shock bolts popped right out much to my relief. I'm considering leaving the tow plate in place - it's solidly attached!

October 16: Nothing resists the angle grinder! No more tow plate. All the various bits are removed from the frame, such as brake lines, remainders of wires, steering relay and the like. A few broken bolts remain - argh. I also still need to remove the frame bushings. Arrangements are being made for sandblasting and galvanizing. Tonight I also picked up the new bulkhead and seatbox for Basil. Even the wiring harness on the "donor" truck was good! The plans for Basil's harness are basically complete now. It's a bit more complex than originally, but it should be very reliable.

October 20: The toolbox is removed from the seatbox for welding and almost all fasteners have been removed from the bulkhead and the frame. All that's left is the frame bushings. Judging by the slow progress on the first one, this is going to take a while. And disturb the neighbours with all the hammering!

November 3: Okay, Basil went off to Moab for a while. But the frame, bulkhead, front bumper and rear handles are ready for sandblasting. I picked up a few tips from others at the Moab event, and I'm ready to order the parts for the wiring.

November 9: The frame and other parts have returned from the sandblasting. They'll be dropped off for transport to the galvanizer on Monday after I protect all the little threaded holes.

November 10: The frame is welded up with a patch on the front and some reinforcements for the outriggers. The plan is to put rock sliders on Basil so these mounting points need to be tough. I also put the bulkhead and frame together for the first time to place the hinges on - then decided I'd try protecting the captive nuts with silicone. Getting closer to galvy day! Oh, I also found the serial number on the frame. RIP, Land Rover 24400515a - originally built in late '61 or early '62.

November 12: Off to Poma, the ski lift manufacturer. They're taking care of transportation to the galvanizers. The frame garnered a lot of interest -it's heavily underengineered by ski lift standards, apparantly! I got a great tour of the plant. Very cool. Now we wait.

December 16: And wait. Basil's frame still hasn't moved. Sigh.

January 16: Finally! Something's happening. I've given up on the galvanizing due to logistical difficulties that compound my existing concerns about the effect on the bulkhead, and reclaimed the frame. So I'm going to go nuts with POR-15 and Waxoyl to protect this frame. Tonight was spent mulling over the way to do things. The seatbox will be handled as part of a separate project. A couple of small parts began the POR process tonight so that I can make my mistakes on them! The electrical parts for the harness were ordered today, sourced from all over the US. And so it begins anew.

The patient. This is easily moved with four people. Those handles on the end make it easy.
A shot showing general condition. The frame has only mild surface rust that comes from sitting outside after the paint burned off. There is no corrosion to speak of.
The wiring, however, did not deal well with the fire. The brake lines look good, and they're the originals. Excellent templates for replacements.
This is just wrong. Basil, Baby and the Beater Subaru sit outside while an old frame takes the garage.
Parts start to come off. You can see the original brake lines - great templates.
Here's the most worrisome part of the frame - a dent in the rear crossmember.
Ooo, it's Basil's future bulkhead. The stripped scuttle vents will also go well with the galvanized steel.
Basil hauls home the bulkhead and a seatbox from the same truck. It's good that I've got a Land Rover to carry things like this around. But if I didn't have a Land Rover, I wouldn't need to carry them around. Hmm.
There we go, the two new bits in wonderful condition. RIP, Land Rover 24401259a - built in late '61 or early '62.
The freshly sandblasted bulkhead. It's in perfect shape.
And the frame. It's in very good shape, but... of the front horns needs a patch.
Patched! You may have noticed that my welding is getting a LOT better.
I also welded on some reinforcements to the outriggers. Heavy angle iron that continues under the frame.
Test fitting the door to get the hinge placement right.
Silicone to keep the zinc off threaded holes
Off to Poma...
One of these things is not like the other.
Part of the thought process for the new wiring harness...

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