Well, it's not a bird, nor a plane and one thing it's certainly not is a speeding bullet. At 13,740 lbs with 320 hp it's just plain heavy duty. The truck is limited to a top speed of 55mph due to the tires. With each tire and rim weighing in at 460lbs, you don't want to run that beyond it's engineered limits. At 55, the best it's done on fuel mileage is 15.3 mpg whereas it can get 14mpg on the freeway every time. Around town you ask? Well, it gets between 11-12mpg. Pound per horsepower? For a reference, the new Viper is under 6 lbs per horsepower; in fact, it's almost 5-1/2. This truck, like I said, is at 43lbs per horsepower. Yeah I know, so don't let the flames fool you. The paint's just to look cool not to express it's ability to accelerate.
HOW TO CONTACT ME @ DEER CREEK
Here are a few ways to contact me listed below.
Schedule: Over the years my schedule has varied along with the size of the jobs. I've been booked out anywhere from several months to three years. The best thing to do is contact me if you're interested in finding out where I'm at. If you're interested in the Deer Creek schedule you can e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Construction Questions: If you think there's a question or two I can answer for you related to construction (I'm not a therapist) you can reach me at: email@example.com
October 2008 - The truck was 12 years older in this pic...oh yeah, me too.
A Creed of Sorts...
Most of us out there with modified vehicles are frustrated artists. We
can't draw or make a decent painting, write a book or produce a movie,
but we love to fabricate things. We see them in our minds and love to
make them come to life and when we're done, it's like driving a giant
toy. If you can dream it, with enough work and creativity, you can
drive it. Yes, it's true. When we finally get to drive it, we turn the
radio off sometimes just to hear the engine or listen to the
transmission go through the gears with the whine of the turbo and the
rumble on the downshift. It's kinda like music to us only better. So, cut us some slack! We're not all "making up for something we lack" when we modify our vehicles. We just love to create things and watch them work, it's in our nature.
It Did Take a While........
Well, to say it went from this to that would be far too simplistic. I bought the truck new in 1996. The pics above show what almost a decade and a half can do to a truck. It's been a very long road with design revisions, improvements and lots of testing. If someone tells you that their first design was perfect with no room for improvement, have them walk on water. If they fall in, you might assume it's a fish story. There's always room for improvement. I learned quite a bit building this truck; one of which was just how little I knew about how much. There are a lot of really talented and gifted people out there who are more than willing to share their knowledge about their fields; "ya just gotta ask." If someone claims to know everything, he probably doesn't. This falls along the same lines as what Queen Elizabeth once said; "If you have to say you're in charge, you're probably not." There's nothing worse, when you're building a project, than bad information. It can cost you lots of time and lots of money so be discerning when it comes to identifying experts. You want to talk to the guy who will admit when he doesn't know. The guy who really does know everything will never say so.
After building 4 monster jack stands the change over began. I had no idea it was to take me three years.
The Most ...Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. Some of them aren't always asked because they actually want an answer but rather to point out the disproval of the questioner. You get it, right? Sort of like ah, let me think, okay, when someone says, "So why did you cut your hair like that?" or "So you like your mother-in-law?" Ya know, the rhetorical genius who thinks you don't see what they're getting at. Some people are actually interested and have good questions and you can tell that they are genuine. I really enjoy talking to these people and find them interesting myself. Others don't approve of what you've done or are doing and just want to complain. Here are just a few. The first one used to annoy me because the individuals would make their remarks and run away so as to avoid any type of reply that may debunk their claim. Sort of like a one sided debate but in their case, a self-indulgent complaining session.
1) "How much did the tires cost ya? I'll bet a bundle!" (If by "bundle" you mean $100 each on Ebay. You can now get the Goodyear version of the Michelin tire at Stazworks.com for $150 each.)
2) "What kind of mileage do you get in that thing?" (Now here's a question people already figure they know the answer to and are actually thinking how many gallons per mile, not miles per gallon, when they ask it. Don't get me wrong, I understand, heck just look at the truck. It's not a bad question to ask. The answer? Truthfully - 15.3 to 14.6 Hwy with 11-12 around town.) Runs on Propane and diesel and has two overdrives. Tachs 1600 rpm at 60mph.)
3) "Can it stop?" (Yes, it stops in less distance than the original truck. This is due to the much larger brakes I put on it. It took me about 30 hours per wheel to fabricate all that was necessary to mount the larger caliper anchors and calipers.)
4) "How often to do you take it out?" (Every day. I don't beat it, nor drag it through the mud but, it's not a "garage queen" either. It's what I drive everyday. I take it to work everyday and have even gone up to Oregon in it as well. It's not a bad ride but of course that depends on what you've been driving that you're comparing it to. Like most things, it's all relative.
5) "Do you take it 4-wheel'in?" (Only when it's necessary to do so. It's expensive to break parts and takes a lot of time to change it all out after it's broken. Since it's my daily driver, I've got to keep in running. Anyone who has ever built a hot rod, track car, or rock buggy knows that big sounds mean big money. Drive it as it's designed to be driven. If you have lots and lots of money, drive it like there's no tomorrow.
Now, without sounding too negative, I'll cover some questions by those who have been well, let's say, less than kind to me in their intentions, actions and speech. Over the past few years I've developed a higher tolerance to insults and anger and since most if not all of the questioners rarely stick around for an answer, I'll answer the questions here. In experiencing these skeptics I've come to learn that it's not about me or even what I've built but rather it's about expressing and pushing their own world view, repackaging it in an environmental wrapper for force-fed consumption by the rest of us.
6) "Big enough?" (I've heard this only a few times now. It's
infrequent but each person who has vocalized their "concern" seems to
think that they are being witty, like this has never been said and that
this short quippy comment has caught me by surprise. So, to answer this
feeble attempt at humor wrapped in an insult; Yes, the truck is big
enough. No, I'm not making up for something. Yes, I understand that there
are some who would rather see everyone in a grocery cart that runs on
granola and that, their vehicle, uses "magic fuel" that's
somehow different. They assume, without consideration for any other
variables, that they use less fuel. Although the consideration of
themselves, possibly driving more, and therefore equaling or surpassing
the amount of fuel that others use, has never occurred to them and most likely never will. I understand that this type of person usually doesn't have much
fun outside of the enjoyment they get complaining about everything and everyone that doesn't fit their mold of what others should be....for them. All this is done in the name of tolerance. When they attempt to make someone feel smaller, they feel
themselves getting larger. This type of person has usually never built
anything in their life yet feels accomplished when they learn to build a paper airplane. (Stole the "airplane" analogy from someone who thinks like me). I think this epitomizes how
many of us fabricators, designers, and hot-rodders feel when it comes
to this type of person "commenting" on our work. We're never impressed
and always think they're pathetic posers in life who spent the adolescent years having their lunch money taken from them. So as this type of individual glares in repulsion at what we've built, we will, in spite of these individuals, carry on making wonderful machines for those who appreciate it and admiring what other creative individuals have done in their own walks of life. The people who claim to be the most open minded and tolerant are usually quite the opposite on both counts. Whew! I feel better already!
7) "What do you need that for?" My reply; I don't. There is a tremendous difference between "needing something" and "wanting something." To put this question in the "need" category is dishonest. The questioner should be asking, if he were being honest with himself, "What do you want that for?" because there's a tremendous amount of things we all posses that we don't "need" but rather "want." I spent a month in Cambodia, several years ago, building a church in the poorest part of the poorest area. I've seen people live with very little yet, be very happy. Would the questioner want me to come to his house and start telling him what he needs or doesn't need? I think not. If so, by the time I left I'd have him in a grass hut with a pair of sandals and a tee-shirt. There's an awful lot that we don't need. If you're an honest skeptic there's no escaping this conclusion. Besides, what makes this skeptic the standard or the authority to administer to me, or anyone else for that matter, what's needed or not needed in our lives? Now if they'd ask me, "What do you WANT that for?" I'd have a completely different answer. Wanting and needing are two different things. From a philosophical viewpoint you could say that everytime you need something, you indeed want it. After all, who doesn't want something that they need? But, what you can't say is that every time you want something, you need it! So to justify the question by insinuating that because I want something, I therefore don't need it, is intellectually dishonest. Of course we want things we don't need. ALL of us have things and enjoy things we certainly don't need. That's called enjoying your life, having fun, building relationships through similar interests, and the list goes on. To dismiss all this with a rhetorical quip is, well, simply put; pathetic.
8) I got this next comment from a woman at a gas station, half way to Sacramento. She said, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen!" Rather than reply with my usual sarcasm I just said, "Well, it's not for everyone." And that's the truth eh? I mean, what if every time you saw something you didn't like, you came right out and said so? Can you guess how many women would be attacking each other in the clothing departments? How about in a music store when you heard someone listening to something you didn't like? Oh, or a restaurant when you didn't like what someone else had ordered? So tell me this; why is it okay for someone to whine about the truck? I mean, if all they're going to do is let you know they don't like it, well, why say it right? That follows with the passive-aggressive individuals in 6 & 7 above. Go figure. Did these individuals think I'm going to take notes? Sell the truck? Care? So the complainers I look at, as I'm sure most of you out there do as well, as the grumblers around us who, when they're done with one complaint, they move onto the next one making life a circular loop of misery. Yes, that's a kind way to put I know but you can add your own thoughts.
Lastly, I want to let all of you out there who ask intelligent, interesting or just plain good questions that I do appreciate it. Even if you don't like the truck, that's okay, I can deal with a honest skeptic and give him or her my views and I'll listen as long as it goes both ways but what I don't appreciate is a big whiner. Yep, so quit whining and "man-up!" Like the bumper sticker says, "If you're going to be a turd go lay on the lawn!" I'd rather spend my time conversing with honest skeptics or those that are interested.
Frame Reinforcement for Bumper Support
Thought I'd throw this pic in so you could compare the spring packs between this pic and the one above this. The one above is before I started the project. The one below is well....after. What do you think? No, it's not a bad ride. The leafs are very flexible and I had to keep adding leafs to prevent excessive "brake dive". Oh, I also have air seats from National in the cab. Yeah, it helps.
A Mechanical Fairy Tale....well....kind of..
It all started back in April of 2005 after the rear differential self-destructed, leaving me stranded on the side of one of our local expressways. You haven't lived until you've heard (and felt) a 10-1/4" differential break and then come crunching to a stop. So I had it towed home and dropped in the driveway. Oh, after the rear end had blown up? The truck didn't push too well. Anyway, I had to build four monster jack-stands because nobody made anything that would even remotely come close to what I needed. I put it up on the jackstands and the rest was history. Well, at least three years of history anyway.
Here's the new version with an illustratioin of size....
Putting Out Those Annoying Fires.....
I told myself that the truck would not return to the road until it was ah.....well...to put it into one word; safe.
I may have gone a little overboard but, this was my biggest concern.
If it was going to be big it would have to stop. It does. With
four-wheel 15" disc brakes 2-piston 66mm Bosch Caliper, two Multi-Vac cylinders and a master cylinder off a F700, it stops in less distance
than the truck originally did coming from the factory. The rims have
"safety liners" to keep the tires on if there was a complete failure. The truck
sports (did I just say "sports"?) a NASCAR fire suppression system that will
put a diesel or propane fire out within (so the stats say) four seconds.
Twenty pounds of foam for the engine, cab and diesel tanks and ten
pounds of FE-36 (Halon replacement) for the propane tanks. The foam is
a pull system, the FE-36 is automatic since the propane is in the bed,
away from sight. The truck has four cameras to see all sides, with
infra-red so even at night, it looks as though the lights are on. Sorry
Star Trek fans, it doesn't have a cloaking device.
Tires - Yeah, a Little Stiff I Suppose...
It was a hot summer day when....no....let's see....the asphalt was slick with heat and......no....let me think....the clouds were towering above me when.....forget it. I was going to make this more dramatic than it actually was but let me just explain. I was parking my truck and wanted to pop it up on the curb so the truck sat flat. I didn't want all the differential fluid to roll down the axle and sit on the seal for a whole weekend when I'd been fighting to find the time to change the axle seal (it had been leaking). I thought I had it far enough up on the curb but when I got out and, that's what I saw. I had no idea the tires were that stiff. With each tire being rated to carry 14,600 lbs, four tires making it able to carry a 58,400 lb vehicle, I suppose I shouldn't have been "alarmed". (I know that's a corny word to use)
Speaking of the tires; here's some more info; The tires are Michelin XZL's 52 inch using a 20 x 14 inch rim. One tire and rim weigh in at 460 lbs each. I put 3-1/2 lbs of ceramic beads from Innovative balancing in each tire to balance them at freeway speeds. (Works great!) To disassemble the rim from the tire there's 36 bolts per wheel with a safety liner that the beads pinch when the bolts are tightened. To remove a tire from the rim I have to put a chain wrapped around a tree with a tire bead hook on one side and a come-along engine puller on the another tree and pull the beads apart in order to remove the safety liner to put the balancing beads in. It takes about 3 days to change 4 tires. It's a bunch of work. The rims were made by Stazworks in Wisconsin. Very bright guy out there (John) if you need any help. He also made the rear steer assembly.
Below are two pics of the tires. One shows the front tire on the curb ah...sort of on the curb and the other pic shows the rear. The truck weighs 13,740 lbs with the front of the truck, weighed independent of the rear, weighing 7,270 lbs leaving the rear of the truck weighing 6,470 lbs. Split the weight of the front of the truck across the two front tires and you get 3,635 lbs per front tire. That means that one front tire is supporting the weight of a little more than a Viper. Not so amazing when you consider that the tires are designed to support 14,600 lbs each.
The Front Tire on the Curb....sort of
Rear Tire - a bit on the stiff side eh?
If You Have a Big Truck You Need Big Brakes
The brakes on the truck came about after much trial and error. I tried Super-Duty brakes, added a hydro-boost, then added a second power steering pump, splitting the hydraulics so that the hydro-boost had it's own pump separate from the steering. I then put on a larger master cylinder from a GMC truck. To help out even further I added an exhaust brake. With all this completed, it still didn't seem to have the stopping power I wanted. It stopped, but not without the occasional finger-crossing once in while when it was urgent. So, I decided to go on a trek, scour the country looking for information that would lead me to the perfect solution. I can't begin to tell you how much time I spent on the internet and on the phone pursuing this project. I found the solution in Morgan Hill, of all places, at an RV dealer.The owner came out, took a look at what I had, listened to me cry like a little girl about my brakes and then gave me some suggestions. He told me I needed to put calipers on that would stop a 30,000 lb RV. He gave me some part numbers for some very large 66mm Bosch Calipers and then a part number for the caliper anchors. The caliper anchors I had to highly modify to get them onto my spindles but, after about 30 hours per wheel, I got them on. He also suggested using multi-vacs which I had never heard of but found in San Jose from Power Brake Supply. These are hydraulic cylinders mounted onto a vacuum booster that works in conjunction with your master cylinder. So I put a F700 master cylinder with a 1-3/4" bore on the truck to do that job. Below you can see the plate I had to make to adapt the master cylinder to my truck by adding studs onto both sides, welding them in place and grinding the back sides flat. I had to make a pedal shaft as well. The caliper anchors I found in a junkyard in Arizona and started out with a center mounting point which had to be cut off. Take a look at the pictures below to get an overview. If you got any questions, feel free to ask. The truck stops like crazy now. I have to let up on the brake pedal as I slow down because the truck wants to stop ah....back there. I have an older Viper that stops on a pin (not a dime) so I do know what a really quick brake is and I'm not claiming Corvette style braking here but for an almost 14,000 lb vehicle, it stops like a stock 3,500 lb car. It's really impressive.
Cameras and Bumper Guides - My Friends
This is where I park everyday. I do have to pay attention but like any of you guys out there who learned to drive with mirrors, it gets to a point where it's no different from parking anywhere else. I did rip my mirror off once on that electrical meter you see hanging out there but hey, nobody's perfect right? Besides, it must have been the meter's fault running into my truck! I've since removed the meter and moved the service to the back yard so it won't run into me anymore. Damn Meters!
Next time you complain about a "tight parking space"... well ... I suppose it's all relative.
- Project Length -
My Project: February 2005 to, well, it's never ending it seems. There's always something
"My wife's cousin put it all too well when he said, "To understand this truck you have to have at least one fun bone in your body". I think that says it all in a simple way. It's true. It's taken me years to build this truck and it seems that there's always just one more thing to do. Most of the time spent was on weekends, spare time and long summer nights. Although there were moments of frustration and what seemed to be never ending problems in the design of this, I loved every minute of it. Having been a former mechanic I knew that not everything always goes the way you think it will. It's always two steps forward and one step back.
Most of us out there with modified vehicles are frustrated artists. We can't draw or make a decent painting, write a book or produce a movie, but we love to fabricate things. We see them in our minds and love to make them come to life and when we're done, it's like driving a giant toy. If you can dream it, with enough work and creativity, you can drive it. Yes, it's true. When we finally get to drive it, we turn the radio off sometimes just to hear the engine or listen to the transmission go through the gears with the whine of the turbo and the rumble on the downshift. It's kinda like music to us only better. So, cut us some slack! We're not all "making up for something we lack" when we modify our vehicles. We just love to create things and watch them work, it's in our nature.
Oh, and before I go to the list, someone may be asking just who painted all that; Art Himsl painted the flames while Mike Farley painted the Deer Creek Logo. If you'd like to see more of Art Himsl's work, put a search on your favorite search engine using "Art Himsl". He's been using his unique and creative talents for 51 years now and you can't go to a car show without seeing remnants of his imagination on someone's metal or fiberglass. The only thing I asked of Mr. Himsl when he painted my truck was not to tell me what it was going to look like. I'm basically a carpenter, not a painter. Like Clint said, "A man's got to know his limitations." I try.
Protecting the Rear Hydraulics
The silver collar located on the end of the tie rod is the rear steer lockout. There's one on each side. The tray protects the sensor wires from debris while the frame protects the rear steer from cell phone users.
Truck Build Information
2.5 Ton Rockwell differentials front and rear with Ouverson Lockers,
Locking hubs in the front The rear differential has two inch - 47 spline alloy axles. Once again, you'll find the axles at Ouverson's. 2) Four link system in the rear, coil-over Bilsteins 9300's with 3" King shocks on each side in rear 3) Leaf springs (19 leafs on each side) in the front with dual shocks (Bilstein 7100's) and 4-1/2" bump stops for the springs and shackles independent of each other. 4)
Four wheel steering, five inch stroke on the rear ram with
self-centering mechanism in cab. Rear steer is run by an electric
starter motor which drives the hydraulics to run the ram. The lock-out
mechanism is actuated with air pressure and closed with the help of two
small nitrogen filled shock absorbers. (Rear steer developed by John of
Stazworks) 5) Hydraulic front steering with mechanical link, Chevy box capable of 10 gallons a minute, high pressure pump and ported Chevy steering box from Howe Performance. 6) Four wheel 15" rotors off an International with two Multi-Vac brake units (one for each axle), a master cylinder of a F700 with a 1-3/4" bore and four Bosch 66mm 2 piston calipers for a MT55 chassis to bring the truck to a screeching halt. 7) 7.3L Turbocharged PowerStroke Diesel 8) Propane Injection (45 gallon tanks in rear of bed) Propane kicks in at approximately 5 lbs of boost. 9) 52 inch tires with each tire having 3-1/2 lbs of ceramic beads (Innovative Balancing) and filled with nitrogen running 54psi in each tire. PVC safety liner in each tire to keep the tire in place in the event of a total failure. One tire and rim weigh 460lbs while one assembled axle with rotors and steering weigh 1,080 lbs each. 10) 2001 6 speed manual ZF Transmission and transfer case with transmission cooler (6 speed has it's own oil pump) 11)
Street legal on: frame height, headlight height, brake lights, side
lights, mudflaps, fender flares, rear steer lock-outs, fog light
height, tire size good in North America to 55mph. E.O. from CA for the propane system. (It cleans up the air) 12) Street legal
smog with executive order from the state of CA for the propane
installation and a working catalytic converter with new technology for
2007 13) Four cameras to eliminate any blind spots, infra-red for night vision (Rear View Systems) 14) Carries 37 gallons of Diesel and 45 gallons of propane 15) On board air compressor to run, air seats, air horn, rear steer lock outs, air steps, and for filling tires if needed. 16) 20" x 14" rims - Custom made by Stazworks 17) NASCAR sway bars: 2-1/2" tapering down to 1-3/4" splines with 16" heat treated arms both front and rear (Speedway Engineering. 18) 96" wide and 10' tall 19) Freightliner air horns (Made by Texas Air Horns) 20) 12,000 lbs winch 21) Air seats made by National Seating 22) 30lb fire suppression system / 20lb GEM Foam for the engine compartment and the diesel tanks and a 10lb automatic FE-36 gas system for the propane. FireFox is the supplier of the system. 23) A specially constructed dimple tubed brass/copper radiator with an electric cooling fans. 24) Jumper lug in front bumper for battery cable connection. 25) Swing down air-powered steps (fully fabricated, not a kit, can't purchase this set-up)
Bumper Support System
The spring mount and cab support brackets on the left
are the "weenie" version before the much needed revision shown on the
right. Underneath the cab mount was a full length, 6" crack on both
sides of the frame. The revision pictured on the right consisted of
boxing the frame and capping the ends while getting rid of the hole in
the bottom of the frame. I added 1/4" plate all the way around with
1/2" plate for the bumper supports. The spring bolts were increased in
size to 5/8". To minimize the chance that a crack would now form back
at the end of the reinforcements, the plate didn't stop the plate until
it was back to a fully boxed area. Furthermore, I added a tubular
frame which, using vector forces, transfers the load of the front
bumper, when in shock load, back to the rear frame. At the rear frame,
the load was dispersed to six points. The frame for the transfer of the
shock load is pictured below.
The silver tubing is the frame support for the front bumper. These tubes go back and pick up the rear frame which disperses the shock load from the weight of the front bumper. There are two vertical supports which go up and grab the sway bar tube which is connected to the frame. This keeps the support from flexing too much when loaded. This was a revision which was done long after the truck was running. Always something. Oh and yes, there is plenty of room for spring flex. There's more clearance between the support and the axle housing than there is movement in the springs. With 19 leafs on each side, well, you're not going to bottom on anything.
Here is the tubular frame, looking forward from the back of the truck. The two supports catch the sway bar tube midspan. The frame system is removable. It's easier to see from here the clearance between the axle housing and the tubes as well.
Don't Skimp on the Frame
Especially if it's going to be holding the 4-link system which will locate and hold a 2-1/2 ton running gear in place. The torque and stresses related to the operation of a gear this size demands respect. Don't tack on a stub, run a bolt through it and call it good. It won't hurt to add some steel. The more points the stress can be sent to, the better it will hold together. Don't take my word for it; talk to an engineer or even a mountain climber. If you can position your body at three points while you reach with one hand, it's more stable than holding your entire weight with one hand while reaching with the other (depending on your altitude a lot less risky too). I think this comes down to common sense. If you're worried about weight and chrome moly still weighs too much for you then ask yourself what the racers do; when asked how much you think you should spend on a helmet, they'll ask you how much your head is worth. So don't put weight before safety. If your truck weighs too much afterward well hey...add some horsepower. If that's not enough....buy a Viper.
Frame Pics - Slide Show
If you were a Coke can on the side of the road, I suppose this is what you'd see...
Thumbnails - Mixed Points of Interest
Someone may be wondering what the white tanks are; they're propane tanks. Propane to a diesel is like nitrous to a gas motor. It gives you about 80hp increase and, on a diesel, cleans up the air as well. I obtained an "executive order" for the propane system from the State of California that (loose translation) it makes the air cleaner by completing the burning process of the diesel fuel so, it's okay to install. Some companies will tell you that propane will destroy your diesel while others will tell you it's the best thing since sliced bread. I found that the companies that don't endorse it, don't make it and vice-versa. After talking to the enlightened diesel gods I've learned that the only motors that get destroyed are the ones that use too much propane. There are some guys who figure if a little propane gives you a little more power, well then, a lot more propane will give you a lot more power, right? Well, sorta. Too much propane will raise the temperature in the cylinders to a melt down point. Everything in moderation.
You could argue this until the cows come home (no I'm not a dairy farmer) but I can only testify to my own experience and that would be that I think it's great. It increases your mileage, gets rid of any excessive diesel smoke and adds power. Gee, this is tough. It keeps your oil cleaner as well because when more of the diesel is burned (propane being a catalyst for diesel) you have cleaner blow-by into your crankcase so your oil lasts longer and lubricates better, for a longer period of time. You can't beat it. Oh...it looks cool too.
Constructing a Legal Headlight Frame
The headlights of the truck quickly became a main concern. The Highway Patrol certainly weren't going to "let it go"
and the people driving in front of me, or toward me, wouldn't
appreciate headlights at 74 inches off the ground (54" is maximum legal
height) so I had to do something. The problem was that I found myself
trying to make a weed look like a rose. I mean, how do you add two
headlights to the design of the truck without making it look
like....well....you added two headlights to the design of a truck? I
know, I know, there's someone out there saying, "Well sonny boy you didn't succeed in making them look much better than a weed with a small flower let alone a rose."
This may be true to some but it's the best I could do. In order to make
this look acceptable (to me anyway) I had to give it an industrial look
and then use just enough trim to keep from looking too homemade. Using
the original headlights and frames helped take away the "homemade"
look. It was a little rough fabricating all the brackets to make the
headlights adjustable just as the originals were. It took me about 2 to
3 hours per bracket and I had to make 6; this wasn't counting the
framework shown in the pictures below. I tried to give the headlight
framing several dimensions of depth with the tubing being functional.
This front design mimics the bumper above while matching the theme of
the fender flares that tie into the side boxes. The side box/fender
flare aluminum trim does step in just as the headlight frames do. I'm
hoping this ties the truck together. Like everything else there will be
some that like it, some that don't, some that have no clue as to what
they're looking at but don't like it just because it doesn't get 40mpg
or because it doesn't run on used tea leaves, and then there's always
the guy who just has to find something wrong with it because that's the
kind of guy he's chose to be. I built this because I love to fabricate
things. For the guys out there that can appreciate it, thanks for
appreciating it for what it is; a lot of work and a strange
imagination. It's not practical, it's not easy to drive, it's nearly
impossible to park but, I love it.