Saturday, 09/15/2012. Today was an exciting day as far as the project goes... It was a day I was really looking forward to for two reasons. First, a bunch of my old friends, some of which I don't see on a regular basis, were coming over to help on the truck and help me overdose on hamburgers, hot dogs, and Mountain Dew. And second, because it was time to bend the front main and rear main roll cage hoop. No doubt it was going to be an awesome day.
I went over the drawings with everyone, so we were on the same page as far as the master plan goes, which included the drawings above. nothing special nothing exact just a basic, simple, hand drawn plan. Yeah, this will be easy I thought... *disclaimer, none of us had ever bent any tubes before.
To add to my own delusions that this would be easy I started writing down measurements to use in some calculations. Measuring is good, and measuring two or three times is even better that much I know. The bends we were about to try were nothing but simple bends, 90's on the rear hoop, with 46 in spread between the vertical legs. The front, just slightly less simple. two 90's, then two 38 degree bends to match the windshield line of the cab, 43 inch spread on the legs there.
Chase was the first to arrive and we got right to work doing a test bend to see how much the tubing changes in length throughout a bend. After the test bend we found that we lose about 3 inches of width on the horizontal tube, and add about 4 inches to the vertical tube. This is very important when trying to get the width of the hoop correct. First two bends done and looking good. Our confidence levels rose to dangerous heights now. Chase is above hooking up a clamp and angle guage so we could do the next two bends on the front hoop at an exact 90 to the first to bends.
I was able to get out and work on the truck quite a bit today, but not before I had the chance to visit my friend Nics shop in Woods Cross UT, to inspire me for the days work. He is an amazing fabricator, and usually spends his time making rock crawling buggies. It just so happens that he had one at his shop that morning and I crawled around it for a half hour looking at all the different tubing bends and ways that they had made things. Even though it was built for a completely different purpose compared to what I have planned, it still was inspiring.
Javelin man Josh Scholz came out to help with the days activities, and he was a big asset, helping me muscle the bed off and getting down and dirty with the days work. Its always more fun to work with a buddy.
Here is how it looked once we got the bed off the frame. Aside from some coil over shocks, lack of air suspension parts, and some tubing for the chassis, this will remain unchanged.
Engine hoists come in handy when it comes to lifting heavy objects, even truck beds.
used in this build: