Where November was a slow month for the Decotoro build team, December was equal and opposite fast paced.
Brett said he/we would “have the decks on by New years”. He was right.
This month we have:
- Finished the seat mounts.
- Built a steering column and wheel mounts.
- Built a stainless steel dashboard.
- Put a console shifter from a Mercury Sable in the driver’s side a-pillar.
Complete with a custom made Buddy Christ shifter knob!
- Began customizing the wiring harness to fit the new dashboard.
- Swapped the power steering pump and pulled the rack to be swapped.
- Fabricated and mounted the upper and lower decks!
Now it is really starting to take shape. It looks like the beginnings of a mutant vehicle or at least a strange farm or utility truck. Initially we were shooting for the decks to be eight feet wide. After making them and placing them on the truck, it was clear that was going to be a lot to deal with. Also, a bit too much for a five and half foot wide truck. So, we cut the decks down to seven feet wide and agreed that gave us that much more room to work with on on the sides and the depth of the art. It did waste some metal in the process. I’ll take that one. I could have mocked that up and seen the problems of going so wide. At seven feet wide the decks seem like a natural fit for the base truck. We also trimmed the upper deck front and lower deck rear corners. That made sense to us for the shape we need to build our bull around.
Our power steering woes could be a post on it’s own. As mentioned we have a power steering fluid leak (passenger side tie rod boot). We ran the pump dry and ruined and replaced it. The new pump is not as quiet as we’d like and perhaps it is not seated correctly. Initially we looked to put a seal kit into the existing rack. We spent a few hours on it before deciding it was much easier to replace. Unfortunately I decided to order online and it is taking about two and a half weeks to get here. This also delays some testing work on the wiring harness since we cannot run the engine with the pump disconnected from the rack.
Overall I think the whole team is excited and proud. We bought a $1300 truck with a 170,000 miles on it and with some maintenance and many upgrades we have turned it into what seems to be an excellent mutant vehicle base. All in a bit less than six months. Now we have seven months to make the art.
Happy New Year 2019!