Huzzah! I am back! sort of!
My wife is a college professor, so my free time is broken up into semesters with summers being the best since she is home all day. As soon as school started, life happened and I couldn't get out to the garage, not really. It didn't help that I wasn't happy with the plumbing I had done for the intercooler. Yes, technically it was all connected, but I didn't have a solution for putting an air filters on the truck because the stock air box I had gotten from Ford (with the ECU) wasn't going to fit. So it put me off the project, I had to go through the five stages of automotive grief:
1) Denial: I can make this work, if I just moves these parts around it will all be fine, it probably won't rub.
2) Anger: Screw this truck, maybe I can just sell it and get some of my money back (we all know that was a bluff though, it would probably just sit and rot for years)
3) Depression: I never want to see that stupid truck again (also leads to a project sitting for years)
4) Bargaining: Please Let me think of a way to fix this, I don't want to take an angle grinder to the truck again, let me find more space. Should I just suck it up and buy a TIG welder?
5) Acceptance: Screw it! I am buying a TIG welder. (this is normally how the five stages end, the purchase of new tools)
So that's what I did, I bought myself a new AC/DC TIG welder
so I can weld aluminum. It's also a new semester and I have free time again. So between those two things I have a renewed interest in the truck. I also have goals for getting it running (notice I didn't say done
). This year the Hot Rod Power Tour and Hot Rod Drag week are coming within a couple hours drive of my house. Closest it's been in maybe three years? So I want to be able to drive the truck to those events.
I was naive to think I would have been able to do the swap with off the shelf parts. If I had the TIG welder from the beginning, it would have changed how I solved a lot of the problems that I had with making the engine fit. Mostly it would have let me move the turbos so that I could have gotten the engine lower, avoid the steering column, and not needed the elaborate steering setup I have now. Oh well, I have it now. I am not going to redo everything, but I am going to fix the Intercooler plumbing so it fits better and doesn't need two dozen couplers.
And while I haven't been working on the truck, I have been buying parts. Just tonight I bought a used factory f150 exhaust pretty much for the three inch exhaust tube. It also came with the muffler and the resonator, so I get to decide if I want to run just the resonator (basically a glass pack muffler), the muffler, or both. I also bought a bunch of parts off my buddy who was scrapping out an 01 ranger including the bed because mine is rotted out and a fiberglass hood. Sadly he had a 7.5 inch rear, other wise I might have taken that as well (I want to swap it to an 8.8 some day).
So what I am working on right now is getting 220 power out to my garage. The welder I bought is a dual power set up (there is a link to the welder above), but I want the full 220 power when I try out AC welding. Getting that power out to the garage requires some home improvements. My hold up might be that it's winter in Iowa and I need to dig a trench to lay the new wire down but we'll see, I have an electrician friend who is helping me and his trencher might not care about the frozen ground.
Part of the deal to buy the welder was that I wasn't out in the garage ALL the time, that I need to spend time with the family as well. So progress will be slow, but I will try to be better about checking in more often