|The engine cowling was actually
a combination of the bodged up cowling from the old motor, some
cardboard boxes and plenty of gaffer tape. I have something different
in mind so I have constructed the frame for a new cowling that is
hinged so it will lift up for engine servicing.
have finished the mounts for the new bucket seats but the seats
are stored out of harms way for the moment.
The windows and doors have been dismantled.
Most of the rubber seals are in real bad shape. Clarke Rubber
have some moldings that should work as replacements.
Now for the hardest part of all so far. Deciding
on the colour. (While we're on the subject of colour, some people
have asked why the photos hear are in black & white. The answer
is simple, I only have a B&W scanner. I may be able to rectify
this shortcoming in the near future).
This weekend it's down to the truck wreckers
in Wadonga looking for a grill, fuel tanks and assorted items.
1 Oct 1998
It's been quiet for a while hasn't it?
Actually I was sick for a week or so and didn't feel like working
for another week or so. Anyway I'm back in the saddle now.
I really scored in Wadonga, two brand new (well
they've never been used) twenty-year-old fuel tanks and mounting
brackets from a D line Inter. At 320 odd litres each I think that
will do for fuel storage. I should get a range of between 2000
and 2500k on bitumen. This should allow me to buy fuel where it's
cheaper, for example in Port Augusta, then not have to refill
in the middle of the Nullabor where fuel cost a fortune. I guess
there is some trade off between the extra consumption when carrying
more fuel, but then another three or four hundred kilos shouldn't
make that much difference to a ten-tonne truck.
I also found a grill from the commercial version
of the C1800 ACCO. I have the military version which didn't have
a grill but when it comes to modifying metal, we have the technology.
Speaking of modifying metal, I've never done much metal work in
the past. Just about everything else but I've always balked at
metal work because I though it would be difficult.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
It's so easy to work with metal that I'm kicking
myself for years of missed opportunities. Items that would difficult
or impossible to fabricate from timber are a breeze in steel.
If you measure incorrectly or change your mind about the length
of something, just weld another bit on. If you want to join two
pieces you don't have to make complicated mitre or dovetail joints
to get the strength, just weld it.
I've become a welding fanatic, if you come down
to look at the rig don't stand still too long. You may find yourself
welded to something.
12 Oct 1998
The wiring in this truck is a 26 year old
nightmare, a problem just waiting to happen, and when it does
happen you know where I will be, in the middle of nowhere and
not a sparky (electrician) in sight. Also the Army had a lot of
features for blackout mode etc. that I just don't need and the
truck now has a diesel motor with far fewer electrical requirements
that the old petrol donk. With all that in mind I have decided
to rip out all the wiring and start from scratch.
Adam is a young auto sparky, he runs a small
business somewhat originally called "Adam's Auto Electrical".
He comes well recommended so I assume he's better at electrical
work than thinking up business names.
He has started replacing the old wiring looms
with new ones. It's amazing how much smaller and simpler the new
Meanwhile I've been looking into replacing most
of the gauges with new VDO units. Take my word for it, if you
plan going down this path make sure you're sitting down when you
I've also been building the overhead consul.
This will house items such as CB radios, rear view TV monitor,
trip odometers and the like.
9 Nov 1998
Purple, bright purple, that's the new colour
of the truck. Oh I wish I had a colour scanner. As the house part
of the motor home will be very large and grey we decided some
colour was needed for the cab. It took about four hours to spray
the undercoat and another five or so for the top coat. It's not
that the cab is very large, just that there are a lot of fiddly
bits like hinges and window frames.
The first time I looked at a motor home project
photo album I got to the point where the bus was almost completely
demolished and commented that, at that point in the project, the
owners must have a vision of the finished product and hold on
to it. After all, they have taken a vehicle in reasonable condition
and destroyed it. There's something depressing about spending
10, 20 or 30 thousand dollars to create five tons of inanimate
Well this is how I've been feeling to some extent.
Fortunately, with a cab-chassis there's less to destroy. Anyhow,
with the application of new paint I finally feel that I'm creating
something useful. The "it has to get worse before it gets
better" phase is over, from here on it should only get better.
The electrical work is nearly complete. Enough
to drive the rig out of the workshop to clean the months of accumulated
metal filings and other muck. Just starting the motor again and
driving a few feet is a psychological boost.
I've purchased a Jaycar closed circuit television
(CCTV) and a tiny camera, this will be mounted in the overhead
consul in roughly the same location as a rear view mirror would
be. The Jaycar unit is quite cheap compared to a geniune vehicle
reversing systems and I'm a little worried that it will self destruct
after a while in rough roads. Time will tell but there is such
a price differential that I think it's worth the risk. I will
probably mount it on instrument isolation mounts just to be on
the safe side.
30 Nov 1998
Did I mention the truck was purple? Actually
it's "Jacaranda" but try getting anybody to call it
that. Anyway it seems the colour is causing some interest. One
of the blokes working next door stops every time he sees the truck
and says "Tell me that's the undercoat". Someone from
the business across the road was sent over to ask if that was
the final colour, it seems there had been some discussion in the
office about the matter. Two girls and a young man walked past
one evening, there was some discussion among them then one of
the girls yelled "Is it going to stay purple?", "Yes"
I replied. She turned to the young man, "See, I told you
so" she said.