↓    Click  the  Image  to  Enlarge       

  Well I broke out the new Thermal Dynamics Plasma Cutter - Cutmaster 101 and the steel bout 1.5 years ago and started fabricating the roll over protection bar.  I've still got to craft and weld in the gussets and under Cab mounting reinforcement plates before welding and mounting it for the final time.  I also plan on crafting and bolting in some Bikini Top braces to go between the top outside corners of the Windshield Frame to the upper rear corners of the bar.  These will help stabilize the windshield and give some side anchors for the soft top.  My desire was to build a Bar that would stay with the Cab should the cab get knocked off the frame and not interfere with the trucks bed or cab access.  Building the Bar out of 2" x 4" x 1/4" might be a little overkill (and heavy as my shoulder will attest), but trying to build a bar that gives some strength while not interfering with a full covered cab is hard to do.  Most other bars, are either full cages, or have diagonal braces to the bed fender wells.  Trying out the Plasma Torch was a little exciting and takes some practice.  Thanks to Paul (in NY) for his machine recommendations and advice.  I'm pretty good using a guide on the straight cuts, but need some more practice on the free hand work.  08/02/2007
  Started fabricating the under Cab Roll Bar Attachment Reinforcements.  10/06/2007


Fabricated the the front under floor Cab Roll Bar Attachment Reinforcements.  1013/2007

  Fabricated the Roll Bar to Windshield supports.  This will help stabilize the windshield, while also giving clean solid support for the bikini top that will cover the cab.  The three separate supports are bolted in, so they can be removed and the windshield lowered.  The parts are only tacked together for now, I need to remove them and do the final welds.  Also considering welding in a piece of 14 gauge sheet metal in the outer two's triangle to further reinforce them while cleaning up the look.  I still need to fabricate and weld in the lower bar to mounting plate supports, as well as the upper corner gusts, then clean it all up and give it a coat of paint.  10/21/2007
  Finished the lower braces, and welded everything and a coat of flat black.  11/04/2007

  Got the bar re-installed tonight.  I think my final color should be Green rather than black.  11/05/2007
  The new Heater arrived and now to start the install process.  12/05/2007


Started the body modifications and installation.  It's a Heater Craft 401HC Hydronic Heater. (http://www.heatercraft.com).
Technical Specifications/Features

  • Amperage: Low 5.3, Med 6.7, High 11.4

  • Max. Est. BTU/h: 40,000
  • Fits all boats with I/O or In-Board engines
  • Grill Size: 8.5" H x 17.5" W
  • Air Flow: Low 188 cfm, Med 250 cfm, High 366 cfm.
  • Hose barb: 5/8"
  • 401-H-C (4H Complete Heater Kit)

It's also available in 24 Volt. I bought it on ebay for US $197.99 from Big Guns Marine Parts Superstore.  12/8/2007

  The New Canvas arrived today from Surplus City Jeep Parts.  Now to finish the heater installation and put the top to use this winter.  12/14/2007

  Well, we got a few inches of snow last night, and even though I've not got the heater installed yet, I could not resist quickly installing the new Canvas Top and heading out side.  So as soon as the driveways were clear, I put the frame and bar on and unpacked and installed the new Top.  Not a bad fit, the top is a little looser than I expected, but I overall it fit good.  The side plate went right into the slots, and even though the rop was a little short for where I thought it should tie off, I got it on and snug.  The "Cab Bar" fits nicely inside, and I still need to fab a couple of top on above window braces, and get a set of bar to windshield straps.  12/16/2007

  Well here is Frankenstein out playing in the snow (and I'm at the wheel of course).  If I'd had the heater installed it would have been fun to hit the road and see who/what is out and about in this white stuff.  I am amazed how much snow gets packed in and under this truck.  WOW I sure wish I'd installed a floor drain in the shop so I would not have to keep wet vac'ing up the water.  12/16/2007

  Well she now has HEAT!  Only did a quick check in the shop as it was dark, but the water flows and she blows.  The two flex hoses are for defrosters, and the grill has a damper so I can increase the defrost hose flow.  The hoses do whistle with the damper shut, so I may be looking for a non-rib'ed hose at some point.  12/23/2007

All things Military & Civilian Dodge Trucks