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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Man, sheet metal work takes forever...

I cut out most of the rot on the floors - ended up being quite a lot:


I found some rot on the inside of the rocker panels, and fixed some of it, but have more to go tomorrow. The B pillar on the passenger side was particularly bad, as was the floor and seat belt bracket. I'm pretty sure that in a decent crash it would have ripped right off.


The body mount on the drivers side was quite a mess. I added quite a bit of weld, and will hit the rest when I pop the cab. If I decide I don't like it, I'll cut the whole thing off and weld a new one on, but I think it will be alright:


Patch on the inside of the rocker panel:


Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a lot more done, and maybe actually get some metal back in... depends on how long the POR15 takes before I can weld on it...

In an ideal world I will pull the cab on Sunday, but I doubt I'll be that quick... I can hope though...

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 01:32 PM
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 09:22 PM
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while the floors all chopped up and your takin pictures how bout some of that Getrag and its cross members etc..? curious to see how they got it to work behind a 318
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ask and ye shall receive - snapped some pics of the transmission behind the 318. I checked the serial number of the engine, and it's definitely a 318. I haven't done any research into it - did the 318 ever come mated to a 318? Maybe the engine in the 73 was swapped at some point also??? Dunno, but below will be the photos. The crossmember looks bone stock/unmodified at all. The tranny appears to bolt right up, no adapter or anything, but doesn't use a couple of the bolt holes... Anyway, here's some photos so you can see what's going on:







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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Got some more fabbing done yesterday, but didn't get as far as I wanted, so I doubt I'll be pulling the cab today. Might get to it by the end of the day, but doubt it. I'm not sure if I'm going to get the cab media blasted or not, but if I am, I need to schedule it before Thursday, because the place I got the best quote from starts a big job and won't be available for a while. I was supposed to have the week off work, but unfortunately got called in which is screwing things up for me. We'll see what happens though.

I picked up a 24" box and pan brake off of offerup, and bought a bead roller from Eastwood. I had never used either before, but did yesterday and had fairly decent results:

The above was the passenger inner rocker panel. It was pretty rusty in spots, so I ended up ripping off the whole thing, and using my brake to bend new pieces. But, the B pillar had a bit of a flange in it, so the metal didn't line up. I had started on that piece before the bead roller showed up, but once it did I played around with some scraps, and then took my already bent up piece, and managed to feed it into the bead roller well enough to make the flanges line up pretty well:

Not perfect, but good enough. If I did it again I could make it come out even better for sure.

The whole inner rocker finished:


That's pretty much where it sits now. I need to clean up the frame cab mounts, 'body frame' pieces etc. and POR15 them, then I can get to putting the floor pans down. The drivers front is already ready to go in, but passenger needs final fitment. Then it's time to really put the bead roller to use and do the back for both sides, and then fix the hacked up tranny tunnel cover.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm not sure how many people are watching this thread, but hopefully a few, for when I need advice, like right now:

1) Media blast or not media blast??? After all this sheet metal work there won't be any major rust, but it does have a bit of a surface patina. I can get after it with a wire wheel and needle gun and get what I can, then POR15 it, but I know it's not the same... Also, I don't want to wire wheel the entire inside - so I may primer right over the paint, after just scoffing... or media blasting I'd be back at bare metal. Opinions?

2) Interior sound deadening. I'm definitely going to spray something on, as well as use some other deadening materials on top. Anybody used a spray on sound deadener which works well, but also is tough and looks good? Not all areas will get covered, so I'd like the spray on material to be darn tough also. I like the speckled look of spray on liner type things, so a spray on sound deadner, commercial or home brew, which looks like that, and is nails tough is what I'm after.

3) I have always like the look of bedliner type products on the outside of a truck... and I'm 99% positive I'm going to go that route with Raptor Liner, in a grey. I think it's tough, nails hard, easy to patch if you ever did manage to damage it, covers over minor body imperfections etc. I like it, but if you hate it, now's your chance to talk me out of it...

4) What to coat the bottom with??? POR15 only? Bedliner? Rubber? Only paint so it can't trap anything under?

Please advise!
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 11:16 PM
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thats pretty wild the tranny is actually worth more than that whole truck is! No it never came behind a 318 ever, the first use of the Getrag (its a german made tranny) was in 1989 specifically for the new Cummins equipped trucks, The np-445 didn't survive the torque of the first prototype trucks and without that 5th gear the trucks couldn't get outa their own way so... the GETRAG was imported and put behind them and stayed there until they became cost prohibitive as well as a big shortcoming was found... the gear ratios are too far apart for efficient towing and as the NV4500 had been in the gas engine trucks since 91 it was decided that it would be used in the Cummins trucks as well, until 1991 Dodge used only 1 floor shifted manual tranny the NP445 before that they used the partially synchronized 435 (the only difference with the 445 is fullt synchronized) in 91 the 445 wasn't selling so well folks wanted 5 speeds so... the NV4500 was it...

The GETRAG never came behind any gas engine so someone "acquired" a very expensive tranny and adapted it into a rusted out 2 wheel drive 1/2 ton truck... does the 73 still have its original mechanical clutch linkage or has it been converted to hydraulic? the bellhousing looks like its the gas engine bell housing thats been adapted to bolt the GETRAG to it If I was you I absolutally would not sell that tranny just so ya can have a "drivable chassis" especially as your W250 already started out with GETRAG tranny issues... and recall what ya learned while ya were trying to get parts for that GETRAG... this ones complete and everything but the output can be used in the W250s GETRAG (you can convert it to a 4x4 tranny with parts from your other one)

as far as the refinish I'd soda blast EVERYTHING (soda won't take away any metal while sand etc.. will) and then use an etching prep sprayed on everything followed by epoxy especially if ya don't want to revisit rust removal in the future, My 71 Blazer was originally an Oregon truck.. it was severally rusted but as its a Chevy I was able to buy every part stamped with original dies in original thick non galvanized steel... the first time around (yes there was a second time) I simply replaced all the rusted sheet metal mostly the front floorboard, front body mounts the subfloor boxes (Blazers have two floors to provide support when the hard tops off) the rockers and the B pillars at the bottom behind each door.... 4 years later the paint was blistering as there was rust hidden inside a seam I hadn't touched because it looked good to the naked eye and I was trying to preserve as much of the original "dark green" as I could... second time around I stripped the entire body tub that was 20 years ago and nope rust has never came back only issue was when I jumped on the bored and stroked 454 (490 CI) so hard it twisted the engine into the firewall.... next incarnation will be a 12 valve conversion...

I also have a modest collection of late 50s mid 60s Mopar muscle cars all of which I've restored myself... rust is a real headache with early mopars in 1973 galvanized sheet metal was mandated in order to export any vehicles from the USA into Canada so all american cars got built from the thinner lighter metal...
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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But is the tranny really worth that much? I've read mixed reviews on the Getrag - some love them, some hate them. From a reliability standpoint I'm not that worried - I think put together right and maintained right they can last for a heckuva long time, as my 93 with 267 000 miles is proof of. But, my truck sure is slow... and partly that's because I haven't done anything to the engine yet, but I'm afraid part of it is the tall 2nd and 3rd gears, and the incredibly slow shift between 2nd and third. Once I finally get high in the RPMS in 3rd the truck becomes respectable. I'll rebuild the Getrag (already have the kit - new input shaft, bearings, syncros, 3rd shift fork, and shim kit), and do some of the basic power mods to the engine, and see how I like it. If I still hate the gearing, I'll swap in an NV4500.

Even if I keep the Getrag, which I am for now, parts seem to be pretty easy to come by - bearings, syncros, gears, input and output shafts are all available through a couple difference online vendors. As are shift forks, shim kits, top case rebuild kits, etc. The only parts which could wear out in the top case which you can't easily get parts for, I've already learned how to repair on my own. So, short of a cracked case or something like that, the parts seem available enough.

And, since it's 2wd I'd have to convert it anyway, although you make a good point that I could reuse stuff from my 4wd one to make it work.

If it makes sense though I'll part it out, but I just don't see myself keeping the getrag as a spare - I can get parts to rebuild the one I've got, unless I'm missing something? But I'm all about recouping cost in this build, and when I'm sure I won't need something anymore they're going up for sale. So, if a 2wd Getrag is really worth much that's great, but I'm doubting it is... I hope I'm wrong though.

I have the day off, so hoping to make some progress on the build.

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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 03:21 PM
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I've used "boom mat" sound deadener spray on stuff on the bottom of my hood in my current truck when I repainted it. I can't tell any noise difference in that vs. the OEM insulation that was on there previously. It does scratch off pretty easy, so I'm not sure I'd really recommend it.

If you are going to use bedliner type stuff on the outside, that's what I would use on the inside as well. It will add heft to the metal, which is one major way to reduce sound. I also highly recommend, and this is a really cheap option for the interior, to use rubber horse stall mats on the floor under your carpet. Really cheap to find at Tractor supply type stores. I did this in my old first gen crew cab and it made a HUGE difference in noise.

google :"sound deadener showdown" for a ton of good info on that kind of stuff.

I'm pretty sure the gear ratios on the Getrag and the NV4500 are nearly identical.

Good luck! Project is looking great!

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the horse mat info - I’ll look into it. I definitely want to hit the noise from multiple fronts - spray on as well as mat type products.

I haven’t researched the nv4500 tons - would look at the ratios before switching. But, one thing, maybe the biggest thing, is how long it takes me to switch from 2nd to 3rd. It’s horrendous. But, I’m hopi g with the rebuild that it will shift nicer, and then with engine mods the gear ratios will feel better, and no tranny swap will be necessary. We’ll see though. I’ll tackle that if I ever get to it. Got some more done on the floors - will post some photos at the end of the day.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Man, sheet metal work is SLOW! I'm also a newb at it, which doesn't help, but man, I was hoping to be quite a bit further. I really want to get the floor and tranny tunnel buttoned up, as well as the rust on the outer rockers, so that I can move onto pulling the cab. I'm almost positive I'm going to get it media blasted. I hate to spend the money, but I will kill myself thinking about bits of rust I couldn't reach. And it will be a good base to start finishing from, instead of the hodge podge of stuff I have right now. We'll see though.

Anyway, I got the drivers floor fully finished. It came out OK, but not great. Do me a favor and don't zoom in on my bead rolls. Most of them came out OK, but 1 in particular is pretty ugly. It's hard to operate that sucker by yourself. Also, I need more practice and to learn it a bit more to hopefully end up with flatter panels. Was getting a bit of warping. Need to watch youtube some more I guess. Anyway, here she be:

Drivers front piece (my brake isn't big enough to do this whole thing in 1, nor am I skilled enough):


Drivers front and rear piece:


Channel I bent up:


Passenger footwell (can't remember if I posted that yet or not):
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 01:38 AM
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The Getrags actually a tougher tranny than the NV4500 but no its not a drag race tranny... although I do pretty good with it, but then I been running manual trannys so long (43 years actually) cant recal last time I used a clutch to shift anything only for stopping and starting after that its all bout RPM I get through the gears with Getrag and 307 rear axle gears and 33" tires pretty fast normal driving I shift at 2k or 2100 same for pulling the 8,000lb mobile welding trailer thats usually behind this truck most of the time, at the strip I shift at 2800 use clutch for 2nd to 3rd just a hair and 3100 for 3rdto 4th and 5th Last time I was up at the strip in Phoenix I was pulling 13.4s at 101-104 mph pretty consistent... my best friend thought I shoulda unloaded the cross bed tool box (its got 2 hilift jacks in it the rear warn xd9000I winch a 40lb bag of tools, 2 Milwaukee sawzalls, an 8" Milwaukee grinder, eight 2"x27' ratchet tie downs a military field trauma kit and two 5lb fire extinguishers) but told him it was too much of a pia to put everything back in it I did pull the front winch outa its receiver mount though.... its more bout the driver than the tranny, I was walking 2nd and 3rd gens all night and all but 1 of em were running NV4500s, he was running a 3rd gen with an auto and was closest to keeping up with me....
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