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Thread: The longest build thread ever, at least it seems like it!

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  1. #1

    Default The longest build thread ever, at least it seems like it!

    I though I would move this project to the right forum. It was pretty cool to get the greetings from everyone. I was a regular about ten years ago. Sitting at my desk when I should have been working. I work from home now reproducing full size parts and now John Deere parts that are discontinued.
    My last FSJ wagoneer build took 9 years and 10 months. It was a hoot, I learned priceless things. I had a really nice stock 68. Now I wanted a modified offroad rig to run the hundreds of miles of gravel where I live. Nothing serious offroad, just a nicely built machine that is fun.
    I found my current rolling shell out of Arlington WA north of Seattle a ways.. Through word of mouth. Thanks Fisherman! It is a 1968 serial number 33479 with a delivery of 12/68 Yesterday getting a title transfer under way, I found it was titled in MA, PA, MN, SD, and WA here where I live. Interesting...
    My plans are a buick 350 that I have here. A J truck modified (input and bellhousing) T-98 that I also have, a IH NP202 that will be here hopefully this summer, and a 96 rear Dana 70 Dodge rear end with a Powr-LOC. I also have a 83 Chev K30 front Dana 60 I just road tripped and brought home.
    I have been up late reading. Any input is welcome. Plans change and I want to do this once.

    The truck. It is very straight and a good place to start.

    I will be doing some intensive firewall sheet metal restoration. Putting back original metal. You will not see the work when I am finished.

    I have been reading on the Dana 60 front. I hope Barrman see's this. I saw a repair thread on SS from 2009 on a removal of under frame mounted spring hangers that caused poor handling. I think it was a truck that belonged to Sermis. I hope to hear more detail on this repair.
    I am evaluating using the OEM chevy dana 60 axle spring mounts at 31.5 inches apart. The M715 frame center to center is the same. This is what Barrman undid on the M715 he and his class repaired. I am curious if it was just not set up correctly with proper alignment? I hope he chimes in on this.
    Currently the M715 frame hangers make a leaf spring C to C that would require new spring pads on the front housing. I wanted a slightly longer leaf spring if possible. Stock is 43 inches, the K30 4 leaf HD flat springs are 47 inches long. My plow truck has them. I also need to loose some lift. The flat Chev springs would be about right for a spring over over the arched stock spring that are under the truck. It would also be a rear shackle set up

    Now my imagined way of setting up a front axle is find the K30 specs and set the axle to that on jack stands. Mate the suspension to the truck keeping those dimensions. If it is possible without goofy frame hangers.
    Stock 83 K30 caster is 8* degrees, camber is 1/2 prefered, with 3/16 minimum, 1 3/16 max. toe in 3/16 I would hope the pinion would be the desired 2* up. I hope I don't have to rotate the C's. I am not that dedicated anymore... I realize modified spring pads are easier than frame mods. I still sort of wanted slightly longer springs. Not cemented in stone yet.
    The rear Dodge Dana 70 is a slam dunk. Weld on new spring pads at the M715 spring dimensions and just set the pinion angle right. I need to get the truck off the trailer today. And get the axles stored somewhere with some moderate weather protection.
    This is a start for now. There will be more. A lot more.
    Last edited by Kaiserjeeps; April 17th, 2020 at 02:59 PM.

  2. #2


    Awesome! Keep us posted! My build has been dragging and reading the builds here always gets me motivated to plug away!

    Just out of curiosity, why the 70 out back? I thought they were expensive to work on and hard to find gear sets for?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3


    The Dodge dana 70 came with the truck and was 100 bucks extra. I wanted an 8 lug axle and perfect I thought... It has a 3 series Powr-Loc too which is a big ole bonus. Now I will be running 4.56 gears. The 70 has 3.54's I can buy a thick gear set that fits a 3 series carrier for only 275.00 They are Dana Spicer gears too. 4.56 gears are 4 series and the break with a dana 70 is 4.10 and up. So for the costs of a pair of spring perches to relocate to the M715 width and gears I am pretty much set for a rear end. The front Dana 60 so far has costs a fortune. Especially since it was a dually front and required buying single rear wheel front bearing hubs, rotors and lug studs. Ouch... Not cheap but I feel it was a better choice than a to narrow dodge dana 60 at 67.5 inches, and Ford dana 60's being drivers drop, weaker knuckles, shorter stub axles, and spindles etc.
    The rear dodge 70 from 1996 is also a 32 spline shaft. I was bummed about it not being 35 spline, but I never ever hear of them breaking and I am at this time not planning on doing the rubicon with this truck. So far so good. I am still trying to figure out what to do regarding front springs and needing to loose 3 inches of lift to match the back after removing blocks. Fun stuff.

    I did get it off the trailer today. Pretty exciting with one person, a winch cable under it through a block and back to the front of the truck. And a snow bank to stop it.
    Last edited by Kaiserjeeps; March 22nd, 2020 at 01:09 AM.

  4. #4


    Well that makes sense!

    I feel your pain with the front. I did the same thing with a kingpin D60 DRW. All the little stuff adds up to change it over! Should be tough as nails tho!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5


    I just read your entire build thread. What a great looking truck. And I appreciated seeing the front axle install. I think so far that is what I am going to do. I have an alignment tool coming that will show me caster and camber.
    I was considering a little bit longer spring up front. As long as the ride height is even front to rear is all that matters. I will probably start on the rear first to see what I need to do up front. I have a really neat X model 69 wagoneer that has been sitting for 15 years now. It is getting jealous over this new addition to the jeep family.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Giddings, Texas


    The truck for Sermis just might be the longest thread ever. The first bits of the truck made it to my class in November of 2008. It is still there. Mostly complete, but not all the way yet.

    You are interested in the D60 castor angle for your build. I am not talking down to you. Just making sure we are on the same page.

    Caster can best be described with a reference to bicycles. Think of the old Banana Bikes with forks a mile long. Huge caster, very stable but took a football field to turn and lots of effort. Then think of a BMX bicycle. Almost 0 caster, very quick to turn with no effort but almost no stability. As long as the front axle was in front of the handle bars it is positive caster.

    If you were like me and stupid. You at least once tried riding with the handle bars and front fork reversed. That is negative caster and extremely unstable. Cars without power steering almost always had negative caster. The 1974 Dodge Duster for some reason is bouncing in my head as the last domestic vehicle with negative caster.

    So, with power steering and big tires you want some positive caster for stability. As in above 2°. Too much though causes death wobble. Which was actually a problem on the long 7 series BMW and LS Lexus cars if tires and front bushings were worn. They were up near 12°.

    The CUCV trucks, M1008, M1010, M1028 and M1031 all used the Dana 60 open knuckle front axle. The had the same specifications as a 1985 K30. Which was 8.0° plus or minus 1°.

    However, that angle can change very fast when the rear of the truck goes down. If you are building a flexing suspension. Then a static caster of around 6° might be a good starting point.

    This all make sense and answer your questions?
    Remember if you didn't build it you can't call it yours.

    6.2 powered M715, 5 M1009's, M416, 2 M101's, 2 M105's, 3 M35's, M1007 6.5 turbo Suburban project called Cowdog.

  7. #7


    Absolutely it helps. I respect your experience and opinion very much. I found your long build thread. I made it to page 8 and started getting sleepy as my searching these days is late at night. I was bummed to see a lot of pictures gone. But I am headed back there tonight to read more. I have a shipping confirmation on my caster/camber gauge from Summit this morning. I will use that and Scassidy has been a great help too. He built what I want to build.
    I am about a week from firing off an old dozer with a totally new engine. Once it is out of the shop I can move ahead with more truck stuff. I am so glad to have found this truck. It put a spark in my stuff...
    EDIT: I tried to figure out how to change the title to "The longest build thread , well almost) but I could not find it right away... Maybe later . Yes your thread is long. ha ha.
    I have a 10 year build on a very good friends 70 wagoneer I just finished on IFSJA. Plating bolts, stamping door panels, and nearly a full 4x8 sheet of metal in the body for rust hole fixes. So fast I am not... Here is a little tooting of my own horn here. Started in 2010. Finished and delivered to Seattle last October.

    Thanks for the reply Barrman.
    Last edited by Kaiserjeeps; March 22nd, 2020 at 01:44 PM.

  8. #8


    I have a complete set of Isspro gauges on the way. They were on sale and dealing with Isspro in the past, I know I am getting quality instrumentation.
    I just put Stewart Warner gauges in an old bull dozer and once again, the gauge faces are crimped crooked. Not the first time. Isspro does not do that.

    I have these wheels on the way.

    8 lug 17X9.5

    And I am leaning towards this color. I am not sure yet. But this color has more richness than desert tan. I will color match the wheel centers no matter what color I choose.

    I have some spring perches and U-bolts coming from RuffStuff so I can set the dodge dana 70 rear end. That will reveal what needs to happen up front.

    Still looking at what tire size. Either 38's or 40's. Probably 40's.
    As soon as the ground firms up from the thaw here. I can get the 70 J3000 over in the corner I am taking the firewall from. Sheet metal surgery. Fun stuff.

  9. #9


    I got the same plates. Just went to the hardware store and got some 1/8” small head rivets. They look pretty much the same as stock!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Eastern Maine


    This is where I bought my data plate rivets.

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