With: Rae Champoux
iZook Guru's Ultimate Project Build Off - Truck Two
What a mess the last few months have been! It seems like all we have been doing is spinning our tires on this project. I have been putting in some long hours with my new position, Mitch was on third shift for two months on a special project, Jakoby has been sick and now the poor thing has a bad case of seasonal allergies! My in-laws were in Florida for close to two months as well. I sheared the rear axle on the Tracker while on the way into work, thank god I wasnt a mile down the road further, cause I would have been on the highway at that point! The wheel bearings went out on my PT, my daily driver the list seems endless of things that have came up to keep any spare time we have had all used up before it came to the project truck!
A few weeks back, Mitch moved the tin tops body off of the trailer onto some jack stands in front of the back garage at Jims house. So that once we were done with the frame work we could put it back together. There it sat while we were busy fixing the Tracker, the PT and whatever else seemed to have broken or went wrong in the last little while!
This week, we finally got some things tackled to get the truck back together. We got the body mounts off of Ebay, and put those into place on the newly painted gloss black frame! Check out the photo of how nice the frame ended up looking!
A few phone calls to the brother in laws and they came out to help move the body from the jack stands and onto the frame. We rolled the frame out of the back garage on to the approach and next to the jack stands that were supporting the body. We took the hood off, and with Jim and Jim on the front of the body, and Mitch and Alan on the back of it, they had to lift the body from waist height to about armpit/chest height to get it off the jack stands and onto the frame. When it was all said and done, they had managed to line up all but a few of the body mounts perfectly, and also managed to smash two fingers on Mitchs right hand. They didnt end up broken, but he definitely felt the pain of that!
So, now, the body is back where it belongs on the frame. And we still have a ton to do. I need to get the bumpers in place. The front bumper is from Shrockworks and the rear one from Zuks Off Road. Alan and Jim were kind enough to hold the Shrockworks bumper in place for me to take a looky-look at how nice it is going to look once it is in place. We need to get it all back together so that we can run it over to Scott Yach at Rock 4X Fabrication for the exo cage installation.
This weekend I tackled another part of the project, tearing down the old dogged out 1.3 and got it ready to be sent to the machine shop. Now, keep in mind I have not helped take apart an engine since I was 16 and that was for my Pontiac Bonneville! So this was a learning experience that Jim was kind enough to talk me thru. With a few open end wrenches and a ratchet, in about an hour I had the engine torn apart to the point that it could go to the machine shop. We got a fantastic master rebuild kit from Hawks Strictly Suzuki along with a crank to put it all back together again.
We still need to do some body work, paint, get the engine put back together, install the interior parts- seats and whatnot and figure out how the heck we are ever going to afford the rims and tires for it with gas prices being what they are.
It has been a rough year for the Champoux family and we are looking forward to better times, but I just dont know if the truck is going to be done by the time ZM 06 is here, but be assured that we will be there in the Winnebago as always along with my black Tracker. What would Zookimelt be without me?!