1) the military tires are pretty decent tires, I haven't had ANY traction problems with them at all. I have them aired ar 29 psi and the ride quality is decent, I am sure that radials ride and handle better but these are not far off.
As far as wear I have close to 10,000 miles on them and I will probally get another 5,000 or so out of them.. so wear isn't too bad.
2) I mounted the shoulder part of the seatbelt to the channel that connects from the reinforcing metal around the rear window to the door frame. I just fished a washer and bolt through one of the stock holes that are in that channel.
3) I dont' want to get rid of the grill at this point, I may swap the front sheetmetal of the truck over to 48-50 metal in the future due the fenders on the parts truck beeing much nicer than the ones on the truck now..... I haven't decided for sure yet though.
I now have over 14,000 miles on it and it has been VERY reliable!!!!!
Since We had a baby I realized the bias ply tires were a tad to bouncy so I took them off and put some radials on untill the baby gets a little older.
My band has been playing out a lot more and I got tired of always renting a trailer when it rains of hauling with my 79 f-350 4x4 which gets 10MPG.......SO i decided to build a easily removed and assembled canopy that matches the military theme of the truck.
Here is what it looks like with just the hoops....I made it so I can tear down or put up the hoops down in under a minute.
Here is a pic of me originally test fitting the canvas with the hoops 9 inches higher...... I am still working on a simple reliable method of attachment since the test run with the rope thought the grommets resulted in tearing out the grommets. That is why I lowered the hoops 9 inches....less wind and I can now double up the material at the attaching point.
I wouldn't have needed to hunch over as much to load out equipment BUT it looked kinda goofy and the grommets tore once I got over 40 MPH on a test run.
In addition I found some even older looking hubs that matched the truck better and made a minor adjustment to the ride height in the front. ( I raised the front a 1/2" so that I could add more caster.....I was limited by the tie rod hitting the springs and I didn't have quite enough caster when I first built it. It auto-centers much better now.
I also upgraded the truck by adding on board air... so I can run air tools anywhere and can air down and re-inflate my tires when I offroad......It was pretty cheap and easy to do.
I haven't been posting much laity so I figured I would update this.
Well it now has over 22,000 miles on it and it has been VERY reliable...has not broke down or made me late for anything.
I put some nicer front fenders on it that I fixed up.....the old ones had the seams welded together and were full of bondo.
Here you can see the patches that I made and welded in...
In the spring I plan on patching up some of the rust in the bed. I bought new stake pockets for it...they are pretty rusty.
I took the truck 4-wheeling a few times and it does really well...I just had to keep watching that I didn't tear the canopy. I don't have any action shots but here are some pics out in the woods.
I found a dual action fuel pump off an early bronco that would fit my engine and I rebuilt the pump (it was tough finding a kit) and it did help out the vacuum wipers a bit.
SO If someone is running a 144, a 170, a 200,or a 250 inliner OR a 260, a 289, a 302, or a 351W v8 in there truck and want to help out the vacuum wipers go to a junkyard and look for a 66-68 ford bronco...they had dual action pumps.
I also put a better passenger side door on it..one that isn't smashed in on the inside bottom....it is starting to not be such a rust bucket and looks like a decent halfway solid truck now.
a while back I added a L/S rear center section to it.
The on board air has been quite handy...I used it quite a few times
the vintage hubs have been holding up well, even to 4-wheeling
The grand total of cash I have in it still not over $4,500 not counting gas
I think we all wish that we could drive our trucks while we were working on them and still have them be that reliable. It looks like you've got here ready for winter. Since you drive it year around, did you do anything in particular to your fenders to help rustproof them or protect them from the salt in the reinforced area where they typically rust?
I still love your truck and intend to use it for a blueprint this winter when I do my 4x4 conversion on my F-2. I just wish I had the drive to get things done as quick as you can! I'm trying to wrap up a few other things this fall so I can focus on it exclusively over the winter. I've already rounded up both axles and all the major drivetrain and suspension parts. I'm sure I'll be in touch again to compare notes.
I would suggest that you spray oil into each of the double layer (reinforcement areas) areas on the front and rear fenders. I used to do that to Willard when I winter drove him in New England. If you have a compressor buy a cheap siphon blow gun, buy a quart of 2 cycle oil (it atomizes better), drill a hole in the screw top to accept a siphon hose (I use the clear medical type hose) and spray oil into those blind areas even if you poured some por 15 in there. It will help.
On a separate note did the 4 x 4 get the steering box that you got from me?