68' M715 AKA "Smokey", 8.1 engine on links, coils and 40's

Rock40

Active Member
Here’s an example of how rounded out the old mounts were. That’s a 1/2” bolt inside of it

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Filled it in

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Passenger side bed mount modified

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Today was cleanup day. What a mess, so much grinding and sanding dust

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Rock40

Active Member
Hammered out the main sway bar mounts today

Cardboard layout. This frame is SO fun to work on. Seems like nothing is “quite” the same side to side, not even the frame bends, oh well

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Using 1/4” plate, decided to just notch it for the tubing like this, should be PLENTY of weld surface

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Love the nice clean plasma cuts

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Driver and passenger side complete

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Bar and mounts sit in the frame like this. Still needs gussets, welding, etc but you get the idea where it’s going

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Rock40

Active Member
Burned out the frame gussets for the sway bar

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Ended up only using the shorter ones, looks cleaner

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Burned the gussets in

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Finished off the rear frame extensions. Stock were totally beat to hell and not usable, these were custom bent to match the factory frame dimensions

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Using the oval LED instead of the round version

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Cut and sanded for the LED’s and grommets

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Rock40

Active Member
Little bits of progress

Upper radiator hose. The angle was terrible as you can see and from what I can tell, the 3 bolt thermostat flange is specific to the GM 8.1 engine. There are no aftermarket swivel housings or adapters available. So…

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Chopped this little guy up

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Rotated it clockwise and welded it back together

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DUN. I was able to search through hoses at a local parts store and found Gates 22641 which fits a Cherokee with the 4.7 engine. Keeping it Jeep!! Haha!

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Rock40

Active Member
So the PSC box is in.

I thought I had the steering mount all done. Wrong

The PSC box is a larger casting with a larger end cap. Fought me every inch of the way fitting it. I pity the next 715 owner that wants to modify for power steering. UGH

Had to make some inner box spacers out of some 1018 solid bar which then got drilled out

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It simply WOULD NOT fit up against the backside of the frame and the end cap on the box. So away it went…

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Made two 3/16” plates and welded it back up

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Here you can see the notch the box required

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Rock40

Active Member
The body work continues….

These are the hammered to piss stake side pockets. In addition to the mangled upper metal, all the internal supports are blown out.
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Rock40

Active Member
More welding repair tabs and nutserts today

Inside the under bed box that was used to hold military tent poles. The bed mount hole is all hogged out

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Very sad bugger weld related to the clasp on the outer door

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Made a reinforcing tab out of 1/8” plate and welded it in

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1/2”-13 nutsert welded in the frame side

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Fully bolted and the bugger tab is ground off. Going to use Destaco’s on these side doors and the tailgate

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And finally the rearmost driver side bed mount. Again all out of round so I put an additional plate in along with a 1/2”-13 nutsert on the frame side

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Rock40

Active Member
The poor hammered bed…

Finished the bed mount repairs on the passenger side today so the bed is fully bolted up now

Addressed the 4 lift points on the upper rail of the bed. I believe they were in place to assist with lifting the truck into a cargo ship for transport. Every one of them was pretty bent and banged up

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Cut out some 1/8” plate supports…

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Hammered the stock supports back to vertical and welded them in. Done

Should add a fair bit of rigidity

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Rock40

Active Member
Several more issues in the bed got addressed

This was a large jagged hole in the bottom of the bed and the two holes had been torched in the upper rail by the cab

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Pulled out the old chunk of bed material left over from shortening it and cut a chunk out with the correct contour

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Both areas got patched

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Rock40

Active Member
Nearly done with the bed repair. Both front corners near the cab had cracked apart and split.

You can see the large vertical crack in the background. Pulled it back together with a strap, added a reinforcement plate and welded it up

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Finished off the last rear fender brace. This is the rear passenger corner

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