A fresh start

PoCo Inspired

And so it begins

Well, I was going to start out with a great big long explanation as to why I got another truck and abandoned the first one.
But screw it.
It was a good decision, and it’s done.


1998 Utilimaster – Ford E 350 chassis 3/4 ton single rear wheel
144 000 km
All aluminum shell, fiberglass front clip
5.4 v8  PS  PB  Tilt
21 ft 3 in tip to tip
12 x 7 x 7 box area
New brakes ( everything )
New shocks
New PS pump
Replaced steering column ( to fix  broken turn signal )

Have the bills for the work
Have a bunch of the previous work orders
Truck seems to have had weekly inspections

I have some little things to do here and there
But over all, pretty dang good

And I picked er up for 3 grand with a current safety inspection

Boom Done Next[…]

PoCo Inspired

So Tired

As mentioned, the truck needs a little TLC.

The guy I got it from …. while he was a great guy, he wasn’t the most technically inclined… or he just didn’t care.

I mean he said he was a contractor or some sort.
But he didn’t seem to do anything with the truck.

C’est la vie    …  movin on.

He told me about anything he KNEW was wrong.

One thing was the bald rear tire.

Well it was a little more than just WORN.

Like right down to the threads!!

I don’t even know how I got it home let alone drove around for a week!


He had a couple of tires already on rims that he gave me, so a little air and we were good to go.

The fresh tires were not great, but enough to get by until I can dig out the old truck and swap them around.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Swayin 2 n fro

The reason – he said – for the bald tire was because on his last trip with it – which was about 1000 km round trip – he hit something in the road.
He SAID it was a BEAVER!

Well ok, who am I to argue?

He was going up north with it.
Lots of lakes and bush.
I have seen a few myself while travelling.
They aint small…

Anyhoo, he says, he hit it and a little while later started to feel a vibration.
He checked it when he arrived, and said he noticed the sway bar link was broken.

He also drove it home that way.
That’s how the tire must have gone bald…..
mmm ok…

Ya can’t make this shit up!

Par for the course, try and find a rear sway bar link for a 98 e 350.
Apparently, they don’t exist.
Anything they could find for a similar year in E or F 350 or 250…
NOT what I had.

A little time with my old buddy google and I decided on a FRONT sway bar link from a 98 BRONCO.

Nearly a perfect match.

I checked out all the you tube videos I could find on how to change them.

Trust me when I say, these things do not just unbolt and pop apart.

It some a long time with the reciprocating saw, and a few blades.
Even on the broken side.
I changed both seeing as the kit came with two.
Not the worst thing I have had to do.


PoCo Inspired


The next bit of stupidity was the locks.

These old FedEx trucks had these high security locks that cost a fortune to replace.
I did not get the keys, because HE did not get keys, because FedEx won’t give them out.

Locksmith 1 –   oooo  I’ve never seen one of those – what is off of?

Locksmith 2 –   aaaa  –  you don’t want to have to buy new locks son
Those are a fortune,  where is this from?
But we can re-key them for you
That would be $75 per lock to re-key
Plus $16 per key
And I have to do all the work for removal and install
So $198 plus 13% taxes  $224.00
For 2 locks and 3 keys…. nice

Locksmith 3 –   mmmmm  –  nope – our key doesn’t fit. What’s it from?
We are authorized dealers.  Only dealers can work one these.
Nope, these can’t be re-keyed because we can’t touch other ones.
Only licenced for their own stuff.  bla bla bla
* BUT * it’s just a simple 1 1/4 inch mortise lock. Dime a dozen.
Great I’ll take 2.  Ohh… sorry we only have 1 1/2 inch.
So you will have to get/make a spacer.
Then you might have to modify the tail a little.
No prob,  I’ll take 2.
Sorry… we only take cash.   WTF???

Now armed with the knowledge that it is a standard mortise lock….

Locksmith 4 –   NOpe noPE NOPE  Can’t touch those!!  What’s it from??
Seroiusly?? Who the F cares where its from????
                       Just give me a standard mortise lock of that size…
NOpe noPE NOPE  Can’t help you … good by.

Off to Home Depot.

We don’t need no steenking high security locks.

They don’t carry a mortise lock at all here.  Shoulda tried Rona.
But they DO carry a a standard cam lock that is 1 1/4 inches long….  $8
And if I have to mod it anyway, it’s worth a shot.

Bought 2, got 4 keys altogether and they are keyed alike.
Time to start the mod.

Same length, different diameter.
But it came with that flange that fit the door insert.

Perfect fit


This is why god made welders

Tack tack tack…. grind it smooth a bit

Nice fit

A little anti rust galvanizing paint

Now we need a flange for the inside of the door
Scrap metal and a hole saw work great

Good enuff

Let’s put it together

Inside view

Outside view

A little mod with the dremel to make the existing tail piece work with the new locks.

And Vi Ola – we is done![…]

PoCo Inspired

You light up my …

I was so happy to see that there were LED lights everywhere on this thing.

But the tail lights had issues.

They worked, but because they were probaly 1st gen LEDs they were not smart enough.
Basically if you had the headlights/running lights on, you could not see the flashers or brakes. The difference was not enough.

I noticed the newer ones had a 2nd set of lights to solve this issue.

Luckily I still had the ones that I was going to put on the other truck.

Easy install.
Even had a 3rd one to use for the 3rd brake light.
Not a requirement, but nice to have.

The circuit for the 3rd brake light was under the dash, so I had to run a wire the entire length of the truck, but no biggie.


I even added a couple of side markers hooked to the turn signals.


I might add a couple more in the center of the truck just to be on the safe side.
It already had some on the front fenders.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Last day of nice weather

After a couple weeks of nice weather ( for Winnipeg / Siberia ) the weather report says it ends today.
Tomorrow will be back to the – 25 ‘s again.
I don’t have the truck anywhere that I can put in a heater, so I figured I better get a few more things done.

Under the dash was a bunch of heater hoses that were all rotten.
Those got replaced.

Got the stereo installed.
Had to create mounting brackets and supports because the dash is nothing more than a plastic shell with a few screws to hold it down.

I didn’t document anything. It wasn’t rocket science though.

Added the all important cup holder.
You really don’t realize how much you use one until you don’t have one.

Added a cell phone mount.
I have an old phone that I use a gps enabled speedometer.

Yeah, it’s dirty.  Dirt wipes off……later.

I DID go through hell with the stereos ( yes plural ) themselves.

I had 3 of the fricken things in a bin.
Not a single one would work!!??

Whatever, my bro had a spare one in his pile.

And finally I added the backup camera.

I have it wired so that its always on.
I might change that later.
Just have to move one wire.
This is a ebay jobby wireless unit.
I had it for the first truck, so I am glad I get to finally use it.
Got it for about $40 all in.

I would put a link, but the dealer does not seem to have them listed anymore.
They do however seem to have a lot of sex toys in thier store…. so if you need the link..[…]

PoCo Inspired

Mock Mock …. Chicken

Clearly I don’t sleep much.

I have already stated that I am NOT going to paint this truck.
And I am NOT spending 10 grand on a wrap.

All I had to do is maybe update the colors to go with the white truck.
No big deal, I am just going to use what I had already designed for the old black truck, and copy it all over, and update stuff.

It was around midnight when I started playing with the mock up design in Photoshop.

I had a clear idea, a theme, a vision….
This whole black truck, yellow lettering….the big WTF on the side.
There was reason, purpose even.

Funny how just changing the background color of the truck from black to white changes everything.

Nothing….I mean NOTHING worked.
What now?
Play, test, look for inspiration. Let it evolve on its own.
Turn off brain….  Open up eyes…
Let the mouse go where it wants.

So I am happy with it.
It’s just so strange that it seems like the polar opposite of the first truck.

I’m losin it, I even changed the name.[…]

PoCo Inspired


So I got the free freezer.

And this is the plan.

Add the pans, and use like a prep table.

I figure if I fill it with pans and the pans with food, it should stay pretty cold.


PoCo Inspired

Back door

Ok I think I figured out my back door.

The snow has been melting, and beside my garage I found some metal that I salvaged last year.
I forgot it was there.
Nice heavy steel, 2 pieces.
1 x 1 square tube.
3 ft wide 7 1/2 ft tall


So after I cut it down, I can cross brace the middle.

I will leave the one at 36 inches wide and just cut the width of the second one.

Hinges on the sides attached to the existing door frame.

Skin the outside with aluminum and rivets.
Inside, i can put a layer of pink styrofoam insulation, a layer of 3/8 plywood, and skin it with aluminum.

I don’t see a problem here.
Just gotta figure out a couple of the details.


PoCo Inspired

The window

I was able to pick up this window at the Habitat Re- Store.
Nice price, and close to the size I wanted.

When I compare pictures, you can hardly tell that I did anything.
Which I guess is good.


But trust me…. It has been a lot of work.

The original window was 36 x 60.
The new one is 44 x 60.
The glass was replaced with 1/4 in Optrix Acrylic plexi.


Here is a shot of the nearly finished inner window with the screen kit.


PoCo Inspired

The window – details

This is probably really crazy…..but….
After getting a price of around $2500 plus taxes (13%) for a serving window to get it done locally…. I decided to go a DIY route.

Even trying to get something out of the USA was going to end up close to the 2 grand range after exchange and shipping, and then I still had to pay taxes across the boarder.

I have never done anything like this, I have never welded aluminum…
I really had no clue what I was doing or how it was going to go.
But why should that stop me right?

I was able to get a single pane aluminum slider window at the local Re-Store.
Actually got 3 of them – all matching…. for about $45.

The glass is useless, because it breaks when you look at it.
So it will be replaced with plexi glass. Optix brand. – ended up about $130.

The window was already 3 ft high, and 5 ft wide.
I took some sage advice, and decided to make it as big as possible…
This is where the crazy comes in.

The plexi is 44 inches high. So instead of cutting the plexi to fit the frame…
Let’s re-engineer the frame to fit the plexi.

Take the original window frame, cut it, splice in a section from the 2nd window frame, weld it back together and smooth it all out so it looks close to factory.
No problem.

Here is a shot of the first cut and test fit.


Now welded together and smoothed out.


The welding went really well, only took a few tries to get the feel for welding aluminum.
Besides, aluminum fills the mistakes really good and once its cleaned up, you cant tell.



The hardest part was the waiting….
My welder is not set up for aluminum, so I had to go to a buddy’s place.
5 minutes to do the weld.  But I could only do it once a week.  So when I made a mistake or had to change something…..or welded the wrong side – DUH..  I had to wait a week before I could fix it.
All in all, it was probably only an hour of two of work.

That was the INNER frame that will house the sliding window and screen.


On to the OUTER frame.
This will house the flip up canopy.
So same deal… it needs to go from 36 inches tall to 44 inches tall.
With the added bonus of removing the grooves ( extrusions? ) that the windows sat in.

So this is the side view of the frame before.


I first ran it through the table saw to take off that extrusion.

Then smoothed it with a grinder and flapp disc.
Then cut, weld, and clean up.
This is a shot of the welded seam.

And a shot of the outer frame, test fit together.


I DID try to paint the frame and keep it white, but it really sucked.
So I spent a couple hours with the wire wheel, and took off all the paint.



Did the same to the inner frame.  No more paint.



The plexi was its own kind of challenge.
Even though I went with 1/4 inch thick stuff, it was still pretty bendy.
I siliconed some 3/8 extruded channel to both ends.

That worked well.
The wrinkled stuff is just the shipping saran wrap.

I was able to re-use some of the original aluminum sections from the original glass.
The parts that had the little fuzzy strips on them.
So that when the window slides back and forth, it doesn’t scratch.
A little more silicone and a couple of days to dry.


I siliconed the window to one side of the frame so it did not move.
I only need one side to slide open.
I got one of those DIY screens from home depot.
The quality is pretty crappy, but it will work for now.


This is the unit all assembled.


I added a piano hinge to the outer frame to hold the canopy.


Started to construct the canopy.
3/8 plywood.
Sliliconed some aluminum sheet to one side. and clamped and weighted those whole thing to cure for a couple of days.


PoCo Inspired

Beam me UP

Working on the window.

For better or worse, I’m doing a custom window, made to fit the truck.
As opposed to ordering a standard size and cutting the opening to fit the window.

So here is how it is going so far.

Because it was -25 outside when I started this.
I just measured where I wanted the window.
Then built the window in the garage.

Thought I had it all covered.
Measured down to and 1/8 th of an inch.

Built a mock up frame in the garage to test fit stuff. ( which actually worked pretty well )


Then I cut the opening for the window.

Just before the last cut…..


My goal was to preserve as much of the structural beams as possible.

Here is the nice big opening…


But I forgot to account for LIP that was part of the beam.


I guess I could have cut the lip off.
But that is where the rivets are.
Without the lip, the beams are kinda useless.

I guess this is where I am lucky that I am making the window from scratch – ish.

I trimmed the window frame to match the opening.
The frame even had these large flanges for mounting that had to be trimmed back about 3/8 of an inch. About where the holes are, because they would not allow the frame to sit against the lip/beam.

Also had to trim the frame width about 3/8 of an inch.
That part was easy.

But it means I have to trim the canopy to match.
3/8 plywood, sandwiched between 2 layers of aluminum.
HOPEFULLY it goes well.
Just waiting for the garage to warm up because it went down below zero again last night.

Good thing I had not yet glued the trim on.

My other concern is the overall weight of the canopy.
I mean… it’s not 50 lbs. But it does fell kinda heavy.
I am concerned that the gas shock might not hold it….
If I can figure out how to mount them.[…]

PoCo Inspired

More window

I trimmed the canopy about 3/4 inch in width.
Trimmed the the aluminum channel trim to match.
Test fit in my mock frame.
So far so good.
But the weight thing was still buggin me.

Dug out a scale.  Found some fresh batteries…. did a weigh in. 45 pounds.
I dunno, maybe I’m just a little paranoid…  But that seems like a lot.

I have these visions… 4 x 5 sheet of plywood@ 45 lbs….  strut lets go…. screw breaks….  this thing comes swingin down from 10 feet up…. clocks some big mofo in the back of the noggin….

More weight on all the parts is more stress.

I still want to keep the structure of the canopy so it’s not a flimsy P.O.S.

So I carve out the center with the skill saw.  Leaving a good amount of wood for structure.

Now it’s down to 20 pounds.  Still pretty solid.

Next, I test it all on the mock frame, and it feels WAY better.
WAY less stress on the screw and hinges.


Next I inlay some pink insulation.
Laminate both sides with aluminum sheet again, and bobs yer uncle.

Now the stupid thing is probably too light for the struts!!

I even managed to get the outer frame mounted on the truck.

Once all the glues and silicone dries I should be able to mount the canopy. Tomorrow.[…]

PoCo Inspired


Installing the struts was WAY harder than it should have been.
Of course, never done this before. No instructions. No clue.
Where to mount?
Pivot point? Pressure point?
Weight to height ratio?
Drag coefficient?

All trial and error.

Got it figured out in the end.

You would think ( at least I did ) that the strut would have to be mounted further out on the canopy for stability.
But it does not work that way.
I did it similar to this:

Close the canopy, figure out where the frame side mount will be with the strut compressed.

I added an inch, to be safe.

Then prop the canopy open and figure out where the canopy side mount will be with the strut fully extended.

Not sure why, but most places seem to suggest mounting the struts in this position.
With the fat end on the door side.
Maybe so water can’t run down into the cylinder when it rains?? Not sure.


My struts were the ones with ends like these that just pop over the ball mount.

While they just POP on, they do NOT pop OFF.
They BREAK off pretty quickly though.
Found that out pretty quick.
There is a little spring tab that you have to remove first. DUH!

Also the 80 pound struts were WAY to strong. It actually made it hard to close.
It looked like that would eventually cause damage somewhere.
I don’t know the math ….
But I have a canopy the weighs 40 pounds.
And I am using 57 pound struts.
It’s stable. Not hard to close. And opens smoothly without POPPING up.

I was able to buy theses mounting brackets, which worked great on the canopy side.


But once I figured out the frame side, I needed the opposite kind of brackets.
And spent the day driving around trying to locate some.
Guess how THAT turned out….


Ended up having to make my own.
Tried some lighter stuff…. no WAY!
They flexed when I closed the canopy.

Had 2 x 2 1/4 inch angle.
Cut down the width to about 1 1/4 inch.
Smoothed the corners and welded on the studs that came with the struts.


The big problem was that it HAD to be mounted to the window frame, which was thin and flimsy to begin with, plus it had no structure behind it to carry the weight load.

Here is a shot of the solution from the inside.

On both sides of the window, I was able to MacGuyver a chunk of 3/4 inch C channel between the window frame and the factory stud.
I tried with a piece of square channel, It would not budge.
Then I cut little pieces of 1/2 inch C channel down to insert into the larger piece to form a box ( support piece ).
Then I drilled through from the window frame into the factory stud, and used screws long enough to hit the studs.
Now it’s solid.


PoCo Inspired

Inner winder

Great weather today.
Actually got the inner window installed.

It went easier than I expected.
But not without its challenges.

The first thing I got installed was the outer lock/handle.

I went with a simple t handle and matching slide mech.
They were on clearance at Home Depot.


The challenge with the inner window was spacing.
I did not take into account the extra space required for things like the lock mech or the gas struts.

To compensate for this, I added 1/2 by 1/2 aluminum C channel on the inside of the outer frame.
This gave me that extra 1/2 inch of space.


It was not too hard to do, but not fun.

End result though, the window is installed.



What I can’t figure out is this…

I had to cut 3/4 inch off the outer frame to make it fit between the factory beams in the truck.
I then had the trim the same amount from the canopy to make it fit the frame properly.
But I did NOT touch the inner window frame at all.
Yet it fits perfectly to the outer frame.

And I mean fit PERFECTLY.
But I built both windows at the same time, and made them to match. weird.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Back door man

Started work on the back door.

I am using these steel frames that I was able to salvage.

Need to cut down the length by 16 inches.

Left one at 36 inches wide, cut the other down to 24 inches wide.

Had to add an extra brace for the hinge on the bigger side.

All went great. My measurements were spot on all day long.

Except for…. well….  the measurement was right….
But SOME dumbass cut the wrong piece!!

I’d blame my assistant….. if I had one.
Had to section this little piece back in …. DOH!
Good thing my welding skills are improving!


All in all it went well.
Here is a hot of the test fit.
Managed to keep an almost perfect 1/8 inch gap.


PoCo Inspired

OOOhhh a shelf ….

I know… it’s a shelf.
Woo Hoo! Big deal.
But seriously, it WAS a lot of work.

A while back, I stated that I was going to use these stainless steel shelves from Ikea.

It turns out that these are total crap.
The shelf is SUPER thin metal.
The material underneath it is compressed PAPER!
Not wood, not mdf, PAPER!

New plan.
A couple of weeks ago, I cut out the window from the side of the truck.
Lots of material to work with.

Using the table saw, I cut around the beams.
Ground out all the rivets and separated the beams from the sheet.


Then I cut the the beams in half to use them as supports for the shelf.


And after a day in the garage trying to figure it out…


Nice and strong. All aluminum. Color matches the rest of the truck.
40 inches long.  Made 2 of them.

Pretty darn impressed with me.

They work really well.


And then I added the tie downs to stop them from bouncing around.


PoCo Inspired

If ya got time to lean…

I assumed they would be leaned on.

Here is the set up.

2 shelves.

Each about 40 inches long and 11 inches wide. 1/4 inch thick aluminum.

Each one has 3 folding and locking support brackets.

ALL of the edges have been rounded and smoothed out to prevent any sharp areas.

The white strip along the length is a foam strip to cover the bottoms of the rivets.

Safety first people!!

Heck I even smoothed the edges of the phillips head screws because I thought they were a little sharp.

I could just hear my old man in the back of my head, nagging me about every possible little thing! :)


The lip all around it is made from the 1/4 thick aluminum beams from inside the truck.

They create the lip around the perimeter of the shelf.

And also create strong support below.

The brackets are bolted through the shelves and these beams.

Hopefully that’s enough strength.


They fold up pretty good when not in use.


On the inside I used ( re used ) these nylon bushing that were mounted all over the truck.

They are about 1/2 in thick.

and were a prefect match for the placement of the bolts.


I HOPE thats enough support

Still might put in a couple of eye bolts just in case its not enough and I need to run some aircraft cable.


PoCo Inspired

The door !!

I am not yet sure who is more insane….
Me for trying to dismantle this back door, or the my wife for not questioning me ( at all ) when i ask her to grab her car keys and wallet, and stand ready to go to the hospital if this goes sideways.

She even grabbed a big towel on the way out the door….just in case there was blood.

And no, it would not have been our first trip.

Luckily, it all went smoothly. Rather boring in the end.

But I was taking out a roll up door. They are pretty dangerous. Better to be prepared.


The first thing to do was get something to hold the door if it decided to let go.
I used a ladder and a cargo bar to hold it in place.


The next step was to release the tension on the wires.
With the door up, there is the least amount of tension on the springs.
Then I needed to remove the cotter pins that hold the wires in place.
THIS was the scary part. You never know HOW much tension there is.
I didn’t even know if taking out the cotter pins was going to release the tension.
It did.

The pin shot like a bullet across the truck.  The wire unraveled.
Now for the other side.
No blood.
It actually release ALL of the tension. So I didn’t have to fight with the springs.
I let the door down as best as I could.

The thing must weigh 200 pounds.

It wasn’t until it was down, that I realized that unlike a regular garage door that has nuts and bolts holding the hinges on, that I saw that there is only RIVETS!!

I really hate rivets.


The outer hinges that hold the rollers were a little better.
At  least there were nuts to remove the roller retainer.


I got those off and slid out the rollers.


With the hinges all being riveted on, the door sections did NOT come apart.

The door was being held back by the lock system.

I needed to crawl UNDER the door and take my scissor lift

and jack the thing up high enough to clear locks.
Only then could it all be removed from the tracks.

The tracks are all mounted by …. you guessed it ….rivets.

Spent the rest of the day, grinding off the bloody rivets to get the track system out.

The lower part ( that was against the wall ) was the worst part.
I’m still not sure how it was all attached, but I spent a few hours with the plasma cutter to get it out.

I’m pretty sure, this was the toughest job so far.

Tomorrow, I can start installing the new back doors.[…]

PoCo Inspired

The Doors

Day 2 of the doors.

It actually went pretty easy.  WAY easier than taking out the old one.
Of course I had already been building the doors over the last couple of weeks.

All I had to do was set them in place, drill holes, add nuts & bolts.
No real drama.



Added some spring loaded latches on the inside top, and some big self tapper bolts for stoppers.
The self tapping bolts that I used for stoppers and the gold colored self tappers holding the latches are re-used.
I have a pile of them that were holding different parts on the inside of the truck.

I re-used more of the nice nylon plates for backers behind the hinge and behind the spring loaded latches.


You can see the crappy lookin stuff to the left of the nylon plate.

That’s where I had to plasma cut out all the material.

It was aluminum c – channel, that seems to be welded to the back wall.
The back wall/body wraps around it on the right side.

Then it also had steel angle that was glued and riveted to the c – channel, creating a double layered ( on one side ) box.

Then the door track was spot welded to the steel.

I am SO thankful that my buddy Dave has a nice plasma cutter!!!


Now I just need to add some weather stripping.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Inside scoop

Finally started some work on the inside.

Did some much needed rewiring.

Then moved onto some walls.

The front walls, behind the cab.
I was going to just sheet over them, but once I saw how very little of the walls were going to be exposed, I figured it would be better to just clean them.

There were so many stickers and left over ….mmm…. pictures….  taped to walls.
Pictures of…uuhhmm ….  Laura Croft….   hockey teams  …  women’s curling teams  ……
( seriously ? )
Hey, it came with the truck . ….
TONS of old scotch tape, packing tape….. 2 way tape… spray paint…marker
It’s actually ALL over the truck. Even on the sliding door. Luckily, the other walls are getting covered.
But it was SO hard to get off.

I probably would have been better off just gluing a skin of aluminum sheet over it.
But I was determined to get it clean and just used the raw walls.

Cleaned it with everything possible.
Then sanded it all with 280 grit an orbital sander.

Did a polish with a buffing wheel in a test spot….
Came out really nice ….  too nice.
Actually got a mirror finish in the small test area.
But it made everything ELSE look really dull.

Switched to a scotch brite pad.
It gave it a nice smooth clean finish.
A dull shine.

I liked it.


PoCo Inspired


Once the walls were buffed, I found something else to play with.

In the back of the truck, there were aluminum covers over the tail lights. On the inside.
I guess they were there to protect the lights from shifting cargo.
But for me, they were just in the way.

Once removed, I figured I could re-purpose them as shelves.

Well….. after a little cleaning…

And decreasing, and sanding and buffing.

But over all please with the outcome.


That would be the nicely buffed walls and door.

You might notice that the lower portion of the walls is not buffed all shiny.

It’s all going to be covered with equipment, so I figured a good cleaning was all that was needed.

Right side will be the sink, left side will be that big stainless table I got.[…]

PoCo Inspired


Today I began working on the tanks.

Well sort of…

I had not really thought about it much, so I was engineering on the fly…. like always.

I knew I was going to use threaded rod and suspend the tanks below the floor.
I just needed to figure out HOW I wanted to make stuff.
I had these brackets that were used on the first truck. So I figured that I should try to re use them somehow.

But they were custom made for the one tank that I was not using.
So I needed to re-engineer them to work with the new tanks.

I start off buy cutting them down with the band saw….and I hear this loud …. PANG!!
Dang blade broke.

Spend an hour calling around….   Do think anyone has a blade that size???
Of course not.

Google is your friend.
Best method was supposed to be a torch and silver solder.
Rummage around in the garage for a while …. Lo and behold I actually have all the right stuff.
Prep the blade, fashion up a quick jig to hold it all together, and  …..
Nothing! Try 4 or 5 more times.
Flippin solder would NOT stick to the blade.
Back to google.

This time I find some video that say you can mig weld it.
It actually worked !
Cut all my steel.  IMPRESSED!

This is the design I finally settled on.


Grind all my edges clean.

Start welding a few things together.
Dang…. that’s a fine weld sir…


Get about 2 welds done …..  and  … nothin …..WTF!!!

It’s now 2 pm on a Friday before a long weekend.
I run out of welding gas.   F F S !!!

And my supplier is on the OTHER side of town 45 minutes away, and they close at 5.

Needless to say, no further works got done today.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Need Support

Two goals here.

1 – Build support brackets for the water tanks.
2 – Do it cheap, re-using stuff I already had.

I cut apart the old tank supports that came out of the old truck when I pulled the tank.
Then combined them with some old angle iron that I had kicking around.
On the smaller tank I used lighter angle iron that was actually an old bed frame.

This is bottom framework welded together.
I wanted support on all 4 sides, but I needed spaces for the drain.
Still not sure if I am putting on the side of the box or the bottom.

I added a layer of stainless steel to protect the bottom of the tank.

Then I bent up a sheet of aluminum to go around the tank to protect the sides.


I made the steel about 6 inches longer than the tank to allow for the threaded rod.


I was still concerned about the top edges getting damaged or squished.
So I welded up another section for the top.


I think that should hold everything in place and protect the tank.

I won’t do the drains until I put in the floor and test fit everything again so I know exactly where I want them.[…]

PoCo Inspired

In the pink

Didn’t get much done on the truck in the last week.
Was pretty busy with other stuff.

Got the garage cleaned up a bit.
Got a bunch of stuff moved around.

Yesterday I cleaned out the truck.  Power washed the inside.
Today I got the floor insulation glued down.

Why do these things always take so much longer than you think they will??


PoCo Inspired

Roof roof

Actually achieved more than one thing today.

I got all the wood cut, painted with fire proof paint, and installed.

Then, instead of watching the paint dry, I went up top and scrubbed the roof clean.

Here is a shot of the difference in color.
The reddish splotch is the cleaner.
I tried a few different kinds.
Every time I poured it on the roof, it turned red.

In case anyone wants to know, this is the stuff I used in the paint.
It’s a crystal/powder.
Mix it in latex paint. ( I used killz primer )
Supposed to give it a class A fire rating.
I coated both sides and all the edges.


PoCo Inspired

Shower drain???

So for my drains from the sinks and into the waste tanks, I decided not to use 3 inch bulkhead fittings that I had seen done elsewhere.
It seemed kind of pointless to be using standard 1 1/2 pipe on all the drains and then have to go UP in size to a 3 inch pipe.
It would certainly not benefit me in any way.
Plus those bulkhead fittings are really pricey. ( $30 ish )

Instead I chose to use shower drains.
They are pretty much the same thing.
With a 2 inch opening. And they were only $8.00 a piece.


The white top just pops off.

I chose the style with a ribbed rubber inner part instead of the straight glue on style.
I figured that it would allow for some movement and flexibility.

Drilled out with a standard hole saw.


Fit real nice.


I did the same thing on the underside for a drain.

To be able to tighten the big nut, it was necessary to cut a bigger hole in the top of the tank so I could reach in.

I cut it part way with a large hole saw.
Then more with a box cutter.

I made sure NOT to cut all the way around so that it did not fall into the tank.
That made it easier to re- glue it later.


Once it was done, I just siliconed it back together.

There should be no pressure or water weight on the top of the tank, so it should be fine.


Holes were not perfect, but it will all be covered up later.
This is all that is sticking above the floor of an 8.5 inch long pipe.


I am using flexible rubber connectors to connect to the sink drains.
This allows for the entire drain system to move a little.
Which I think is super important in a truck.
I think NOT doing this would be as crazy as putting solid copper pipe instead of pex.

Here is a shot of the rear tank from below.
This time I remembered to double nut all the threaded rods top AND bottom.

I also did a 1.5 in drop towards the drains.


PoCo Inspired

Waste pipes

After ordering the WRONG stuff,

I ordered this thing for my tank dump.


Remember this one.
If you plan to have a standard 3 inch RV type drain  ( I didn’t plan well )

Then you need the 3 inch waste gate CAP.

Like this.

It comes as a kit with all the fittings. Not just the gate.


As I was studying this stuff, I kept seeing pictures and videos of RV’s with waste valves just kinda hanging there, attached to the tank, but not supported in any way.
Like this…

Is this normal?

Anyway, I wanted some support.

I used a piece of the body that I had saved from when I cut a hole, and made a bracket.

It fits the factory holes on the valve.

Did a bunch of dry fit tests before finally gluing the plumbing together.

Finally set everything in place.

Drilled a couple of holes through the body, to match the bracket and riveted it in place.

Perfect, solid.

This is the rear tank.
I first thought that I cut the hole on the wrong side of the tank, that it should have been closer to the OUTSIDE of the truck body.
So when I did the front tank, I made hole closer to outside of the body.

The rear one went just perfect, no problems.

The front one was nothing but trouble.
The drain hole being so close to the outside gave me NO leeway at all.
Everything is super close.
Had to re do the bracket about 5 times.
And still not happy with it.
But its in.[…]

PoCo Inspired


The front bumper was pretty ugly and rough.
Did not even know how bad it was till I got it off.
Rusted right through.

My brother had bumper lying around that fit not too bad.

Had to weld up some new brackets, but it works.


PoCo Inspired

Inside job

Finally ran my air vent for the front grey tank.

It runs up inside the body, and exits near the roof.

I used some pex tubing and unions that were salvaged from the previous truck.

As it exits out the top, I used a 90 degree union.

Cut a hole in the wall, ran the threaded part outside, and cut some screen to go over the hole, and put on the fitting.

Bead of silicone, and we were done.[…]

PoCo Inspired


Took forever to figure out where to put the fresh tank filler.
Kinda all depended on the final placement and set up of the fresh tank.

Musta have struggled with this one a dozen times.
Not entirely happy with where is it going, but I can live with it.

It ends up just to the right of the service window.
Had to turn it sideways to fit between the factory support beams.

here is the inside view.

The fresh tank is getting mounted just below the serving window.
It will be enclosed in a box.[…]

PoCo Inspired

I need support

Built the platform that the big ass stainless table I got will go on to of.

Yeah, I thought about just doing legs, but them I gotta try to clean under there.
Its not like the space would get used for anything.

My floors have to be coved up a minimum 4 inches.
This platform is 5.5 inches.
So my flooring will just go up the platform.

I structured a channel into the platform for my 8 x 8 intake vent.

This will give me a fresh air intake that should end up about 8 inches of the floor in front of the cooking area, and just about directly below the hood and fan.

I will just fill the rest of the empty cavities with insulation.


I hate the thought of using any wood.
Especially after gutting nearly 1000 pounds of wood out of the first truck.

But some times you just need the structure to be able to secure other stuff that will be going in.

Anywhere that there is any wood, it gets coated with fire resistant paint.
And even the paint is recycled.  I got it from a buddy who was tossing it because he had a bunch left over after a reno.
Just mix in the handy dandy fire resistant coating ( that was bought at the habitat re-store ) … and bob’s ye uncle.

I used no nails, but decided to drive in screws from the out side as well.

I used the ones that are used for doing metal roofs.
They are color matched, grab in the wood really nice, and are self sealing with the rubber grommet.

And in keeping with my theme of recycling / up-cycling as much as possible….

All of the wood on the walls, and in the platform, used to be my brothers front porch.

I’m sure I have just saved a baby whale or a penguin or something.


I finally decided that YES I am going to put some extra support beams for the hood.

I had some 1 x 1 square tubing left over from a previous project.
Good thing I measured 3 or 4 times to be safe.
7 feet and 1/2 an inch.

Cut some angle iron to make mounting tabs.  ( recycled bed frame )
And yes I know the holes are not centered.
I wanted them to be …not as close to the ceiling.

Welded it all together, cleaned up the ends, and painted it with some galvanizing paint.

Came out looking not too bad.

These will span the ceiling width wise.

There is a nice chunky aluminum channel that runs the full length of the truck.

I plan to drill corresponding holes, then use threaded rivet inserts.

This way they can be attached with bolts and a lock washer.
This also makes them removable for any future changes.

Now that I have this tool, I plan to mount a bunch of the stuff this way.
Instead of just using regular big rivets.
Which are just hell to try to remove.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Beam me up

Set up the support beams for the hood today.

Here is a shot of the factory beams that run the length of the truck on both sides.

They are about 1.25 x 1.25 square aluminum.
They are not really square, but they seem like it.
Hollow on the inside.

I thought about just driving self tapping screws into it to hold the new support beams.
But I figured that being aluminum, the may eventually strip or come loose.

Drilled pilot holes.

The put in the threaded inserts.


It went better than expected.

A test fit and all was good.

This shot shows the beam spanned across the width of the truck.

The second one went just as easy.

Even the paint is a pretty close match.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Cove… Curve… C’mon

One of the things that I have found to be a huge difference between where I live and how things are done in the USA is the flooring.

Where I am, the requirement is to have flooring that is as close to 1 single piece as possible, and COVED up the wall a minimum of 4 inches.

I have heard a lot of stories of people bringing in trucks from other provinces or from the USA, and they won’t pass inspection because the floors are done wrong.
They then have to rip out EVERYTHING and do the floors to meet out code.

This is not acceptable:

This is not acceptable:

This IS acceptable, but it better be perfect.

They don’t really seem to like the diamond plate here.
They want to see the corners CURVED ( coved ) and every seam must be welded.
And smoothed.

So even this might not pass because that seam is not smoothed.


What seems to get done around here is that they use rolled vinyl flooring.
It can be fairly easily coved up the walls.
And fairly easily glued together at the seams.

But every one I have seen is the same.
Nobody puts anything BEHIND the cove.
It’s just hollow.

Also, nobody seems to know how to overlap the corners, inside or outside.
They just match them up and glue them together.

That works well in a house, but in a moving vehicle.

They usually make it through the 1st season, but by the 2nd, the seams are splitting, the coves are pushed through.

And they charge on average 2 grand for this crap!

Well we won’t know if what I’m doing is better or not until it’s been around for a while…
But here goes.

MY coves are galvanized steel.
They are the rounded corner beads for doing drywall.


The metal is strong, yet flexible.

I peeled off the paper backing.

I put adhesive on the backside.
Then stapled it to my floor.


I was kind of worried that the SMOOTHNESS of the metal would not take to the coating very well.
So I sprayed it with some primer I had lying around.
Where the heck I got green primer I don’t know.
But I still thought it was a little too smooth.

I found a can of spray on adhesive in the shop.


It went on sort of half mist spray and half spider web –  webby — ??

The texture was good to help the next coating stick.

I even went up the walls to the coating had something to grab onto.

So far I have put down 2 coats of this stuff.


Will it work?
Only time will tell.

I can only say that we used it in our store, on stairs, over top of laminate flooring, and in 2 years, it only needed an occasional touch up.
In my books, that’s pretty good.

Plus I got it on clearance on one of my recent trips.
Got 2 of the big 4 or 5 gallon pails for just under $40.  woo hoo!

Once it dries and cures, I will top it with epoxy.

I got this kit.

Hopefully the combination of the 2 coatings will be durable enough.

My contact at the HD loved the sample when I showed him.[…]

PoCo Inspired

Final coat

Put on the last coating of the Restore product.

Now its going to take a couple of days to dry.


The texture is similar to fiberglass resin.

The goal here is that the Restore product is what bonds to the wood surface of the floor.

And with the rough sandy finish, the epoxy will bond well to that.


I didn’t bother to get it tinted, so it is fairly translucent.[…]

No thumbnail available PoCo Inspired


Finally finished the floor off.

Capped and sealed all the corners ( as per our HD requirements ) .
Problem is, they don’t tell you what they want it capped and sealed with.

Should I use plastic? wood? leather??
How big?
Sealed with what?
They won’t say.

Kinda hard to see it in the photo.
The main area got 2×2 inch galvanized metal.
While the non critical areas got 1/2 by 1/2 inch galvanized metal.
All siliconed in place.
Then the edges got siliconed as well,so they are sealed.

While it was safe to walk on after a day or so, it says to fully cure it needs a week.[…]

No thumbnail available PoCo Inspired

Waiting waiting

So while waiting for the floor to cure…
Took a couple of days to rest and do some other stuff.
Today I got back to some work.

The more I looked at it, the more I hated the way the waste valves looked.

They were just wide open and in your face.
I can just see some customer, or their kid open the cap in the middle of lunch or something stupid like that.
So I figured I better cover them up.

Only got one done today.
But I am MUCH happier with it.
Outa sight, outa mind.

Just bent up some white aluminum sheet.

Hinged the back piece.

Just gotta lock it down.[…]

No thumbnail available PoCo Inspired

Build a box

The generator is a noisy beast.
The noise comes from 3 major places.
The exhaust. The engine. The intake.
There is a small amount of noise from the generator unit itself, but it’s nothing compared to the other 3.

The first thing to tackle is the exhaust.
I don’t want to get into all the things I did to test this, but know that it took a couple of weeks of testing and ripping it apart and retesting.

I don’t really understand why, but no matter what, you MUST use the factory muffler as a part of the exhaust system.
Without it, the exhaust noise is harsh and loud.
Even with an additional muffler attached.
But together, there is almost no noise out of the tailpipe.

The build will go as follows:
Build a custom header to come off the engine.
Route it out the bottom so it will go below the rear of the truck.
Where it will connect with the factory muffler, which will be connected to an automotive muffler.
The tail pipe will be routed out the drivers side of the truck, and directed upwards.
I will construct a DIY genturi pipe and send it out near the top of the truck.

The factory muffler is where the majority of the heat is collected.
I want to move the factory muffler away from the generator so the heat is not contained within the box.
In order to do this, I needed to build a custom header.
This directs most of the sound and heat out and away from the generator unit.

Use header wrap to contain the heat within the pipe, so that it stays outside of the box.
Most auto parts stores will carry it.  But it can be pricey.
Way cheaper to get on Amazon or Ebay.
If you can wait for delivery.

NOTE:  This stuff is FIBERGLASS.
Wear gloves, mask, and coveralls. You will still probably itch for a week.
Also helps to soak it in water before wrapping the pipe.

To contain the heat even more and minimize any heat in the box….
I am also going to figure out a way to try to encase this pipe with cement board, and make a metal heat shield.

I got a lot of inspiration from ALL of the other sites I read that are trying to do the same thing…. quiet a generator. ( forever grateful to them )
One of them showed this style of custom header, but they welded a sharp 90 bend right to the flange.  It was only an inch or two long, then straight down.

I DID try this. The result was that the 90 bend was red hot in minutes!!
Maybe it’s because my generator is larger.
But it needs to flow smoothly.
Just wanted to mention it.

If you can buy the flanges locally for a good price at some supply store, go for it.
I spent a whole day trying to find some, only to find out they wanted $12 a piece for them.
I think not.

The ones I made were twice as thick.

I used some 3/8 inch thick flat steel and traced out the exhaust flange, using the original as the template.

I first bored out the center with a hole saw.
Then drilled out the mounting holes.

Then cut it out on the metal cutting bandsaw, and later used the grinder to shape the edges.

This little piece is the result of an hour and a half worth of work.

Oh yeah, time well spent.



I had this pipe laying around from some other old project.
It was about 3/4 OD ( I did not measure it )
And about 1/4 inch thick.  Good and heavy.
I welded the flange to the pipe.
I screwed it up the first time, and had to cut it off and re weld it.
Also welded a threaded coupler to the other end.
Cleaned it up a little with the grinder.


I made a couple more flanges, for more connections.
Since these ones will not be attached to the head,
I figured they don’t need be shaped so nice.
Maybe I was just too lazy.