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DARKSIDER In the world of automotive hobbyists a Darksider is one who modifies and or customizes any and all sorts of vehicles. The Darksiders are in a class of their own simply because they endeavor to be different and do things that others would not attempt for a number of reasons mostly being related to a lack of ability and fear of non conformity.

This is a forum for people who think outside the box in everything they do. It doesn’t matter if you are modifying or building from scratch. It doesn’t matter what brand or brands of vehicles or components you are using. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a mini car or a bus.

We will not be asking you for donations or any kind of monetary payments. We will be asking for help in terms moderators and encouraging you to spread the word and add to our membership.

Darksider's Realm

A message board & forum for automotive builders, fabricators and customizers who think outside the box.


    Chopped 55 F100

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    jclars

    Posts : 15
    Join date : 2011-11-20
    Location : Lynden, WA

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  jclars on Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:57 pm

    Not totally picturing it, but there is no doubt in my mind that it will look "right", just based on what you've done so far.

    My goodness, if you are modeling in 3D, you are light years ahead of most of us!

    John L.
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    Lowlid

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2009-04-26
    Age : 69
    Location : Lavergne, Tennessee

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Lowlid on Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:15 pm

    I haven't visited this site in quite a while and was really surprised at this build. Really nice work! I especially like the chop. It's a really different approach. I'll be checking in from time to time to see if you've posted any progress.

    Drew
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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:14 pm

    This weekend I got all of the pieces of the running boards welded together (nice to not be held together by vise grips). Then I completed the body work on the center console and headliner. The bodywork on the headliner was much much harder then I expected. All sanding was done overhead by hand with basically reverse curves in all directions.

    I then made a template for the shifter cover which I am thinking about cutting out of 3/16" stainless and polishing. After that I started making what look like mini receiver hitches front and rear that will come out behind the spring hinged license plates. I plan to thread in 3/4" thread eye-bolt for tie down points when I trailer the truck (will have to take some pictures once I remove them from the truck.









    Hopefully this week I will get the hardware ordered for the louver die and get the first cut at stacks from the mandrel bender shop.



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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:07 pm

    Finished up the model for the louver die. Hopefully this die will produce ~12.5" wide louvers similar to the louvers on model A ford hoods (and my roof). A local fab shop has agreed to let me use their 12' 250 ton electric/hydraulic press brake (for a fee) to press 1 louver per inch all the way down the center of a 5' wide sheet of 18 gauge steel that will ultimately be the skin for my tonneau cover frame.

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    Duke55

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    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:37 am

    Got the front and rear tie downs completed, I think they are going to work pretty good. I decided to attach the license plates with quick remove thumb screws instead of spring hinged brackets for a cleaner look.



    The rear tie down mount was made similar to a bolt up receiver hitch. I bored a 1" hole all the way through the 2" square tubing then welded in a section of 1" DOM tubing I threaded with 3/4-16 threads.



    Rear tie down completed



    Front tie down mount was made by fitting and welding a piece of 2" angle to the front cross member, boring a 1" hole through the angle and the cross member and welding the DOM tubing and gussets in place.



    Front tie down completed



    Front tie down with eye bolt

    Now for the real post. I started playing around with the stacks and what design to cut on the end of them. After much debate, I decided its only metal work if I don't like them so, I cut up one side of the bed to see how they would look.









    Overall, I like the stack but I did not blow me away like I was hoping. I think I am going to stare at it for at least another day before I decide to undo it or do the other side. For some reason this mod has been the hardest for me to image when the truck is painted and the stacks are chromed.

    I thinks the stacks are already starting to grow on me just from writing this post and looking at the pictures.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. I know stacks aren't for everybody, but this truck had them on it when my dad drove it in high school and they fit the theme so I thought I would give them an honest try.
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    58 ford

    Posts : 81
    Join date : 2009-06-21
    Age : 53
    Location : canada

    STACKS

    Post  58 ford on Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:45 am

    Hey Duke

    Man has this build come along since i first posted!!!!!
    I realy like the stack,The only thing i wondered about are they going to be high enough off the bed rail as too not do damage to your paint. Can you go a little bit higher without taking away the look you are after??
    Andrew


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    Darkside Dave
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    Join date : 2009-04-21
    Age : 72
    Location : Marietta, Ohio

    What to say ???

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:07 am


    Man,,, What can I say??? You have become both an inspiration and an embarrassment to me. First off, I am impressed and inspired by you work. there is no doubt that you have an extraordinary talent as well as a gift for design. Add to that the ability to do and make use of 3D CAD. Some of the most talented fabricators and customizers I know can't use a computer for much more than surfing the web and doing e-mail.

    Then there is the embarrassment part... I am embarrassed because of my comparative lack of progress on my projects. I watch the progress that others make and have to wonder why it is that my projects seem to be plagued with never ending bouts of delay and indecision. I have to wonder if it is a case of my procrastination regarding what I need to do next or if it's just a matter of too many irons in the fire.

    No matter what my feelings are, the fact remains that I am so glad that you have chosen to post you build thread here on the Darkside. It is having folks like you that will make this board a success. Unfortunately I'm a poor excuse for a PR and marketing guy. So, the only way this board is ever going to be a success is with more people like you showing their work here. I thank you for your continued contribution.

    Later Man...



    Darkside Dave
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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:32 pm

    58 ford wrote:Hey Duke

    Man has this build come along since i first posted!!!!!
    I realy like the stack,The only thing i wondered about are they going to be high enough off the bed rail as too not do damage to your paint. Can you go a little bit higher without taking away the look you are after??
    Andrew

    I am actually least concerned about the bed caps. The tube is only 1/2" away from the bed side! I have been contemplating several different solutions to keep paint on the truck:
    1- Ceramic coat the stacks inside and out to keep the heat in.
    2- Create a venturi where the stack meets up with the exhaust under the truck to suck in cooling air (similar to what Ford and GM did to "cheat" the tail pipe temp laws on the late model Powerstroke and Duramax).
    3- Put an exhaust dump valve inline so I can dump muffled exhaust down just in front of the rear axle when driving long distances, then run straight exhaust out the stacks when at car shows and rod runs.

    I will likely end up doing some or all of the items listed above.
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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:55 pm

    And now there are two! I guess I just needed to sleep on it. After I woke up I decided it was the right look for the truck and did the other side. I also bent up a piece of 1/8" tread brite aluminum to bridge the hole in the floor of the bed and cut some filler pieces for the sides. Once these are welded in they should look pretty good and also stiffen the floor up a bit.









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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Cooling Stacks and Shifter Cover

    Post  Duke55 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:00 am

    I thought more about how to cool the stacks so they do not burn the paint and I came up with something I didn't think existed...a reason to put a smog pump back on a motor. I think it could work. Too bad I already through the factory one away and put on a delete kit.

    I quickly modeled a shifter cover that I am going to have the local weld shop cut on their NC plasma table.


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    Duke55

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    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Completed shifter cover

    Post  Duke55 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:08 am

    Well not much to show for the last 2 weeks because I spent the last 2 Saturdays machining the louver die components. Hopefully, I will have all components machined by next weekend. I got the shifter cover from the weld shop and their NC plasma didn't cut aluminum nearly as good as I was hoping. After a bunch sanding and a little polishing, it looks pretty good.

    As received


    After sanding and polishing







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    scrapheap51

    Posts : 15
    Join date : 2011-02-21
    Location : Salem, Oregon

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  scrapheap51 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:02 am

    Hi duke,
    It been a while since I been here (Shame on me) but I have no real good excuse. But man what a beautiful truck it turning out to be. I like the stacks you did and the shifter plate is just awsome! I plan to start on my truck this spring(Havent touched it since last summer, shame on me again) when work slows down...(I hope) I will check in more often now! Thanks for all the great pics! VERY COOL TRUCK!!
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    HarleyGyrene

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2012-02-16
    Location : Western Nebraska

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  HarleyGyrene on Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:51 pm

    Newbie to the forum, but gotta say, that is one SWEET piece of machinery !!
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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Louver die update and new toys

    Post  Duke55 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:32 pm

    I got another day of machining in last weekend and didn't get as far as I hoped (this lack of progress is killing me). I have been using a friends mill when available (about one day a weekend) for the machining of the louver die, so it has been taking forever.

    But that is about to change. Last week I stumbled across a small prototype company going out of business and I picked up a series 1 Bridgeport mill with power x-feed and DRO, some misc mill tooling, machinist tool boxes, a 12 ton OTC hydraulic press and a Ramco 8.5x13 horizontal/vertical band-saw. All for a crazy good deal. So I spent last weekend building shelving and re-organizing the garage to fit all the new toys. The phase converter should be here in a day or two then I will be in business.

    I will try to get some pictures posted of the louver dies this weekend if they are finished or not.

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    jclars

    Posts : 15
    Join date : 2011-11-20
    Location : Lynden, WA

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  jclars on Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:30 pm

    You are truly an artist! The next to last truck picture above just seems so balanced. Nice work! Great learning experience at this end and refreshing to see outside the box thinking and creating.

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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Louver die update

    Post  Duke55 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:54 am

    Getting the mill up and running took a little longer than I thought, but I am in business now. Tonight I milled the louver profile into the female side of the die. All that is left is to drill and tap 4 holes into each the male and female nests to jam the cutters in place. In the below pictures you can see the female nest with the louver profile, the female cutter blade and the male nest. The male cutter profile is being cut on an NC mill. Once the male cutter is completed both cutters will be sent in for heat treat. After heat treat its time to see if I am a good louver die designer or not.

    Female nest with louver profile and slot to accept female cutter




    Female nest, female cutter and male nest


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    Darkside Dave
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    Location : Marietta, Ohio

    Nice work...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:28 am


    Hi Duke,
    I was admiring your work and also trying to figure out a few things from the pictures you posted. I couldn't see a lot of your mill so I couldn't figure out what make it was. I also was looking at your coolant system and I was curious about it. I have an older Bridgeport I bought surplus and reconditioned as well as added a DRO. It is in a video I posted on my First 53 build thread on this forum. I do have one question. You said the male portion of your die was being done on n NC mill. I assume that is the same as a a CNC mill. I can understand why it would be done that way due to the contours needed. It would seem it would almost have to be done on a five axis machine.. At anyt rate, it's great work. I would also be interested in seeing the rig these dies work in.

    Later Man...


    Darkside Dave

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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:10 am

    The mill is a 1987 Bridgeport series I with variable speed head, Bridgeport port x feed and DRO. It came with the swivel vise, Kennedy tool boxes and some misc tooling. I picked it up from a small defense proto-type company that was going out of business. The cooling system is a "kool mist" that can be purchased from places like Enco. I made a bracket to mount the reservoir to the side of the mill and took the adjustable arm off an old magnetic base dial indicator stand to attach the mist head. NC is the same as CNC. The shop that is doing the male cutter does have a 5 axis mill and numerous other mills however, it could be cut on a 3 axis with a ball endmill. I purchase a 1/2" corner rounding endmill to try doing it myself but it had more chatter then I liked when I tried using it. I think it would work fine on aluminum or even mild steel but the annealed tool steel did not like it.

    Here are a couple of overall shots of the mill.



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    Darkside Dave
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    Nice set up...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:33 am


    Hi Duke,
    That is a pretty nice set up. Your Bridgeport is a lot newer than mine and it was probably in better shape when you got it. Mine needed a lot of TLC when I got it. You can see mine in the Shops and Tools section on this board. See: http://darksidersrealm.forumotion.com/t28-the-little-shop-of-horrors for a picture of the mill. I believe mine is from around 1975 as I recall. I did research the serial number but I have forgotten what year exactly. I did notice that your DRO is way bigger than mine. When you look at the picture you will see and old South Bend lathe in the background. I had just acquired that thing when this picture was taken. It is an antique, circa 1916 according to the serial number. I have since rebuilt and up graded it for my purposes. It has a six foot bed and a 15 inch swing. I have another smaller and newer Sebastien 48" X 12". None of my stuff is up to the tasks of today's machining and tolerance requirements but I am not a real trained machinist anyway so we sort of get along well together. My mill does not have the variable speed drive but I do have a variable frequency drive that works well on the three phase motor on the mill. I design and build rotary phase converters for people who buy used three phase equipment and then later discover they can't run the stuff from their single phase electrical services.

    It looks like you have a pretty nice shop set up there. You ought to feature it in a thread in the Shops and Equipment categories.

    Later Man...



    Darkside Dave

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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Running board mounts and louver die jamb nuts

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:26 am

    Not much to show for a full days work, but I guess that's the way it goes. I final made the mounts to attach the running boards to the frame. Since the frame brackets only allowed for adjustment in and out, I needed to come up with a way to get adjustment front to back. So this is what I did.

    Welded a nut over a through hole in a piece of 1/8x1" strap then machined a couple of slots in a piece of 1/4x2.5" strap to allow the strap and nut to slide freely.




    Slotted the underside of the running board tubing and cut an access hole in the side to install the mount.


    Drilled and tapped both louver dies for the cutter jamb bolts. Female die has cutter installed.
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    Duke55

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    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:06 pm

    Nothing new to show here but I had the doors open on the garage and thought I would take a couple of pictures. This is my favorite view of the truck hands down.







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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
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    Location : Utah

    Stack Clamps

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:41 pm

    After not being able to find exhaust clamps that fit 3.5" tubing, I ordered a rotary table then built my own (man I wish I would have gotten this mill a long time ago). I made this first one start to finish as a learning piece. Then I hammered out four more that are ready for drilling and tapping then sanding and polishing.











    Sectioned in two prior to sanding and polishing.


    After sanding and polishing.






    Also, the male cutter piece to my louver die has finally been machined. I will pick it up tomorrow and hopefully get both cutters in for heat treat this week.
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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: Chopped 55 F100

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:57 am


    Nice Work...

    First I have a question. Do you get your polished aluminum pieces anodized tom prevent later oxidizing? If so where do you get it done???

    Yep, the rotary table is a great addition to a mill. I bought one at a surplus equipment place about four years ago that weighs about 75 pounds and is a bear to handle but for $75.00 bucks it was well worth it. I have considered rigging up some kind of power feed on it to make the rotation run at a constant speed. I need to find an angle vice for the mill next.

    Later Man...



    Darkside Dave
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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Male louver cutter

    Post  Duke55 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:09 pm

    As far as coating polished aluminum in the past I have used regular automotive clear and Eastwood's aluminum wheel clear. I have heard clear powder coating holds up real well and can withstand more heat then regular clear. Before I top coat the stack clamps with anything I am going to start the motor and see how hot they get.

    I got the male cutter for the louver die and it looks pretty dang good (amazing how a little piece of metal can get me exited). I am taking the cutters in for heat treat tomorrow and they said it will only be 1-2 days. Hopefully, I will get the sheet metal ordered tomorrow also so I can get it marked out and ready for pressing ASAP.

    The idea of pressing louvers on the tonneau cover has been floating around in my head for over 9 yrs (when I first drew up the bed design with louvers for my dad while I was slacking off in one of my college classes). I don't think my dad ever really thought we would pull them (or the bed) off. One of the first things he said was no way, I want to get this thing done and drive it some day (so I bought all the metal for the bed for his birthday and this is when the project really took off). So needless to say I HOPE LIKE HELL THIS WORKS.









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    Duke55

    Posts : 36
    Join date : 2011-05-03
    Age : 37
    Location : Utah

    Punched louvers!

    Post  Duke55 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:52 pm

    Well after a couple hours of set up and a bunch of trial and error, it works. The dies punch louvers out flawlessly. Now if only the operators could do the same. We got through the first ~65 louvers no problem then finished the last 20 louvers not knowing we had a problem until we got closer to the end of the sheet. In the last 20 louvers the sheet started drifting so the louvers were not running parallel with the edge of the sheet (off about ~.006" per louver). You couldn't see a problem with the naked eye but once a louver was punched close to the square end of the sheet you could tell it was a little over 1/8" off. Obviously it gets hard to control a sheet that has less than 1' sticking out of the front and about 7' floating around in the back of the tool

    Here are some pictures early on in pressing. The 1st on you can see the 200 ton 12' press brake.







    Can kind of see the louvers from the bottom side.



    I planned to take a picture of the completed 85 louver sheet to post (because it looked amazing even if it was not perfect), however, when the owner of the shop found out that I was not going to use the sheet for my project, he asked if he could have it and he would not charge me for the half day of work we spent making it (so I gave it to him prior to taking a picture).

    Hopefully next weekend I will get to try again but this time I plan to not be so careless and hopefully it will come out flawless.

    Regardless, I feel good about how the dies performed and had a good time.

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