Hey guys, this first post will serve as an outline for the build as a whole, subject to change as needed. Bear with me as this will be a slow and painful (for me) build. The vehicle is in far from great condition and was originally purchased for parts for other CUCVs but was never ripped apart.
First I will be getting it back to running well, then do several mods so it is highway driveable. With the stock tires and drivetrain, top speed is 55mph.. It has a 3 speed TH400 transmission, 4.56 gears and a 6.2 diesel delivering a whopping 135 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque (for now).
The issue with it dying at idle seems to be a fuel delivery issue, so I will be replacing everything between the fuel tank and motor, plus some other preventative maintenance that is long overdue.
New fuel lines
Spin on fuel filter conversion (stock box filter is prone to crack and get air in fuel)
K&N Air Filter
Higher amperage starter relay
Newer style glow plugs with manual override switch, while retaining automatic function
New V belts
Electric fuel pump
So long as the injection pump is still good, that *should* fix the issues with it dying at idle as well as make it much more reliable.
Next will be to do strip out all of the 24V electronics and do a full 12v conversion. The only downside to this is that the starter will be weaker, but it's a good tradeoff for much more reliability, and 24v is basically useless for car audio. This basically consists of removing the dual 24v alternators, removing the DUVAC regulator, removing the resistor box, removing the 24v starter, and adding 12v alternators and a starter.
Some time during the process of the maintenance and 12v conversion, I will be converting the v belt system to a serpentine system, the easiest way to do this would be to find a 6.5L diesel truck at a local junkyard or perhaps buy an entire 6.5L motor and upgrade the motor while I'm at it - although that's pretty unlikely. I'll also be removing the mechanical fuel pump since it won't be used after adding the electric pump. I'm also considering an electric fan to replace the mechanical fan, but am still undecided on that.
After all of that is done, I'll have the truck ready to go... except it still tops out at 55mph and gets terrible MPG at that speed, plus would destroy the motor and transmission over time. The first step will be swapping to 37" military take off tires. Next is the transmission. I haven't decided for sure, but I will either install a gear vendor kit on the TH400, or more likely swap to a built 700r4 or 4L80e. The locking torque converter on the 700r4 or 4L80e will really help with reliability on the highway as well as MPG. If I go with the 4L80e I will have to use a standalone computer which drives the cost up quite a bit. With both of the latter two options I'll probably have to fab up new motor mounts to move the engine about 1" forward to clear them. Also at this point I may add a Banks turbo, but that's something else that is still up in the air. It would definitely be beneficial with the weight and large tires though.
After all of this.... it may finally be ready for the audio build. I haven't decided what to do 100%, but I have a couple of different ideas. Any way it is built, it will be to showcase new products we have planned for the next year or two.
Anyway, on to the pictures.... this is where it gets ugly. I may need to find a better condition ambulance shell, but I just happen to know someone who is very good at body work and may be able to fix it right up. The ambulance shell is currently not on the truck, and will be stripped completely so that it is a huge rectangular box.
Yes, it's rough. Yes, it will probably cost a lot and take a lot of time to get right. But it should be worth it in the end. I've got very little invested in the truck itself, so all the cost will come from the build.
Here are some pictures of what it will start to look like once it's fixed up a little and has the 37s on.