The cab has no real cross bracing at this point. No gussets either. It will have them though. I need to fit the motor in place to see exactly where to put them.
The roof and two-piece floor are both 1/8 thick plates and will further strengthen the cage. It is more about being able to run this and wash it out with a hose. The roof is because I hate pulling dents out of the roof and expect a few rocks to hit this. The roof plate alone is 90 pounds. It is heavy, but will never leak. When the tires start going towards the sky I will not need to worry about a branch or rock coming through the roof.
I am waiting for my transfer case to be finished. I need it to see how it affects the passenger side. The transfer case is located according to the front axle. So I need to find a 2.5 and make sure everything is dead-on there before placing the transfer case. I have rough estimates and a lot of room to play with. But until I have everything in place I am holding off the floor.
These is tons of I can do to the cage still. Like installing the windshield inner and outer plate, installing the doors, installing all the door tracks, installing the roof bracing.
Right now I am focusing on the 472 and mating it to the 465. I am playing phone tag with this guy from C.A.D. Company. Cad500parts.com
I am getting advice from his years of experience on what parts to use with this engine. The damn flywheel is not cheap. When it comes to the clutch I can use as much advice as I can get. Finding a clutch that will not slip, provide good street feel, and work between 700 and 3000 is becoming a pain.
I made the clutch very easy to replace on this. Still I do not want to resurface the flywheel every 10k because I am constantly frying a low dollar single disk. On the other hand I do not want to install a seven hundred dollar clutch. Only to have it become an on/off clutch. It is really a very important decision so I am taking my time.
The engine to transmission, oil upgrade, intake upgrade, dui upgrade, propane kit, timing set/cover upgrade, water pump upgrade, 6 rib pulleys, and all accessories including hydraulic aid pump and kit. I am looking to toss around $3500 into this beast to get it up to par. Considering I stole the engine and 400 transmission at $350 and the power of the final product I am ok dumping cash into making this already great engine better. Closer to the end I will need to make some tappet cover following headers to gain clearance around the many things I only have roughly placed. Until then I will use the stock (heavy) manifolds to make sure I have enough room.
Update up to this point.
I bought a 2.5 Rockwell manual from Ouverson to learn more about these. This will help me build some light weight mock up axles accurately.
I should have parts to mate the engine to the transmission in the mail here in the next week. Like I said I need to look closer at the clutch. Once I talk with the guy at CAD Company concerning the flywheel a clutch kit will also be in the mail. Everything should be at the house by the end of February which is when I plan on returning. Hopefully, it will be a bit warmer and I can get more done on the cage.