Two and a half years ago I drug home this '65 Dodge M37 military truck. It was just a shell of a truck, no engine or transmission, broken axles, and tired suspension. None of that mattered as I saw potential for a retro wheeler with a late-model drivetrain. I realized that many of you readers may have that same type of vision, so I proceeded to showcase not just how to build my M37, but how to stuff a new drivetrain into just about any old 4x4. Over the past year we've dropped in an '04 GMC 6.0L V-8 engine, late-model Dodge and Chevy axles, a steering box, shocks, and radiator designed for a Ford, and various other used parts we had lying around. The truck was called the Dumpster for all the used parts we threw in it. Most of the work on the Dumpster was done at Pacific Fabrication, a 4x4 and Hot Rod shop in Morgan Hill, California, that specializes in late-model GM LS-series engine swaps. Pacific can supply you with new or low-mileage used V-8s as well as the wiring needed to make them run in any of your off-road projects, or you can send your truck there and they'll do the work for you. This will be the last major buildup stories on the Dumpster for a while. It's pretty well finished (there's always more that could be done), but I need to mention some loose ends that didn't make the pages before. If you missed any previous stories or just want a recap, just search for "Dumpster" at 4wheeloffroad.com. And if you have your own retro off-roader send us pictures; we're always looking for interesting old iron. In case you missed it before, this is the Dumpster I had drug home a while back. The body was beat, but not too rusty. The drivetrain was missing, and the axles had seen better days. The old warhorse was hobbled, but not dead. It doesn't matter where you start; with good parts you can make anything into an off-roader.In case you missed it before, this is the Dumpster I had drug home a while back. The body Eventually I added a GMC V-8, coilover shocks, three-link with Panhard bar suspension, and late-model 1-ton axles while at Pacific Fabrication. The truck was also rewired and had new plumbing run from stem to stern.Eventually I added a GMC V-8, coilover shocks, three-link with Panhard bar suspension, and To make the late-model run, we needed an electric fuel pump. We found a Chevy Blazer fuel tank with an in-tank pump in the LMC Truck catalog. LMC offers replacement parts for many GM, Ford, and Dodge trucks.To make the late-model run, we needed an electric fuel pump. We found a Chevy Blazer fuel The LMC tank fit like a glove. We used the Blazer tank hangers and some rubber bumpstops to secure the tank in the back of the truck. Just goes to show that good parts can be found in unusual places.The LMC tank fit like a glove. We used the Blazer tank hangers and some rubber bumpstops t Professional Jeep racer and part-time barn-buggy builder Jeff Mello stopped by to see the progress, so I put him to work. He cut a larger hole in the bed and added a cover plate to allow access to the electric fuel pump without dropping the tank if there is ever a problem.Professional Jeep racer and part-time barn-buggy builder Jeff Mello stopped by to see the The stock fuel filler neck was also modified to fill the tank without issue. Eventually I will build a proper skidplate for the tank.The stock fuel filler neck was also modified to fill the tank without issue. Eventually I An old truck like this can often bring problems with sourcing unique body parts. I needed some windshield frames and door hinges and found them at Vintage Power Wagons. VPW has a vast assortment of classic Power Wagon and military Dodge truck parts whether you are restoring or modifying an old dodge. Plus VPW has a Power Wagon roundup every June in Fairfield, Iowa, that eventually I'll take the Dumpster to.An old truck like this can often bring problems with sourcing unique body parts. I needed The geartrain in the Dumpster offers an abundance of shifters, five total. The 6.0L is followed by a Ranger Overdrive from Advance Adapters. This gear splitter adds a 27 percent overdrive for low-rpm highway cruising. It is followed by a rebuilt SM-465 four-speed transmission out of an '89 Chevy truck with a granny First gear.The geartrain in the Dumpster offers an abundance of shifters, five total. The 6.0L is fol The SM-465 is followed by a Stak three-speed transfer case offering 1:1, 3.05:1, or 5.44:1 gearing options. With all these gears available the Dumpster can easily cruise down the highway or creepy-crawl over boulder-strewn trails. Tommy Chilcote of Pacific Fab built a sheetmetal tunnel to cover all the gearboxesThe SM-465 is followed by a Stak three-speed transfer case offering 1:1, 3.05:1, or 5.44:1 I decided to reuse the stock brake and clutch pedals. This was a mistake. After much work adapting them to work a hydraulic clutch and hydroboost brakes, I realized they are not in a comfortable location. Eventually I'll have to swap in some hanging pedals. Luckily the throttle pedal is drive-by-wire and can be easily moved around.I decided to reuse the stock brake and clutch pedals. This was a mistake. After much work Here is the contraption I devised to mount the hydroboost under the floor and have the original pedal activate it. I had to plumb the master cylinder up to an old Army Canteen that was used as the brake reservoir. Though unique, the Dumpster has been plagued with brake issues due to the low master cylinder location.Here is the contraption I devised to mount the hydroboost under the floor and have the ori I also tried my hand at building a cage with the help of the Pacific Fab crew. A proper tube bender, a good notcher, a welder, and a grinder are all you need to make a safe rollcage. Well, along with some tubing and plenty of patience and persistence to get it right.I also tried my hand at building a cage with the help of the Pacific Fab crew. A proper tu The M37 usually has a battery box that mounts under the passenger seat. I removed that box, mounted it in the bed of the truck, and used it to house an air compressor from Extreme Outback Products.The M37 usually has a battery box that mounts under the passenger seat. I removed that box The air compressor feeds a reservoir tank under the bed and runs through air toggle switches from Power Tank to feed the front and rear ARB Air Lockers. The switches and a pressure gauge are mounted in the dash.The air compressor feeds a reservoir tank under the bed and runs through air toggle switch The final step for the Dumpster was exhaust. I took the truck to King Muffler in Morgan Hill, where they sculpted a perfect set of pipes in and around the drivetrain. A Dynomax drone-free VT muffler was used with a single 3-inch exit that offers a quiet growl, perfect for a day on the trail.The final step for the Dumpster was exhaust. I took the truck to King Muffler in Morgan Hi SOURCES Pacific Fabrication 235 Tennant Ave. Unit 2 Morgan Hill CA 95037 408-250-1772 www.pacificfab.net Extreme Outback Products Vacaville CA 866-447-7711 www.extremeoutback.com LMC Truck 15450 W. 108th Street Lenexa KS 66219 800-562-8782 www.lmctruck.com King Muffler 16870 Joleen Way Ste 14 Morgan Hill CA 95037 408-219-4903 ARB 4x4 Products 720 SW 34th Street Renton WA 98057 800-761-8192 http://www.arbusa.com Power Tank 2214 Babson Dr. Elk Grove CA 95758 209-366-2163 www.powertank.com Advance Adapters 4320 Aerotech Center Way Paso Robles CA 93446 800-771-6171 www.advanceadapters.com Stak 4x4 11394 James Watt Dr #703 El Paso TX 79936 915-584-2400 www.stak4x4.com Dynomax Monroe MI 734-384-7806 www.dynomax.com Vintage Power Wagons 302 South 7th Street Fairfield IA 52556 888-695-0578 www.vintagepowerwagons.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? 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