Well, whenever I bought Rusty I started the build thread in the General Sportsmobile section, but at this point it's hardly a Sportsmobile. I guess technically it is, but I have pretty much remodeled it again with lots of mods so I'm going to put it where I think it will be a little more helpful to builders like me. Obviously some folks have found it since it has over 20,000 views, but since it has gone home to it's new owner Slacker I would like to preserve it's memory and build in a place easier for new folks to find it.
So, here goes. In case you're really bored and want to see a neglected SMB brought back from the dead you can read the first half of the saga here:
I'll be posting all the new info and pics on this thread from now on, and perhaps Slacker will carry on the flame. He has a lot of plans for Rusty including some Pan American travel soon.
A little more backstory. Rusty served me and my clan of 4 well over the last few years. I bought it with only 19,000 original miles at 18 years old and quickly racked up about 25,000 more. It has taken us on a few 5,000+ mile trips all the way to Seattle and other points west where we prefer to roam. It was too small from the start though, and at first I figured I would rehab it and flip it. It's turned into 2 rehabs now since Jim wanted it set up a little different than we did. It worked awesome for us but I'm ready for the next project and it's going to be a little bigger probably. The only thing I could compromise on is a daily driver AWD Chevy 1500 (think Accrete) but that's a story for another time. I completely loved virtually all of Jim's ideas for Rusty and it is a much better all around overlanding rig now that I've finished. He will be doing a few more things but the main build is done and it's gone home with him.
So, on with it. Many of you may remember that I had a helluva trip with Rusty last summer. It was running hot, not overheating but way up the temp gauge, on most of my 20 yr. anniversary trip with my wife, and then the fuel pump fooled me into thinking I had a bad coil or ignition. Over the summer and mostly during that trip I replaced everything having to do with the cooling system and was deathly afraid I had a blown head gasket. Several mechanics told me NO WAY, most likely not. Apparently you really have to abuse a 460 to have head gasket trouble. This was good news but the problem wasn't solved yet and had me on pins and needles all through the fall. Well, the fuel pump problem solved itself when it died for good 50 miles from Page AZ last July, ambient temperature about Hell and a half.
AAA towed us to Page and we had an unplanned stay for a few days.
We made it home after and finally, just as Slacker and I were starting to talk earlier this year, I finally diagnosed it as a bad fan clutch. I had replaced the original with a faulty one so it fooled me for a long time. It now has a severe duty one (Hayden) and is cooling properly. I added a nice MaxTow temp gauge to go with the tranny temp I already had on the pillar.
Slacker wanted several things done, including the ability to stealth camp with the top down, so I added a Fantastic Vent for him. You can read about that install here
Since the only original paneling left from SMB was that old off-white laminate stuff in the PH top I recommended redoing it with stained birch to match the walls and cabinets. It turned out to be a good bit more than I bargained for. This turned out to be a good time to go ahead and Raptor Line the roof too and add new lights, more solar and well, everything! Why not just pull the top off and redo it all!
Original ceiling, which had seen better days
Last pic of the finished old interior, and then one of what a glutton for punishment I am.
Just wait........it get's a LOT better!