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Yoeddynz's 1985 Hino housetruck. Delivered to its new home - here's the last post on this thread. I'd better find another truck to build on.


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EDIT: for some reason, only known to the Photobucket photo storage and organisation squirrels, a lot of the following photos are completely in the wrong place!


Then Imageshack started charging for their service and have removed all the links to the thousands of photos I and many others had loaded up if we decided not to pay and go find another photo host :-) I will have to go through the lot and sort it out. It will take some time though...


Those PB squirrels will miss out on nuts and berries for their mistakes.

For now you will have to do a little working out what goes where. Sorry. Anyway. Please read on and enjoy....

Discussion thread on housetruck build can be found here....

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The beginning....

Well as this Hino is 1985 and I think pretty classic looking now-a-days. I'd have posted it on a housetruck forum but there doesnt seem to be one. Anyway its a vehicle build on an an old truck that I just thought might be of interest to you guys. I'm gonna start a discussion thread as I am really hoping you guys might spot faults, alternative methods and give me some ideas.

So I sat my truck license last week and now this is the view from bedroom window....


I was living in various vans and our truck the whole ten years i was in england so now its just the way for hannah and I - until we buy some land. This housetruck build will be our biggest yet and we intend to use a lot of ideas we have thought up over last few years plus ones nicked from others (finest form of flattery eh)

Its gonna have 2 push outs and 2 separate main rooms on bottom level of which one will be a workshop. This I have always wanted! We will have a big bedroom over the cab. Over the back will be a entertainment dvd watching, book reading room.


The deck is 6 meters long. wheelbase is 5 meters so we can go back 3.5 meters from back axle. We are going to stop at one meter back from deck otherwise the rear swing will be excessive.

I found it on buy sell swap nelson. Its really solid and has had the engine reconditioned at cost of $10,000 in 2000. Its rare to get a long wheelbase and rarer to get such a rust free Hino.
After we mucked about dealing with the old sod selling it who insisted we went with him to AA in Richmond to change ownership we went to a timber yard called Plankville and bought a load of amazing varieties of wood slithers to clad it in. We are going for a proper old rustic Oregan housetruck look on this one. No plastic, no ply, no metal.


Drives well (not that i can compare it to much...) and was quick on trip back to blenheim- faster than the hiace up the hills. That'll change...

I could only just turn it about in our front yard. Mums on holiday and hasn't seen it yet- shes gonna hit the roof! //oldschool.co.nz/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/biggrin.png


Yesterday we stripped the cab out and took off outside panels to expose what little rust there is.
Its all superficial stuff and we'll clean it up.


Our container of goodies arrives in Lyttelton next week so we'll have my whole workshop full of tools from England here with welder etc. The spray gun will be out and the cab will get a coat of something pastel and old looking. Anything but white!

Heres the length shot.....


glorious 6.2 litre engine..hmmmmm


back to work....

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here's some photos of the one we built in 2006. Cost $7000 to buy truck and build then used it while we were here then sold it for $12,000. It was a good learning experience. Really cosy wee truck that was actually quite cheap to kick about in. Was very light and airy to be in.










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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much work on truck in last two weeks as we have been busy getting all our stuff from the our container up to blenheim and sorted out. Shed and tools are all sorted and shadow board is stocked so its time to crack on with it. Although the money pile for the build has dwindled!

Today I had to reassemble the cab lights and put a seat in so I could go and pick up all the steel.

The pile doesn't look very big but it should be enough to get the box all built.


Later I'm off to find some Co2 for the mig then I'll start fixing the rust holes in the cab. Its COF time soon and I want the truck to look nice and pretty for the VTNZ boys.

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Today after spending the morning building some bikes at my local bike shop (yawn- but its money and part time work is all I want right now) I finally got stuck back into the truck.

I picked up some free steel from my old work- Cuddons eng- and connected our newly filled co2 bottle up. And of course then the bloody Nor wester picked up! Great- so here I am making little shelters out of old bike boxes and cursing away.

But I love welding! Barefoot, tee shirt, shorts, typically stinking hot Blenheim day.I had the stereo cranked up to abusive levels. Heaven. Sitting at my liitle bench welding up the front wind deflectors with hot sparks landing on my feet but not wanting to move and disrupt my weld. Horrid as it sounds there is something nice about it. Its better than welding in boots and lump of hot slag somehow getting into my boot past my overalls and melting my socks to my feet... been there and hate that!




Anyway- I have almost finished all the welding to the cab- most annoying aspect of the afternoon being the bloody wind!

A few bits more to weld and then some skims of filler and make it all smooth for paint. We are thinking french blue like my first ever car- my old Triumph 2500. Should go nicely with the wood and look like a period old colour too. Bet ya the wind will be about for the painting!

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Finished all the welding on cab yesterday. Its all solid with no rust now :D

Today I cut out the rust that was making up the lower 1/4 of the wing mirrors. Then replaced it with new steel- quite a tricky job as compound curves but its turned out neater than I expected so i'm happy. I had to use my special 'vice and hammer bending machine'...

Now just a lick of paint needed and they'll be all sparkly.


Talking of paint- we did a run around the shops today looking for cheap paint to do deck and framework with- eventually we got $140 worth of enamel for $29 from Resene as it was a 'wrong tint special'. Expecting some horrid colour it turns out to be a dark British racing green colour- score! Anyway it doesnt really matter as it wont be visible but still a nice price. We also got red oxide primer reduced by $30 at mitre 10. So we are now sorted with the paint for way less than expecting which is always good.

I have got another days work at bike shop tomorrow so will now hopefully start steel frame work on Saturday....

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After doing a mornings work my knee which I had sliced open mountain biking last weekend started to swell and give me grief so I took off home. A coupla hours rest and then we started building the frame work. Painting the cab will wait until welding and grinding is done.

We managed to get one of the hardest parts done- the front over hang.

First off I levelled the truck out so our pet captive bubble would do its trick properly.

Then scratching heads we finally worked out the height of the first uprights. We want the cab to swing through so we keep engine access. after lots of balancing tricks with bits of steel we worked it out.

The little welder I brought over from UK that had done the marathon job on my RX3 works even better when its running off mains!!! very good penetration and clean easy welds- until the wind picks up. I had Hannah following me around with a sheet of cardboard to block the wind.


The forward facing 75 x 40 x 3 Rhs is bloody heavy but will do the job nicely. Its handy to have a big steel deck to build framework on before we hoisted it up.


Finally the framework was up and the bedroom area is huge!The cab swings through a treat too so very happy.


Tomorrow I will put extra bracing on where needed and continue on with front framework. Now to let knee rest.

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Mig wire ran out on sat night!!! so I put in an old mini spool of wire and then CO2 ran out :rolleyes:

Not to be...

So Sunday we spent cutting steel ready for monday and doing some more sanding on cab.

Monday morning- new 5kg rool of wire and top up CO2- this time at a different place which costs 1/3 the price of hunting and fishing!!! :D

Back home and typical- the wind has picked up badly. Even with Hannah holding up cardboard sheets and being really careful its just too windy to weld- whenever I laid a weld down the wind would blow away the Co2 gas shroud and the weld would go porous.We only managed to get a few more sections up in place. Every bit added is making it stiffer and stronger. But the wind was just too much.

Bugger! Really pissed off as I just want to get this frame work up and crack on with it!

So after much being pissed off, kicking inanimate objects and shouting at the dog I chilled out. Hannah continued preping the cab and I removed the rusty as fuck air cleaner base. This job has to be done otherwise the airfilter will continue getting clogged with road dust.


I chopped off the bottom leaving the still intact lip. Then cut some strips of steel and tacked them round circumference. Then welded right round and added a base. Very thin steel tested the MIG but it did OK. I did it in section alternating from one side to the other so it would end up warping.



Hopefully the wind will die down overnight (its blowing a gale right now) - if it doesn't I'll be pissed off!

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Good progress last few days. Painting of the frame has started. Only on the front as that is what has been built. we had to get more steel- i made a bit of a balls up when adding up my list of steel needed and got it wrong. I thought the pile looked a little small...

The front end is pretty much all done including the framework for the bedroom floor.

Bedroom floor- to be hinged at rear so cab will tilt through...


The front has some shape to it which will help it avoid being too much like a wall being pushed through the wind. Which it still is...


Occupational Health and Safety would have field day if they turned up and saw my monkey antics. I have a lot of weld burns now- plus a general all over tan. The Marlborough Sun has been ruthless this summer! Too hot around lunchtime- the deck is like a big frypan.



The painting lady with hair now stuck together..


We will start working back now and it should hopefully go quickly as the rear is loads simpler. No need for careful bracing as there is minimal overhang out back.

Our biggest problem right now is trying to decide on the final design for the back. We have to allow for 4 bikes and we want a veranda. We need to allow for a door but also want to try and keep room for an upstairs chillout/reading room. So a rear door or possibly chop the deck out in one section and have a dropped down side door behind the rear wheel.

The rear will go out 1 meter from the deck and drop about half a meter.. maybe. Higher up it will extend a further 1/2 meter.

But I need to drive the truck out of driveway when the road is quiet too check what clearance there will be as the back wheel drop into gutter as it would be a bit of a shame if we built truck only to discover it doesn't like gutters!

So a few days thinking before we finalise design- which will definitely change anyway..

We also need to decide on the roof material. Going to Nelson this weekend to get some rafter wood from Plankville- hopefully something nice like some sort of hardwood. Will see what it costs.

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Started on the back section today and have worked out a solution to the rear door area. Just got last welds finished as it was getting dark and a spot of rain hit my hand. Out with zinc spray and covered last few welds still bare. Hannah had finished painting all the front frame luckily. by time had recovered the wood with tarps it was pissing down and still is! Hope its fine tomorrow though Blenheim desperately needs some rain. I hope Kaitaia gets some eh....

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When the rain stopped just before we did this....


At 500 mm drop for the varanda 1metre out we have 245 mm clearance. cool. So we might go up another 50mm for 'just in case' moments but otherwise its all good.

A note... on our road people race up it and boy it was funny seeing cars coming racing around to find me and hannah in the middle of the road with a truck taking photos measuring things. he he. some of these people need to chill out and take some slow pills.

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sunday monday we were in Nelson. looked at land up Motueka valley- amazing area! just right. but alas no money for that right now....

On way back through we stopped off at Plankville to get some rafter material. Brent at Plankville suggested cuts from a Macrocarpa trunk. So he fired up the mill and we ended up with some delicious cuts- really nice wavey edge and amazing grain patterns. We also got Redwood for bedroom rafters.

The mill is a cool machine to watch!



Back to steel work..


and its not raining! :D

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In chch now sourcing more windows and wood. But before leaving blenheim we moved truck back to get some photos of it after a good last few days building.

Its almost all done framework wise. Some steps to build and some extra bracing to go in here and there.

So last night we worked till it was too dark to see. I had a wasp climb down my sleeve on my hoody while I was upside down welding the varanda- I felt something crawling on my arm and thought 'i hope its not that waspfrom earlier' and then it started to sting me! Hannah has never seen me move so quick as I shot out and removed my tops!

Hannah managed to get paint on while welds were still warm as it began to rain- and rain it did hard but we are happy as the wood work will begin soon!



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the steel frame work is pretty much done now. we still have to build the pop out frames though but all the climbing up ladders to weld is over. Now it will be climbing up ladders to drill, then glue, then screw, then varnish etc etc

I have made the veranda bar in the corner removable so we can find a nice piece of drift wood in the future and replace the ugly bit of metal. Its just bolted in for now.




Hannah has started painting the top coat on the frame- with our cheap bargain paint. It looks too nice to cover up now.


We have started to get the ply for the roof and some floors- $600 worth! Ouch its expensive stuff, plus more steel for the pop outs and polystyrene. Thats expensive too. Its all really expensive but oh well-we are building a house for many years of living eh!

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amongst other jobs today I made some steps. My uncle in chch gave me a slab of imported Oregon left over from a building job- i think it was a big rafter.

Nice to be finally doing some woodwork- and I now get to play with other tools.

I got to test our new 'secondhand' thicknesser...


Which is a wicked machine- boy oh boy are we going to keep the neighbours happy with this one.

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First bit of wood on truck....woo hoo!


Also yesterday we started getting the first lot of rafters up. They are sequoia or redwood. Lovely patterns on them. Its been tricky putting them up as its a bit tall up there plus we are waiting till our source of cheap(er) ply arrives on tuesday so we can get the floor in place over the cab. Till then its a balancing act around the frame work.

heres the first lot of rafters up...


Today we finished the front rafters and managed to get the front roof sections in place which took a while as they are funny shaped little sections.

I wanted to get the ply to line up perfect so I can later seal the joins well and have a smooth join for our magic roof coating to be added later.


Now that these bits are done tomorrow we start heading back with big sheets easily. Then hopefully start on rear rafters... plus allow some time for a spot of mountain biking in Marlborough sounds.... :D

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Big day today!!! we have finished the first section of roof. And its the harder one to do. Very very windy and quite tricky- the tar paper kept getting blown about and ripped etc. But just as it started to rain we had the last section up. luckily for us (but not the farmers) it stopped raining and the Blenheim sun came out again :D

I'm quite happy now because this section is up high and had awkward shapes at the front to cut and place. Not rocket science but just tricky. Plus we decided to fit a couple of skylights in the roof- one over the bed end so we can look up at the stars 8) So we started using some of the rimu bits and pieces we've been collecting- the thicknesser really coming in handy for this! Rimu being used because it'll be visible so its got to look pretty.



me checking out the view...


We also picked up 10 sheets of 12mm ply tonight which means tomorrow we can start putting some floors down in bedroom and spare room plus finish the veranda. With a floor down in the spare room over the back we'll be able to easily put the rafters and roof up there.

On a roll - well for now...

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We were putting some Macrocarpa wood rafters we had made through the thicknesser this afternoon and it was coming up lovely when something went 'pop'. The thicknesser stopped 'thicknessing'... and I thought oh dear! We have broken our new toy. Someone had warned us previously not to do big cuts but it was only about a 1mm cut!

I stripped it down straight away and found a chain that drives one of the rollers had popped a link apart.

It must have done it before because I found another link that had a little cross scribed onto it by the previous owner.

I rejoined it and peened over the ends of the pin and its all good now. I cant wait to continue thicknessing...

I would put up some photos I took but alas my photobucket account is overloaded- I'm not surprised. 2 days time I'll post them up when account is back to normal.

Till then you will just have to picture a chain broken and some wood etc.... :)

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Well its been a busy few days. Last week on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday we managed to finish putting up all the roofing. The main centre roof rafters are rough edge cuts from Macrocarpa (Cypress) and smell lovely when cut. Sort of peppery.



They look great up- all wobbly and rustic. Its really nice to have the roof all done. The main roof is 12mm ply so fine to walk on. There's still things to do- it needs the Aqua tread coating painted on plus I need to put the perspex covers on the skylights. Just a relief to have it up- now if it rains we have cover. Unless it rains sideways.

I have not actually taken any photos of the roof finished- will put some up soon.

The weekend was all mountain biking in the Richmond ranges- involving a 1200m climb and then drop down to lake Chalice hut and then whisky. What welcome break it was.

Here's my bike and here's the lake...



Back to the truck monday morning. We sanded the cab down all over, filled most dents and prepped for paint- as always this took longer than expected.

sanding in the sun....


Yesterday it was painting time. we brush painted the door edges, jams. Then I got out the Earlex LPHV spray gun I used on the rx3. still amazes me how ell and easy it works.


Today we spent time cleaning all the door/window seals of white overspray from when it was painted by previous owner. This took ages but was worth it- helped by a lovely hot sunny day- as usual for Blenheim :D


Hannah repainted the Hino badge and it came up wicked! very shiny...


I want some old school hino badges for the door.

When we started painting the colour initially seemed too bright but I think its the effect of fresh new paint over manky white. As we covered the truck it started to seem right. Now all the bits are back on it looks great- almost too posh for a house truck. I painted the door tops black and the light surrounds gunmetal grey- it looks smart. I think the colour will go really well with the natural wood cladding.



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we wanted to turn truck around this morning but its now too big to move about on the yard. Unless I could chop down one of the apricot tress....

And there are always cars parked outside on road during the day so I wont have enough room to swing it out onto road! So that's our mission tonight when cars are gone.

I took some photos while it was out to capture the roof.


the full roof





The main rafters..



now we are going to get out all the windows we have bought and work out where they will go plus see if we need more. Then I'll hopefully start building the slideout frames this arvo.

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