Don & Gretchen Haynes FC-170 DRW
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Big Red started life as a ‘forest service green’ truck as it was originally delivered to the US Forest Service in New Mexico. After it served there the truck was auctioned to a buyer in Arizona who decided the government issued green had to go and repainted it the reddish-orange color with a funky white stripe. I believe the stock rack and PTO winch were original, either from the factory or dealer installed on the new truck when delivered to the original purchaser. The third owner was the fellow that sold me the truck and he told me what little I know of its history. He was an outfitter in Silverton, Colorado and used the truck extensively in his business. He would set up hunting camp in the mountains for out-of-state hunters during elk/dear season and used this truck to haul horses and other live stock to camp in the mountains. Apparently it was used pretty hard during its prior lifetime as it was pretty worn out when we did finally purchase it. We live in Grand Junction, Colorado and heard through a friend about an auction coming up on Saturday that had an FC Jeep listed for sale. It was a Saturday afternoon that also happened to be my wife’s birthday and we were looking for a nice day trip in the mountains. We were not really looking for another truck but the poor thing looked so cute but tired that we fell for it and decided to bid on it. Curiously, we won the bid and ended up dragging it home, where it sat behind our auto repair shop for 12 years, until the bug to ‘fix it up’ hit us.

We removed the engine and transmission, dropping the assemblies out through the bottom, No easy feat! The engine took a while to rebuild as it was a ‘filler’ project for the shop. Finally it was time to reassemble the truck. It almost took an act of Congress to drop it out the bottom; I thought it was going to take an act of GOD to levitate the whole assembly back up, so we decided to remove the cab to make installation easier. With the cab absent, removing the bed as well seemed like a logical next step. The bare frame looked a bit dismal so we rolled it outside to steam clean. That made for a clean but still not very attractive frame to put the nicely re-done engine on. So we bought a small sand blaster for the shop and never looked back. Starting with the frame, every part of this truck was sand blasted to bare metal and repainted, powder coated, or re-chromed as needed.

The cab was sand blasted to bare metal before it was sent to the body shop for straightening and refinishing. The stock rack was also sand blasted to bare metal and refinished. The frame was taken to bare metal, primed and painted before the engine was returned. The engine was rebuilt and repainted. Next we replaced all the internal parts in the original T-90 three speed transmission and installed all new seals. The original model 18 transfer case was opened and inspected with new seals and bearings as needed. Both were painted with a ‘cast iron’ paint finish.

The power take off case (PTO) was resealed and painted to match its aluminum case. The original PTO winch mounted on the front bumper was repaired with parts from a donor winch from a different project. We fabricated the mounts and installed the fairlead roller.

The original Dana 44 front axle and Dana 70 rear axle were serviced and inspected with new seals and bearings replaced as needed. Both ring and pinion gear sets were still in very good condition and were reused. Brake drums were resurfaced and new brake shoes installed. New wheel cylinders and brake hardware completed the axle repairs. We replaced all the steel brake lines and rubber brake hoses.

The original split rim wheels were sand blasted and powder coated with new tires, tubes, and rim liners installed and balanced. All tie rods and drag link were also replaced for original steering. The drive shafts for front axle, rear axle, and PTO all received new u joints and fresh paint.

When the frame was prepped and rolling on its axles again, we assembled the power train. The flywheel was resurfaced and a fresh clutch and pressure plate bolted on. The engine was then mated to the transmission and transfer case with the PTO case bolted on to the back of the transfer case. This rather large assembly was then positioned onto the frame with new mounts.

The next step was to hot wire the engine and start. It was better to find any issues now, before the cab was replaced, burying the engine from view. Fortunately the engine started fine and with some minor adjustments ran pretty well.

While waiting for the cab to return from the body shop, we got to work on the bed and stock rack. Using the original beams as a pattern, we reproduced both the large 4x6 frame members and the 4x4 cross pieces to attach the bed to the frame and for a place to mount the floor decking. We fabricated new mounts for the dual fuel tanks that had been cleaned, tested and resealed.

When the cab was returned and mounted on the frame, reassembly began. A new wiring harness was installed with new speedometer head/gauge cluster. The missing vacuum wiper motor was replaced with a replacement that was engineered to fit exactly and offered electric reliability with two speeds. A new brake master cylinder was installed and filled/bled to complete the brake system. The panels in the interior were assembled using all new stainless steel screws.

All of the glass was replaced along with all new rubber to mount the glass. Both door window regulators were cleaned and lubed, as well as the door latch assemblies. New weather stripping was applied to both doors. New door panels were fabricated, upholstered, and installed. The seats were stripped to bare frames. The frames were then sand blasted, repaired, and painted. New upholstery was installed on the seat frames. A new head liner was fabricated and installed.

The wood on the sides and floor of the bed was all rough cut wood we custom cut and finished in house. Ponderosa pine from a local sawmill was finished with honey oak stain and multiple coats of spar urethane finish. Custom steel straps were fabricated, drilled, and powder coated. The loading ramp was stripped and the metal was conditioned with POR 15 rust treatment. The wood was replaced and finished like the sides and decking.

All headlight rings, turn signal bezels, and interior door and window handles were re-chromed. Original FC – 170 emblems were re-chromed and hand painted to factory condition. Original style mirrors were installed. Careful attention to detail has been observed to recreate a visually pleasing, yet fully functional restoration of this rare American classic.

This vehicle sold at auction for $32,500