Alright, so I got the exhaust in, electrical routed, front driveshaft in, and trans crossmember in…
And then trouble.
The tail flange on the new transmission had a bad pattern than my old transmission, and therefore my drive shaft. First I confirmed that I couldn’t just swap flanges on the driveshaft, they use different u-joints.
So swapping flanges it is. I used a punch and mallet to pound the indent on the nut back out, then tried to use an impact to back the nut off.
My little Cordless impact wasn’t up to the job, plus I didn’t have a 36mm socket, so I borrowed a big 3/4" drive impact from one friend and a 36mm socket from another.
It got the nut off the old trans already out on the ground no problem, but it wouldn’t budge the new trans. 500ftlbs reversing torque wasn’t enough apparently.
So I borrowed another impact, with 1200 ftlbs reversing torque, but only a 1/2" drive. I ordered a 36mm 1/2" drive socket, and this afternoon finally got it out.
Putting the right one on was a trivial job and it’s all good now. Drive shafts are in now. Need to fill the trans and tcase, but other than that the job is done under the truck.
But wait theres more!
I’ve always disliked the plastic factory fender flares. On the 94/95 trucks it was just sheet metal and looked great, but for 96 and up they added plastic flares:
I took one off tonight and love it so much more, even with the holes in the fender:
You can see it really doesn’t impact the ability to cover the tires unless you are running spacers.
I was already feeling so/so about my bumper trim, but now without the fenders it looks really bad. So I’m gonna ditch the plastic and build a tube bumper, one of the friends I borrowed tools from has a hydraulic tube bender, so I’m going to use that and make a tube bumper similar to @_radmigo on Instagram:
Next up is full the trans and tcase, reassemble the center console and shifters, and flush, fill, and bleed the coolant.