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Old 05-16-2017, 10:21 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Wow, been a lot of life has happened since my last round of updates. Biggest news was my parent company closing my office which leaves me in job hunting mode. However since job hunting isn't an all day every day occupation I've also been making great strides on a variety of personal projects including my FJ. I actually hired a welder from the former office (he did give me the buddy rate) so I'm striking while the iron is hot and using a bunch of Steve's time to burn in all my structure.

On to the updates! As I left it, I'd just managed to get the Land Cruiser into the garage when I screwed up my XJ and got de-railed by other things.




Took some comments about concern over secondary impacts inside the vehicle to heart and did a bit of testing with the kids.







Yeah, there's definitely tube padding in our future even if I did decided against the side C-pillar to shock bars.




Sometime after this test they announced the office closure so I started using every available lunch hour to build the structure I planned to add. I don't personally have a monstro hydraulic bender with a ton of dies.




I actually was given about 30-40 partially bent tubes (mostly DOM) in 1.5 and 1.75 that were mis-bent and/or scrap from a work project. It was almost all 0.095 and 0.120 so that saved me a couple hundred bucks at the metal store since I was able to I cut up and re-use so much of it.

Work also had a bad ass mill style tube notcher. Just about every day I was in there with 10 bars or so notching a bit more. Then I'd take them home at night, sharpie how much I still needed, and do it again the next day.




There were just a couple instances where I went too far and got to redo tubing. Triangulating the boat sides was a challenge since the vertical members were already there and it was a combination of tubes and flats to interface too. Where I screwed up I still used the mistake as a template and filled in the missing metal with tape.




That tape I transfered to a paper tube to give me a slip over template.




Then I could scribe the weird geometry onto my new tube.




Worked bitchin and man I did a lot of notching. This catch bin measures maybe 6"x6"x1.5". It was just about full after one lunch session.

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Last edited by frjiolee; 05-16-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:09 AM   #77 (permalink)
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I might as well let the cat out of the bag on another front.

I bought a 416 LS3 stroker for the FJ. I had planned to do incremental upgrades to the 98 LS1 (already had bought some AFR heads) that the cruiser came with but when I ran across this it was a deal I couldn’t pass up. Big happy crates are, well… big and happy.



Full specs on the motor if you're interested:

Low mile LS3 stroked to a 416. Less than 1,000 miles on it. Torn down and verified that everything was perfect (AutoFab Maryland)

10:1 Compression
LS3 Block
Callie's Compstar 4" Crank
Callie's Compstar H-Beam Rods
Wiseco Pistons
ARP Main Studs
CCP Stage 4 Blower Cam (240/254 .613/.596 115)
Roll master double timing set
Melling 10296 Oil Pump
L92 Rockers with BTR Trunion Kit
LS7 Lifters
Ported L92 Heads
Manley Stainless Valves
Manly Pushrods
PAC Springs with Titanium Retainers
ARP Head Studs
LS9 Head Gaskets
Supplied as a Long Block complete from valve covers to oil pan
No pulleys, intake, fuel, or spark
24x Reluctor 1x Cam Gear
Includes water pump
Includes block sensors (coolant, cam, knock, crank)
Includes steam tubes

Good stuff all around... Very similar to LME's 416 package, but slightly lower compression ratio. http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/eng...-supersize-me/
I might do a milder cam to keep torque high lower in the range. It will stay NA so the blower cam isn't ideal.

So that’s the good news.

…and then a few weeks later I found out I either had to move to Georgia or I’d be out of a job. Great timing! We decided not to move but if something went sideways and we had to liquidate stuff at least I wouldn’t be out a ton and the same thought goes for the work I’ve been doing since.

I also picked up a full set of Holley engine accessories figuring that seemed to be the closest of all accessory options I talked about earlier in this thread. I’m optimistic that the new mount will solve my alternator clearance problems. The Holley does in fact mount at a slightly lower angle.




Compare the straight line off the mounting boss and you can see the difference. I still need to shave the bottom of my front shock mount but I think it’ll get me there.




So then it was out with the old (sold it to a co-workers at the buddy rate since he let me keep a few pieces I needed)




End of the crank had a key adaptor pressed in for my TH400




Yummy internals.




I did cut myself badly opening up the windage tray holes. Studs on this are large, albeit I’m not sure if that’s an LS3 thing or the ARP hardware. I thought I had enough of a grip on it but the drill snagged and the whole thing tore loose, spun around and clocked me in the thumb. Much blood. Freaked out the kids. Tried not to pass out. That’s what I get for not clamping it down.




Finally, in pulling this apart I noted that the torque converter wasn’t actually bolted in. Looks like I’ll need to open up the 3 bolt pattern on the perimeter of the flex plate, but since it all pilots off that center crank extension I think I should be good. Holler if you see a huge flaw in this plan!




Color me excited. Now we get into the real work!
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Last edited by frjiolee; 05-17-2017 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:21 AM   #78 (permalink)
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OK, lets talk structure...

A while back I posted a bunch of masking tape pictures playing with bar placement. I wanted to add a great deal of triangulation as it gives a "proper" load path. Some folks suggested I was overthinking it. That might be true but it's my rig and there were some things I could make so much better with a few key additions that I decided to go for it. I don't mind jumping over some monkey bars to get around.

We started with the rear suspension.

Concept:




Reality:

Ditched the upper bars having taken the secondary impact discussion to heart. I did make a fully triangulated window to the shock node. The limited lateral/rollover support of the rig was one of my major concerns and this helps.

Burning in the bottom, it's not a perfect node given how the remainder of structure attached already but I'm not worried about it.




It's also nice that the lower bar makes another tie between the rockers and frame rails since I effectively have 4 major rectangular bars running fore/aft under the cab. Steve likes to say that anyone can make a beautiful weld on a bench. It's a hell of a lot harder to do so when you're out of position welding overhead while doing some contortionist move. I agree. I've now seen the guy work a pedal with hips, knees, heels flat on the back... It's awesome. Note the left footed pedal action below.




And here's the resulting shock traingulation.




Not perfect welds but pretty damn good for welding though a window and only able to prop by your elbows. I was certainly happy with all my notching efforts and we didn't have to "make steel" much at all. It's a well supported shock node and that's what counts.




-Joel

Structure additions: +4 pieces
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Last edited by frjiolee; 05-18-2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:23 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Boat side triangulation.

Concept:




Reality:

I did do the basic triangulation. This is all 0.120 wall to let it take a few shots. I'm not really planning to skin this area. I'd rather live with getting hung on a few rocks and have the exhaust see a greater ability to breathe.




Front most bar was pretty the easiest since it slides in fine with one end being pure flat.




I've been debating with myself whether I should better support the upper control arm support tube. On the on hand I could make it stronger with added support. A big front impact scenario (IE lawn dart) puts that in pure bending. On the other hand, if I took a shot hard enough to bend that front bar, would I have wanted this to act like a crumple zone? If I do brace it further then I'd guess I'd be ripping a wheel off as the failure mode, but that might be easier to repair than frame damage if it bent far enough to pull something else out of line.

Thoughts on added support for the front suspension links are appreciated...

The rear two bars were a great deal harder to cut. Since I was adding the angle inside a window I had to compromise both ends or it couldn't be installed (no way to slip these in place with a full fish mouth on each end). Tricky, but I think I got it. To be fair, this is where the tape and paper tube templates came into play.




I get that some folks might not have bothered with this triangulation. Pesonally, I like the fact it will turn each boat side into a space frame (floorboard above will be heavier than normal). I also like the fact it'll give the exhaust a little more protection. Speaking of exhaust:

At some point I had aspirations of trying to make scratch built triangular mufflers and run them down the complete edge.




Yeah, not doing that. With the stroker motor I want to be into dual 3s and area under the front foot wells is just too shallow I'd also given up on packaging a rear mount muffler. I need that space for my gas tank. However, I still wanted good flow and relatively quiet so I bought the biggest Magnaflows I thought had a prayer of fitting and decided to let them bulge up toward the seats. I ended up with 6"x18" round cans.




If I pull the rear seat mounting structure up by 1/2" I should be OK. As shown, it's resting on both inner and side rails so the muffler needs to move up a bit. I'll still only have 3/8" on a side but I think I can work with that.

This also put the exit right into a pair of odd looking rectangular bars: one per side I'm assuming from original layout fab. Those had to go.




Usually the angle grinder is my go do destruction tool, but for cutting right next to a rail the sawzall worked better.




I did have to keep dipping the blade in ice water to avoid smoking it (yes I'm aware frosty beverages and power tools don't mix). Turns out these were solid bar so each weighed about as much as one of the boat side tubes I added.

Structure count: +6 boat sides, -2 solid bar.
Net structure added to date: +8 pieces
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Last edited by frjiolee; 05-19-2017 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:23 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Continuing forward...

Sturcture concept:




The biggest issue in the engine bay was the shock loading going only into a upper tube and having a long span in pure bending before it tied back to the lower bars via some of the front bumper structure.

I wanted a much more direct load path so I added these vertical kickers from shock towers down after measuring about 10 times that my radiator would fit. The couldn't be as diagonal as I originally taped them but it's still a massive improvement. 0.095 wall here since they should mostly see pure tension.



I also noticed that the removable cross bar is a bit tight when I pulled that to yank the motor. That's the reason for the bar clamp pulling the towers inward slightly before welding (removable bar in place, just at the limit of it's travel inward). I'm hopefully any residual stress will be moving things the way I want them.

The bottoms of the new shock tubes are slightly bent so they taper into the lower frame rails. This was partly because I thought it made for a cool/interesting detail that buys me a touch more engine bay space. It was also partly because the steel was free, already had bend, and only long enough legs to do it this way.




I also added a diagonal kicker from the rockers to frame rails on both side to complete my boat side tie ins.




I have not yet added the diagonal tubes downs from shocks to the engine mounts. I need headers built before I could even considering doing that since I'm not sure how much space I need for install/removal. As it is, I'm already much happier with the structure.

The last major structure I'm going to have to do somethign about is the shock towers themselves. The notches ahead of the shock make for some nasty stress risers and it also has a lovely dimple died hole just waiting to greet a crack forming.



I'll probably close off the sides but it's going to make for some interesting geometry if I try. We did commit to the shock position and finished most of the topside tig work above. This only had a few stitch welds previous.

-Joel

Structure count: +4 pieces
Net structure added to date: +12 pieces
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Last edited by frjiolee; 05-22-2017 at 04:24 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:15 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Loving this build, looking forward to see what your gonna do to close up the tub. Looks like a custom frame? Is the hard top a fj40 top? Looks a. It longer but might just be cuz the rear axle is push further back.
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM   #82 (permalink)
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build is going epic!...... looking forward to the final product!
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Old Today, 10:33 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yota-tota View Post
Loving this build, looking forward to see what your gonna do to close up the tub. Looks like a custom frame? Is the hard top a fj40 top? Looks longer but might just be cuz the rear axle is push further back.
Closing up the tub gets interesting. I have a lot of tabs and seam sealer in my future that's for sure. Yes, it's a FJ40 top. The body has been cut down about 3" right under the windows which is partly why it looks a touch longer given overall proportions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carslut View Post
build is going epic!...... looking forward to the final product!
Thank you. Me too!
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Old Today, 10:33 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Jumping to the back end of the rig, it's time to talk about one of the harder to figure out areas of structure.

I still wasn't happy with the cage's lateral support as other than bending of the uprights and the little windows to the shock towers there just wasn't anything back there.




I had done some concept efforts but I wasn't really happy with them.




I wanted to keep the tailgate area from flexing so it needed shear support of some kind but tubes would be hard to mount a panel to, particularly since the panel really wanted to be in the middle of the tubes to align to the plane of the hatch. I also needed some way of supporting rear harness should straps and the tailgate cross bar was too low. I felt dumb adding a bar just for harnesses that would be right in the middle of things back there (you can see the horizontal tape peaking out the window in the picture above).

Finally the break through was realizing that the panel back there could be a shear plane so long as it was well supported around the perimeter. Instead of using a horizontal cross bar to support the rear seat harnesses I could do big proper diagonals down to the midpoint of the "tailgate" cross bar (quotes since it won't actually open). Then I could use some rectangular bar that would be easier to bolt my shear panel to and it might all work out.

Digging through scrap at work I found this absolute gem for the application. Sharpie shows my intent for the upper cut.




It was an overly complicated shock upright at one point in time, but that tapering section would be PERFECT for me. You see the diagonal bars still had to be a bit offset to clear the hatch so I needed a landing platform of some sort to get back to the tailgate bar. Here's your author feeling stoked that it'll all work out.




I did make some pretty healthy gusset to help transfer the load downward to the tapering rectangle.




Forgot to snag a picture before we burned this in but it looks like this hilarious medieval club of some sort. I did the bench welding. Steve, did doing another contortionist move to get it installed. Love the footwork.




Note, I thought really seriously about putting swing out hardware in the two major diagonals to make them removable. It would have been two products from Rhodes Racing: Elite Swing Outs up top: Elite Series Swing Out Kits and Pro Series Swing Outs on the bottoms Pro Series Swing Out Door Bar Kits (since it'd be easier to cut and interface to my landing platform). I eventually decide not. Partly because it's stronger this way. Partly because the space behind the rear seat will suck anyways so I probably have a roof rack and camping trailer in my future. Partly because I'm living lean while job hunting and I didn't want to spend the $200.

I should also mention that these diagonal bars were some of the hardest to cut and fit! They were notched right next to a bend (hard to clamp in the notcher), interface with a junction of two bars at the C-pillar roof node, and they were long and heavy (0.120 wall) since I'd be attaching my children to them. That made it twice as hard to sharpie what they needed to be. I think I nibbled away at these for about 4 days before I got them right.

Anyways, here's the end result.




Clears the hatch fine but now you can see why the junction got kinda complicated on me. It's tucked within about a 1/8" of the hatch when closed.




-Joel

Structure count: +7 pieces (only counting the taper guy as 1 since I didn't build it)
Added to date: +21 pieces
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