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Old 11-16-2008, 05:31 PM   #251 (permalink)
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You could run your exhaust through the frame seen it done before and frees up a lot of space.
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Old 11-16-2008, 09:33 PM   #252 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BellyDoc View Post
I've got a driver's side drop transfer case and drive shaft. I'm thinking that I won't have room between the drive shaft, transfer case and floor to snake an exhaust run through on that side.

<snip>
Gotcha. I assumed you were staying passenger side drop. I must have missed that on a previous post.

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Old 11-23-2008, 08:46 PM   #253 (permalink)
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Today, I started looking at where the radiator has to go in order to figure out whether it would interfere with front axle up-travel. I was expecting that it would need to hang down below the frame in a way that would expose it to getting banged up. As luck would have it, I can keep it entirely above the frame!

... yeah... that was totally on purpose. I meant to do that.

I was so pleased, I had to switch from the depressing grunge-rock I was listening to and play something happier.

Here's some body metal clamped in place, showing me where other stuff has to go:

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Old 11-24-2008, 01:31 AM   #254 (permalink)
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Well it's 2:30 AM. I started reading this post at my girlfriends house after dinner, watched a movie with her and then came home to continue reading... My hat is off to you for going outside of your comfort zone and going balls deep into a project with no "real" prior knowledge. I can't wait to see some more progress. Good night
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:53 PM   #255 (permalink)
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Well it's 2:30 AM. I started reading this post at my girlfriends house after dinner, watched a movie with her and then came home to continue reading... My hat is off to you for going outside of your comfort zone and going balls deep into a project with no "real" prior knowledge. I can't wait to see some more progress. Good night
Thanks for the encouragement! I really *am* in pretty deep... aren't I.

Other than my fear of having something in the end turn out to be unfixably wrong, my biggest concern is that I might get so frustrated or burned out that I put it down for a while... and then a while will turn into a long while... and then the project would go dormant. It might then become too daunting a task to re-stoke the fires and get the train chuggin' again.

I'm committed to *SOME* sort of progress every week, even if it's just to go out there and clean up the garage or do some practice beads with the TIG.

... speaking of which.

I just went out there and did some practice with the TIG.

I tried welding on scraps of exhaust tube, doing end to end butt joints.

The tubing is aluminized 16 gauge steel.

Should I be grinding off the aluminum for a quarter inch either side of the joint?

I didn't, and the weld bead came out looking much darker than the rest of the tube (which is aluminum colored).

I was able to get a really clean, flat bead for a bit... using no filler rod. Then I added filler rod, and the resulting bead looked like I sprayed molten metal out of my nose while sneezing.


Does anyone have any tips on welding aluminized steel exhaust pipe?

However I handle the metal prep, should I TIG it?
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #256 (permalink)
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I weld aluminized exhuast tube all the time but never put my tig to it. I may have to try it just to see if I have the same issue. What filler rod/gas are you using?


Rig looks killer with the front end on it. Nice job!


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Old 11-25-2008, 05:05 PM   #257 (permalink)
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this thing is going to be sick, cant wait to see it all finished, subscribed
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:08 PM   #258 (permalink)
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I just MIG welded the exhaust Y pipe instead of TIG. Everyone is telling me that the strength or seal of the weld isn't compromised by whatever inclusions are associated with the aluminum. I found YouTube video of people basically running beads of serial tack welds around this type of pipe, using MIG, and I figured I'd be able to do the same, so that's what I did. It looks like a fine result. I'm not displeased.

I did cut and grind and fit and grind and fit and grind... on the last piece this evening, and then got the final tack welds into it to hold it's shape. The driver's side wrap-around and the passenger's side each slip fit into the merge collector. I tacked the merge collector onto the passenger side so that the whole thing is now two pieces. I finalized the welds on both sub-assemblies.

Here's the wrap-around, before welds:



Here's the same, with welds finalized:



Here's the passenger side with finalized weld, and both parts are slip fit into the merge collector:



I've decided to go with flanges for the mate-up with the headers, and ordered some. I was going to use heavy duty muffler clamps, but I'm concerned that I'd mess up the Jet Hot coating I plan to have put on there.

I doubt I'll get another chance to post till after Thanksgiving.

Happy T-day to all!

Eat heartily.

Drink merrily.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:37 PM   #259 (permalink)
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this thing is going to be sick, cant wait to see it all finished, subscribed
I'm honored to be the recipient of what looks to be your first post on the Pirate board!

If you've looked through a bunch of the other build threads too, then you can probably see those elements that I'm blatantly robbing.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:48 PM   #260 (permalink)
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I weld aluminized exhuast tube all the time but never put my tig to it. I may have to try it just to see if I have the same issue. What filler rod/gas are you using?


Rig looks killer with the front end on it. Nice job!


Chris
I was using 3/32 ER70S-2 (I'd have tried 1/16" if I had it on hand). The gas is Argon and I forget what it's going at, but I have a gas lens on the torch. I had the amperage set at 80, and once I made an arc, I tried to keep it about 50-75% on the pedal.

The fit-up I had on my test parts was pretty poor. It was scrap that I just cleaned up the edges on. I lined up the edges as best I could for running practice beads.

Right now, it feels like anything I do with the TIG that's remotely awkward totally throws me off. I can run beads on plate and do simple fillets, as long as they're placed squarely on the table and I can rest my forearms or elbows. God forbid I should actually have to manipulate the torch to keep my angle true while wrapping a bead over the curved surface of a tube!
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:39 PM   #261 (permalink)
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:38 AM   #262 (permalink)
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Well... just 'cuz I can't work on it, doesn't mean I can't think about it.

... and when I say "think", I usually mean with graph paper, pencil and calculator.

I've been puzzling over where exactly my front axle belongs.

On the one hand, I had it in my head that the wheelbase should be 108". Why? I have no idea. It's 9 feet. I think I just came up with a round number and then fixed it in my head.

The rear axle was moved back and the engine/tranny/tcase moved forward to make room for a driveshaft with an acceptable angle. The NV4500 tranny is quite long which is part of the reason I was happy to go with the aluminum block LS1... I figured I was saving weight, forward.

When I measured out 108" from the rear axle, though, it put the front axle truss under the pulleys, limiting up-travel and negating the value of my forward frame modifications. So, I re-evaluated my thoughts on wheelbase.

At 112", it looks like I can make upper link mounts on the front axle truss that'll clear the pulleys. As a bonus, I'm less worried that my intended upper link location will get rubbed by the tire at full lock.

However, I started noticing a completely new potential problem.

I've kept the hood and the bib from the stock FJ40 without intending to do significant modification. The bib is about 40" wide, and the hood is a hair wider (it also used to rest on some apron panels that made the rounded front corner). I could easily imagine rubbing the top of the tire against the edge of the bib or whatever tubing was there to cage it in, when the front axle goes to full twist.

I decided I needed to think this out with paper and pencil.

I started by doodling a scaled model (1 mm = 1 in.) of the front of the rig and the front axle below, alowing 8" of up-travel (half of my 16" travel coil-overs). Then I used a compass set for 32 mm (the length of these coil-overs at half travel should be 32") to figure where the top of the shocks should mount. Needless to say, it proved that I'll be windowing the hood for the shock towers to stick through.

Once I had figured out roughly what the top of the shock mount would look like relative to the bib, I did a second drawing WITHOUT the axle... but I also made a separate paper cut-out of the axle and wheels.

Here's how I started:



Here's a close up of the cut-out model of the axle and wheels. There's a little arrow at top-center to remind me where midline is, and there's some dots on the ends of the axle truss to remind me where I intend for the shock mounts to go:



On the second drawing, I swung some compass arcs centered on the upper shock mount points that represented 24, 32 and 40 inches which is the length of the coil-overs at fully collapsed, mid-travel, and fully extended.

Here's what that looked like, close up:



My assumption is that the double triangulated 4 link system will keep the center point of the axle on the center line of the vehicle at all times. So, I scribed a vehicle center line, and I put the arrow on the center point of the paper axle on that line. I then moved the axle model around, keeping it's center point on vehicle center line, and lining up the shock mount dots on the arcs I had drawn.

This saved me from having to do a ton of trigonometry.

Here's what the rig looks like with the coil-overs sitting at mid travel, which is what I intend to be ride height:



Here's full droop:



That's what it'll look like to see my nose creeping over the top of a sickly steep obstacle when almost all the weight is resting on the rear!

Here's half twist. The driver's side is at ride height, but the passenger's side has gone to full compression. Note that I'm still lining up the center of the axle on the center line, and the shock mount dots have had to swing to different points on the scribed arcs:



Here's the money shot, full twist:



It's close!

Now, on the one hand, that's a front view and I'm in no way committed to having the axle sit directly below the bib. If I did, I'd end up with a 118" wheel base which is six more inches than where it's currently sitting.

On the other hand, though, 118 isn't a bad result at all... and when the tires are TURNED, those points may get closer. It's a tough geometry problem since the wheels aren't square bricks, they're circles, and I'd have to do a bunch more math to figure out where the tire is potentially going to touch the bib.

I may just go with 118" as the wheelbase!!!

Finally, as a secondary triangulation question, I tried to figure out how much steering angle I'm going to be able to get.

I drew a top down view of a steering knuckle with a wheel and tire. I did my best to estimate the size and position of the tire relative to the axis of the king pin. I then did my best to figure out the maximum clearance I could get with the lower links. After playing with it for a bit, I concluded that I could get the angle between the lower link and the axle housing to be 80 degrees. That's not much. I'm not going to have so much of a "XX" configuration as a "W", when I'm done.

I then drew out this diagram:



Apparently, the tire hits the link at 32 degrees of turn.

I have yet to drill my steering arms for where the drag links will engage, but there's plenty of material to make the lever arm 8" long. My PSC full hydro ram has an 8" throw (plus and minus 4 inches from neutral). According to my calculations, the 8" arm and 4" deflection give me a 30 degree steering angle.

It would be nice to get more steering angle, but I may not be able to improve much on the clearance between the tire and lower links. I could add spacers behind the wheel to improve clearance, but my track width is already rediculously wide at 88".

So... for now, it looks like the numbers show me:

88" track width.
118" wheel base.
30* steering angle.

... I'll be doing some three-point turns!

I'll be setting up individual rear wheel cutting brakes, for sure.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:31 AM   #263 (permalink)
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What tires are you running? I don't recognize the tread pattern
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:10 AM   #264 (permalink)
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That would be the #2 IROK by Paper-Mate. You'd probably be able to tell better, but the voids are full of a lot of eraser dust, hiding the pattern.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:55 AM   #265 (permalink)
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i don't know...them look like hawgs

still really impressed with this build, keep it up.



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Old 11-30-2008, 06:26 AM   #266 (permalink)
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Cool

holy shit mate. that is one amazing awe inspiring build. its midnight here in australia and that thing is just great. i was looking at building up a desert racer but with no major previous experience was put off a little bit but after having just read your complete thread and how have learnt bit by bit i reckon i will do the same. Keep up the great work.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:06 PM   #267 (permalink)
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Why 8" of uptravel? Why not limit it to around 4-5" which would also lower the ride height some (i dont even know how tall it is at ride height, what does the bottom of the frame measure to at ride height)? That much uptravel seems like wasted travel in my opinion, you wont have a problem with the tires staying in contact with the ground when the suspension is compressing, the only reason i could see needing that much uptravel is if you plan on hitting large objects/holes at a high speed. Limiting the uptravel is going to obviously give more droop which will help keep a tire in contact with the ground. Did you choose 8" for a reason or just decide to spilt the amount the shock can handle? I've spent some time around desert racing also and even there you rarely see a 50/50 travel setup, even with as fast and hard as they hit some pretty big obstacles. Most of them even favor a little more droop to keep the tires touching the ground as often as possible.

Limiting the uptravel could also keep you from swiss-chessing your hood. Lower the shock mounts to below the hood, and reduce the amount of uptravel by the same amount the shock mounts were lowered (shocks are compressed more at ride height)...keeps the ride height the same as it would have been with the shocks through the hood and changes the suspension travel to more droop, does that make sense??

Just some things to think about. Great looking build, its coming along real well.

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Old 12-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #268 (permalink)
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Why 8" of uptravel? Why not limit it to around 4-5" which would also lower the ride height some (i dont even know how tall it is at ride height, what does the bottom of the frame measure to at ride height)? That much uptravel seems like wasted travel in my opinion, you wont have a problem with the tires staying in contact with the ground when the suspension is compressing, the only reason i could see needing that much uptravel is if you plan on hitting large objects/holes at a high speed. Limiting the uptravel is going to obviously give more droop which will help keep a tire in contact with the ground. Did you choose 8" for a reason or just decide to spilt the amount the shock can handle? I've spent some time around desert racing also and even there you rarely see a 50/50 travel setup, even with as fast and hard as they hit some pretty big obstacles. Most of them even favor a little more droop to keep the tires touching the ground as often as possible.

Limiting the uptravel could also keep you from swiss-chessing your hood. Lower the shock mounts to below the hood, and reduce the amount of uptravel by the same amount the shock mounts were lowered (shocks are compressed more at ride height)...keeps the ride height the same as it would have been with the shocks through the hood and changes the suspension travel to more droop, does that make sense??

Just some things to think about. Great looking build, its coming along real well.
As my ancestors would say, "Oy Vey!"

Yes, that does make sense, but then it opens a huge Pandora's box of issues. You've asked a really great question!!! It's one that I've spent quite a painful amount of brain time on.

Frankly, I've been avoiding this topic because this is the world famous Pirate4x4 board where people who really know their shit actually might read what I type. I, on the other hand, am painfully aware of the difference between what I *KNOW* and what I *THINK*, and I don't actually know SHIT on this topic, although I've THOUGHT a lot about it.

So, I would preface any comments that I make here on the Pirate board by clearly acknowledging my RESPECT for the difference between GOOD THINKING SKILLS and REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. The simple fact is that experience is true knowledge. Good thinking helps to make experience meaningful and useful, but when we think one thing and experience another, it's experience which is correct and the thoughts are in some way wrong.

Nevertheless, I've run the little physics model in my head over and over and over, and after looking at the problem from a variety of perspectives, it's telling me to run the suspension with as close to a balance between up and down travel as possible.

Here's my thought process:

The coilovers I have are 16" travel, with an extended length of 40.10" and a collapsed length of 24.15". The middle of travel puts them at about 32". If I assume that I'm going to allow the axle to travel up as close to the underside of the chassis as possible, no matter where it spends its time at rest, the top of the shocks will sit about 24 inches above that plane... no matter what. The edge of the hood is about 18" above the bottom of the chassis and the top of the hood is maybe a few inches higher. I conclude that I'm going to have about 3 or 4 inches of shock above the plane of the hood, unless I want the axle to stop traveling upward long before it gets close to the chassis.

From what I get from reading about linked suspension systems, I'm best off emphasizing utilization of the travel that occurs where the links are closer to level rather than at the extremes of their angular travel. To push the shocks down forces the links into a lower part of the arc where small angular changes represent much larger shifts in the suspension geometry.

My plan is to allow the axle assembly to come up quite close to the chassis at the top of it's travel, crushing bump stops and maxing coilover compression just before hitting metal to metal.

I've come to the conclusion that down-travel is often over rated and up-travel is superior. The reason is that the up-travel (and compression of the spring) represents increased pressure on the tire and increased static friction and therefore increased traction. Conversely, down-travel represents relaxation on the spring, decreased down-pressure on the tire and reduced traction. Either way, if the wheels follow the contour of the ground, its a better result than if one were to come up off the ground and spin in the air. However, when the suspension extends to where the spring goes completely relaxed, the only pressure on the tire is the unsprung weight of the wheel (and half the weight of the axle), and that's not necessarily enough down force and static friction to keep it from spinning. At that point, it's *almost* flying. At the very least, it's contribution to traction and control is severely limited.

Although the compromise between maximal clearance and lowest center of gravity is a tough one to figure out, I don't believe that a lowered CoG at the cost of the appropriate spring rate on the suspension is a good answer. The way I see it, a suspension with a spring rate that dumps the chassis to within a few inches of the axle, but which retains a substantial amount of down travel in reserve, is really not an optimal long travel suspension system. I see it more as a short travel suspension, but one that can do a little bit of a trick at the end of it's short true travel.

As this type of suspension begins to twist, it first allows some weight-balanced twist, and then after slight up-travel on one side and a slight down travel on the other, the up side goes to a bump stop and the down side begins to fall away. At that point the up side is supporting most of the weight and the down side has only the pressure of the overly light spring plus the unsprung weight.

In my view (based solely on reading... no relevant experience), the question is whether or not a suspension system can twist to accommodate the terrain without maxing up- OR down-travel, so that the down-pressure on the tires remains well distributed. In my case, since I've gone with a double triangulated 4 link design both front and back, one of the features of twist is that the axle will remain centered. The center point of the axle will remain in the plane of the vehicle center line. As long as the link angles remain mild, I'll minimize roll steer. In fact, if I could get the roll axis to rest at basically horizontal, then it appears I'd get zero roll steer and bonus a bit of actual wheel recession, too.

Because of this, I'd rather not use a bump stop on the frame as some sort of fulcrum for the twisting axle to lift the chassis. Also, I'd rather not have either wheel dropping to a steep link angle.

I'd much rather have my twist happening around a neutral center point with maximal freedom in all directions before contacting/binding. My guess is that if the suspension starts to bind up against a bump stop, the twist will basically tend to stop at that angle, and I'm likely to fly a wheel despite the theoretic capability for more twist.

Anyhow, yeah... that's the long version of why I've come to the conclusion that I'm best off with a balanced plus/minus 8" on my 16" travel suspension!

Oh... and at that height, I should get 24" under the belly.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:47 AM   #269 (permalink)
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Man you think a lot!

I'm not sure I agree with some of your reasoning, but I think a decent amount of uptravel is a good thing, especially if you ever intend to drive your rock crawler fast.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:20 AM   #270 (permalink)
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That made my brain hurt at 7:20am!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:04 AM   #271 (permalink)
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I'm liking your 8 inches of up travel just knowing where you live and the fact that you have an LS motor. I'd bet that your new rig is going to become multi purpose as opposed to dedicated rock crawler. A little bit (allot) of high speed in the desert would be impossible to resist if it was my rig.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:19 AM   #272 (permalink)
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I'm liking your 8 inches of up travel just knowing where you live and the fact that you have an LS motor.....high speed in the desert would be impossible to resist if it was my rig.

Thats true, i didnt really think about you living out in the desert. 8" may be the best of both worlds for you, and i'm sure the 40 will work excellent either way.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #273 (permalink)
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If I get this thing to roll under its own power I'll consider it a miracle.

Thanks for tolerating a manic post.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:52 PM   #274 (permalink)
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I felt my self getting smarter so I stopped reading it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #275 (permalink)
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indeed experience is by far the best way to true knowledge. with all do respect a thought or thought process is by no means wrong. in fact without thoughts your progress and your experience simply would not exist. by the way you do nice work. I am taking some of your build and tweaking it to work for me. thanks

Last edited by SCALLYWAG99; 12-02-2008 at 08:11 PM.
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