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Old 03-13-2013, 08:57 AM   #151 (permalink)
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I then turned to building the transmission crossmember, which will also be the main support for the removeable belly pan. The verticals and bottoms were cut out of 3/16 for strength, the plating is out of 11ga. You can see my aluminum mock up bushings for the trans mount, those will be replaced with poly in the final assembly.



Bottom of the crossmember, you can see the welds tying the vertical trans mount plates to the bottom of the crossmember for extra strength and the mounts for the skidplate.



Tacked up in the cruiser. Exhaust fits perfectly, radius on drivers side of crossmember is the mid mount for the exhaust, I still need to add some tabs to clamp the exhaust in place.



Side view of the tcase assembly. The bottom of my crossmember sets .5 inch below the bottom of the tcase, lowest part of the belly pan will end up being 2" below the frame rail. I need to finish tubing out the crossmember/ bellypan support.



The transmission isolator mount bolts to the bottom of the transmission and the adapter to the tcase, helping keep those two components together

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Last edited by rube bonet; 04-08-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #152 (permalink)
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Rig looks good!
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:42 PM   #153 (permalink)
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With the drivetrain mounted final, I could finally mock up the front suspension for the last time, to check clearances and finalize upper shock mount placement. I started by framing out the engine bay with 1.75 dom, and welding on some temporary tabs for the shocks. The engine cage will be mounted thru the firewall to the a pillar when I finish up the cage work.



Things get tight under articulation! Grill is going to have to be trimmed to get full lock



Track bar and steering is going to be tight. The real trackbar will be 1.5x .250 chromoly to have enough strength with the bend in it.




Marking the frame to see where we need more clearance







Inner passenger frame notched and plated

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Last edited by rube bonet; 04-08-2013 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #154 (permalink)
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After cycling the front and ensuring the geometry was good and everything actually fit (tie rod, driveshafts etc...), it was time to fully address the steering.

One of my goals when designing the front was to improve the approach angle as much as I could by moving the front axle forward. The steering box was already mounted against the front bumper, and with the tie rod mounted behind the axle, I had plenty of room to slide it forward now that the springs were gone. After I measured the initial throw of the pitman arm and knuckle steering arm, I realized I could shorten both up and move the axle even farther forward, which would also help by putting the tie rod in the arch of the frame.

This is the approach angle at ride height...MUCH better


I switched from the wagoneer arm to the much shorter TJ arm, and made a double shear mount for a 7/8 rod end. I liked the fact they are common and cheap, and a stock one with the hole bored out will make for an easy spare.



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Last edited by rube bonet; 04-12-2013 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #155 (permalink)
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hmmm....is my mic on??? It feels just a little bit crazier talking to myself online than the normal 1 sided conversations I have with myself in the shop...



Anyways, after carefully checking to make sure the pitman arm has enough travel to completely steer lock to lock thru the full range of travel, I marked out where the new location of the drag link would be on the passenger side steering arm. The original combination had a LOT of extra travel on the pitman side, losing a lot of leverage against the tires. I ended up matching the strokes of the two better, just enough at the pitman arm to prevent it from ever loading the sector shaft during full steering...which is critical especially with an assist ram mounted on the tie rod.

sorry in advance for crappy cell phone pics

Bored a new hole through the shortened steering arm


Machined a stepped sleeve for the rod end mount


Double shear mount on steering arm

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Old 04-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #156 (permalink)
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There's nothing wrong with talking to yourself, it's when you start answering back that you should be concerned! Anyway, funny how I've spent all kinds of time over there watching this come together and still you post up pics of details I didn't notice when I was there in person. Lookin great!
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #157 (permalink)
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Definitely enjoying the build even without commenting. Keep it up!
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:01 PM   #158 (permalink)
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There's nothing wrong with talking to yourself, it's when you start answering back that you should be concerned!
At least in the shop, between the "other" voices in my head, and my own witty replies to myselves, there is always a lively coversation going on.

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Definitely enjoying the build even without commenting. Keep it up!
Thanks!



With everything working properly in the front, I tore it all apart and started plating and boxing the final mounts on the axle side of everything.

Upper link mount and track bar mount tied into knuckle gusset. Most all of the mounts are 3/16 with 10 ga reinforcements.




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Last edited by rube bonet; 04-22-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:41 AM   #159 (permalink)
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Just found this thread.


Great read and tech! Please keep the pictures coming !
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #160 (permalink)
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Just found this thread.


Great read and tech! Please keep the pictures coming !
Thanks!

With all of the axle side mounts done, I moved over to the frame side of things. All of the mock up pieces on the frame were finished out, boxed and gussseted.

Upper track bar mount, 3/16 and 10 ga tied into factory crossmember




Upper link mount, gusset plates tied to existing crossmember fishplates and lower link mounts. Bolt sleeve welds across the top of the frame rail



In this pic, the upper link bolt is hidden by the support tube of the engine cage



Engine cage acts as the front of the chassis. It will tie into the a pillar through a plate on the firewall. You can also see where I brought supports down to the notches in the frame
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:43 PM   #161 (permalink)
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great looking fab work and cruiser! Keep it going
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #162 (permalink)
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great looking fab work and cruiser! Keep it going
Thanks!

I didn't get many pics of the engine cage during the build, so here are some completed shots. Dave and I both liked a really simple look to the cruiser, neither one of us are big fans of huge radiator saver hoops and over the top bumpers-- at least not on this classic sheet metal. On the other hand, we still wanted it to survive any unplanned events that might occur...

The goal was to complete the chassis, giving strength to the notched frame. I also needed to mount the shocks, radiator, trans cooler, battery, etc. I also wanted to provide protection for all in the case of rollovers.

Tubework is 1.75 and 1.25 dom



Upper shock mount is extra beefy, ORI are designed to be the bumpstop also. I am still considering putting an additional solid bump between the frame and axle, but a truss needs to be on before that is even considered.



Double plated and fully boxed



Everything in place. 19x28 Ron Davis radiator sits under the shock brace/ radiator saver, should be fairly protected in a roll. Everything sits about as tight to the hood as you can get, with a piece of 4130 in front of the radiator
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #163 (permalink)
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Good grief that is amazing fab! VERY impressive work!
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:07 AM   #164 (permalink)
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Good grief that is amazing fab! VERY impressive work!
X2, love the high quality attention to detail.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #165 (permalink)
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I must say great build! What amount of Ackerman are you going for?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:52 AM   #166 (permalink)
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Good grief that is amazing fab! VERY impressive work!
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X2, love the high quality attention to detail.
Thanks guys, I appreciate it!
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:16 AM   #167 (permalink)
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I must say great build! What amount of Ackerman are you going for?
I generally use the factory ackerman of the axle on most of my builds, or calculate out as close to "proper" ackerman for custom knuckles/ steering arms. After setting toe in, and steering lock to lock, I realized these knuckles actually have a slight reverse ackerman effect; the outside tire is turning a little bit sharper than the inside. I only had a giant protractor and an eyeball to determine the difference in angle; eventually I will put it on some alignment scales to see how much more the inside tire is turning (not much).

For crawling, I don't see this as causing an issue at all, as the outside tire is the one that is usually heavily loaded when turning . I am definitely interested to see how this handles on the street and high speed dirt/ sand....

To be honest, I don't know if this is a difference I will be able to feel driving it or not; nothing like a good old fashioned experiment!
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:22 PM   #168 (permalink)
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I generally use the factory ackerman of the axle on most of my builds, or calculate out as close to "proper" ackerman for custom knuckles/ steering arms. After setting toe in, and steering lock to lock, I realized these knuckles actually have a slight reverse ackerman effect; the outside tire is turning a little bit sharper than the inside. I only had a giant protractor and an eyeball to determine the difference in angle; eventually I will put it on some alignment scales to see how much more the inside tire is turning (not much).

For crawling, I don't see this as causing an issue at all, as the outside tire is the one that is usually heavily loaded when turning . I am definitely interested to see how this handles on the street and high speed dirt/ sand....

To be honest, I don't know if this is a difference I will be able to feel driving it or not; nothing like a good old fashioned experiment!
I may be wrong but I believe its the opposite, for crawling where the wheels have a more even spread of weight, the front wheels will fight each other more if the Ackerman is not right, where as when traveling at higher speeds turns tend to lean the weight on to one wheel so Ackerman does not come into effect.

I'm trying to find what amount people use as I know my truck doesn't have as much as it should!
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #169 (permalink)
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I agree at higher speeds you are loading the outside tires. I also tend to agree with you that ackerman should be beneficial in high traction, low speed situations, that is why I have always set them up that way, given a choice.

On the other hand, even in crawling, during hard turns, the outside tire is the one more heavily loaded. I have seen plenty of successful comp rigs ,especially those with 50* steering, that have a lot more "negative" ackerman (lol what do you call it?) than what I am dealing with here.

I guess this is where my curiousity comes from. I don't have experience with this set up, and definitely isn't the way I would have designed it. Having seen its successful use before, I am anxious to see if:

A) It works great, and I wonder why I cared about ackerman all these years

B) It sucks, and I can feel self righteous in my faith in ackerman

C) I can't tell. Nothing worse than an agnostic.

Truth be told, it really won't matter a bit with the rear end spooled up the way it is. An ARB and cutting brake would make the most difference in crawling turning radius.

But who doesn't love a good experiment

.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:28 PM   #170 (permalink)
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I guess this is where my curiousity comes from. I don't have experience with this set up, and definitely isn't the way I would have designed it. Having seen its successful use before, I am anxious to see if:

A) It works great, and I wonder why I cared about ackerman all these years

B) It sucks, and I can feel self righteous in my faith in ackerman

C) I can't tell. Nothing worse than an agnostic.

Truth be told, it really won't matter a bit with the rear end spooled up the way it is. An ARB and cutting brake would make the most difference in crawling turning radius.

But who doesn't love a good experiment

.
I agree, It seems to be a bit of a black art. The Unimog I've been told has the perfect calculated ackerman, these are designed to work with all 3 locking diffs and are awesome trialers. But also there are as you say many great trucks that almost ignore ackerman which aslo work great!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #171 (permalink)
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Dave picked up a large Sertrab cooler to use for the transmission. I built a mount out of some 14 ga, welded it to the tubing infront of the radiator. Packaging was tight, but I mangaged to fit it all in their with about a 1/4 to spare between the factory radiator screen and the tubes.






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Old 05-15-2013, 11:43 AM   #172 (permalink)
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With the suspension and components in place, I welded up all the links. They are 2" .250 4130, except for the trackbar which is 1.5 .250 4130.



I buttoned up all of the components, and assembled everything so I could check final clearances. Steering rod ends come close to binding, but still have a few degrees left in them in the extreme positions.










Cruiser at ride height, I like how clean it looks with only the drag link up front.

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:46 AM   #173 (permalink)
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Suspension is done...at least the front. With the cruiser sitting back on its own tires, I could finish building the skid plates. One last pic for today though, cruiser sitting on the bumps, ride height can be anywhere from 4-6" higher than this.

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Old 05-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #174 (permalink)
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Looks good.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:39 PM   #175 (permalink)
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That looks great!
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