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First let me say that this is my favorite build on pirate.

Your attention to detail is something to be admired, truly incredible.

I will be building a frame soon and im very thankful for this thread because it has provided me a lot of ideas.

keep those updates coming.
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #623
First let me say that this is my favorite build on pirate.

Your attention to detail is something to be admired, truly incredible.

I will be building a frame soon and im very thankful for this thread because it has provided me a lot of ideas.

keep those updates coming.
Thanks so much for your nice comments! I sure appreciate it! I hope that you'll post your upcoming frame build- I look forward to seeing what you come up with! I sure have picked up a lot of ideas from all the prior posts here on Pirate, and it's great to see everyone's individual approaches!
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #624
Exhausted on exhaust...

The exhaust is done except for the hangers. I plan to instal hangers after building the battery box crossmember assembly, since one or more hangers will attach to it.

The FlowMaster "Super HushPower" muffler I'm using is a little long for the location I settled on, but I didn't want to change to a shorter muffler as the longer one helps keep the sound level down. The current one is also supposed to have some internal insulation to reduce radiated heat, which helps the heat exposure concern for the batteries. I used V-Band clamps at each end, and to help with the fit, I trimmed the muffler at both ends to shorten it up a few inches:





Here's an in-progress shot of the central tailpipe section ready for tacking. The hinged muffler clamp tool is the same idea that I used on the headers, but in 2 1/4" size. The exhaust tubing is clamped to the angle and rectangle tube sections pieces resting on the frame rails to establish consistent height of the exhaust relative to the rails. The lower edge of the exhaust tubing sits 1.75" above the bottom of the frame rails. The muffler is above the rails, springs, and driveshaft, so somewhat protected.



Here's some shots of the finished exhaust routing. Since the routing around the fuel tank, axle, and frame rail at the back was the hardest to fit, I started there, then joined up the central section last. Getting the axle area to fit well moved the muffler forward a little bit, but I think it will still work out OK as far as the battery proximity issue. I'll insulate the corners and sides of the battery box to reduce heat transfer to the batteries. I'm debating on whether to also add some shields on the exhaust tube and muffler near the corners of the batteries. That would help further, but I don't like clutter...
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the routing:







Here's some detail shots:

Under the T-Case & Overdrive:



Over the axle, past the fuel tank, above the fully compressed spring, and under the frame rail/cross-member. I fit this with the springs compressed all the way to the frame rails, as shown in the photo. In use, there will be a bump stop so there will be even more clearance above the axle. Also, there's enough room between the exhaust and axle housing on the outboard side of the springs for double shear shock mounts on the back of the axle housing.

From the side:



From above:



The tailpipe exits at the corner of the rear bumper The pipe has a short turn down to deflect the exhaust slightly downward away from the bumper structure and the exhaust tip is cut parallel to the taper of the lower side of the rear bumper. The side rock rail extension feature of the rear bumper corner is outboard of the exhaust, providing some protection for the exhaust tip.



I'm glad to be done with this tubing puzzle! Time to work on something rectilinear - a battery box!
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #626 (Edited)
Battery box/crossmember thing

Sorted out the design concept for the battery box, which includes a minor cross-member structure. The cross member aspect will span the frame rails so the weight of two batteries isn't just cantilevered off the driver's side frame rail. It also will act as support for the central section of the floor, and on the passenger side bottom it will also support the rear portion of the skid plate under the transfer case. I may incorporate a driveshaft loop near the t-case rear driveshaft u-joint, based on Gojeeps inputs.

I decided to make it with 1.5" x 0.125" wall square tube, with 0.125" pan and outer shell. Beefier than what is needed for the battery weight, but I'm thinking it should be able to support a lot of the weight of the rig when sliding on a rock. I thought about the comments on skid protection of the batteries, and specifically Meiser's- about potentially doing two skid plate layers on the underside, or adding a pad to absorb a hit. I ended up with an approach that incorporates a single thickness 0.125' plate at the base of the batteries, but it will be nestled up within the sq. tube frame, as well as having a cushion layer inside. The base of the assembly will be a 1.5" tube frame with it's bottom side flush with the bottom of the frame rail, and which mounts to the frame rail similar the transmission crossmember. The 0.125" flat plate base for the pad and batteries to rest on will be nestled 3/4" above the frame rail bottom- i.e. nestled up so the frame rail and battery box sq. tube frame provide some protection. On top of the plate will be a 1/4" EPDM rubber pad, and the batteries. The inside edges of the tube frame will locate the base of the battery. The inside edge of the plate next to the frame will have a formed lip for rigidity, and will have about 1/2" space to the frame rail for water drainage.

Got started on the 1.5" sq. lower box frame. Rather than square mitre comers, I decided to make rounded corners as they are a little more compact and deflect hits better. It's the same approach I used on the engine cross-member, but this one bends a full 90 degrees. Once you cut the mitre/curve section out of the tube, it's pretty easy to bend the remaining wall of the tube into the curve by hand. Here's shots of a corner prepped and tacked and also after welding:





In order to keep both ends of the frame co-planar and the corners square, I clamped it to my "lathe bed work station" as shown, and took my time welding it to reduce warpage:



Turned some bosses with countersunk holes that will be used for mounting points at the ends of the battery frame / cross member to mount it to the frame rail, similar to the transmission cross-member. The countersink will be on the bottom, and I'll use 7/16" allen head cap screws so the bottom will have no protrusions.



The 1" sq. tube and countersunk boss in the center will provide a third mounting point on the drivers side rail. It will align to the top of the 1.5" tube structure- i.e. it's bottom side will be 0.5" above the bottom of the frame rail. It also serves to locate to position the batteries, and adds additional protection to the battery tray.

Welded on some end caps. I wanted these fit and welded on before adding the mounting bosses so I could set the mounting boss position accurately relative to the end of the tubes.






Making progress one step at a time...
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #627 (Edited)
Got a little bit more done today. Prepped and welded the mounting bosses and center support in the battery box frame, and made the mating end brackets.



Here's some detail shots of the mounts:







Laid out the 0.125" panels that will weld in this assembly for the bottom battery tray. They'll get welded in next, then I'll start on the rest of the cross-member and the sides of the battery enclosure.
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #630
Battery Box continued...

Made the pans for the batteries to rest on inside the lower tube frame. The pans have some drain slots around the perimeter to let water out. Here they are fitted to the tube frame:



Clamped everything up to weld. The pans have some flat steel pieces stacked as spacers underneath to set their height at 3/4" from the bottom of the frame.



Finished welding the assembly:



It stayed nice and level, but did bow 1/8" along the long tube, due to shrinkage caused by the welds along it's inside face. Not enough to cause any problem, not too noticeable visually... but a little annoying.

Here's the bottom side showing how the trays are recessed up in the assembly- 3/4" higher than frame rail bottom.



Here's how the battery fits. I'll be adding a 1/4" thick EPDM rubber mat for the batteries to sit on, when it's all done. The formed lip of the tray is positioned 1/2" inboard of the frame rail, so water can drain out there as well as at the slots around the edges of the trays.



Next step is to make the floor brace/ cross-member pieces that attach to this, then the outer shell and battery hold downs.
 

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Your fab work looks great as always! I'm wondering why you didn't set the pans even with the bottom of the battery frame, and then lift the frame 3/4" more, relative to the chassis? (So the battery still sits in the same location relative to the chassis, but the bottom of the box would be flat and the framework would sit up 3/4" higher)?
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #634 (Edited)
Your fab work looks great as always! I'm wondering why you didn't set the pans even with the bottom of the battery frame, and then lift the frame 3/4" more, relative to the chassis? (So the battery still sits in the same location relative to the chassis, but the bottom of the box would be flat and the framework would sit up 3/4" higher)?
Thanks jalbrecht42! Good question. I initially had several different ideas for how to make the battery box, most of which had a battery base plate that was either flush with the bottom of the rail or set a little higher up - but still "exposed" i.e. with only the adjacent frame rail providing protection.

Feedback comments I received about how to best protect the batteries from rock damage got me thinking a little harder on both the protection of the base of the battery, but also about the strength of the structure overall as it could need to support a lot of the vehicle weight if it's sitting on a rock. This tipped me towards making a square tube structure rather than a lighter assembly with 1/8" panels.

Once I settled on the tubing structure idea, then I thought that keeping the tube structure flush with the frame rail bottom and recessing the tray plate upward into the structure would provide good protection to the base of the battery since it is nestled up in a small space surrounded by the tubing. This then enabled me to use lighter 1/8" plate rather than a heavier 3/16" or 1/4" skid plate.

A skid plate flush on the bottom would slide better but could also dent and harm the battery on the other side. I didn't like a double layer battery tray and skid because of trapping water and mud between them.

I also wanted to avoid trapping water next to the frame rail, and so a space between the battery tray panel and the rail was desirable for drainage. By tucking the battery tray plate up into the tube structure, that enabled a 3/4" high formed downward flange on the inside edge that stiffens the tray and helps water to flow out between it and the frame rail.

Lots of little trade offs!
------------------------

Later edit with further thoughts...

I've been staring at the base assembly as I started laying out the next parts, and I'm not sure I'm sold on it.

Jalbrecht42: your question- plus staring at the finished base- has me thinking that the bottom side of the assembly with it's nested tray is pretty "snaggy" given the three tube sections running cross-wise to the direction of travel. The assembly is also kind of bulky, and the remaining sections to be made are a little clumsy as far as how they tie in to the part I've made so far. Since nothing is attached to the frame yet, it would be easy to change if I can come up with a better design. I'm going to chill a bit and think about alternatives before taking it further. Thanks for the question, as it triggered me to look a little harder at it...before it's committed to the frame!
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #637
I just got turned on to this thread. The fab work is unbelievable and really inspiring to build a new frame for my old worn out CJ5.
Thanks for the very nice comment 68Dauntless! Building the frame has been rewarding. Highly recommended! My original one was pretty badly bent and also a bit hacked from earlier modifications I made. I had tried to straighten it out after a road accident but wasn't happy with it. Once I found all the great builds here in the Willys section, it really lit a fire to get going. I've stolen a ton of ideas from all the great builders here! I'm really glad I decided to build a new one. It's really nice to be able to put everything where you want it in the layout. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #638 (Edited)
If it is above the bottom of the frame, don't worry about the 'snaggy' thing too much.
Thanks for the input Meiser, always appreciated! The "snaggy bottom" thing is one concern, but I have several others with the current approach. I'm overthinking it a bit as I often do, but think I can do better.

I've had a guiding concept for the build of trying to make things fit like they "belong there", and keep it clean and uncluttered. The current approach is kind of complicated and clumsy so I'm seeing if I can come up with something I like better- including revisiting your earlier comment that two big batteries are probably more than I need. I mocked that up and it sure is apparent that a single battery works way better as far as exhaust clearance / heat, and makes the box and cross-member floor brace design options simpler. Less offset weight too, plus as you mentioned originally - the wiring is much simpler.

Here's a mock-up pic of the single. I'm doing some detailing of this approach to see how it plays out and then will decide on whether I'll stay with two or go for the single. Then back to fab! Kind of liking this option better at this point...

 

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Yup, I think a single ( especially a full size one ) is going to be just fine. I am running a small group 51 battery with a 100amp GM alternator with no issues. I run a primary electric fan and winch all the time. I have not noticed any issues.

As a counterpoint, one advantage of of having two batteries is the ability to have 24V available on the vehicle ( with a little reqwire ) for battery welding. I was actually considering running two of the small group 51 batteries on my new project for this reason. They are about half size and half weight of a normal battery. As you have found, the biggest issue is space and overall complexity...
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #640 (Edited)
Yup, I think a single ( especially a full size one ) is going to be just fine. I am running a small group 51 battery with a 100amp GM alternator with no issues. I run a primary electric fan and winch all the time. I have not noticed any issues.

As a counterpoint, one advantage of of having two batteries is the ability to have 24V available on the vehicle ( with a little reqwire ) for battery welding. I was actually considering running two of the small group 51 batteries on my new project for this reason. They are about half size and half weight of a normal battery. As you have found, the biggest issue is space and overall complexity...
Thanks for the additional feedback on the single vs double options Meiser! The dual battery 24V welding option is pretty cool. At the same time it's nice to hear that you've done just fine with a smaller single battery on Rango, even with lots of winching and an electric fan.

Detailing out the mounting arrangement, I'm now liking the single idea best. Based on your comments and with the big battery I've chosen, and given that I'm not doing hard core heavy winching, the single should do well. Running the single allows me to keep it farther away from the exhaust while still mounting it along the frame- which frees up engine compartment space, and makes the mounting and wiring simpler as you originally indicated. The way the single fits relative to the floors and battery access cover all work out nicer too. I'm going to go with the single. Thanks for the inputs to help sort this out!
 
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