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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've been postponing publishing a public build thread for long enough. I'm getting to the point where getting more opinions and input on what i'm doing & where I'm headed will be incredibly valuable. So here it is.

Around november of last year I picked up a 69 f100 camper special which had no engine, a 4 speed transmission, but it stopped, steered and rolled. Then I found an engine trans combo in the form of a 429 big block and a C6. Did a rebuild, put em in. Built a cab cage. started an engine cage. now i'm in the middle of the front suspension build. That's the short of it. Pics are worth a thousand words anyway:








autofab mounts:


edit: sorry guys I moved a bunch of stuff around in my photobucket and I dont remember what pics I had up. If there's something missing that you remember seeing / still want to see, send me a message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·






And then i found out that my beams weren't actually bent like I was told (that'll teach me to believe a guy about used desert parts). So I spent the past few days working on adding in some lift / ride height to the beams.

Here's how I left the truck tonight:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Frank,

The autofab motor mounts were remarkably painless to install. John (autofab guy) did a pretty good job lining up the 385 series big block to the f100 frame using existing holes. I'll take some detail pictures tomorrow.

I bought a set of heddman long tube headers, but they ended up not clearing the passenger side frame rail, so I had to do some clearance-ing with a grinder. I'm not worried about strength because I'll be adding so many tubes in that area with the engine cage build. If I was going to do it again, I would spend the $$ and get some headers that were specifically built for a big block ford in an f100 frame.

Glad to hear that you're still putting some effort into the Tank. I love that truck and I took some ideas from it when I first got the truck... we actually have some mutual friends from the poly performance/polygoats circle, so i've been able to see it in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Are you planning on using glass or lexan?

Nice fab work :)
Thank you. I guess I never did tell you guys what my plan was for the truck. For your question, I was planning on glass but lexan never even crossed my mind. I'll have to look into that.

The plan for the truck is to build a capable play truck, with no race intentions. (at least for this first iteration) This is my first full-size truck build (I did SAE baja before this) so I'm learning a ton as things go along. The front suspension, as you can probably see is to run 1 ton beams, cut for lift and plated for strength. custom radius arms on heims, coilovers. Full cage. The rear will have a 3-link with a speedway engineering full floater 9" housing which I bought trussed and tabbed for a 3 link. The tires are 35s.

Got the radius arms put together tonight. After my beam fiasco, I'm a little "gun" shy about fully welding things until it's all together. So these still have a bunch of plating and welding until they're 100% but in this state they'll be substantial enough to let me move forward with steering and shock placement. Once the front suspension geometry is completed and tacked into place, I'll weld it all up and finish the gusseting & plating.





I'm going to be moving on to doing the crossover steering next and I wanted to get some input. What do you guys think about picking up a set of pre-built or WIY swingers (giant motorsports, for example) and doing the links and mounts myself to match this application?

Also, any thoughts about the best steering box to try and get for crossover? I have a junkyard trip in my future and all I can think to look for is a box that mounts to the inside of the frame rail, extends down far enough, has a relatively flat pitman arm, and has provisions for power steering. Any input?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Subscribed. Good work!!
I love F-100 prerunners! Look great.
Thanks guys.

Went to the junkyard and picked up a steering box out of a 91 f250. it met all of my requirements, but we'll see how good of a choice it was.

When i was cycling my front suspension, the tires would hit part of the body mount near full bump while turning, so I ended up doing some plate work to hang the cab off the cage. As with many things... the first step to improving is admitting your weakness. I suck at sheet metal. I'm not thrilled with many of the joints of the plates to the body. I think part of it was the general fit of it, part of it may have been my lack of experience welding with thin materials, and another part is a lack of experience working with sheet and all the tricks that go along with it. I'll be re-doing many of the plate work down the road.

The reason I'm telling you guys this stuff is because I talked to a guy at work who used to do sheet metal paneling for race bikes and he mentioned that the best way to do it is to have the plate meet tangent to the tube you're working with and on the other end of the plate, round off the edge to basically "flare" the edge that meets with the body (or other sheet metal panel). This flare / rounded edge gives you a point to focus your weld (and therefore, your heat) into the now thicker plate and it should result in a cleaner weld. No more trigger welding to body panels. I'll report back on that process after I try it.

After the plate stuff was done I took my trusty plasma cutter and cut off the body mounts and a bunch of sheet metal down in the tire area. Way better. no pics of that yet, sorry.

Lastly, steering swingers are started. on with the pics.



 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Nice work, but what you started with looks to be a F-250. Those are definately 3/4 ton hubcaps and your later photo shows an 8 lug wheel up front.
No worries though, you can hang 1/2 running gear in that truck easily.
The licensing is all done as an f100, but the rear end is a dana 60 and the front end was 7/8 kingpin with disc brakes (half ton?). Weird. Doesn't matter to me, though, because I put my own set of strengthened 1 ton beams up front and i'll be running a full floater 9" in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
(setting up) crossover steering can go burn in the 7th ring of Hell.

It took me roughly a week's worth of work and something like 5 different setups to get a geometry I'm okay with. Next step, mount steering box, recheck, tighten up everything with final hardware & bearings, recheck, mount shocks, recheck, convert to steel, recheck. welding party.






 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well... while waiting for some off-the-shelf stuff to keep moving on my font end... i took some measurements, made some marks, took a couple deep breaths, bullshitted with my roommate, and then did this:


Then you don't just cut off your rear frame and NOT mickey-mouse your parts into position, right?



I think this thing might actually end up looking kinda cool..
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
That looks pretty sketchy too much of a bend. Too bad you couldn't figure out a way to make a straight bar work, even after it took you a week and 5 different setups. I think that it might need to be gone over one more time. Not talking shit, it just doesn't look strong.
Or maybe its just the angle of the camera?
I went to the off-road expo this weekend and I've been looking at some friends' trucks and this bent tie rod issue seems to be a fundamental problem with dual-swing steering. I've seen one truck that accomplishes straight tie rods by using a center mounted hydraulic ram with simple tie rods.

believe me, i'm not thrilled with having a bend but I'll look into it further down the road when I can devote more effort to designing my own complete system and get it all into CAD and work it out that way. Also, keep in mind that the links you see are conduit, not the final steel product. For the bent tie rod, I plan on using 1.25 OD, 3/8" wall tubing and machining out the ends to the appropriate minor dia, then tapping the ends of the tubing itself. That will give me a 3/8" wall tube throughout the link, and get rid of a possible failure point by adding a welded section with a bung.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Sorry I've been failing at taking pictures and keeping you guys updated.

Here's a list of stuff followed by some pics:

Front upper shock mounts
Wishbone mount/ b-pillar crossmember
Bumps, bump cans and mounts all sourced.
F-loads of tubing delivered
Beams welded up, not fully desert-plated
Radius arms welded up, not fully desert-plated
Lower front shock mounts installed and welded
Redid the bushings on the trailing arms with greasable units, welded those up
Trailing arm mounts welded and tacked to the frame
Center console mocked up, shifter positioned
Stock steering stuff all removed








According to my quick-n-dirty gantt chart thing, I should be alright for new years. I may have to enlist some help though..
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Matt, new years will be in johnson valley. If the planets align and the gods smile I might be able to do a shakedown in pismo. we'll see.

The trailing arm mounts are from ruff stuff, i'll be adding a little extra tube gusset on the back of it just to be worry-free.

that tube you see there isn't actually part of the b-pillar, it runs from the lowest bend in my a-pillar back to the frame where the b-pillar is. and yea it might get in the way but I won't know until I cycle it to see if I run out of ground clearance before I hit that tube.

I just got the engine cage 98% done this weekend and my 3rd member installed in the new housing so my next steps (for the rear-end anyway) are to build the wishbone, cut the body where needed and start cycling stuff. On top of cutting bushings for the beams, repositioning the beams and radius arm mounts...finishing the steering, building a steering column. you know, little stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Don't forget about fixing the windshield wiper linkage.
I don't know what you're talking about :flipoff2:

The 3rd is a pretty simple, basic one. The gears are 3.73 with a limited slip. The axles I will have to order from speedway because they'll be 31 spline at the 3rd member but some goofy 26/28 spline whatever the hell it is at the drive plate. I already talked to those guys and they said that's normal. ooookay, whatever, as long as they can make it and it doesn't cost me my right arm.

i'm not moving the beam pivots, but the radius arm mounts are going to move forward a bit to try and suck everything in a bit tighter & add a touch of clearance to the passenger side tire without threading out the heims more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Wish I would have known about those headers earlier... Haha


More stuff. An old roomate's rendering memoralized:


Engine cage bracing:


Links at bump:


Crap profile picture, but you get the idea. Bump is at 11" up and set roughly .5" just below the wheel bottoming out. Meaning that if the tire completely flattens under a hit, I have a half inch from the ground to the cab.


Yesterday, a friend of mine from back in the SAE days came by to help me start the rear cage structure and center everything up. Getting this stuff all set without an extra pair of hands would have been extremely tough so having the help was incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Truck is looking very nice. What joints are you using on the fronts of your trailing arms? I was under the impression its better to mount the springs/shocks below the trailing arm center line.
I have bushings at the front end of the trailing arms and heims at the back. The reason people usually run the shocks below the centerline is to help prevent the loads from the shocks from wanting to "tip" over the trailing arm.

I bought these already built (I just replaced the front bushings only) so I'm going to run them as is until the need to make new ones arises. There's definitely room for improvement, but they'll do for now while I learn to drive this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
Thanks for the ideas. All of the steering links except one are straight.

Progress: :smokin: :smokin::smokin::smokin:

Got the rear end to sit on its own weight. There's damn near no weight back there so if the springs look like their in the wrong spot, you're right.


The tube bracing the shock mount is off centered from the coil over because if I add a bypass later on, I will split the two.


Damn near full bump:


I have about an inch and a half of driveshaft plunge (measured) and roughly 5 degrees of pinion angle change through 21" of travel.

I'll be getting bearing material for the front end tomorrow (I hope). So then ill cut those up to size and the front end should be sitting on its own this week.
 
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