Much better with the cross-bar/ crossmember in place.There ya go Tom. I kinda answered the question in the next post. The 1x4 bar was welded directly to the frame, nothing between it and the frame, I figured the 2" bar connecting the two would suffice, particularly since we got it tying multiple sides of the frame for support.
I had some steering issues on my trail rig last week, so steering reinforcement / longevity is high on my mind.
If you hadn't put in that crossbar, I would've - particularly in this application, I think the "straight steer" is crucial with the panhard bar mount there, too.
Imagine dropping the Scout from 10' in the air. The panhard bar is going to cause the front axle to shift laterally as it moves through it's motion. The front suspension droops out the full 16" and is hanging by the limit straps, then the tires hit the ground, and the chassis follows quickly.
As the main weight of the Scout comes down, the panhard bar is going to shove the entire frame/body to the left (at least the first part, I didn't look to see whether the panhard is horizontal at ride height and goes the other way at full bump or not).
On the way up into the air, when the limit straps are taut, it's going to try pulling the panhard mount over to the passenger side.
Push, pull on that little spot of the frame, right next to the steering box that's doing the same.
Then consider a hard turn in rough terrain, with 3-4,000lbs of Scout leaning to the outside of the turn, wanting to slide the axles sideways, but the tires have enough traction (or hit something solid) to keep the axle from moving, so the whole chassis is pushing hard against the panhard.
Lots of reasons for that cross-member to tie the two sides of the frame together.
Speaking of the panhard - how does it look at full stuff? Everything clears?
I think the radiator mount / radiator cage will also add to the strength in this area.
For those at home.. I want to mount the radiator in front of the engine, roughly "stock" relative to the crank (12" back from the front/stock location) and put at least one "X" in front of, or behind, the radiator to help protect it in a rollover, and to stiffen up the front frame.