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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't had my own personal buggy in close to 11 years now. Every time I start a new ride for myself, I end up acquiring new parts that will not work with what I was currently building, or I end up having a customer come by with cash in hand for my partially completed project (everything is for sale for the right price). This year, my new years resolution was to finally build and finish a buggy for myself. I'm pretty sure there is a running pool on how long till this one gets sold among my friends but we will see. This build will also likely be painfully slow as I balance my time between working as a hospice RN fulltime, family time, and doing builds for others in my free time. I am making myself allot atleast a day a week to this build so there will be atleast a once a week update.

About 7 years ago I broke down and built a table to build chassis on. I was tired of building them on the shop floor and the constant struggle to keep things in place and square. Even with the table, most plasma local shops wanted $$$ to cut large fixtures to hold the chassis tubes and since almost every chassis I have built is different in some way, a one size fits all fixture wouldnt work.

For this chassis I decided to build it in halves like a clam shell.Quite possibly the easiest experience I have ever had building a chassis.








Once I had the 2 halves built, I just stood them up and added the lower windshield tube. A few small fixtures and everything went together very easily.Most buggies the A and B pillars go all the way to the buggy floor. On this build I'm going just to the beltline in anticipation of making repairs easier later down the road



For tires and wheels I'm going with 45" SXII's on 17x9 trailreadys with 7" of backspacing



They tuck the portal box in pretty well and should keep excessive scrub to a minimum





Drivetrain thrown up into place. All the drivetrain parts are left overs from my last two builds that were never finished. Originally the axles started out as TG housings with Strange 5.43 geared 10" 3rds, 40 spline spool and I planned to use rockwell outers on 47 LTB's. I ended up getting a very good deal on some 45" swampers and portal boxes so I changed directions in a big way.Eventually I'm gonna swap the Strange 3rds for some 3.00 geared 3rds with 31 spline ARB. You will have to excuse the clutter, my fab table tends to become a catch all, and I have very limited shop space at the moment

 

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clamshell is an interesting way to do it, looking forward to seeing this one get nearly finished :flipoff2:
 

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Glad to see this on Pirate. My work's firewall blocks hardline and I hate tapatalk...

Did you make the brackets on the back of your portals or buy them from Jesse?
 

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Although I'm sure ~10:1 effective r&p is probably too low, are you sure you wouldn't want something lower than 5.xx with those 45s?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you make the brackets on the back of your portals or buy them from Jesse?
I bought the "C"s and steering arms from Jesse in the name of saving time on the original build 1.5yrs ago. It took a while to get the parts from Jesse, and a local machine shop had my boxes even longer drilling the taper out of the holes and making my rotor hats (7months). If I had it to do over again, I would have made my own parts, but I have no qualms about Jesse's parts. They are high quality and he has been nothing but helpful answering questions when I have them

Although I'm sure ~10:1 effective r&p is probably too low, are you sure you wouldn't want something lower than 5.xx with those 45s?
I'm torn between a 3.0 and 3.25 ratio.I have plenty of motor (almost 800hp at the crank), and plenty of gearing before the axles (6l80/hero 3spd). The buggy will be tagged and street legal, so my biggest concern is having a ratio tall enough for highway use since the buggy will get driven a lot on the road
 

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I'm torn between a 3.0 and 3.25 ratio.I have plenty of motor (almost 800hp at the crank), and plenty of gearing before the axles (6l80/hero 3spd). The buggy will be tagged and street legal, so my biggest concern is having a ratio tall enough for highway use since the buggy will get driven a lot on the road
Copy, 6l80 makes up for a lot. I definitely assumed that it wouldn't see much road time :laughing:

I see so many people go for 5.xx because that's what is common.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Small update but it is progress.My original intent was to make the buggy so the drivetrain could be dropped out the bottom of the chassis, or the engine would be able to come out of the top so that working on it would be much easier. I had planned to do two 1/2" bolts mounted horizontal at the chassis going to a poly bushing at the engine. Due to the offset of the engine this wasn't possible. I decided I would just weld in the chassis side of the mount.


Luckily a few days later I needed to pull the engine and trans. When I went to reinstall the engine/trans/tcase I discovered what a colossal PITA it was going to be in the future. So today I cut all that shit out and ended up making some vertical tabs and new motor mounts











I made the tabs in a manner that will eventually tie into a boxed in gusset that runs under the frame rail.
 

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What made the mounts being welded to the chassis a PITA?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What made the mounts being welded to the chassis a PITA?
Getting everything to line up like it should. With the mounts as part of the chassis, it required the engine be lowered vertically in place. All the tubes aren't even in place and it was a 45min affair trying to get the engine back mounted. The problem will only be compounded when I add more tubes and mounts to the back of the heads. Also with the mounts welded it pretty much forces the engine/trans/tcase to all go in as separate pieces.

I am trying to keep some flexibility to where those parts can be pulled without a huge clusterfuck. I live in Florida, so the closest good wheeling is 8hrs away, so I need to be able to break the buggy down and repair it as easily as possible for when I manage to really break something or have a problem that requires the drivetrain be pulled. On my last buggy I built the drivetrain so it came out the bottom of the buggy. I built a rolling cart that supported the drivetrain so pulling everything was a pretty quick and easy affair.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So originally I had all the front tube work planned out, and I intended to run a hood with some sort of built in fender to maintain a resemblance to a jeep. The last time I had a fiberglass hood with built in fenders on a rig, the hood didn't even make it through the first ride before I had pretty much removed both fenders trying to wedge the jeep in places it didn't belong. Somewhere along the lines of dwelling over this for a week or so I decided to add tube fenders to the front of the chassis when I started laying everything out. With tube fenders it altered the original way I was going to do the front tube work. So I started adding tubes









By this point the front end was a complete clusterfuck of tubes and I wasn't really happy with it. I also had a few issues with where I mounted the engine was going to make routing the exhaust a bitch, plus I had originally planned to run tube under the oil pan for a skid, which sat the engine high in the chassis. This made the planned seating position a little higher than I wanted. After stewing over it for a week I threw a junk hood and grill I had up on it .


I was hoping that the lines would flow a little better with panels on it, but they just were not. I was also drastically different with how the front tube work was done compared to what I had panned and how I have done other chassis in the past. I ended up torching off the majority of work I had done and went back to plan A.

Before:


After:


New tubework in place




I still have a few more tubes to add up front, but it is waaaay cleaner and less cluttered now


I also redid the belly crossmembers , moved the engine back 2" and it now sits 2.5" lower in the chassis. There is only a 3/4" difference between the car and truck pan on the 6l80 so I figured for such little difference I may as well run the truck trans and oil pan and hopefully avoid any oiling issues LS engines are known for.. I'll post pics ot the new engine/trans mounts and crossmembers as soon as I get them finished
 

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i agree with you that front end version the second looks a good bit less cluttered :smokin:

does the 6l80 pan sit as low as the truck oil pan? There is a good 3" difference between the truck engine oil pan and the car pan :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
does the 6l80 pan sit as low as the truck oil pan? There is a good 3" difference between the truck engine oil pan and the car pan :confused:
The trans pan is sitting level to the table and there is probably 1.5-1.75" of space under it. The oil pan has a piece of 3/8" plate under it. This will give me a small space under the oil pan to allow the skid to flex in a hard impact before hitting the pan. The Hero is clocked just slightly and had 2" between it and the table



 

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oh wow, guess i never realized how low those sat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Last update for a while. I have to play nurse for the next 10 days. This is the trans mount. I added notches for clearance on the shifter cable, and also the trans pan so it will be able to be removed without removing anything else but the skid plate








 

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Why are your Lower axle link mounts so much lower than the center line of axle tubes. Seams to negate the high ground clearance the portals N shit offer. Jesse and several others run them with the center line and have reported No extra wear and tear on heims.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Why are your Lower axle link mounts so much lower than the center line of axle tubes. Seams to negate the high ground clearance the portals N shit offer. Jesse and several others run them with the center line and have reported No extra wear and tear on heims.
I was after a specific link geometry number. Packaging of some other parts also played into it. With my current setup, the lower links will be flat at ride height, with 7" of uptravel. Below are some pics of my original build. Ground clearance really will never be an issue I don't think, and you can get an idea of the packaging issues with the coilovers clearing the links and tires





 

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Discussion Starter #20
One very minor update. Today was going to be my only day in the shop after working the last 10, and I am scheduled to work the next 9 straight. Unfortunately we had some bad weather today that flooded my shop with about 4" of standing water, and knocked power out for half the day. The plan is for the engine to be supported by the traditional engine mounts, plus these off the back of the heads (which aren't finished in the pic). Trans has its own support, and the hero will be supported at both output shafts as well.

 
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