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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow Cruiserheads,
I intended to start his thread a few months ago when I started my build, but never got to it. Now that the days here in sunny CA are about 10min long, I finally have a chance to catch up.

After several years wheelin our 1st gen Toyota PU, I finally caved in to the peer pressure inflicted by the group of friends we wheel with, (All Cruisers) and decided to build my idea of the ultimate trail rig. So I picked up a 69 FJ40 and melted the credit card for a few months getting the major parts piled up in the garage.

My goal is to put together a rig that will be able to run our favorite haunts (Fordyce, Barrett, and Moab) as well as able to run the Hammers without too much body damage, and....still be able to be driven safely around town. Not asking too much??? Here's my master plan:

New frame with 15" added between the axles (need back seat room)
4 link rear
3 link front
ORI struts at both ends
5.3 Vortec Motor
4l60e auto mated to an Atlas 4 speed
HP60 front HD60 rear, ARBs in both
40" MTRs on Raceline Beadlocks
110" Wheelbase
Hydroboost brakes
Ram assist
Narrow body to 55" wide

I narrowed the axles to allow an 82" track width in order to fit on my trailer and through the gates at Barrett.

This is what I've gotten done so far:
All major parts are on site. The axles are built. All suspension design/mockup/fab has been finished. The frame is complete and the tub has been narrowed.

Enough talk, on to the good stuff..

Starting the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OK, so I skipped a few steps in the last post...Here are a few of the mock up process. Everything finally fit together, but the word of the day on this build seems to be TIGHT! Getting all the front suspension links, motor, panhard and steering to fit arount the HP60 was a bit of a head scratcher. In the end it all fit nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!
A few more just because..
The last one shows the body after I removed the taper from door section. This rig will be flat sided to get the narrow width.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Finally figured out a simple rear Atlas support, I wanted to go with a support ring, but the clearance to the lower link mount was causing me problems.

Painted the frame yesterday, and spent today getting the skid plate drilled out to match the nuts that are inserted in the bottom of the frame rails. I'll get some pictures of the flat belly skid plate as soon as I finish drilling the counter sink holes.

Note to self..Its a lot easier to transfer holes from the skid plate to the frame, than it is to line up existing holes in the frame with a 3x3 sheet of 1/4" aluminum.
 

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Nice!!

Your build goals sound like mine! Narrowing the tub that way seems to be a big thing now. I did mine 3 years ago but stopped the build right after that! I wish I would have just built a new frame instead chopping mine all to hell! Oh well, live and learn! :laughing: Getting everything to fit is pita! Are you planning to narrow the rear section of the tub?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
jedrattle

The entire rear half of the tub will be a square tube frame with 1/4" 6061 aluminum body sides. The sides will be bolted to the tubing with countersunk bolts so that they can be removed and replaced if damaged. I found a company that can roll the rear corner radius (BMB Metals) so as soon as the rolling chasis is reassembled I can start on that.
The overall width of the tub will be 55" from the front of the door opening all the way to the back of the rig.
 

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jedrattle

The entire rear half of the tub will be a square tube frame with 1/4" 6061 aluminum body sides. The sides will be bolted to the tubing with countersunk bolts so that they can be removed and replaced if damaged. I found a company that can roll the rear corner radius (BNB Metals) so as soon as the rolling chasis is reassembled I can start on that.
The overall width of the tub will be 55" from the front of the door opening all the way to the back of the rig.
Nice! I want to do the same basic thing but I want to be able to attach a softtop. I was thinking about using the top rail of the tub (extended to match the stretch) and using the TJ Unlimited Jeep aluminum corners. I am working on the frame right now. Trying to get the steering box, pan hard bar mount, and bumpstop all in the same spot!:laughing: Who's truss is that on the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice! I want to do the same basic thing but I want to be able to attach a softtop. I was thinking about using the top rail of the tub (extended to match the stretch) and using the TJ Unlimited Jeep aluminum corners. I am working on the frame right now. Trying to get the steering box, pan hard bar mount, and bumpstop all in the same spot!:laughing: Who's truss is that on the rear?
Rear truss is from Blue Torch Fab. It's the same one I used on my 1st gen and it works well. Packaging issues on my front axle made me really glad I was using ORI struts with internal bump stops, I don't know how I would have made room for air bumps.
 

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Rear truss is from Blue Torch Fab. It's the same one I used on my 1st gen and it works well. Packaging issues on my front axle made me really glad I was using ORI struts with internal bump stops, I don't know how I would have made room for air bumps.
Nice!
 

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Cool build and clean work. I'll have to watch this one. Keep it comin!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Not much big progress today, but I'm pretty jazzed to actually be able to install something in it's final position without knowing that I'll have to take it apart again after mock up!
I was able to paint the fuel tank and get the sender and fittings installed.
I've got to give major props to the guys at BMB metal fab in Rancho Cordova, for the awesome work they did on my tank. After wasting what seemed like hundreds of hours searching the net for a fuel tank/cell that would work in the space behind the rear axle, I decided the only way to get 24+ gallons was to build it myself. After drawing it up, I stopped into BMB to see if they could do the bends I needed. Mark said it would be no problem, but he would need to draw it up to give me a price. The next day he sends me the tank drawings, fully modeled and dimensioned in Solid Works, along with 2 quotes. One for the metal cut and bent, the other for a fully assembled and pressure tested version. After seeing how fair the pricing was, I ended up having them build it complete. When I picked it up, I was impressed by the quality of their work, and I would recommend them to anyone looking to build a tank. See what you think..
 

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Sweet build! I have very similar aspirations for my next build.

Definitely subscribing!

Tank looks awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My new countersink bit set showed up today :D, So I was able to get the skidplate finished up. Next time, instead of inserting nuts into the frame while I was putting it together, I will definitely go with a Rivnut, installed after the skid plate is drilled. Getting those holes to line up was a PITA! Anyway, I can now get started putting the axles back under it for good...Did I mention this thing has to be completed for our trip to Moab in April? I know what I'm doing every night for the next 3 months!
 

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Looks awesome!!!

Do you have dimensions of your frame? Any more pics of the body narrowing? Diggin' it!!!
 

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BLA BLA BLA....... Yea Jim we all know that your build is mega sick and we should all envy you and your abilities. I go to sleep at night wishing i could be more like you..........HAHAHAHAHA just kidding man love the build and cant wait for more progress. :flipoff2:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looking good jim!! you going to be ready for moab? only 3 more months
It's gonna be close, but that's my plan. I took next week off to devote to the Cruiser. You guys planning on making it out this year?

Looks awesome!!!


Do you have dimensions of your frame? Any more pics of the body narrowing? Diggin' it!!!
Thanks, I do have dimensioned drawings of the frame. Unfortunately, I'm of the old school, and not very tech savvy. So they are actual drawings, not fancy CAD models like a lot of guys are able to do. In general terms, the front rails are 28" wide and taper out to 36" in the rear. If you are looking for something specific, let me know. I will be posting more on the body as soon as I get it back to a rolling chassis, hopefully by Christmas.

BLA BLA BLA....... Yea Jim we all know that your build is mega sick and we should all envy you and your abilities. I go to sleep at night wishing i could be more like you..........HAHAHAHAHA just kidding man love the build and cant wait for more progress. :flipoff2:
Thank you for the kind sarcasm!:flipoff2:
 
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