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Discussion Starter #42
It has to be 'done' by about the 2nd-3rd week in March 2012 for a shake down. Then it has to be driving around for EJS 2012! That is only like 5-6 months away.....EEEEEEEEKKKKKK!

It won't really be 'done' but it should be together in a driveable form by then I hope.

After work tonight I am going to work on welding up the frame. I need to find some 1.75"x1/8 flat bar to seal up the rises in the frame too.

I am thinking that I will cut a few sections of round stock to bridge from frame rail to frame rail at the spring hangers. I think this should help get the frame square between the left and right side. The frame shouldn't really be able to rack THAT much if you connect the spring hangers. The round stock will be faced at the ends and drilled and tapped for some 1/2-13 bolts. I should be able to bolt the frame together at that point with the aluminum pucks I made earlier.

I guess it just needs to be on the table and then measured for a few hours before I finally weld up everything.....

I'm starting to look forward to things like the motor mounts, engine offset, transmission cross member, etc. Ideas are VERY welcome. One thing I REALLY want to do is raise the engine transmission and t-case up enough that I have a flat belly to the bottom of the frame. The D18 makes this easy in some ways and a total pain in others. The hood is already getting chopped and is VERY rough already so no big deal cutting it to me. I would like to get the engine to fit under the hood, but there is only so much room in a little ol' flat fender engine compartment. The engine will likely be high enough in the chassis that I will need to poke the carb/air cleaner through the hood a little bit. I think I am going to use one of these.



Spectre 98499. Then tuck a large air cleaner over on the passenger side near the firewall.

Raising the engine also solves some issues I was having with the front driveshaft hitting the bellhousing. I will also be pushing the engine forward about 1-1.5" along with the grille during the fender lift thing. The front axle is going forward about 3" too. Everything is moving around!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
With a normal carburetor I don't think its going to happen all under the hood. Maybe if I did twin turbo's with a draw through motorcycle carb setup......:D

I will measure tonight but with my 2bbl Holley sitting on the adapter to a rochester 2bbl manifold (with a pretty short air cleaner) I think I am less than an inch to the hood. I think the seam has already been trimmed too....

Anyone know what shortest intake, carb, and air cleaner system would be on a Buick V-6? I was thinking some of the FWD car stuff would have to be pretty dang short?
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Welding up circular holes sucks....



I got all the speed holes in one frame rail welded. That was much harder than I would have thought. Welding around in a circle is not easy at all! Overall they are decent and will hold together, but they are not what I would call pretty!



I took a picture or two of the engine compartment making some mental notes on stuff. Boy, there really isn't a lot of room. The engine was also installed a little offset at an angle by the previous owner. It always worked fine. I am going to shoot for 1.25" to the drivers side and go from there.



There is a little more room with the air cleaner than I thought, but not a ton. the air cleaner has a slight raise in the base that could go away with a little work. The air cleaner is about as small as I would want to run. The carb has a 1/2" thick adapter under it also that might be able to be redone?



That is a really bad view of the steering shaft joint at the column. It is VERY close to the drivers side exhaust manifold! With the new lower seating position the steering column angle needs to change (down at the steering wheel. I think lifting the motor will give enough room to work around. The column connection at the dash needs to be redone also. The steering box pull is also pretty dang close to the drivers side inner fender.

I will do a little more tomorrow. My search for some 1.75x1/8 flat bar is still ongoing....
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I welded up the speed holes in the 2nd frame rail after work tonight.



I think by the last hole I wasn't doing half bad booger welds....figures.



I'm happy to say that the rails stayed pretty dang straight during all the cutting, building, and welding....



Next I think I will be welding in the front bumper and rear crossmember ( behind the rear bumper ). Now I just need to think up a way to get the frame nice and square......
 

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I'd leave both the front & rear frame rails long until you're almost finished--tack weld something to keep the rails together---I'm having a booger of a time with my steering cuz I didn't think about distances and clearances--just figured 17.5" from front of axle tube to back of front bumper would be no issue---well it is----

chris
 

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Discussion Starter #49
My rails are cut to length, but the front may be a little longer than it needs to be. I planned from the beginning to run rear springs in front AND I pushed the front axle forward 3". My front frame horns should be long enough that the front shackles ( with longer springs ) are pretty much at the end of the frame right under the front bumper.

I'm a little worried the frame past the grill will end up a little longer than it should.

I have been debating just tacking the front bumper in place for now, or at least not fully welding it. I'm fairly sure I am going to be running a sunken 8274 winch down in-between the frame rails. I need about 9" from the grill to the back of the winch mount minimum. I don't think having a lot of extra frame hanging out in front will look that good....
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Tonight I jigged up the frame on the table.....



I'm pretty happy with how it turned out overall so far. I was able to get things pretty square.

The overall rail length is between 122.188 and 122.250 ( tape measure ). Both rails are within that range, and I cannot really detect much of a difference. I would say less than 1/16 difference between the two rails.

I cut two sections of aluminum box tubing scrap from work. These where to fit between the spring hanger mounts to help keep the frame from racking and give me a place to start. This seemed to work really well. As I tightened the all-thread that ran through the middle the frame skidded across the table to square itself up.

I took my first series of measurements at this point. The main thing I was worried about was a good diagonal measurement from rail corner to rail corner. This is the longest measurement and should be see the biggest adjustments as things move around. With just the spring hanger spreaders the frame measured at....

124 3/4-, 124 7/8 ( difference of just over 1/8" )

Next I clamped the 4 corners to the table and started tapping things with the dead blow. Its a little difficult to know where to hit and how hard. You have to have the clamps tight enough they hold but loose enough you can move then with a wack from the dead blow. I left one rail alone, clamped very tight. I only moved the opposite rail. After a lot of head scratching and a few mistakes I got better numbers.

124 3/4+, 124 7/8-

I would say the difference is less than 1/8 for sure, probably 1/16 or so. At that point its REALLY hard to tell with a table measure. Even the tension in the tape seems to give 1/16 or so over such a long span.

I'm pretty sure this is as good as its going to get. The true test will be after its welded. Anything to look out for? Anything anyone would do different?

The width of the rails at the ends seems to be consistant and about 1/8 to 1/16 difference front to back. I clamped in the rear bumper crossmember and used the rear bumper to provide a plane for clamping the tubing :) Don't worry, that isn't where the rear bumper goes. I'm not sure of the vertical position of the bumper so I am going to wait to weld it on till after the body is in place. I need something to hold the rear of the frame in place though so I decided to add another 2x4 crossmember behind the rear bumper. I will be running a military-ish pintle hitch in the rear so I need a little extra support for sure......





I still need to do something to clamp/jig the front bumper but I am almost out of clamps....dang it. You can never have too many of those things!

Any words of advise before I start welding it?????.....
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Hey look a frame!



I welded the front bumper and rear crossmember in after tapping on the frame with a hammer for a few more minutes. Overall I am very happy with how square it came out! So far with welding it is still between 1/16 and 1/8 on square over 124+ inches.

After I welded on the front bumper I flipped the frame upright. Its still light enough that I can move it and flip in on the table. According to the computer is is suppose to be approx 160lbs whatever welding I have done so far. The finished frame should be about 250lbs or less I think.

Next I started mocking up the rear bumper.....



I don't know the final position and I still have some finish work and hole drilling to do on the rear bumper....but its nice and easy to hold into place like this!

I have a few more things I can do on the frame, but its basically time to pull the tub off the old chassis!

Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I'm loving your attention to detail in getting the frame that straight. I'd have left it at an 1/8" or 3/16" and welded it up.
I think it pays to measure 34 times, think about it a bit, sleep on it, then measure some more, hit it with the dead blow a few last times, then weld it....

J/K. All in all the design and fabrication order did most of the work for me. The frame was probably within 1/8 of square once I bolted the spring hangers together with the spreaders tubes. Cutting the frame to length AFTER the side plates where welded in place and bolted together REALLY helped also!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
That was a LOOOONNNNNGGGGG day........

I started by airing up a flat tire on the trailer and then hooking up the truck. Then I had to get everything turned around the other way in the driveway. The Willys almost came off the trailer by itself, but I ended up getting a little help from the misses to steer and hit the brakes as I pushed it off the trailer. I had though about pushing, then jumping in the jeep, and hoping I could hit the brakes in time. I guess I am getting wise in my old age and decided against it.



This is the last time it will look like this. I drained the radiator and fuel tank. Then I disconnected the brakes lines. Then I pushed it into the garage for the bodyectomy....



I had to clean out the inside first. That took a little longer than I thought. I had crap stuffed in every nook and cranny. I found stuff I had been missing for like 5 years like my vacuum gauge and dwell meter!



Then I pulled the fuel tank out and test fit some batteries. Those fit nice...





Now I had to play 'find all the body mount bolts!', its my new least favorite game! There are approx 18-19 body mounting bolts on an MB tub! I only broke one bolt, skinned three knuckles, and thought I was going to loose a finger on the grill mounting bolts.....

Then I was able to do this....







More later....
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Overall the frame fits pretty darn good!







Here is where I am at now. I need to pull the engine out of the frame and then kick it back outside....



A few thoughts and notes for those doing a similar project....

-A welding table that is shorter would have made this easier. Lifting the tub about 4' in the air isn't very fun.

-Having the welding table on wheels was pretty handy.

-An engine hoist is just too handy! Once you figure out how to rig the tub its fairly easy to lift large things like the tub and move it around. I used some webbing around the windshield hinge points and the two old non-original seat belt locations to lift from 4 points. This the was ONLY stable way to lift the tub. I might have almost died once doing it another way....
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Thanks. So far its turning out pretty decent.

After getting the frame on the body and looking at the new belly thickness I do have a concern with how 'thin' the belly section is. The frame is 4" high and there is 1" from the hat channels on the bottom of the frame. So basically the available space ( if I want a flat to the frame belly ) is only 5" give or take. Since I am using a D18 with both outputs dropped I think I can stuff them in a 5" vertical space, but boy is it going to be CLOSE!

Worst case I could drop the belly 1" and still make it flat fairly easy.

I won't really know for sure till I start mocking everything up.

There is a chance the the belly skidplate I make will have to be trimmed around the SM420 a bit anyways.....
 

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Discussion Starter #60
I just ordered my motor mount crossmember and motor mounts from Speedway.
Shipping was a little bit much at $30 for base UPS.



http://www.speedwaymotors.com/V6-Buick-Motor-Mount,3272.html

I probably could have built something but I decided this would make things go faster and easier.
I'm fairly sure that the tube is going to be over the top of the front frame rails. This should make it pretty easy to make a little weld on bracket that slides over the tube and sits on the top of the frame rail. That bracket will then weld to the top of the frame.

I am hoping that I can use the welding table to set the engine/trans/t-case in the frame and shim everything up to the location I want then build in the front and rear mounts.

The engine is basically getting raised about 3" from where it was, shifted 1-1.5" forward for bellhousing clearance, and set at 1.25" offset to the drivers side from centerline.

I'm thinking for the D18 mount I am going to do a removeable crossmember BEHIND the D18 with a single bushing that mounts to the PTO cover plate bolts. Then for torque reaction I am going to use the factory torque arm bushing on the front D18 output section. Any ideas what to use for a bushing at each location?

Any other mounting ideas for the engine, transmission, t-case?
 
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