I am going to try and lump all the information that pertains to all of the
chassis plans I offer in one spot. Some of this will be a repeat of what is on
the chassis plans page. there are also nearly a hundred build up pages that
cover everything I did and purchased over the course of my builds. Please read
them over before e-mailing questions.
Question - What is included in the
Answer - Hardcopy prints on 11 x 17
paper that details the required tubes to build the base chassis including cut
lengths, bend start points and angles. All the plans are broken into stages, the
first being the lower section and moving up from there.
should give you a good idea of what you get. It covers what is
included in the second stage of the Project Hellraiser Pickup chassis and
includes the bending and mocking up of the belt line tubes from the plans.
The plans basically give you an envelope that can hold a drive train and is
easily customizable to add you own style o the final outcome. I do not provide
suspension mount points due to the sheer numbers of ways of doing it, however
you can copy exactly what I have is you happen to run the same drive train by
looking thru the above builds as well as the suspension links listed below.
Question - Do the plans
also detail the suspension mounting points?
Answer - Yes. From 2015 on
I will be adding a page to the chassis plans set which shows you how
to fill in the 4BarLink
calculator** and gives the suspension mounting points I used for
my Hellraiser 3 chassis. Previous purchasers of my plans can
download a PDF of this file from the electronic files link I sent
you after you purchased the plans (see below for an image of what it
looks like). The mounting points given can be used with any of my
chassis designs or can be used as a starting point. You may also
read thru my project build threads and in my tech section I have write ups covering
the basics to a link suspension,
suspension links, and
link numbers. The 4 link numbers link discusses some of
the 4 link numbers used by others and how their vehicles performed.
** Written by Dan Barcroft and Greg Blanchette
Question - I don't use PayPal,
how can I use my credit/debit card to pay?
Answer - You still use the shopping
cart buttons but when the PayPal checkout screen appears click on the underlined "continue" in
the lower left corner of the screen where it says:
Question - How much tubing is
Answer - For costing purposes I used approximately 8 sticks of 1.625 x
.120 DOM, and 2 sticks of the following: 1.50 x .095 and 1.50 x .120
for the main chassis bracing. To save money you can get away with
using HREW for any piece of tubing that does not contact rocks.
Question - Can I use a
different diameter tubing or bender die?
Answer - Yes, 1.5" OD or
1.75" OD tubing can be substituted for the 1.625 OD the plans call
for. The difference in tubing diameters makes almost no difference
in the bent tubes and can be easily compensated for in the straight
cut tubes (lengthen or shorten by .125"). Honestly between the chop
saw cuts and coping the +/- .125" can be ignored, which is what I
did when I fabricated my last Hellraiser 3 chassis with 1.5" OD
tubing. I made no corrections from the plans.
I used a 4.5" bend radius tubing die when I built my first
chassis but those size dies are no longer readily available. A 5.5" bend
radii seems to be the most common die set out there now and only minor changes
need to be made to compensate for the larger bend radius. Using a 90
degree bend as the baseline, the bend start point shown on the plans needs to be
started 1" sooner with the a 5.5" radius die. This scales with die size so a
6.5" bend radius die needs the bend start points to start 2" sooner. For
angles less than 90 degrees, scale the bend start point correction factor
with the angle, so for example: if the plans call for an angle of 45 degrees
(half of 90 degrees) the 1" correction factor becomes .50". I put together
a model that overlays a tube from the plans, the yellow is the 4.5" bend radius
die and the blue is a 5.5" bend radius die. If the 90 degree bend is
started 1" sooner and the 60 degree bend is started .66" sooner the finished
tube will match the plans.
The cut lengths are affected slightly but if you are adding a couple inches
(like you should be) you do not need to adjust. In the above example the
90 degree bend side requires another 4" of tubing in order for me to lock the
end of the tube into the u-clamp on my JD2 bender and I cut the end to length
after both bends are installed.
Question - What are the differences in
the chassis plans?
Answer - The sub-chassis on all my
designs is very similar with only minor changes.
All the chassis designs assume the builder is using solid axles
and a drive train consisting of a front mounted engine connected to a manual or
automatic transmission and transfer case. I do not offer plans for a rear
mounted engine, drive trains utilizing transaxles or IFS suspensions.
BMP 3, BMP 2 and Hellraiser 4 were all designed with a
front mounted radiator in mind. Structurally the A & B pillars are offset from
the outer tubing on the lower chassis to create a nerf bar. BMP 2 has the
longest nose of the 3 to accommodate longer drive trains. It is very easy to
make adjustments to any of these 3 chassis's and I point out where you can make
changes on the blueprints.
The Hellraiser 2 Pickup, Buggy and Hellraiser 3
chassis's were all designed around a rear mounted radiator so if you
look thru my HR3 buildup thread it should be pretty easy to see how
you get better visibility and a sleeker front end over my previous
designs. The trade off is more complex plumbing and heat
management with the radiator out back. These 3 chassis designs also
have the A & B pillars flush with the lower chassis which gives you
roughly 3 more inches of width in the passenger compartment over my
first 3 designs.
The bottom line is you could make the changes yourself to
convert any set of my plans to the others without too much difficulty or you can
pick one closer to what you want and make minor tweaks from there.
Question - How much time is required
to build a turnkey rock crawler from your plans?
Answer - It took me over 615 hours of
constant work (every weekend and after work) over the course of 4 months.
Question - How much does it cost to
build a crawler?
Answer - Material prices vary by
region so you will need to get a quote for the amount of tubing listed above.
I did a complete budget of my
original build here which includes all the little stuff I bought. Some of
that information is a bit dated so I have
another costing page as I build up my Project Hellraiser 2 chassis.
Question - Can I buy a pre-built
chassis from you?
Answer - I do not build chassis's to
keep some in stock. In fact up until now I have not done any fabrication
work outside of my rig mainly due to time constraints. I may consider
building a bare chassis, contact me for more details at
Question - What
drive trains fit?
Answer - Assuming a
drive train consisting of a front mounted engine connected to a
manual or automatic transmission and transfer case pretty much
anything can be made to fit. Honestly the power plant choice
for 99% of the builders out there starts at the transfer case and
what is available to be bolted to it.
4 cylinders - Suzuki 1.3L and Toyota 2.4/2.7L are the most
popular 4 cylinder power plants. Auto or manual followed by a Suzuki, Toyota or
aftermarket t-case are no problem.
6 cylinders - Jeep inline 4.0's, Chevy 4.3 and Toyota 3.4L
engines are the most popular 6 cylinder power plants I have seen used with my
plans. All are plentiful, cheap and have a ton of transfer case options. I
used an oddball 3.8L from a front wheel drive car in most of my later builds for
reasons detailed here. Hint - it could easily connect to a common automatic
and D300/Atlas/Stack transfer case.
8 cylinders - About the only engines that would give me pause
are 90 degree V8's like a Ford 5.4L or 4.6L since they are so darn wide (see
picture above). That said It is easy to make adjustments to the chassis so if
you did have a blown 5.4L and wanted it in the chassis you could as long as you
were willing to put up with a wider front end. The Chevy V8's (250, LT1, LSx)
are an easy fit. I have even had a few builders use big block V8's their
builds by adjusting the engine bay width about 2 inches more than the plans call
If you go with a rear mounted radiator you should be
able to fit just about anything.
Short Block Chevy w/ TH350 Shown in the Hellraiser 2 Seater
Chassis (Buggy or Pickup version)
For reference my 3.8L/904/D300 is roughly 54" long (pulleys to
rear output), 28" Tall (oil pan to top of motor) and 22" wide at the valve
6.0l LS2 and Atlas Shown
Here's a link to customer's Facebook page, he installed a
Chevy 8.1l into
Question - What wheelbase
can I run with this chassis?
Hellraiser 2 Chassis with 100" Wheelbase and 37" Tires
Answer - Your wheelbase
will be determined by your drive train. For example any motor
in front of a Toyota 5 speed with dual transfer cases will be at
least 12 inches longer than my current V6/Auto/Dana 300 combo.
Pretty much any chassis with an automatic and a single transfer case
behind a "V" motor could run a 100-112+" wheelbase. The dual
transfer cases behind a 5 speed make for a long drive train and
could push the wheelbase from 105" and up depending on how far
forward you push the motor and what kind of rear driveshaft you are
running. The best thing to do is mock up your drive train and
drive shafts and see what sort of angles you end up with. For
reference when I had my inline 4/Toyota 5 speed/dual Toy cases I had
a 29-34" long rear CV driveshaft, 10.
One other thing to keep in mind with wheelbases under 105" is that the chassis
will have to sit higher to allow for adequate clearance between the front axle
and engine. This added height can be offset with smaller tires.
Question - How much does
chassis "X" weigh?
Answer - That depends a
lot on what you install into the chassis but I can provide a few
3 Seater with Suzuki 1.6/Toyota 5
Speed/Dual Toyota Cases, Toyota axles, 37's, steel bead locks -
2800lbs. This was about 100lbs lighter than my tubed out
Suzuki Samurai with a single 8:1 transfer case.
3 Seater with S/C 3.8l
V6/TF904/Dana 300, D60 Front & Rear, 14 Bolt Rear, 42" tires,
aluminum bead locks - 3800lbs (motor is about
4 Seater with S/C 3.8l V6/TF904/Dana 300, D60 Front,
14 Bolt Rear, 40" tires, aluminum bead locks, aluminum links - 3844lbs
The bare chassis weight is
anywhere from 250-350lbs depending on the bracing, material
Question - What kind of
tools will I need.
Check out the chassis fabrication write up here.