Project BMP

Page 19


I see a light

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You know what they say about seeing a light I a tunnel, it's either the end of the tunnel or the train.  I am not sure which I am seeing, I tried firing up the motor last night and it would not start.  I verified the motor has fuel, the main relay is on and there appears to be spark but still no go.  So it looks like I am in for some troubleshooting this coming week. I did manage to get a bunch of other stuff this past week and this weekend.

Running the hard brake lines was at the top of the to do list.   I am also doing a master cylinder upgrade in anticipation of larger tires, I went with a master cylinder from a 1980 Pontiac Firebird (4 wheel disc model).  This is a pretty common swap in the Suzuki world.  The mounting holes on the master cylinder just need to be slotted and then the master cylinder is bolted to the Samurai booster.  I also needed to pick two brake line adapters to allow me to use some 3/8-24 brake line nuts on the hard lines, part numbers listed at the bottom of the page. The brake line nuts are SAE and run  to a set of line locks, the front one is mounted to the firewall as shown in the second picture.   

The rear line lock was mounted down by the battery, just below the pedals.

The hard lines then go from the line locks out to a bracket to connect to a soft line near one of the upper links.  The brake line nut at the bracket is a standard M6 x 1.00 Toyota thread (same as a Samurai) which I harvested from the parts truck.  For the soft lines I ordered some braided stainless lines from Marlin Crawler.  You can get a blue or red teflon sheath over the lines and can order them in any length.  I ordered all mine with female ends and 18" long. The braided stainless lines aren't very flexible so keep that in mind if you think you need a tight bend.

There is another hard line running down the link , then a soft line between the link and axle housing.  This particular soft line is from a Samurai, there are two located under the battery on a stock Samurai that act as a flex joint where the hard brake lines go from the firewall to the frame (same purpose here). For the front I plan on using a longer line, these short ones need to be setup perfectly or else they will not provide enough flex.  When I welded the brake line tabs on I did it with only the upper links installed and had to cut and move them after installing the lower links since the axle housing was rotated a little further back with the lower links installed.

I used a 25ft roll of 3/16 steel tubing to fabricate the brake lines.  The line clamps and SAE nuts are available from Speedway or Summit Racing.  Also shown in this picture is the lower link which I ended up sleeving.  To recap, all the links started as 1.50 x .250 wall DOM tubing, the lowers then had a piece of 1.75 x .120 wall DOM tubing slid over them.  I did have to do some grinding on the lower links to get the 1.75 DOM to fit, basically I just ground all the dark colored coating off the 1.50 dia. tubing. The 1.75 dia. tubing then slid over the smaller tubing but required some light tapping with a hammer towards the end. Lastly I installed a rib made from 1.00 x .50 flat stock along the top edge of the link, stitch welded at 1" increments.  The sleeving and ribbing were done to the front and rear lower links only, the upper links are all just 1.50 x .250 wall DOM.

The decision to beef up the lower links came at the last minute, I figured it was the best time to do it when they were brand new, any sort of movement and you'd need a press to get the outer sleeve material on.  On my old rig the ribbed links held there position top to bottom but they bowed side to side due to a few nasty rolls, hopefully the sleeving will take care of the side to side bowing.  I realize it would have been better to just use .375 wall material, but I didn't think about it till after I had all my links already cut and welded.

The interior was also coming together nicely.  I fabricated some cup holders from an old Smittybuilt bumper that I got along with the Toyota parts truck that started this whole project.  Since I don't have a body tub, everything needs a spot to be tied down to avoid dropping it out of one of the many holes in the floor, the second pictures show the little bracket I made to keep my camera bag safe and secure.

Here's a couple shots showing the floors installed (made from 1/4" thick clear lexan).  I painted the bottom portions to block out everything from the front cross member back.  I realize these will get scuffed up pretty good but from my experiments with the same thing in my last rig I found visibility was still good even after months of dirt, grit and dust.  I plan on adding some strips of no-slip tape as well to give the occupants some traction to safely get in and out of the rig.

Next I installed all the parts that needed to be bolted on under the hood.  Looks like everything just barely fits.  With everything in place I can now figure out what sort of fittings and lines I need to plumb the hydro steering.

Another small upgrade I did was swapping out the stock ARB air line (plastic) for some stainless steel airlines.  I picked up a kit online for roughly $50 that included the required fittings and 9 feet of airline.  My old line was still holding up after 5 years but I figured it was time to either replace it with new stuff or upgrade it, better to do it now while it was all apart than on the trail.

With the links installed and the brake lines run the rear axle was now ready to be assembled.  one thing I discovered while inspecting my 3rd member was a large crack in the 5.29 pinion.  These were Superior gears and I think they just failed from some hard usage.  I don't have money in the budget right now to replace them so I am going to use my spare 3rd member which has a set of 5.29's and a welded carrier.  Once the 3rd member was bolted down I installed some new axle seals in the housing and slid the axles in place.  I plan on buying some chromoly axles as soon as they are available to replace the stock units, Marlin Crawler is supposed to start selling them for the narrower 80-85 Toyota axle housings sometime in early 2005. 

Checker Auto

Master Cylinder #101745 (1980 Pontiac Firebird w/ 4 Wheel Disc Brakes)

Dorman #3278191 Brake Line Tube Adapter: Brass; 3/16" (3/8"-24) Female Tube Size to 5/16" (1/2"-20) Male Tube Size


#7909 Fitting for the large port on the above Master Cylinder.  This is the part number on my receipt, I can't find it in their system online. I believe the thread is 5/8"-18 to 3/8"-24.

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