It was finally time for a test drive!
Pulling onto the first obstacle, I did a
quick clearance check to make sure the changes I made worked.
The swaybar had plenty of clearance.
Being able to winch down the front end on
steep climbs is a new option for me. I got a chance to use it right
off the bat and it made a difference. I just need to remember to release
the winch tension afterwards. After this climb the first issue I noticed
that needed to be addressed was the pedals. First I forgot to add
some no-slip tape to the floor to rest my heel on so smoothly applying the gas
was a challenge. Also, the drivers seating position needs to be adjusted
in relation to the pedals. I really need a good 2-3 more inches of seat height
to allow my leg to rest on the seat when driving. As it is my leg is bent
upwards and not touching the seat so I kind of have to hold myself in position
which gets tiring after a while. I have plenty of headroom so I will
definitely move the seat upwards, if that isn't enough I have a plan to re-do
the gas and brake pedals to move them both towards the transmission tunnel. This
would allow me to modify the floor and allow my foot to sit down lower helping
extend my leg.
Another issue I have is body roll to the
passenger side. The rig rarely flopped to the drivers side (the shocks
seemed stiffer) but I laid it over several times, all on the passenger side.
After carefully looking at the videos and pictures from the test run I can see
the passenger side shocks compressed fully in every picture where there is a
slight list towards the passenger side. When the rig was listing more towards
the drivers side the shocks on that side still had a few inches of shaft
showing. I suspect the oil levels may not be the same, this would effect
how stiff the shock was. I plan on getting some oil and a syringe and then
re-filling the shocks to confirm they are all set the same. Here's some video,
the first one shows the rig before the flop, my
drivers side front tire is driving up a small wall and the passenger side rear
shock is already fully compressed. The second shows how I was able to
drive out of the roll.
I emptied all the shocks of oil and
refilled them with slightly more to change the dampening curve. By adding
oil they will get stiffer sooner, the goal is to get them so they cannot bottom
out. For future reference my initial settings were:
Driver Side / Pass Side
225psi, 390cc / 225psi, 400cc
200psi, 375cc / 200psi, 375cc
The only other big issue was the steering
ram working it's way loose. I noticed it was loose after the first couple
minutes on the first trail we ran, then again on the way out the rig was
wandering all over the road. I had not locktited the bolts so after
replacing one that was damaged I applied some locktite to all of them and
torqued them to 70ft-lbs. We'll see if that holds.
The other things I found were all
trivial. Stuff like the lexan cracking around the mounting holes was more
annoying than problematic. I suspect the dull drill bit I used to drill
the holes may have been partly to blame but I am still not impressed with this
brand of Lexan (the sticker on the material says Hyzod). The last time I
made body panels like this I had no cracks after nearly two years of use, I
noticed this stuff had cracks forming even before leaving the garage for the
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