Project BMP

Page 23

   
 
 

Thoughts on the new buggy and the budget

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I am going to officially call the project done.  There will still be a few additions and some more tweaking but after a very successful second run I am happy with how everything is working.  Here's some thoughts in no particular order:

 Last weekend while driving it on the dirt roads the shocks bottomed out way too easy and rode really harsh. It seemed like every medium sized hole or rut really shook the whole rig. With the same PSI in the shocks but more oil this time the ride was a complete 180 difference. I was cruising along with hardly any bumps being felt and the few washout ruts in the road at the bottom of the hills caused no bottoming out. There was some slight body roll if I really twisted the wheel but no worse than when I had YJ's all around. 


Off-road I could not tell when I was off-camber unlike last weekend when I would traverse an off-camber section of trail the whole rig tilted in that direction. The suspension still articulated great, as can be seen in this picture the rear shock is close to bottoming out but not quite. Body roll was very predictable and felt just like my last rig, I felt like I could push it but the rig wouldn't go past the point of no return so suddenly as to lose any chance of recovering. After the run I measured the amount of shaft showing on the shocks, there was an even 6" both front and rear so there has been some settling already. My new settings are as follow: front shocks filled with 230psi of nitrogen and 440cc's of oil, rear shocks are setup with 225psi of nitrogen and 425cc's of oil.  I used 5w shock for oil to fill the shocks after first emptying them of oil.
 



The driver side seat was moved up 2.5".  Sitting in a driving position felt much better, no more leg fatigue and I had a lot better control on the rig. The no-skid tape on the floor also helped, I want to add a little more under my clutch foot.

ARB compressors don't like getting dunked I honestly never envisioned crossing 4 foot deep water but I did today, even had it over my hood in a few spots. The compressor blew a fuse so I replaced it with a circuit breaker and didn't have any other issues. The night before I zip tied some balloons on the diff vents, we'll see her shortly if I have any water in the diffs but the balloons were starting to inflate by the end of the run so I think they sealed well.

I no longer fear blowing up the t-case, it's mounting brackets or shearing off a front output. I also love how dirt simple and robust my whole drive train mounting system is but honestly comparing a divorced mount t-case to this setup is totally unfair. Another incremental upgrade is the larger bolts at the flanges. I was always having to re-torque the 12mm Zuk bolts after every run, especially the front ones.

As far as gearing, I was really expecting to miss the 8:1's but in all honesty just the 4.7 case feels nearly as low. Part of this is due to the hi range reduction on the Zuk cases, in reality the 8:1's only actually reduce you about 6.3:1 from the already reduced high range. So between that and the lower first gear in the Toyota transmission and the heavier flywheel I am now running I don't feel under geared. This may change when I get some 39's on there.....

I have only used both cases in low once and I was glad I had it since I was on the hairy edge of rolling off a rather large drop off. During our river crossings I engaged the front case in low and ran in 4-hi. Despite 4+ foot deep rushing water I never felt underpowered and I was able to make my way across the creek in a slow and controlled manner.

My only real complaint is the G52 I have does not shift as smoothly as my old Zuk 5 speed. It also doesn't like to go into reverse when off camber. the G52 was recently rebuilt so I am pretty sure it's not something I can fix. I am hoping I'll get used to the notchiness over time.
  

The Budget

As of the 1st I have sold $8359 worth of parts from my old rig and the parts truck I started this project with.  I have sorted through my cost spreadsheet and divided the purchasing data up among 3 categories: new parts, tools and materials.

New Parts Qty Cost Ext Cost
Parts Truck 1  $    1,500.00  $    1,500.00
Rebuilt G52 Transmission 1  $               -    $               -  
4.7 T-case 1  $               -    $               -  
Marlin Crawler Adapter 1  $       339.00  $       339.00
Top Shift Toy T-case 1  $       100.00  $       100.00
Ringr Transmission Adapter 1  $       359.00  $       359.00
Sidekick Bellhousing 1  $         50.00  $         50.00
Sidekick Pressure plate 1  $         87.25  $         87.25
Celica Clutch Disk 1  $         68.00  $         68.00
Sidekick Throwout Bearing 1  $         77.29  $         77.29
Pilot Bearing 1  $         17.00  $         17.00
Twin Stick 1  $       155.00  $       155.00
3/4 Heim Joints 12  $         18.25  $       219.00
16" Airshocks 4  $       216.00  $       864.00
Flex-a-Lite FLX-110 Elec Fan 1  $       134.90  $       134.90
Steering Ram 1  $       524.00  $       524.00
Inline Cooler 1  $         75.00  $         75.00
Seat Sliders 1  $         44.00  $         44.00
Electrical Parts 1  $       225.09  $       225.09
Steering Wheel Parts 1  $         72.54  $         72.54
Steering Wheel 1  $         51.98  $         51.98
Arb Air Line - SS 1  $         61.94  $         61.94
Pedal Assy 1  $         38.00  $         38.00
Radiator 1  $         93.00  $         93.00
Warn 95ti 1  $       856.99  $       856.99
Longfields 1  $       635.00  $       635.00
Swaybar Rod Ends 1  $         49.97  $         49.97
Fuel Cell - 8 Gallon 1  $         77.69  $         77.69
Fuel Cell Mounts 1  $         19.95  $         19.95
Fuel Cell Plumbing 1  $         36.95  $         36.95
Tip Valve 1  $         13.39  $         13.39
Fuel Filter 1  $           8.39  $           8.39
Fuel Pump - MSD-2225 1  $         76.95  $         76.95
Steering Heims 1  $         48.86  $         48.86
Rear D-Shaft Flange 1  $         85.00  $         85.00
Fuel Filter 1  $         66.63  $         66.63
Supertrapp Muffler 1  $         88.94  $         88.94
Rearview Mirror 1  $         54.39  $         54.39
Brake Lines (teflon Coated) 1  $       120.00  $       120.00
Hard Brake Lines 1  $         38.33  $         38.33
Power Steering Pump 1  $       175.00  $       175.00
Fuel Cell Pickups 1  $         45.00  $         45.00
Grab Handle 1  $         39.90  $         39.90
Battery Terminals 1  $         22.49  $         22.49
Fuel Cell Fitting, Heat Shield Insulation 1  $         77.95  $         77.95
Fuel Cell Fittings 1  $         21.23  $         21.23
Fuel Line 1  $       137.16  $       137.16
Misc Fuel Line Stuff 1  $         15.29  $         15.29
Misc Fuel Line Stuff 1  $         17.25  $         17.25
Gear Oil 1  $         36.29  $         36.29
Limit Straps 1  $         51.07  $         51.07
P/S Fittings 1  $         86.65  $         86.65
Fluids/Clamps/Filters 1  $       100.00  $       100.00
02 Sensor  1  $         25.00  $         25.00
Exhaust 1  $         20.00  $         20.00
Weatherstripping 1  $           6.00  $           6.00
Shock Fork Oil 1  $         25.00  $         25.00
       $    8,334.70

 

Tools      
Tube Positioners  1  $      59.90  $      59.90
Pipemaster - 1.50" 1  $      45.95  $      45.95
Tab Holder 1  $      37.03  $      37.03
Hole Saws 1  $      27.00  $      27.00
Cuttoff Wheels/Welder Tips 1  $      33.33  $      33.33
Welder Trigger Switch 1  $      20.00  $      20.00
Drill Press 1  $    199.97  $    199.97
Pipemaster - 1.62" 1  $      55.45  $      55.45
1/2" Drill 1  $    140.00  $    140.00
Angle Finder/Hole Saw Arbor 1  $      40.00  $      40.00
Welding Supplies 1  $      87.96  $      87.96
Grinding Supplies 1  $      65.00  $      65.00
     $    811.59

 

Material      
Tubing 1  $    987.97  $       987.97
Tubing Adapters 12  $        4.65  $         55.80
Misc Tabs and Brackets 1  $      41.16  $         41.16
Steel - Motor Mnt/Misalignment 1  $        6.42  $           6.42
Misc Tabs and Brackets 1  $      78.32  $         78.32
Aluminum for Firewall 1  $      59.82  $         59.82
Battery Box, Hood Pins, Tabs 1  $    126.44  $       126.44
.06 Lexan, 2 4 x 8' Sheets 1  $    119.95  $       119.95
Misc Hardware 1  $      50.00  $         50.00
12 x 4' sheet of  0.08 Aluminum 1  $    160.00  $       160.00
Steel for Drivshafts 1  $      27.03  $         27.03
Steel for Boatsides 1  $      96.50  $         96.50
Steel For Braces 1  $      30.69  $         30.69
Link Mount Steel 1  $      17.58  $         17.58
     $    1,857.68

These are the parts I re-used from my old rig.

Existing Parts Qty Cost Ext Cost
       
1.6 16v 1  $    1,200.00  $    1,200.00
Toy Front Axle 1  $       400.00  $       400.00
Arb + Compressor 1  $       800.00  $       800.00
5.29s 2  $       180.00  $       360.00
Spool 1  $       200.00  $       200.00
15 x 9 MRW Beadlocks 4  $       190.00  $       760.00
Suspension Links 2  $         70.00  $       140.00
Beard Seats 2  $       233.00  $       466.00
5 Point Harnesses 2  $         75.00  $       150.00
Full Hydro Steering Valve 1  $       400.00  $       400.00
Driveshafts 2  $       300.00  $       600.00
Headlights 1  $         95.00  $         95.00
Rocklights 1  $         25.00  $         25.00
Swaybar 1  $       299.00  $       299.00
     $               -    $               -  
       $    5,895.00

The bottom line is the project cost me approximately $2644 to complete (due to selling off parts from the old rig and the parts truck), $1833 if you don't count the cost of the tools I purchased. Time wise I have approximately 141 hours into the design, 614 hours of fabrication and 45 hours of tear down time (for the parts truck and old rig).

Here's a couple last minute technical additions.  I needed a way to hook the winch to the front axle so I could pull the front end down on steep climbs but the winch cable needed to be easily accessible in case I needed to use the winch for recovery work.  My original thought was to hook the winch around the limit strap but the limit strap was located too far back and the winch cable would have really drug on the front bumper.  I ended up welding an old tow hook to the front axle.  The winch cable just barely rubs the front bumper so I tried placing a clevis in the chain to see if I could change the cable angle a bit (it wasn't enough).  For now the rubbing doesn't appear to be a problem.

I have been slowly finding places to stash my spare parts.  For the spare inner axles (front) I found these vibration isolators in the Mcmaster Carr catalog, #3252T7.  They consist of a base plate that you can weld to your frame.  Then you place the axles in the plastic clamps and bolt the assembly to the base plate using the supplied bolt.  To help weatherproof the axles I applied grease to the ends and seal surface, wrapped the ends in saran wrap to hold the grease in, then wrapped the whole thing with electrical tape.  This seems to work pretty well here in Arizona.

I mentioned the lexan cracking I had experienced with the body panels, here's a picture showing the cracks.  I have already made new aluminum skins from some .040 thick 5052 but I plan on running the plastic skins until they fall off.

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