It figures as soon as I get my
rig ready to go we get hit by the summer monsoons. It was 103 at 51%
humidity when I took these pictures outside. According to the weather
people there are some good storms heading north towards Phoenix which would put
them over us about the time I planned to head out to test out the new axles.
Unless the storms miraculously break up it looks like testing will have to wait
for another week. Since I am watching the little guy this weekend there
isn't much to report project wise. I did do some more cosmetic stuff, the
biggest project was painting some flames on the side of the rig.
First I started with a large
piece of white construction paper and cut an angle to match my front body panel
lines. Next I drew the flames on the construction paper and cut them out.
I was left with my template and a piece of paper in the shape of the flames, I
taped the paper I cut from the template to the body as shown in the first
picture to get an idea of how they would look. Once I was happy, I took
the template and cut some extra rectangular holes in it as shown in the 2nd
picture The extra holes gave me more points to tape the template to the
body. I actually added even more rectangular cutouts after I did the drivers
side since the force of the aerosol from the spray can caused the template to
pull away in some spots.
Here's the finished results.
I measured the outside of tire
to outside of tire to be approx 81".
There is 14" of clearance under
each differential and just over 21" of clearance under the belly.
Update 6-30-05 - The test run
went very well. I have a few small things to adjust mostly involving the
bump stops. The 42" tires are a squeeze on my chassis which was originally
designed for 39's. Up front I need to move the air filter to clear the
Out back I could actually move
the bump stops up a bit and gain some up travel. I also need to come up with a
retaining clip to hold the lower coil seat on, I lost one later in the day
despite having a set of tender coils which are supposed to maintain downward
pressure on the coils when the suspension drops out.
On the trail the buggy exceeded
my expectations. The new tires worked very well and allowed me to walk up
a few obstacles I couldn't drive last time. The suspension also worked
very well and I eliminated all of the body roll I had with the previous
incarnation. I didn't move the links too much, mostly some adjustments to
accommodate the larger axles. I feel most of the change came thanks to the
larger tires, my suspension now provides very little lift so the link angles are
For future reference here are
the theoretical numbers I was aiming for the front (on the left) and rear
suspension. As soon as I replace the coil retainer I lost I take some
measurements and post what the numbers ended up being.
Update 8-6-05 - As promised
here are the numbers of my suspension plugged into the 4 link calculator
spreadsheet as built. One thing I did notice was the chassis sits lower
than I expected it to. I suspect I forgot to account for moving the upper
shock mounting points upward. Regardless I ended up with a pretty
neutral suspension according to the theoretical numbers. Based on what I
had experienced on the first test drive I think the theoretical numbers are
Update 8-24-06 - It
has been a year and I finally tried using the adjustment hole on the
axle bridge. this adjustment lowered the rear upper link
approximately 1.5". The change in theory lowers the
anti-squat about 30%, lowers the roll center height about 2"
and increases the roll axis 2 degrees, After driving several trails
I noticed the rig climbs better and the little bit of hop I would
experience on really vertical obstacles is gone. Overall I
like the change and was surprised I could notice such a small
I also addressed the other
issues that came up during the first test drive. To get some clearance between
the air filter and front tire I purchased a smaller air filter and then modified
the mount to allow me to move the whole filter assembly up a few inches.
I also tried driving the buggy
around without the swaybar. The body roll was much less than before but
not gone so I decided to keep the swaybar. I think I could have eliminated
the swaybar if I could have moved the lower shock mounts up front farther out on
the axle housing. As it sits right now thy are as far out as I can get
them which put them in the exact same spot as my previous axles. Since I
was keeping the swaybar I did have to relocate the lower mounts further inboard
to eliminate an interference on the passenger side,
The last thing I did was make
some small retaining straps from aluminum to keep the lower coil buckets
attached to the shock and to keep the helper coil slider moving with the upper
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