This weekend I tried to get the front
links in place. It seems like the front links are always a
compromise due to all the stuff up front that they have to clear
(engine, driveshaft, frame, exhaust, etc). I aimed for keeping
the anti-squat low (or anti-dive since it is the front axle) and
tried to get the instant centerline a ways away from the axle.
Again I used a 42" tire for the calculations so the axle centerline
is 21" from the ground and I am assuming 7" of up-travel?
I added another tube which will serve as
a front upper link mount on the chassis side.
I was forced to re-visit the exhaust
since it was a little too low on both sides. I also didn't
like the ball flange: after a closer look it was looking to be a
major restriction du to the angle I had it set to. The solution was
to cut the ball flange off which left a 2.5" diameter tube which I
attached a 90 to that was made from a 2.5" diameter header bend.
This solution also bumps up the exhaust ID from 2.25" to 2.50".
After grinding off the old spring perch
on the axle I sleeved some HREW tubing to create some 1.75" dia x
.188 wall tubing for the upper link mount bridge and put a 45 degree
bends on each end..
The passenger side would set right on
the steel axle tube while the passenger side of the axle bridge
would land on the cast spring perch. Since I don't have the
tools to weld to the cast the correct way I went ahead and
made some bolt on plates to weld the axle bridge to. This is
the same setup I ran on my previous axle for 6 years with no issues.
I ground into the cast next to the spring perch in an effort to move
the axle bridge as far to the right as I could.
Next I recycled the diff cover tie in
pieces from my old rear D60 axle truss.
It took a good 4 hours to make and position all
the pieces and only 2 minutes of welding to tack it all into place.
Next I setup my tube notcher with a 1" hole saw
and angled it to 10 degrees before mounting it to the lower frame rail.
The resulting hole was filled with a sleeve made from a piece of 1" dia.
crs. I will added a support tab for the other side once I get the boat side
The last thing I
managed to get done before cleaning up for the weekend was to get
the lower link tab on the axle mocked up. I have it in boarded
as much as possible to clear the tires when turned. The
passenger side tab is going to require a special tab that comes off
of the axle bridge mounting plate.
What I came up with
was a tab with a few bends in it that captures one of the bolts on
the old spring perch.
I finally received my
waterjet cut parts, a large chunk of which are for the front
suspension links. This first batch was really a test to see how well
my 3d model translates into the real world.
The above set
of plates form my upper link mount assembly that attaches to the
front axle bridge. I assembled and tacked together the lower
piece and tabs on the bench utilizing a piece of 1.75 diameter
tubing to confirm the fit once all the tabs were aligned with their
mating slots in the lower piece.
With the tabs tacked
to the lower plate I could then fit the upper plate. The materials
used was .187" thick. To beef up the area around the link
mount bolts I used some weld washers I picked up from Ruffstuff
which more than doubles the material thickness around the bolt.
No grinding required -
the link mount assembly fit like a dream.
The chassis end upper
link tabs started as a pair of plates.
Again, I used a pair
of weld washers to increase the material thickness where it is
The tabs tacked in
A plate made from some
.25" stock was made to cap off the link mount tabs and will also
serve as the floor.
upper links collided with the motor mounts buy about an eighth of an
inch. I never hear anyone complain about having too much up
travel so I re-did the motor mounts using some 1.50 x .120 wall
tubing and some YJ spring bushings. The new mounts have two
bends in them allowing for about .25" clearance.