For this build I have been trying to
use purchased tabs and brackets when possible to save time. I have
the tools to make each and every tab but did it once and don't see
the need to make stuff such as shock tabs or simple gussets with all
of the affordable options out there today.
With any build there will still be
custom tabs and I decided to use my SolidWorks skills to
design and model some of the major tabs/mounting brackets with the
intention of getting them laser cut. The hope was a 1 week turn on
parts with a large savings in fabrication time due to not having to
cut, grind and fit the tabs by hand. About 5 weeks back I spent a
solid week designing the seat mount brackets, radiator hold down, a
rear storage basket, a bunch of custom shock mount tabs and all
sorts of other odds and ends.
All told I came up with 20 different
parts and sent them off to a local laser cutter who I found out
about thru a co-worker. In an effort to save some money we were
going to slip my parts in with other jobs they were running. In
hindsight I should have just had them quote me like a normal
customer because nearly 3 weeks later I still did not have a single
part started. While I had enough work to keep me busy on the
chassis I was not getting the work done in the preferred order,
specifically I would like to have mounted the seats a few weeks ago
before continuing on with additional chassis bracing. So I am now
expecting a boatload of brackets towards the end of this week, which
should jump start some of the nitty-gritty details of this buggy
In the mean time I have been spending
more and more time welding the various parts of the chassis
together that should not change. It always surprises me how much welding is required to
get every tube joint and union and after a good 8 or so hours of
welding I still have a ways to go. I have also been dabbling
with a small TIG machine I borrowed from a friend.
In between the welding sessions I have
fleshed out the upper roof bracing and added some tubular gussets
between the A-pillar and roof bar.
The lower boat side bracing is also
The front bumper was bent up and
The nerf bars were plated with some
1.75 x .120 wall tubing.
Some square tubing was added to the
interior to serve as the base for the passenger compartment floor.
I was tempted to continue on with the
chassis bracing but I figured it would be a good time to get the
exhaust routed as it needs a bit of room under the floor. Starting
at the passenger side header I added a V clamp to the header (Summit
Racing #DTC-60-912250S), followed by a flex coupler (Summit Racing #
SUM-642510), a 45 degree elbow ( Summit Racing #WLK-41437) followed
by a 2.5" OD balance tube kit (Summit Racing #SUM-642025).
After some further thought I will add some couplings to the balance
tube to make removing exhaust components easier when the boat sides
balance tube came with a bent cross pipe that wasn't bent quite
enough to clear my rear driveshaft and put the side exhaust tubes at
the height I wanted so I took it to a local exhaust shop and had a
10 degree bends put in on each end.
Looking back from the balance tube "T" I have a straight section of
tube acting as a muffler placeholder. My initial idea of a
single center mounted muffler is looking like a dual muffler setup
due to space constraints behind the radiator.
drivers side is pretty much identical to the passenger side and yes,
the tie wraps will be replaced with something more appropriate.
final piece of the exhaust was two sets of 2 1/2" flanges with
gaskets from Speedway Motors. The flanges were
$2 each and the gasket was another .99 cents.