Project Hellraiser 3

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I am rapidly running out of time before the outside temperatures hit 110 degrees (supposed to next weekend).  This was most likely the last weekend I put in some full days.  From here on out it'll be early morning fabrication with everything wrapping up by noon to avoid the heat.

The last few weekends have been mostly working towards getting the interior fleshed out.  The passenger side was the easiest thanks to the water jet cut brackets I had made.  The seat took a whole 10 minutes to assemble and tack into place.  After about a week of climbing in and out I did end up modifying the brackets to buy an extra inch of headroom. 

The driver side seat mount ended up being completely different due to the seat slider I wanted to use to allow for shorter drivers.  I ended up mounting the slider to some sections of c-channel.  At the ends of the c-channel I welded some tabs that then bolted to the removable floor. The pictures above show the front tab tacked in place.  I went for easy of access so the bolt head is accessible from the front and threads into the bracket..

While I wrestled with the seat brackets my Dad was roughing in some of the floor panels.

I actually spent the good part of two days over two separate weekends messing with the seats to get them just right.

Once the seats were in I mocked up the steering wheel.  I am going to make a small steering column this time around instead of using an oversized rod end to hold the shaft.  The oversized rod end setup works but exposure to the elements eventually causes it to squeak as it rusts. The new column is made from some tubing I had lying around that has a 1" ID.  Inside of the tubing are some delrin bushing I turned on the lathe at work.  I toyed with making the column adjustable but could not see a reason.  My last one was fixed and I never had any complaints.

Next up was the upper dash bar which was made from some 1.00 x .063 wall tubing.  4 rectangular steel stringers tie it to tube running between the "A" pillars.  I used the flat tube to make it easier to mount the panel that will cover the dash.  I decided to let this setup gel for the week before continuing onward so I moved onto some other projects that would get some items off the floor.

One big items was this storage basket which I had been steadily bending and dimpling over the past few weeks.  It originally started out as a flat Solidworks pattern which I then had cut via water jet. The side holes were dimpled and then bent using a friends 20 ton press brake.  Then with a helper I dimpled the inner holes and bent the front and rear using a small hand brake I picked up a while back.  The cutout in the center is for fuel cell filler access.   You may remember the fuel cell was located here initially but I had second thoughts especially considering I started this as a pickup themed chassis and how does that work without a large storage area out back?

Another small detail was mounting the oil accumulator.  I actually used some trick little aluminum clamps (#91032866-1.50 ) with mounting brackets (#91032864 ) I found on Speedway's website.  The clamps connect to two bosses made from some thin walled 1.50 diameter tubing.

The following week I prepped my front axle housing for the ARB air line fittings and dismantled it to make it easier to move around.  The next step was getting my new 5.13 gears installed in the front axle housing. Upon getting the gears installed I could get some parts off of the shelves and onto the buggy for good, namely my new inner alloy axle shafts and Longfield joints (I am re-using my old Superior stub shafts).

In the front spindles I decided to try replacing the roller bearings with some of the Longfield delrin bushings.

I had bought some Solid knuckles a year or so ago when I was planning on swapping this axle under my 4 seater.  It was finally time to put them in service.  Unfortunately the 20 minute job of installing the knuckles turned into a multi-hour affair when I discovered the hole pattern in the knuckle did not match the lower bearing cap.  I ended up opening up the holes in the bearing caps slightly to solve the problem.

It took about a half a day longer than expected but I finally had my front axle put back together and waiting for the steering ram.

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