Project Hellraiser 3

Page 17



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This weekend I finally moved back to the rear axle with the goal of getting the rear struts installed.  The first order of business was to clean up the rear axle.  The old shock tabs needed to go since the tires rubbed slightly on my old coilover springs,   the lower link mount tabs also needed to be re-installed so their angles matched the angles of the links, and the old sway bar mounting tube was no longer needed.  The plan was to cut one link mount off at a time so the axle would stay fairly well located.

While the upper links were off I went ahead an TIG'd the inserts as well as the reinforcing sleeve that I installed over the end of the tube.  I have seen tube bungs get torn from their link when the tube tears along it's weld seem.  The extra sleeve should prevent this.

The new lower link mounts were actually copies of my previous link mounts that I had laser cut a few years back (ordered two sets).  The have dual holes for some adjustment, I went ahead and set them up so if I drop the link to the lower hole I raise the rear suspension anti-squat number.  By Sunday morning I had both lower link mounts replaced and after wrapping the struts in some tape I had both the lower strut mounts tacked into place.

The ORI's took about 17 weeks from when I ordered them to when I received them and I took a gamble in mounting the radiator a few months back to keep the project moving.  Turns out I lost the gamble, the water jet brackets I had cut for the rear struts interfered with the radiator.  Improvisation was in order.  I copied my brackets onto some cardboard and played around with the cardboard.  I soon discovered with one well placed bend I could use one of the strut brackets as a mount and as a brace for the tube node just above the strut.  

Instead of using a bracket on the back side I utilized a pair of 1" dia. shock bungs and some 1.00 x .120 wall tubing to tie the top of the shocks together and then to brace the mount back up to the tube node above the strut.  The drivers side was pretty tight clearance wise for both radiator hoses, I'll know for sure if everything clears when I do an articulation test.

As of Sunday at 3pm the majority of big components were positioned on the buggy.  From here on out it's all the little details.

Here's a cool tool I picked up from the local welding store for $9.99.  It has a pair of adjustable magnetic tab holders and allowing you to quickly and easily add tabs to the round or square tubing on the chassis.  More info at

Another cool item I stumbled upon was this adhesive backed rubber square I found in the safety section at the local Harbor Freight.  I have seen this stuff before but never for $3.99 a square.  I plan on using this on the floors as an anti-slip covering.

Update 8-8-10

It's been a few weeks since I worked on the project with time off for vacation and work. besides the following new fabrication work I have also been trying to finalize my plumbing for the fuel and various coolers so I could get the required fittings on order.  I am trying to eliminate as many hose barbs as possible this time around for a more reliable system with (hopefully) fewer leaks.

 With the rear shocks in place I could finally re-mount the fuel cell.  I went with a pair of straps that offset the cell from the rear basket which keeps the fuel cell breather down below the storage area.  I like to weld nuts to the brackets at the connection points where possible so only one tool is required for removal. 

A shot showing the fuel cell in position.

Up front I have been tinkering with the gas pedal mounting plate. The mounting plate still flexes when you bottom out the pedal but I am hoping once I tie it into the firewall it will be rigid enough to avoid a large gusset.

I had been planning on modifying the lower rear tubing to gain some more shock clearance.  I am pretty sure they will hit the existing tubing when the axle articulates.

The plan is to make some small hoops, weld them in and then trim the lower chassis.  Since the hoops are really small there is no way to bend them from a single piece of tubing so I made (4) 45 degree bends and spliced them together.

I need to get the muffler in before I finalize their position but this is what I am after.  On the drivers side I need to re-think the water line routing, Maybe a flex line and a sharper angle on the hard line?

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