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
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.
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
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
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?