I started off last week finishing up
some tasks in the engine bay: mounted a gas pedal return spring,
added some engine cage gussets, bracing and tack welding the center
engine covers to the removable section of the engine cage.
I also finished off a few small details
like the passenger side grab handle which can fold out of the way to
allow for more entry/exit room. the handle is some 1" diameter
tubing with a piece of .75" OD. DOM welded to it to act as the pivot
shaft. I sourced some copper bushings, a shaft collar and a spring
loaded pull pin from Mcmaster-Carr to finish out the
rest of the assembly.
Another small detail was the foot rest
pegs for the driver and passenger foot wells. This give the driver
and passenger a solid point to brace themselves against while
crawling. The whole assembly is made up of a trick tab, one
1/2-20 grade 8 bolt, a spacer and a aluminum knurled peg I picked up
from Dan's Performance.
I got the call my tires had arrived, (4)
42 x 15 Pitbull Rockers for a 17" rim. This was really good
timing since I was hoping to check tire clearances before I tore the
chassis down for painting.
Unmounted the tires are nice and square,
measured approx. 40.50" tall...
and 13.125" wide.
The tire and wheel combo weighed in at
150.5lbs, 104.5lbs of that being the tire.
As you can see, at approximately 15 psi
the tires ballooned out quite a bit. I haven't had a chance to
measure them yet but I believe they are every bit of 15" wide.
With the chassis up in
the air I could separate the chassis jig from the frame and start
working on some of the stuff under the rig.
First up was the
transmission mount/cross member. I had some pieces cut along
with my other waterjet parts and had also fabricated a plate that
would bolt to the transmission. I ended up adding some side
guides to capture the transmission on the mounting plate which
should take some of the side to side load off the bolts. On my
previous rig the bolts had worked loose over time and luckily I
caught it just before the last one fell out.
This is actually the
3rd major revision of the mount. The first and second ones were
scrapped due to my discovering that the transmission mount would
also have to be the forward chassis cross member. This will
complicate the belly skid mounting since I need the transmission
mount to float but want the skid plate to be rigid.
Speaking of front
drive shafts, I tried tossing my old carrier bearing setup in the
chassis in the hopes of saving money but found no room to mount the
carrier bearing. So I will have to stick to my plan of a
simple two piece driveshaft which needs to stay necked down to 1.75"
OD until it clears the transmission bell housing. it looks
like I can have a piece of 1.75 x .250 wall DOM grafted onto the
slip section of the driveshaft (it has a 1.25" OD), so I just need
to find a driveshaft shop willing to make this oddball shaft.
A few shots showing
how tight the driveshaft clearance is keeping in mind this is full
Since I was running
low on tubing I had to use what I had left in the most efficient
manner. Before continuing on with the boat side reinforcement
I added a few bars to the sides that will keep the side panels from
caving in when dragging them over rocks.
Since I was low on
tubing I tried to get all of the remaining stuff that requires bends
done since those pieces typically take up extra tubing. To protect
the exhaust I added a piece of tubing on both sides that mimics the
form of the exhaust tubing but sets just below it. Hopefully
this will keep the exhaust tubing off the rocks when dropping off of
stuff. This will tie into the boat side bracing as well.
The last bent piece
was the start of the engine skid plate which will tie into the belly
skid plate. This hoop ties into the fixed portion of the motor
mounts vie some tabs and 7/8" rod ends. The rod ends have a slight
bit of play front to back which will go away once I tie this portion
into the belly skid plate.