This week was a real killer in part due to the humidity. I'd prefer a nice
and dry 115 degrees over this 98 degrees + humidity, at least the metal dust
doesn't stick to you so easily when it is dry out.
It was time to get the lower portion of the frame painted. I still had
some things to add to the upper portion but waiting to paint it all didn't make
much sense since I could attach a lot of parts to the lower section as filler
While the paint was drying on the buggy fabricated some brackets that would
become an overhead storage rack for the leftover tubing that I had rolling
around on the floor.
I have actually been sidetracked for part of this week and last optimizing space
in the garage, Besides this steel rack I also installed some overhead
storage in the dead space over the garage door and put up some shelving over my
Some of the final welds on the axle bridge. I would run a few beads
and then go work on something else to avoid building up a lot of heat in the
On Saturday I started cutting gussets out based on the templates I made during
the week. The plasma cutter makes short work of this stuff and with the right
tools the setup is pretty easy too. I use 3 pairs of welding pliers, one
to attach the work piece to the table and two to clamp my straight edge guide
for the cutting torch. I also have a piece of .50 thick stock which I use
to account for the offset between the plasma standoff and cutting point.
So a typical setup involves placing the offset bar along the line to be cut,
then the straight edge is clamped next to the offset bar, then the offset bar is
removed and I can cut.
The coilover mounts are boxed in.
You can see a pair of the gussets I made which tie the axle bridge into the top
of the differential case (there was an existing steel fin already there from the
One thing I was saving for last was the mounting of the swaybar. I honestly had
no idea where to put it and thought I may need to get a longer one to allow me
to mount it out back. After some thought it looks like I can squeeze the
swaybar in in front of the axle bridge. I will have to bend the arms to
clear the lower links and the swaybar end links will have to be shortened.
Once I had that figured out I fabricated some mounts to hold the swaybar
Next up was the bumpstop pads for the rear axle. I dropped the rig from resting
height to full compression (a 6" drop) and started working from there.
Next I compressed just one side to see how much the bumpstop pad would travel
when the axle articulates. Up front you can see a line roughly 2" long
which shows the initial bump and the pad sliding along the pad during
articulation. Out back it looks like I won't have much travel along the
pad, possible due to having near 0 axle steer.
A shot showing the upper links at full compression, still enough room to move
them up a hole on the axle bridge.
The finished bump pad on the drivers side. I can easily change the bump pads if
needed (thicker or longer).
On Sunday I reinstalled the fuel system and ran the fuel lines. After that
I put my springs on the rear coilovers and installed them. The rig is
sitting about 4 inches too high but I kind of expected that as have a 16" spring
and 14" spring on a 14" coilover (they barely fit). I was hoping to get
away with re-using my 16" springs but I think a set of 14", 200 lb spring along
with the added weight of the rest of the buggy parts not yet installed should
bring the rig down the required 4".
After that I got to work on the new front seat mounts. I reconfigured the
cage to allow me to lay the front seats back at an angle. I soon
discovered that the only way to do this easily is to built a mock seat frame so
the brackets can be tied together as if they were on the seat. My mock
seat frame was two pieces of flat stock with 2 holes in each drilled with the
proper hole spacing for the seat sliders. After about 4 iterations I settled on
a 4 degree tilt backwards and had to reposition the seats about 5/8 of an inch
towards the outside to clear the center console (the old ones must of sat up