Project Hellraiser 4

Page 10


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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 work.

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 tool boxes.

 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 housing.

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 previous build).

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 bushings.

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 higher).

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