Project Hellraiser 4

Page 12


Previous Update

I accomplished a lot of stuff this last week, mostly towards the end when my coil springs and suspension links arrived which were holding up progress. 

The one thing I did manage to get done early in the week was the floors for the rear passenger compartment.  As always I started with a cardboard template that fit well, then traced the template to a piece of .050 5052 aluminum.

Next I used a hole saw and put a hole at every inside corner so the corners would be radiuses.  From there I started to whittle away at the sheet with my plasma cutter.

The finished sheet then required some minor grinding to drop right in, mostly notching to clear welds. Since this piece has to support some weight I have .75 x .75 steel tubing supports under the areas that will get stepped on.

A few shots showing the small wing panels to the left and right of the rear seat. I'll most likely mount some sort of storage box here, maybe an ammo can.

Since my links and springs arrived on late Thursday I didn't get them mounted until Friday night.  For reference I am using 7075 aluminum links made by Summit Machine for all of the links.  The front lowers (1.75" dia), rear lowers (2.00" dia) and rear uppers (1.75" dia) are all the same length. The front uppers are 1.50" diameter.  I have two 1.50" da links left over for sale, check out the for sale page for more info. For springs out back I went with a 14" x 250 lb. coil on the bottom and a 12" x 150lb coil on top.   I basically upped the lower spring from 200 lbs/in to 250 lbs/in to accommodate the added weight out back.

Once I had the final links in place I noticed a few problems.  The first problem was I didn't order enough of the smaller misalignment washers so I would have to re-do one tab on each of the lower link mounts on the front of the chassis. Luckily I was exactly .25" off, the width of one of my tabs so I just cut the existing tab back to clear the rod end and then welded a new one to it using the original tab as a guide. One trick I have started to do is to place a .004" and .005" feeler gauges between the misalignment spacer and tab before bolting the assembly together then welding.  This makes it so you can easily slip the rod end in and out of the tab without too much fighting.

Problem number 2 was a set of egged out holes on the lower link mounting brackets.  These were .313" thick so I was a little surprised.  The fix was to weld a pair of .25" thick spacers with .625" holes to the outside of the original brackets.

problem number 3 involved the rear swaybar. I had the makings of an interference when the passenger side tire was stuffed into the frame but I could not move the swaybar mounting point over anymore due to the exhaust routing.

The fix was to reconfigure the exhaust and flip the swaybar link to the inside of the swaybar.  I now have 1" of clearance between the link and rod end mounting stud, hopefully the swaybars don't deflect sideways.

An overhead shot of the new exhaust routing which jogs around the swaybar mount.

Once the exhaust was re-routed I also had to adjust the upper link mounts on the axle bridge, they were off by about an inch off center to the drivers side. By carefully cutting them with a cutoff wheel I was able to just re-position them and re-weld without having to make any new pieces.  As you can see there is a lot going on back here so I am anxious to see if it passes the trail test with no unexpected interferences.

By Saturday evening I had all the seats in so I could figure out some more panels and the upper seatbelt mounting points. I picked it up on Sunday morning and decided to get the buggy started before proceeding so I could verify the new wiring.  After installing the battery and transfer case shifters it started on the first try. Things were going good until the motor blew off the lower radiator hose, pretty sure I forgot to tighten it.  I also discovered the water pump power wire had come loose, I am thinking about putting an indicator light in the dash that will show when the pump is getting power, it is so quiet there is no way to tell if it is on or not.

The front seat belts will mount to a removable cross member behind the front seats which is made from one of my spare aluminum suspension links.  The rear seat belt mounting points were made from some 1.00 x .120 wall tubing with some 3/8-16 standoffs welded inside of the tubing.  I had the rear seat made with two extra seatbelts slots cut into the back positioned about 6" lower to accommodate a smaller person.  I plan on having the small harness mounted on the passenger side.

With the seat belt mounting out of the way I proceeded to work on the rear panels some more.  I am aiming to have this rear seating area on this go around more sealed off to the elements than the last one which was pretty much open.

The fancy panel behind the gas tank is a splash guard, something I discovered I needed when I tried filling the fuel cell.  It is designed so any spilled gas will hit the panel and then run down the panel.  For reference the rear seat actually rests on the bend in the panel.

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