Week #1 has flew by but I
managed to get quite a bit accomplished. I spent the first part of the week
replacing the broken stub shaft from out Skullcrusher run. While I was in
there I clearanced the axle ears on both front axles so they would no longer rub
on the inner "C". The next task was to drain the water out of my front tires,
that took another evening as I fought with a valve that broke off in one of the
The next chore was to
male some room in the garage for all the parts that would be coming
off the buggy. While cleaning I found some steel I had cut for
making a small C frame dimple station so I got side tracked for a
few hours assembling and welding the parts together. Two coats
of paint and a few stickers later I had a new tool bolted to my work
bench that should allow me to dimple small panels quickly and
I spent another
evening taking the front passenger and rear seat out along with all
the rear body panels and wiring.
Next I made some
blocks that the air bumps could rest on that would support the rig
at ride height. The rear coilovers were then removed and the
chassis lowered onto the blocks.
I could now cut off
everything behind main cross braces except the lower hoop that the
air bumps mounted to. I will leave the lower hoop on and cut it at
the last minute so the buggy is mobile up until we do the new tube
work. The cooler mounts and side braces came off first. I used
a sawsall to avoid throwing hot plasma all over my interior
Next, the rear down
bars came off.
I am not sure what my
helper was doing with that drill, but he was down there working on
the rear axle for a long time. He was eyeing the sawsall after I got
done with it but convinced him he needed more practice with the
drill before we moved up to cutting tools.
I have parts arriving for the project. The first stuff that showed up was
a box of exhaust parts from Summit Racing. I plan on stuffing a Flowmaster
muffler in the passenger side boat side and then having the exhaust exit the
boat side instead of routing it out back. This should free up space out
back so I can move my links around. I went with a Flowmaster because I
liked the way the system I installed on my tow rig sounded, it has a nice idle
but quiets down at speed. The glass packs and cheap turbo muffler that I
have tried have all been a little loud for my tastes.
While I am in modifying the exhaust I plan on eliminating a big restriction at
the exhaust flange that bolts to the manifold. I had retained the stock flex
coupler but it necks the exhaust down to just over 2" as it passes thru the
baffles of the coupler. On the advice of a 3800 guru I plan on replacing
the stock flex coupler with a section of 3" tube, then a flex coupler (if
needed) followed by a reducer to 2.5" dia tubing before entering the Flowmaster.
I also plan on installing a ported and ceramic coated passenger side exhaust
manifold and a ceramic coated cross pipe. Both pieces should optimize exhaust
flow and cut some of the radiant heat thrown off by those parts which should
benefit both the passenger and throttle body. Both of these
pieces came from
The next package that arrived was a set of 4 used wheel spacers I picked up off
of the internet. They look like they were never used! I bought these now
because it was one of those hard to pass up deals. These are my plan "B"
in case I need more tire clearance out back to clear the seat or shocks when the
rear axle is at full compression. Even with an additional 4" of width my outside
of tire to outside of tire measurement will only be 80".