Time for another year end update.
After another year the weak link in the drive train was still the Alloy USA stub shafts.
the end of 2008 I broke another one bringing my total broken to 3. They all broke
the same way, a clean break at the end of the yoke. Typically you'd like
the shaft to twist a little before letting go but these seem too brittle.
The Alloys were replaced with
Superior stub shafts as Alloy USA went under late in the year
leaving me and a few other hanging as far as their warranty goes (I had been
waiting since early 2008 for a replacement stub from the 2nd break).
The sticky Creepy Crawlers are still going strong, January starts their 3rd
season on my rig. Other than a cut sidewall I have had no complaints with
the tires although they are not quite as good as the Krawlers as far as grip
goes. I did decide to get out the tire groover in December and added another
.25" to their tread depth, something you typically can't do with the Krawlers as
their outer edge typically wears down to the cords before the upper tread is
I did finally manage to break something on the rear 14 bolt if you consider
the driveshaft yokes part of the axle assembly. This was really my fault,
tagged a rock when trying to bump the rig up a wall. Other than that break
the completely stock 14 bolt continues to impress me with it's durability.
Judging by the looks of the rear driveshaft slip it looks to have seen lots
of contact with stuff so I replaced the slip with my spare and picked up a yoke
guard from great Lakes Off-road. When the guard arrived I was amazed at
After having the guard powder coated I installed it and it looked a little
more proportional on the axle. I don't like how the lip hangs down below
the lower bolt but there really isn't much else you could do. I guess if I
get hung up on it the guard is doing it's job.
The body panels are also a year old this January and looking a little worse for
wear. I decided it was time to freshen up the paint on the chassis so new
panels were also on the agenda.
One of the tools I have access to at my new job is a CNC punch press which we
used to punch out these tribal flames I had drawn up in Solidworks.
I was also able to buy a full sheet of 16 ga. steel thru my work and then had
it sheared to size allowing me to make a single piece body panel.
After adding the front and rear tapers and foot clearance holes.
While pulling the body panels I noticed gear bags that I had hung in various
spots around the buggy were all coming apart due to the heat and constant
bouncing. In an effort to consolidate some of the heavier items I am
adding a storage box next to the rear seat. I had a tall ammo box that
would maximize the storage room but I still ended up cutting it down in size to
keep the top below the beltline of the buggy.
I formed a mounting bar from some steel strap I had on hand. There is
also another mounting tab up towards the top to steady the box.
After a week off I was back on the body panels. I added some flared
holes to break up the large expanse of material then laid down a base coat of
blue. After letting that dry for a day I taped off the panel to add a
black strip and to paint the flames silver.
I also went back to a flat hood, the old hood scoop really wasn't venting the
engine compartment like I had hoped it would.
Measured weight with the front tires filled approximately halfway with water.
After my transmission mounts came loose
the other weekend I figured it was time to add a transfer case support. I
had one on my old cast iron D300 case but when I swapped it for the billet Stak
case the old mount no longer fit. The new billet case has an extra set of 3/6-16
tapped holes next to the outputs (front and rear) for use with an extra support.
I started by making a template for the base, then machined some spacers made
from .625 x .120 wall DOM tubing.
Next I bent a flat piece of plate around the spacers.
The flat plate allowed me to re-use the old mounting arms with a few
modifications to their length. I added a brace between the two arms and
then added some paint.
I have also had some heat issues. Not sure if the motor is running
hotter than before but I managed to melt another transmission shifter cable.
I am very limited in it's possible routing so it has to sit 3" away from the
muffler at its closest point. I am going to try wrapping the muffler with
header wrap and will also build a heat shield to separate the muffler and lower
The last thing on my to-do list was to get the rear air bumps back on the
buggy. When I switched to the 14 bolt axle my previous mounting location
was not compatible with the new axle truss. I needed the bumps further
outboard and much lower. After some searching I found some extra tall bump
cans on the PolyPerformance website. These would allow me to keep the bump
can tied into the chassis but still get the air bump down where it needed to be.
After welding everything together the air bumps would not fit into the cans
so I came up with this reaming tool using a 2" hole saw and the arbor from my
Harbor Freight tube notcher. After running this up and down the can for a while
the bumps eventually slid right in.
At the axle end I started by building a base for the bump plate from some
2.00 x 4.00 rectangular steel tubing. I eventually added some internal
bracing made up of some 1.25 x .120 wall square steel tubing and then capped the
ends. On top of this will sit some 3/8" thick steel plate, anything less
eventually dents unless you go with some hardened AR plate.