Let the fun begin.
Bracing the nerf bars was quite the chore. I had to peel back the body to
get the supports down to the frame. I am hoping to be able to reuse most
of the tub, it'll be nice to keep the dust down. Here's a drivers
side shot and a passenger side shot from the inside.
At the last minute I realized I
needed to add one more support up front. Most of the hard hits to the nerf
bars generally occur in the area right behind the front tire.
With all the braces in place I
made a template from cardboard to simulate this sheet of steel (3/16 thick).
I figured out where I needed to notch for clearance and when I had a good fit
with the cardboard started cutting up the steel.
I had the steel cut a little
long so I could wrap it around the nerf bar. At first I made cuts every
two inches but then found I could go 8 inches with the same effect. I
continued to pound/weld/pound/weld for another half hour. I still need to
do some cleanup grinding.
Passenger side. The other
tricky part was how to attach the front hoop, with the floor gone the mounting
plate was dangling in space. I ended up cutting the mounting plate off,
putting a 30 deg angle on the tube, then welded another mounting plate to the
end. When the steel sheet was attached to the side, the new mounting plate
rested right on the steel, a couple welds and it was nice and solid again.
Before calling it a day I made
some aluminum roof panels, these will keep the sun off of the occupants when the
windshield isn't being used.
Some of the little
details. I reused the old battery tray, just had to make a small support
for the end. Also shown is the hood pin mount and the tab that holds my
air filter tube.
The other side has mounts for
the brake solenoids and the power steering cooler.
The seat mounts were a major
pain. I finally gave up trying to weld 4 tabs for each seat and made some
brackets so I can fine tune the seat location without having to cut and
weld. Down the road I'll try and get a pair of sliders so the seats will
slide again. The support in the second picture is welded to the frame
rail. I probably didn't need it but down the road if I every replace the
intermediate driveshaft with a gear reduction box, I may have to cut the front
seat mount bar.
The rear seat mount bar is
lower than the front to tilt the seats back slightly.
The last thing I added was a
bar across the engine bay above the radiator to protect it in case of a roll
(I'll get a picture shortly). Eventually I'll go back and make it removable,
but for now you can get the radiator out fine. Next came paint prep, primer and
a coat of yellow.