The coilovers are
mounted. This has been the hardest task so far, mainly because wanted the
ride height set with no pre-load on the coilover. So the only way to
really know how it's going to sit is to mount the coilovers and put the weight
of the vehicle on them. I spent a good 7 hours making temporary mounts and
experimenting with various mounting configuration before settling on what you
see below. I still have a few small issues to work out but all the hard
stuff is down for the rear suspension.
Update - 3-20-03
These pictures are about a week
old. I had some problems with the coilover mount binding on flex, enough
to bow the shock in the 4th picture from the top. The mounts are now
running parallel to the axle and it does seem to allow more flex. The
second picture below shows the amount of rear steer. Any link suspension
will have some rear steer, I tried to minimize it with my setup and I happy with
Last weekend I started to tie
the back end into the frame again. I decided to run all the tubing in between
the coilovers to avoid any tire interference.
I also made some new body
panels to replace the beat up sheet metal.
The last big item is the
steering. I am using a hydraulic ram to actuate the tie rod and want it
mounted above the axle housing. The 2" bore, 6" stroke steering
ram ended up being too big, with the mount it extended exactly spring perch to
spring perch. Since I really only need 4" of stroke I located a
2.5" bore, 5" stroke ram to replace the longer unit. The bigger bore
will affect the number of turns required to turn the wheels lock to lock.
With the 2" bore cylinder we estimated 2 turns one way and 3 the other, the
bigger bore will bump that up to roughly 3 and 4 turns. I am thinking more
turns will be better on the road.
The pictures below show the two
adapters I made to mate the Samurai steering shaft to the steering u-joint and
then to the stub shaft supplied with the orbital valve (which drives the
hydraulic ram). Basically I turned down a steel bar so it was a light
press fit into the steering u-joint. Next I placed the u-joint in the mill
and machined a flat for the clamping bolt that runs thru the u-joint. On
the other side I turned the stub shaft down for the orbital valve adapter,
again making it a light press fit in the u-joint and then machined a slot for the clamping
screw. More to come....
Here's a shot of the orbital
valve on it's mounting bracket. Since the lines are under a lot of
pressure, it's safest to mount the valve behind the firewall, resist the urge to
mount it on the steering column inside the cab. This particular valve is
load sensing so I will be able to feel when the steering is binding. It
also has a built in pump so if the motor dies I can still steer.
These cylinders can generate
huge amounts of force, enough to shear steel if the conditions are right.
I designed a mount and had a co-worker analyze it using some software at
work. The software pinpointed the areas of high stress and we beefed them
up accordingly. The cylinder above is only a 5" stroke, a 6"
stroke is the max you can fit above the Toyota axle (it reaches from spring
perch to spring perch). My cylinder is setup so when the ram is all the
way extended, the knuckles are on the steering stops. Since I only need
about 4 inches of stroke, a sleeve will need to be installed on the ram so it
bottoms out on itself. Don't rely on the steering stops to stop the ram,
it will eventually either rip them off or bend something.
I picked up this filter (P/N
filter mount (P/N 4770) from Napa. Besides the benefit of filtering the fluid, the
filter also adds another 16oz of fluid capacity to the system. I actually
want to add another half gallon reservoir to the system. The extra fluid
will keep things cooler and it will also help handle the extra fluid displaced
from the cylinder since the piston side will displace less than the other
side. With the added pump in the orbital valve you can easily see the
fluid level rise and fall with the motor off. As it is if I turn the wheel all the
way to one side the fluid is at the top of the pumps reservoir. I
filled the system with Valvoline synthetic power steering fluid. To bleed
the system, I pushed the cylinder all the way in and filled the ports with fluid
before connecting the lines. Next, I filled the pumps reservoir and
actuated the steering wheel with the motor off, cylinder lying on the ground. This uses the orbital
valves pump to prime the system, I just kept topping of the reservoir till it
wouldn't take anymore. Next I started the motor and ran the cylinder back
and forth for several minutes, adding fluid as needed.