Project Money Pit

Page 6


Cage Details

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I thought I was out of the woods.  There are a lot of little things you want to have figured out before you paint.

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I am re-using the stock seat belts.  I welded the upper tab for the shoulder belt in roughly the same position it was stock, the lower anchor bolt is still in the tub, and I am mounting the ratchet assembly to the two bars behind the seats.  I wouldn't do this with a daily driver, but for a trail toy this setup should be plenty stout.  I haven't tied my seats into the cage yet, something I will do down the road.  Also visible behind and above the drivers head is a bracket for mounting my hi-lift.  I'll weld a 1/2-13 bolt to the bracket, this will retain the top part of the jack and for the lower part...

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I welded this plate to the cage down towards the rear.  I plan on welding another 1/2-13 bolt in one of the holes as well.   This will allow me to easily place the jack over the bolt and then tighten the thumb nut on the upper bracket, easy one fastener access.  Back in the first picture you'll also notice a brace going from one of the spreader bars to the main hoop.  There is another one between the spreader bar and front hoop.  While these bars add some strength to the cage I had other motives when I installed them at the last minute.  I found I needed a handle to grab onto when entering/exiting the rig as well as a place for someone to hang on while Samurai surfing. 

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For the filler neck, I cut the stock filler out of the old tub and welded it to my bed.  I plan on placing a piece of perforated aluminum sheet metal over the bed to keep stuff from falling thru so I'll need to cut an access hole for the filler.  Also note the filler is recessed so the entire bed surface will be useable.  You can also see several tabs in the picture.  The ones in the corners will hold the sheet metal down.  I placed several more around the flatbed and welded a 7/16 nut to the bottom.  I can now screw in a 7/16 eye bolt in any one of eight holes as required for whatever cargo I am carrying (for instance, some trips I'll want my cooler right in the middle, others I may want it and some other gear stowed in back).

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There is some dead space behind the fuel tank but in front of what will be my trunk.  I fabricated these hangers which will hold my spare front axles.  Simply slide the axle back into one, then forward into the other.  The axle can then be secured with a set screw.

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I did a lot of bracing on the rear bumper.  The Shackle hangers will see a ton of stress so I braced them each to the frame. I am also going to mount a D-ring to the rear bumper so it needs to be strong enough to be used as a winch point.  The small square tabs will be drilled and tapped so I can mount some taillight holders.

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A storm stopped my progress Friday night (literally) by knocking out the power.  Luckily I retrieved a flashlight just minutes before otherwise I would have been stumbling around in the dark for quite a while.  I went back down early Saturday morning and the power was back on.  I finished up a few small welding tasks and then quickly set about prepping the Zuk for paint.  I managed to get the Zuk, gas tank, gas tank skid, windshield frame and trunk painted before another storm rolled in.

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Here's a couple pictures safely inside away from the downpour going on outside.  No I just have to put it all back together.

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