I thought I was out of the woods. There
are a lot of little things you want to have figured out before you paint.
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Here's a couple pictures safely inside away
from the downpour going on outside. No I just have to put it all back