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Unread 09-06-2010, 02:17 PM   #76
Technohead
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Tires worked out great. Nice and sticky. I was running about 12 psi.

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Unread 09-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #77
ZJPunk98
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Eric,

let me know when you are cutting off the old rockers and installing the new. I'm slightly jealous of your step rail. I need to do that to mine.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 06:01 PM   #78
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I've been working on a rocker panel replacement for the last 6 weeks (I work slow) and finally made enough progress to show. Here's why I'm doing this project in the first place:



I used to have bolt-on sliders but did not like the loss of clearance so I got rid of them and rode this season without sliders knowing that I was eventually going to cut the rockers out.


First stage of the project was to build the new rails. I used 4"x4"x3/16" square section for the main structure and 1-1/2" x 0.120 wall tubing for the steps. The overall length is 72". These monsters weighed in at about 57 lbs each.

Fitting the end caps:



Fitting the steps:





Done:



The second stage of the project was cutting off the old rockers. The design calls for tieing directly into the pillars so I carefully cut out the old material which revealed solid structure for the a-b pillars but nothing much for the c-pillar.

Here's the b-pillar structure:



And here's the a-pillar structure. There was quite a bit of rust on the passengers side (shown). Not so bad on the drivers side. The sliders will also tie into that channel running under the floorboards to the frame:



The third stage of the project was making some mounting brackets. Here I used 4" wide by 1/8" thick sheet welded into an "angle iron". These brackets are welded to the pillars and the unibody structure as shown in the photos below. Lots of care was taken when fitting these brackets so that the sliders would line up perfectly. This was a real PITA but well worth the effort. The photos also show how I peeled back the remaining rocker panel metal for access. In the end I will fold this metal back into place and stitch-weld it directly to the slider rails.

Photo showing how the a-pillar bracket was attached. You can also see the other two brackets toward the rear:



Photo showing how the b-pillar bracket was attached. I used a similar bracket for the c-pillar area but since there was no pillar structure back there I could only weld onto what remained of the old rockers (i.e. similar to the vertical welds show here):



With the brackets fitted it was then a simple matter to hoist the rails into place and burn them on. The following photos show how the rails were attached to the top edge of the brackets. The same was done on the bottom edge of the brackets:





And this is where I stand today:



The remaining work includes folding the sheet metal down and stitch-welding it to the rails then some prep/seam sealer before coating the whole thing with Herculiner.

These things are incredibly strong. I can lift the whole side of the vehicle off the ground with a high-lift and there is zero deflection.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 06:07 PM   #79
Mudzilla6661
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wow looks really good, I wish I knew how to weld so I could make myself some
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Unread 10-25-2010, 06:17 PM   #80
biggoofy
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looks great man thats the exact thing I want to do to mine. My passenger side got nice and beat during the last run.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 08:17 PM   #81
ZJPunk98
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Nice work Eric, i like how you used the pinch seam and a/b pillars to mount the tubing. I wish i used the a/b pillars with my design to prevent deflection, but oh well.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #82
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hm, yup its decided, screw sliders im going with boat sides
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Unread 10-26-2010, 05:06 AM   #83
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What are you using for a welder?
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Unread 10-26-2010, 06:06 AM   #84
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Quote:
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What are you using for a welder?
Hobart Handler 140 w/ 0.030" flux core wire.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 06:49 AM   #85
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Hobart Handler 140 w/ 0.030" flux core wire.
What do you think of it? My buddy has a Miller 140 that I've been using a lot, but I find that I think I might like the infinite voltage settings that the Miller offers over the Hobart.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 07:23 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squashman702 View Post
What do you think of it? My buddy has a Miller 140 that I've been using a lot, but I find that I think I might like the infinite voltage settings that the Miller offers over the Hobart.
The Hobart works fine for what I call "hobbyist" use. The contiuously variable voltage is nice but does cost a bit more. The main drawback to the Hobart (probably shared by the Miller) is small duty cycle. For more industrial strength use I think you really need something that runs on 220v with at least 180 amps. Again the contiuously variable voltage adjustment is nice but not critical.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technohead View Post
The Hobart works fine for what I call "hobbyist" use. The contiuously variable voltage is nice but does cost a bit more. The main drawback to the Hobart (probably shared by the Miller) is small duty cycle. For more industrial strength use I think you really need something that runs on 220v with at least 180 amps. Again the contiuously variable voltage adjustment is nice but not critical.
We've been using the 140 on everything up to 1/4" without an issue, although we normally have the voltage on 9 or 10 at this point. Either myself or my buddy will likely be purchasing a Miller 211 soon.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #88
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Looks nice, but do you have any plans to tie them back to the 'frame' rail? I would imagine they will start to push up into the doors after a few good hits if they're only supported by some 1/8" and the old rockers.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 04:27 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTeunuch View Post
Looks nice, but do you have any plans to tie them back to the 'frame' rail? I would imagine they will start to push up into the doors after a few good hits if they're only supported by some 1/8" and the old rockers.
I already have tubes cut with flanges welded on for frame ties. But tieing into the frame will do almost nothing to stop them from pushing "up" into the doors. The a-b pillars loaded in compression are much stronger than frame ties loaded in bending. Tieing into the frame will help resist side loads from pushing them in but they are already tied into the two existing channels that run from the rockers to the frame. Since I have the frame ties ready I will probably use them.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 04:55 PM   #90
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Hey Eric can you post up some pics from the bottom on the pinch seem as well as the back tie in i will be doing this soon and am a tad curious also can you take pics of the uniframe tie ins?
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