So I made some more progress today until my chop saw blade lost a chunk. D'oh! Here's some pics...
On the left: Cut out with a sawzall (straights) and a cut off wheel (curve).
On the right: The plasma cutter I never could get to work right. Any suggestions on what's wrong to generate that much splatter?
Driver's side chassis mount coming together:
And now with a bolt!!
The angle is cut so that face will be flush to the side of the frame rail. I'll get a better pic of that later:
Some of the chamfering for the bracket. I did both inside and outside of the vertical bracket:
Here's where I need some welding help. I now am using the larger Hobart 185 amp welder with Ar/CO2. I set the speed and voltage to their recommendations for 1/4" steel, but two things are wrong. 1) There's a TON of splatter. 2) I have to move the torch faster than I'd like because the puddle of weld seems to accumulate too quickly. So I started doing smaller C's when laying down the bead along with moving quicker. I think they look okay, but I was getting nicer welds with my dinky 135 amp MIG. Is my wire speed too high or how? What about the voltage? Maybe more or less gas?
I think the pics make the welds look a little worse than they really appear, but the splatter is pretty accurately depicted. Thoughts?
Looking down the driver's side arm toward the chassis mount. You can see why there was an angle cut on the mount because of the bend in the frame rail:
Mocking up the control arm and chassis mount on the driver's side while the passenger side is still untouched with the Rubicon Express (short) control arms:
BTW, those are Centramatic wheel balancers shown on the hub in the above pic.
Driver's side mount tacked into place:
And passenger side also tacked into place:
I may be taking the day off tomorrow to enjoy some Austin fun, but I'll be back working on it soon enough. Next up is to remove the exhaust and driveshaft to finish welding up the mounts and then I need to make the upper control arms and brackets.
Got a fair amount done today, but very little visible. I removed the skidplate to provide access to welding the mounts to the frame rails. I dropped the driveshaft and exhaust for this same reason. I then installed the lower arms and set the wheelbase approximately 1.5"-2" longer than it was. I also removed the Rubicon Express upper arms and finalized how I'm going to build the upper parts of the radius arms. I should all be tacked together later tomorrow night.
Made some progress tonight. So I decided to make new front lowers because the originals weren't providing enough thread engagement with the elongated front wheelbase. Here's the new arms installed at the same length the original ones were set at. I estimate the wheelbase now to be approximately 1.5" longer than it was.
I'll use the original front lowers for the rear lowers. That'll be in a couple weeks.
I also welded the brackets to the frame rails. Not entirely, because I want a second person around to hold the exhaust out of the way while I weld inside the rails, but it's coming along nicely. I started with tight welds and made 2-3 passes so far:
The second issue I've come across is this... The sway bar and bracket contact the drag link ball joint when turning to full lock. I tried using a sleeve of tubing to raise the pin out of the way and it worked, but it just revealed the ball joint/bracket issues. I'll hack the OEM bracket and make something that'll provide more clearance.
Believe it or not, the bolt head doesn't contact the ball joint, but it's way too close. But, the axle is lacking some caster at the moment so when leaned back it may be a non-issue:
Dangit. I would've had all the welding done tonight, but I ran through the spool of wire before I finished. Ugh! Anyway, so tonight I made the upper arms, finished welding the brackets to the frame, and got everything tacked together. Here's some pics....
And removed ready for final welding:
Tomorrow I finish welding and start painting and clearance the ball joint/sway bar bracket. Friday I reassemble. Saturday I take it to get aligned. I can't wait!