MiniBuild #14 ~ Project Baja Racer

Discussion in 'D and C Extreme' started by Damian Grihalva, Jan 9, 2008.


  1. Tom Mandera

    Tom Mandera Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Y'know, I'm no pro, but up here in Montana, I drag the Scout inside the heated (or air-conditioned, depending on the season) shop before I lift a wrench.

    Usually that also means the air tools are handier, too.

    :D
     
  2. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    HA! ... [cough, cough]... HA....haha.. Ha.

    Ha. Funny guy!

    Actually, it was dropped on my moms property when I got it. No axles and only 2-3 guys means we needed to get it cut apart ~ ahem, lighten it ~ before we put it in the shop. I mean, have you ever tried to 'drag' a scout without axles? :batman:
     
  3. Robert JetFxr

    Robert JetFxr High Wheeler

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    Just hook up the trailer winch, then drag it up on the tilt bed trailer. Tilt trailer and slide it off where you want it ;o) Work smarter D.
     
  4. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Assuming I had a tilt trailer, steel deck, and a trailer winch. :hammer:

    My next trailer will be (1) mine, and (2) have a winch on it. This is the second rig I had to get up there under some other power source. We actually jacked up the chassis, put round logs under, and then used my bro's truck to pull it onto the trailer. Didn't take to long, but dang was it COLD. The 2-3 inches of snow on the trailer/ground helped a bit. No damage to trailer, or the chassis.

    Getting it off was much easier than putting it on. It was at the house so I had my jacks, axle dollies and stands.
     
  5. Tom Mandera

    Tom Mandera Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Y'know, you just reminded me.

    Almost 10 years ago.. it was August or September of 1998..

    This came home.

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    Along with the chassis that became Little Devil.

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    Admittedly, I had help loading them, in the form of a forklift, but I had to unload by myself.

    I nearly tested the rollcage on the blue chassis just trying to get it off the trailer. The camo chassis went much better.

    Scouts actually move around pretty well if they at least have leaf springs still in 'em. I've moved several Scouts with a block of wood under the center pin acting as a slider on the trailer deck. Works out alright.


    Back to the subject at hand.. it's been almost 10 years since I started building Little Devil, and when the 4th of July rolls around, that'll be 9 years since I started racing this poor old once-camo chassis that was rolled and left for dead before I got it.
     
  6. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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  7. Tom Mandera

    Tom Mandera Dreams of Cub Cadets

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  8. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    With the DOM for the cage ordered up. It was time to face the nastiest job on the planet. Cleaning up the frame. I had Paul start cutting off brackets while waiting for metal on normal work, and Matt (another helper) finished them off with the plasma one night.

    Today it was my job to finish cutting them off, then grind the whole frame smooth. Its a nasty job. Took hours. I was a mess.
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    Underneath. I took a wire wheel to the frame was well. Cleaned it up pretty good ~ but man do those things spread the crap everywhere!
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    Even took the wire wheel to the firewall.
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    Then started cleaning up the cut lines on what was left of the body. A chalk line 2" behind where the door opening is worked well.
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    Turns out that cutting it here makes the cut line up with the inner B-pillar support.
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  9. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    More of the same
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    While cutting the floor i discovered we don't need to get another fuel pump!:grinpimp:
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    Glaser Steel showed up with the DOM.
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    5 Sticks to start. Not much, but will cover the required cage (we're building off SCORE rules/regulations.
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  10. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    I'm trying to keep busy on this project as there is a race coming up that Tom mentioned a few months away. I believe he wants to try and get it there so here we go.

    While I had the firewall there, I wire-wheeled it and then put a nice coat of primer on it. Eventually a flat black coat will take its place but first me must put the engine in its place and find out where it needs to be clearanced.
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    I didn't get many pictures putting them together, but I started installing the frame sleeves w/ link mounts already on them. Normally the rear brackets are about14" from the end of the frame sleeve, but after discussing things, Tom and I decided it was in his best interest to have more wheelbase, so we're going for a seudo-traveller (even though its on a 110WB scout frame.
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    Another change is mounting the rear lower links outside the frame slightly. This will aid in mounting the shocks you'll see later.
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    Side shot of the front suspension mount.
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    Now I realize that these pictures are really hard to get ~ with the body on and all. So we decided just to take it off and slide it back so we can weld up the frame brackets nice and perdy. So with Paul on one side, and me on the other, and a husky yell, we picked up the chassis and moved it onto the rear section of the frame for all this.
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    Although this is not nessesary, it did give us a clear shot at welding the frame sleeves on.
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    Me welding away.
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    I put 2" stich welds 5" apart from front to back.
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    Liberal coat of primer over the welded stuff.
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  11. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Unfortunatly when we picked up the body to move it back on the frame (to do above welding) Certain things....well happened.
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    As seen, the driver side body mount (dispite having the nut taken off, just fell apart. The passenger side simply came off the rocker!

    That gave me an idea. Why put on new ones ~ why not build our own where the cage can be connected to the frame! So I cleaned up the body mounts left on the frame (no rust)
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    Cut out some gusset plates.
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    and fully boxed in the sides AND bottom of the frame mounts (picture prior to cleanup)
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    Then with the body back in place (rear cab mounts were ok so we re-bolted those down) we spaced the body up off the frame the required distance....
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    ...Measured the space that used to be taken up by the old body mounts....
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    And with small cuts of DOM we built the new mounts instead of body mounts. A cage foot sits on top. Now this won't support wieght (seeing that it only attaches to the floor, not the rocker), but you'll see how it turns out in the near future.
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  12. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    When we put the scout on its wieght, we noticed that the passenger side floor was...well....glued in with silicone. We dont have any problem with using a type of auto epoxy normally, but silicone? Well, we needed to weld the floors in better so Matt drew as good a bead as he could across the sheet metal.
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    What to the TDO guys say? Tools, beer, and
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    Not to shabby ~ and 1 billion times better than the old. Put it this way, the body no longer bobbed up and down after hitting it with your hand after we re-welded the floors. More on secureing the body later.
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    We also picked up a Chevy HD44 for the front. Here's Matt stripping the pig to nothing and cleaning it up with a grinder and wire wheel.
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    That came out nice, now I need to grind the sides to mount the front links and get the WB dialed.

    Oh, I also bent up the main hoops. We're going with 51.5" up at the A-pillar and 52" at the B-pillar (not in picture). This is not its final spot, nor will we complete the cage until the engine is where it needs to be ~ but at least you get the idea of the shape. The A-pillar hoop actually will tuck itself all the way up to the dash board. As Tom requested, I matched the 33*ish slant of the windshield so he can, if he chooses, put on one at some later date.
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  13. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Update.
    While working on cage kits and bumpers, I started planning out the rear lower links for the racer. We could get plenty of travel with simply mounting the COs to the axle like on P3 or Rusty, but Tom brought up the possibility of getting more wheel travel by mounting the COs to the arms like the big dawgs do.

    At first I wasn't interested, but as I thought about it, I figured if done right it wouldn't effect link geometry at all ~ so why not.

    Started out with 2" DOM lowers (only .120 wall) ~ not normally considered safe for crawling, but this rig will not see rocks like Rusty or P1-5 ~ so I started bending while the 2" die was mounted up.
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    The Curve allows us to mount the CO below the bolt-to-bolt line ~ this keeps the link from twisting (like it would if we had simply mounted them on top of a straight link).

    Next I used 1.75" x .281" wall DOM as a weld in insert. Rosette welded both sides.
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    Then I drew up a template for trussing the tube out of 2x6 (.120 wall) square stock. Drew it out, cut one then mapped the points every 2" to make a second for the second lower link.
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    One with truss, one without.
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    Two with truss, one without ends.
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    Because the truss is so thin walled, I wanted to build some sleeves out of 3/16" wall rectangle tube. Mapped out some holes, drilled.
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    Input holesaw ~ drilled.
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    Cut out the pieces in between the holes and flapper-wheeled them to death.
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  14. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    A little trimming and a test fit. Looks pretty good.
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    Time to cut out the truss and weld the beast on.
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    Here's a shot of the inside. I didn't just cut a hole in the top of the truss and sleeve it, leaving the whole tube open ~ I cut some small plate and gave each shock its own chamber. The plate not only keeps debris from filling the truss ~ but also attaches the walls to the tube below. I actually cut two holes into the truss, and then used these small plates to completely re-seal the truss from the shock mount area. Considering the 'hole' is 1.5" wide and 4" deep, welding it was a pain in the :eek: Afterwards, I put the sleeve on and re-welded the entire structure again.
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    The welds you see above the shock holes is where the sleeve meets where the truss was cut, this makes the bolt go through both walls for more support. There's a little more to go (for strength) but you see where I'm getting at.

    So far what the lower links will end up like. Not 100% done, but close enough to give a good idea.
    [​IMG]
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  15. Tom Mandera

    Tom Mandera Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    The 304 engine is almost ready..

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    Hope to get some break-in miles on it in two weeks so it'll be good n' ready for the new chassis..
     
  16. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Looking really good there Tom. Got some work on the cage done, got the front axle in. I'll post some pictures eventually.

    Speaking of which, the rubber-inserts on the FlexJoints are complete PAINS to put into the axle mounts as if you're not 100% they bind up. So I'm going to use the FlexJoints you see on MB11 at the axles and the Rubber ones in the frames. This will give some ease to installation as well as keep the 'noise/vibration' down while racing. The Flex joints are urethane so they'll be a tad on the stiffer side to keep deflection down.
     
  17. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Well, I've got a little time so I'll update what I can..

    Racer is doing good. I've got a few things in and have built another few things. I'd like to get the front suspension finished before hacking off the back end, but we'll see.

    I believe I left off with the rear arms. I guess I'll start there.

    To insure the CO is below the line made from connecting the front joint with the rear joint we put them below the surface in these 'boat' arms (if that makes sense). This keeps the arms right side up dispite the load put on them. The holes we drilled in earlier were oversized so we can cut out some spacers (made from DOM) and weld those spacers such that the shock stays centered in the link (doesn't flop around on the bolt).

    Once the spacers were made, we inserted them in with the shock and got them centered.
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    Then a tack weld kept them in place.
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    Oddly enough, I don't have a picture of them fully welded w/ the excess cut and sanded smooth so use your imagination ~ if you will. The shocks should use a 3-3.5" half inch bolt when said and done. We chased the holes after we were done to make sure there wasn't any slag left in there. After that, the bolt and shocks fit in there pretty tight!

    The next big thing to report on is the front suspension. We used our standard mounts for the front.
    [​IMG]
    But instead of using our normal 2.250" (3/8" wall) DOM, Tom had us make it out of 2" (.120 wall) DOM. We didn't need all that beef since this rig won't be seeing boulders. The upper link is 1.75" DOM as our normal, but only .120" wall instead of .281".

    The tricky part was connecting the two together. Tom wanted to connect the tubes together as close to the frame-side joint as possible to minimize any possible chance of bending the links from the torque generated by axle wrap. Our normal links connect near the center of the lower link ~ Tom was worried that the thinner materials combine with the forces of off-road racing may generate enough 'push' to actually bend the lower link at the connection ~ so we pushed that point as far back as possible. This also spreads any such loads out over the length of the arm, not just at the one point.
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    These notches were tricky. After drawing a rough part to cut, I used a cut-off wheel to get the rough shape.
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    Then I used a flapper wheel to feather the parts down till they matched.
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    The seams were then welded up.
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  18. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    I would have loved to leave them like that ~ Not sure if they'd be strong enough, but even so ~ I added a tube near the upper axle joint.
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    Both together.
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    Mounted in the truck.
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  19. Tom Mandera

    Tom Mandera Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    How much side to side angle does it accommodate? When the axle articulates, the entire trailing arm will want to twist - first at the axle end joint, then at the front mount, which will rock the entire "boat" around the lower shock mount, which will need to articulate enough that the heim doesn't bind up and bend the shock shaft (BTDT).

    Looking good, Damian.

    Before you call them done, plate one or both sides with some light gauge sheet steel. No more than 1/8" mild.

    By making the triangle as long / large as possible (bringing the joining point as far back as reasonable) we get by with lighter material only because by tying the two sides together into a triangle we make the top and bottom stronger together much stronger than either would be singly.

    By plating at least one side, we amplify that strength advantage. If you have some dimple dies, here's your chance to put a dimple in either side plate and weld the two dimples together in the middle (don't want the radius arm filling up with mud). It would look fast, but mostly add strength and maybe save a little weight.

    In unrelated news, the 304 lives again, and runs OK so far. Still a bit of the "new engine, I'm cranky" going on, but by the end of Saturday that'll mostly be gone after I do a "run it like yer gonna" break-in on the race course in Cascade - just like we did the first time this engine was put together. I was making passes down a drag-strip in Brighton, CO and after a couple passes we had to jet the carb up because the rings seated some more and it was pulling more vacuum.. repeat after a few more runs..
     
  20. Damian Grihalva

    Damian Grihalva High Wheeler

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    Next I have to say a BIG THANK YOU to Mike @ IH Only in Lancaster. He's the guy behind the RPT line and he hooked us up with some of his finest.

    Box arrived. Hum...stickers.
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    A box of boxes!
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    Money shot
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    Motor mounts
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    Trans mount
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    You can always tell a successful line of product when you see you have #2930!
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    In the way of suspension. I also got a bracket from PolyPerformance.
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    This is their axle-side track bar. We went with this unit over anything else because allows us to MAXIMIZE the TrackBar length on this beast.
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    A little Chipotle Burrito?
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    Na ~ its the high-misalignment high-strength heim end for the new bracket.
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