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Mini-Build 11 ~ Steve L

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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
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38
Location
Colorado Springs
Once the fit was right (took some time) it was time to start welding. Welding trusses or bridges on axles is a tricky thing. Too much heat will heat-warp your housing. This will literally 'bend' the axle faster than a hard landing after a big jump. So to make sure this doesn't happen, you have to make sure you weld in short increments. This insures that the proper penetration is achieved but excessive heat isn't built up.

I started on either side. First the housing side
mb11_850.jpg

(this is actually two separate welds, each time we welded, we waiting at least 10 minutes for the housing to cool sufficiently before welding again).

Then the suspension mount side.
mb11_851.jpg


Here it is after the first couple welding/cooling sections
mb11_852.jpg


Here it is over 2 hours later. Can you count how many times we stopped to let it cool JUST on this side?
mb11_853.jpg


After everything was cool, Dylan wire-wheeled the welds and I laid the paint. Just basic rattle-can black semi-gloss was used for easy touch-up later.
mb11_854.jpg

We'll pick up this after the paint is dry and we can continue re-installing the axle for the last time.

Onto the bed. Jimmy, our paint guy laid the first couple coats of bed-liner on the front part of the cab before deploying, now its time to finish take the next step. The bed.
mb11_855.jpg


Prep, prep and more prep. First Dylan took the wire wheel to the bed. First the areas between the ridges...
mb11_856.jpg


Then the ridges themselves.
mb11_857.jpg


After that, we swept, then blew off with air, then wiped the whole bed down with Acetone and rags to make sure all the oils and dirt were cleaned off.
mb11_863.jpg

Finally, and forgive me for forgetting my camera was in my bag, we mixed the 2-part bedliner, and sprayed the first coat.
mb11_858.jpg


The second coat came out great. This took a few hours...ad seen by the darkness outside.
mb11_859.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
After a few hours of dry time, it was time to head back to the shop and see how things went ~ get a few pictures too, of course.
mb11_860.jpg

Flash doesn't work well in the low-light of night....with a new semi-gloss finish.

But turning it off...
mb11_861.jpg

..gave us a better feel of the new bed floor.
mb11_862.jpg


With that, it was time to start re-installing things for the last time. That means the cage, which was taken out for the bedliner, was put back in and we started installing the seats....again.

To keep things comfortable, the seats will be put on sliders for adjust-ability.
mb11_864.jpg


Then the seats were taken from their wraps and installed.
mb11_865.jpg


When your installing seats, you always wish you had smaller hands.
mb11_866.jpg


But in the end, they finally go in, and work right.
mb11_867.jpg


Simply pull the lever, and presto.
mb11_868.jpg


While Dylan was busy on the seats, I was final-installing the steering. Last we saw it, it was mocked up and then sent out to the powdercoater. Well, we got them back and (in the words of Billy Crystal) they 'wook Mavalas'
mb11_869.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Love the contrast on this picture. Pretty Camino Real Red cover, black counter-sunk hardware and housing. Awesome.
mb11_870.jpg


I did grab a quick hand from Dylan to help me move the behemoth of an axle housing back under the rig.
mb11_871.jpg


Here he is installing the Grade8 hardware.
mb11_872.jpg


With the axle installed, the track-bar was adjusted, and tierod went on.
mb11_873.jpg

(yes that's an old picture from before).

But the new ones are best.
mb11_874.jpg


As we had previously set the toe when we first set up the steering, we just matched it...
mb11_875.jpg


...then tightened up the jam nuts.
mb11_876.jpg


And finally, the ram was installed.
mb11_877.jpg

But alas, there is no rest for the wicked, and this steering system has a TON left to be done. Namely, hoses.

Ram-assist steering uses a standard steering box that has been rebuilt and ported for additional hydraulic lines. Fluid, under pressure from the power steering pump, is diverted from the box to extend and contract the ram ~ which puts direct and extreme pressure to the tires ~ which in 'turn', aids turning them.

Normally a standard power steering system is fine for tires under 35s ~ or in regular driving conditions. But when you have BIG tires (like Cringer does) and axle with lockers (as Cringer does) and are in difficult tight conditions while on extreme obstacles (like Cringer will be), sometimes the steering can be overloaded. Thats when the ram will help turn the wheels with little or no effort.

But in order for it to do that, you need to make the hydraulic lines that will carry the fluid from the steering box to the ram. And that's what we're doing next.

Now there are a couple ways to do this, you can have lines custom made at an 'assembled hose and fittings shop' ~ like I did for Rusty, or any of the other builds ~ or you can do it yourself. As this is the first time we've done this, lets document it. It starts with PSC's hose kit that is an option when buying the ram. FYI ~ We got the 8 foot kit. Take the hose...
mb11_878.jpg


...And put the outer sheith on. Its internally left-hand threaded so simply twist it on. Remember, lefty-tighty!
mb11_879.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Tighten it basically sucks the tube into the fitting. Here at the start, check out where the fitting is on the hose. You can clearly see most of the 'resistant' writing on the hose.
mb11_880.jpg


But as you can see, there's plenty of room left...so keep going.
mb11_881.jpg


Tightening it up as far as I could with my hand, still didn't fully seat the hose in the fitting.
mb11_882.jpg


Take a look at 'resistant' again, now you can only see 're'
mb11_883.jpg


Using some vise grips, and being careful not to damage the hose, I was able to keep tightening till the hose was 'bottomed out' in the fitting.
mb11_884.jpg


Looking again at the 'written word' ~ you can see the word 'resistant' is now completely covered and inside the fitting.
mb11_885.jpg


Now we turn to the second part of the fitting.
mb11_886.jpg


What happens is you insert the tapered part into the fitting you just screwed the hose into. Like so.
mb11_887.jpg


Then using two wrenches, tighten it the two parts of the fittings till they come together...like so.
mb11_888.jpg


What this does, is put a major squeeze play on the hose inside the fitting. Its already tight in the outer sheath ~ but by tightening the inner tapered section, its put under tremendous pressure and seals up solid.

After putting the fitting on either end of the 8-foot long hose, it was time to see about installing the hose fittings onto the steering box. And that's when I had a little scare.
mb11_889.jpg


How do you put fittings on those?
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
The ported fittings on the box where right up against the factory motor mount. This spelled trouble. But taking a closer look, it looked like we might be in luck.
mb11_890.jpg


Sure enough, we were. The fittings was still able to be screwed on without hitting the motor mount. Oh, it was close...but it made it.
mb11_891.jpg


The second one was even closer, but we were able to make it work as is.
mb11_892.jpg


Since both hoses will be shooting down to the front axle, this is the basic position these fittings will be in after final assembly.
mb11_893.jpg


Another shot.
mb11_894.jpg


Now its time to cut the 8 feet of hose down to size. As mentioned before, I put a fitting on either end of the hose, at this point, I simply connected both fittings to the ram...like so.
mb11_895.jpg


As you can see, the ram ports are now tied to themselves.
mb11_896.jpg


Why would I do this? Because I want the two finished hoses to be tied together for cleanliness and help keep things easily controlled and out of the way. If you had two random hose lengths, you'd quickly find that when flexed, your hoses may it something important ~ like the harmonic balancer ~ and become damaged, or possibly fail. So, I ran the hoses together, and routed them where I wanted them to be.
mb11_897.jpg


Then at the end of the loop, I could simply cut where the hose double-backed on itself ~ and having held them up to the fitting on the steering box, I could easly mark and trim the hoses down to the exact length I needed.
mb11_898.jpg


Then the unused fittings were taken off the box, and installed on the hose as seen before.
mb11_899.jpg


Then lastly, the hose assemblies were re-installed on the steering box and ram, and were tied together using cable ties.
mb11_900.jpg

And that folks, is picture #900 in this build thread. That's right, if you've read through the whole thread, you've just downloaded and viewed 900 pictures.
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Here's another picture with the DragLink in place. (FYI ~ the draglink is the rod that connects the steering box to the tires.) I will say that I totally screwed up here. I wanted the DragLink to be powdercoated with the track-bar and TieRod, but I totally missed it and so we just painted it black.
mb11_901.jpg


Now lets address something some of you may have noticed. The hydraulic lines going from the ram to the box are pretty long, and I mounted them purposefully first heading away from the box, then they double back to the ram. The question may arise of: "Won't they get caught in the other componants" or "Why not make a short but direct trip directly to the Steering box to help minimize interference with other moving engine parts ~ such as the other belts and hoses?"

The answer is pretty clear. This is going to be an off-roading rig. The front axle will flex around quite a bit in extreme situations. To compensate for that amount of movement, you need to make sure your hoses have enough length to deal with it. Seeing that the track-bar is a big limiting factor, I made sure that the hoses follow the same path, thereby successfully making the hoses able to bend/twist as much as the axle would as limited by the links and trackbar.

mb11_902.jpg

To keep the hoses out of the pulleys and belts we will build a small retaining clip that will tie the hoses to the oil-pan keeping them out of the engine bay ~ where they don't belong. You'll see that later.

Now lets move on to some of the little things we've been doing to Cringer since you last saw it. Starting with the rear seat. When we last saw it, it was in pretty bad shape.
mb11_903.jpg


Yes 30 years of sun fade and neglect had certainly took their toll on it. And considering the work done to the rest of the interior, it was in no shape to be put back in as it came out. So we went and saw 'El Guapo'.

Now, his name isn't El Guapo ~is actually Fransisco, the owner of Mayo's Upholstery, but if your familiar with the old slap-stick comedy 'The Three Amigos' ~ starring Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Steve Martin ~ you'll recognize the name as the 'in-famous' Mexican gang leader.

However, I don't think Fransisco has ever seen 'The Three Amigos' and since the literal translation for 'El Guapo' is 'the Handsome one' ~ he got a kick out of it when I initially addressed him ~ and now, when ever I call, he knows exactly who I am. I think it even gets me a discount!

Anyway, I digress. After a trip to El Guapo's ~ the seat looked...well....different:
mb11_904.jpg


Smokin job for under $300 ~ it even looks even better inside Cringer.
mb11_905.jpg


Another thing we did, was reassemble the front bumper.
mb11_906.jpg


Before it held the re-painted and definitely cleaned up original Warn 8274 winch. The winch was removed for two reasons; One, we needed a D-ring mount (also known as Anchor Shackle Mount) The new mount was freshly powdercoated and bolted on to the bottom of the bumper ~ keeping it out of the way and retaining the clean lines of the winch bumper itself.
mb11_907.jpg


Nothing but four bolts holding it to the 3/8" winch plate. Should be enough.
mb11_908.jpg


The second reason the winch needed removed to spool up the new winch rope...
mb11_909.jpg

Synthetic winch rope is a relatively new and popular upgrade for winches these days. This rope is WAY different than your standard metal aircraft cable for many reasons. First, its blue.:stupid: ~ but seriously ~ the rope is MUCH lighter than cable. Thus lightening up our already too heavy scouts. Second, and more importantly, if it fails, it won't try to kill you.

Has anyone seen what happens if you overload a winch ~ or simply don't take proper care of the cable ~ causing it to break under pressure? Simply put, that big heavy STEEL cable acts like a rubber-band. When it snaps under load, it springs back like no-bodies business. It'll take out your grill, your radiator, smash your windshield into pieces ~ and if you' happen to be in the way, it can either impale you, or cut you in half.

This is why you see 'winch weights' (or people putting blankets) on the line when they are actively winching. This is why you're normally asked to 'stand back' and 'don't go near the cable' while its actively recovering someone's vehicle.

Synthetic winch rope is different. If it breaks, it simply falls to the ground. It doesn't break things, it doesn't spring back with strength borrowed from the Hulks' mighty punch. It just falls to the earth as if you accidentally dropped it. That's right folks, SAFETY FIRST.

Moving on. Because we are using Winch Rope on this winch, we also need to get an aluminum hawse fairlead. The fairlead of a winch is that thing the cable/rope goes through when it exits the winch. Its designed to help direct the rope/cable in the right direction. Normally you see four big rollers, and those are great for steel cables, but NOT for synthetic rope.

Why? Because they are steel, and steel will tear the rope up. So instead, we use these cool looking aluminum 'HAWSE' fairleads. The aluminum is soft and will not damage the rope. This one is hard-anodized for better wear.
mb11_910.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
mb11_911.jpg

Steve was here yesterday. He was here dropping off his son who is attending the United States Air Force Academy in northern Colorado Springs. He also hoped that the Scout would be finished and he could take it home. However, although it looks like this:
mb11_912.jpg

There's still a TON of work left.

But he asked me to take and post as many pictures as I could so that the guys back at the office could get a good look at it. So here ya go guys. Sorry its not done yet, but there's a long story to that, and needless to say, its staying here for a very short amount of time more.

Here's a couple back-side shots while I cover some interesting developments with this build ~ as well as cover some previously unanswered questions/concerns.
mb11_913.jpg


I know a lot of you guys are wondering why this project as taken so long. Honestly, if you don't know, then its not your business. I have purposefully been discrete and tight-lip'd when the questions were asked in the past, even from Steve himself. That was for our benefit. I know many of you out there are wondering what's up, and frankly ~ I'm not going to tell you. But there are reasons. To make it easy, and if there is a finger to point ~ lets just assume its my fault and be done with it.

That said, Steve and I had a good long sit-down yesterday and talked over the future of the build. While Dylan and I were talking with Steve about the build, we were taking a good look at the build, and what has been accomplished, we honestly couldn't point at any piece of Cringer that was an 'off-the-shelf' part with the soul exception of the bed-box. In a project with this much fab work, with this much custom stuff, it was really hard to put a time-line on it ~ you really don't know what will need to be addressed (if anything). But with a BIG breath, and a long sigh, we decided on a number and a date. The number is not important to you, but the date is October 31st, 2010 for a complete finish up of the build.
mb11_914.jpg


So with money in hand, Dylan and I will be finishing up this build, testing it, and then ending this build with a big road-trip to the Chicago area. That's right, we'll be personally delivering this Scout to Steve in the Chicago area. Honestly, my excitement for this build has been rekindled.

So we're excited to get this project done and for the nerve-racking thrill of a long road trip to the mid-west in a completely new rig that a good number of your wouldn't even consider driving on the road. Let alone highway speeds!. I know some of you who are wondering if a rig like this could be 'road worthy'. And even though I've always said they were, it'll soon be time to prove that with a 17+ hour road trip on nothing but the good-ole American interstate system.

So stay tuned gentlemen, we've been cut loose and we're just getting started!:gunsmilie::clap::yes:
 
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heman

Farmall Cub
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Aug 17, 2006
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Location
Grayslake, IL
tryed call last friday left number but no call back, how is everything going? any update since the 9th.

call me or i'll try again on friday.
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Got almost everything in the insides just about buttoned up. There are plenty of pictures in the camera, but things just aren't going good enough to give me time to post them properly. I realize that sounds dumb, but the last upload/update of 80 pictures took me just about 10 hours to post ~ probably more.

Anyway, windsheild is in. OBA is ran. Bumper was mounted (rear) and we're building the tire carrier. We pulled everything out of the interior and re-lined the heavy traffic areas ~ came out great. Now all the seats are permanent. We're tying the cage to the frame, pulled the steering wheel for refinishing, re-doing the dash pad, and securing all the wires in final place. Driveshafts are here and INSTALLED. We got new radiator hoses, modified fuel filler neck, and re-running all the fuel injection lines. Hope to hear it fire up by months end.

The plan is to drive it for a few weeks before attempting the 20+ hour trip to your place. Not to mention wheeling it a bit to make sure things are right.

Anyway, lots of stuff happening, but not any time to update the thread.
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
As would I!

There has been a ton of progress on this build, but like the others, its gone without updates due to my schedule going bonkers. Anyway. Here we go...

Driveshafts came in. These units, as with all Driveshafts I used for the last few years are straight from Tom Woods. In past builds I've touted HighAngle for their work, and they are still great shafts. So...what brought on the change? Well, I met Tom at the SEMA show a few years ago and he asked me to try his shafts, I did, and frankly, they are some great shafts. HighAngle is still some of the best shafts out there ~ but Tom has delivery and price on top of quality. So there ya go.

Shafts came in quite quickly. Dig that.
mb11_915.jpg


Dylan is a long-time user of the TomWoods shafts, and was happy to tear into the boxes.
mb11_916.jpg


Its like Christmas!
mb11_917.jpg


Rear shaft!
mb11_918.jpg


Cutting off the shrink wrap...
mb11_919.jpg


Like we needed to read the instructions ~ HECK we already did the first thing ~ that was to: "OPEN IMMEDIATELY"
mb11_920.jpg


The rear shaft is a 1350 Flange-mount CV shaft. These are considered 1-ton CVs and can be clearance for high-angle operation. We won't need that, but that's allot of strength there.
mb11_921.jpg


The front shaft is a smaller 1310 CV shaft. As you can see, its not a flange-mount ~ rather it takes a normal CV yoke at the t-case. The 4-bolts replace the standard U-bolts that normal non-CV shafts use.
mb11_922.jpg


The size difference between the 1350 and 1310 is noticeable. My hand is open to the size I needed to grab the 1350 and placed over the 1310.
mb11_923.jpg


Standard 1310 joints are at the axle yokes. These are stock sizes for our Dana44s. The rear 9" has a 'big cap' 1330 joint ~ which is slightly larger, but still stock size.
mb11_924.jpg


So the unanswered question is why the 'stock' size wimpy driveshaft joints? Seems a little UNDER kill for this monster ~ right? First, the rear shaft is bigger and thicker than a stock shaft by a long shot. The 1350 CV is comp ready ~ but the use of smaller joints the axles was on purpose. These will serve as the 'weak link' in the system.

Driveshaft joints are only $25-50 each. Custom 1.5" Alloy shafts are $200-400 EACH. I chose to make the driveshafts be the weak link for a couple reasons. FIRST, they're relatively cheap. At only $50 per joint (tops) and $400ish for a completely new shaft ~ they are a far cry cheaper than any other part. Second, and more important, they are FAR EASIER to swap out than ANY other part in the drive system. For instance, the Driveshaft is held in by 4 bolts at each end. A 1/2" wrench will remove one in less than 5 minutes. Compare that to a front or rear axle shaft!

To replace a axle shaft, you need to secure the vehicle, jack up the corner that needs replaced, remove the tire, remove the lockout, hub, spindle, brakes, and finally the shaft. Then fish out the broke parts, and put in a new shaft, then reassemble keeping close attention to torque specs, small parts, bearings, etc. Think of it.

Now about strength. Are these shaft really strong enough to hold up? Personally, I used 1310 joints on ALL corners of the Project Rusty build ~ which turned 42" tires, and had MORE crawl than this baby. They never gave and I ONLY DID the HARDEST trails in Colorado in that baby. So yes, I believe they are. Now power-spikes may cause premature failure, but still, for the reasons already listed, I believe these are the best answer .
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Installing them is easy, simply use the proper wrench and presto!
mb11_925.jpg


After getting the t-case side secure, Dylan attaches the axle side. This is my preferred way to install a shaft, but its really personal preferrence.
mb11_926.jpg


Slight tap on the new u-bolts to get them in.
mb11_927.jpg


Torqued down, now don't forget to NOT over-tighten them. You don't want to crush the caps!
mb11_928.jpg

Notice the pinion angle is about perfect. Just need a little adjustment upwards. (On CV shafts, you want NO deflection in the lower joint) ~ at this angle you can also see that the shaft is well protected above the links ~ which is what I like.

Normally you'd have to clearance your TF727 pan to use a CV shaft ~ simply because they will hit the pan corner. But with the LARGE Stak t-case, the shaft is well out of the way!
mb11_929.jpg


Rear shaft, well, we just put it in!
mb11_930.jpg


Then we started tearing apart the interior a little, do some clean up.
mb11_931.jpg


Like sand-down and repaint the steering wheel ~ which needed some serious help!
mb11_932.jpg

mb11_933.jpg

mb11_934.jpg


Lastly, I wanted to put some more liner in the rear. So after the box was in place and the cage in place, we taped off things that didn't need sprayed and let-r-rip! It was good.
mb11_935.jpg


The bumper comes next folks. YOu're going to love it.
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
38
Location
Colorado Springs
Moving on. The rear bumper.

The unfinished bumper was placed on the scout so that we could finish it off with a few little finishing touches ~ like a tire carrier.
mb11_936.jpg


Using the standard crossmember bolts, it was secured.
mb11_937.jpg


Other side...
mb11_938.jpg


Notice a little wiggle room between the 'Wrap-arounds' and the fenders.
mb11_939.jpg

..yes, I see the missing weld.

From the back.
mb11_940.jpg


Standing a little farther back.
mb11_941.jpg


Time to start looking at where we wanted the tire. Since its so huge, we're looking at dead-center.
mb11_942.jpg


This carrier will sing down ~ instead of swinging out, this will serve to allow for a simple lift into position as well as give a ladder-like structure to aid in getting into the back of the scout. But before we start, how will it be secured? With these!
mb11_943.jpg


These are tube clamps, and they work like so.
mb11_944.jpg
 
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