Bushings for traction bar?


scotts90ranger

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It's TIGHT in there but I think I found room... Made some progress today, plasma'd the axle end brackets out that I sketched up yesterday, got those cleaned up then loosely bolted two bushings in there to get an idea on fitment and tacked that assembly in place. Passenger shock body would have contacted the upper link so I lobbed off the mounts at the axle, I'll relocate them outward about 1.5" I think, I'll do that last... Dealing with tube is different, I over estimated the tube length by about 1.5" on my first cut but I think this project will only take one of the 4 tubes I got... The top tube is done, it'll be dang near flat so from what I've read should work great.

I found some steel pieces that I thought would make good shackles but I think I'm going to plasma some bigger ones out, the 1" wide 1/4" thick strap just doesn't look right even though I'm sure it would hold... plus they have holes bigger than 1/2"...

The top link is 41" long, from where I have it set to go it will end up right at the rear body mount, conveniently there's a hole in the frame there already.

Next step is to make a front bracket and shackles...

I will note the Harbor Freight welder and plasma cutter are making this project nicer, the axle brackets came out pretty clean, used their magnetic tool holder things (the black bar magnets) as a guide for a few cuts which is a game changer in itself. The Titanium Mig 175 is a beast so far with .035" flux core wire, welds look good with plenty of penetration. I haven't tried the plasma on the tubing but I'm sure it would help, might do that next time, we'll see...
 


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scotts90ranger

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2.3 Turbo
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Made a little progress tonight, plasma'd most of the parts out, still have the sandwich plates that I'll use on the stock crossmember. Cut out the shackles and shackle bracket plates and a piece of tube to go between the plates. Still have to notch the tube for the lower link bushing and where it will fit the upper link, cut a little stub of tube to mount the lower shackle bushing to.

There's a chance it could start looking like something tomorrow... hard to make progress during the week an hour and a half at a time... going to try to clean up what I made tonight at lunch tomorrow to get ahead a little.
 

scotts90ranger

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Little forward, little backward today.

The unknown scrap sourced steel plate I cut some pieces out of yesterday was apparently HARD, I killed two drill bits trying to drill one hole in it, didn't even get to 1/4" diameter... while the same drill bits drilled through the shackle material just fine... back to the drawing board :) I already traced new pieces out on 1/4" by 4" strap, just didn't have enough time to cut. I put the shackles on the top link and hung a bushing to get an idea of fit and it'll work out well.

Should make progress tomorrow.
 

BlackBII

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Those rotary cutters are dope. I have a bunch of Greenlee carbide tipped holesaws as well that work very well, especially for notching tube.

I have had good luck with spiral reamers when drilling through .25" plate; it's as easy as drilling a 1/4" pilot hole, and then reaming it out to 3/8" and then 1/2", and so on. They also make a perfectly sized and circular hole, so your bolts don't have room to move around at all.

As with any penetrating action, use plenty of lube

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scotts90ranger

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That stuff has to wait til I get my shop built and have real tools and space to work on stuff... this driveway stuff is for the birds... and this HFT 8" benchtop drill press doesn't quite cut it for metalworking projects... For now this magic plasma cutter is what's getting through this with smiles, but if it wasn't for that I would have known much sooner that that one plate was hardened...

I submitted an application for building permit today, so shop is in the works! Now to get to the cramped garage!

Nothing big to note today, all but one part is now cut out, got to do 3 more tube notches then some tack welds, then some drilling then a bunch of welding...probably be done Friday night or Saturday ready to paint, conveniently the weather is supposed to be in the 60's through the weekend...
 
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BlackBII

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What size shop are you building?
 

scotts90ranger

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36'x48' pole barn construction, insulation, two bay doors in the middle two bays so I have the outers for projects, already purchased a two post lift. The planning commission just submitted the paperwork, waiting on fire department approval of the driveway Saturday, already have the flat spot so about ready to drill the 14 2' wide by 4' deep holes...

Got most of the parts made, got the bushing sleeve welded to the lower link, got the lower shackle sleeve welded to the cross bar, got the sandwich plates set up and the shock mount tabs cleaned back up. Should be pretty close to done tomorrow night, the only things left to make are a cross support between the tubes similar to what you did and a plate across the back of the axle brackets. Of course that all came out quick, but there's several FEET of welding left to do :), oh and grinding, don't forget about the grinding... that last notch will probably be fun... :)

Some of this might have been easier if I'd measured anything, or maybe sketched anything out beforehand... I think I used a tape measure for three things, one to measure a bearing race I used to trace the spot for the axle tube in the axle brackets, to measure the top tube length, and the cross bar tube... rest has just been winging it... Ok, I forgot about measuring the shackle hole spacing, I measured that for some reason, I just chose 4.5" because it sounded good though... :)
 

scotts90ranger

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Here's the fruit of my labor... One picture is the whole assembly before I cleaned it up for paint and the other is assembled on the rig. Don't judge the paint job too much, I had ONE can of black spray paint on the property and it was being a jerk... I got 2/3 done painting and the pickup tube plugged up solid so I I emptied the can and tried to brush it on which went horrible...

I don't think it changed suspension travel, I drove a couple feet up a dirt pile I have and didn't lift a tire, seems about normal. As far as axle wrap goes, there isn't any... it works PERFECT, launches FLAT and I don't feel the squishy leaf spring twisting sensation I had before. I'm having other driveability issues at the moment, but I'll save the typing, hopefully a better alignment and a tire rotation will take care of the locker clicking...

If I get a wild hair I might change the front top shackle bushing to a heim style but this works for now...

Did I mention it's tight in there? I couldn't find an angle to take a picture of the whole setup and while I was under there the sun was in a bad spot...

Oh, and the Titanium MIG 175 is a trooper, I used it for everything, .035" Lincoln flux core wire on 220V

20200411_113642.jpg
20200411_150944.jpg
 

BlackBII

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Jealous of the shop you're building, especially the two post lift. I don't have any space to do something like that.

Anti wrap bar looks great! Good work man. It's so nice having no axle wrap.

I was going to mention travel, since you used a bushing and not a heim joint or something on the shackle end. There should be enough play in those bushings that articulation shouldn't be too limited, but a setup like that will limit it at the ends of the spectrum because it cannot rotate with the axle, but not a big deal.

Looks great (y)

What is the drivers side of the bracket bolted to?
 

scotts90ranger

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4WD
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6
Tire Size
35"
Thanks, I thought it turned out pretty good, I wasn't sure at first that I could fit one in that space which has been what took me so long to do it... I just had to look at it right apparently :). I think I have under $100 in materials in it too so not too bad...

It bolts to the crossmember that goes between the rear body mounts and the front gas tank strap, conveniently you can reach the top there so I welded two 1/2" bolts to a piece of 1/4" plate to sandwich the crossmember between. I figure since it's so far away from the shackle bushing it should be fine, not ideal but it'll work.

Hind sight is 20/20, this is definitely a start, I know it isn't ideal but I don't rock crawl the thing so I don't need a high RTI score or anything... I like this thing best as an all purpose rig, being a 8:1 compression 4 cylinder it doesn't do slow stuff well :). Should handle sand dunes and fast trail riding better than it did before...

I'm ready for the shop, worked on the flat spot all last year off and on. I could work out of my garage but I'd have to pare down hobbies and I don't wanna, and my ambitions are bigger than that space allows. It'll open up new avenues, and if things get tough extra side money opportunities.
 


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