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astroracer
05-10-2004, 10:56 AM
I am in the process of designing and building a chassis jig. Has anyone here ever done this? I am looking for some tips and tricks to incorporate into the design and any suggestions as to what to include while I am still in the design process.
Thanks
Mark

Hemirambler
05-10-2004, 01:49 PM
Hi Mark, These seem to be one of those "personal preference" type situations. My buddy keeps wanting to build one and despite my efforts to the contrary (in terms of convincing him) he is in love with the large (almost huge) flat plate idea - basically a massively long work bench. He did some work on one once and now thinks they are the slickest thing going (maybe - maybe not). He was especially fond of being able to tack weld directly to the work surface (yikes) - if it were me I'd perforate the top surface with tapped holes that way I could preserve a good surface and still tack weld to it - but indirectly by bolting down a sacrificial hunk of steel.
But for me the slickest chassis jig I ever saw was a huge chunk of "I" beam ground flat on top. There was an array of moveable cross members that slid along the top of the beam for positioning as required. This had SEVERAL super nice features. First off the crossmembers allowed you near FULL access to the chassis. Having been contorted in more positions than I care to remember building my dragster chassis I can see how much easier things would have been had I had this feature. Also the storage of the "I" beam was a piece of cake - it was mounted on a somewhat narrow base (it had out riggers that were easily stowed when not in use) also the base had storage for all the cross members.
Not knowing how valuable your space is this may or may not be a big deal. It was also EXTENDABLE but means of a flat plate welded onto the end of the beam - a second section could be bolted in place when extra length was needed.

I'm no expert - and have only ever even seen but a handful of chassis tables, but after seeing this "I" beam type - I was convinced it is far superior to the flat table. But of course like anything your mileage may vary.


Jacin in Ohio

slob
05-10-2004, 03:02 PM
that sound sort of like the idea I had for a jig. I got some free H beams from work 8x8 x 3/8 (aprox) I drew up some idea's I had but I'm still thinking before doing any cutting

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/1700table_frame_jig-med.JPG

the outside width is 44" and its 60" long......not as long as I would like but thats what I can make with the materials I have.

any suggestions or changes anyone can recomend?

Rob

Butch Duke
05-10-2004, 03:18 PM
I would put your cross braces at both ends instead of where you have them located. Also make them a bolt on item. This way when not in use you can break it down into more storable space, meaning it will be easier to store,plus use less space.
Just some more thoughts & ideas.

Specialty Interests
metal fabrication
& custom painting
360/373/7650
Butch

rstone
05-10-2004, 03:30 PM
I built mine out of 2 x 4 x 1/4 wall tubing. It's 33" wide and 12' long, has extendable legs so I can raise it to good working height. I welded angle to the inside of the tubing and have cross members that are made of 2 x 3 tubing in various lengths that also have angle welded on them. I can clamp the cross members at any location that I need using the angles. It's expandable on both ends and its mounted on wheels so I can move it around in the lower position. When I don’t have something on it I can put plywood on it and use it for a workbench. Kind of the same as Jacin was talking about. I don't have a digital camera or I would post pictures.

Ron Stone

Bambi
05-10-2004, 07:22 PM
Having used different jigs for MC frames and race car chassis. there are an awful lot of ideas to be had, its all personal preference.
Because I do a lot of variety particularly on the bikes. I built a flat plate top 24 by 60 with 1/2-13 holes on a grid with a 3 inch spacing. This allows me to make up brackets for fixturing and allows the use of Bridgeport type hold downs. The table top itself is machined square.
If your building a one off frame, there is no need to be so elaborate, even wood can be used. Welding techinique and proceedure is everything. I have seen guys with beautiful jigs and machined parts with a lousey welding procedure end up with a twisted frame when removed from the jig.
The legal subject is up elsewheres in this site. Before planning a jig for either a one off frame, be it car or bike, or producing a bunch of them. KNOW the Laws of your State, also pending Laws. You may save yourself a bunch of aggravation.
As it stands right now, I can repair and modify frames and I also manufacture some for Racing purposes only. Manufacturing a street bike nowadays is just too much of a legal hassle. I find it easier around here to buy a frame with papers and do my work to it, but that is life.
Good luck

Bambi

astroracer
05-11-2004, 03:43 AM
Thanks for the replys guys.
I will be building my table out of donated 6x6x1/4 wall "H" beams.
It will actually consist of two tables with each one measuring 3 1/2' lg x 5' wide. I will connect them together with 3x3x1/8th wall tubing telescoped into 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 wall tubing welded to the bottom of each "H" beam. This will allow for full adjustability lengthwise AND let me break the table down to managable (and usable) sizes when it's not holding a frame. I will be incorporating leveling screws into each corner of the tables so getting it level will be pretty easy.
I will post some pics when I get the design done in 3D. I have it roughed out on paper now so it won't take to long to get it into the computer. I have a few ideas for movable crossmembers and removable grid plates so I'll keep those in the loop also.
Thanks again and any other thoughts or ideas would be good.
Mark

Hemirambler
05-11-2004, 09:05 AM
Hi Mark, Actually the jig that I saw that I liked so much was a SINGLE BEAM with sliding cross members. The beam sat on a triangular support on either end and could then be wheeled around as required. While this is quite a bit different than most rectangular versions I still think it has quite a few advantages. One being that it would be equally good for cars or motorcycles - being so narrow you'd still have full acess to a bike frame, or dragster chassis or even a much wider door car frame - it's all in the width of the removeable cross members. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but if and when I ever get around to building a jig - there's no doubt this will be my approach. Of course if space was unlimited I can see the allure to a large rectangular-ish type table.




Jacin in Ohio

Jared Walch
05-11-2004, 09:32 AM
I have never built a chassis jig, but I've tossed around ideas and a friend of mine has one used to build Super-modified race frames.

First, a full flat plate would give you all the versatility you could ever want. It will also make it very difficult to reach inner areas of a wide frame. The loss of access can make welding a rather difficult task. It is helpful to have access from below your frame.

Second, consider building your jig on a rotisserie. Having the option to turn your frame 90 degrees either way can be very helpful for easy access and to avoid welding out of position. Just remember to have a balanced load - some counterweight may be necessary.

My 2 cents....

Jared

astroracer
05-11-2004, 10:04 AM
My plan is very open with easy access to all of the frame. I'll try to get it drawn up tonight. It won't take long and I need to get it done anyway so I am comfortable with my stock list.
Once you see the jig I think you'll like it and, being able to break it down into smaller tables, is just a plus...
The rotisserie idea is a good one also. I'll think about that while I am building the jig in 3D tonight although part of the reason I am building it out of two smaller tables is because they will give me additional work space when the jig is apart...
Mark

astroracer
05-11-2004, 10:04 AM
My plan is very open with easy access to all of the frame. I'll try to get it drawn up tonight. It won't take long and I need to get it done anyway so I am comfortable with my stock list.
Once you see the jig I think you'll like it and, being able to break it down into smaller tables, is just a plus...
The rotisserie idea is a good one also. I'll think about that while I am building the jig in 3D tonight although part of the reason I am building it out of two smaller tables is because they will give me additional work space when the jig is apart...
Mark

Dutch Comstock
05-11-2004, 06:17 PM
Mark, Your frame jig will work fine. It should be stiff enough on the center frame to be able to keep the dimensions from one end to the other within 1/8 th inch.You should have it set up so that you can level all four of your frame plates to each other with a transit or laser level. The use of a rotisserie would be the second step after you have the base frame all welded and solid.and if you are doing rollcage to have that all based in. You can then put it on a rotisserie to put in a lot of the crossbars and fillers and then you can turn it to make the welding easier. Your h beams work nice because it is real easy to make removable frame clamps to mount and jig the frame on. Dutch

astroracer
05-12-2004, 03:21 AM
Thanks Dutch,
The jig should be pretty stable. This is what I have so far. Check out the pics and let me know if you see any glaring problems. I didn't have time to get the casters drawn up last night but I will get them in there. My wife picked up 8 HD 4" swivel casters for me at a flea market for $37.00... for all of them!
Like you said a laser level will be used to get all of the "H" beams level and the leveling screws will lift the casters off the ground to immobilize AND stabilize the jig. The 3 x 3 stringers will be bolted in also so I think the asm will be more then adequate for what I am doing.
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/1535211MY04-Table_Asm-med.jpg?5297
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/1535211my04-Jig_Asm-lft_iso-med.jpg?1643

astroracer
05-12-2004, 03:21 AM
Thanks Dutch,
The jig should be pretty stable. This is what I have so far. Check out the pics and let me know if you see any glaring problems. I didn't have time to get the casters drawn up last night but I will get them in there. My wife picked up 8 HD 4" swivel casters for me at a flea market for $37.00... for all of them!
Like you said a laser level will be used to get all of the "H" beams level and the leveling screws will lift the casters off the ground to immobilize AND stabilize the jig. The 3 x 3 stringers will be bolted in also so I think the asm will be more then adequate for what I am doing.
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/1535211MY04-Table_Asm-med.jpg?5297
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/1535211my04-Jig_Asm-lft_iso-med.jpg?1643

Hemirambler
05-12-2004, 08:56 AM
In my experience 4 leveling screws are more of a pain than anything. If it were me I would add a 5th levelign screw at the center of one end. I would then use just 3 of them initially -as it goes much quicker that way. Once it is leveled - I would then drop down the other two on that side until they just barely touched the floor (think of those two as - ANTI ROCKING devices rather than being used for leveling).

This of course assumes you may move this on a semi regular basis - if not, I don't suppose it'd be worth the effort.


I am recenty very much "in love" with the foot brakes or Step brakes. I've got one on my bench and Ewheel and love them. For those I use four caster (two swivel -two non swivel) and use the brake in between the two swiveling casters - When you step on it it just barely lifts the assembly up off the two wheels - yielding a 3 point stand - aka never rocks. You might even get tricky and consider a method for doing that with your particular concerns.

A second thought is possible building in a means to allow the two units to be easily aligned to one another - I mean in terms of perfect leveling.


Your mileage may vary.


Looks like a fun project.




Jacin in Ohio

Hemirambler
05-12-2004, 08:56 AM
In my experience 4 leveling screws are more of a pain than anything. If it were me I would add a 5th levelign screw at the center of one end. I would then use just 3 of them initially -as it goes much quicker that way. Once it is leveled - I would then drop down the other two on that side until they just barely touched the floor (think of those two as - ANTI ROCKING devices rather than being used for leveling).

This of course assumes you may move this on a semi regular basis - if not, I don't suppose it'd be worth the effort.


I am recenty very much "in love" with the foot brakes or Step brakes. I've got one on my bench and Ewheel and love them. For those I use four caster (two swivel -two non swivel) and use the brake in between the two swiveling casters - When you step on it it just barely lifts the assembly up off the two wheels - yielding a 3 point stand - aka never rocks. You might even get tricky and consider a method for doing that with your particular concerns.

A second thought is possible building in a means to allow the two units to be easily aligned to one another - I mean in terms of perfect leveling.


Your mileage may vary.


Looks like a fun project.




Jacin in Ohio

astroracer
05-12-2004, 09:53 AM
Thanks Jacin...
As you suggested I will probably use only four of the leveling screws when the jig is assembled, two on each end. I will use your advise and run the others down to the floor after it's leveled just to stabilize it further. The biggest reason I am putting four on each table is to facilitate the individual leveling when the tables are separate. Once this thing is set up I don't plan on pulling it apart until the frame is well enough along.
I am hoping the 3 x 3 tubing running inside of and bolted to the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 tubing will keep the tables tied together well enough to get them leveled. I am not looking to the stringers for strength more so then just tieing every thing together like you mentioned. I will have a crossmember I can set on the stringers for putting in the engine mounts and trans crossmember but that weight shouldn't effect them to much.
Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming.
Mark

astroracer
05-12-2004, 09:53 AM
Thanks Jacin...
As you suggested I will probably use only four of the leveling screws when the jig is assembled, two on each end. I will use your advise and run the others down to the floor after it's leveled just to stabilize it further. The biggest reason I am putting four on each table is to facilitate the individual leveling when the tables are separate. Once this thing is set up I don't plan on pulling it apart until the frame is well enough along.
I am hoping the 3 x 3 tubing running inside of and bolted to the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 tubing will keep the tables tied together well enough to get them leveled. I am not looking to the stringers for strength more so then just tieing every thing together like you mentioned. I will have a crossmember I can set on the stringers for putting in the engine mounts and trans crossmember but that weight shouldn't effect them to much.
Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming.
Mark

Gene_Olson
05-12-2004, 10:52 AM
Levelling the play field.

I wonder . . .
At CTC we used to make portable platforms for scenery by putting pancake air cyl. with casters on them on the frames, then charging the system with oil and hooked to a jack pump. This lifted everything, it would be a bit squishy till the lowest load casters hit top but then the whole platform would come up and roll.

My thought,
if you had four or however many hydraulic cyl as feet all fed from a single pressure reservior through some sort of gang valve that shut all of them off so they were independent when off. (or four individual valves)

Then a few strokes of the jack would lift you off the casters,

Your 3 or 4 leveling screws would level you with the leveling bubbles you preveiously attached to the frame.
a turn of the gang valve would lock all the hydraulic cyl at level.

Play on level field until you can't play anymore

then

turn up leveling screws.

open gang valve (or individual valves)

release jack pressure and drop back onto casters

roll project to it's assigned corner so spouse can park car.

G.

Steve Hamilton
05-12-2004, 05:44 PM
Hi Mark

I built a jig also using H beam and that material seemed to work well. I don't remember what length beams you have so maybe this won't work for you but here goes.

My thinking was that It would work best to have the H beam run the long direction of the frame, and be one continious piece. You can then place a cross support at any point along the chassis . If your beam is already cut to shorter lengths, plates could be welded on the end, while the two lengths of beam are clamped to a straight & ridgid surface. Your table idea could be modified to work this way also. Even better make the two tables with the plates welded on the ends of the beams and if you need to make it longer you could always buy more beam to bolt between the tables or to extend on one end.

Even though the tables seem heavy to move it will amaze you that when welding the chassis that is clamped to the tables the leveling feet can be lifted off the floor by the shrinkage of the welds.

If you have a good solid concrete floor check into buying some anchor like they use in a body shop and install a few of them so that after you get the jig leveled you can anchor the jig to the floor. I would be very surprised the weld shrinkage lifted the concrete slab!!!!!!

The concrete is already there and paid for design to use its strength and use less steel $$$$$$$$ Also don't have to find a place to store it when not in use........

My 2 cents worth

Steve Hamilton

astroracer
05-17-2004, 06:56 PM
I got a few suggestions from some guys on another board and redesigned the jig tonight to be fully adjustable Fore/Aft and Side/Side... Here's a pic. If anyone has any ideas let me know...
Mark
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/15352Jig_Asm-ISO-view.jpg?6064

Steve Hamilton
05-17-2004, 08:57 PM
Mark

for the cost of all the tubing and the time to cut and weld all the tubing together you could afford to buy a couple full length I or H beams and have a very rigid platform..... The more pieces that are moveable the more chances for error, or misalignment..

Steve

astroracer
05-18-2004, 03:26 AM
I have thought about that too Steve and I know simpler is always better but, being able to break the jig down is a high priority. I will be bolting everything together during the leveling process so it should be pretty stable and sturdy. I will not be doing any heavy construction on the jig such as bending or hammering so it really shouldn't see any real stress other then the weight of the chassis and it will more then support that.
As far as cost goes I will be doing some hunting at the local metal recycler to get the majority of my materials. This will alleviate a big chunk of the cost and I will adjust my plans to work with whatever I find...
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. You guys are making me think this through and have helped me improve the design alot.
Mark

ep-98-z
05-18-2004, 05:17 AM
Mark,
On the subject of flexible jigs, someone sent me a photo recently of a fixture to build Lotus 23 chassis. He used two lengths of barn door track (used for sliding doors) attached to I-beams which allowed him to place locators anywhere along the length of the chassis. If I find the image I'll post it.

By the way what CAD software are you using for your design work? Looks like you have a lot od detail modeled into that spindle.

astroracer
05-18-2004, 07:59 AM
I'd like to see the track idea... I will be doing a number of different chassis' on this jig so any ideas are welcome, thanks.
I am using Unigraphics V18.
Mark

Steve Hamilton
05-18-2004, 11:16 AM
Hey Mark

I see the pic with the tracks is in the gallery

Steve

astroracer
06-01-2004, 06:46 AM
I got a lot done this weekend... Would have had the jig built and painted if I hadn't run out of welding wire at 5:00pm Friday night...
I got all of the tubing cut Friday morning, built the welding jig and had three of the four end frames finish welded and was tacking the last one together when the welder went dry... **** holiday weekends!

Most of the tubing and brackets for the two jig tables.
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/15352MVC-016F-med.JPG?6028

One of the welded end frames cleaned and ready for paint...
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/15352MVC-005F-med.JPG?7268

rsanter
06-03-2004, 10:23 AM
I had a really nice and simple jig for a project I was working on.
I used 3 section of 2x2 square material 20 ft long thaqt were connected by 1.5x1.5 angle iron every 2 feet. in each segment of the angle iron directly next to the 2x2 tube, I installed an anchor into the concrete floor. the fixture was floating above the floor and was leveled by having a nut below and above the angle. I leveled it in all directions and was able to clamp to it where ever I needed. essentally it looked like 2 ladders next to each other laying on the ground. is was easy to store away when not in use ans was cheap to build

astroracer
06-08-2004, 05:04 AM
Just to keep you guys up to date...
I got one of the tables all welded and assembled this past weekend and the 2nd one is all tacked together and ready for finish welding. The 2nd table went together a lot quicker then the 1st because I had the 1st table to use as a buck.
The tables roll around nicely on the four swivel castors and once the castors are locked down they are very stable. Once I get the leveling bolts made the tables should be pretty much immovable unless hit real hard.

The 1st table completed with the "H" beams moved outboard...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10866064561.jpg

Another pic with the beams moved inboard... They can be moved all the way to center...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10866064562.jpg
A pic of the 2nd table going together on top of the 1st...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10866068170.jpg

astroracer
08-12-2004, 09:06 AM
Just an update...
I haven't had a chance to build anything on the jig yetbut I've got them to a very usable point...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10903211050.jpg
Lots of hanging room for C clamps and I've been adding holes and modifications for bolting down some of my more often used metal working tools... The shear and 4" bending brake always seem to be out...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10908399250.jpg
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10908403041.jpg
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10908406240.jpg
You can see some of the heavy duty shelving I used to skin the tables. This makes them into real nice cleaning/dis-assembly/re-assmbly tables as well.

astroracer
08-12-2004, 09:17 AM
This is some pics of a pair of spindle support fixtures I built to hold the front brake corners at design height during chassis construction. In the last pic you can see the angle plates I bolt them to. This allows unlimited height adjustments so, along with the crosscar adjustability of the "H" beams I can build just about any track width and/or spindle height I need.
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10903216432.jpg
During construction I bolted the large washers right to a brake corner and then tacked the fixture together. This was a "no measuring" way of making sure the spindles would fit the bolt pattern... I used regular tapered lugnuts to do this which centered the washers perfectly to the studs.
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10903216420.jpg
I know they're not pretty but they will do the job and they will probably get pretty beat up after a few jobs...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10903218852.jpg

astroracer
08-12-2004, 09:24 AM
I've also gotten busy with my chassis designs... After a few iterations, 4 I think, I have finally hit on one that will work and looks pretty good. I need to have some 2 x 3 x 11ga steel tubing mandrel bent. Does anyone know of someone in the Detroit area I can talk too? This is just one side of course and I have a lot more to do but the direction is clear so I can get this stage finished and start cutting steel...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10923087150.jpg
The yellow wireframe is stock Astro Van floor and rocker data. Most everything behind the front spring mount will be going in the dumpster...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10923084161.jpg
Thanks for looking...
Mark

Boogiemanz1
08-12-2004, 10:19 PM
Lookin' good Mark..........john

Oldtin
08-13-2004, 09:12 AM
Mark, you may find it less expensive to modify some of the Jegs tubing rather that pay to have some tube bent up. I've also seen just the bends to weld in somewhere, may have been speedway.
Just some ideas.

Sent you a P/M on some Astro stuff.

Les Edmundson

astroracer
08-26-2004, 08:18 AM
I've gotten a lot done in the last couple of weeks. Namely just verifying dimensions on hard parts and virtual geometry.
Les gave me a front cradle out of an '86 Astro and it has been a big help in getting things done. Thank you again Les...
I've replaced the Astro van UCA Cross Shaft with one from a "G" Body, gotten a roughly modeled 2" dropped Astro Spindle in place and started designing control arms.
As you can see I've got a good start on the frame rails, front and back, with more work to do for crossmembers, engine and body mounts.
The rear frame rails are the tough nuts... I talked to a company in Detroit about mandrel bending them but, at $295.00 dollars EACH... PLUS material, it isn't going to happen. Cutting and welding isn't an option so I am talking to a couple of guys who have CNC Plasma and laser cutters about doing all of my brackets and the rails that way. Making .DXF files isn't a problem...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10935250610.jpg
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10935253612.jpg

Oldtin
08-26-2004, 08:46 AM
Mark, Glad your getting some use out of the frame clip.

I was looking at your cad images, grabbed the space ball to pull in for a closer look, **** thing didn't work!! :oops: :lol:

Looks like the weather may be decent this weekend.
See you Sat.

Les

astroracer
08-26-2004, 09:25 AM
Mark, Glad your getting some use out of the frame clip.

I was looking at your cad images, grabbed the space ball to pull in for a closer look, **** thing didn't work!! :oops: :lol:

Looks like the weather may be decent this weekend.
See you Sat.

Les
Hey Les...
Yea, it's real handy. I figure it's closer to my '88's cradle then the later model stuff I have in the computer. It's already saved me a bunch of work in designing bumper brackets...
I do that spaceball "grab and run" thing a lot myself... Jpegs are real foolers...
The weather sounds like it will be beautiful out. I hope so. I have a buddy who will be hollering at you in the metalmeet thread.
I'll give you a call tonight.
Mark

astroracer
09-07-2004, 05:27 AM
I spent last week redesigning all of the suspension points in my suspension program to optimize the suspension. Bumpsteer and Roll Center Migration are nil and Anti-Dive is well within specs. I had a lot of guidance from Katz at Art Morisson. He gave me the design targets to shoot for and helped get me there with suggested changes.
Afetr some major tear-up This is what I've got so far...
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10945567630.jpg

Boogiemanz1
09-07-2004, 05:58 AM
Nice work, sure favors a Mustang II doesn't it.........john

astroracer
09-07-2004, 06:09 AM
Nice work, sure favors a Mustang II doesn't it.........john
Thanks John... As far as favoring a Mustang II suspension it may look a little similar but the geometry is nothing like it and this suspension is a lot bigger... The upper and lower control arms are being made out of 1.25 dia. x .156 wall D.O.M. tubing and the track width is 64.50 inches. Use the 13" dia. brake rotor as a size gauge. I'm not sure but I think the track on an MII is around 52" or so... The other aspect here is this is a completely custom suspension. I started with Corvette Z06 points then revised them to better fit the van AND my performance criteria...

Boogiemanz1
09-07-2004, 06:22 AM
I see the similarity in the upper A arm mount to a vette, what spindles are you working with?.....john

astroracer
09-07-2004, 07:25 AM
I see the similarity in the upper A arm mount to a vette, what spindles are you working with?.....john
The spindles are 2" dropped Astro units from Chassis tech. I had to do a lot of measuring and checking to get them modeled correctly in my computer files. I will have to move the tierod connection outboard and up to hit the new, corrected, steering geometry.
I am using these spindles over Corvette pieces to keep costs down. It's a little more design intensive but the cost is less then half that of used Corvette stuff.
I'll be turning down a used "G" body brake rotor to make the bearing hat. The 13" HD 'Vette brakes will then mount over that.
The UCA mount is a stock '80-'87 "G" body cross shaft and bushings.
Mark

Prostreet
09-07-2004, 05:15 PM
Hi Mark
I noticed the price on the rear frame rails . I would like to think that that was for both . my cost on a set is in the neighborhood of $200.00 - 225.00 as an average . What wall thickness are you using. (120 ) wall ? From your cad drawing they seem to be a common bend .
Steve

astroracer
09-07-2004, 05:58 PM
Steve,
You have a PM...

Boogiemanz1
09-07-2004, 11:19 PM
Mark, looks like it can work. I have been hoping to find some Corvette components prior to starting with the Mustang II on my `57 pickup. My track would be much less than yours I think. Lead the way ......I'm watching for sure...john

astroracer
09-08-2004, 03:20 AM
Watch eBay John. I got all of my pieces parts from there. I paid $130.00 shipped for BRAND NEW HD front and rear rotors and a set of the Grand Sport Corvette Calipers was $220.00 shipped. I also picked up a complete set of used HD rotors for $57.00 shipped... A stab bar, steering rack and some tail lights also... just keep your watch list up to date...
Mark

Wray Schelin
09-08-2004, 05:31 AM
Hi Mark,

Can you give everyone an overview of what you are building? I'm confused. :D I see that you are designing a chassis,and I think this is to be used under a Astro van. Is this correct? What will you be doing to the body ?

Wray

astroracer
09-08-2004, 06:26 AM
Here you are Wray...
This is an Astro van I am building. I am building it in a Pro Touring/ Road Racing theme. Here is a laundry list of mods I am planning.
1). Lowered 6" at the rockers.
2). Custom designed and built front and rear suspensions running 275/40-17's in front and 345/35-18's out back.
3). Corvette HD Brakes and Rack and Pinion steering with QA1 Coilover shocks.
4). Big Block Chevy and 700R4 Trans. Motor/trans moved down 5" and back 14".
5). Nine inch Ford rear with an Auburn posi and 4.11 gears.
6). Fully customized front and rear ends with hand built metal bumpers and pans. Custom headlights and tail lights are in the mix.
7). Shaved door handles, gas door, modified rear doors and custom Ground EFX to complete the drop to 7".
8). Custom rear mounted fuel cell and Optima batteries.
9). Custom dash and interior with either Dodge neon or Fiero seats.
10) I don't know what color it will be yet.
Here is a couple of early renderings I did while dreaming up the project... None of this is in stone of course. Just thinking on paper.
Let me know what you think...
Mark
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/15352astro_renderings_001-med.jpg?2065
http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/500/15352astro_renderings_002-med.jpg?8906

tdoty
09-08-2004, 02:19 PM
Hey Mark, I kind like parts of both versions - they both have great elements.

Looks like quite a neat project!

Tim D.

Boogiemanz1
09-08-2004, 10:54 PM
Mark, I'll update my watch list soon. ....john

astroracer
05-31-2005, 09:25 AM
Boy, it's been a while since I updated this thread but thought I would do so know that I am getting real work done on the van project.
After three days of cleaning, re-arranging and hanging additional lights, I finally got some real parts made yesterday. I started cutting out the upper rails for the front cradle. I will finish that up tonight and start adding the detail stuff to the rails like the notches for steering gear clearance and holes for the body mounts. I didn't get any pics but I will tonight.
I am finding it very satisfying to get this project off the computer and into the real world. I stayed up too late last night finishing up drawings for the rest of the upper rail parts and the welded assembly but I'll be able to get out there tonight and make sparks and not waste any time sitting at the computer.
I also started a website over the weekend. I plan to put the chassis jig design and build on it along with a full documentation of the design and build of Bad Ast. I haven't published it to the web yet as there is still a lot to do but I think it will be pretty neat when I get it done...
Wish me good fortune and the retention of all ten digits as I finally get some real work done on the van...
Mark

rkilgore29
05-31-2005, 10:43 AM
Hi Mark,

Good luck on the fabrication work. It will be an interesting journey for you. It is pretty cool to take a project from concept, to design, to fabrication doing the work yourself. Not enough people try it, the end product is important, but it is the journey that brings the real satisfaction. I think you will enjoy yourself.

astroracer
06-01-2005, 07:26 AM
Thanks Rick,
I am planning to take my time and do this right that's for sure. I agree with you 100% on your concept, design & fabrication comment. I take great pride in being able (and capable enough) to do what I am doing. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to say " I did that" when someone asks about a mod on my truck (especially when they ask where I got the front bumper...) Yes, the journey, as you say is very much a part of any of my projects...
Thanks for the insight Rick.
Mark
Look at a few of the pics of the front subframe upper rail. It's got a ways to go yet but you can see what it will look like when welded up.

Boogiemanz1
06-01-2005, 09:59 AM
Mark, it looks like you have that part by the tail. My problem is that "time Monster" that lives in my shop!

Keep the photo's coming.........john

astroracer
06-01-2005, 06:15 PM
I know exactly what you mean John. Time is a very rare commodity in my world also. My new job has me tied up for 12 to 13 hrs every day during the week and I find myself wasting 6 or7 hrs sleeping...
I am working short hours this week so I am home by 3:30 and have some time to spend in the shop...
I'll keep you guys posted if you are interested.
Mark

rkilgore29
06-03-2005, 03:53 PM
Hi Mark,

I took a look at the pictures. It looks like your off to a good start. I look forward to seeing this project as it progresses.

astroracer
06-06-2005, 03:02 AM
I got a little more done this weekend. All of the lower crossmembers and vertical supports are cut out, fishmouthed and notched.
Fishmouthing the tubing was pretty basic. I used a tubing notcher and a 2" holesaw to make 14 notches. Making sure the notches were parallel in the crosmembers was the only difficult part. I made the initial fishmouth on one end and then used a piece of tubing and an angle finder to make sure the second notch ran true to the first.
I built a quickie notching jig to cut out the notch in the vertical supports that fit up to the bottom of the upper rail. I used a piece of maple for the base, bolted on a short piece of 2" tube as a "nest" and clamped the tube to be cut into the jig with a C-clamp. Worked pretty slick and this rig makes sure that all of the verticals are the same length.
Thanks for looking
Mark

Boogiemanz1
06-06-2005, 03:45 PM
Nice work Mark, coping the tubing is sometimes the biggest job. I usually use my mill to do most of it. This allows you to do offsets and and weird-oh angles. I end up struggling with a porta-band saw and a grinder when they need to join square tube or frame rail....i really like your saw jig.....I'm gonna remember that one!............john

astroracer
06-07-2005, 04:48 AM
Hey John... I used to use the drill press to do all of my notching until I got one of these off Ebay for $30.00 including shipping.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42324
I had all of the notches done in less then a half hour! This thing is very easy to use and set-up is a snap. I just bolt it to my Chassis jig table and notch away...
If you check out the link you'll see they are on sale for 30 bucks! Can't go wrong with that price.
Enco has a much better deal on the hole saws though. Check them out at:
www.use-enco.com
Mark

Boogiemanz1
06-07-2005, 09:11 AM
Yep, I have a "joint jigger" around here somewhere. You are correct, on most stuff where the intersection is in line with the other tube it is great. Works very fast. The mill allows me to intersect the other tube on either side or the middle, even notch out for a near miss. I need to mount mine somewhere and I'm sure I would use it more. 30 bucks is a good price, the one I have was over 150.00........john

Ernie Ferrucci
06-08-2005, 07:47 AM
Hello all

While on the subject of tube notching, I remember an interesting one that can be found here: http://www.kcdawnpatrol.org/TubNotcher.htm

It has some adjustment to allow for offset notching, looks likes it works well.
If I didn't have a tube notcher already I think I'd consider this one. I don't have a knee mill, (yet).

Ernie Ferrucci

astroracer
06-16-2005, 09:03 AM
Thanks for that link Ernie. Very interesting jig.
It has been so hot lately I haven't been able to get much done in the shop. I don't function well in high heat/high humidity situations...
It finally cooled off enough last night that I had a chance to get some work done. I finished up the camber plates for the Upper Control Arm attachments and I cut the tubing to size that I am using to make the LCA brackets. I got the initial saw cut made for fitment to the lower rail but I need to make another cutoff jig to finish up the sawing operations. I hope to get that done tonite.

astroracer
06-21-2005, 09:38 AM
This weekend I should be able to start welding the cradle together... I got the jig table top made last weekend using two sheets of heavy particle board. The top sheet has Melamine on both sides and is laminated to the plain bottom sheet with construction adhesive and drywall screws and they sit on three 1 x 2 x .093 wall pieces of tubing that run across the beams on the jig table. The melamine will allow me to lay out any number of lines which can be removed or changed with a simple wipe with some thinner...
I will get the table leveled up this week and start laying out the guide lines for the cradle assembly. I did lay out vehicle and wheel centerlines on the table. I then cut a shallow kerf with a narrow blade in my skill saw along both lines. This gives me a consistant place to hook a tape measure or line up a square. Should work just fine and the part I like is it is re-usable...
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/19jn05-jigtable-1.JPG
Mark

astroracer
06-22-2005, 03:15 AM
Didn't do a lot last night other then a little cleaning and straightening and starting a mock-up of the cradle. This is rough and by no means is it squared up or laid out per my dimensions but it gives you an idea of what the cradle will look like when I start tacking it together.
A little more work with the flap disc to clean up the areas to be welded and I'll be able to start "glueing" it together...
A high 3/4 front shot
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7421jn05-mock-up_1-med.jpg
A low 3/4 front shot
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7421jn05-mock-up_4-med.jpg

Boogiemanz1
06-22-2005, 07:05 AM
Mark, is this cradle going to be a permanent portion of the vehicle or a removeable cradle as in some of the late model platforms?............john

astroracer
06-22-2005, 09:06 AM
Hey John,
The Astro/Safari uses a front cradle-rear unibody design. My new cradle will be bolted in at the stock cradle locations. I will be using some cut down polyurethane body mounts I bought for my truck and never used. I'll cut them down to an inch in height and bolt them in just like stock. In the pic you can see the front section of the upper rails but they haven't been welded together yet. The body mounts will be incorporated into them just as the stock mounts were part of the cradle.
You can see the body mount locations as the 6 larger holes (3 each side) spaced around the cradle in this preliminary drawing...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/74mas00050_drwfmt_0001_top-med.gif
Thanks for looking
Mark

astroracer
08-29-2005, 08:58 AM
I haven't updated the thread in a while so I'll do that now that I have some more work done...
The upper cradle rails are mostly complete now with the main rails and outriggers welded together. The outriggers contain the #2 & #3 body mounts.
THE UPPER RAILS...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7424au05_upr-rails-med.jpg
FITTING THE OUTRIGGERS TO THE MAIN RAILS...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7427au05-uprail-fitup-4-med.jpg
UPPER RAILS MOCKED UP AT THE CORRECT WIDTH...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7427au05-uprails-med.jpg
Here is a pic of the lower rails during the tacking phase...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/74setting_up_for_tack_welding-1-med.jpg
I am hoping to have the entire cradle tacked together before the weekend. That will give me some time to start fabbing the Upper & Lower Control Arms and getting the Control Arm attachments positioned and tack welded. Lots to do yet but I have most of the hard work out of the way...
Thanks for looking.
Mark

astroracer
09-01-2005, 09:37 AM
Well... My boss just gave me tomorrow off. :rocker: We have been busting our testicular appendages around here for the last month and he basically said take the time and enjoy yourself... :sleep: NOT!
You know what I'm going to be doing! I was just given an extra day and I don't plan on wasting any of it.
I just about have the cradle ready to tack together. I will be cleaning up all of the mating surfaces tonight and getting the components mocked into position. Last nite I made riser/set-up blocks for the main rails and dummied everything together. Surprisingly all of the parts fit together extremely well. I will shoot some pics tonight when I start to jig it together. Tomorrow will be a busy day as I get this thing jigged up and tacked together. I spend a lot of time verifying dims and making sure things are square before I throw down a weld...
It is supposed to be beautiful all weekend so I hope to get a good start on all of the suspension brackets and control arms also... I have to hard mount the tubing bender so I can get the tubing for the arms bent up. I plan to work on this tomorrow while I am waiting for welds to cool on the cradle.
Mark

FriarTuck
09-01-2005, 09:42 AM
I love the whole thread. I just put my 35 coupe up on the frame table, and starting the tin work. Keep posting.

astroracer
09-07-2005, 09:29 AM
Thanks Rick, I'm glad someone is enjoying it.
I got quite a bit done this weekend and, if it wasn't for a kinked gas hose on the welder which was giving me fits, I would have had the cradle all welded up. I found the kinked line last night and was real happy that's all it was. I got most of the cradle tacked together and the Upper and Lower Control Arm Brackets are in place. This pic shows the RH side.
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/05se05-cradle-tacked-3_jpg.JPG
I built a Poor Man's height Gage out of a Machinists Square and a 90* angle block. Works real well with a couple of bolts in the UCA mounting plate. I turned a point on the bolts and use the height gage to establish the verticle and longitudinal hole locations. The gage lines up on a pencil line laid out on the table top and then that edge is used to locate the point on the bolt lenthwise and the height is read right off the square.
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/05se05-height-gage_jpg.JPG
The point on the bolt indicating off the RH edge of the square and located vertically by the red highlighted hash mark...
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/05se05-turned_bolt-2_jpg.JPG
This is the cradle all tacked up. I have to do a little more work like the shock towers, steering gear crossmember and front body mounts but I got slowed up by the welder problem.
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/05se05-cradle-tacked-5_jpg.JPG
Thanks for looking
Mark

Boogiemanz1
09-07-2005, 10:44 AM
Hey mark, there are a number of us watching.........john

tdoty
09-07-2005, 10:55 AM
Just thought I'd chime in and let you know I'm watching too! Participation might help spur you on, but I just read and look at the pics with my mouth hanging open :lol:!

Keep it up Mark!

Tim D.

astroracer
09-07-2005, 11:16 AM
Thanks guys! I will keep posting but like you said Tim, some particpation would help. A lot of the time it seems like I am just talking to myself and that gets boring after a while...
I loaded a bunch of new pics into my gallery so check 'em out...
Mark

jlrussell4
09-07-2005, 02:23 PM
Hi Mark,
I'm watching too! Great job you are doing. I pick up ideas on every post.

Hairy-Neil
09-08-2005, 01:59 AM
Keep up the good work, its inspiration to us all. :)

anders nørgaard
09-08-2005, 02:24 AM
Just thought I'd chime in and let you know I'm watching too! Participation might help spur you on, but I just read and look at the pics with my mouth hanging open :lol:!

Keep it up Mark!

Tim D.

Tim,
Are you drooling as well? :lol::lol::lol:

Mark,
This is looking real good!! Would you share some specs on the suspension and steeringhttp://206.125.208.236/forum/images/icons/icon6.gif camber. caster, SAI, toe-in, track? I find this very intreresting

astroracer
09-08-2005, 04:57 AM
Hi Anders, Tim has always had a drooling problem but I've never held that against him...
Here are some of the front suspension specs as designed. The suspension was optimized using the Performance Trends Suspension Analyzer Program.
This should be a kick ass suspension if I can get it built as I designed it.
A Corvette steering rack was used as the base and then all of the geometry was optimized to work with it. This geometry actually produces better numbers then the Corvette suspension!
Track = 64.5"
Wheel mounting face (from CL) = 34.24
Rim = 10" wide with 7" B.S. (2.00" offset)
275/40x17 tire.
Scrub Radius = 1.80"
Side scrub at 3" dive = .04"
Anti-Dive = 26.8%
SVSA Length = 97.7"
Bump Steer @ 3" Dive = -0.008" This is Bump OUT which is better then bump in. It actually starts bumping out (-0.001) @ 1.50" of Dive.
Bump Steer @ 3" Rise = 0.003"
R/C height @ design = 1.68"
R/C hgt in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) =1.66"
R/C migration in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = 0.04" from Center
R/C migration in right turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = 0.04" from Center
Outside tire Camber Gain in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = -.41 degs
I had a lot of help from Katz @ Art Morrison in getting the numbers where they are and, without his help and direction, I doubt I would have gotten here. I owe him a lot for the help.
Holler if you have any questions. :)
Mark

rkilgore29
09-08-2005, 08:56 AM
Hi Mark,

I see a lot has been going on. It is looking good. It appears that your planning and design work is paying off nicely. Have you hit any snags or roadblocks other than time?

Thank you for sharing your project with us.

astroracer
09-08-2005, 10:37 AM
Hi Rick,
I have been working at the build pretty steady since it cooled off a little. I didn't get much done during July, to dang hot.
I haven't run into any problems that I can blame on the design. I have measured wrong on a couple of items but that was my fault. The cradle is actually going together very well and I can say 99% of it is within +/- 0.03 of the actual CAD dimensions. Of course I am taking my time when doing the welding to keep heat distortion to a minimum and I had to "tweak" the upper rails to keep them within specs but, now that I have the whole thing tacked together, I don't expect to have much deviation. I still have to do a lot of welding but taking my time and letting the welds cool will keep it pretty straight.
With all of the time I put into the CAD design of this thing I hope I don't find any show stoppers at this point...
Mark

Tin Head
09-08-2005, 06:35 PM
Mark,

+/-.03 is pretty impressive for a weldment and I don't see a weld fixture. Good work! I've got to learn to take my time more when welding.

Bob

astroracer
09-09-2005, 07:59 AM
Thanks Bob,
I haven't finished welding it up yet so I'm not holding my breath on that number but it should be stable now. I usually weld an inch or so at a time in any given area and move on. Once I get all of the areas hot to the touch I quit and let it cool down. This doesn't make for real pretty welds because of all of the cold starts but it works and keeps the structure from twisting.
I did have the upper rails fixtured to the table with angle blocks and I checked alignment after every tack. I worked slow just for that reason. I was able to tweak things as I went and, once I had a few tacks into it, it wasn't moving around so I am pretty pleased with the process I used.
Mark

astroracer
09-12-2005, 03:30 AM
I did some welding yesterday and I am still having problems with porosity. I started out at 25 cfh and kept bumping it up. The welds improved as it went higher. I ran out of welding before I got it back up to 70 or 80cfh but I think that is where the welder is happiest.
This is what I was working on. It's not a suspension part so the welds will be okay for what it does.
It's a tool post for my tubing bender. It's kinda funny looking because I used a cast off base for a diving board as the bottom and welded a piece of 5 1/2" x 3/8 wall sewer pipe to it for a post.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7411se05-tool-post-1-med.jpg

It does the job though. I bent this piece of 1.25dia. x .156 wall D.O.M. into a 180 with no problems.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7411se05-180-bend-1-med.jpg

No crushing or deformation in the tube and this is some pretty heavy stuff to be bending.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7411se05-180-bend-3-med.jpg

There was no movement from the post that I could feel during the bending process and I will be able to mount a bunch of other tools to it also so it should come in real handy.
Thanks for looking.
Mark

anders nørgaard
09-12-2005, 09:45 AM
Hi Mark,

Real nice bends. No flats and very smooth!http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

astroracer
09-13-2005, 07:16 AM
Yes Anders, very nice. I was pleasantly suprized when I started drawing the tubing thru the die. The recommended max wall thickness from Pro-Tools for the 1 1/4 D.O.M. was 0.134" and this stuff is 0.156". I was expecting some wrinkles and deformation but there was none. I will be able to do some trick chassis work now that I can bend tubing like this. I was real happy Sunday and even hauled my wife out to the shop to see. She was "impressed" to say the least....
Mark

Ernie Ferrucci
09-13-2005, 08:33 AM
Hi Mark

Your doing some nice work http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif.
Mark wrote

The recommended max wall thickness from Pro-Tools for the 1 1/4 D.O.M. was 0.134" and this stuff is 0.156".

Mark, I think what they mean is the "minimum" wall thickness is .134" for wrinkle free bends. I have a similar bender (JD2), and the die specs list the minimum wall thickness for each tube diameter and bend radius. So a thicker wall is not a problem.

Ernie F.

FriarTuck
09-13-2005, 08:41 AM
Specified spec is Minimun, maximum is determined by the "moan & groan" of the bender. I also have the JD2, and I've never heard it moan or groan. Great thread, great pics, thanks Mark.

rkilgore29
09-13-2005, 09:03 AM
Hi Mark,

Thanks for posting. You have our attention, I have subscribed to this thread to keep up with it. Keep the updates coming, it is looking good.

What kind of anchors did you use to fasten the bender to the floor?

astroracer
09-13-2005, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the compliments guys, I appreciate it.
Here is the spec sheet right from Pro-Tools...
http://www.pro-tools.com/105tdies.htm
They list the max and min with the min called out for wrinkle free bends like Ernie indicated. When I was researching the bender I talked to the tech at Pro-Tools about the .156 wall and he said the bender would probably do it without a problem but he couldn't recommend it.
I did work up a sweat getting it done just like Friar said. I heard no complaining from my Pro-Tools either. Worked great!
Mark

anders nørgaard
09-13-2005, 10:00 AM
Specified spec is Minimun, maximum is determined by the "moan & groan" of the bender. I also have the JD2, and I've never heard it moan or groan. Great thread, great pics, thanks Mark.

Tuck,
You're quite right. Thicker wall is just a question of POWERhttp://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

sha_ba_do_bang
09-16-2005, 07:33 AM
if you dont mind me asking what software did you use to design the suspension? and get all those numbers and angles?

I am scratchbuilding a roadsetr chassis and body, right now i think i'mjust going to go with m2 but in the future i would like to try and build my own, thanks!

astroracer
09-19-2005, 09:19 AM
Here is a link to Performance Trends.
http://www.performancetrends.com/SuspAnzr.htm
It is a fairly straight forward program once you determine what your performance goals are. There are a number of canned suspensions that you can use to get started. Download the demo and give it whirl. I actually designed the Bad Ast suspension in the demo...
Mark

edwardd_
09-19-2005, 07:25 PM
I ran across this the other dayand found it very interesting. With proper tube sizes and wall thickness, it could be a winner.

I found it on a Fisher car site.

David

Bambi
09-21-2005, 02:39 PM
First I have to applaude your desire, workmanship and all around get down and dirty build this thing. Your doin good.
I haven't seen any of the concept pics that were supposed to be on some other linked site, apparently they dumped them or the wron URl is being posted.
I will ask the DUMB question though, havin owned an Asto van for a while and know a lot about them.
Considering all the mods, with the chassis and drivetrain, lowering, chopping channeling, sectioning and the like. Plus installing a Big block and setting that back
Where in the world are you gonna sit??? If its in the stock location or there bouts, you'll have to be a midget, a really skinny fella, an amputee, contortionist or one of them circus clowns that jump out of itty bitty cars.
No offense, but enquiring minds need to know especially with no pics to be seen.
Anyways keep up the good work.

Bambi

astroracer
09-22-2005, 03:50 AM
First I have to applaude your desire, workmanship and all around get down and dirty build this thing. Your doin good.
I haven't seen any of the concept pics that were supposed to be on some other linked site, apparently they dumped them or the wron URl is being posted.
I will ask the DUMB question though, havin owned an Asto van for a while and know a lot about them.
Considering all the mods, with the chassis and drivetrain, lowering, chopping channeling, sectioning and the like. Plus installing a Big block and setting that back
Where in the world are you gonna sit??? If its in the stock location or there bouts, you'll have to be a midget, a really skinny fella, an amputee, contortionist or one of them circus clowns that jump out of itty bitty cars.
No offense, but enquiring minds need to know especially with no pics to be seen.
Anyways keep up the good work.

Bambi

Thanks for the support, it is much appreciated.
Relocating the big block has not affected seating at all. Moving the engine down 5.5" puts the bottom of the rocker cover at floor level. Moving it back 14" means I will have to rebuild the doghouse interface to the floor but I plan to do this by sectioning the floor and simply moving the current structure backwards in the van. This will not have any impact on floor space and will only move the doghouse further rearward. I will probably end up shortening the cover height for more elbow room because the engine will not sit as high in the van. I will not worry about this until I have the van together and can actually sit in it and get comfortable.
The real area of concern is the front footwell where I will be rebuilding both sides for clearance to the 275/40 front tires. I WILL lose some foot room because of this but it will only be an inch or two and I always drive with my left foot on the wheel house anyways so I am not worried about this either.
Thanks for asking these questions and no offense taken...
There are more pics here... http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/showgallery.php?ppuser=74&cat=500&thumb=1
Mark

sha_ba_do_bang
09-22-2005, 10:31 AM
WHat software did you use to make the 3d color renderings of the front suspension componets?

I have been using blender to design my tubbed out roadster and can design just about anything but it doesn't have values, you can't make somthing 2.37 long, thats the only limitation. I plan on getting solidworks with my student discount

Thanks for your help and I find this page really interesting, i want yo have my roadster frame /suspension totally cad designed so i know it will all work and then try to reporduce the cad excatcly.

Thanks Again

astroracer
09-22-2005, 12:21 PM
All of the design work is being done in Unigraphics. I have an old Beta version of V18. It does the job very well though and even has the motion program available so I can articulate the suspension to check all of the clearances during jounce, rebound and left and right steer. I don't expect any surprises when it comes time to marry the new cradle to the van.
I have been designing the welding fixtures for the Upper and Lower Control Arms in the computer the last few days so I'll post up some pics when I get the time.
Mark

sha_ba_do_bang
10-27-2005, 11:40 AM
So did you copy your spindles into the cad program? And i remembering you saying that you were using midified astro van spindle, did you modify them?
Did you also model your entire van chassis into unigraphics? because i saw that you had the old origninal in yellow


Also i am building a ifs for my 32, what would be a good set of spindles? Mustnag ii? corvette? I want to make everything custom and optimized in the suspension software you used.

Thanks for the help

astroracer
10-31-2005, 05:06 AM
The "modified" spindles are aftermarket 2" drop spindles. I modeled them roughly by taking some pictures with a tape measure in the photo to get a scale for the photo and measuring them right off the pic. I did set them up in my spindle jigs to carefully measure the ball stud points in relation to the spindle centerline and ground.
For the "stock" chassis geometry I had access to a buddies junkyard where we rolled a junk van onto it's side and I took measurements and photos of the chassis just like I did for the spindles. It's still laying there in fact. I was out there looking at it and checking dims Satuday morning. Most of what you see for the stock van is just wireframe as it was quicker to do it that way. It was very handy to have access to all of this stuff as I was doing the bubble-up work. If you read earlier posts you know I was also given a stock front cradle to use as reference. That is where I got all of the cradle measurements which I cross-referenced to the the donor van laying on it's side...
This has been a lot of work which most people don't realize. I have been nearly two years getting to this point, a year and half of which was purely design work. It's all very much worth it though because, as I put this van together, I am 99.9% confident I will have no fit-up or assembly problems.
Mark

astroracer
11-01-2005, 06:48 AM
Haven't had a lot to report on the Astro build because I have been getting ready to build an addition on my shop. This will be used for storage and organization and will open up the heated side of the old barn so I can actually work out here this winter. The shop is so cluttered right now I can't hardly turn around in it so I had to do something. This will get my Firebird and Model A out of the way as well as provide a place to park the truck and another vehicle for the winter.
After getting the permits a week ago Monday and hole inspections on Tuesday this is where the guys are at after 5 days of construction.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7431oc05-left-frt-med.jpg
A shot from the back...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7431oc05-rt-rear-med.jpg
They will finish the roof on the new structure today and probably start tear-off on the old building. They are going pretty quick and the weather is forecast to be very nice for the rest of the week so I expect the building will be done before the end of the week. The concrete guy is scheduled for Wednseday so I should have pad by the end of the day...
Thanks for looking.
Mark

Boogiemanz1
11-01-2005, 06:51 AM
I love it when a plan comes together!...........john

Tisdelski
11-01-2005, 07:59 AM
hi mark ,
the garage will be nice, now you have more room for more projects.
gary

rkilgore29
11-02-2005, 07:22 AM
HI Mark,

Looks good! When do we schedule the next regional meet? ;)

Having the extra storage will be good, you need plenty of room to work around your project. Are you adding overhead storage as well?

Boogiemanz1
11-02-2005, 08:27 AM
Build the space...projects will come...............john

astroracer
11-09-2005, 05:34 AM
Thanks guys... I know you are all exactly like me and don't need ANY additional projects... This addition is designated as storage only and I will start filling it up this weekend! And Rick? If I had more time till snow flies I would definetly get something going this year. I will think about kicking something off next year though. With the addition I will have plenty of room for an event.

The new part is closed in, roofed, cemented and doored and the old part is re-roofed with siding going up on the "big" side... This barn looks huge from the north side.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7404no05_barn-addition-3-med.jpg
The above pic is from 04NO and the following one is from 08NO. These guys are kicking some tail in getting this done...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7408no05_barn-siding-1-med.jpg

Boogiemanz1
11-09-2005, 06:17 AM
Mark, your building is looking good! You will enjoy the space.........briefly....then it to will fill up.....trust me...............john

astroracer
11-23-2005, 07:02 AM
It's done on the outside and you are correct John. It is starting to fill up already... I got a good start this weekend with the movement of the bird and Monday night I finished the lumber rack so, with the 'bird where it needs to be I can concentrate on getting the working side cleaned and organized. I still have a lot to do on the new side yet but it's coming along. I have next week off so I expect it will be pretty well finished up by the end of the week.
It got kinda dark yesterday afternoon because of that cold front you see over the top of the trees. This is looking NW.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7422no05_barn_southeast_corner-med.jpg
This is looking NE...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7422no05_barn_west_end-med.jpg
The lumber rack
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7422no05_lumber_rack-med.jpg
This is the workbench on the heated side. I am really embarassed about the clutter but it has been a chore just getting this far with the addition and this will change drastically in the next week...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7422no05_messy_bench-med.jpg
That's all for now. Thanks for looking.
If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for organization or storage please comment, I am open to suggestions.
Mark

rkilgore29
11-23-2005, 09:12 AM
Hi Mark,

The barn looks great and it is done just in time. Don't be embarrassed about the clutter, mine looks like the aftermath of a disaster. I have been spending way too much time at work, not enough time in my garage and it shows.

I look forward to seeing the chassis as it progresses. Have fun and stay warm! :)

astroracer
11-23-2005, 11:37 AM
Thanks Rick,
I'll stay warm okay... The shop is pretty easy to heat.
I am looking forward to seeing the cradle finished also... Right now I can't even see it because it is buried under a ton of junk on the jig table!
Mark

steve.murphy
12-08-2005, 01:46 PM
Mark,
I found a post on hotodders.com that you have an Airco 160 mig welder, that is also set up for tig with a foot control. I have a high freq unit, but havent seen how I can hook up the foot control. Can you help me out?

Thanks

Steve

astroracer
12-11-2005, 11:25 AM
Hi Steve,
Sorry but I DON'T have a foot control... I think I remember that thread and I was probably asking about one also.The Hi-Freq box is hooked up through the regular outlets for power and ground and I was told I can't plug in a foot control without the proper connection. I haven't pursued it farther so I really don't know if it's feasible. If you find out keep me in the loop.
Mark

steve.murphy
12-11-2005, 12:21 PM
Thanks Mark
I saw a 5000 ohm variable resistor foot control on ebay once that looked like it could offer some control, but have never seen one since, and dont know if running the welding current through a foot control is a goos idea anyhow.
Hows astro coming along?

regards
steve

astroracer
12-12-2005, 06:03 AM
Hows astro coming along?
Thanks for asking. I haven't been working on it. Putting up the addition had the shop in a mess and now that it's done I have been busy getting things cleaned up and organized. It's getting there slowly. I Didn't get anything accomplished this past weekend because of snow and honey do's...
Mark

astroracer
01-17-2006, 05:15 AM
I can't believe it's been over a month since I updated this thread!
I got a lot done over http://www.garagejunkies.net/images/smilies/xmas.gif break but not as much as I had hoped... Holidays just seem to eat away at "shop" time, if you know what I mean... I've got both of the chassis jig tables on the heated side now with "almost" enough room for two cars on the cold side. I still have a few engine blocks that need to be shelved but I haven't taken the time to put my hoist together so they'll have to wait.
The weekend before this I spent 14 hrs on Sat. and 7 or so on Sun. cleaning and rearranging on the heated side. I tore down an old set of shelves that was holding a bunch of old/empty/useless rattle paint cans (and threw out the cans). I did some re-wiring to add a couple of outlets on one wall, one switched for a light, and hung a couple of garage-sale kitchen cabinets on the wall with shelves in-between.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/74shop_cleaning_001-med.jpg
I still have a bunch more to do but it's getting there! I hauled three full and very heavy trash cans out to the curb last week and have 3 more ready go already this week!...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/74shop_cleaning_005-med.jpg
I got some more done this past weekend. I didn't get updated pics but, if you look at the one above, I got the set of shelves on the left cleaned off (mostly)the stereo and speakers are still sitting on them. I think this set is going to come out though. After I get the shelves on the right cleaned and gutted I will have no need for them. This will let me rearrange the corner space to move a drawer unit, which you can't see behind the welder, to the long wall and get the cabinets into the corner under the shelves.
Doing all of this cleaning I am finding myself wondering why I kept some of the stuff I have... It is amazing how quickly a garbage can fills up when you decide to "really" clean the shop! http://www.garagejunkies.net/images/smilies/headscratch.gif
It's almost to the point where I would be proud to show it off to someone!
Mark

ralph
01-17-2006, 07:20 AM
Looking good Mark,

Throwing out is hard to do. I've got a scrap hauler down here that will pick up within 2 days of my call. Scrap prices are up right now and he's eager. He's made it easy for me. Tearing out shelves and work benches is the way to go! I've found they become resting areas for stuff I'll never use.

Try some casters on that work table in the foreground. I think you'll find it becomes much more versatile and rolls out of the way when you need floor area.

astroracer
01-17-2006, 09:00 AM
Looking good Mark,

Throwing out is hard to do. I've got a scrap hauler down here that will pick up within 2 days of my call. Scrap prices are up right now and he's eager. He's made it easy for me. Tearing out shelves and work benches is the way to go! I've found they become resting areas for stuff I'll never use.

Try some casters on that work table in the foreground. I think you'll find it becomes much more versatile and rolls out of the way when you need floor area.
Thanks Ralph...
I find it easier to do the more I do it... I don't throw out a lot of steel though. I built racks and have a dedicated storage area in the addition for my steel collection.

Concerning the work table? It has castors on it, you just can't see any in the pic. It is one of a pair I built a year ago. The build is documented in this thread if you care to look in the earlier pages.
http://hotrodders.com/journal_photos/00015352/10908399250.jpg

steve.murphy
01-17-2006, 11:11 AM
Looking good Mark!
Re my earlier post asking you about foot contol for the Airco 160 welder, There is lots of info here on doing this. It looks possible and I am going to start collecting the bits. Look for the Post from Mike W.

http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/showthread.php?t=12206&highlight=tig+conversion

Regards

Steve

Steve@Reliance
01-17-2006, 07:31 PM
What program did you use to do your geometry, RC, camber gain etc.?

Steve@Reliance
01-17-2006, 07:42 PM
Oops, Never mind. Need to read more before running my keyboard off.

astroracer
01-23-2006, 06:33 AM
Compare!!!
Before...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/74shop_cleaning_005-med.jpg
And after!!!
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7421ja06_drwr-unit-4-med.jpg
Another marathon day Saturday and I had this dude pretty well licked. I did a lot of work in the addition also. The white cabinets you see in this pic...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7421ja05_cabinets-1-med.jpg
are in the addition now with a sheet of OSB on top and stacked with a bunch of old, antique, car parts. Getting them out of the way let me put two of my roll arounds on the wall and get that brown drawer unit moved out from in front of the bench. The orange drawers were put on a frame with casters and another cabinet was put on casters and graced with an OSB top to make a dedicated work center for the chopsaw and belt grinder. It also has room for ALL of the sanding belts and cutting wheels for the saw and sander to keep them in one place...
This is what the corner looks like now. I put a couple of those shelfs back up just because the wall was too bare...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7421ja06_drwr-unit-3-med.jpg
I will use the big drawer unit as an assembly table. The drawers are huge and will hold a ton of hardware. The lower shelf will be a storage area for mock-up parts.
The real nice thing about having all of this stuff on casters now is the ability to move things as the work progresses; not to mention being able to clean and sweep much easier.
I am thinking about painting the walls... What do you think? A brite white enamel with flames?
Thanks for looking...
Mark

Chassisguy
01-23-2006, 06:40 AM
Hey your HF unit on you welder looks like mine. Is it an S.D. Lee (Centruy) also?
Do you have a pedal on yours?

Chassisguy
01-23-2006, 07:10 AM
oops, saw the answer a few post back. I am making one for mine to turn the HF box and Gas flow on and off.

astroracer
01-23-2006, 07:32 AM
Hey Donnie,
I would like some input on this if you have any... I haven't used the TIG side of my machine but I want to learn. I figured I should get it set up the way I want it and could use some guidance.
Thanks
Mark

jvo
01-23-2006, 08:46 AM
Come on Mark, you're gonna make the rest of us look bad. I actually tried cleaning up some stuff last week, as well. I have 7 Ford flathead motors in various states of disrepair in my garage, and I figured I would get rid of the junk ones that were only used for mock-up purposes. I just couldn't bear to throw one away, without knowing for sure that it was junk, so I took it to the engine rebuilders, and had it cooked and cleaned and magna-fluxed. Turns out, it only has 2 tiny little cracks where flatheads crack around the head bolt holes, except that it needs 1 cylinder sleeved. I guess I can't bear to part with it, as good blocks are hard to find. Oh well, maybe I can sort through some of my mother-in-law's stuff that is up on the second floor of the garage. What are the chances that she'll notice some old lamps and stuff missing? John V.O.

astroracer
01-23-2006, 09:06 AM
Come on Mark, you're gonna make the rest of us look bad. I actually tried cleaning up some stuff last week, as well. I have 7 Ford flathead motors in various states of disrepair in my garage, and I figured I would get rid of the junk ones that were only used for mock-up purposes. I just couldn't bear to throw one away, without knowing for sure that it was junk, so I took it to the engine rebuilders, and had it cooked and cleaned and magna-fluxed. Turns out, it only has 2 tiny little cracks where flatheads crack around the head bolt holes, except that it needs 1 cylinder sleeved. I guess I can't bear to part with it, as good blocks are hard to find. Oh well, maybe I can sort through some of my mother-in-law's stuff that is up on the second floor of the garage. What are the chances that she'll notice some old lamps and stuff missing? John V.O.

I guess I can't bear to part with it, as good blocks are hard to find.
I have the same problem... I have a '70 RAIII 455 that has a cracked block. I can use most of it in other motors but I am having a difficult time parting with the block...
What are the chances that she'll notice some old lamps and stuff missing?
Excellant! The week after you toss them she'll come looking. You know she will...

Chassisguy
01-23-2006, 11:24 AM
Sure I would be glade to help. I just got back form town, picking up some of the supplies I need to try this. I am making, to start with something very simple, to see if it will really work then go from there.
I have my HF box hooked to My Lincoln AC/DC welder. I have reveresed the leads (my Pos. in now my neg. and my neg is now my pos). was doing that before the HF box. I call Century and tey said to hook it up that same way tough the HF box. I did and it works great. Espically once I learned you had to switch it to AC to weld Alum. :lol: .
I am hooking up the foot pedal to be able to stop the HF flow so that it will not jump arc when I lay my torch down, and so I can get a more controlled start.
I will let you know how it works.

astroracer
02-10-2006, 07:50 AM
I got some pics this last weekend. It is amazing what a little paint can do to brighten things up. I didn't think it would make much of a difference when I decided to do the painting but BOY was I wrong! Looks so much better and brighter now I can hardly believe it's my shop! Wait until I get the flames on the long wall....
It's a bit messy because I am still painting and I have a lot of junk I haven't sorted through yet but it's getting there...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7404fe06_painting-4-med.jpg
The work bench area...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7404fe06_painting-5-med.jpg

The new work center area looks great!
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7404fe06_painting-med.jpg
This pic is kinda dark because of the windows... I am debating painting the door. I plan to replace it this fall with an insulated one so I think I'll let it go...
I did get a few of my tin signs put up though...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7404fe06_painting-2-med.jpg
A few more updated pics from this week...
This is the S.E. corner of the shop after I stripped everything off the walls Monday nite...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7406fe06_south_wall-med.jpg
This is the W. wall with the stationary bench b4 I stripped it Tuesday nite.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7406fe06_bench-med.jpg
I had put a coat of primer on the S. wall Tuesday nite and I got the bench wall primed Wednesday nite...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7408fe06_southwall-primed-med.jpg
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/7408fe06_benchwall-primed-med.jpg
I topcoated both walls last nite (2 coats) and also primed and painted the bench white.
Needless to say, I really like the clean uncluttered look so nothing is going back on the walls unless it is an enclosed cabinet or cupboard. I think I will do some looking at HD or Lowes this weekend for the white pre-fab cabinets. I want to get all of my rattle cans out of sight and build a couple of fastener cabinets for all of my nut and bolt hardware....
Thanks for looking
Mark

jvo
02-10-2006, 12:36 PM
Mark, its really looking good. You mention you want to get your rattle cans out of sight. Just a suggestion. I have had a minor fire in my shop, and now I'm paranoid. I bought old flour canisters at the thrift shop for oily rags, and hung several fire extinguishers around the shop, upstairs and down. I also went to the local used industrial supply warehouse, (our version of Boeing Surplus, only the prices are sky high and the owner suffers from Personality Deficity Disorder) and I purchased an old electrical control cabinet. You can see pics of it in my gallery. Its about 34 inches wide, about 17 inches deep, and about 80 inches high, made out of 12 gauge steel. I had to pay $150.00 for it, but around here, a proper paint and combustibles cabinet is about $800.00 new, and most of them are made out of 75 gauge, or similar tin foil. This one came with a real nice chrome handle and positive locking top and bottom. The only thing is you might need to find someone that knows how to do sheet metal work, as the one I bought came with a lot of holes from the electrical conduit and controls in it that needed to be filled and welded shut to make it fireproof. I also had to unbolt some stuff from inside and use those plates to make shelves out of, but I'm sure you can find a way to solve that problem. The fire inspector would be proud me, if he came and had a look at mine, I'm sure. Anyways, your shop is looking a lot better than mine right now. (I still think you're making the rest of us look bad.) John V.O.

astroracer
02-13-2006, 09:35 AM
Thanks John, it seems to have taken forever to get to this point but it is finally coming together. If I found a deal like you did on a usable cabinet I would be all ovet it, but I can't make myself spend 800 to 1,000 dollars on a metal box... Just isn't gonna happen...
I made it to Home Depot Saturday morning. Spent some money to get stuff organized and keep it dust and dirt free.. I picked up a couple of 54" wall cabinets and 4 30" molded cabinets. Got the two 54's and one 30" installed Saturday.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/7412fe06_new-cabinets-1.jpg
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/7411fe06_new-cabinets-4.jpg
The plastic cabinets were 25 bucks ea. I thought that was a pretty good deal and I might go get a few more...
I also went to Harbour Freight and picked up a couple of the furniture dollies for $16.00 on sale... You can't buy the casters for that price... I narrowed one up Saturday afternoon and attached a stack of drawer units to it.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/7411fe06_drawer-unit.jpg
The pic shows 4 units but I added one more Sunday morning so there are 10 drawers total now. This will be the roll around clamp/vise-grip/grinder station. I have enough drawers to make another one, I think I will. That will let me throw a sheet of OSB between them for another portable work bench.
I worked on this Sunday afternoon...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/7412fe06_cabinet_flames.jpg
I got them sprayed and they look okay. I will get some pics as soon as the pinstriping is done...
Thanks for looking.
Mark

astroracer
03-27-2006, 09:08 AM
Between playing with the new welder and fixing broken garage doors I haven't gotten a lot done in the shop until last weekend. My brother-in-law dropped off a half dozen light fixtures a couple of weeks ago so I got around to getting four of them hung and fired up on the fab side of the shop. 8' 220V twin tube cold starts. The lights are take downs out of a school. They worked just fine but the school system replaces stuff like this from time to time to keep budget money coming. Tax payer dollars spent on replacing perfectly good equipment. I'm not complaining though! All of the electrical outlets and the furnace came out of the schools also...
I ran all of the wiring in conduit and hooked the lights up two to a switch. It is very bright in the shop now, to say the least!
Here are a couple shots of the shop with the new lights turned off.
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/26mr06_b4-lites-1_jpg.JPG

http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/26mr06_b4-lites-2_jpg.JPG
And here is a couple with them lit up...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/26mr06_afterlites-1_jpg.JPG
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/data/500/medium/26mr06_afterlites-3_jpg.JPG
With the fresh white paint and these new lights I am all set to get back to work on the van!
Mark

docauto
03-27-2006, 09:25 AM
a clean shop is the sign of a sick mind.

Just kidding! looks great!!

Dave

astroracer
03-27-2006, 09:50 AM
Dave, you're so close:twisted: ... I have always thought a clean shop meant no work was being done but, with this makeover, I have realized a clean shop means better productivity. I am TRYING to keep the shop clean. I find it is so much easier to get things DONE when I don't have to spend 75% of my time looking for a tool or just a clean spot to work. :lol: I am still organizing of course and have a lot to do yet but it is coming together and I am finding that it gets easier the more I do. I actually spent a half hour last night (after the job was done) just putting tools and ladders and electrical stuff away! I will get a pic tonite of the shop as I left it last nite. The pics you see in my post above were taken before cleaning. Right now the shop looks like I haven't done a thing out there in a week. And I LIKE IT!...
Mark

rkilgore29
03-27-2006, 10:39 AM
HI Mark,

The place is looking great. Fresh paint and new lights really help to brighten the shop. It appears you have a lot more room with the stored items moved. Enjoy the new found space and order!

Seeing it is inspirational, but probably not enough to get me to clean mine :lol:. I am considering it though.

astroracer
04-20-2006, 04:23 AM
Rick,
This is the best thing I could have done to improve my working conditions, motivation AND productivity. I highly recommend a good cleaning and organizing of the shop to change anyone's outlook!

To give you guys an update, I decided to run hardlines for the new air compressor. I figured I may as well jump on it while I was doing the makeover or it would never get done! I have all of the airlines ran but I am still waiting on HF to get the 1/2" ball valves back in stock. I have them on a raincheck for $1.99 ea. Going on three weeks now and they can't give me a delivery date... I guess I am going to have to spend the money and get them at Lowes or Home Depot. I can have the install completed in about an hour after I get the valves so I plan to pick them up tonight or Friday and wrap this project up.
I have been working on other things also like fixing my nephews four wheeler and getting the lawn mowers prepped and mowing lawn. (What a waste of time and energy...) I put casters under the sand blasting cabinet and I got the truck fired up and moved out of storage last night. It was good to hear it running.
I need to clean up the shop after this airline install but that won't take long so I hope to start cutting pieces for the new cradle build this weekend. I doubt I will reuse any of the old one. By the time I cut any usable pieces off and get them cleaned up I can have a new piece made... Not worth the effort to save anything.
Thanks for looking.
Mark

sha_ba_do_bang
04-20-2006, 06:52 PM
so did you scrap all the old cradle suspension? If you did why? If not, i guess i'm mistaken

astroracer
04-21-2006, 04:18 AM
Hey Brendan,
The cradle I "built" last summer is junk. Most of the welding was done with bad sheilding gas and I wouldn't trust ANY of the welds at this point. An old tank of Argon/CO2 mix was the culprit (this wasn't figured out until I put a new tank on) but I was stupid and very frustrated and continued on hoping the problem would fix itself.:lol: Well, needless to say it didn't, so now I have a pile of junk sitting on the jig table. It will get cut up and used for practice welding with the new Tig machine I just bought so it will serve a purpose, although a costly one.:cry:
Mark

sha_ba_do_bang
04-21-2006, 07:15 AM
Thats ashame that the whole cradle is junk, it looked really good tacked together.

I am very consious about me weld appearance and never seem to be happy with them, and also the weld integrity is the most important factor.

You'll prolly be happier building it a second time and get much better results even tho the first time it looked great. And you might like the TIG welding for appearance and integrity also.

Are you making any changes to the chassis or just recreating the first one?

astroracer
04-21-2006, 07:50 AM
Yes, it did look good tacked together, thank you. I wish I would have solved the welding problem before I got most of it "welded" together. Classic "bubblegum" junk welds and a loss of patience on my part... Not a good combo for a highly stressed suspension component.
I will be recreating the current design with a couple of minor changes. The 1st design (as I call it) was built with 2" o.d. x 1/8th wall tubing for the lower rails. I have downsized the wall thickness to .095 for this structure. The upper rails will have a couple of differences for suspension clearance and body mount access but will be essentially the same.
I hope to get proficient enough with the Tig to be able to PROUDLY leave all of my welds unground and naked...:grin: That is the goal for the moment... I need to get some more practice in!
Mark

Peter Miles
04-21-2006, 03:26 PM
An old tank of Argon/CO2 mix was the culprit

I haven't heard of a tank of gas going bad before. How does that happen and what would the effects be?

Is there any way of detecting such a situation?

Peter

astroracer
04-22-2006, 04:47 PM
Hi Peter,
I hear you, I didn't think it would be a problem either but believe me that's what it was. The welds (I use that term VERY loosely) with the old mix were very porous.. They looked and acted just like I was welding with no gas. I put on new wire thinking I had gotten a bad roll when I put a new one on last spring. No difference. I put on a new tank of mix and everything was fine... Of course I had really screwed up all of the settings on the machine trying to compensate for the bad gas so it took a while to get it back to square one. Once I did though it welds right fine... One to chaulk up to experience I guess...
Mark

billblack
04-23-2006, 06:44 AM
Just an educated guess, but the bottle was most likely filled with the wrong mix when you bought it. The only other possibility I can think of would be a contaminated bottle that, when filled, contaminated the gas. I worked for a welding gas company years ago and while they do a good job of avoiding mistakes, no one has 100% quality control.
****ed shame to waste all that time, effort and money. Did you discuss the situation with your gas supplier? At the very least they should replace the shielding gas bottle at no charge.
Good luck on the rebuild!

norm47
04-23-2006, 07:49 AM
I had a similar problem when I started building my english wheel. I had everything layed out on a table in position ready for tacking. Started welding, and pure crap came out of the gun. Since I've been using MIG for about 15 years, I figure it can't be me , must be something else wrong. Start checking stuff and I decided that I was almost out of gas. I checked for the argo n/co2 smell at the nozzle and it was barely there, so I figured that low gas was the problem. Got a new cyl. ,got it all hooked upand tried again. Still garbage. Tried a couple test pieces and everything was okay. Went back to the english wheel and just junk was happening. Very porous welds, splatter all over. Try a test piece again and all is okay. At this point I'm thinking that the steel I bought for the wheel frame is no good. I tried a couple scrap pieces of it and all is fine and dandy. What the heck is going on. To make a long story a lot shorter the problem appears to be a faulty hose and gun assembly. I guess over the years of use , something must be happening to the area where the gun head attaches to the hose . If I hold the gun in such a way as to have a real steep angle between the hose and gun, the gas flow seems to be crimped off. Flatten out the angle and gas flows fine. The wire travel does not seem to be affected. So, with the welder on the floor, the steel on a high table laying flat, the hose pulled kind of tight, the angle from hose to gun cutting offf gas supply, I guess I kind of got the kind of weld I was asking for. Pure crap. Needless to say, I made some adjustments, and everything came out okay. Don't forget to clean out the gas ports in the head every so often also. Crud builds up there. Hope this helps someone, because it drove me nuts for awhile.

astroracer
04-24-2006, 03:56 AM
Just an educated guess, but the bottle was most likely filled with the wrong mix when you bought it. The only other possibility I can think of would be a contaminated bottle that, when filled, contaminated the gas. I worked for a welding gas company years ago and while they do a good job of avoiding mistakes, no one has 100% quality control.
****ed shame to waste all that time, effort and money. Did you discuss the situation with your gas supplier? At the very least they should replace the shielding gas bottle at no charge.
Good luck on the rebuild!

That would have been my first guess also but this bottle of gas came with the welder when I bought it in..... 1987...... I had NO problems with it until last spring. The welder came with a 33lb spool of wire and I ran that whole spool out with that one bottle. I put on a new spool (44lb) and that is when my problems started. The bottle still showed over 800psi so I didn't think there should be a problem... There was. The new bottle solved the problems and the welder runs great now.
Mark