Still messing with the tuning on the '88. The rear dshaft starting making that magical sound they make when the double cardan is about to explode But, its been probably 10 years since i changed a ujoint in it, so i dropped it off to have it fully rebuilt and balanced. So while thats out, im building a set of rock sliders.
Ive built them before, and followed the typical design that basically everyone does.
10 years ago now i built a set for the diesel with a low hanging tube step for my vertically challenged wife:
Then a couple years ago i built a set for my '96 bronco with a shallower step thats removable, just in case i get stupid and decide to take it wheelin:
But when i mocked up something similar on the 88 it looked super dumb:
So, i came up with another idea. I dont think ive ever seen anyone build a set like this before. Maybe because its more time consuming, or maybe because its just a bad idea!
3x3 box tubing fits up into the channel in the rocker, and hangs down about an inch:
i bent a piece of 1/4" in the press to fit here:
and then the rear quarter guard:
the rear has a bracket that goes behind to sandwich the fender so it doesnt just bend backwards the first time its hit:
...and from there im connecting the dots with a piece of 2" flat bar:
So yesterday i got it all welded up
...and today its back on the bronco.
In case you cant tell, its pretty crummy outside, which isnt helping my ancient phone get good pics!
So, the flares were installed with rivnuts and machine screws so i could install & remove them whenever. So now im going thru the process of trimming them to fit over the guards:
with those back on im now mocking up a tube rail to keep the rocks at bay:
So that's where im at. Tomorrow im going to make some kind of brace behind the rail so it cant bend in (probably 2 short tubes), and then tack it all in place so i can yank it off and start all the finish welding and grinding. And then i get to do it over on the other side!
Im toying with the idea of tieing into the frame. The back end is pretty much in line with the rear's front leaf spring hangar, so it wouldnt be too hard to build a short brace that would bolt between the two. Im just not yet sure if its a good idea tieing the body in like that, knowing the truck isnt caged. For now the plan is to just get these things built, and then il figure that part out.
Still doing some tuning on the '88. The rear driveshaft is making noise so its out to be rebuilt, so while i wait on that, i decided to put this together!
One Swag Offroad Heavy Duty Finger Brake kit! I picked this up during their Black Friday sale, and its been sitting in the garage since then, since my priority was getting the '88 up and running again. So lets bust this thing open!
Tons of pieces:
...and a good set of instructions
I thought i had more progress pics, but apparently not. So this is the base all done and welded, with the upper jaw behind it, also assembled and welded:
...and the finished product!
Ive got an idea for a set of rock sliders for the '88, so if all goes well we'll be putting this to use this week!
Ok, so referencing this pic i took a couple weeks ago:
I decided to just go for it, and notch it. Here's hoping i made it the right shape!
Frame all cleaned up:
Not real easy to see, but ive drawn several different lines on the frame, to try to figure out how i want to do this
The point of no return!
Here's the piece i removed for reference:
The rough mockup in cardboard:
And here's what i ended up with, original shape was pretty close:
...and the end result!
There is a ton of room. This has got to be good enough, altho im not gonna lie, im a bit nervous about this one. Mainly because i wont be able to verify its good until the motor goes in. Here's hoping!
Bumpers getting painted:
Rear all done:
the front is done, its on a cart in the garage. I need to roll it outside tomorrow, so ill snap a good pic then.
I yanked the front clip off and primed all the wheel well pieces; tomorrow (weather permitting) theyll get some chassis black on them too.
I hung and aligned the red doors to the cab; they need a little love with the hammer, but i dont think they need any rust repair at all
Theres a couple small dents in the hood, but i dont think that needs any rust repair either.
my biggest problem now is, im not a body guy so while i want it perfect, im not sure i have the skill to do it. Also, its gonna end up getting pinstriped in the woods anyway, so it really doesnt need to be perfect. So basically, its a battle against my OCD.
I wish i had some super awesome update but i dont.
I came up with a solution that works, but im not super thrilled with. There is a lot less space than the pics show. Also, the clutch lever is tilted back towards the motor, and the gearbox can only be clocked every other position, so theres really no 'perfect' position; each one has its own issues to deal with so i stayed with this one.
I straightened the clutch lever...
...and then made a removable extension for it:
It might look like theres a ton of room in this pic, but there totally isnt. I actually had to notch the bumper, valance & grill to get this to fit.
This is the 'lock' position. The handle swings forward into the grill, and over towards the passenger tire when in freespool. It works just fine with one hand, but its not much to look at. The problem is, it will become a very tight space, once the radiator/condenser, and trans/p.steering coolers go back in. Because of this, im stopping right here. This will work, but im afraid if i try to design something more elaborate, itll be in the way later down the road. So im going to keep this for now, and once i get closer to the truck being complete, ill revisit it and see if i cant come up with a more elegant design, that doesnt interfere with anything else (i already designed, mostly built, & then rejected a 'better' design because it took up too much space).
So i went over to Eastwood today, bought some epoxy primer, and their extreme chassis black. Supposed to be pretty durable, and its an aerosol so i dont have to worry about trying to brush it on the bumper, and into all the crevices. Hopefully i can start painting them in a week or two, but first i need to deal with this:
I dont want to cut the sheetmetal, so im modifying the clutch lever again. If all goes well, ill have this sorted tomorrow!
In case you were wondering, i weighed it, and the bumper comes in at 130#. The winch weighs in at 72! And thats w/o 90' of 7/16 cable on the drum.
So id call this project complete but if you look closely, youll notice the clutch lever is behind the valance!
Im gonna look into it tomorrow to see if ill be modifying the lever again, or making an extension or something.