This weather is stupid. The other day it was 72. Today? Snowing.
I finished welding the passenger side slider, got it in primer, and its now in the process of being painted:
Its too wet to really work outside, so i made some changes to the engine tune. Adjusted the VE table slightly, and turned up the priming pulse, which should help with the long crank to start. Im going to have to take it for another test drive once the sliders are done so i can see if it helped any.
I also removed the vacuum modulator:
That little setscrew in the top adjusts when the shifts occur, and at what rpm. Screw it in, and it will shift harder and later. The black stripe modulator is supposed to be the firmest, and its also supposed to be what came in the trucks altho with the condition mine is in, who knows! Could very well be original from '89. So i got a new one and slapped it in today:
Fair warming; i didnt know ATF would come pouring out of the hole! Probably should have seen that coming, but i never said i was all that smart!
Im not sure if mine was bad or just old & out of adjustment (i have never replaced it, and that trans went in back in 2012 i think), but the shifts are pretty mushy. With the new converter from Broader Performance, and the shiftkit from TransGo i installed during the engine rebuild so youd think it would shift firm but it doesnt at all, so hopefully this will help some.
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.
So the flares interfere with the rubber arches for the running boards. I dont want to hack them up (id rather keep them unmolested), so that means i need to build something else to replace them.
This is a set of steps i built for a buddy years ago, for his quad cab. He no longer has a use for them, so i got them back. They wont work for a short bronco, but the material is salvageable.
Cutting them up:
Ok, now the correct length, and notches cut/boxed to clear the front fender bolt:
The rough idea, same as what everyone else does. You can see i was working on these while fixing the fender
The difference is im going to add a step on the side, to make it easier to get the little guy in/out of his car seat.
Mock-up with some scrap to get ideas:
capped the ends
Fleshing out the step:
Building the steps
Mocking up the step:
Drilling holes. The steps will be removable, "just in case" it ends up at Rausch Creek
Sleeving the holes with tube, so i dont have to worry about getting water inside the rail
All done and ground flush
Steps done! Using carriage bolts, so it only takes one wrench to install/remove.
Ok, next project. Started this one before my trip, didn't get to finish till this week. Damn rain & humidity delayed me as well, but theyre done.
So I bought a piece of 2*3, .250 wall, 16' long, at the scrap steel yard for $50. So I decided to make some steps for the diesel.
Looking at fitment
Deciding where to cut them off at
Has to fit around the bolt for the fender:
Both cut, notches to clear fender bolt closed in
Mocking up legs:
...and all welded up
...and bolted to frame
Next up, steps:
...and for the finishing touch, 2" grip tape.
I know its not ideal for a rock crawler to have that step hanging down, but this thing only gets wheeled if we need a trailer offroad, so it shouldnt be an issue, and they definitely make it easier for my vertically-challenged wife to get in & out, so im calling it a win!