<whew> Got my internet back, FINALLY. It's been down for 2 days. What a pita.
Well, as everyone knows by now, this was pretty much the hottest weekend on record for the Temecula Valley (and everywhere else in Southern California, for that matter). What do you do on a hot weekend? Whip out the welder and grinders, of course.
On Friday we worked pretty hard and got the radius arm brackets mounted on the frame, and then got the arms bolted up to the axle. The axle is now physically attached to the Jeep. That was a momentous event.
That's about all we got done on Friday, but by Saturday morning we were right back at it. This was figure out the track bar day, and boy did we have a good time. Yes, it was stupid hot, but that didn't matter.
A couple weeks ago, Scotty turned me on to a company called Ballistic Fabrication
. They make all kinds of things, including a ridiculously wide array of all kinds of brackets, all at exceptionally reasonable prices. I decided to try out their 6" riser axle track bar mount. It worked AWESOME.
Then we focused on the frame bracket. This one we fabbed up ourselves, and it still needs some attention. The basic concept is ok, but it needs WAY more strength. We'll be working on that this week. In this view it is only tacked into place, but we have since fully welded it on the frame.
After we got the track bar mounts figured out, we then focused on making a track bar. I had some old Super Duty take-offs left over from back when I used to have my shop, but we wanted to have an adjustable track bar so we could really dial in the axle. So, we looked around and found the old RE track bar that Chris folded in half on Jack about a year ago. Why he kept it around, I don't know, but it came in handy.
So, we cut the end off the RE trackbar with the threaded insert and heim and welded it to the end of the Super Duty track bar. It worked way better than we had any right to expect. It helps that the Super Duty takes a ginormous bolt. The end result is that we have a nice home-built adjustable track bar.[8D]
Once we had the track bar mostly figured out, we took a look at the axle and realized that we had cheated it forward about 3 inches (with a corresponding increase in wheelbase...woohoo!). Unfortunately, my nice home-built super heavy duty driveshaft was suddenly too short. Luckily, Chris still had some of the .288 DOM tube left over from the last driveshaft build. It turned out to be exactly enough. So we cut off the old tube and welded in the new one. It should easily be just as strong.
And that's about all we did over the weekend. On Sunday I ordered the new brakes and got some odds and ends, but we decided to take a break from the heat and went to see Monster House instead (fun flick...not great like Shrek or The Incredibles, but still lots of fun). We'll be back at it next weekend, and it should be drivable by Sunday, hopefully. We'll see...