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Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread

Discussion in 'Offroad Projects' started by BKennedy, June 4, 2013.

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  1. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Ground off all the galvanized coating around the weld areas. Not much different than prepping plain tube for welding. Only problem welding is I have to move fast even with the welder in the lowest setting or I start burning holes.

    The pain is prepping it for paint. I need to sand the entire rack to etch the coating, otherwise it won't stick.
     
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  3. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    I have been told to drink lots of milk when I am welding galvanized. I think that must be an tale though. I don't see how that would help. I just try to avoid it. Hope you are doing it in a well ventilated area.
     
  4. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Open three car garage with two back doors and a Snap-On fan pointed at the work area.

    Finish welded the rack today. The light bar mount took too much of my time today to finish the project. The curved bar also has curved mount ends. Took me two hours trying to get fancy before I got frustrated and put a bend in some tabs I had lying around. I wanted a stronger mount due to the thin conduit. Ended up welding a small plate tying the light bar mount to the cross bars.
    Nothing more until Saturday when I need to straighten it slightly so the holes line back up, smooth out my crappy welds, and paint.

    Edit for some pictures
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some of the worst welding I have ever done. I normally would stop if I was doing such a poor job, but I don't have time to spare for this. That super thin metal is hard to weld nicely.

    The really great parts about using EMT conduit are the cost, the pre-bent sections, it is very rigid when properly gusseted and the light weight. I estimate the entire rack, without the light bar or Hi-Lift, is about 25 pounds.
     
    Last edited: February 26, 2015
  5. Stic-o

    Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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    Are you bolting the through the drip channel like I did? My cage made it a real PITA to get the bolts.
     
  6. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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    That came out well. It looks sharp:chug:
     
  7. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The cage prevents that. Using well nuts and sealant. The rack is too long for solid mounts into sheet metal. Well nuts are flexible and allow some movement. The only thing I did not like was drilling 16 1/2" holes in the roof. If I did not have the cage, I would have found a alternate mounting solution.

    I think the seam or drip channel is the strongest part of the roof. Most if what I drilled through was 1/4" sheet metal with thick sealer on top.
     
  8. Maniak

    Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Any pictures of how that works? (well nuts). It looks like the shoulder on them is pretty small so it would be able to pull through.

    Also, what did you do with the old holes.. I didn't see if you welded them up or ???

    I need to do something with my roof rack as the front right hole is cracked.. I shoved some dynaflex 230 in there a few years ago and so far, no leaks

    I need to do something to get rid of the coleman roof basket. I already made my own cross bars that use the factory rails. I either need to repair the holes or get rid of the factory rails and put a different rack.
     
  9. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Mark, I did not take any pictures of the well nuts. You can't see how they work with pictures anyway, as you would be looking at the top of the mount. Drilling holes exactly the size recommend by the manufacture is critical in the process. These 1/4x20 nuts called for a 1/2" hole. Whatever you are mounting to the sheet metal holds the well nut down until the threaded brass nut inside pulls up and expands the rubber part of the nut, locking the well nut in place. Sometimes you need to put a little downward pressure on the mount to get the well nuts to start the threads. Makes a tight seal. They make all types of well nuts. Some have a thicker shoulder on them. I chose a thinner shoulder due to space limitations in the seam channel.

    There is a bunch here at this hardware store near my house. They stock a bunch of stuff not usually at stores. I purchased all of the hardware for the SAS there;
    http://www.marshallshardware.com/products/productList.aspx?uid=2-411-203-232

    All I have done with the old holes for now is seal them up with silicone sealant. It works for the RV, why not the Explorer? If that doesn't work, I will get some 3/8" automotive plugs and seal them into the holes. I am not going to weld up the holes because then I would have to repaint the roof.

    I was looking over the rack and found this one un-welded spot. Break out the welder one more time....:(
    [​IMG]
     
  10. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Got it all painted, despite the rain. Its just setting on the roof right now. Need to screw it down, and mount and wire the light bar. I pulled it out of the garage to wash it while the paint was drying and I almost like it better with a slick top.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Improvised paint booth
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. ZWilson07

    ZWilson07 Elite Cowboy

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    Looks awesomes man. Can't wait to see more pics of it on there.

    Im like you, I actually tend to like it without anything on but its so useful its hard to have it on there.
     
  12. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Okay, now I like it again. I am pleased with how it came out. I would have liked to have made the front bars at less of an angle so they better matched the windshield slope, but then the light bar and rack would have had to be about 10" farther back, which did not look right overall. I picked an angle in between the windshield slope and the rack, which I think looks pretty good. The well nuts should work out well, its solidly mounted to the roof. Instead of drilling a new hole in the roof for the light bar wiring, I used the farthest most forward hole from the old rack rail. It would have looked cleaner with the wiring being hidden behind a rack mount, but I did not want any more holes in the roof.

    Few garage pics. I will take some more out at Truckhaven in its natural environment.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The rack sits as low as possible on the roof and still be straight. The roof is at its highest point about a foot forward of the back hatch mounts, and is dome shaped. The rack is about 1/2" above the roof at that point.
     
  13. sirhk100

    sirhk100 Well-Known Member

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    Looks awesome!!!! You mentioned the welding and using electrical conduit? In a couple pictures it almost looks galvanized. Was it? If so that could've been what kicked your butt on the welding.

    Also funny missing the one weld, it's amazing how easy that is to do. I bet the race truck still to this day has a weld that I missed and just haven't found! LOL

    Wanna build another rack??? LOL
     
  14. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Don't want to build anything for a while. It was galvanized, but I removed it around all the weld areas. After I cleaned it up a little and painted it, the welds didn't look so bad.

    That missed weld! I turned that rack every which way to make sure and I still missed one in a obvious place. When I did the SAS, I marked the places that weren't finish welded with arrows with a thick red Sharpe.

    Had to replace two of the well nuts in each side with longer ones because the sheet metal was too thick to engage the nuts. Right above the front doors.
     
  15. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    FYI:

    For welding coated and galvanized sheet steels, E71T-14 is the wire of choice. The self-shielded E71T-14 wire has core materials which explode in the arc, volatizing the steel coating, minimizing cracking and porosity. The result is higher quality welds and fast welding speeds. E71T-14 wires are widely used in the automotive industry for fabricating galvanized steels.

    Quote from Lincoln Electric web site:

    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-u...o/Pages/flux-cored-wire-selection-detail.aspx

    A little late on the draw as you will probably never weld galvy again. :(
     
  16. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for the info.

    I am learning as I go about well nuts. Had one set on the left rear mount pull out of the sheet metal while I was tightening the others. Turns out screws 1/4" longer than the nut are not long enough. I used 1-1/4" screws and it stayed secured. I guess the shorter screws don't give it enough room to widen out behind the sheet metal.

    Took this pic while I was messing around in the garage.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. johnny499

    johnny499 Elite Explorer

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    That came out really nice. I like the sloped tubes to ramp brush and such up and over the bar and rack. I contact a lot of tree branches wheeling in this area. Now i have another project for mine someday.
     
  18. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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  19. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Finally got time to take it out for a drive today. No creaks, no squeaks, no noise from the rack. Parking lot of my favorite hardware store:

    [​IMG]
    I ended up replacing most of the 1/2" well nuts with longer nuts. Most are 1" with 1-1/4" screws. More rubber under the sheet metal makes a stronger bond and a tighter seal.
     
  20. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks. I wanted to protect the light bar. I don't know if a rack this long would work without a internal cage to keep the roof from flexing and pulling out the mount. These roofs flex a lot. Before the cage and the SAS, it used to creak, groan and complain like an old woman.
     
  21. 5spdman

    5spdman Elite Explorer

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    Wish I had seen this before I started building my rack. Might have skipped over it but what size EMT did you use? Used 3/4" and 1/2" tubing for mine, which is still in it's build process...looks great!
     

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