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Bkennedy's SAS and Rebuild Thread

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

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. sirhk100

    sirhk100 Well-Known Member

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    In trucks I've done that still had the factory belts in them, I never tied into the cage. I left them basically stock. The harnesses that we used offroad then were all secured off the cage. Seats off the cage as well. These trucks didn't see much street use though so it was just a matter of convenience mostly having the stock belts still in there.

    Looks like you used DOM on the tubing instead of mild? If so, good choice! Massive increase in strength... I've done mild steel cages but now after doing a few DOM, I don't think I'd ever use mild again, the difference is night and day. Then again so is the cost but I think it's worth it.

    Don't take this as me leading into a debate or anything cause I don't really see anything wrong with it and you probably already mention it somewhere back further in the thread but... Curious, why are you not going to the frame rails and only to the body from what I'm reading? I don't think it's needed cause I don't picture the speeds you're going to be running justifying it but curious what your reasoning was? Or was that simply it?
     
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  3. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I was hoping you would post an opinion as you have a lot of experience in race trucks.
    I was thinking of tying the cage into the frame, but could only do it at the A pillars so it didn't seem like it was worth the trouble. It was in my thoughts mainly to reduce body flex, as you are correct that the cage is more for a slow speed rollover. When Tom Rios rolled his, it was a hard roll and the cage was not tied into the frame. The cage did not push through the floor.
    B pillar tubes are welded to plates and the floor directly above the frame. If the cage pushed through the floor there, it would drop less than 2" before contacting the top of the frame and there is no room to tie them in.
    C pillar tubes are welded to plates and the floor on top of the rear fender wells, so no way to tie them in either.
    The down tubes that support the C pillar could be tied to the frame, but if they pushed through the floor, I would probably already be in a world of hurt.
    I always thought if you couldn't tie the cage to the frame in at least half the floor plates, or at least the A and B pillars, its not worth it.
     
  4. sirhk100

    sirhk100 Well-Known Member

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    I would bet most "racers" will say you're stupid and give you all sorts of crap cause it's their way or no way... You know how the internet is these days... Personally it sounds to me though like you've nailed it spot on. Plates welded to the floor to spread the load out on the sheet metal and then tubes to those plates, 100% IMO the way to go in a rig like yours.

    I'm imagining likely scenarios in my head and I would bet the most aggressive/hard impact you'd likely ever get into would be a endo on a departure or going over backwards on some crazy steep climb. Beyond that, I picture the occasional flop or even if it's a full barrel roll, it's not like you're going 80mph when it happens. I guess other worst case would be something like rolling down something like Hells Revenge in Moab where it would be multiple. Don't do that though! LOL, that's my advice!

    Either way, in all of those scenarios I personally think what you have is going to be absolutely enough to save the occupants and do it's job quite well. All the bracing you have looks to be in the important areas to keep the roof structure from collapsing or folding over. It's not going to punch thru the floor.

    If you tie into the chassis it's awesome and honestly I think it actually does help the performance of the vehicle but you instantly are going to get to start chasing cracks around your cab unless you get really serious with tieing the cab into the cage, IMO, too hardcore for what I picture you needing and not worth the headaches that would follow. Not to mention, once those cracks start, the creeks and noises that will come with them just driving around town will likely send you to the loony bin! LOL

    Speaking of headaches, DO NOT SKIMP on roll bar padding!!!! You're not going to be wearing helmets like we do in our trucks. The cage may save your life but if you're a vegetable after the fact because you banged your head off a steel tube, did you really gain anything by having your rig caged? Doesn't matter if you have 10" of head space between your head and the tube and wear race harnesses, still pad it!!!! Trust me, things move, things stretch, stuff you will NEVER expect to happen can when it gets ugly and some padding will pay for itself if the worst ever happens! And don't use that pipe insulation from home depot, it sucks and hurts the wallet but buy some real race car roll bar padding material. Don't do all this work and stop short by a hundred bucks cause you cheaped out on a quality padding, especially since you won't have helmets. That's one of my biggest gripes!!! Mostly cause I know someone that ended up in a coma from a simple hit to the head on his roll bar tube, he didn't even actually wreck, just took an unexpected hard hit and bounced into it. Hasn't been the same since... BTW, you're caging it expecting a slow roll, if it happens on the street cause some idiot does something stupid, you don't want your head hitting that tubing when you're only wearing your factory seatbelt! Plan for the worst and honestly, that's probably it...



    BTW, quick side story... Back in High school I caged our old CJ7. Kept the factory rollbar but ran 4 streamers forward to the top of the windshield and then a simple a-pillar type hoop. It was attached to about a 4" square plate welded to the floor. I went away to college, my pops flopped it over completely backwards on "El Hill" out in Coyote Canyon if I remember correctly. Of course the jeep was freshly painted, lol... But point being, from what people said it was a pretty solid impact straight onto the top of the cage after standing it up on the rear spare tire and going over backwards. Those plates to the floor didn't even bend the floor boards. Granted, lighter platform but still, it worked and did it's job just as expected. You still have the factory roof structure too to help out with. Although, if it's anythign like my '80's F150 cab I cut the roof off, I wouldn't rely on it much, especially compared to how insane the pillar support was on the '04 Tacoma we race when I cut the roof off it!



    Oh, one more thing, and it's probably too late, those plates, if they're square, try to radius the corners so that there's no sharp piercing points to punch thru the sheet metal. If it's too late, I wouldn't stress at all but if not, it's a little extra touch I would do.

    And lastly, if you ever wanted to tie into the chassis, you could probably slide a tube into the bottom side with a bottom plate and go to the chassis from it. You want that bottom plate to be a different size and shape then the top one though so that that two plates don't literally just act as scissors cutting thru your sheet metal. Point being, you can probably tie it in later down the road if you ever had reason to... I bet you never do though...
     
  5. sirhk100

    sirhk100 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I also agree, I probably wouldn't tie into the pillars or any body structure other then down at the floor or spots lower on the cab. Make sure you have enough room so it doesn't rub on cab stuff and make noises to drive you crazy and go with it. That's all just more pointless overkill and probably will lead to other issues with it not being tied to the chassis. I don't have any front cab mounts at all on our race truck so ours is tied in a bunch but that's why, you don't have that scenario, I'd just hit your floor points and be happy with it...
     
  6. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks.
    The cage has been in for several years, I was just making it better and got a bunch of ideas in my head. It was made at our cage party so there are a few like it out there. It was made with compromises to keep as much passenger space as possible. For example; B and C pillars are 1-3/4" .120 wall, everything else is all 1-1/2" .120 wall, and it has bends in tubing that most racer guys don't like. It is very sturdy and should function well if the need arises, but if I was racing it, it would have to be a complete do over. I think the worst case scenario for me is getting hit hard on the highway and it overturning at freeway speeds (55-60). I think it will keep the roof off my head.
    The floor plates are rectangular with rounded corners, 4x6" or 8" 3/16" plate if I remember correctly.
    I have it padded with roll bar foam, and am adding more where I added tube. I regularly bounce my head off the tube above the driver's door so having padding is a must.

    Edit: Little cold today for the paint to stick, so its not my best work, but I am going to cover most of it up with padding.

    Called for glass install. All of the chain glass places wanted over $200 and it did not matter to them that the old windshield was already removed. First independent glass guy I called (I replace the glass every five years or so anyway) had the best price. New glass, rubber seal, installed for $140 total, with a two year warranty. Should be all back together tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: December 14, 2015
  7. mounty71

    mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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    Sounds like you've made up your mind, but I'd really reconsider connecting the cage to the frame. In a multiple rollover situation down a hill I can see your cage ripping the floor of your truck apart. Just because rock crawlers drive slowly doesn't mean it will always be a gentle tip-over. My friend and I designed his crawler's cage to sandwich the floor, and it's bushing mounted at the frame as well to hopefully minimize fatiguing the floor over time.

    The white is the pillars of the cage, the black pieces go below the floor and bushings connect to tabs off the frame.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. FR-425

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

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    X2 on the padding, so your passengers can't use the cage as a grab bar only to loose their hand!
     
  9. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    It was padded before, and its real padded now. That tan thingie on the back seat used to go between the center console and the back seat. If the back seat had two passengers and our dog in the middle, she had a place to stretch out and she could rest her chin on the console. There is no way to get that in there anymore. Have to pull the back seat out again and see if I can get it in there then put the seat back.


    ForumRunner_20151215_172238.jpg

    And there is an unobstructed view out the hole where the windshield should be in about an hour.


    ForumRunner_20151215_172257.jpg
     
    Last edited: December 15, 2015
  10. FR-425

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

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    Forward bar looks much better. nice job!

    Hey by the way I may have stumbled upon the "silent" trailer hitch you've been dreaming of for the motorhome to yank the Ex in peace.

    http://www.barzindustrial.com/Products.aspx scroll to the bottom of the page. He also makes class "A" machinist squares and tooling.
     
  11. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Yeah, but my way cost me $10 and he wants $650.

    Got the windshield installed.....


    ForumRunner_20151215_185537.png

    The installer pointed out the passenger side A pillar was not exactly true. I replied I was not surprised as the Explorer was sitting on it at one time.

    Edit; just sitting here looking at a picture of my new windshield on the computer monitor makes me nervous. I don't have good luck with windshields.
     
    Last edited: December 15, 2015
  12. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Nice to know info:
    If you remove the front bolts of the back seat, the seat folds up flat against the seat back leaving the entire floor exposed. Did not know that.
     
  13. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Finally got the Stinger bumps yesterday. Did a little work with them but am trying to figure out how far to mount them off the strike plate. My issue is there is no information on the actual shaft compression. Fully extended, the shaft measures 2.75". The way they are set up is with the bump body empty, the shaft will fully compress, but takes up all the space inside the body. With two foam inserts, there is actually a little pre-load on the shaft and a wrench is required to seat the threaded end cap. There is no way the inserts would compress completely flat. But the question is, where do they stop? I sent an email to Daystar, but it took a week for them to get back to my vendor when he asked when I should expect them, so I am not holding my breath.


    ForumRunner_20151217_161725.jpg



    ForumRunner_20151217_161808.jpg




    Another issue is the short version I got due to shaft length are real short. You can see in the picture below I made up spacers to go above the bumps so the upper pinch bolts won't deform the cans. The longer tubing is to be used in place of the actual bumps while welding.



    ForumRunner_20151217_161953.jpg

    I was thinking I might remove the snap ring that is used as a stop for the bump bodies and push them into the cans another 3/4" so they are mounted nearly flush with the bottom of the can. Then, both pinch bolts will engage the bump body. I can cut a split in the spacers, then tack weld them to the top of the cans to do double duty as spacers and stops. I can get a tack weld in a location that will be easy to cut off if I ever want to change out the Stingers for gas bumps. The only issue I can see is I won't be able to remove the bumps from the top of the cans, but would have jack up the suspension until I could pull them out from the bottom.

    Edit: the only reference to shaft length I could find after an hour of searching was a review on Amazon. Said the overall length compressed with one firm and one medium insert was 6.5", which would mean there was one full inch of shaft showing at full compression.
     
    Last edited: December 17, 2015
  14. FR-425

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

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    It's elementary my dear Watson..

    The spongy bits have three raised edges and two valleys.

    Under compression inside a tube the valleys will expand until they reach the tube. That is the point of full compression (without destruction)

    So you can math it out.

    The two valleys are 1/3 of the total length of the pad. So measure the two pads and subtract 1/3 of the total relaxed length and you have your total travel.

    If each pad is 1" for a total of 2" the full compression would be .66" or 2/3"

    If 3" then 1" travel.

    Plus some "squeeze" factor beyond that. Depending on the density of the rubber.
     
  15. FR-425

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

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    Jeez, based on those numbers they are not bang bang bumps for sure. Just about as effective as stock.
     
  16. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Well, I put one of the bumps in a vice and compressed the shaft about half way with not too much pressure. Tomorrow, I plan on using a floor jack and seeing how much they compress under load.
     
  17. Stic-o

    Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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    I was going to tell you this.... but now you know..
     

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  18. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Modified the dog platform so its snug, but the only way to remove it now is unbolting the seat.
     
  19. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Got the driver side bump can in today. It was going to be the hardest to place because the rear coil over shock tube is 1-1/2" further back on the frame. I added a strike plate on top of the already beefy radius arms upon the advice of a racer guy who bends tubing for me. He says the pads on the race trucks get dented over time unless they are at least 3/8" plate. 1/4" X 2 should be fine.

    Pre cleaned up with the bump in place.


    ForumRunner_20151223_170928.jpg

    Cleaned up and painted.


    ForumRunner_20151223_171041.jpg



    ForumRunner_20151223_171100.jpg

    I was going to weld a small gusset into the space between the coil over shock tube and the can above the gussets already in place. Then decided the difficulty in welding in such a small piece was unnecessary and even too much overkill for me. The can is welded to the coil over shock gusset and where it meets the frame on the rear side, then I welded the gussets over that, so I think its good.

    When I get to the passenger side, I should be able to gusset it completely down both sides as it will not be so close to the coil over shock tube.
     
    Last edited: December 23, 2015
  20. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Got most of the passenger side done today before the wife came home. Need to cut out the gussets, weld, clean it up and paint. Also am welding a plate over those three holes in the frame towards the firewall I never liked. Something about their triangle shape says failure point. Don't remember what they were used for, except the lower hole. It was for the stock radius arm.



    ForumRunner_20151224_161837.jpg

    Pic of the driver side with bump mounted.


    ForumRunner_20151224_161923.jpg



    ForumRunner_20151224_161937.jpg
     
  21. RockRanger

    RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    Looks good. looking forward to a long term report on the Daystar bump stops.
     

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