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Completed Project New Navajo Truggy build

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
I have truly never seen so many custom parts made - may I ask what you do for a living and how many years you have been welding?? Frame and suspension is a work of art.
 



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I have truly never seen so many custom parts made - may I ask what you do for a living and how many years you have been welding?? Frame and suspension is a work of art.


I started out as a machinery tech and diesel mechanic in the Coast Guard. Did my 4 years and joined Local 250 as a Pipe Fitter. Did a few years as a stick welder and ran work as a foreman. I got a chance to buy into my company and now I push a pencil. I have always been very interested in off-road. My first truck was a 1970 Bronco that I heavily modified. It got to where I was afraid of the thing getting ripped off so I sold it and bought a 1990 Ranger 4x4 that pulled approximately 15" of wheel travel. It was mostly set up for pre running. This is the first truck that I have made the parts myself. I did play around with the tubing bender when my brother and I built a dune buggy. I keep seeing beautiful rigs and fab work at events like King of the Hammers and it made me want to build one of my own. Being a stick welder at heart the I had to teach myself to MIG. I just set up a TIG table at my shop and will try my hand at that. Here a few pics of past projects and stuff

My Bronco in Hawaii. I actually turned it into a 1/2 cab with 35's, lockers, long travel. Sold it 8 years ago for 13K
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I made a charriot out of a old bicycle that my dog pulled my son around in.

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One of the first experiences with my bender and notcher. Miller wanted a **** load of money for this. I built it myself instead
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Made a welder rig trailer. Encapsulated the machine so it would be harder to rip off. Skid can be forked off and set on the job site. Can also jack the tires off the ground and remove them as a theft deterrent.

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Got tired of pulling a trailer to the desert so made a bike hauler. Its actually for sale since I sold the bikes.
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1/8 scale rock crawler made out of automotive brake tubing.
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10/4 you have some serious skills. Love the "bike chariot"! Looks like you take pride in your work and enjoy it too! Not everyone can say that.
 






High steer knuckle fix

I underestimated how much this thing will flex when I fabricated the knuckles. Originally I bought heims with misalignments built in. These were what the high steer knuckles were fabricated around. They are only good for about 30 deg of angle. I tried to make them work by bending the tie rod but it wasn't right.
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Cut out top sheer because the new heims with separate misalignment spacers were considerably taller. The bottom heim shown here is the same heim I tried to use on the top position. Not good for a long travel rig.
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I had to buy new heims with misalignment spacers. these things flex like you wouldn't believe. Unfortunately I had to cut and modify my knuckles. Here are the steps I took to do this
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Cardboard templates and a lot of time on the belt sander. Most of these cuts were done with a porta band saw.
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Haven't welded them out yet. Here is a good angle on the new heims with spacers. With suspension fully drooped I still have a few degrees of heim angle left. Once they are fully welded out I will probable plate them for a more finished look
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Sam agrees it will work
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Finishing touches on Trac Bar

In order to use this Johnny Joint on the upper track bar attachment I had to tap the 1 1/2 .188 wall tubing. The problem with this is it creates fishers from the threads and is prone to breaking. I made a reinforcement area out of 1 3/4 .120 wall. Fish mouthed and rosettes should make it strong enough
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Prior to welding
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Drove it home yesterday

Sorry for the picture quality. Very bright outside today.

I drove the Navajo home yesterday. No real problems. The front suspension is very plush where the rear is very firm. Eventually I need to upgrade to some Deaver springs or go link.

The tranny actually shifted. I relocated the VSS to the driveshaft. It actually worked.

It needs gears in a bad way. Its like starting out in second gear.

Starting on the cage in a few weeks. I need a break.

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Trick gas tank mount fabrication
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looking good, have you decided on what your going to do to the rear?
 






looking good, have you decided on what your going to do to the rear?


Not exactly. I'll probably print out some photos and start designing with a sharpie. Would really like to have a spare tire, good departure angle, ice chest and tool box. I think if I could get all those it would be a miracle. Real-estate is in short supply in the rear.
 






is that the final tank position?

some tube with some plate back there and maybe a swing open tube gate with a tire mount would look good.

im almost tempted to cut the whole back off mine like you did, because i know im going to beat the crap out of those rear quarters.
 






Wait, you tapped the tubing for the johnny joint, instead of using a weld-in bung??? I don't think that's right.

I've never seen it done that way anyway, but it just seems counterintuitive to me.
 






Wait, you tapped the tubing for the johnny joint, instead of using a weld-in bung??? I don't think that's right.

I've never seen it done that way anyway, but it just seems counterintuitive to me.

Did you see the size of the Johnny Joint? I would have needed to use 2" tubing in order to use a weld in bung.
In hindsight I probably should have got a different size joint. By the time i paid for shipping and restocking fees I just decided to tap the tube. It defiantly won't break.
 






Did you see the size of the Johnny Joint? I would have needed to use 2" tubing in order to use a weld in bung.
In hindsight I probably should have got a different size joint. By the time i paid for shipping and restocking fees I just decided to tap the tube. It defiantly won't break.

I actually did this on my sas steering back in 2003. I'm not proud of my white collar fab skills but I beat that truck and that never failed. I'm probably am lucky to be alive but I used 1" tube with a 3/4 heim and hollowed my .25 wall DOM and tapped it. Lets just say the internet resources are not what they are today :)
 






Rear leaf spring mod

I have superlift leafs on this thing. I think 4 leaf. The rear is pretty harsh. If I wanted to soften by removing a leaf and adding a block to compensate which leaf should I remove? I know it's a little Jerry rigged but I need a temp solution. Any help?
Would thing greatly increase axle wrap?
 






Wait, you tapped the tubing for the johnny joint, instead of using a weld-in bung??? I don't think that's right.

I've never seen it done that way anyway, but it just seems counterintuitive to me.

alot of people tap the tube instead of the weld in bung. with the sleeve, its just as strong.

can you go to a longer shackle and pull a leaf instead of a block?

EDIT: after looking at the pictures, i would defiantly go to a longer shackle. you can make a set in under an hour with some 1/4 inch plate.
 






My biggest worry is about which leaf will do the most drastic effect. I'm thinking smaller the leaf I remove the smaller the softening effect.
Building new shackles is a good idea too. I can make multiple holes for some adjustment too.
 






I used tapped tubing also. it's all .375 wall though.

I am reading this thread for the first time. Geez, that plasma blast back in april was no joke.
 






My biggest worry is about which leaf will do the most drastic effect. I'm thinking smaller the leaf I remove the smaller the softening effect.
Building new shackles is a good idea too. I can make multiple holes for some adjustment too.

id just start with the 3rd leaf down. pull it out and try it, if its too soft or you get wrap replace it and try the next down.

if they are new springs they may just need some good break in time.
 



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Rock Sliders

Started by cutting just under the lip of the door

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What a pain in the ass this was. There is about 3 or 4 different layers of sheet metal through our this area.
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Here they are. 1 3/4" DOM with 4x2x3/16" square tube.
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Mocked into place just to see how they looked. Will weld them to the frame in a few weeks.
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These are not finished. Not sure if i'm gonna fill in this space with pieces of tubing or plate with speed holes. Where these mount to the frame there will be some serious gusseting and reinforcements. A lot of the exo cage will tie into these rock sliders. They will need to be very strong.
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