Installing mini-tubs, DSE Quadra Link, and more – Part 4


We were hoping that this would be the day we welded the new frame in place.  We came close but no cigar.  Should be done tomorrow.

Since it is in the same area where the frame connector goes through the body, Matt decided to cut out the pocket for the four link connection to see how everything was going to fit together.  DSE provides a template which was very accurate.  After making sure it fit correctly, Matt drilled weld holes in the large flat side.  Later I drilled those holes through the floor panel so the hole welds will penetrate the panel.

The next project was making a relief in the frame member for the bolt head for the spring pocket.  This is the bolt that will hold the trailing arm into the pocket.  Out came the plasma cutter yet again.

Matt felt that the four link pocket should have more support so he cut a piece of 2″x2″ steel to weld to the lower frame member.  We then sprayed the all fo the area that would be under the frame with primer.

Now we had all the pieces ready to tack weld the frame, the frame connector and the suport piece together.  We supported the pieces with jacks, Matt tack welded them and then we removed it all as one piece so he could complete the welding all the way around.  After finishing up the welding, we placed the now one piece unit back in the car.  The last thing we did was prepare all the surfaces for welding and prepared the gussets that we will use to weld the frame connector to the front subframe.

Welding, welding, welding.  Matt welded in the left frame, the left frame connector and the pocket for the four link while my wife and I finished up some Christmas shopping.  We also bought him a leather welding coat and heavier welding gloves as his fabric weld jacket was being penetrated by sparks.  Ouch!!  He installed heavy gussets where the frame extender met the front subframe.  We drilled a hole in the bottom gusset for access to the body mount.

Now it was deja vu all over again as we had to do the same thing to the right side.  This new right frame rail was off even more than the left one.  Matt had to make three pie cuts to correct it lengthwise and two additional pie cuts to correct it from side to side.  In the end, he made it fit even better than the left one.

I had the opportunity to make my first plasma cut today.  After removing the right side frame rail, Matt had me cut off the bracket for the emergency brake line.  I practiced on the rest of the piece before making the cut.  Lined up the cutter along the edges of the bracket and off it came.  I then spent some time preppeing it and the one he had removed a few days ago.   Time to hit them with some primer and they are ready to be welded in place.

By the way, Matt refers  to me as the paparazzi!!!  I don’t understand where he’s coming from!!!

We made good progress towards getting the right side frame rail and frame extender installed.  Since the photos for the right side look a lot like the left, I will not bore you with them.  I also have a pic of both frame extenders as they now appear in the interior.

We did discuss how we are going to run the fuel and brake lines.  The frame extenders complicate getting those lines to the rear.  At this point our plan is to run them inside the frame extenders.  To do that, we will have to make access points in the left extender for the brakes lines and in the right one for the fuel lines.

Both frame rails are in!!!

Matt fabricated an entrance for the fuel lines on the right frame extender.  The lines will enter there and exit at the rear next to the frame rail.  He will be making a similar entrance on the driver’s side for the brake lines.

We will begin the installation of the mini-tubs tomorrow.  Would have begun today but we ran out of steel for fabrication and had to make a run for parts.  Big holes will soon appear.

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