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Old 04-23-2016, 10:34 AM   #1571
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Thanks for the kind words Cadillac --- This project has definitely been a "learning experience" so far. Good thing I enjoy learning new things, eh?

In fact, anyone considering diving into a skoolie conversion should look at it just that way. Rather than being intimidated by the many new skills necessary to tackle such a project ...embrace the opportunity! Look...I'm an old fart who has been and done a lot over the years, and yet the list of things on this build, just to date, that I had never done before is long and still growing. So you youngsters dive in. Be fearless. Read, read, read and then read some more. Ask questions, get opinions...then do it your way. Just maybe the best parts of this whole adventure are developing your own processes for solving problems...and letting go of the fear of making mistakes. You WILL make mistakes. But those are usually what you learn the most from. I routinely "undo" any number of things I have completed, back up, take another look, than have an "aha" moment in which I (hopefully) gain a little clarity.

Will my rig be perfect? Not hardly. But it will be mine, built by my own hands, my own way and will have provided me a wealth of new understanding on many levels. Not the least of which include patience and persistence.

Well...probably more persistence than patience. But hey...I am working on that one too.

ONWARD!

I think people going to shows or watching the TV shows can automatically get discouraged because they see the "ONE SUPER BUILD... oh wait the one build made super by way of TV cameras and editors..."... and think theirs has to be the same way...

I myself also take a different approach.. I look at it for me building it is fun.. and also building it is at least half if not more of the enjoyment I get out of a project.. sure it was nice to build a hot-rod and get the kudos at the gas station, and the neighborhood kids with big grins when I layed strips of rubber.. but alot of it for me was getting to that point..

for me, I had a bus, got into it a bit.. but the timing was wrong, I did some really cool stuff to it, then I got engrossed in starting a business, and I lost it to fire..

But I look at any project like it may not be the last.. so esp for the young ones out there.. maybe you wish you had a bigger bus, or a different engine, etc.. or you build your kitchen and see someone;s else and like it better.. think about the fact your build is yours, and guess what you can make another one later if you want.. nothing stops you..

and there are those on here that have done just that, and each time they get smarter and more efficient at it..

the first time i ever took an engine apart I thought "holy crap what do I do with all these pieces??".. after I did it a few times, i got quicker and better.. to the point I could sit down on a saturday morning with a bunch of pistons and rings and lifters and stuff .. and then be out on the town squealign the tires that night....

and yeah I blew stuff up.. I put bearing caps on backwards.. or dropped lifters into the oilpan,

wiped out more than one A/C compressor trying to get my "closed loop" system perfected

AND everyone has limitations.. and thats when its OK to ask for help.. like me and body work.. I just dont have "what it takes" to do the finish work on a body.. so in my case I ask for help.. in the form of a shop..

and those here can trade skill-sets with each other.. over the years in my hotrod days.. more than once i built an engine or installed an Air conditioner for someone.. and turn, they welded in a set of rockers, or floor-pans for me..

Skoolies are less common than hot-rods but a lot of times if your city or town has a local hotrod garage. (just drive around in the spring and look for the classic cars on the bay lifts).. those guys can do a lot of things at often reasonable prices, or can point you to people who can...


-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:57 AM   #1572
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I can't say I've ever see a 5 inch deep socket on any retail shelf before. Holy cow! I'm curious, though: do you really have foot-long U-bolts? I've been around axle U-bolts a few times replacing trailer axles and springs, doing a spring-over lift on a Suzuki Samurai, and so on.. I never encountered a U-bolt that was more than about an inch longer than it needed to be to wrap around the axle, past the spring pack, and through the clamp plate. If it were that much oversize, I'd have cut some off. What's different about yours that requires spinning a nut 4-5 inches up the bolt?
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #1573
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Back Again --- Hey FW...yep...those puppies are 12" on the inside. The original spring stack was about 2" thicker than what is there now (I reduced the rate by 50% and added shocks for a softer ride)...but the new mongo Dana 80 axle and much modified spring perches put it back to being close to the stock depth of a foot. I did trim 1" off after pulling them up just for ground clearance.


Here is the passenger side. As you can see, the 13 degree shims I had to fab to get the pinion angle correct are almost two inches thick on the big end. They are actually 3 degree and 10 degree shims welded together then welded onto the original perch. Have I mentioned how much I just love welding upside down in tight quarters?


Here is the driver side. Both are now in their final position and the shims have become a permanent part of the perches thanks to the good folks at Miller Welding Equipment. (I really do love my little 140 Mig.)

The wrench was worth the effort because I had to put all eight nuts on & off several times while getting the rear axle straight with the front. Thank goodness, one of my Art Car Museum buddies came by to lend a hand as the measurements are as critical as they are tricky.


Other than making a bracket for the park/emergency brake, the driveline is ready to go.

"That's one small step for man......"

ONWARD!
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:56 PM   #1574
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wow those are some serious U-bolts and some serious pinion angle shims! wow!!
-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:58 PM   #1575
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im surprised you didnt go with CV's on that driveshaft.. unless my angle from the pic is off.. it just looks like its quite a bit of slope in that driveshaft to not get quite a bit of driveline vibration... but then it is a bus so its not as big of deal to have a little u-joint vibration.
-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:17 PM   #1576
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That's some good-looking undercarriage. The tires still have the red and blue stripes on them, even. Gotta get that thing out for a road trip before the rubber rots!
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:58 PM   #1577
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Tango, FW got me to wondering about the U bolts on HR. Like yours, they are 12" long though I could cut an inch off of them to make up for the two leaves I removed.

I suppose a CV joint would have been OK, but with our short wheel bases and two part drive shafts, neither section would be long enough to need one. Jack
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:02 PM   #1578
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Question... Shouldn't the entire driveshaft be inline rather than (it appears) the front section level, then the rear section drops to the diff?? Or does it not make a difference.

Novice builder here.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:27 PM   #1579
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The driveline gurus at Spicer and at my local shop outlined the process for a two part drive shaft. The trick is to get the angle on the jackshaft (front portion) the same as the pinion angle at the axle with an extra one to three degrees down at the axle. The extra is to compensate for torque which effectively raises the angle on the rear. When running, as long as the front and rear are the same they are offsetting and eliminate vibration. Mine took more shimming than most to get there but is on within about a half degree.

There is a great read on the topic at the link below. See page 14, figure 10

http://www2.dana.com/pdf/J3311-1-HVTSS.PDF


And I agree Jack. If I don't get this thing moving soon, it will be time for new tires!
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:48 AM   #1580
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Yep, because the condition is summed up in two words:

Dry rot!
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