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Old 01-04-2007, 10:23 PM   #11
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that 2nd youtube video is excellent!

is silver lake open this time of year? I've never been. I did track down a trailer i can use to move my truck from place to place. We could take the trucks and the buses for a weekend.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:50 PM   #12
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is silver lake open this time of year? I've never been. I did track down a trailer i can use to move my truck from place to place. We could take the trucks and the buses for a weekend.
No silver lake is closed for the winter till April 1st.

I'm defiantly down with a bus/offroad beaters trip somewhere soon. I don't have a trailer but I have a tow bar... I need to get a hitch on the bus.
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:01 PM   #13
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We had a couple of HUGE problems to address on day number 2.

First of all, the "new" axle components from the scrap yard were missing the spindle/hub assembly. This is the part that has lug bolts sticking out and allows you to attach the tire/rim. The problem was finding a junk yard hub/spindle for a 1998 3/4ton 8 lug 4x4. The book says only the 96-99 spindles will fit. I called dozens of junk yards and nobody had a spindle assembly....GRRR. Long story short....the hub from a 90 fits just fine. I found one of those for $35.00

problem 2:
The original method we used to attach the 2 frames did not provide adequate support. The 98 frame we're trying to marry to truck is significantly narrower. (really just because the front end of the GM truck frame is not as wide as the rear frame....necessary to allow the tires to steer)

We separated the frame again, and utilized a piece of 8" square tubing to marry the 2 frames together.....












Here is the excess frame we removed from the truck....I should measure and see how long it is...gotta be 10 or 12 feet.

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Old 01-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #14
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Looks like it is really nice for January in Michigan!
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:21 PM   #15
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Ewww....9.5 inch semi float 14 bolt. Good riddance! It's beginning to look like that whole thing just might work. How are you attaching the sprocket to the pinion yoke on the differential? Also...how are you attaching the pillow blocks? Welding to that cast iron diff housing could be....interesting. I guess I'm just assuming it's cast iron. It could just as easily be cast aluminum in a front application, an equally interesting scenario. Atleast it will take care of what would otherwise be a pretty horrific angle on the driveshaft. It's a good thing yoiu can turn sharp. I can't imagine losing all that wheel travel and articulation, especially with those steel "springs" you have shoved into the shock tower right now.
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:33 PM   #16
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the weather has been spectactular! It's been in the 40's lately. We didn't even have snow for Christmas. During a normal january it's far too cold to be working on a project such as this. I wouldn't be suprised if we get subzero temperatures and record amounts of snow in march and april!

Average high for jan in this part of michigan is 28 degrees and the low is 13
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:57 PM   #17
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It's beginning to look like that whole thing just might work. How are you attaching the sprocket to the pinion yoke on the differential? Also...how are you attaching the pillow blocks? Welding to that cast iron diff housing could be....interesting. I guess I'm just assuming it's cast iron. It could just as easily be cast aluminum in a front application, an equally interesting scenario. Atleast it will take care of what would otherwise be a pretty horrific angle on the driveshaft. It's a good thing yoiu can turn sharp. I can't imagine losing all that wheel travel and articulation, especially with those steel "springs" you have shoved into the shock tower right now.
as far as my steel "springs" i put in place of the shocks for now, i am quite certian i'm going to change those over to air shocks. But for now i needed to keep suspension at max height so we could get the front and rear frames welded together.

Pillow blocks will be attached to steel 3" C-channell cross-members attached to the frame. They bolt on, so that'll be no problem....assuming i can get everything lined up properly.

The diff housing is aluminum, but the yoke is steel.....isn't it? I have a great idea on how to get the sprocket and hub perfectly aligned on the yoke (where a driveshaft should attach) and weld her in place. Since the differential doesn't move with the suspension, the pillow blocks and bearings can be connected to the frame of hte truck, not the diff itself.

If only i had air lockers!!! but @ about $1,000 each i don't see that happening anytime soon. Can't do lincoln lockers either...steering is very undesirable with lockers in a steer axle.

it won't be the perfect 4x4, but it's cheap, and highly unique. I'm sure she'll be a decent trail rig, as long the setup is reliable.
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:04 PM   #18
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I don;t think there is an Aussie Locker option for you, but I'm sure you can get a Detroit EZ Locker. They're weaker, but they're cheap and with your weight and power levels, I think the CV axles would still be the weak point. They aren't selectable, but would work just fine.

Here's my other idea...Chevy IFS units pull the long side axle out of engagement with the side gear to allow the front end to "freewheel" or sorts in 2wd. What you could do is weld those spider gears together and then put a vacuum line off the manifold to a valve and then to the actuator. You're going to have to put something in there to engage the new front...er...rear end anyway. I've heard of people shimming the shift forks in actuator, but I can't attest to that fact. There is also always the posi-lok cable actuator option at about $100 per end.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:03 PM   #19
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There is also always the posi-lok cable actuator option at about $100 per end.
that sounds very interesting! Have to see if i can find info on that....

I had to work until after dark at my real job today, so i just did some mock up to get a better understanding of the fabrication involved in driving the rear axle.

Below is what the basic layout will look like when completed...it's obviously missing the bearings to hold the shafts in place, and still needs a sprocket off of the driveshaft....My gut tells me to use #60 rollerchain instead of the #40 which i just happen to have laying around. The plan is to use #40 in a double configuration.



Max working load for double #40 is 1,620 pounds
Min Tensile (breaking) strength = 6,250 pounds
It seems unlikely to me that i will exceed these working limits

Max working laod for #60 single = 1,980
tensile strenght = 7,030

To attach the sprocket to the yoke and ensure it's square (or whatever the proper term is)




I'm first screwing a nut part way onto the bolt attached to the yoke





That allows another bolt to screw onto the nut keeping everything perfectly square




The sprocket should look something like this when assembled (if you look close enough you'll see that the hub for the sprocket in this photo is actually bigger than the bolt...i'll buy the correct sprocket hub tomorrow) Once everything is in it's proper place, i'll weld the sprocket to the yoke. I'm actually going to use 2 sprockets for a double chain design.




The end result:




I still need to cut off the excess drive shaft pointing towards the rear of the truck. It would be extremely simple to install a PTO shaft off the end of the driveshaft, but i can't think of any sort of power equipment i can connect it too....other than a winch...... hmmmmm.....Since it is a front axle, it comes with an electric actuator to lock/unlock the "hubs". If i unlock the axle with the flip of a switch, i can spin the driveshaft without moving the truck making the pto winch a viable option... This also gives me the option (don't know why you'd want to) of driving with only front or only rear wheels. Even with only the front wheels spinning, i think this truck would go lots of places most 4x4's cannot.

I have to work 24 hours on sunday, I'll get back to the truck on Monday.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:25 PM   #20
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Not to be the fly in the ointment or anything, but when I look at those pictures I gotta wonder about something. The drive shaft is nothing but very thin tube of hollow metal, and since I'm not exactly sure what you're actually trying to run off of that, I somehow picture that drive shaft shredding itself to pieces very quickly. I work in a heavy truck shop, and have been in the automotive field for 15 years, and I've taken an awful lot of drive shafts to the drive train shop for repairs or rebuilds so I've seen just how frail they are!
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