Time sure flies when you’re (a) not paying attention; (b) having fun; (c) busy; (d) all of the previous [pick one]. I’ll take Option (d), please…
Way back on the 9th (yes, two weeks ago…) I made my last post on the Jeep’s progress. A few days after I picked up the middle axle from Tucson Differential, I took it over to R&W Custom Sliders and Offroad, where the frame will be built. Due to the weight of the assembly, I decided against trying to put it in the truck, and opted instead to put it on my motorcycle trailer:
It was much easier to load with my hoist, and to unload with the R&W hoist, than it would have been had I tried to slide it into the pickup’s bed. And I found another use for the trailer. 🙂
Over the course of the last two weeks, R&W has built both framerails and, at last notice, had finished most of one side of the rear spring mounts. Here’s a picture of the main rails together, showing how they drop from the front (in the engine bay) to the back (under the body) and also widen out as they go under the body. The extra width will give me a lot more stability than I had before. Here’s a shot of the rails being checked for straightness, equal (but opposite) angles, and proper lengths.
This shot shows one of the rails more-or-less properly positioned relative to the axles:
The next shot is from the front, and shows how the “magic box” sets up power to go to both the middle and back axles. From this angle, the frame looks like it has a “V” notch in it, but in reality the first angled piece drops the frame down from engine-bay height to under-body height, while the second angled piece widens the frame from 31 inches to 35 inches as it goes under the body to the back end.
This photo shows how the springs will be set up for the middle and back axles. Because the springs are longer than the axle separation, they had to be offset from each other. The middle axle’s springs will be on the inside, and the back axle’s springs will be on the outside.
So that’s where it is right now. There’s still lots of work to be done – the crossmembers have to be added, the rear suspension needs to be completed, the front suspension has to be done, engine and transmission mounts are needed, and more – but it’s not just a random collection of expensive parts any more! Now it’s an *ordered* collection of expensive parts…