I went out to Marana to see what progress had been made on the JeepMonster’s frame since my last post. Robert was sick most of last week, so there isn’t much to report, but the front winch mount has been added. We decided to reuse the existing assembly, so it was basically a matter of trimming and welding – and welding, and welding, and welding… It’s now an integral part of the frame and it ain’t NEVER goin’ nowhere! I think if I had the traction, I could probably pull a tank or a train with it.
There’s still a lot of work left to be done. Robert told me he originally estimated 100 hours to build the frame, and he now has 58 on the clock. Still to come: front suspension; middle- and back-axle shock mounts; engine and transmission/transfer case mounts; body mounts; roll cage mounts; back winch mount; and some kind of bumperettes or “ears” outside the frame at both ends to give me something to put the jack under when I have to lift a corner.
And then we get to the body. I’ll be spending a good part of next Saturday out there, removing the last few connections between the body and the frame and the engine on the old Jeep, and probably cutting the tub apart so we can start figuring out where the new body mounts will be, and also how the engine and its related bits (radiator, A/C condenser, electric fan, etc.) will fit in. Once the engine is more-or-less located, Robert can then start building the front-axle links around it to avoid interference issues.
We had to move the frame yesterday, too. Robert has a couple of other projects that he needs to finish and get out the door, so we hefted the frame off its sawhorses and put it back above the axles. We’re both looking forward to the point where the frame and axles are attached so it’ll be a single, movable unit!
Our best guesstimate at the moment is that the JeepMonster will be about three inches taller than the CJ-5 it’s replacing. That’s not insignificant, but it’s less than I was afraid it might be, and I think (I HOPE!) it’ll fit under the 7-foot garage door opening here at home.