Dusty the mini truck that wishes it was a Land Cruiser

arnott1t

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I figured. The only bit I'd look real hard hat would be adding some trussing and certainly add the knuckle gussets. The next week point on cruiser axles is housings that bend.

I at some point need to pick your brain on the LS engine swap. I bought a minty FJ62 with a 5.7l 700r4 that I'd like to swap a 6.0l into.
 
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I figured. The only bit I'd look real hard hat would be adding some trussing and certainly add the knuckle gussets. The next week point on cruiser axles is housings that bend.

I at some point need to pick your brain on the LS engine swap. I bought a minty FJ62 with a 5.7l 700r4 that I'd like to swap a 6.0l into.
Gussets were considered heavily, but in the end I’m going with out, here are my reasons: going for light weight so there is less chance of damaging them, using soft foam bump stops, I don’t have the tooling to hold the axle in from warping while I weld it and didn’t want to spend a bunch of time on them. If do bend up this axle I’ll order up a fab’d housing like a Ruff Stuff.

Swapping a 6L in place of a 5.7 would be easy and rewarding; I’ll gladly help. I’d change the trans to a 4l60(65)e so you get the drivability of ecu controlled shifting and don’t have to mess with the TV cable which is absolutely critical to the longevity of a 700r4. They are very similar in length I think so the swap would be simple and may facilitate the vss depending on adaptor being used.
 
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I was away for nearly a week and then sick for a few days so progress has been limited. Not to mention all of the miss shipped parts. I managed to get the ARB air locker installed into the 3rd, the studs in the knuckles and hubs. Since the studs needed to be replaced I opted for a combo of TG super metal and ARP studs. The 3rd went into the housing and I bent the existing brake line to work with the new brackets. I cleaned up the birfs and repacked them so they are ready to go in and packed all the new wheel bearings so the hubs are ready to go on. I also welded the the front steering stop back on to the housing, the rear stops will likely not be replaced because the shock mounts will go in their spot.


 
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It’s been 2 months since my last update, not much had happened up until this past weekend aside from using it as shelf!!

The front axle got placed under the truck with the painted links. Clearance is good. There I reassembled the hubs with new bearings and rotors and studs.

Here are the bump stops, the plan is to place these gm foam things inside of the coil springs. I wanted some adjustability so after some guessing I made the 2 piece so I could ad spacers if the don’t stop the axle in a low enough position.


The coil buckets are the same ones I mocked up earlier, the height was acceptable. I believe I have 5” of up travel to the point the bump stops compress with the static weight of the truck. There is still about 1” of up travel before the diff/panhard/upper link contact anything to leave a little room for dynamic loading. If the bump stops end up being crap air or hyd bumps could be added instead. I got the idea for these gm bump stops from a petersens 4WOR article on cheap hacks; they cost me $5 each at the pick n pull, time will tell if they are any good.



I made a shock bracket that is level with the bottom of the axle tube out of 1/4 flat bar and my plasma tourch. Here it is at full bump. By the way I picked up a good deal on an older but hardly used Hypertherm Powermax 900, wow is it a step up from the 30 year old POS airco plasma I was using.



Here is the shock and suspension at ride height. I ended up choosing 12” 5125 Bilstin shocks. I’m pretty happy with the packaging here. The plan is to bend a 1.5” .120 DOM hoop to mount the shock upper.


Here are some more ride height pics, 19” from the ground to the subframe:





Any thoughts or opinions on my shock/coil/bump set up? Everything is just tacked in place for now. I still need to stuff the tire to see how much space I have for the shock hoop. Once that is good to go I will replace the front frame crossmember with the 8274 winch mount and mount the steering box now that I can finalize the drag link angle.
 

Mieser

 
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
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709
Are the bumpstops you are using the GM 15712438?
Do they compress all the way into the cup?
 
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Messages
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nice build! looking awesome
Thanks!

Are the bumpstops you are using the GM 15712438?
Do they compress all the way into the cup?
Sorry I don’t have a clue on the part numbers, I can tell you they came from 10 year old coil suspension mini van/envoy/trail blazer at pick a part. They don’t compress up the tube per say. There is a plate welded across the bottom tube as you can see by the distortion marks. These bumps are foam rather than rubber/urethane so the compression rate seams quite linear in comparison. I observed most of the compression happens below the cups. The hope is the are not as harsh as urethane bumps. And for $5 why not eh?
 

Mieser

 
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Messages
709
Thanks!



Sorry I don’t have a clue on the part numbers, I can tell you they came from 10 year old coil suspension mini van/envoy/trail blazer at pick a part. They don’t compress up the tube per say. There is a plate welded across the bottom tube as you can see by the distortion marks. These bumps are foam rather than rubber/urethane so the compression rate seams quite linear in comparison. I observed most of the compression happens below the cups. The hope is the are not as harsh as urethane bumps. And for $5 why not eh?
Thanks. I think it's very similar, just a different version of the part number I posted.
 
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Earlier this week I drilled and cut the mounting holes in this previously bent piece of 8”x1/4” flat bar. The bottom piece is cut out of 1/8” sheet metal (don’t recall the gauge) and dimple died and bent for rigidity. Both of these bends needed to be done by pro shops because I don’t have the tools for this heavy of bending.



Tonight I cut the Toyota cross member out and mocked up the new cross member winch mount.



Then I mocked up the IFS steering box so the drag link and pan hard link angles match. This isn’t as roomy as I had hoped. The box needs to be on quite an angle to allow the drag link tre to clear the tie rod and tuck the box back a bit. I have both the straight pitman and dropped pitman from TG for this; this seems to be the best I can do. The steering shaft has beed cut to be extended 4” and it seems to rotate without issue although I feel the bottom u joint is at the max angle tolerable. I plan on leaving the toy rag joint in the steering shaft, I didn’t on my land cruiser build and it gives a bit too much road feedback; that is unless someone has a good reason it should be removed. Opinions welcome!






At this point I’m pretty happy with the steering link angles and length; they are very similar so bump steer should be minimal. The steering box can be protected somewhat with the forthcoming tube bumper but the sector shaft will be fairly exposed in this configuration. There is lots of iron to mount the steering box to which will also get sleeved through to the inside of the winch mount, which will be plenty strong when I’m done.

Any thoughts on what I can do to improve on this design?
 

Vossie

#thecrazycruiserman
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Harare, Zimbabwe
looking good. not that my $0.02 is worth much but is the angle at the rag joint to the box not a bit on the steep side? i guess it wouldnt matter too much as long as she turns freely?
 
Joined
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Cool build, I'm following along.
Thanks


looking good. not that my $0.02 is worth much but is the angle at the rag joint to the box not a bit on the steep side? i guess it wouldnt matter too much as long as she turns freely?
Thanks. Yeah, you are seeing what I’m seeing. Its a complete trade off, less angle at the rag joint pushes the box out front into a impact zone out front. The steering shaft does turn in the position shown in the pic. I’ll likely have to give it a try as pictured, that is, unless a better idea pops up......
 
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Nov 2, 2013
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After a long break from Dusty I finally got back at it. I welded up 2 of the 4 DIY bead lock rings I picked up 2nd hand locally for cheap. These rings use 7/16 bolts.
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Then I got to work on mounting the steering box. I have been thinking about this for months and I can’t come up with a better way of doing it with out redoing everything so I took the plunge, drilled the holes and welded it up. I was using a Trail Gear kit as a template, only used the sleeves from the kit in the final welding.

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Now I’m bending the shock hoops, I will paint and mount the steetingbox soon too, then do a final articulation test before final welding the coil buckets and upper pan hard. The winch mount will get trimmed down too, just not sure what that looks like yet. Need to do a body mount over the steering box and install a bumper first.
 
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Nov 2, 2013
Messages
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Great build pal, keep at it,
Thanks!

Tonight I finished up the shock hoop on the passenger side. It consists of a short piece of 1.5” .250 wall dom run through both sides of the frame for a mount on the back side, the hoop is bent out of 1.5” .120 dom and welded to the coil bucket on the front side. The shock bracket was either from TMR or TG. I took a few tries to figure out how far back to push it. The axle is at full stuff (removed the coil) with the other side drooped out to where the 12” shock will stop it. There is also a 1” TG wheel spacer on the hub. There is about 1/2” clearance between the tire and the shock when turned full right and drooped out. Left turn is still good like it was before except now that the spacer is in there the tire no longer contacts the body mount. I was happy with all of this so I pulled the bucket and hoop off and final welded them with the bump stop cone, no pics of that yet.

I may end up with a wider spacer if I end up with wider tires. The rear axle will be a full floater with disc brakes and an elocker out of a 80 series which si 62” wms to wms. The 60 series front axle is 58” wms to wms presently with 2x1” spacers, so we will see how it looks and works

Next up is making a matching set up on the drivers side.

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Mid Weekend Update
I finished making the driver side shock hoop, then final welded the hoops, buckets, pan hard mount and the pan hard cut out in the frame too.
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I also decide how to run signal lights. Since there will be very little room for the lights on the front corners with the fender timing, not to mention the corners get beat by trees etc up here, I felt they needed to move to inside of the head lights. These are Grote marker/signal lamps, which I inset into the grill in the existing slot after cutting out the plastic slats and epoxying a sheet metal mount to the grill.
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Tomorrow I hope to get its on its front wheels, build the front bumper main tube and turn it around in the garage so i can start on the rear suspension.
 
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Nov 2, 2013
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Grande Prairie AB
Didn’t get as far as planned, I got tied up squaring up the front clip and building the new body mount to clear the relocated steering box. It was quite a job, far more time consuming than it appears. I will need to make the upper cross brace removable to make pulling the engine easier. Also mounted 1 tire on a bead lock.

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