Joel's multipurpose 40 on 41s

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Dec 4, 2015
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SoCal
By the way, the metal circ saws just roughed out the shapes. Once they were in strips I could do the fine cutting on my bad saw and finally shave to fit (a bunch with sanders and files). I think I have 300+ test fits into this project. Between tube and skins, 75 test fits per corner is probably a decent guess.

But hot damn... That almost looks like something!








Bends were done by hand massaging over the motor on my bad saw since it was about the right diameter.

Once they fit decently, I needed to figure out edge trim. Some folks making tube fenders put a vertical leg on the skins where they meet fenders. Since I want the ability to take these on and off, I skipped that and used a plastic edge trim. Something I had lying around so no specs on these ones unfortunately.

That said there are some kinks and bends that get interesting. A lighter and some heat forming to the rescue.






So the next challenge I could see coming was welding the skins to tube. By putting a lot of heat to the upper surface of the tube only I was inviting this to turn into a rainbow (and loose all that perfect fitment I'd been fighting for).

Decided to stitch weld them down so laid out a pattern of 3/4" on 3" I roughed out positions then adjusted to optimize how the welds landed where the skins ended. What say you?Overkill or just OCD enough?




Rust from the rain. Sigh...




Scotch Brite makes them happy again.




Tacking the ends of each stitch on vehicle. Lots of clamps to keep the skin tight (hand bending isn't perfect.)



 
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
149
Location
SoCal
Random shout out to my old college roommate and awesome guitarist Jack Roan. Jack was the one who taught me how to wind extension cords over-hand/under-hand. Given how many times I had to roll my welding cart back and forth that was pretty handy.





Just with the tack welding the skins on car these "popped" a little bit when I pulled them off. I actually debated whether to just leave them tacked and not risk even a proper stitch weld.




Instead I decided to get creative in how I was fixturing each tube. Weld deformation functions by molten metal shrinking as it cools. Since all welding is along the tube topside having this shrink would tend to rainbow the tube open. Fixturing helps to resist motion but I decided to experiment, went further, and actually preloaded my tubes in an attempt that the relaxed welds should end up closer to where the tube started.




Sharpie mark on the weld table showing the ~2" compression I put these under vs original spacing.




It worked out unbelievably well. Pretty much nailed it dead on what I hoped. Overall length changed by maybe 1/8" whereas just tacking on vehicle had been more than that.

My TIG welding is doing better too. By the way, the point in tacking the end of each stitch is that gives you a really obvious mark to stop when you're welding up to a tack instead of starting from one.




Backsides of tube where you can see the slight angle I put in the one.





Given the stitch welding, I used seam sealer on full length of the inside and between welds on the upper surface.




Turns out angle grinder stripper discs work great for cleaning up the extra seam sealer as well.

 
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Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
149
Location
SoCal
Not shown: undercoating the bottom sides. Rust-Oleum engine enamel semi flat black on the uppers. (I finally standardized my touch up paint.)

Results:
















Not bad if I do say so myself. All in I have something like 105 hours work into these.

My advise: Rocking sans flares is always best, looks clean and keeps it simple. If you don't have a choice, buy the Bushwackers before you mod anything. If you've already modded, find some less common option (there are a few others) and buy that. Do this job as last resort only.

PITA, but at least it turned out nice.

-Joel

PS pics in the dark because I had to have finished shots to prove to the judge my vehicle was now compliant. Fighting tickets...
 
Joined
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Messages
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So what's the big deal says the voice in my head? You knew the law and you got ticketed... You knew what you were doing...

Well yes and no. I knew the law, I just thought it was a formality and much like CA no one really cared. Given some of the vehicles I see around town this seemed like a reasonable position. Hawaii has a pretty distinct wheel style, particularly with trucks. It's a lot of big offsets with wide smallish tires (contact patch via width rather than diameter) on even wider wheels. I'd say the majority of lifted trucks have a least a couple inches of tire poke.

After I got tagged I started tacking pictures of vehicles around town. A few of my favorites:






















So what happened? When you fight a ticket in Hawaii you have three options. 1) Plead guilty, 2) plead guilty with mitigating circumstances, 3) plead not guilty and ask for a trial. I did the middle option when I was first ticketed and wrote a letter noting the local style, how my tires tore the garden trim loose/how I care about not littering (true), and how it felt weird getting tagged in a mainlander dress shirt when I see more extreme "local" vehicles driving by officers nearly every day.

Then on the second ticket, I plead not guilty (given the less than 30 day thing), and asked to appear before a judge to discuss both tickets since I hadn't heard anything on the first one.

Got my installed pictures the night before court as it got down to the wire and then spent a full morning at the courthouse waiting for what seemed like dozens of no-insurance and excessive speed tickets (note to self: avoid +30 mph and >81 mph). Good news what that anyone who brought in proof of insurance was getting cases dismissed. First question the judge asked me was whether my vehicle was brought back into compliance (yes). I brought pictures. She seemed a touch confused what she was looking at so I offered my second set of photos: a stack from the build process and my receipt on the bushwackers. I explained the "before" picture up front and she quickly grasped the effort associated. It was neat to see her sit up a bit straighter when she asked who built these ("I did your honor, it was quite an intensive process as you can see"). She informs the bailiff that they can dismiss the infractions.

Woot woot! I was expecting to get stuck on the first ones and let off of the second tickets worth.

She then goes on to inform me that she read my letter (first ticket), gives me a serious stare down over her glasses and informed me that "Yes, you should know that we do apply the law equally." I was damn tempted to reply that this had not been my experience... I had a third set of pictures with me, of about 70 something vehicles not in compliance, some of which are above... I also could have also pointed out that there were 3 vehicles with extended tires in the courthouse parking lot that morning.

BUT, discretion won the fight over valor, and there are few things worse than "stealing defeat from the jaws of victory" so I simply said "Yes your honor" and let it go. To be fair, I don't actually know whether locals are exempt (some of this occurs but how systemic it is, I don't know). It could be that the fender law is enforced only sporadically and I happened to get unlucky. Hell, maybe some police chief's mother-in-law had a windshield broken by a thrown rock so the local police started enforcing again.

I do know, I'm stoked that I didn't have to pay $576. I'll try damn hard not to be bitter admiring the local rigs, and what the heck, I had some good practice on tube fenders that I can apply to my FJ40 when the time comes.

And I really am thinking hard about lexan fender skins for round 2.
 
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