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View Poll Results: What should Michael name his new truck?
2-D-Max 40 60.61%
2wD-Max 7 10.61%
Something else (please post ideas) 19 28.79%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #161
Michael
 
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Name: Michael
Title: Comp Diesel Sponsor
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Happy Valley, OR
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Posts: 3,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXTORQ View Post
Curious.... Do you have a air leak through you back cap? Only reason I ask is some of your final welds looks as if you have an air leak. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Build looks fantastic by the way.
No leaks that I can tell (and I periodically cover the cup and check it), but I sometimes get open doors blowing an unexpected cross breeze that blows away my shield gas.
__________________
ISSPRO Engineering Manager
Under Construction: 1999 Chevy Pro Stock Diesel Pickup
LBZ, GT4202R over GT5541R, sponsored by ISSPRO and Chris Alston's Chassisworks
95 F350 CC DRW, Intake, exhaust, chip, injectors, locker, gauges
00 Jetta TDI - tunes, clutch & gauges
And a bunch of gassers
 
Old 03-02-2015, 03:04 PM   #162
SmokeShow
 
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Title: Too Much Time
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Nice update.
__________________
Mitch

IG: @_mitch_ratliff_

'14 Ford F150 FX4 SuperCrew, w/ 3.5L EcoBoost, bone stock

83 GMC K30 CC SB 4WD awaiting D/A chassis swap
 
Old 04-21-2015, 03:00 PM   #163
Michael
 
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Name: Michael
Title: Comp Diesel Sponsor
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Location: Happy Valley, OR
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Episode 28:

I had a little bit of a side project to complete, as racing season was here and my Vega was no longer making the noise limits at our local track (they got a new sensor system which is apparently more sensitive). I had been running two Dynomax Bullet mufflers per side, but switched to a single large Magnaflow stainless muffler per side, with mounts and 90 ends turned to face each other under the car.

Click the image to open in full size.

With some crude testing in my garage using a newly acquired noise meter, it appeared to drop my noise by around 3 - 5 dB, hopefully that is enough!

Next it was time to start the first of many diagonals in the double frame rails:

Click the image to open in full size.

After the first couple of diagonals I started "mass producing" them:

Click the image to open in full size.

Welding the diagonals in was a bit of a challenge, as I had to have my head way too close to the weld. I tried some reader glasses to help me focus on such close-up items, but they were more hassle than it was worth.

Click the image to open in full size.

After way too many hours with my body folded up to where it would fit between tubes, I finally had all of the diagonals fully welded.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next up was the start of the firewall support tubing. The "base" for all of this is a big diagonal on the passenger's side firewall, to help counter the torque of the drivetrain as it is transmitted through the mid-plate. This tube intersects a point with several tubes converging, so the notching was a bit difficult:

Click the image to open in full size.

This picture doesn't quite do justice to all of the weird contours I had to cut in that tube to eliminate gaps:

Click the image to open in full size.

The top side was a more conventional (and much easier) notch, aside from being a pretty steep angle.

Click the image to open in full size.

And finally I could weld the other end in with its weird contours:

Click the image to open in full size.

Next up was the first of many triangulating tubes coming off this main diagonal:

Click the image to open in full size.

Unfortunately as I had tacked this one in I realized that I forgot to drill pressure relief holes! Fortunately another tube would connect across from it, so I was able to drill the pressure relief hole from that point and through both walls of the large diagonal.

Click the image to open in full size.

At one point in this notching I realized that my notcher was allowing the notched tube to rotate, despite having the clamp screw so tight that it was deflecting. My solution was to carve a few longitudinal ridges in the clamp, which helped a bunch.

Click the image to open in full size.

In the immortal words of Britney Spears, "Oops, I did it again", I managed to forget another set of pressure bleed holes, but fortunately was able to drill across.

Click the image to open in full size.

After many more tubing cuts, notches, tack welds, and finish welds I had the passenger's firewall structure complete:

Click the image to open in full size.

Now it was time to do the driver's side firewall structure, which has a much different shape due to the opening for the recessed "foot box". This required the first tube to just cantilever out from the upper frame rail at a 90 angle. This was tougher than it looked, getting it positioned just right then holding it while tack welding it (and fighting against the weld draw as the weld cools).

Click the image to open in full size.

Now it's starting to get more exciting for me, as I build the area that will surround me as a driver. Needless to say, I'm taking my time and not cutting any corners when it comes to protecting me!
__________________
ISSPRO Engineering Manager
Under Construction: 1999 Chevy Pro Stock Diesel Pickup
LBZ, GT4202R over GT5541R, sponsored by ISSPRO and Chris Alston's Chassisworks
95 F350 CC DRW, Intake, exhaust, chip, injectors, locker, gauges
00 Jetta TDI - tunes, clutch & gauges
And a bunch of gassers
 
Old 04-24-2015, 01:49 PM   #164
SmokeShow
 
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Title: Too Much Time
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As always, thanks for the update. Totally fascinating watching this unfold.
__________________
Mitch

IG: @_mitch_ratliff_

'14 Ford F150 FX4 SuperCrew, w/ 3.5L EcoBoost, bone stock

83 GMC K30 CC SB 4WD awaiting D/A chassis swap
 
Old 08-13-2015, 11:25 PM   #165
SmokeShow
 
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Title: Too Much Time
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Knock knock. Another quarter of 2015 has come & gone. Any updates?!?!
__________________
Mitch

IG: @_mitch_ratliff_

'14 Ford F150 FX4 SuperCrew, w/ 3.5L EcoBoost, bone stock

83 GMC K30 CC SB 4WD awaiting D/A chassis swap
 
Old 08-20-2015, 06:34 PM   #166
Michael
 
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Name: Michael
Title: Comp Diesel Sponsor
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Location: Happy Valley, OR
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Posts: 3,411
Episode 29:

Sorry for the long time between updates, I'll go into that a little more towards the end, but suffice it to say that life got in the way again!

Back to the firewall structure, I realized that the tube I was working on at the end of the last update would have an exposed end, and it would be much stronger at the joint if I capped the end so the tube would not deform so easily.

First I needed a circle cut out of 0.100" thick 4130, I used some 1" strap material, drew a circle on it, and sheared then ground it down:

Click the image to open in full size.

It was easier to clamp it and weld it to the "stub" bar before welding that bar to the chassis. After tacking the end cap on while in the clamp, I welded it fully on, then carefully positioned, tacked, and welded the tube to the chassis.

Click the image to open in full size.

Next up was a vertical tube, notched, positioned, tacked then welded in:

Click the image to open in full size.

The next 3 tubes were tricky as they needed to run together at the same spot for the optimum strength. I notched them and mocked them up before welding any of them.

Click the image to open in full size.

I ended up deciding to leave a small gap between the two that come together on the same side, so I could fully weld without too much trouble. Unfortunately once I tacked the far side the weld draw pulled the end down, requiring a little help to hold it in place for welding!

Click the image to open in full size.

This photo gives you an idea of how tight it was in the junction with the pillar bars, there are a lot of tubes coming together there! Now I just need to figure out how to work in a cupholder

Click the image to open in full size.

Speaking of cupholders, I started worrying about driver and steering wheel placement a little more as I finished up these areas, so I spent a bunch of time mocking pedals, seat, and steering wheel into place while seeing where everything felt the most comfortable to me. I may have even made a few "Vroom, Vroom" noises while doing so. Interestingly I found that I was most comfortable with the steering wheel centered 1" to the left of being on the same centerline of the seat. Later I checked my Vega out, and of course it is 1" to the left and seems to have trained my brain into thinking that is the most comfortable!

I took the final measurements and went back to the CAD model, to figure out the best routing of the steering column through the tubes, trying to leave room for the front tires as well as the exhaust manifolds.

Here is my first positioning, which avoided a tight space in the double frame rails but started to eat into the space for the front tires.

Click the image to open in full size.

After a few iterations I found a position for the U-joint which would have shallower angles for the joints and more tire room, but it really "threads the needle" as it passes through a gap in the double frame rail tubes.

Click the image to open in full size.

At this point I ended up with several competing priorities that have cut into the race truck time. Probably the most high-profile one was my appearance on the Motorhead Garage TV show, that chewed up some time making all the arrangements then flying out to do the show. That said, it was an awesome experience and it was great to work with Sam Memmolo and Dave Bowman, I've been watching those guys on TV for literally decades!

Click the image to open in full size.

I had previously added a new exhaust system and associated mounts on my Vega. One of the first times out with it I discovered that the front crossmember had broken off the chassis, requiring a bunch of grinding out of old welds, rewelding and gusseting.

After adding all the weight of the new exhaust to my Vega, I figured it was that much closer to the 2800 lb minimum weight for the Super-Street 10.90 index class. While my car is one of the slowest in the 9.90 index class (running around 144-145 mph on the throttle stop), I could probably run 10.90 @ 142 and have the tactical advantage of being the faster car through the top end. After spending way too much time building weight bars and scrounging up lead to melt into them, I ended up missing the race with a sick kid!

Click the image to open in full size.

Speaking of that kid, you might remember that she crashed her Jr Dragster two years ago, and we had been using a borrowed chassis. I returned that chassis at the end of last season, so the next project was rebuilding her wrecked car.

I straightened the chassis main tubes, then built a new left front spindle assembly along with an insert for mating it to the old tube, set the alignment angles and welded it back up.

Click the image to open in full size.

The cage was damaged in the wreck, and she was getting too tall for it anyway. I left parts of the original cage in place to hold the parts of the new cage, but this shows how much taller the new cage is.

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After way too many hours I had rebuilt the front end, cage, and even rebuilt the rear section of the frame so that the engine assembly mounted at the correct height and 15 angle rather than using adapter plates and spacers, and added a beefy tensioner for holding chain tension. I even added a hook for holding the helmet on the return road, and a slide-in mount for the safety flag.

Click the image to open in full size.

When I finally did some racing myself this year I was fortunate enough to win a few races, including the Siskyou Diesel Fest, and the highest payout portion of the Woodburn Night of Fire event.

Click the image to open in full size.

With racing at a slight profit for the year I decided to enter my first NHRA national event since 1993, running in the 9.90 Super-Gas class. I was mostly going so I could see the event as a spectator (and better yet, one with a restricted area pass and on-site camping). My daughter had voted for this choice since she had a longtime online friend that lived 2 hours North of the track, figuring we could work out a way so they could visit while we were up there.

I surprised myself and got the car sorted out to a 9.906 within our two qualifying passes, but first round I managed to forget something I had long ago learned about racing Super-Gas: Most of the cars in Super-Gas are very low with long overhanging body panels, which trip the finish line beams instead of the tire. My car is very low BUT the body panels in front of the tire curve upward, so the tire is always what trips the beams. I haven't raced Super-Gas all season, and none of the cars I run against in bracket races are built like that, so I was used to cutting the finish line close compared to the other car's front tires. I managed to take what works out to about a 0.004 sec (9.2") margin in front of the other guy's front tires, but since his body panels tripped it he crossed by 0.002 in front of me, and adding up the incremental timing results and datalogger info it appears I would have run another near-perfect 9.906 if I would have just stayed on the throttle!

After all that, at least I was "visible" in many of the TV shots, showing up in the background as I hung out in the restricted area (see me just over the right shoulder of the guy with the white beard):

Click the image to open in full size.

Unfortunately the race also added even more delays to the race truck construction, courtesy of a spectator in an F250 apparently trying to "Roll Coal" as he passed by my pit spot. He ended up showering me with gravel, and some metal fragments that were in the gravel ended up embedded in my cornea, requring surgery to remove them and the associated rust. This has cost me another two weeks of productivity, and nearly cost me my rare 20/10 vision (at least in that eye). Ironically I am a real stickler for eye protection for myself and anyone around me, as I'm known as the "Safety Glasses Nazi" at work. Only 30 seconds before that truck passed I had been wearing safety glasses since I was working on the race car, but I had just put them away to go pick up my daughter. While much has been written about the negative effects of diesel owners "Rolling Coal", here is yet another reason to disapprove of the practice. With my eye healing up I should be back out in the shop in the next few days, resuming work on the race truck.
__________________
ISSPRO Engineering Manager
Under Construction: 1999 Chevy Pro Stock Diesel Pickup
LBZ, GT4202R over GT5541R, sponsored by ISSPRO and Chris Alston's Chassisworks
95 F350 CC DRW, Intake, exhaust, chip, injectors, locker, gauges
00 Jetta TDI - tunes, clutch & gauges
And a bunch of gassers
 
Old 12-29-2015, 12:06 AM   #167
SmokeShow
 
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Name: SmokeShow
Title: Too Much Time
Status: Not Here
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Posts: 4,440
Ready to make hits in 2016?!?!
__________________
Mitch

IG: @_mitch_ratliff_

'14 Ford F150 FX4 SuperCrew, w/ 3.5L EcoBoost, bone stock

83 GMC K30 CC SB 4WD awaiting D/A chassis swap
 
Old 07-01-2016, 10:26 PM   #168
neilden
 
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Name: neilden
Title: ready to kick some ass
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Diego
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I know you have to have done something to the truck by now? so tell us whats going on with it?
 
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