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  #1  
Old 03-25-2016, 07:44 AM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Tough Truck Build

Hey guys, longtime lurker, first time poster. I've wanted to build *something* fun since forever, been doing a lot of tool collecting, reading, shop tweaking, reading and more reading. Like my screen name says, I'm in Ohio, the flat part- no trails, no desert, closest offroad park is a couple hour drive. We do at least have County Fairs, so I thought a Tough Truck would be fun, and I could actually use it without taking a week off work.

Build plan will look like this:
1st gen Ranger reg cab body and frame
351 W, C6, BW1356
Full width axles- TTB front
full HREW 1.75 x.120 cage
Coilovers in the front, Chevy 64" in the rear
@33" tires
Move the heavy parts back for better weight distribution
Target price: $5000
I'm an engineer by trade, so this gives me a chance just to build stuff and not do paperwork. I'm also a cheapskate, so a lot of my material used to be something else, buying new is last resort.

I had a Ranger cab and frame sitting in the weeds from an idea that fizzled out 10 years ago, and searched CL till I found a good part-out.


Picked up this '87 F-250 drivetrain for $400. It had a Dana 50 front, and Sterling Rear, ridiculous overkill in the rear, but should not need any strengthening to hold up indefinitely.


Mocking up everything, I had the frame down to only a couple crossmembers and the rails. There is no standard rulebook, so I printed off about 6 sets of rules just to be sure I wouldn't be re-doing something later. A few tracks have wheelbase rules, so I targetted 120".


Using CAD (cardboard aided design) to put together a leaf hanger.


Pretty pleased with how it turned out.


Also built spring mounts and plates. It turns out I'm working for $4 or $5 dollars an hour doing this easily available stuff, but its therapeutic and mine.


Front end got ~42" radius arms, and built these RA mounts.


I made sleeves for each of the bolts. and plated the frame at the mount.


A lot of my reading was Carroll Smith, so I have been doing the sleeved double shear mounts he prescribes in his nuts, bolts and fasteners book. The TTB arms got 3/4" uniballs and the same sleeved double shear brackets. The lower ball joint was cut out and moved 3/4" out and about 1/8" forward to improve camber and caster.


I needed some threaded holes to mount my radius arms to the beams, so I made these inserts to weld in.


My welder was mad at me here, hopefully nothing falls off.


I cycled the front end over the 14" of travel I'm allowed, it only goes into negative camber at full droop, so I feel ok about that.


Engine mounts are just a poly bushing in a double shear mount, with square tube triangulated to a plate welded to the frame.


Fitting up the powertrain. The engine mounts are moved back about 9" from factory, and the front axle forward about 6". The firewall will get heavily cut and patched to fit the engine.

I'm in the middle of fitting the cab right now, not too exciting, lots of rust being Ohio. Looking forward, I'll be setting up the steering - I'd like to do a single swinger, then build a gottrikes bender and mock up the cage. Somewhere before everything gets finished I'll clean up all the rust and paint everything.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2016, 11:02 AM
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deaner deaner is offline
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Looking good. What part of Ohio are you from? I'm in Ohio too.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2016, 11:09 AM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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I'm halfway between Sandusky and Mansfield. Pulling trucks and dirt ovals as far as the eye can see, but not much off road action...
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:49 AM
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deaner deaner is offline
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There used to be a fun spot in North Fairfield. Mostly just a few mud holes and a small river. I'm between Clyde and Bellevue.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2016, 12:21 PM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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I've probably ridden my SxS there then. I hang out in NF quite a bit.
I really want to do some wheel to wheel racing, Rolling W ranch just over the PA border looks interesting, but still a 5 hour drive.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2016, 04:49 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Looking forward to your progress. Do you have any vids of the tuff truck down there?
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2016, 05:01 PM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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I don't have any, I'm sure there are some on YouTube that are local, will post a link or two later. We get guys who are spending stupid money on their trucks, and guys who want to make one last stop before the junkyard. I'm hoping I can be in the same league with the money guys, but through good design and incremental improvements.

There was a small league started last year with a well built, long permanent track, but there was some kind of disagreement that brought that to an end. Most of the tracks at fairs are hastily built to break equipment and entertain the slackjawed locals.
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2016, 06:15 PM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
Looking forward to your progress. Do you have any vids of the tuff truck down there?
https://youtu.be/H6b90nu58ms
Mostly I found a bunch of terrible cell phone videos, but this is most tracks. Too tight to gain much speed, probably recycled from the motocross the night before.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2016, 06:19 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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My one try at tuff truck, first time to a tuff truck event. Experimented with shocks upside down for less unsprung weight....didn't work. I tweaked my back on the first jump and didn't push hard after that. The vid is a link from a facebook friend and I don't know how to copy it to youtube. Sorry if you can't access.

https://www.facebook.com/lynn.baglol...6164726975574/
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2016, 10:44 AM
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Gunnin Gunnin is offline
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Sounds like a great build. I'm in the process of converting a K5 into a coil spring front end to do the same thing. The rules that most follow are from NMRO. The rules can be found on the 4wd Jamboree website. If I can help with anything, let me know.
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2016, 01:24 PM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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I looked at the NMRO rules but I think my engine setback is too much for that series. I'm building a gottrikes bender, so no updates on the truck, other than getting the cab mounted.
I'm thinking of doing the main hoop behind the cab, like the Brolite cage they sell from Liquid Iron. There's not much room to spare in a regular cab Ranger as-is.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:37 PM
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Gunnin Gunnin is offline
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So is there a time frame you're shooting to have it completed by? Season starts in about a month and I'm stoked. Hope to be racing both stock and modified class this year.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2016, 02:00 PM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Just doing what I can as my play budget allows, which isn't much. Moving slow because I'm building a lot of stuff that could be bought. I'm hoping to have it done with a good shakedown by mid-August.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2016, 12:58 PM
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Nagtrainer Nagtrainer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio-oz View Post
Just doing what I can as my play budget allows, which isn't much. Moving slow because I'm building a lot of stuff that could be bought. I'm hoping to have it done with a good shakedown by mid-August.
I can completely relate... At least you have a shop to work in.... I do everything outside
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:56 AM
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I've been busy and have slowed down due to the weather getting nicer.
I did get the cab mounted.


Finished my Gottrikes bender, my poor little drill press . I need a milling machine at home,


Built a crossmember for the trans, I guess I was finally feeling guilty about all the weight I've been adding, so I made this from 12 gauge.


With the cab where I wanted it, there was ~1/4" of clearance from the valve cover to the accelerator pedal, pre-sheetmetal. Obviously going to need to patch and find a new home for the pivot and change the pedal up.


Somewhere in there, dad had a half-baked idea for a 3 point root cutter / subsoiler / trencher. I built it and got it working, but it's ugly.


I didn't like the way his turned out, so I decided I'd make one too, but add in a fork plate and just make the subsoiler portion mount to a 2" receiver.


I'm chasing tube now. I can get DOM for $5.35 / ft in 1.75 x .125 or HREW for $3.25 / ft. Somehow scrap steel isn't worth hauling, but new steel is up 50% since I last looked?
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:00 AM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Summer is always busy, but this one has been ridiculous. Statistically, they say 33 is the peak of your busyness and I'd buy that. I've been poking around as I have time.

Got trikes bender built and painted. I had Bendtech on a different computer and was able to calibrate and build my main hoop. If you are new, don't start on your main hoop, learn some of the tube bending lessons first!


Main hoop looked great, but I wasn't totally happy with where the landings fell on the frame. I got it fixed, but next time I have a critical tube I will be sneaking up on it so I don't have to do an opposing bend and make it look so damn hokey. It was 3 degrees, but it looks like a giant pimple to me.
Side question: Who makes a good plane of bend bracket? I did of with an angle gage, but it could be better and easier.


Tweaking the main hoop. Not happy about it, but wasn't going to toss an expensive tube over a problem that can be addressed by gussetting and good design.


Bouncing around to the steering: Revision 1 of a shop built puller wouldn't do the job. I knew it would be a difficult part since it has likely been mounted since 1987, in the Ohio salt and gick.


Shop built puller #2 did the job, but not without heat. I realize this is bad, but it'd getting welded anyway, and the whole box was useless with it attached.


Got the double shear pitman arm bits tacked in. It's going to need clearancing, but it clears in all the external ways it needs to.


Drilled and sleeved the Dana 50 steering arms for 1 ton TREs. I believe they are ES2010's from a Chevy or Dodge application. I'm marginally confident the arms will hold up, but Dana 50's are a dime a dozen if not.




And back to the cage. I like having a couple things in process so I don't get too mired down in the minutia and at least got something moving if I'm waiting on parts, money or inspiration. You can see the opposing bend in the main hoop. I guess that's why I did my own cage first.


Classic "Tape that oughta be tube" shot. The back half should't be difficult, I'm just using bed skins, and the battery and fuel cell can be put wherever they fit, at least in my mind.


Where she sits right now. I'm digging tube work, you can make big changes relatively fast.

I'm kicking a couple ideas around on the front section. I think the front down tubes will land on a rockslider type tube that will tie into the frame in front of the radius arm mount and return back to the main hoop. Going to the frame would be better, but it is too close to the center of the vehicle. I have no faith in the integrity of the body panels, so I'm dismissing the idea of going to a floor plate out of hand.

Putting the main hoop behind the cab frees up precious interior space, but doesn't lend itself to a well placed harness bar, so that will need to be addressed as well. I'm also not certain what the best way to bend shock hoops with a 90 degree die is. Just put two bends as close as practical?

The main series I wanted to run lost their agreement with the motorcycle club that the track was at, pretty bummed about that, but I'll find something fun to do with it, should I ever finish.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:35 AM
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AlxJ64 AlxJ64 is offline
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I know its kind of a hike from Ohio, but maybe you could plan a family vacation around it too... but Dennis Anderson has a park near the Outer Banks in NC, just up from the "Diggers Dungeon" and they run a tough truck series. We have a Mega-Truck that we just started running this year but if we can't get the engine issues sorted out, we are just going to build some tough trucks and run those instead. A LOT cheaper to maintain than a 1,000 hp Achy motor, rockwell, ORIs, etc.
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  #18  
Old 07-24-2016, 09:25 AM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlxJ64 View Post
I know its kind of a hike from Ohio, but maybe you could plan a family vacation around it too... but Dennis Anderson has a park near the Outer Banks in NC, just up from the "Diggers Dungeon" and they run a tough truck series. We have a Mega-Truck that we just started running this year but if we can't get the engine issues sorted out, we are just going to build some tough trucks and run those instead. A LOT cheaper to maintain than a 1,000 hp Achy motor, rockwell, ORIs, etc.
That'd be alright, I've got family nearby and on the way. If all I did was try BBQ, it would be a good trip. Got a link so I can make sure I'm within their rules?
These guys are just over the PA border as well, ~3 hour drive for me. http://www.rollingwranch.net/index.html
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:46 AM
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AlxJ64 AlxJ64 is offline
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May have to click around the site some. I live 45 min from the park and we have a bus turned RV that we use for events.

May have to click around this website some to find the current rules. I think spectra chrome sponsors the site so its kinda ad heavy.

http://dammpark.com/debut.html

If you make it down there, this is us.





Sorry for clutter in your thread but I think you'd whoop some a$$ with your truck compared to the junk that shows up sometimes. There is a Sami that is pretty decent but some local guys have a grand cherokee that is just flat out well built. Cambered axles and everything.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:57 AM
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ohio-oz ohio-oz is offline
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Originally Posted by AlxJ64 View Post

Sorry for clutter in your thread but I think you'd whoop some a$$ with your truck compared to the junk that shows up sometimes. There is a Sami that is pretty decent but some local guys have a grand cherokee that is just flat out well built. Cambered axles and everything.
No worries, not building a clean build thread, building a truck!

I thought it would be fun to go to Bark River in Michigan some day, but it would be an easier sell to the wife to go to the Outer banks, and 2 hours less driving.
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