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astroracer
08-26-2004, 06:52 AM
I've gotten a lot done in the last couple of weeks. Namely just verifying dimensions on hard parts and virtual geometry.
I've replaced the Astro van UCA Cross Shaft with one from a "G" Body, gotten a roughly modeled 2" dropped Astro Spindle in place and started designing control arms.
As you can see I've got a good start on the frame rails, front and back, with more work to do for crossmembers, engine and body mounts.
The rear frame rails are the tough nuts... I talked to a company in Detroit about mandrel bending them but, at $295.00 dollars EACH... PLUS material, it isn't going to happen. Cutting and welding isn't an option so I am talking to a couple of guys who have CNC Plasma and laser cutters about doing all of my brackets and the rails that way. Making .DXF files isn't a problem...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/08/10935250610-1.jpg
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/08/10935253612-1.jpg

08-26-2004, 07:33 AM
Have you made any progress with mandrel bending that rect tube?

Nevermind...I went straight to the drawings!! :sleeping:

jakespeeds
08-26-2004, 08:50 AM
Chris Alston of Alston chassis can take your drawings and make rails right from them. He has a big frame bending machine that is CNC operated.

Jake

Salt Racer
08-27-2004, 10:32 AM
Looks good Mark.

Just curious...What is your UCA/LCA length ratio? I've never messed with Astro spindles so I don't know what kind of UCA/LCA ratio those spindles prefer for good RC migration, but LCAs seem to be bit short on your modeling.


K

astroracer
08-30-2004, 05:18 AM
K,
The upper arm is 8.52" long and the lower is 11.85". That is a 1.39:1 ratio.
The roll center at design is 1.99" above ground
At full Jounce it is -1.47" below ground and
At full Rebound it is 6.69" above ground.
This works out to a little over 8 inches of RC migration throughout suspension travel. I wasn't real concerned with this as I will probably limit total suspension travel to around 5" or less during shock/spring tuning. Is there a target I should be looking to hit?
Running the geometry through a motion program gives me 2.61 degrees of Camber Gain at a full wheel travel of 3.75 inches in Jounce.
Camber Loss is 1.2 degrees in Rebound.

I utilized Corvette Z06 geometry points and wheel center travels as a start and then revised the Upper and Lower Control Arm pivot points to better match the C5 Corvette Steering Rack for bump steer and ackerman. I did narrow up the LCA pivot points considerably to do this. I have less then 3 degrees of toe in at full Jounce and around 3 1/2 degress at full Rebound. With my planned travel limits I was pretty happy with these numbers also.
Thanks for the input and let me know how my numbers sound to you...
Mark

Salt Racer
08-30-2004, 07:40 AM
Mark,
You have a PM.

BlazerSpeed
08-30-2004, 09:35 PM
damn mark drawings look better everytime I see 'em. I remember what you were planning on doing for body/suspension, but what were your plans for the interior?
DEREK

astroracer
08-31-2004, 03:46 AM
Thanks Derek!
I've got some ideas rolling around in my head for the interior stuff but I haven't really thought about it too much. I've still got a lot of design issues with the front suspension so, until I get those worked out, I'm not going to worry about the rest of it....
I do have a pair of Neon buckets that I may use or I may go with a full set of Fiero seats a buddy can get for me. Resculpting the dash is a probability with all aftermarket gauges and what not...
Mark

astroracer
09-02-2004, 07:34 AM
A big thank you to Salt Racer for his help in getting my front suspension optimized. He helped me with a lot of input on what I needed to achieve with all of my settings. I spent a lot of time on the initial design but, without any clear goals in mind as far as bump steer and roll center migration, I was leaving a lot of it to chance. With his guidance I've relocated the upper and lower control arm points and pushed the brake corner farther outboard for a deeper offset rim. We both feel this will be a killer set up and should handle very well... Which is what you want it to do, right? Thanks again Katz... :smoke:
This is what I ended up with.
Initial settings:
Track = 32.24
Wheel mounting face = 34.24
Rim = 10" wide with 7" B.S. (2.00" offset)
275/40x17 tire.
Scrub Radius = 1.80"
Side scrub at 3" dive = .07"
Anti-Dive = 51.2%
SVSA Length = 98.4"
Bump Steer @ 3" Dive = 0.00 deg.
Bump Steer @ 3" Rise = 0.08 deg. (never see it)
R/C height @ design = 1.31"
R/C hgt in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.55 deg Steer) =1.30"
R/C migration in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.55 deg Steer) = 0.23" from Center
R/C migration in right turn (3 deg Roll/10.55 deg Steer) = 0.23" from Center
R/C in Off Camber Right turn ( 3 deg Roll Left/ 10.55 deg Steer Right) = 3.33" from Center.
R/C in Off Camber Left turn ( 3 deg Roll Right/ 10.55 deg Steer Left) = 3.33" from Center.
Bump steer and Roll Center Migration are pretty important. This should be a very stable and predictable suspension.
Mark

airrj1
09-02-2004, 11:20 AM
Mark,


Very cool. I understand half of what you posted, but I am catching more of it everyday. I am hoping to work on a custom suspension in Pro/E this winter. I'll have to hit you up for some tips. :icon996:

astroracer
09-07-2004, 03:48 AM
Mark,


Very cool. I understand half of what you posted, but I am catching more of it everyday. I am hoping to work on a custom suspension in Pro/E this winter. I'll have to hit you up for some tips. :icon996:
No problem... Ask away...
I was pretty busy this weekend redesigning the whole front suspension to the new points Katz helped me out with... Here are a few screen shots of what I've got now...
This is a bottom viewhttps://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10945567630-1.jpg
Front View...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10945553210-1.jpg
Front Iso View of the new Control Arms
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10945572472-1.jpg
And a view of the complete corner... Arms, Shock, frame and tire/wheel.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10945558712-1.jpg

astroracer
09-07-2004, 03:53 AM
This is a section I cut through the brake corner, tire and wheel. I sent this to Bill at Bonspeed to help him develope the front rims for "Bad Ast".
Even though I am using mostly stock Corvette parts I still wanted to verify Caliper to rim Clearances.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10945584090-1.jpg

Salt Racer
09-07-2004, 05:47 AM
Looks good Mark. Good call on checking caliper/spoke clearance with the manufacturer.

Good job!

astroracer
09-07-2004, 07:11 AM
Thanks K...
After moving the Rack up last Thursday I re-optimized everything Friday and this suspension is ready to go now. I still have zero bump. The R/C actually moves inboard .31 inches @ 3 degrees Roll & 10 degrees Steer! And the outer tierod has plenty of clearance to the rim.
Anti-Dive is 51% and the Ackerman angles are near perfect... (.05 degrees of error at full steer...). Thanks again for all of your help. I still have a few things to work out but I hope to start developing welding fixtures in a week or so...
Mark

TurboLark
09-10-2004, 02:33 PM
What program are you using for that? Solidworks? Is it too big to email?? :D

astroracer
09-11-2004, 05:26 PM
It's not solidworks and it's way to big to email...
I have a beta version of Unigraphics V18. It's out of date now but it does what I need it to do so I keep it loaded. The big problem with it is it's NOT very user friendly. Ive been running UG since '92 so I am pretty proficient with it but anybody trying to learn it without training is not going to do well... Sorry
Mark

astroracer
09-11-2004, 05:57 PM
Katz (Salt Racer) gave me some more direction friday concerning the Anti-Dive and Side View Swing Arm (SVSA) Length. I've re-developed all of the points and this is where I'm at. I think we've covered everything right Katz? Look this over one more time and let me know if you see anything else...
A few things I did while reworking the points was to bring the LCA pivot points parallel to ground AND Center of car and I also brought the UCA pivots in parallel to center of car.
I did another major move of the Steering Rack also. I moved it and the outer Tierod Point 1" rearward in car to gain more clearance to the rim.
This is what I ended up with.
Initial settings: (Specs in Black did not change)
Track = 32.24
Wheel mounting face = 34.24
Rim = 10" wide with 7" B.S. (2.00" offset)
275/40x17 tire.
Scrub Radius = 1.80"
Side scrub at 3" dive = .07"
Anti-Dive = 26.8%
SVSA Length = 97.7"
Bump Steer @ 3" Dive = -0.008" This is Bump out which is better then bump in. It actually starts bumping out (-0.001) @ 1.50" of Dive.
Bump Steer @ 3" Rise = 0.003"
R/C height @ design = 1.68"
R/C hgt in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) =1.66"
R/C migration in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = 0.04" from Center
R/C migration in right turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = 0.04" from Center
Outside tire Camber Gain in left turn (3 deg Roll/10.0 deg Steer) = -.41 degs

This suspension design is a far cry from the Corvette points I started out with... The Corvette doesn't even come close to pulling down these numbers... I just hope it works as well under a vehicle as it looks on paper...

Salt Racer
09-13-2004, 05:38 AM
Mark,
It looks good to me. If anything, I'd try 10~30" longer FVSA and see if it decreases side scrub. If not, set in -1.0~-1.5* static camber and you're good to go.

astroracer
09-13-2004, 01:04 PM
Katz,
:hand:
I didn't update the Side Scrub in my last post... It should be 0.04 @ 3" of Dive. How does that sound?
Mark

Salt Racer
09-13-2004, 01:31 PM
That's pretty damn good. Also, be sure to check scrub at every 0.5" suspension travel - both jounce and rebound. Typically the curve is not linear. More than likely the number will increase quite a bit when you go over 2" travel on rebound, but don't worry about that.

astroracer
09-13-2004, 05:46 PM
Here is what the scrub radius is doing in .5" increments...
Dive:
-0.5 = -.03
-1.0 = -.03
-1.5 = -.03
-2.0 = -.02
-2.5 = .01
-3.0 = .03
This means it is moving a total of .06 inches while it is articulating in Dive.
Rebound:
+0.5 = .03
+1.0 = .07
+1.5 = .13
+2.0 = .19
+2.5 = .27
+3.0 = .37
It's really walking around in rebound. Is this too excessive?
Mark

Salt Racer
09-14-2004, 05:11 AM
Nope. You're good. Most IFS I design fall in about the same range, so does the C5 IFS. Good job!

astroracer
09-14-2004, 05:21 AM
Even though Katz and I are still kicking around suspension points I have gotten a few things done.
Here are some pics of the Steering Rack Brackets. These will be made out of 1/4" plate. I have a two piece design shown to allow for future up/down adjustment of the rack if the need arises. I will probably add a couple of tube braces to triangulate the mounts either forward or backward in car.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10951662900-1.jpg
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10951665650-1.jpg
Here is a pic of the LCA Brackets. I'll probably make these out of 4130 for strength and wear resistance. I've squared all of the control arm points to chassis centerline so fabbing the brackets and keeping evrything straight should be much easier.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10951662912-1.jpg
This is a shot of the motor/trans in place. I've lowered them 5.5" and moved them back 14". I've got the mount plates placed in the file but haven't connected them to the chassis yet. I am trying to decide if I should move the motor back towards the driver an 1" or so... The Astro's have the motor/trans offset toward the Pass. side about 2 3/8".https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10951668711-1.jpg
Thanks for looking
Mark

astroracer
09-20-2004, 08:01 AM
With Katz's help this suspension design is a go...
I have done a bit of redesigning on the cradle, adding the front and rear crossmembers and getting the motor mounts tied to the rear crossmember. I'll snap some new pics tonight and get them loaded.
I'll be building the crossmembers out of 2 x 4 rectangular tubing and then tieing the 2" dia lower rails into them. This gets rid of all the bends in the 2"tubing that I had in my initial design. The bends look cool but I've determined they will be nearly impossible to do with the equipment I have access too. Without spending a bunch of money on bending dies....
I made dimensioned drawings for the cradle last night so I am ready to start cutting steel. AFTER I do a little more checking and thinking of course.... Measure twice, cut once...

astroracer
09-20-2004, 08:09 AM
I ordered the custom license plate for the van Friday...
What do you think? BAD AST

BlazerSpeed
09-20-2004, 08:41 PM
:drool: thats all i have to say. Did I read that right? your setting the motor back 14 inches? as always the suspension drawings look awsome, haha I can think of a few engineering firms here in Chicago whose work do not look anywhere near that professional. Cant wait to see it completed.
DEREK

David Pozzi
09-20-2004, 09:26 PM
I'd extend the lower shock brackets to the lower balljoint, it gives them more support and eliminates twist on the tube. I like their lower eye location, below the A frame is good.

The steering rack brackets look like they could flex or slip side to side. Is there room to connect them with a tube?
If not, maybe you can use two bolts per side to the frame.
David

astroracer
09-21-2004, 02:36 AM
Thanks Derek, and yes, you read it right... The motor is going down 5.5", back 14" and back towards center about an 1 1/4". The #1 spark plug hole ends up a little over 10" behind the front axle centerline.

David,
We are on the same page on all of your points. I plan to extend the shock tabs just as you mentioned (I just need to do it) and I am looking into using a set of stock car style anti-dive bushings to better locate the steering brackets and provide an incremental adjust for Bump Steer.
I am thinking for now though I may leave the slots out and just put the initial hole in each bracket. IF I need to adjust the bump steer I can always mill the slots later.
As far as flex in the mounts is concerned I am thinking about that also. The brackets I have shown are just intitial concept. Something to look at, so to speak. I am looking at adding an additional wall on the inside of each frame bracket to control sideways movement of the rack bracket. This will also give the frame bracket more width so I can add a triangulation tube down to the frame rail. I will work on this stuff tonight and post it up tomorrow.
Thanks for your input, it is greatly appreciated, and anything else you guys see (or don't see) is welcome input also.
Mark

astroracer
09-21-2004, 07:44 AM
Here is the latest cradle design. 2 x 4 front and rear crossmembers, triangulation added to LCA attachments, motor mounts tie directly into rear crossmember with 1 1/4 x .156 wall tubing.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10957644020-1.jpg
The top view gives you a better look at how things are tied together.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10957644101-1.jpg
This a pic of the Monte Carlo bar I am thinking of adding between the shock towers... You can also see in the left front corner the beginings of the Stab Bar attachment.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10957645900-1.jpg
Here I've got most of the front suspension turned on. You can see how far back the motor is going to be. The #1 spark plug is a little over 10" behind the front axle centerline...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10957649601-1.jpg

FoxGranadaChuck
09-24-2004, 07:48 PM
Sounds like a really cool concept. I have some questions as to how parts of your prospective Astro will turn out.
What powertrain will it have?! Are you going with Baer brakes?! Are you going to keep OE-type seats for the rear of the van, or do you have something else planned?!
I am merely curious because I am contemplating a similiar Ford Aerostar project.

astroracer
09-25-2004, 04:10 AM
Hey FGC...
The van will be getting a BBC with a 700R4. The rear will be a 9" Ford with 4.11's.
Brakes, for now, is all Grand Sport 'Vette stuff and I will be using either Dodge Neon or Fiero buckets in the front four positions. The rear floor, starting just in front of the rear axle and going rearward, will be raised about a foot and a 35gal. fuel cell and dual batteries will be built into the compart behind the axle. With room for tools and a spare tire also...
Just keep in mind the Astro is already a rear wheel drive vehicle and the Aerostar is a FWD.
Thanks for looking.
Mark

toddshotrods
09-25-2004, 05:48 AM
I am pretty sure the Aerostar is RWD Mark. I think you're thinking of the Windstar (now called the Freestar or something stupid like that). I've been wrong before though, so I could be again.

Have you considered mounting the fuel cell ahead of the rear axle? Seems a shame to go through all that work to improve the weight distribution (10" motor set-back) and then hang so much weight outside the axles again. Maybe a conjoined twins C5 style setup.

astroracer
09-25-2004, 11:35 AM
You're right Todd...
"1990-97 Ford Aerostar: Introduced way back in 1986, Ford's rear-drive minivan came in both passenger and cargo-hauling form..."
Show's to go you how much attention I've been paying...
Sorry about that FGC... Build on Dude...
Mark... out there, somewhere...

astroracer
09-29-2004, 05:06 AM
I ordered these bushing ends last week...
http://www.suicidedoors.com/products/4-link_ends_200.jpg
Some background:
I got them in the 1.5" & the 2" diameters. I will use the 1.5" for the upper arms and the 2" on the Lowers. These will be welded directly to the control arms. The inner sleeves for both sizes accept a 9/16ths dia. bolt. The price for these is very cheap! $9.99 for the inner and outer sleeves AND the poly bushings. I couldn't buy the material for just the outers for that!
The upper cross shaft I am using is for a mid 80's G-body. The shaft dia. is 5/8's of an inch. I can turn the I.D. of the poly bushing to increase the inner sleeve to .875 O.D. x .12 wall D.O.M. which will accept the 5/8th cross shaft. This is a must do thing so the cross shaft will work. My question is should I do the same thing with the lowers? I can use them as is with a 9/16ths bolt but I think I should upsize them while I am doing it just to be on the safe side. The tubing cost is minimal so thats not the issue. I will probably do it but I was just wanting a little input from you guys.
Thanks
Mark

DLinson
09-29-2004, 10:03 AM
Mark,

Everything looks great. I wish this site was around before I started designing my suspention and had it all built. After reviewing this thread I have a feeling I may have some issues with it but am too afraid to find out and too far along to change now.

Where did you get the model of the engine, it looks extremely detailed and usually not something you could model very easily. The oil pan has all of the ribs, all of the accessories, etc. I designed my car in Pro-E but just mocked up a model for the engine so I could design the headers. They came out close but would have been nice to have the and actual engine model. If you didn't model that, where did you get it? I have plans for another project car and would like to find a model for a small block. My Nova has a BBC.

Thanks,
Dennis Linson

astroracer
09-29-2004, 06:20 PM
Dennis, you have a PM...

astroracer
09-30-2004, 08:04 AM
Here are a few pics of the bushings and sleeves I mentioned above...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10965435292-1.jpg
I will be making a few revisions to the UCA Sleeves to make them work with the "G" body cross shaft I am using.
They will need to be narrowed up a bit so the nut and washers will go on... The inner sleeves will work with a 9/16th bolt just fine but I will be replacing the inners with a piece of 7/8" O.D. x .12 wall D.O.M so they will slip over the 5/8" dia. shaft/thread on the cross shaft. I will open up the I.D. of the poly bushings slightly to fit the new inner sleeve O.D.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10965439961-1.jpg
I will leave the LCA sleeve length alone but I will upgrade the through bolt to a 5/8th's dia. to mirror the mod to the uppers. I probably don't need to but I'll feel better about it so bear with me.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10965445141-1.jpg
I picked up all of the steel for the cradle build last Friday. A stick of 2" O.D. x .12 wall D.O.M. A stick of 2 x 4 x .12 wall rect. and a half stick of 2 x 3 x .12 wall. I also ordered the 7/8" O.D. stuff for the new sleeves and a 20' piece of 1/2" x 3" HRS for the tubing bender build. I also picked up my buddies big tubing bender to bend up the control arms and also to use as a model for my version. I'll get some pics this weekend and post them up...
Thanks for looking
Mark

astroracer
11-03-2004, 03:44 AM
Well, if you read my "Taking a new job" thread you know I haven't had much time to work on the Astro lately BUT... Bonspeed was busy building my rims! They were delivered yesterday and they look great! I will take some pics and put them up this weekend.
I have one of the 18x12's in the living room and it is HUGE! My wife just shakes her head as I sit there looking at it...
I have so much to do but I am on overtime right now and am pretty well tapped, energy wise, when I get home at night. Believe me the motivation is there and I will have a lot more capital to work with now (majorly huge rate increase!!!) so, as soon as I can, I am going to get busy setting the workshop up and getting it cleaned out... I have too much stuff...
Mark

Salt Racer
11-03-2004, 04:20 PM
:pics2:

astroracer
11-04-2004, 03:37 AM
Hey Katz, How's it going?
I'll get some pics tonight... When I got home from work last night my wife had put a piece of plate glass on the rim which turned it into a very shiney end table for my lazy boy recliner... It looks VERY cool. :icon996:

Kenova
11-04-2004, 09:26 AM
Hey Katz, How's it going?
I'll get some pics tonight... When I got home from work last night my wife had put a piece of plate glass on the rim which turned it into a very shiney end table for my lazy boy recliner... It looks VERY cool. :icon996:

:lmao: :lmao: Sounds like you just lost a wheel. Maybe you'd better buy the little woman a couple of wheels for Christmas.

Ken

MoeBawlz
11-04-2004, 02:06 PM
I use Unigraphics a lot and im starting to do some work for fun more or less... been designing some suspension and so on, which program arey ou using? and how long have you been doing this for?

astroracer
11-04-2004, 05:20 PM
I use Unigraphics a lot and im starting to do some work for fun more or less... been designing some suspension and so on, which program arey ou using? and how long have you been doing this for?
I'm running Unigraphics V18. I've been doing computer design since 1986 and before that I was doing layout and design work using the old pencil/paper, plastic/mylar methods. I've been in the drafting/design business since I graduated in '74.

astroracer
11-04-2004, 06:40 PM
This is how the 18 x 12 looked when I got home Wednesday night... I didn't touch a thing...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/11/10996185110-1.jpg
The plastic wrap is still on it protecting the rim so it looks a little rough.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/11/10996185111-1.jpg
This is my left hand on the 18 x 12... I have a 9 5/8" spread so you can compare that to the width of the wheel... :bananna2:
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/11/10996186252-1.jpg

MoeBawlz
11-05-2004, 12:51 AM
Does the version of UG have CAST?

if so just run through those... they are great... Im starting to go through the CAST tutorials on surface modeling... and ive been banging my head on the desk since...

Fuelie Fan
11-05-2004, 07:22 PM
How much is that subframe going to weigh?? It certainly looks to be stiff enough, but I'm wondering if you could do things more efficiently. For example, if you're worried about deflection of the upper shock mount, maybe you should increase it's x-section as opposed to running that crossbar. This will add stiffness without adding nearly as much weight. Do you know what your loads are?
As a side note, I don't think that (the crossbar) is really an ideal way to do it anyways, because now if you have a load through let's say the left shock mount, now all you're doing is transmitting that load to the other shock mount as well. So, now instead of just one suspension location potentially being deflected, you have two.

astroracer
11-09-2004, 10:23 AM
I haven't run the weight calcs yet but I expect it to be lighter then the stock one. Probably not by much but that's really not a concern. I am not building the van to do any real racing and I don't want to have to worry about a lightweight cradle bending on a hard hit on a railroad track or pothole.
Point taken on the crossbar. I just threw that in to see what it would look like. If I do anything I will probably build some structure into the firewall and tie the towers into that. I don't think I will need to though because the towers will be built out of 11ga and having them supported by the UCA mounting plate really stiffens them up.
Thanks for the input and let me know if you see anything else...
Mark

wickedmotorhead
11-09-2004, 08:36 PM
Mark,

I also am going to be designing a frame and suspension for my chevelle and would like to know where you got the BBC model? Thanks.

astroracer
11-10-2004, 03:45 AM
Shane,
You have a PM...
Mark

astroracer
11-30-2004, 06:45 PM
Here's a couple of pics of the Bonspeeds mounted on the Michelins...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/12/11018681890-1.jpg
Use the 2x4 as a scale for size.... These things are HUGE!
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/12/11018681902-1.jpg

immrtransam
01-03-2005, 09:31 PM
Looks good so far. Any pic's of the Van itself maybe with the rims in place. I'm working on a 91 Safari GT. Trying to find info on lowering and wheels and such. It's what I have to work with since I sold my T/A to pay the bills. :nopity:

astroracer
01-04-2005, 09:40 AM
I have a few renderings I have done. Pics of the van itself are very boring.
Here is one of the renderings, I will load a few tonight. Any and all critisizm is welcome. These are just ideas and my own minds eye rambling so pick away...
Mark

chevelless502
01-09-2005, 12:26 PM
Mark,

All you have done really looks good. I use Pro/E for a living and have built a few things using it as well. Can I get a copy of that BBC as well, would be neet to see on my screen at work and then I could model some off of it maybe. [email protected]

Thanks

73swinger
01-26-2005, 06:49 PM
ahhh those pictures bring back pleasant memories of my drafting class i took last year...alsmot failed because i spent alot of time designing intake manifolds and dish pistons...those were the days.

protour_chevelle
01-28-2005, 07:32 AM
Mark, I was looking at your drawings and noticed you were trying a few different exhaust tip options. Soo, I went back and looked at Tony's SEMA pictures because I remembered a pretty slick looking set-up and figured you might be interested in it. I think this would look pretty cool on the van!

http://www.ls1tech.com/SEMA_04/pages/DSC04409.htm

-Matt

astroracer
01-28-2005, 09:35 AM
Very cool Matt!
Thanks for that. I saved it into my reference folder. And thank you Tony for posting it up. I really appreciate any feedback I get from you guys. I need to get some more sketching done but time is a commodity I don't have a lot of right now...
I have been busting my cajones at the day job (still doing the overtime thing) and that leaves me with very little energy to work on the van at night... And it's been to damn cold... I am getting things done though. I am picking up a 14" inch bandsaw in the morning and have been working on designs to upgrade it similar to John's...
https://www.pro-touring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3657
I ordered pillow blocks for the conversion yesterday and I will get pulley sizes figured out after I have the saw home. I have to measure the existing pulleys so I can plug those numbers into the SFPM calculations and I also need the motor RPM's to get started.
I plan on documenting this very well so keep in touch and if there is any input it is welcome.
Thanks!
Mark

astroracer
02-02-2005, 03:55 AM
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/pt/2004/09/10951662912-1.jpg
What material should I use for the Lower Control Arm brackets? (the purple ones). I am thinking 4130 x 3/16ths. I know this will provide a lot of wear resistance but will the welding process hurt the material properties? Am I just being anal or would 1018/1020 be fine if it is braced as I show it in the design?
Thanks
Mark

protour_chevelle
02-02-2005, 06:28 AM
If it helps any....The dezert guys are using 4130 for their I-beam and center mounted a-arm bracket along with rear shackles and other misc parts.

-Matt

toddshotrods
02-02-2005, 10:26 PM
These are being MIG'd to mild steel right?

I would suggest getting the advise of a shop who has built many chassis, and preferrably one who builds drag or road race vehicles that have to compete in something like NHRA or SCCA sanctioned events.

Of course, PT.com has its own resident welding/metallurgy specialist - Matt from RFR. Send him a pizza or something for a little advise :D

If you want I can check with my preferred race car shop guy. He builds mostly NHRA legal (down to low sevens high sixes) stuff, and some street cars.

astroracer
02-03-2005, 02:34 AM
I'll post the question in the fabrication section. It'll get more exposure there... Thanks guys.
Mark

astroracer
03-14-2005, 09:34 AM
Haven't been on the forum a lot so I'll update the Bad Ast project.
I added some new RAM on the mother board so I can actually get some work done again. Got to a point where the computer was crashing whenever I loaded an assembly with any content in it. Not good when most of my design work hinges around loading components into a design study and working with live data.... I bumped it up to 1 1/2 Gig and it runs very smooth now.
Here is a pic of the rear sub. It is mostly complete with just a few things to iron out yet like lower shock mounts and a couple of additional crossmembers. I went away from the "angled spring" idea and squared everything back up.

MoeBawlz
03-17-2005, 05:43 PM
Lookin good... I had the same problem with loading one of my single part files and having the computer crash I just upped my RAM as well. Looks real nice though.

astroracer
03-31-2005, 12:24 PM
Here is a pic of the latest front cradle design. You will notice that it is incomplete. I am rebuilding all of my geometry files by breaking the individual parts out into their own files. Every piece I have to make to build the cradle is now in it's own file and the picture you see is an assembly of all of these separate components. I have a few parts left(the RH shock tower is one of them) to load into the cradle assembly but I'll have that done tonight.
I have gone through the design (again) and optimized the dimensions and angles for buildabilty. It is much easier to cut and fit stuff when all of the dimensions are easily attainable and the angles are at nominal numbers like 45 or 30 degs. With all of the pieces/parts in their own files I can start making drawings of individual components. I am planning to start that process this weekend and I should have the bandsaw up and running also. I need to move the truck out of storage so I can get the barn cleaned out and set up to start the build. IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! It is warming up here in MI. and I am getting the bug to start cutting steel.
Thanks for looking...
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
05-05-2005, 07:58 PM
What has become of your Project "Bad Ast"?!

astroracer
05-06-2005, 02:17 AM
Hey FGC,
It's coming along. Not a lot to report lately though... Spring has me doing other things like yardwork and car maintenance and cleaning and my daughters college graduation and my wifes shoulder surgery and I'm still working overtime and I still need to get the truck out of the way (tomorrow).... Too much to do and not enough time in the day to do it... If you know what I mean...
Plans for this weekend are to get the truck moved out and hang a few more flourescent lights a friend gave me and start getting equipment and the jig tables set up to start the build.
My tubing bender from Pro-Tools should be shipping today and I can start cutting rails for the subframe construction. I still need to make up drawings for most of the pieces/parts but that stuff I can do during the week after I get home.
I will post up some pics after I get some parts made. I'm sure you guys are as tired of looking at computer pics as I am.
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
05-22-2005, 08:08 PM
Hey, man:

With the events in my life during these past few months, I definitely know whereof you speak! I have had to stop working on my beloved Cougar sedan project because my Dad fell ill a few months ago and nearly died several times! Nowadays, with having to go back and forth between the nursing home in which my Dad is right now and the local VA here in Johnson City to get him home, I haven't had much time for anything else.
Hopefully, I will be getting back to the Cougar soon!
I am so glad to hear on the progress of your project. I can hardly wait for it to come to fruition!
Question: Are you going to use Baer brakes on the BadAst?! Merely curious.

astroracer
05-24-2005, 02:03 AM
I have a 5 day weekend planned barring any unforeseen catastrophies at work in the next couple of days... I will be hitting the project hard.
Brakes, at the moment, consist of a full set of Corvette Grand Sport calipers and rotors I got off eBay for cheap. At least these will allow me to get the corners mocked up and my adapter brackets made. I may go with something better in time but right now I would just like to get something built...
Mark

astroracer
05-31-2005, 02:20 AM
Well, after three days of cleaning, re-arranging and hanging additional lights, I finally got some real parts made yesterday. I started cutting out the upper rails for the front cradle. I will finish that up tonight and start adding the detail stuff to the rails like the notches for steering gear clearance and holes for the body mounts. I didn't get any pics but I will tonight.
I am finding it very satisfying to get this project off the computer and into the real world. I stayed up too late last night finishing up drawings for the rest of the upper rail parts and the welded assembly but I'll be able to get out there tonight and make sparks and not waste any time sitting at the computer.
I also started a website over the weekend. I plan to put the chassis jig design and build on it along with a full documentation of the design and build of Bad Ast. I haven't published it to the web yet as there is still a lot to do but I think it will be pretty neat when I get it done...
Wish me good fortune and the retention of all ten digits as I finally get to work on the van...
Mark

astroracer
06-06-2005, 04:30 AM
Being that the Pro Touring site has limited space for pics I started a project gallery on another forum. Here is a link if anyone is interested to see what I've gotten done in the last week...
http://www.clubhotrod.com/photopost/showgallery.php?ppuser=74&cat=500&thumb=1
All of the lower crossmembers and vertical supports are cut out, fishmouthed and notched.
Fishmouthing the tubing was pretty basic. I used a tubing notcher and a 2" holesaw to make 14 notches. Making sure the notches were parallel in the crosmembers was the only difficult part. I made the initial fishmouth on one end and then used a piece of tubing and an angle finder to make sure the second notch ran true to the first.
I built a quickie notching jig to cut out the notch in the vertical supports that fit up to the bottom of the upper rail. I used a piece of maple for the base, bolted on a short piece of 2" tube as a "nest" and clamped the tube to be cut into the jig with a C-clamp. Worked pretty slick and this rig makes sure that all of the verticals are the same length.
Thanks for looking
Mark

Steve Chryssos
06-06-2005, 05:17 AM
John Q: "How was your weekend? Do anything interesting?"
Mark: "Yeah, I started making a car."
John Q: "Whattya mean? You changed the oil or something?" :hmm:
Mark: "No I'm building a car from scratch--a whole car!" :smoke:

That's awesome, Mark. Good luck with the project.

astroracer
06-07-2005, 02:00 AM
Thanks Steve,
I appreciate the kudo's. My wife calls the van a 1:1 scale model... Which is exactly what it is if you think about it. Just alot more expensive and dirtier to work on...
Mark

Jagarang
06-07-2005, 05:12 AM
And I thought I was crazy! Your wife is a saint! Wanna trade? Very very very interesting and SWEEEEETttttt project. It very intriqueing to watch a project going from bare tubing to finished product! I can only imagine what the experience is like from your end! Keep up the great work, keep the updates coming, and HAVE FAITH!

astroracer
06-08-2005, 02:13 AM
Hey Kevin,
You nailed it bud... My wife puts up with a lot but she is VERY understanding. Her reasoning? "She knows where I'm at, what I'm doing and what I'm spending my money on"... She also calls my shop her "invisible fench"... It's pretty funny and we get a good laugh out of it. Oh, no trades concidered...
Thanks for the kudo's also. It's funny you should mention the experience end of it. I was thinking about that the other day. I have never built a vehicle from the ground up like this. I have always used off the shelf stuff and made do with what was available. This project actually started out as just a drop and mini tub but, once I discovered the amount of work involved, the project evolved... And, after I hooked up with Katz and got the suspension straghtened out, it was a done deal.
Of course my line of work has a lot to do with this design and build. If I wasn't in chassis/suspension design I wouldn't be doing this. I take a lot of my knowledge for granted and sometimes I have to stop and realize everybody building a car is not as fortunate as I am to have the background (and resources) I have.
Thanks again and I'll keep everyone up to date.
Mark

Dust87ss
06-13-2005, 12:56 PM
I just skimmed through this thread, so this may have been mentioned and I missed it; but, since the cross shaft for the upper control arm goes through the shock mount, wont you have quite a bit of difficulty putting the shaft, bushings, and control arm together? The bushings you chose may make it easier than a factory style; I was just curious. Did you think about using an adjustable type upper arm with rod ends so that you dont have to have the cross shaft go through the shock mount?

Also, any reason you didnt go with a three- or four-link rear suspension instead of usng leaf springs?

Again, sorry if any of this has been covered; I just didnt catch any of it as I skimmed through.

astroracer
06-13-2005, 02:45 PM
Wow! Nice catch Dustin! I have actually done a major redesign on the shock tower since the pic you were looking at was snapped. Even though the cross shaft would have passed through the shock tower easily, I have removed the tubing and made the hole larger. I was looking for more cross-car adjustability that was lacking with the tubing in place.
The big problem I found was in assembling the shaft to the upper control arms. The tubing used for the upper control arm pivots was 1 1/2 O.D. x 3/16ths wall and the cross shaft had no way of sliding inside of the pivots to install it into the arm. I have since redesigned one of the pivots to use a 2" O.D. x 1/4 wall tube so the cross shaft will slip into it and all of the bushings can be installed. I'll have to load some new pics so you can see the current set-up.
As far as the rear suspension goes I am comfortable with the leaf springs. I talked with Mark Stielow when I was doing the initial planning and he and I agreed that a well set-up leaf spring suspension will work on a par with a four link for what I am using it for. The leaf springs are much more versatile and they don't have the problems with binding, cross car axle tramp and maintenance that are common with a 5 bar suspension.
This van won't see much (if any) track time and is more street oriented. Drivability is more important here then all out track performance although the leaf springs are not a hinderance in my research.
Thanks for the insight and keep looking. You guys have helped immensly and I appreciate the extra eyes...
Mark

Dust87ss
06-14-2005, 05:58 AM
I am by no means a suspension expert; just by reading some of the thread, I can tell that you have done way more research than I have on suspension tuning. But, I too, am a draftsman and know that a set of fresh eyes will almost always catch something that you missed while working on the drawing (although computers make things quicker and more precise, you dont get to look at the drawing as a whole until its printed).

Thanks for the feedback on your ideas.

astroracer
06-16-2005, 02:59 AM
Thank you Dustin, you're exactly right. Part of this process also involves explaining the design. I find I catch many problems when someone asks a simple question. Running through the design in my head to answer the question makes me step back and look at the big picture. It all helps so keep the questions and comments coming.
It was cool enough last night that I could get into the shop and get a few things done. I got the camber plates cut out and shaped and started making the LCA brackets out of some 1/8th wall 2x2 tubing.
The camber plates are made out of 3/8" stock.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
I got a good start on the LCA Brackets but it was getting late and I need to build a jig to saw cut them to size. I'll do that tonight.
Each piece will make two brackets. The circle is where I'll run a 2" Dia holesaw into the chunk. I'll then split the chunk into two pieces with the bandsaw.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
Running the holesaw into one side makes the joint where the bracket will be welded to the lower rail.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
Thanks for looking
Mark

astroracer
06-20-2005, 04:00 AM
I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had hoped but I got some major hurdles jumped. Friday night I picked up a couple of sheets of particle board to use as the assembly table. One is laminated with melamine (like formica) and the other was plain.
Saturday was a honey do day... worked on mowers and house projects til 4:30pm and then went to the inlaws for the evening. It wasn't wasted though as my Father-in-Law is a pack rat and I got a bunch of steel and aluminum from him.
Sunday was spent building the jig table top. I glued the two pieces of board together with construction adhesive and pulled them together with drywall screws. I then cut the top down to 4' x 6' and laid out the centerlines. Center of car runs the long way and the wheel centerline runs the narrow way 24" back from the end. I then used a straight edge and a narrow kerf blade on my skill saw to cut both lines 3/8ths of an inch deep. This gives me a place to hook a tape measure for laying out the cradle dimensions. I can also slip a long straight edge into the kerfs and use them as baselines for my machinists square.
I also got my shocks on Friday. Very nice! They look great and now that I have them I can verify my LCA and Tower attachments.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
Thanks for looking
Mark

astroracer
06-22-2005, 02:10 AM
Didn't do a lot last night other then a little cleaning and straightening and starting a mock-up of the cradle. This is rough and by no means is it squared up or laid out per my dimensions but it gives you an idea of what the cradle will look like when I start tacking it together.
A little more work with the flap disc to clean up the areas to be welded and i'll be able to start "glueing" it together...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif

astroracer
08-26-2005, 08:55 AM
I don't know how much real interest there is here about the Bad Ast project but it's been a while since I updated the post so I'll do that now that I have some more work done.
I've gotten the upper rails just about ready to weld together. The front halves (Left & right) are welded up and rough finished and the rear outriggers which carry the #2 & #3 body mounts will be ready to go after I get a couple of access slots cut into the side for the #2 lower body mount biscuit.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
I am hoping to have the entire main cradle tacked together tomorrow so I can start finish welding it late Sat or Sunday.

F70t/a
08-26-2005, 09:41 AM
I'm real interested in your suspension build up!!!! Looks really good. :icon996:

JamesD
08-26-2005, 10:36 AM
Very nice! I really enjoy following such an original project.

astroracer
08-29-2005, 04:28 AM
Thanks guys,
I was getting pretty frustrated for a while. It was way to hot through most of July and early August for me to get anything done on the build. The last couple of weekends have been productive though and I got a LOT done Saturday. The Upper Rails are nearly complete with a couple more pieces to be welded in at the intersection to close out the back of the main rails. I hope to get the entire cradle welded together this week. That will give me the three day Labor Day weekend to start fabbing the suspension pieces and getting the Upper & Lower Control Arm attachments tacked and welded. Lots to do but this thing is starting to flow now.
Thanks for looking...
Mark
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif

FoxGranadaChuck
08-29-2005, 11:39 AM
The really cool thing about this project is that this is neither a Mustang or a Camaro!

Nothing wrong with Mustangs or Camaros except for the fact that they are fairly ubiquitous in their presence.

astroracer
09-01-2005, 08:35 AM
Thanks FGC...
I like it just for that reason, and the fact that most people just can't understand why I would do this to a VAN...!
Well... My boss just gave me tomorrow off. :rocker: We have been busting our testicular appendages around here for the last month and he basically said take the time and enjoy yourself... :sleep: NOT!
You know what I'm going to be doing!
I just about have the cradle ready to tack together. I will be cleaning up all of the mating surfaces tonight and getting the components mocked into position. Last nite I made riser/set-up blocks for the main rails and dummied everything together. Surprisingly all of the parts fit together extremely well. I will shoot some pics tonight when I start to jig it together. Tomorrow will be a busy day as I get this thing jigged up and tacked together. I spend a lot of time verifying dims and making sure things are square before I throw down a weld...
It is supposed to be beautiful all weekend so I hope to get a good start on all of the suspension brackets and control arms also... I have to hard mount the tubing bender so I can get the tubing for the arms bent up. I plan to work on this tomorrow while I am waiting for welds to cool on the cradle.
Mark

astroracer
09-07-2005, 08:06 AM
I got quite a bit done this weekend and, if it wasn't for a kinked gas hose on the welder which was giving me fits, I would have had the cradle all welded up. I found the kinked line last night and was real happy that's all it was. I got most of the cradle tacked together and the Upper and Lower Control Arm Brackets are in place. This pic shows the RH side.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
I built a Poor Man's height Gage out of a Machinists Square and a 90* angle block. Works real well with a couple of bolts in the UCA mounting plate. I turned a point on the bolts and use the height gage to establish the verticle and longitudinal hole locations. The gage lines up on a pencil line laid out on the table top and then that edge is used to locate the point on the bolt lenthwise and the height is read right off the square.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
The point on the bolt indicating off the RH edge of the square and located vertically by the red highlighted hash mark...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
This is the cradle all tacked up. I have to do a little more work like the shock towers, steering gear crossmember and front body mounts but I got slowed up by the welder problem.
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
Thanks for looking
Mark

F70t/a
09-07-2005, 09:13 AM
Damn that is just incredible work!!! :bananna2:

MuscleRodz
09-07-2005, 09:14 AM
Looks like you got a lot done. Going to be interesting to see how well this thing does.

Mike

CAMAROBOY69
09-28-2005, 05:19 AM
The design work and fabrication on this project is by far the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. You are basically building a real life model out of scratch. I hope the members on this board realize how incredible this project is. You cant even imagine the talent it takes to design an entire vehicle and actually start putting it together from scrap parts. I bow down to you Mark. You are more inspiring than anyone I have ever met and I hope everyone keeps watching this project. :worship: :worship:

Steve Chryssos
09-28-2005, 05:38 AM
Very cool. Hey! Put the engine in the middle of the van.

astroracer
09-28-2005, 10:40 AM
Well Adam, what can I say? Thank you for the praise and thank you for the help in getting a bunch of my brackets laser cut. This sure will save me a bunch of fab time and now I have a few "extra" pieces to play around with.
Adam has sent me a pic of the brackets I had done thru Adfabdesign.

https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif

I haven't seen them in person yet but they look pretty good to me. I hope to have them by Friday at the latest so I'll post pics when I get them in my hot little hands...

toddshotrods
09-28-2005, 07:12 PM
Very cool. Hey! Put the engine in the middle of the van.

I tried to get him to put in it back and set up a blackjack table on the doghouse; between four race buckets on swivel pedestals. Then, he could add a slot machine in the dash, and a flip-down roulette wheel in back. A traveling casino - the project that pays :hmm: J/K

I love that little V-dub van. He comes to shows in my area occasionally.

FoxGranadaChuck
01-19-2006, 08:59 AM
What is the status of the Astro now?! Is it up and running yet?! Got pics?!

CAMAROBOY69
01-19-2006, 09:09 AM
Good question. I have been wondering the same exact thing. Last I heard he was working on the addition. I want to see those brackets on that van. :poke:

BB69
01-19-2006, 09:35 AM
Mark,
I would like to see some updates as well. I need some inspiration to get moving on my cars. I love the pictures of the jigs and other assembly helpers.

By the way, I completely redid the Excel suspension program. It's now about 90K, but has all the same capability. Let me know if you're interested in seeing it. I still am trying to figure out the bumpsteer calculations.

Ken

astroracer
01-20-2006, 06:34 AM
Well, guys, Adam hit the nail directly on the head... I have been spending a LOT of long weekends (12 to 14 hr days) in the shop cleaning and organizing. I updated my "Shop addition" thread this morning so as to not clutter this one up...
https://www.pro-touring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11278
Check it out. I hardly recognize the place when I go out there now... :headbang:
I am ready to start working on the van again but I am not going to touch it until I get the shop where I want it... That keeps me motivated and, now that I can see a lite at the end of the tunnel working on it will be a pleasure and not a chore...
I should be very close by the end of this weekend. If I can do a couple more all-dayers, I will have it 95% knocked out.
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
01-20-2006, 06:59 AM
Well, guys, Adam hit the nail directly on the head... I have been spending a LOT of long weekends (12 to 14 hr days) in the shop cleaning and organizing. I updated my "Shop addition" thread this morning so as to not clutter this one up...
https://www.pro-touring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11278
Check it out. I hardly recognize the place when I go out there now... :headbang:
I am ready to start working on the van again but I am not going to touch it until I get the shop where I want it... That keeps me motivated and, now that I can see a lite at the end of the tunnel working on it will be a pleasure and not a chore...
I should be very close by the end of this weekend. If I can do a couple more all-dayers, I will have it 95% knocked out.
Mark

COOL!!! Looking forward to seeing your Astro up and running. But that will be a while.

srh3trinity
01-20-2006, 02:14 PM
You are probably a long way away from doing this, but I like the look of the two driving lights mounted more towards the middle of the bumper, sweet project.

astroracer
01-23-2006, 05:55 AM
You are probably a long way away from doing this, but I like the look of the two driving lights mounted more towards the middle of the bumper, sweet project.
Yea, the body work is a long way off... I like the two driving light thing also as you can see with my current truck...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
I had a similar look on an '89 pickup I built before it got totalled. Should I make this a "theme" thing?
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
02-14-2006, 01:57 PM
Yea, the body work is a long way off... I like the two driving light thing also as you can see with my current truck...
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif
I had a similar look on an '89 pickup I built before it got totalled. Should I make this a "theme" thing?
Mark

I think that would look REALLY good!!!

John Monnin
02-14-2006, 06:07 PM
Wow! No insult to the other board member's projects, but to me this is the coolesting thing I have seen on forum. I love home built cars built by one person with a small budget, a ton of time and a lot of determination.

I am very impressed that you got computer models of a BBC. I was trying to find any models or prints a few months ago and all I learned is that I could get a solid model of a whole corvette IF I was a SEMA approved shop.

After tellling my wife for a few years, she just figured out what I ment when I said I wanted to build my own car. She kept asking me what kind of kit or what car I would start with. When I told her I wanted to sell my TT Stealth and use the money to buy a better computer a TIG welder and some other tools, she finally realized that I wanted to build a car from scratch. Unfortunately my buyer backed out and was thinking of just keeping the car..... But after seeing this I am ready to start an insainly huge project again. THANKS!

astroracer
02-15-2006, 06:48 AM
Thanks John, I really appreciate your comments. I am glad I can inspire someone with this project. :cool:
If you have been following my "shop makeover" thread you will see it is just about complete and I hope to get back to work on the van in a week or so. I have taken the makeover a lot further then I had originally planned but, the more I do, the easier it seems to get actual "work" done in the shop. I have found that, when I don't have to first clear an area to work in, I can get more work done because I am not spending half of my time making room to work or searching for tools. :idea:
It's taken me almost three months to get to this point but I feel it is time well spent and it will save me a LOT of headaches and time in the future.
Thanks again for the compliments, You give me the inspiration to get back to work... :worship:
Mark

DusterRT
02-16-2006, 03:40 PM
https://static1.pt-content.com/images/noimg.gif


Random comment: what kind of glasses are those? They look just like mine! LOL.

Related comment: friggin' awesome!!

Travis

astroracer
02-22-2006, 05:18 AM
Random comment: what kind of glasses are those? They look just like mine! LOL.

Related comment: friggin' awesome!!

Travis

Travis,
The glasses are "old guy" glasses. I need them for reading things like blueprints and scales... If you have a pair I will guess you are "old" like me. :bananna2:
Mark

Well, the shop is 99% complete as of last weekend and I am ready to get back on the Astro build. Because of the problems I am having with my welder, I am having some second thoughts on the quality of my welds in the current build and I am thinking about starting over with the cradle construction... I can have new pieces cut out in a day or two. I had a guy (he is a quality control engineer at GM and knows welding) look at my current cradle and he thought the welds, even though they are a bit rough, would hold up just fine. He told me I was being anal...Well, maybe I am, but this thing HAS to be safe going down the road and I do not want to be worrying about welds cracking every time I hit a bump... I am not confident with the welds, period.
The problem with the welder has been narrowed down to poor quality wire. That's all it can be. I will pick up some better wire this week and pull some beads to compare. If it is the wire then I will definitely start over because I don't want that junk holding my suspension together. :scared:
Any thoughts? I know what I need to do but some input would be appreciated...
Mark

CAMAROBOY69
02-22-2006, 05:23 AM
I say its 100% up to you. If a GM engineer tells you the welds will hold but you still dont feel comfortable, well then I would re-do it. You have to do whatever it takes so you can enjoy your ride 100% knowing it is safe. You also have to sleep at night knowing your are happy with your work. If that means starting over on the cradle then thats what you have to do.

02-22-2006, 10:46 AM
I'd be leary of advice from that guy....There's a whole lot that can go wrong with a weld below it's surface. He may be right, but unless he has x-ray vision he can't be sure, and that's one hell of a ballsy guess.

Mark, do you have any test/practice welds from the same time you welded the cradle? If you do, you can section those welds and acid etch them to see how they look. Any porosity, inclusions or lack of penetration/fusion will show up with this test.

astroracer
02-22-2006, 12:16 PM
Thanks Matt, I was hoping you'd chime in. I have decided to rebuild the cradle. I know that's what I need to do and a few dollars in steel isn't too high of a price to pay.
I will cut up some of the welds on the current piece of junk but I really don't need to. I know what the welds looked like when I was doing the work and that is the basis for my decision.
If you check the weld thread I started in Dec you will see I am probably right on the bad wire issue. The guy I talked to at Flint welding knew exactly what I had and he said they had been having customers complain about it also. I hope this is it and I can get back to work with some confidence in my welding abilities... :banghead:
Mark

astroracer
02-24-2006, 05:46 AM
If any of you have been following my "welding issues" thread...
https://www.pro-touring.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12916
you will see I have fixed the problem... Was it bad gas or just low on pressure? I don't know, but the new tank was like night and day for weld quality!
The old cradle will get cut up...
This is a bit of a set back but I can have it rebuilt in a couple of days now. I just ordered new 2" DOM to rebuild the lower frame and will start cutting the old one apart this weekend... I can salvage a lot of it as most of it is just tacked together so a few hours with the cut-off wheel and grinder will save me a lot of re-fabrication on the smaller parts..
It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I can start moving forward with the build and have some confidence in my welds again...! :cool:
Mark

CAMAROBOY69
02-24-2006, 05:50 AM
Congrats on finding the problem!!! I cant wait to see your enthusiastic results now! :woot:

02-24-2006, 08:05 AM
Good to hear, Mark.

Even though the gas fixed it, are you still going to use the new wire too?

astroracer
02-25-2006, 07:54 AM
Good to hear, Mark.

Even though the gas fixed it, are you still going to use the new wire too?
Yes I am. I didn't get to it last night (honey-dos) but I will today.
The new wire is from J.W. Harris. It came with a hearty recommendation and is a 70s-6 like the old spool. I had Rocky order a roll of 70s-3 for me yesterday to see if it will be any different. The -3 is for clean metal and it should wet out better then the -6 from what I have been told...
Do you have any advice about filler wire for the Tig? I picked up a tube of 70s-6 for that also. It is copper coated. Do you use copper coated for suspension work? Wouldn't bare steel be less prone to weld contamination?
Mark

02-25-2006, 08:02 AM
You're exactly right about the -6 vs. -3. The -6 has more silicon and manganese that work as deoxidisers for dirtier metal, and will not wet out as well as the -3.

Same thing for the TIG wire. I've never used anything other than -2 for TIG, and that's what I would suggest, as the metal has to be damn clean just to use the TIG process, so deoxidisers in the filler is pretty redundant.

Copper coated wire is all I've ever used on mild steel, and there are no ill effects.

If you need, give me a call today. I'm laid up with a bad back and would love a distraction. :) 530-877-1160

astroracer
02-25-2006, 08:19 AM
Thanks for info, I think my filler wire is -6 but it may be -2. I'll have to check.
I'll call you later today after my "guy" leaves and fill you in.
My Airco doesn't have a foot pedal so he is bringing all of his stuff to set up shop. He said I will hate him after he takes his inverter back...

As a side note, I just took an 800mg Motrin for my back, so I feel your pain...
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
05-09-2006, 07:03 AM
What's up with the "Bad Ast" Astro?!

astroracer
05-09-2006, 09:50 AM
What's up with the "Bad Ast" Astro?!
Hey FGC,
Nothing to report... Not that I have been slacking, I have been busy finishing up the shop makeover. It is done, lights are up, air lines are ran, and I am getting things organized with all of my new-found storage and room.
Spring has sprung also and that is keeping me very busy with mowing, tilling, fixing and other such honey do's... Right now I am rebuilding an old wooden tool box for the wife. Keeps her happy when I do stuff like that for her.
I am sure you read about the Tig welder I just bought. I haven't had any REAL time to work with it and I am still uncomfortable with my capabilities but, once I get the old cradle cut up, I will get some practice time with it on viable materials.
Thanks for asking though, I think I will get to the old cradle this weekend. Getting it cut up and out of the way will make room for the new one and I am ready to get to work on it in the new shop!
Mark

FoxGranadaChuck
05-09-2006, 10:00 AM
Hey FGC,
Nothing to report... Not that I have been slacking, I have been busy finishing up the shop makeover. It is done, lights are up, air lines are ran, and I am getting things organized with all of my new-found storage and room.
Spring has sprung also and that is keeping me very busy with mowing, tilling, fixing and other such honey do's... Right now I am rebuilding an old wooden tool box for the wife. Keeps her happy when I do stuff like that for her.
I am sure you read about the Tig welder I just bought. I haven't had any REAL time to work with it and I am still uncomfortable with my capabilities but, once I get the old cradle cut up, I will get some practice time with it on viable materials.
Thanks for asking though, I think I will get to the old cradle this weekend. Getting it cut up and out of the way will make room for the new one and I am ready to get to work on it in the new shop!
Mark

COOL!!!

Brandon Miller
05-09-2006, 07:20 PM
Have you modeled all of your components yourself or have you acquired them elsewhere? I use Pro Engineer Wildfire 3.0 at work adn at home. What do you use?

astroracer
05-10-2006, 03:02 AM
Hi Brandon,
I am using Unigraphics. That's what I run at work, although we are using NX3 there, I am still stuck with V18 at home. It does the job though, very well and, having full access to the motion program really makes it easy to check suspension travel & clearances.
As far as the geometry goes I had a little help with some of the body stuff. None of it is parameterized though but that doesn't matter for what I am doing with it. All of the suspension, Cradle, arms, tires, wheels, brakes, etc. I modeled up in UG. It is pretty quick to do once you get dimensions established and I only need one part to make L & R hand pieces.
Mark