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  1. #341
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    Oct 2018
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    I've been busy as ever on this thing so I owe you guys an update.

    Since I completed tacking all the front suspension onto the truck I was able to move onto prepping the cab for a cage and starting that whole process. At the same time I was waiting for my custom aluminum tie-rod adjusters. Shawn over at Panther Frameworx in NY whipped them up. Super cool guy and he knew exactly what I wanted since he and his son are doing a PT style mustang. All he needed was the thread on each end and the overall length. He did perfect. The front end ALMOST looks like something I bought, but we all know better. Haha.

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    In the cab I needed to tackle the firewall mod first since I was expecting the cage to make it harder to access than right now. Have I mentioned how much I hate sheet metal work? I've tried to learn to like it, but it's not working. Nonetheless I made it through and it meets my needs. Moved the main section back 2.75". And that's only to make room for sensors and fuel lines. The engine itself didn't really have fit issues even though I moved it back almost 4" from stock. Sure it's ugly as hell, but I'll just lay some thick paint over it and you should never notice it under the dash.

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    Side note: I don't have any photos of the incident, but I didn't pay attention to having a sheet over some engine parts and a rogue spark caught it on fire while welding the firewall back together. It melted a $150 sensor and 2 small wires on my brand new engine harness. I'm kicking myself in the ass for that one, but luckily it wasn't worse and I was able to quickly put it out.

    Bonus tip for you guys. I follow Kyle on The Fab Forums Youtube channel and a few weeks ago he shared the stuff call Ram Board. It's a floor protector for moving appliances. It is basically slightly thicker than cereal boxes so it makes fantastic templates. 3ftx50ft was only $30 at Lowes. I HIGHLY recommend it.

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    I was excited to finally get to bending up tubes for the cage after that. Once I was ready to prep the floor for where the 4 points would attach I realized that some of the factory sound mat would need to come out. No big deal. But being me it can't be that simple. After noticing that most of it was cracked anyway and knowing that I'm spraying in Lizard Skin soon I figured I should just remove it all. So 2 evenings of scraping later it was clean enough to move on. All told it was just shy of 10lbs that got removed and I've heard the Lizard skin is pretty light so the weight should be a wash.

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    THEN I could actually get the cage started. Remember, I'm following the general guidelines for cages of this weight class, but I'm not building it to anything specific. No classes I can ever see myself running require any cage at all. I have seen how easily these trucks crumple in wrecks so I just want an extra barrier. I've added almost 3x the horsepower and I'm making it handle, but I know I'll be pushing myself to be faster every time out. Sometimes it gets away from you so this is for those moments.

    As it stands this was the 4pt structure

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    Right now I have it dropped through the floor to weld the top of the tubes and spray some paint before it is welded to the floor permanently. I also got the glass all removed, but forgot to snap a pic.



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    Hopefully I'll be able to share an update in a few days with the cage and additional tubes in their final place. I want to build the seat brackets so I can properly sit and make racecar noises.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  2. #342
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    Sep 2019
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    Awesome!

    Would have been nice to get that X brace all the way in the corner on the driver side, but looks like you are running out of real estate with the seat where its at.


    Will you be sandwiching the body and attaching the cage to the frame?
    - Jerry

  3. #343
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    Oct 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    Awesome!

    Would have been nice to get that X brace all the way in the corner on the driver side, but looks like you are running out of real estate with the seat where its at.


    Will you be sandwiching the body and attaching the cage to the frame?
    Yeah I can definitely understand now why extended cabs are the foundation of most race trucks. There just isn't much room when you need cage tubes too. It's a sacrifice I'll happily make to know this thing won't fold up easily if I get carried away. I saw a photo of one of these trucks after a roll over a few months back and it wasn't pretty. The top folded in like a tin can. Good thing my center of gravity has moved waaayyyy down.

    Exactly. I have roll bar connectors that will allow the body to still be removable, but when bolted together they channel any cage loads directly into the frame. It was important to me that the truck be able to come apart just like from the factory should anything ever need to be serviced or replaced. Once this part is done I will verify the cab is centered on the frame and make those. I'll be sure to share photos here to better show how it works.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  4. #344
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    Oct 2018
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    Haven't lost any steam yet! I make sure to accomplish at least 1 thing a day so it's been awesome to see it all come together little by little.

    First task was to remove the glass. Rear window was a 5 minute job since they just pop out of the rubber gasket. Windshield was a pain. I tried to save it, but I got carried away and cracked it a few times. So much for keeping the original.

    I slapped some primer and paint on the top of the cage after fully welding all the tubes before I got the main cage lifted back up into place and welded it to the plates and then floor. I would say it's easier to build a cage for a car than a truck after crawling around trying to get in various positions for welding this.

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    Then I could reinstall the steering column to setup for building seat mounts. They are super basic, but more than strong enough. I went with the least amount of height that would allow me to see over the hood.

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    I considered making them bolt in. Welding was quicker and easier, plus this actually makes the floor stronger so I'd say this is the safer choice. The seat mounts unbolt so that's good enough for what I need. I added tubes under the seat to brace side to side and hold the harness sub-mounts, but I don't have any pics yet.

    Rinse and repeat for the passenger side. The results were well worth it.

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    I promise that's my happy face. It was just late and I was tired at that point. The harness is in since I needed to make mounting points. I got SUPER lucky and the clip in anchors threaded straight into the factory seat belt holes. Easily saved me about 2 hours of fab work.

    I made sure the cab was perfectly centered on the frame before I started on tubes outside of the cab. The rear bars were the easiest target. I've also been wanting to add these for a while since I like how it looks. Notice that I am able to reuse the factory rear glass and seal. I didn't want to pass the tubes through the window in order to keep the cab sealed better. Careful measurements rewarded me with mission accomplished.

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    You can see the shiny roll bar connectors there. Everything outside of the cab will be detachable so I can still pull the cab or bed if needed.

    Next up is the engine bay bars that tie back into the dash bar. These are going to be tricky with clearing braking equipment and getting through 2 layers on the firewall. Wish me luck!
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  5. #345
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    Oct 2018
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    Seeing that it is raining here (total nuisance in AZ) I figure it's a good time to update.

    Like I said previously it was time to do the two cage bars in the engine bay. It was a good chance to learn some offset bending better with my bender. I'm really liking this Rogue Fabrication M600 the more I use it. I will also say that I spent the time to measure and articulate the steering/suspension to make sure this bar routing would never interfere with the tire. I have more than enough clearance.

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    I would have liked to pass these a bit higher on the firewall, but there is an air cavity there that I couldn't find a good way to pass through accurately without creating a TON of extra work to reseal. You can also see the use of tube connectors again allowing these to be removed almost entirely.

    Before adding any other tubes to make cab entry/exit harder I wanted to add in some of the creature comforts. I decided my Vintage Air unit was a good place to start. Unfortunately my firewall modifications made it a bit trickier to fit without killing passenger leg room.

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    This looks super intrusive, but it will actually all hide behind the new dash with some room to spare. I could have gone with the smaller unit and been very happy, but when I ordered this all I could think was, "we get over 120 degrees every summer." The first year I lived in AZ I was broke and drove a car without A/C. I'm not doing that again. So my logic was to buy the biggest unit they offer and I can enjoy this beast all year. Haha. I will also give Vintage Air credit for designing a really nice system. It was easy to understand where everything goes and mounting is super simple. I don't know why I don't see more of these installed on this site.

    This now allowed me to understand the best place for a hose bulkhead. I know people have differing opinions on using a bulkhead or not, but I am a fan especially on a vehicle used in racing.

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    Since I don't have a fender liner to run stuff like this securely I plan to run these along the top of the frame there. I can use some High Temp sleeves to protect the hoses from header heat.

    If you are wondering what the black box is for, that's an aluminum oil catch can. It has internal baffling with enough air volume to handle high RPM crankcase venting. With it mounted here I can easily drain it with minimal mess.

    While I was at it I decided to mount some of the various fluid tanks that will be needed since I had them and the welder right there.

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    The black tank is for power steering and the raw aluminum is a combo coolant expansion and catch. You can also see where I chose to mount the coil on the passenger side (it's safe from major heat sources). I didn't get the windshield washer tank mounted, but that will be easy later. My favorite thing is that this keeps the hose routing efficient and won't risk leaks if someone hits my fender.

    Final fabrication piece before I pull the body off for frame painting was the cage to frame connectors. These disconnect as well allowing everything to be removed like stock. I was surprised how much stiffness this added to everything too.

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    With that, I set the truck down on it's own weight. This is the first time this front suspension has been on the ground. I'm SUPER happy with this new design. Added bonus of having the engine mounts on the inner frame was that it now stopped any remaining flex from the upper control arm loads.

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    Shocks are being built and the brake master is ordered. As soon as I have a dry evening the cab comes off and I'll tackle the final welding of the frame before that is painted. The idea is inside of the next 2 weeks I should be doing final assembly of the chassis with all the new goodies you guys haven't seen yet. When the paint is dry and the frame is a roller, the cab goes on and it's time to plumb, wire, and FIRE.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  6. #346
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    Jan 2016
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    Warning, got a lot of questions. Not trying to start anything, just trying to be safe.

    On the cage disconnects everywhere, what is their strength compared to the cage itself? Are they rated for rollcage use? I see em used for bumpers, cross members, door bars, etc but not in the primary cage structure. I'd be woried about the body/cage coming off like a K'NEX in a wreck.

    The way you go from the body to the frame also seems to me to be lacking strength in case of a roll-over. I'm no expert but I would look at what the offroad dudes do. Seems to me that the frame mount would rip out. Maybe some load distributing plates or similar to get better attachment. I see a lot of sliders for crawler trucks and they always do a plate to the frame instead of just tube to frame. Gotta be a reason!
    88 Ford Mustang - The Grey Ghost
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  7. #347
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    Oct 2018
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    I'm really glad to you brought this up. I've been getting a surprising amount of comments/messages everywhere I share this build so I want to address these exact points.

    For starters, this is NOT an FIA legal cage. It's really not any kind of legal. The tubing is 1 size too thin and there is bends/breaks (connectors are considered a "break") in tubes that are absolutely not allowed under their rules. FIA is largely considered the general standard for cage design across multiple sanctioning bodies, and then there is additional rules from there depending on what racing you do with who. I accepted that when I designed this cage and ordered the material. PLEASE don't use this as a guide if you are planning to build a competition cage. I consider this a "street" cage. I only added it because throwing a 600hp farm truck around (even after all this work) has risks that the stock sheet metal can't even hope to handle. If you see wrecks with these trucks the sheet metal might as well not even be there. It's scary to look at. That's why I built some kind of cage rather than nothing at all. You'd need about double the amount of tubes to be legal along with some different routing. Targa Truck is a prime example of what you SHOULD DO for competition. He keeps his Instagram up to date with progress and is building everything in spec.

    The spreader plates you are talking about are super helpful at load distribution. That's why I added them anywhere I landed a tube on sheet metal. It's not uncommon to see the tubes welded directly to the frame as I did when there is sufficient enough "meat". Sure a plate doesn't hurt there too, but that all goes back to the cage already having weaker sections than that. That won't be the failure point.

    The connectors are definitely the weak point of the tubes that have them, but I did it to allow all the body to be removed like stock. In an impact the bolts that hold them together usually shear off. These are best for attaching sacrificial components like you pointed out. It worked like a charm for my purposes as you can see here.

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    Why wouldn't I go full competition cage? 2 biggest factors in the motorsports world: Time and money. It would take a lot more time and a good chunk more money to make it correct. I've built those cages so I feel confident in my assessment. See Exhibit A:

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    1992 E36 sedan, GTS3 rules, gutted doors, side exhaust, lexan side and rear windows, etc. Never failed tech at NASA, BMW CCA, and SCCA. You get the point.

    The truck's cage design allows full retention of factory glass and body panels so there is additional comfort/simplicity there. The other factor that nobody ever considers is that when you have a full competition cage while street driving (no helmet activities), those bars become more danger than help. So between crawling over tubes to get seated and people that can't drive down a street without looking at Facebook, I didn't want all that "safety" when street driving which is something I want to do often with this truck. I already have plans semi-in motion to build a true competition car after this truck is sorted out. This was built for fun and will only ever compete in street car classes without a cage requirement. And in autocross you'll see plenty of cars that have no cage, but really need at least a cage like this or much more. It's built safe enough to pass tech and prevent some intrusion in moderate collisions.

    I hope this doesn't seem combative. It's not meant to be at all. I know the general consensus around here has been to either build a legal cage or don't even bother. I've learned sooooo much from you all here and questions like these have helped me fix things before it's an issue. This is just an area that was very closely thought out. Thank you for asking. I hope this makes more sense now. If anyone has further questions/concerns feel free to voice them openly. I like that my thread has been a place for open discussion and learning for everyone. That's always my goal.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  8. #348
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    Frankly, it doesn't make more sense now. I'm more confused. People are asking so many questions because it very much goes against the grain. I for one, have discussed this cage build with a few race car buddies to make sure I'm not crazy, as I'm certainly no expert. They all agree there is a lot wrong going on there. This isn't an attack on you by any means, it is making sure you have the right assumptions and expectations. Sure, they look at it from more of a racer's perspective, but the feedback is valid. A few key takeaways. Again, none of this is an attack, just feedback:

    "Normally what we've done in the past on cars and truck where the frame doesn't reach the outside of the body is, we build outriggers, usually 2x3 or 2x4 box steel at a 45 or more angle, gusset the **** out of the contact point of the frame"

    "The more contact points the cage has with the frame or integral points of the chassis, the less gusseting it needs."

    "I'm used to seeing 8 or more contact points to the frame, not 4"

    "The connectors on the side of the frame, they are at an extreme angle and will shear off the frame in a second when it rolls."

    "I hate those quick disconnects because if that chassis twists, even in the slightest, you will never get them back together."

    You admit that the cage is too thin to pass any tech, that it will shear off in a collision, that it is routed to stay away from an un-helmeted driver/passenger. Then at the same time, you claim the cage is there to protect you in case of collision.

    I believe its much more likely you'll smack your head/body on the cage in any significant street collision (you move a LOT more than you think when not in a 5/6-point harness. There is a high chance that the cab will shear off the beak points, which introduces a greater risk of one of those now pointy ends causing more harm than if they had not been there in the first place.
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  9. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by frink84 View Post
    Frankly, it doesn't make more sense now. I'm more confused. People are asking so many questions because it very much goes against the grain. I for one, have discussed this cage build with a few race car buddies to make sure I'm not crazy, as I'm certainly no expert. They all agree there is a lot wrong going on there. This isn't an attack on you by any means, it is making sure you have the right assumptions and expectations. Sure, they look at it from more of a racer's perspective, but the feedback is valid. A few key takeaways. Again, none of this is an attack, just feedback:

    "Normally what we've done in the past on cars and truck where the frame doesn't reach the outside of the body is, we build outriggers, usually 2x3 or 2x4 box steel at a 45 or more angle, gusset the **** out of the contact point of the frame"

    "The more contact points the cage has with the frame or integral points of the chassis, the less gusseting it needs."

    "I'm used to seeing 8 or more contact points to the frame, not 4"

    "The connectors on the side of the frame, they are at an extreme angle and will shear off the frame in a second when it rolls."

    "I hate those quick disconnects because if that chassis twists, even in the slightest, you will never get them back together."

    You admit that the cage is too thin to pass any tech, that it will shear off in a collision, that it is routed to stay away from an un-helmeted driver/passenger. Then at the same time, you claim the cage is there to protect you in case of collision.

    I believe its much more likely you'll smack your head/body on the cage in any significant street collision (you move a LOT more than you think when not in a 5/6-point harness. There is a high chance that the cab will shear off the beak points, which introduces a greater risk of one of those now pointy ends causing more harm than if they had not been there in the first place.
    Thanks for getting additional outside feedback! I don't have the same reliable resources here that I did when I worked/lived in Plano, TX. I miss having so much knowledge a short drive away.

    -I've seen this a couple times on other builds, but never near a 45 degree angle. Makes perfect sense that it would be much stronger that way, but if you look at the space provided I physically can not achieve that angle or close. I also wasn't expecting this to be able to survive the force of a full rollover. They are intended to add rigidity to the cab and frame by eliminating body mount flex and chassis flex under suspension load (tested this and it worked great). If someone can show me a way to do this with less angle in my application I'd be surprised and thankful. I'll do more digging to see if I can find better examples.

    -No disagreement here. That's what I've always been taught. More contact=more strength.

    -Technically I have 8 points for just the cab. My 4 outriggers and the original 4 body mounts. I get the intention behind this statement and that would usually include the engine bay tubes and rear down bars (making this a 12 point), but I won't include mine since they are removable.

    -Let's all hope we never find out, but I can see that possibility. Again, I'm not sure how to make the angle less severe and still contact the cage and frame in a straight line. A surprising number of trucks I see doing road racing/autox with cages have a 90 degree bend/joint from the cage to the side of the frame. I'd say that's worse than my design (neither is great).

    -Yeah I'm a bit worried about this too, but couldn't come up with any other way to allow the body to disconnect. I figure if the frame is twisted in a way that doesn't allow these to line up, something more is wrong. Maybe I'll eat my words on this soon. You know I'll be the first to publicly admit it if it happens.

    -They do shear in severe side loads at that joint, yes. When the load is in line with the tube, the design of the connector allows it to remain surprisingly strong. No, not as good as a solid tube, but I'm not trying to say it is. This is why the only tubes with connectors are outside of the cab. There are no bars with breaks near an occupant. When I say this cage adds safety I mean that as it prevents this thin sheet metal from folding in on itself like many of them do if someone T-bones you in an intersection or you smack a pole. Think of this like the 4pt bars in lots of HPDE cars. It's a little extra something, but far from the benefit of a cage. It adds some chassis rigidity and gives a safe place for harnesses, but not much more.

    -This is why I have less tubes and they are routed further from occupants along with only having 6pt harnesses since that's legal for street driving here. In order for my body to contact a cage tube, my seat and harness would both have to fail spectacularly. I think a 3 inch harness strap stretches like 3 inches or something crazy in a crash (don't recall exactly but it was a lot). As for the cab shearing off, the stock body mounts seem to do better than I would have expected in pretty bad wrecks and they are still present (brand new). I'm ultimately still relying on them to do their same job now since the outer tubes aren't real cab mounts.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  10. #350
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    Oct 2018
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    As much as I love the holidays and the paid vacation time that comes with it, I get slowed down on projects every year and this year hasn't been an exception. I've squeezed in and hour or two everywhere I can.

    The primary focus has been on finish welding the frame. This proved to be a wayyy bigger time suck than I expected. All the little gussets here and there, plus running out of shield gas and wire doesn't help the pace.

    My starting point was blowing the whole frame apart, as you guys saw that starting in my previous post.

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    To get that torn down was actually not that bad. Essentially took 1 full day on a Sunday. This feels like a win to me because I tried to make this truck as simple to work on as possible. Example: removing 4 bolts and a ball joint stud allows each lower control arm to come off. remove 2 bolts and a stud to release the upper control arm. So reassembly should actually go pretty quickly.

    As of today the frame sits about 98% ready to paint.

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    I had to redo All my upper shock mounts after attempting to test fit my shocks. Luckily this didn't take too long and looks better too. I knew this might happen so it didn't really bother me much. That pocket in the frame allows the upper control arm to pivot when I have anti-dive added with the arms slotted down. It will make more sense when you see it assembled.

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    Shoutout to Lance and ridetech. They worked together with my measurements to create a valve/spring combo for what the truck is expected to weigh without breaking the bank. I'm so excited to see them installed for good. Ignore the spring perch being barely threaded on. This allowed me to cycle from full droop to ride height and make sure my new mounts had no interference without trying to compress the spring.

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    Ironically I've avoided doing the battery hold down and it ended up being pretty easy to knock out. I was overthinking it at first because I wanted a simple design that wasn't fussy or took a bunch of tools to remove. Plus I didn't want to need to crawl under the truck either. I've seen that on a few other builds and doesn't look fun to deal with.

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    1 bolt and it is secure enough to shake the entire frame by grabbing the battery itself. There is a bend on the slotted side of the hold down and I couldn't get to come loose under tension even with a pry bar. I'd say this is solid.

    If you're wondering why I didn't go for an optima, I didn't feel a need to replace a brand new battery (5 starts before tear down and under warranty still). I can also find this in basically any town at an auto parts store or Walmart since it is the exact model for this truck when stock. It's a lighter weight battery than even my old 4cyl Altima uses too.

    As a preview, here is some parts I already prepped, primed, and painted. Kinda wish I had done this when they first arrived. By leaving all this new metal uncoated for the last couple months it got light surface rust. I hate rust.

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    Come January the hustle is back on to get everything reassembled for good. It's time to breathe life into this overpriced yard ornament and make it do something cool.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  11. #351
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    Nov 2018
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    Looking good! You just reminded me I need to call Ride Tech also for my Blazer.

  12. #352
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymzz View Post
    Looking good! You just reminded me I need to call Ride Tech also for my Blazer.
    Thanks! Hopefully I don't have anymore surprise changes to make. It always eat up at least a couple days of work time.

    I'm super happy with how ridetech has treated me over and over. I've made some really odd requests from their team and they come through every time. Lucky for me, Lance handled the legwork for getting the actual shocks built. At this point I don't think I will ever consider another shock company when I'm looking for Eye to Eye coilovers. Hell they even include a dyno chart for the shocks! When I was sponsored by, and then worked for Vorshlag, we were known for Terry's maniacal pursuit of quality shocks/struts so I was able to learn some things to watch out for. These check all the right boxes for me. The only thing I would have done differently is the get the TQ (triple adjustable), but I didn't have that left in the budget right now.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
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  13. #353
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    Figured I would bring you all up to speed real quick. The next update should be much juicier, but there is always a process that includes the less fun items.

    So while I was away for the holidays the cab was shoved in my garage and the frame was bundled up as best I could in the hopes that I wouldn't be coming home to a pile of rust.

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    Fortunately it worked well even though AZ apparently had about 3 days of rain at one point. I always stress out about this stuff while I'm away. That and some idiot figuring out about all my nice tools/parts and helping themselves.

    While away I got some killer gifts that did include truck parts, but one thing should allow me to give to you guys...

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    So I've been filming most of this project with the idea that I would learn to edit and share on YouTube. That dream hasn't died and my family is supporting the idea by getting me a sweet camera. For those of you interested, I promise I'm trying.

    I immediately went to work doing final welding and adding all the missing plates and tabs after I returned home. That included tipping the frame up to access the bottom easier. I lifted this in position manually...no assistance from equipment. I wish I could weigh just the frame to see what it weighs after all this added structure.

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    That pic is right after I tipped it up and before I finished welding everything. Which then brings me to yesterday. Paint day. After probably 2 months of trying to wrap up frame fab I got to lay down Rust Encapsulator. That will be the base coat to seal the frame surface.

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    One thing to note: I wish I had a decent enough air compressor to spray that on. It would have been soooo much faster and smoother. Luckily the top coat came in spray cans. I'm so excited seeing it in a uniform color FINALLY.

    I will admit that there is a bit of an argument for not painting a frame that will likely need tweaks or complete changes after testing. I just hate rust and I am confident that most of this will be just like you see it. Worst case, I have to grind a small area to weld something and then paint back over it. No big deal.

    Once this all dries by tomorrow I'll set it down and coat the other side. Then I get to install all the shiny new parts I've been hording. This is better than being a kid at Christmas! I think you guys are gonna be blown away.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
    Want more projects/photos? Check my Instagram

  14. #354
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    605
    Country Flag: United States
    Glad to see the progress! You made the right choice on painting the frame. It is much easier to touch up any spots you modify than it is to get all the surface rust cleaned off to paint.

    Looking forwards to seeing more shiny parts!
    Nelson
    1969 Chevelle "Cone Smasher" Family Project
    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...uot?highlight=

    1984 "Rustang" GT, 5.0, 5 Speed Project
    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...T-(Slow-Build)

  15. #355
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    7
    Country Flag: United States
    Wow... just read thru the whole project. Sean worked for me more than a decade ago so I am going to try some constructive criticisms. ;)

    Some of the early iterations of the suspension gave me an eye twitch! Most of the stuff I saw early on that were blatantly obvious fab/welding/suspension errors have been replaced, sometimes more than once.

    The comments from others about the cage on this truck are valid. This would never pass tech at NASA or SCCA. I wanted to note that the FIA is not the cage standard used in road racing in the USA at all, rather we build to NASA and/or SCCA guidelines. FIA is all about "cookbook" or more often FIA homologated cages, which is a weird way to do things, and they use many of the same standards across rally and road racing. Some of the better FIA cage updates (like the vertical front door opening bars) have been incorporated into many cages here, however.

    But it's not like this F150 will be wheel-to-wheel racing with SCCA or NASA, and it is probably safer than most trucks running in events with Goodguys or optima events, which this build seems more tailored to. This will likely never see beyond 200 treadwear tires, and the major issues with trucks rolling over in autocross or road course situations - which CG, tall ride heights, super soft springs, super sticky tires - are not an issue here. Still, the outriggers for the contacts from the cabin portion of the cage to frame could be better.

    Sean knows me and won't take these as harsh criticisms, and they aren't meant to be. But I am definitely subscribing just to see what happens next. ;)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports

  16. #356
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    406
    Country Flag: United States
    Thanks for taking the time Terry! I appreciate the feedback. I learned a lot in my brief time working there.

    Knowing what I have learned at this point from building the suspension 4x...yeah the first couple versions aren't great. Thanks to feedback here and further educating myself we have arrived at the current version. Time will tell if that will be the final design, but this was a big reason I took on this project. LEARNING. I've discovered a previously unknown passion for designing these things and it feels so great to feed that.

    For the cage, you hit the nail on the head. You've personally seen the cage in my Dad's car so you know I know the "right" way for Club racing. This truck is simply a learning tool for making the wrong vehicle do the right thing at fun, social events like Goodguys, SCCA Autox, and optima. I'm not discounting anyone's points about making a safe structure (They are all super valid). I just want to make sure that we all realize that Pro-touring is more about fun older vehicles that handle like modern cars, but not full-blown Trans Am racers. My cage gives support to a flimsy cab and safe places for mounting harnesses and a steering column.

    I am the first to admit that plenty of people could probably do it better right now. This is my first 100% solo project and I'm taking on tasks some "pro" builders won't touch so I expect to make mistakes. Thanks for the suggestions. It has really helped more than many of you realize. It will make my future projects even better. Terry already knows what the next one is ;)
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
    Want more projects/photos? Check my Instagram

  17. #357
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    406
    Country Flag: United States
    Alright it's really getting good now.

    Since I last updated you all I have completed painting the frame and begun reassembly. This time it's for real. This is the push to make it live.

    First up was making sure the supporting cast of components was ready to go back in the frame. One thing that has always irritated me about Ford is that they never put any coating on their diffs. My IRS diff was no exception with plenty of surface rust. So I took it as a chance to try out one of those rust dissolvers. I wanted to paint it to match the engine block. Pretty happy with the results.

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    With that ready and the frame dry it was time to install the diff bushings. WOW that was a terrible job! I bought the solid aluminum kit thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. Uh no...installing these was worse than removing the factory bushings and that's known to be a tough procedure. I did prevail, of course. I figured out how to use a bottle jack as a press so that helped, but that wasn't until the last bushing...go figure. If you ever do this, just use poly.

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    It made sense to just keep rolling on the rear so I grabbed the lower arms and knuckles since those are the only factory parts returning to the chassis. I've been slowly ordering and hording parts to eliminate all the rubber bushings and add significant adjustment. The spherical bearing conversion for the toe link and lower control arms are some work, but WELL worth it. From the factory the lower control arm is basically in bind due to the rubber bushing in the front. After the spherical I can move the arm all the way with 2 fingers.

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    Then onto the truck

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    It is nice to know that I won't have to replace anything in the rear soon since it is all new. Just made since to start with fresh everything.

    Then onto the front to get the arms and spindles installed so this time the hubs can be packed and installed with the brakes. I'm excited to see how all this looks together.

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    That's where I'm at for now. I'll plug away each night this week on starting to plumb the brakes and fuel hard lines while everything is out of the way. I'm hoping to set the cab back on in the next couple weeks, but I have a good bit of work before then.
    '95 F-150 track ready street beast
    Want more projects/photos? Check my Instagram

  18. #358
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Posts
    1,603
    Country Flag: United States
    Major progress!!! Looks great...
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

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