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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #121
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Get it done, lets go wheeling.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #122
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Look up Hanson or RS valves and look for A4A's. Hanson will be HA4A. Those are both outlet pressure regulators. If those or any other Hanson or RS valves are anything you need let me know. I can probably hook you up. I throw stuff like that away on a regular basis.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerial View Post
The system needs to dump and inflate very fast to work how I want it to. So, while I know it is inefficient I will not be able to share the air. Believe me I tried and tried to make it transfer from one side to the other. It simply is to slow.

I am using 2 york air compressors feeding a series of air tanks mounted under the driver and passenger linked in conjunction. I am planning on between 21 to 28 gallons of high pressure air in reserve. I may be able to fit another two small tanks under the passenger side but will not know until I actually have the axles. There is also room for tanks in the overall design to be installed under the 2 propane tanks for another 16 gallons. These high pressure tanks feed two 2 way manual regulators which control front and rear pressure.

The front has a solid mounted 3 gallon accumulator with 16 ports out. The rear has the same accumulator.
The system levels by use of 32 3/8" port instant height control valves 8 per corner. I am using 3/8 because it is more popular then 1/2 and can be bought anywhere. These are mounted high to avoid dirt grime and whatever. 8 of them share a common rod which runs to a shock mount on the axle. The 8 ports (3") feed the four 1/2" ports on the two bags at each corner.

The controls are very simple.
Inside the cab I have front and rear 2" 2 way ball valve mounted after the regulators. At each corner between the bag ports and the height control valves I have a manifold with a 3 way 2" ball valve on the end. I have 4 levers running cables to the corners to operate these 3 way valves. There are another 4 levers under the first four for off road that control the height of the height control valve blocks.
To dump all four corners I will turn the 2 way ball valves to closed locking the high pressure air in the tanks. Then I will throw the levers controlling the 4 way ball valves up opening them and dropping the air. When I go to inflate I will throw the levers up closing the 3 ways then open the 2 ways inflating the low pressure system fast enough for me to go without waiting on tanks. Yet, it will be slow enough that I will not actually "hop".

The manifolds that house the 3 way ball valves are mounted between the upper and lower bags putting them between 20 and 32" above the bottom of the tire at all times. This is done to feed the top and bottom bags evenly while keeping them high as possible.

Off road use height control :
Under normal driving conditions I will never need to do the following. The system will instantly level and not require any attention while driving.
I should have around 20" of clearance at many times excluding axle height.

If I want to drop the front suspension I will simply shut off the front 2 way then flip the front 3 way levers open. The rear suspension will increase pressure slightly trying to level when I do this but not much.
Dropping the rear suspension is done the same way.

To inflate or drop a corner I will push one of the four smaller off road levers which will push one of the four height control blocks up or down 1/2" which is enough to have the height control valves inflate or dump that one corner.

The levers will have a lock setting to prevent the height control from moving when hitting potholes. To further prevent it from moving I will install a bolt to be removed for off road use only.

This will be used when the system has auto leveled dropping one side completely putting that side of the cab into the dirt. I will be able to inflate that side or corner forcing the cab up until I am on more level ground where I will let the system auto level.

It may seem like I am over complicating it by using levers, cables, and ball valves. But I am simply looking at it from a reliability standpoint. I do not want to put electronic dump valves in mud and ice. The ball valves are not only very cheap to replace but they are stupid reliable.
This suspension system is designed so if something does down and being able to fix it out of state. I will carry a 2" 3 way valve in the glove box and a extra instant height control valve. But, if I need to I can find a 3 way at many plumbing stores and a instant height control valve at any truck stop. The few flexible lines will all be hydraulic and covered to prevent uv and trail damage.

It is far from perfect I know. The cost is actually similar to running coil overs. But, it will be able to take massive amounts of abuse without needing constant maintenance. Everything on the system is very cheap to fix and maintain. Most importantly it allows for easy entry and exit. I have had trucks with 9" of lift before. It is a chore to get in and out of those and gets old fast. There is nothing wrong with a lifted truck. But, if I can get the height without climbing in or jumping out I will.
You cant just make this stuff up. And I agree with you. Getting into and out of the vehcile easily should be top priority. Can we please see the schematics of this system? I know you have them drawn up and I promise I wont steal your idea. I also agree that you should be protecting the air hoses from the UV. Do you have any idea how long the hoses will last in direct sun light with the UV protection that you plan on using?
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Old March 27th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #124
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less talk, more build
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Old March 27th, 2013, 04:19 PM   #125
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There's a build?
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
less talk, more build
Saving up for the axles.

Fell into rambling on about the suspension. Sorry about doing that. There is still tons I can do on the cab and with the motor getting everything in place without the axles.
I am building this outside after all and cold weather sucks. I am planning on coming home at the start of every month for the next few months to have some actual progress.

Until then, time to shut up until I have progress.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #127
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No please dont. The documentation of what you are going to do with this build is almost as good as the actual build. A few pics every now and then would be great, but the suspense and anticipation of the completion of this rig is only enhanced by the written plan. More details PLEASE.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #128
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Or fill in the down time with pics and details of some of your past projects. Please?
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Old May 9th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #129
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V-12 LS1 build cut n splice - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

I thought you should see this
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Old June 10th, 2013, 12:51 AM   #130
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I have the axles.



I don't exactly know what they came out of. I need to run the numbers and talk with a few people already running them. But, they are the air actuated driver controlled differential lock 5+ tons I have been rambling about. They are forestry or military tank truck I believe and have the bigger shafts. They are 5.81 ratio but I have seen a few post of 7.5 something that will be perfect if I can get a set. At this point I am not concerned about gearing I can run the 5.81 ratio I just can't use my .54 overdrive with it. The common 6.44 will also work if need be. Running the 7.5x would make the heavy rig move faster though.

All 3 are right around 90" give or take a bit. The middle one(far one in picture) has an axle disconnect and will be the parts axle. They are all hub out which saves me a lot of $$$ in not needing to machine hubs to flip them. The plan is to take around 10" off each side of diff on the steer. And take 20" off the side that does not have the dcdl on the drive axle to make it moon buggy style. Then I will drop the shafts off at a machine shop so the shafts/splines can be cut. The 70" wide plan should work by doing the above. But, until I tear into them I really don't know jack. If I need to have new shafts made then they need to be made kind of deal.
Parts wise everything needs to be run through and replaced. Most of the parts are basic 5 ton junk. The only thing I really don't know parts wise is sources for the larger bearings and dcdl parts. Once I pull them I can start comparing them and finding sources.

There will be a good amount of more time saving up for parts, checking numbers to make sure I can put it back together after I have it apart, and then finding tricks to make the process go easier before ripping these things apart. But, I am very happy that I have a set to build from letting me cross the most important and difficult to find part off the need list of this build.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #131
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I guess if you cant find anything bigger or heavier then these should work. Awesome!
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Old June 10th, 2013, 07:31 AM   #132
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Those axles look similar to the ones a friend of mine uses on his 1200 hp stadium monster truck on 66" tall tires.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #133
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Any updates?
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Old July 26th, 2013, 09:54 PM   #134
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I started working on the steering math and quickly realized driving at full height on the bags would create binging issues with the steering shaft when the suspension bottoms out.

So, I redesigned how the suspension works completely.
Before the two 10" bags were stacked and fully inflated at 10" tall per bag to give me 22" of ground clearance at the belly and remain street legal. When I would hit a rock it would drop the body up to 16" to level.

Now, I am inflating the bags to only 3.5" (6.5" total height the bump stop is at 3") each for a total of 7" inflation and the belly height is 22". What this does is give me 7" of up travel and 7" of down travel while maintaining the same psi at all times.

If I wanted to run 29" of belly clearance to play in the mud I could do so simply by moving the bolts on the height adjusters so the bags are fully inflated and will dump to level. This wont cause any drive line issues or steering linkage issues as the drive shaft angles are well within tolerances.

This also lets me run with a lower bag busted by having the upper bag fully inflated. While it does not allow me any up travel over 22" belly height it will let me get off the trail or even back to the house without a trailer.

That's right it only has 14" of travel now. I am going with a different better beefier bags that higher bump stop at 2.9" per bag.



Oh, and the final weight is a realistic 6300lbs maybe a bit lighter but not much. I am going with a 50 state street legal steering setup using the same steering box that turns the 40" tires on the class 8 truck I am driving now.

Before anyone says anything about it binding cause the steering box is mounted on the axle. The linkage inside the cab puts the steering linkage low and slightly offset towards the driver. The transfer case output is on the passenger side and the steering linkage is on the drivers side they both share the same damn near level drive line angles when at ride height. From a vertical standpoint the drive shaft and steering shaft will be around 12" apart in there center line. The steering linkage outside the cab will be an actual 1350 drive shaft that extends and contracts to work with the 7" of up and 7" of down travel.

I can talk about it all day just watch and see how the steering linkage works if you doubt it will.



With the 7" of down travel I may be able to get away with simply chopping the one side of the Rockwell in the rear. I need to get more measurements off thing once again to see if I can get away with it. If I can't there will be a lot of cut/paste going on with the rear axle and a lot more $$ tossed at it due to custom shafts as well as considerably more housing work.


Currently I am saving up the 2k for 5 new 22.5 aluminum Alcoa lug centric rims and some junk tires to mount on them that hold air. I also need to buy the 80 lugs. Once I have the rims mounted I can turn the front axle backward so it is ps drop, start building the disk breaks, mount the calipers, mock up the bag location, steering linkage location, loosely mount the transfer case and get my drive line angles roughed up. Then turn the wheel to get an idea of where I can place the 4 link and how much I can cut. Once I have all that done then and only then can I consider sending the front axle out to have both sides cut and narrowed with new inner shafts cut. Once out I plan on having the thing completely gone through cleaned and rebuilt with 6.44 gearing added which will of course add to the cost.

Once I know where the front axle is I will know if I can mount the engine slightly offset towards the driver or not. If I can move the engine over 3" I do not think I will need to extend the drivers side of the rear axle. I may be able to mount the disk breaks directly to the old drum mounting surfaces in the rear but don't exactly know until I get back for some more measurements. I think it will place them to far away from the rim. I want the side of the caliper within an inch of the tire's sidewall in the rear. If I can do that using the current mounting flange then good if not I will need to take into effect the added .5 to .75 of an inch that the top hats will add as well as the added length of the lugs.




I want the front and rear axles to be 70" outside lug to outside lug. This places the area between the outer wheel flanges flange anywhere from 68.25 to 64"if spacers are used to clear the knuckles. This makes a huge difference in steering angles geometry and where I can mount my links. While it may not sound like much there is a lot going on with the front axle so it deserves a lot of over thinking. With the added area of the bags, calipers, brackets, steering box and housing it is a very tight fit to try to maintain a 35 degree turning angle on a 70" axle with the hubs in and only 40" to work with between the sidewalls.

I considered narrowing it myself but realistically I want to go down the highway with this thing and the housing needs to be dead nuts straight. I don't have the skill or tools that these guys do regarding rebuilding and re gearing and there rates are very reasonable considering. Lets be honest working 3 days a month (and never doing it before) it will take me forever to narrow these housings and they should be able to do it within 4 months. I will need to mount all the mounting linkage's, flanges, hi steer brackets and cut the current arms off the knuckles if it is a clearance issue with the rotor before sending the axles out so they don't need to be welded on later possibly tweaking the housing.

Like I said though all I am doing now is saving up for the rims. There are easily over a million of the 225/75/r22.5 tires rolling around that's why I am using them. But, a good quality set of aluminum lug centric rims that is not cracked, reamed out, or damaged is hard to find for under $200ea. Considering I can buy them new for around $300 it is worth it. Trying to find a place locally that wont totally screw me on shipping at this point. I have a few but no need to contact them until I am ready to buy. Finding some used non legal tires that hold air should be a matter of talking to someone at a truck shop about buying there junk tires. I am very firm that tires of this type should not be used at highway speeds for more then 6 years. The manufactures all agree with this stance which is why I am waiting on the tires(and air bags) as long as I can to get the most life out of them.



The plan when I return around the 5th is install a new caliper, rotor, and front pads on the god damn grand am I bought, sell some junk, get measurements off the axles so I can over think junk some more, mock up the steering linkage inside the cab, clean out and organize my shed, build an engine stand, and start mating the 472 motor to the sm465. I would love to get the new oil pump and modified HEI distributor installed on the 472 motor but don't see it happening until October.

I have a plan, it is just a matter of working on it 3 days a month. Little by little I will finish this thing. Just need to start working on all the little projects I have been putting off while saving up for the rims, and axle mods.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #135
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Why do you care what the outside lug to outside lug dimension is? You should concentrate on WMS and then make sure you have a long enough stud to hold the wheel on.

Why would you want to waste time building an engine stand when they can be bought for under $100. Total waste of time.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #136
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Why would you want to waste time building an engine stand when they can be bought for under $100. Total waste of time.
Because he over thinks everything, and the ones you could buy would not be as good as what Cerial can design...
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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #137
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I meant to say engine cradle not stand.

I spent a day replacing the breaks on the grand am then another day organizing the shed separating this project form the other project. Everything is easy to find making it easier to work on this winter.

I played around with the brownie finding the shift levers were sticking a bit. I tore into it and removed a layer of grime around the shifters before replacing the exterior gaskets around the shift rails. I made a gasket and bolted everything back together. The thing shifts with the push of a finger now.











I began removing things from the 472 engine then installed the 465 adapter plate. I found the new bolts were hard to put in and got a thread kit to chase out the threads. I spent 4 hours chasing threads in the motor and transmission and still have a hour or so left to do before I consider it ready to be bolted together.

The idea of narrowing the axles is simply out of the budget.

I thought I could mount the engine high enough to avoid narrowing the axles at all and run r20 wheels.

I took a ton more measurements of the axles, as well as the rest of the drive train components.
It is not possible to mount the engine rearward and have a shaft going under it with the legal height I want. I need to narrow the axles to keep the engine rear engine. I also needed to run 10.26 gears and 53" tires to have the ratios off and on road that I want. The spare tire will also need to be mounted behind the axle adding additional weight. I was looking at adding a klune box between the brownie and the transfer case. That stretched the wheelbase out further and had me at a realistic 170" wheelbase on paper. It is simply just to heavy in the rear and long.


I weighed the cost back and forth and have decided to go to a older design that uses the same cab design. That design is Mid engine which will help with the weight ratio. I used a 350/465d18 and 3/4 ton axles on 35" tires in that design with a wheelbase of 120".
Using the same cab, 472/465/Atlas and 5 ton axles on 53" tires the wheelbase is increased to only 138"+/-.
I do not need to touch the axles or change the gear ratio at all with the mid engine design. I can run a tire size from 38" up to 53" on the same axle and rim without hurting the axle engine or drive train. I will simply need to refresh the axle.
I can maintain the 472 and sm465 to keep the cheap replacement theme. I will need to upgrade to a atlas4. But, this allows me to only need 2 drive shafts, gives better weight distribution, allows more room for components, and allows for the tilt back spare tire which gives a 10 foot long 50" wide bed.


The bed was something I had planned in the original Mid engine design to give me more versatility letting me pull quads, logs, or simply expedition gear without the need for a trailer. The bed which holds the spare making it easy to replace tilts up giving added protection to the propane tanks in a roll and tilts down for use in hauling stuff. It does have a 60" overhang behind the axle shafts when tilted down though extending the total length to almost 21 feet. The departure angle with the bed up is 73 degrees with the bed down it is only around 22 degrees. The rear portion can be tilted up and still allow a 50widex60long platform to be used if hauling a quad or double bikes, camping gear etc over rough terrain.



I have enough measurements of every angle bolt and so on I can begin assembling them in Inventor to make sure everything fits. This is really more due to the fact I am not there to build it and know it will help find any issues saving me time.

There is the update I will give a idea on the design once I finish building it in inventor. I am on a better then usual paying contract which will have me out for 6 weeks and help in getting the Atlas4 a bit faster.

When I return in October I plan on mating the 465 to the 472 I will remove components from the front of the engine. I want to use the 420 bell housing and will need to go to a local shop to have the hole opened.
In November I will add the high volume oil pump and HEI distributor as well as porting and installing the stock intake.
In December I will make up for what has not been done above and do family stuff.
In January I will work on the cab interior placing the engine cradle in place.
In February I will be working on the doors and interior.
In March I will give advanced adapters a call concerning the atlas4.
In June I will place the axles where they need to be and set up linking.

I think that's far enough ahead for now.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #138
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Holy crap!
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Old September 13th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #139
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Holy crap!
Yeah I know, 7 pages and this thing is still in the parts gathering/planning stage!
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Old September 13th, 2013, 04:02 PM   #140
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I really want what ever kind of drugs you do, they sound amazing.
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