Monday, January 17, 2011
We got the front shackle mounts finished and the new forward cross member tied together and it looks killer. This will give lots of rigidity in the front of the car and help negate any lateral deflection from the radical angle changes between wheels up action to slamming down onto the limiters. This will also help to replace the bracing that the K-frame currently offers since it will be going by the way side. We will be adding a similar cross brace when we tie in the drive shaft loop and at the rear most part of the car.
Finding 1" tubing to accept the shackle bushings for our front mount turned out to be a futile effort in our little town, so I ended up using a 1" pipe nipple, slashing a "V" down it's length and welding it back together to make the 1" inside diameter work. Then I hand notched the end of the new 2x4 mount to accept the new pipe for the upper shackle. Everything was then tacked in place, measured, re-measured, re-tacked, repeat, repeat...you get the idea. Then finally welded solid on the bench and flap wheeled so it will look smooth and professional. We will still brace this already over built mount since this section will be getting ridiculous stress loads.
Since the un-cut van axle places the spring mounts just outside of the frame rails we decided to use our factory '64 rear offset shackles to compensate for this instead of welding clunky mounts to the outside of the frame. One of our more clever moments if you ask me. The 1 1/2" shift on each side set us square in the middle of the frame for our spring mounts. A test fit of the bumper revealed that a notch would be required to allow clearance of the new mounts. This is a bad-ass look and the new mounts are clearly visible from the front of the car. I had no choice but to mock up the fender, Hemi grill and front wheel for the photo-op.
The side view with the wheel in place looks insane but we won't be running these sausage tires at the track. Plus the extra 600 pounds over the front will tighten the gap.