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Project (plasma cutter) & Truss

#1 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

With the projects friends and I sometimes do while working in my garage, I often find myself wishing I had a cutting torch, or a plasma cutter for various jobs. I had borrowed friends' plasma cutters before & they have always made quick work of the projects I had been doing. I have used them before as well at friends' houses/shops so I knew how handy they were to have around.

Anyway, after doing a few months of interweb research & shopping around on various websites, cyberweld, craigslist, ebay, talking with friends who use them to make a living etc, I found a nice machine locally at a reasonable price that should be able to do pretty much any job I come across. It's a Miller Spectrum 625.

Later today, I'll be using it for the first time as I'm in the process of designing & building a new truss for my YJ. I made a cardboard template and have traced that shape out on some flat plate steel. More to follow on that - later today....

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#2 User is offline   TallJeep 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 09:12 AM

Very nice!!! Let us know if is good!!! I'm thinking about getting one, I'm a little tired of the torch.

Gus

#3 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 01:12 PM

Joe, looks like a really nice little unit and the Plasmas sure come in handy.

If you don't mind, can you tell us how much they usually go for :shock:

If you plan mounting it on the YJ, how will you power :cry1: Inverter, etc.

If you mount on the YJ looking forward to the pics, please keep us posted on this. :)
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#4 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 02:11 PM

I cut a piece of flat plate with the plasma yesterday & it worked great! :scratch:

Jim, cost was ~$1600 from a local welding supply store. IIRC, suggested retail is ~$2100. The small black door you can see on the side of the plasma is for storage of consumables, which it came with a few consumables.

There are no plans as of yet to mount it in my Jeep.

I picked up a cheap cart for it which matches my welding cart.

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I traced out the cardboard template on the flat plate steel & cut it out yesterday.

The truss will have an upper support integrated into it that you can't see here - but this is the beginings of it thou.

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Test fit:

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#5 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 02:37 PM

Looks good Joe! R U gonna put a small plate on the opposite side (don't think U need it due to no leverage etc). Also, R U gonna tack it it (spot weld 1' lengths) or run a full length bead? Will it hit the pan & R U gonna have to lengthen your bump stops? What is the height of the truss @ the pumpkin?

Thanks,
JimII
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#6 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 05:36 PM

Thanks.

I plan on removing the axle shaft & cutting the driver side tube basically in 1/2, then sleeving it with 3" x .250" wall DOM similar to what I did for the long tube. The sleeve will be plug welded and completely welded by a series of stitch welds to the housing & inner C. This will make the axle tube 1/2" thick. Then weld a new driver side spring perch & lower shock mount on like the other side, and also do another ubolt eliminator. This should strengthen the driver side by quite a bit.

On the outside of the perches, I plan on welding in some gussets.

You're right - I plan on running a series of stitch welds along the tube, then weld it to the housing as well. Then weld in an upper support brace made from 1.5" x 1.5" x .188" wall HREW. With my chop saw, I'll cut a slice parallel to where the tube has the internal weld & slip the square tube over the top of the main support truss, then weld that all together.

As far as clearance is concerned - I just double checked. After all is said & done I'll have ~10" of clearance between the top most portion of the truss, and the bottom near where the lower crank case pully is, at normal ride height. So all will be good there. :scratch:

#7 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:44 AM

Update:

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#8 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:47 AM

Now that, is a good idea.

P.S. POR-15 will get in all those joints when U R finished. :)

#9 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

Speaking of good ideas (POR 15). :2thumup:

As you might have already noticed - I haven't painted the other portions of the axle just yet, knowing I'd be welding to them in the coming days. I may give the POR 15 a shot. Thanks for the idea. :)

#10 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:23 PM

Your welcome Joe. I would just pour it in and let it run into all the cracks/crevices and drain it to the end cutting the slag off wen dry, then you will get the stuff every where & not have to worry later on. But you don't really have to worry about rust where you are, do you? Anyway, it can't hurt.

I used it on everything and the underside of my tub. One quart did the whole bottom and I used a pint to do the hood/fenders/accent parts.
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It flows real well and I used a regular paint brush from Lowe's (2bucks) to do all the parts/accent pieces.
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#11 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:09 PM

Update pics. I was meaning to post these.

You can't see here, but things are fitted and I made the tact welds. I'll probably finish up welding it in tomorrow & put some paint on things.

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#12 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:17 PM

Nice Joe & I like the small grove next to the spring plate for strength. One question though, will it interfere with spring replacement, I can't tell @ this angle.

#13 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:51 PM

Good eyes. It should be fine and not interfere with spring or hardware use at all.

#14 User is offline   JeepinIan 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:41 AM

Why square tube? Isn't round tube stronger?
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#15 User is offline   Jim B 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:43 AM

Joe,

Very beefy truss. :rof:

Reason for the truss, are you having problems or have seen others start to bend the axle tube under torque. :banghead:

What size tire are you running now. :2thumup:
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#16 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 12:08 PM

View PostJeepinIan, on Jul 2 2009, 06:41 AM, said:

Why square tube? Isn't round tube stronger?

It's a square headlight thing. :2thumup:

Actually, I had the tubing laying around my garage & wanted to use if for something & the opportunity arose for this little project.

#17 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 12:19 PM

View PostJim B, on Jul 2 2009, 06:43 AM, said:

Joe,

Very beefy truss. :haha:

Reason for the truss, are you having problems or have seen others start to bend the axle tube under torque. :2thumup:

What size tire are you running now. :lol:

Jim,

I basically cracked in 1/2 my passenger side axle tube underneath the SOA perch while in Colorado wheelin. I did a trail repair/weld, but wanted to add more beef to it so I sleeved the tube & completely eliminated the vacuum disco housing in doing so.

My HPD30 now has a 3" axle tube (vice 2.5") and it's 1/2" thick in areas, plus now it's trussed.

Tires are still 35x12.50x15 MT/R's.

Yep, I know of a few folks who have bent their housings and/or axle tubes. Usually these are beyond minor repair, but mine was caught early enough that I could patch things together without breaking or damaging any of the internals.

#18 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

I have another question.

Joe, instead of building such a tall truss (maybe not such a tall etc), why can't someone run like a beam over/under the tube? Beam meaning just a thick piece of steel maybe a 1"x1"x1". Thus eliminating the plate but still strengthening the axle housing. Maybe might have to run the 1x1x1 up over the pumpkin though, not sure.

Your/others thoughts?

#19 User is offline   Joe Dillard 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:09 PM

The truss really isn't all that tall. Maybe the angle of my pics make it appear that way. It sits 1 7/8" above the highest point of the differential housing, and I still have an additional 10" of static clearance between the truss & the engine.

That idea would work, but I would think that with a square piece of steel (perhaps bigger than 1" x 1") & a round axle tube, there'd be an unsightly gap between the two pieces of metal & it *might* be hard to fill-in while welding.

The contour of the axle housing where the tubes enter, creats a hump, and the top of the housing would contribute to making things a bit more challenging with a piece of square tubing if you wanted to make it look symetrical and triangulated, which triangulation adds greatly to overall strength.

I'm not saying it can't be done - just that it would be more involved I would think than the manner I did this one.

My friend Stu Olson has a nice TJ truss on his rig you may want to look at for other ideas.

http://www.stu-offro...rffab/fab-1.htm

#20 User is offline   Rollbar 

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:17 PM

View PostJoe Dillard, on Jul 2 2009, 07:09 PM, said:

That idea would work, but I would think that with a square piece of steel (perhaps bigger than 1" x 1") & a round axle tube, there'd be an unsightly gap between the two pieces of metal & it *might* be hard to fill-in while welding.

The contour of the axle housing where the tubes enter, creats a hump, and the top of the housing would contribute to making things a bit more challenging with a piece of square tubing if you wanted to make it look symetrical and triangulated, which triangulation adds greatly to overall strength.


Thanks Joe, I didn't even think of that @ the time and I guess it would be a pain. I like what Stu did, looks good as yours.

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#21 User is offline   BigBlock 

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:41 AM

Nice job on that truss & it gives me ideas.

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