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Fino's 1970 Mini Build Thread

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by FinoCJ, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. Jul 24, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,312
    not against the D30 with selectable locker by any means...just not in the budget right now. Maybe get the steering upgrade done and leave the D27 open as is....
     
  2. Jul 24, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
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    2,312
    So I am starting to see how this will go together....

    What is the best welding technique to get the frame horns boxed and weld the steering box mounting plate? My skills are limited to hack MIG. Think with some patience and more practice I might be able to do it, but my small machine hits its limit around 3/16". Wondering if I need a bigger machine...been wanting to upgrade the electrical in my garage/shop - maybe put in a 220 outlet?
     
  3. Jul 24, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    3,306
    A bigger machine is always a good idea, and we're here to help you (spend your money)!

    You can get away with making all of the plates and mounts with material that is 3/16" or less, but it had better be well thought-out and properly cross-braced. I think the later AMC mounts were all stamped 1/8" plate, weren't they? Not a great example because they were crack-prone, but you get the idea.

    The frame itself is only ~1/8" thick out there, so be aware that strengthening one spot is often weakening another (by transferring stresses further down the line). When a big heavy steering box mount is just slapped on the end of the frame horn, it is adding a lot of side-stresses that the frame wasn't designed for. I typically like to replace the whole front frame sections with tubing, but I've been known to go a little overboard at times. :)

    If you can box the open sections with at least 1/8" back to the crossmember and stitch-weld straps the top and bottom with some 1/8" strips past the crossmember, side-stresses would be greatly reduced and transferred further down to a stronger part of the frame. A cross-brace is always a good idea also to help share the load to the other frame rail.

    But then again, if you're happy with how it is, make certain this is a tunnel you want to go down before beginning. Is it worth changing a setup that you're satisfied with 99% of the time just to handle trails that you're on for that remaining 1%? That's your call.
     
  4. Jul 24, 2019
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,467
    If you can go with a bigger welder (my Mig is a Millermatic 211 - started with a 185) by all means do it - especially if it allows you to add gas and your just flux core now. Mine will work on 110 and 220 - its all on 220 in the shop. I have my Mig and Plasma on the cart. The Tig and Stick are on another machine if I need them.

    As stated - the frame is 1/8 and as long as you stay with that on boxing the frame horns, your fine. I fit the plates inside the horns and weld with a nice seam. I also replace the front bumper area with Channel and redo the cross member with box tube when I do a Saginaw setup. Keeps the area solid and I don't get flex in there.
     
  5. Jul 24, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member Sponsor

    Denver, CO
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
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    2,312
    Probably the statement I have used to justify all of my conservative build as I generally have eschewed the all out build for a slightly modified, simpler, more original style...I have been satisfied with the Ross box up until the last year, but...2 issues:
    1) The Ross box is starting to get a bit scary to drive on highway at speed due to the amount of slop etc. Its starting to feel unsafe to me as the driver (maybe I am just getting older and tired of slop filled steering)...I have driven it for almost 7 years with the Ross box, about half of that with 31s, and about half with the current 33s. The jeep came with 31s from the PO, mileage unknown. I put about 10k in miles on the 31s and 15k on it since bumping up to 33s, and its got 4k of flat tow miles on it as well, and I think that wear and tear is starting to show on top of the PO's use etc. My driving feel suggests there is something starting to go a bit odd in the steering - and when towing back from Cali a few days ago on some winding mountain roads, it did a couple weird things. As I don't tow with a big truck, it made me kind of nervous. I know nothing of the box's history...maybe its been rebuilt at some point, maybe not (my guess is that it has given that its not totally undriveable and seeing what else has been done by PO).
    2) adding the locker has definitely moved my acceptable trail difficulty up a notch or two, and that is where the limited manual steering is noticeable. If the long term goal is a locker (or some sort of traction device) in the front, seems like power steering is the way to go, and that pushes the project away from a Ross rebuild.
    I feel like I need to improve the steering in some way....and I was considering just rebuilding the Ross box (maybe with some help from Tlm E), and maybe trying the tapered roller bearing mod on the bellcrank from Mcruff, but there is also something to be said for not sinking money and time and effort into something that in another 5 years of use and abuse with 33s, I might be back into the same situation, or to add a front locker and have to do the swap then.

    FWIW - I would do this swap asap if I had more confidence in my fab skills. In this case, its less about what I want, and more about what am I able to do safely.

    I have the smallest Lincoln there is...it is bottle compatible when needed, although I tend to use flux core as its cheaper, less hassle and the projects I usually do it doesn't matter if its splatter and ugly as all my welds are usually ugly.
    keywords - weld with a nice seam...You weld the channel on in place of the bumper, or leave it removeable (bolted)? My current oem style bumper is starting to look like a wagon bumper as its curved/bent back on both ends from rock encounters. Been thinking about making a new one out of something thicker, cutting it down a bit for more stubby ends (although the longer ends do take the abuse and protect the front edge of the fender), and possibly getting some tow shackle mounts on it.
    Will also have to figure out how to modify my winch plate mounts - they mount through the side of the frame rail...When adding the boxing and steering box mount, the current mounting bolts won't be accessible. Guess I would need to weld threaded nuts to the inside of the frame rail?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
    TIm E and ITLKSEZ like this.
  6. Jul 24, 2019
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
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    Sep 27, 2016
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    896
    "a little"... yeh, let's go with that terminology :rofl:
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  7. Jul 25, 2019
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,467
    I insert the front C Channel and then do a bumper separate. Some nice thick plate and I build a little taller mount for the winch over the box and front horns. I prefer to sleeve the frame rails and use a through bolt - for the winch plate mount and front bumper arms.

    Loaded some pics from when I built it. Build Examples | ECJ5
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    FinoCJ and Rich M. like this.
  8. Jul 27, 2019
    Steve's 70-5

    Steve's 70-5 Member

    Louisville, Ky
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    Nov 12, 2009
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    797
    Would it help if you made a couple passes as you weld it with the smaller welder.
     

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