Mid Travel Suspension Mod - Tow Behind Sprayer
Posted June 18, 2011 - 03:20 PM
We live in a rural area and weed control for the access driveways and big lawns is a snap with one of these babies.
So it's great he says, "but it's so close to the ground it doesn't like potholes and pastures too much..." It would be nice to use on the girls' riding arena.
Me: "Maybe we could put some bigger tires on it"
Him: "Yeah, but then we'd have to drop the hitch"
Me: "Hmm, lemme think"
Him: "Sounds like maybe a winter project..."
So I let this idea rattle around me skull for a week, and I was helping out a buddy with his offroad race truck fabrication when it came to me. Not bigger tires, we need to jack this thing up off the ground and give it suspension.
I just started last night, I'll work on it some more today and post progress as I go. I'm new to this forum, so I hope this is the sort of stuff y'all like around here.
Posted June 18, 2011 - 03:37 PM
Some of the other members should be chiming in shortly to welcome you as well.
Posted June 18, 2011 - 03:48 PM
The wheels are 10" x 4" with a hub length of 2" and a bore of 5/8". I had some 3/4" diameter tubing that has an ID of ~5/8" !! The seam on the inside of the tubing needing a little massage with a little dremel drum sander but the fit is amazing.
So if I cut a tube 2" long to mount on the old axle, then weld another tube 10" long at 45° onto it will make my trailing arm. Then weld a new 5/8" diameter axle to the end of the trailing arm parallel to the original axle and Bob's your uncle!
So cutting the 2" tube was easy, but cutting the 45° in the end of the trailing arm was a little harder. I have a tube notcher, but the small tube wouldn't fit right with the 45° so I had to eyeball it and use a grinder.
Started easy enough...
But took somemessing about and test fitting to get it right. Sorry the tubing had been sitting for awhile so it has some surface rust. The wire wheel in the bench grinder cleans it right up though.
I have just started to teach myself Tig Welding, so this was a good chance to learn and play! As near as I can understand, "fit-up" is really important. That means you want the metal pieces to be touching each other all the way around with no big air gaps. Makes the welding cleaner and more simple.
The fit up looked good, but the angle wasn't quite 45° when I measured it with my speed square. I remembered I had one those magnetic tube clamp thingamajigs that is purpose built for this.
So I gave it a quick tack weld on both sides to hold it in position then removed it from the magnetic jig for complete welding.
My welding skills leave much to be desired, but remember I have never taken any welding classes - I'm self taught. The metal is definitely securely melted together, I had so re-sand the inside of the 2" tube to remove some melty bits so it would slide over the axle.
First one is now partly done!
Posted June 18, 2011 - 03:51 PM
:welcometogttalk:Welcome,Welcome,Welcome!! Yes we love anything related to GT's. We also "LOVE" pictures. Lot's of em'. Alot of great folks here that are more than willing to help out when needed. Be sure and check out the chat room later on (say around 10:00pm) and say hello.
Some of the other members should be chiming in shortly to welcome you as well.
Thanks Ross! I like the pics too, and I'll be sure to include some. I'll be all caught up by next post and have to go out to the shop and accomplish some more. I have to go help my buddy with his race truck he's trying to get finished by next weekend, so updates will probably wait for tomorrow AM.
Posted June 18, 2011 - 04:04 PM
Looks like I ran out of progress pics, whoops! I got a little more done than this! I got this second arm welded up and then welded the new axle onto the first arm. I'll go out to the shop and take a few pics
Edited by Chi11iwack, June 18, 2011 - 10:54 PM.
Make a new post
- KIRO-1 said thank you
Posted June 18, 2011 - 04:08 PM
Posted June 18, 2011 - 08:52 PM
Posted June 18, 2011 - 11:31 PM
I still have to get this thread updated with progress so far, so here's a little more.
I did manage to get the first trailing arm completed. Hopefully this will make it a little more clear what I've been building.
Of course, it will be more clear seeing it with a wheel attached. I had this wheel kicking around the shop for a welding cart project that I haven't started yet...
You can see the short tube will connect to the axle where the old wheel used to mount.
I was excited to fit the axle to the sprayer and see how it looked, and what the implications of having it mounted were. So I sprayed some WD40 on it (seems to help preserve the finish a little and inhibit rust) and took it out to the sprayer. Of course it was another rainy spring day here in the Northwet.
That is the sprayer.
Here's a picture of what the sprayer looks like from behind, with a normal beverage can for scale. Coincidentally, the ground clearance of the frame is approximately the same height as a beverage can.
I put the one finished swingarm on the right side and checked from the rear how the track width had changed (improved). It is still narrower than the spray bar, so I haven't made the unit any harder to handle. The pic shows it at the stock ride height.
Now here is what it looks like with the suspension at "full droop". It can go alittle higher yet, but this keeps the geometry pretty normal for the trailing arm. I measure this to be almost 6" increase in ride height.
Looking from above you can see how the wheel "trails" behind the stock location. The longer wheelbase will help with high speed stability LOL! But of course, the wider track width will definitely help with overall stability. Can't wait to get the other arm finished tomorrow and get started on the suspension for these trailing arms.
The pic looks a little funny because of a "lens" effect of the cell phone camera I'm using, it makes it look like the tire is askew. It's not.
Anyway, can't wait to see what I get up to tomorrow...
Posted June 19, 2011 - 05:13 AM
Posted June 19, 2011 - 05:30 AM
Posted June 19, 2011 - 05:41 AM
Glad to have you with us.
Nice fabrication work.
Posted June 19, 2011 - 05:51 AM
Posted June 19, 2011 - 09:32 AM
Posted June 19, 2011 - 10:09 AM
How much does 15 gallons of water weigh?
15gal * 8.35 lb/gal = 125lbs 4oz
I'm pretty sure it'll hold up, it's only 63 lbs per side. The tubing is 0.065 wall and the short length helps too with rigidity (<--is that a word). If they bend, I have some 1" tubing standing by! I see trailing arms on off road race cars that use three l" diam tubes and those cars weigh 2000 lbs and do 90mph over insane boulder fields and sand whoops. I'll be doing a walking pace through a pasture lol.
We'll see what problems I create with the suspension design today. I'm aware that balancing the torque of wheel load versus spring resistance happens at the original axle...
Posted June 19, 2011 - 10:38 AM
Your weld's look pretty good. Nice work. (still pondering buying a tig welder myself and teaching myself how to)
I picked up the Tig off ebay for super cheap. I think maybe $500 shipping included. It's a cheapy, no pedal, only finger tip on/off but it works! If you've ever acetylene welded it's about the same only the "flame" is tiny and very concentrated in the area it heats. You push a puddle and add rod as you go. I tried to actetylene weld body sheet metal about 25 years ago, and that was probably the last time I did it!
I see the same vendor on ebay (3shop-river) is still selling welders, they are in China, but the shipping was pretty quick as I recall. Just search "Jasic Tig" on ebay. They have a nicer one now with more settings and will work with a pedal for less than $600 delivered here... hmm.... Anyone wanna buy a slightly used welder?
I bought mine a couple years ago, but haven't put much time into until now. Tried it before and I was awful, had to watch a bunch of you tube welding videos and such. It wasn't until I watched one video a few days ago where a guy was showing how to build your own headers (See them here) I noticed that he sharpened his tungsten with a long gradual point and had it sticking out quite a bit away from the tip. I tried that and lo and behold, success!! My arc stopped wandering all over and my tungsten stays sharp (if I can keep it out of the puddle - doh!). I still have lots to learn, and need a lot more practice yet. :)
I sure like the tig, no slag to clean up like the stick welder.