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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Wiring Bigfoot

By |May 31st, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Still working on the wiring for the legs.

As I said earlier, the waterproof connectors take time and I accept nothing less than 100% when it comes to crimping the contacts. I just recently repaired some electrical stuff on an Avan and connector fitting was appalling. Insulation to short and not reaching into the housing of the plug, crimp connections only on the copper strands, not on the insulation, electrical tape used instead of heat shrink, etc. The current owner did not do it, I am certain. Could have been the previous owner though.

The harness for the levelling system was far too long and the […]

Motorbike Carrier

By |May 30th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Yesterday I hooked up the van for the first time to the truck and also fitted the motorbike on the back of the truck to see if everything works out. The front legs are not on yet and the chassis is a bit higher than ride height. We finished all welding on the thick stuff, completely done and use one 7kg role of wire so far.

Today I did put all legs back on and wired the electrical connections. Takes some time because I had to cut the harness provided (just way too long) and fit connectors. Waterproof connectors take time to fit, […]

Truck Brakes Again

By |May 30th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Last Thursday I finished the brakes on my truck all around. Put the new hub seals on the rears an all new rotors are fitted. Below image shows the front. I am not really keen with drilled and  slotted rotors but I wanted some galvanised ones, not just the regular steel, and these still came at a reasonable price including metallised performance brake pads. Will use the same on the van.

Because I changed the ball joint I had the torsion bar off and along the way putting it back together I did bend a C-clamp. I think I should reduce […]

Coupling Receiver

By |May 26th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Not bolted on yet, will do that tomorrow. I did remove it twice until I had the membranes fitted properly and everything was where it is supposed to be.

Mud guards are almost finished, will do that tomorrow as well.

Truck Brakes

By |May 24th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today was service day for the truck.
Installing my anti gravity engine – floating 30cm over ground .. would’nt that be nice .. and all running on water vapour.

Done the left side ball joints and stabiliser, (did the right side a few weeks ago), rear brakes, new rotors all round, new pads, new park brake pads, new front flexible brake hoses. Did not finish the rear – need new axle seals to make sure they are real tight. The drive shaft and bearings run in oil from the diff, so no grease or packing, just making sure the seal is real […]

Chassis On It’s Feet

By |May 22nd, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Here it is, out of the shed, on its feet with the neck fitted.

Some detail pics: The powder coater ended up making the stuff black although I told him I wanted a bright colour. Anyway it was a lot cheaper that way, and one does not see the chips that much. The coupling mount in the front however is a nice bright safety yellow.
Will fit that tomorrow.

Side view of one trailing arm, one shock mounted only and the limiter strap in place.

Image of the airbag plate from the top with the temporary air lines. Currently in load sharing configuration […]

Bigfoot And Battery

By |May 21st, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Another day gone …

Half the day was shopping.
Battery – picked up at ev works
Brake lines, total of 16m lines and fittings for the ABS systems.
Bolts and Nuts, threaded rods for the axle sleeves, air fittings and hose for the air bags. Just temporary stuff until I fit the air engine with the levelling system.
Mounted the battery. Did not do the case yet. Just the mounting platform.

Finished temporary install of the Bigfoot levelling system. Temporary because the cables are not yet properly routed. Everything else is final. The cables are way too long. Made for US 40 footers with the panel […]

Brake Actuator

By |May 20th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Lots of things happening … including a car accident .. some puppet had to push 4 cars into each other and I was the front one. Had our little city car and the poor thing is now in car hospital. I am ok, no problem, just very annoying. When do they learn to drive in Australia?

Anyway .. back to the subject ..

The electric over hydraulic brake actuator is mounted in the front of the lower chassis.

Mounts for the rear holding tanks are in, the middle section between the two tanks is not yet done.
All the floor supports are done […]

Main Chassis Frame Welding Almost Finished

By |May 18th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Done some more welding today. The rest of the main chassis welds were finished and the first welds done for the thinner alu, like the floor supports and some tank hangers.
Have fitted the first leg as a test.

All the steel parts are at the powder coaters and I expect them to be ready by Thursday. During the week I have to organise lots of little things. Next Friday we plan to put the wheels on and pull the lower chassis out of the shed to mount the neck.

I have some 6mm channel in 6082 which I will cut to an angle to […]

Mounting Suspension Hangers

By |May 16th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Two very busy days, yesterday and today.
Done lots. Finished all alu welding on underside and all steel welding.
First time I had all suspension hangers mounted to fit the trailing arms.

Above shows all 4 trailing arms mounted for alignment and tacking on the blocks.

Above shows a wheel from behind. Have sorted out the routing of the flexible brake line and the bracket mount on the trailing arm to securely fix the brake line. Made little plates and welded them onto the trailing arm.

Finished the bumper mounts. Sacrificial bumper and mounts. If someone bumps into us it will take some of the […]

DMX Controller

By |May 10th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Done some clean up today, sanding sharp corners, cleaning welds.
I have also temporarily fitted the brake line (flexible) to one trailing arm to check how to route the lines. I need a couple of tabs on the trailing arm to fix the brake line brackets, which are connected to the flexible hose. I am using the same front end hoses as on my truck.

Checked the cable length for the hydraulic actuator and it’s position.

Later I built another building block of the control system. See image above.

This is a DMX junction box with 3 DMX clients, 3 channels each, to control […]

Coupling Brace

By |May 9th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

These 4 and 4 more were the last bits I had from cutting the 5 9.9m RHS main rail sections. They are now the rear mounts for the bumper and the the other 4 are gussets for the cross member which holds the angles from the coupling braces. I have nothing left from those long sections, just a few shavings.

 Fitted the coupling braces to day and tacked them. The last bit of steel welding. Tomorrow I will continue cleaning the parts from splatter, like I started today to get them ready for powder coating. Pretty heavy now that coupling bit. […]

Coupling Welding

By |May 8th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Another busy day over.
My laser cutter did let me down a bit and did not finish a couple of parts I wanted to use this weekend.
Anyway, my mate was here again and we almost finished all the steel works. Trailing arms are done, the shock mounts on the trailing arms as well as on the chassis, two of the airbag platforms, waiting for a couple of parts for the other 2 airbag platforms to finish.

Above is a pic of the outer coupling tube. The actual coupling slides into this tube. Obviously this is upside down since the neck still lays on the […]

Truck Coupling

Today I finally got around to install my goose neck coupling on the truck.
I got a good workout without a hoist. 50 times out under the truck and back.
The exhaust had to go first to make some room and the the install was not that bad.
Above is the hole.

This image shows how I pulled the center section of the coupling up against the truck bed from below. That made installing the bolts a lot easier.

Below is the center section of the coupling under the bed. 1.5″ bolts go into the frame through existing holes and towards the front I have two big […]

DC Junction Box

By |May 3rd, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

The next prototype is finished.
It is the 12V junction box with One Wire Bus to connect up to 5 valve control boxes and an additional One Wire Bus junction box for additional temperature sensors.

All my connections and signal distributions will be done this way, like Lego blocks. At the end there will be only straight connections between these blocks. Cable harnesses will be pre-made before I connect everything up in the van.

One thread at the moment deals with robotics and automation. There are so many more aspects in building a van than just building a chassis or a body […]

Valve Box Connectors

By |May 2nd, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Above is the image of the valve control box with the plugs in place but not yet connected.

Here is the image of the almost finished box with the 9 pin plug soldered and insulated. 9 pins is the maximum my nerves can handle, after that it gets really fiddly. I have one 48 pin plug in the system and I am not looking forward to solder that.

This takes a bit time but it is nice and compact. I did not feel like use a larger box, times 9 and it needs a lot of space.
This little box is just right […]

Flange Gusset

By |May 2nd, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Above is the image of the flange gussets I was talking about. Not cleaned up yet, just shown as welded.

Valve Control Box

By |May 1st, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Yesterday I almost finished a prototype of the first production component of my electrical system. It is missing the panel plugs for external connection, which I will finish tomorrow. It is a component with 2 4 relay boards and is used to control 2 electric ball/gate valves. The ball valves have feedback signals for fully open and fully closed and are wired back to the microprocessor, which feeds this component. The unit is a very tight fit and with the lid on
(it is water proof) there is no movement inside the box. All connectors will be secured with a sealer and the […]

Steel Welding

By |May 1st, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Done steel welding today.
Tacked and fully welded all trailing arms and started the coupling mount. Checked the wheel position and clearance as well as calculated overall width. Above image shows one wheel mounted on a trailing arm with the center cap. The wheel liner (stainless) is not on the wheel, so it is a bit ugly. Outside center cap left to right is 2480mm. Without center caps its is 2420mm from tyre face to tyre face.

The trailing arm distance from the inside face of the flange ended up 1mm out from the  original design. I am pretty happy with that. The reason was in […]