The Nissan Pathmaker OneTon SAS Build Blog - Part 6 - Flatbelly and the BBQ
Now its time to bust out the grinders and welder again and get back into the heavy metal fab....and heavy is the way it turned out! I had pulled the 3" body lift out of my rig during the teardown stage and cut it down to a 1.5" Bodylift instead. I'd prefer to have no lift but I needed a bit of space to get the dual t-cases in there and the dana300 clocked for a full flat belly. After getting hung up many times on the stock Nissan cross member I was determined to have nothing hanging below the frame rails!
I know there is lots of lighter ways I could have built this crossmember/bellypan but this was using the material I had and it would hold up to what I wanted it to do. The basic frame was out of 2"x2" 1/4" wall square with a piece of 3/16" as the plate as well as a big piece of 8" pipe I had to cut to make a front driveshaft hoop.
You can also see how I was going to reuse the Stock Nissan Tranny mount on the front, and some custom plates on the rear with bushings to hold the back of the d300.
Also note my super snazzy bedframe shackles that I made to decide the length of the front shackles, as well as the exhaust dumping right where the new driveshaft is going to go. I'll have to cut and turn it into a passenger side dump, too much going on on the drivers side now!
With the Tranny and tcases living in their forever home I could finally see how everything would fit in the cab. Without cable shifters I was going to have to get very creative with the d-300 shifters but I'll show all that in another post.
Why the sudden change of direction............PARTS!
Which meant it was time to get the 14bolt rear diff figured out for all these snazzy disc brake parts. But first things on the priority list was some proper redneck shit.........the 14bolt is known for breaking the plug welds and spinning so its smart to weld the axle tubes to the center section. Problem is the tubes are mild steel and the center section is cast. After a ton of reading on internet.com I determined the best way to do it was to use a stick welder with nickle rod. Since I did not own either of those things I determined I would do it the next best way............with a good pre and post heat and some very high temp welds with the 220V Miller. The redneckery comes from finding a bbq on the side of the road, cutting some holes in the side and cooking the diff in the driveway on high for about 3hrs, before welding it and putting it back in the bbq for another 3hrs!
Thanks to my buddy Alex for coming over and helping, nothing like lifting 200lbs of really hot metal so you can get a nice weld on it!
Time for a bit of paint and onto the disc brakes. After living so many years in the Nissan world it sure was nice to buy some CHEAP parts....entire brake setup was less than $200 for rotors, calipers, pads and bearings!
Of course since we still had the bbq hot it was time to do some #islandspec stuff and fab up an "orb of power" by putting some plates inbetween the spider gears and then just filling it all with weld.....after a good pre and post heat on the driveway bbq of course.
Then it was time to slide the axle back into its home and see how everything lined up. Also check out my sweet skateboard for moving the heavy 14bolt around!
Next post is all about figuring out and hanging the front Ford HP D-60 and then turning the C's, which turned into an absolute nightmare!
Check out Part 7 in the next blog post here: Part 7 - Front Axle Placement
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