The Nissan Pathmaker OneTon SAS Build Blog - Part 4 - Getting Suspensful
Now we are getting into a bit more exciting stuff, it wasn't time to make vroom vroom noises yet but it sure was nice to start moving parts back into the shop after taking so much out.
First up, a bone stock 1991 Ford HP Dana 60 with 4.10 gears and 31 spline shafts. It was nothing special but it had potential and was worth the effort of building up. Very first lesson in One-Ton running gear came really quick........this stuff is HEAVY! No more, let me just grab that axle and carry it over there this thing weighs in at almost 500lbs!
Was a real pain squeezing the wide axle down a narrow shop but I got it in front and wow it was going to be wide!
Pulled the axle back out of the way so I could start to figure out a cross member. Why did I use 4" x 4" you ask? Because I had it... as with a lot of things on this project, it just worked out and it was some scrap from something I can't remember. I squared off the front of the frame and trimmed a bit of sheet metal.
Put the axle back under it and saw how it was all going to line up for the first time. Using the stock perches on the D-60 I made the front cross member the exact same width and was happy to see the leafs were not majorly wider than the frame in that location.
Got the front of the frame prepped and cleaned up for the new cross member and fish plate on the frame for strength. Remember if you're going to weld on your frame never weld straight up and down, you'll create a weak point, thats why you'll see all my plates come to a point. I was happy with the result and it sure was nice to be welding 3/16" material instead of all the sheet metal! I'm going to leave drilling the frame and sleeving for the shackles for a later date because its looking like a total nightmare location, directly below the body mount, where the frame curves, its going to require some headscratching because I dont want the rig too tall so I don't want to just mount the shackle under the frame like I plan to do in the rear.
Time to slide around to the back. The plan for the rear bumper was to use up the rest of my free 4x4 and to turn it into an airtank for my eventual York Air compressor and onboard air. The bumper/tank isn't huge but its better than nothing. Also time to make some shackle hangers for the rear end as well as the shackles themselves.
I tacked the stack of shackles together to make it easier to grind all the corners down. I also fabbed up and mounted the frame mount for the rear leaf, I decided to put it right where the frame starts to curve up, leaving is nice and flat so you don't get hung up on it, while also keeping the rig as low as possible. I was shooting for a 108" wheelbase but I knew I could adjust the wheelbase with the rear shackle hanger, as well as move the centerpin on the leafs if need be so it seemed like the best location, I knew things would change a bit when the weight came down on the suspension.
Put the 3" wide Ford F-150 spring in the front mount and decided where I had to tack the rear shackle mount. I knew it was offset off the frame but I was planning on adding some gussets anyways.
Once they were tacked in it was time to slap the shackles on and bolt my loaner tires from my buddy Alex and the EMB Project onto it. It was looking wide, but nasty, I was starting to get excited with all the quick progress.
I went ahead and welded and plated in the rear bumper as well as make some big beefy 3/8" tow points for the rear. the bumper plan is to have it wrap around the corner, but not to have the corners full of air so it seemed like a great place to sandwich the all important rear tow point.
For the bumper corners I used some 2x2 - 1/4" and I cut and wrapped the bumper around the body, leaving it hanging about 1/2" lower than the sheet metal.
Next up it was time to get into a bit more of the headache stuff that I was putting off like figuring out how to mount the NWF T-Case doubler with zero instructions, drill some big holes in the frame for the front shackle hangers as well as shave the rear 14bolt and install the rear discs.
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Check out Part 5 in the next blog post here: Nissan Pathmaker Build - Part 5 - Case's N Such
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