Rambler update (lotsa pictures, but not as many as there should be)

by Timberwolf

I fabbed up some sub frame connectors out of 2x2 tubing and got them installed.

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I didn't really take much in the way of pictures during the install, but there's a couple videos on the YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwp7iPHz5hmUIv5cZME3rVQ

Also made some progress on the rear frame section. I found myself taking less pictures since I've been doing the videos. I'll need to work on that (for continuity).

With the tires I plan to run (295/65-15 or roughly 30 tall, 11.5 wide) there simply isn't enough room in the rear fender wells. There's plenty of height, but width (front to back) and depth to the frame rails, was going to be a problem. The rear frame sections have a curve in them that protrudes into the wheel well almost 1.5".

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Additionally, the front lip of the wheel arch on the quarter panel curved inward a LOT... leaving something like 9 inches at best.

This was a head scratcher for a bit. But eventually I worked out a plan. I had some 2 x 3 x .120 rectangle tubing, which gave an inside dimension of ~1.75" which matched the outside width of the frame rails. After some measuring and drawing (seen above) I lopped off a section and cut out the top to form a U channel.

Then I supported the back of the frame, and cut out the bulged section. Just the outside of the frame rail... no need to cut all the way through, of course. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of the removed area. I do have it on video for the next youtube update

After some more measuring and fitting, I decided the tubing wasn't tall enough to do what I wanted, so I hit the metal store and found some 2 x 5 x .120 in the drops bin. Taller than what I wanted, but have plasma... will cut happy.gif

I cut notches out of the floor section of the U channel to accomodate the downward curves of the rail and still give ample material to weld to the sides fore and aft of the former bulge.

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After lots of grinding, cleaning and welding (man this old steel sure seems to want to "resist" the weld puddle), I got the width I needed.

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This wasn't final tire position, but it shows how much space was created. Next, I needed to carve out some real estate in the inner fender area for the front and back of the tire.

I decided the axle would need to move back about 2" from its original location. This meant no more need to cut the front of the fender lip, and gave a little better look (in my opinion) for tire placement in these long wheel arches.

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That showed me where I needed to cut.

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I took out only as much as necessary to clear the tire area. Basically, anything that was sticking into the well beyond the frame rail within the tire radius +3" or so.

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I went a little heavy with my cut at the rear, but that more to follow the lines of the inner fender and outer wheel arch so that when I build the new inners it would both hide better and be easier to fabricate.

Now we're getting somewhere

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I've got a heavy half inch on each side of the tire now. I may still roll the fender lip where it protrudes into the wheel well. It's going to take some good rear axle geometry and sound locating (diagonal brace most likely), as well as careful wheel backspacing, etc. But I think it's on track.

With the axle moved back, the cross member for the upper coilover mounts was going to be in direct competition for real estate with the front of the trunk floor. A little measuring and marking, followed by 3 minutes with the 7" cutoff disc and that problem was solved.

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That's about it for now. Hopefully today I'll get the passenger side done, then I can start looking at ladder bar and coilover crossmember locations and install

Posted on Feb 4, 2018, 8:28 AM

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