|02-09-2015, 12:27 AM||#1|
Total Chaos LCA Cam Tab Gussets install
So I officially started this project today. I took a few pics of the install process. Hope it helps some. Not the best of a write-up, but I figured I'd throw this out there anyways. Some of you might've stumbled onto my other thread regarding my accident and the follow up on repairs with the front end damage. And this is not just for repairing. This kit is designed to reinforce those tabs for offroading. I dont know if it would be a great investment or not, but worth it if you don't ever wanna hassle with it hitting you unexpectedly. I suppose it could just be an investment made when something does happen like it did to me. Those factory tabs are pretty flimsy and could very easily be bent with a good hit to a boulder or something if rock crawling or something. Really all you would need to do in a bind, is loosen up the cam bolts, pry your control arm back out a hair, and tighten back down the cam bolts, to get you home safely. Or if you ever get to tearing down your control arms for bushings or whatever, I'd say go for it and replace them. It's an all day task in of itself so be prepared. I did not get around to finishing it today myself, but being a noob and with "her" being a bitch at me today, took longer than I wanted it to so I'll be finishing it up tomorrow...
So for those that dont know, I got in a fairly small wreck. Upon further inspection I found that the alignment cam tabs were pretty much bent all flat on the passenger side. So insurance completed all the repairs of the front end as well as purchasing the total chaos alignment cam tabs, sending it to another fab shop, and had the tabs installed on the passenger side. They offered to do the driver side as well but would cost $400. I passed and figured I'd find time to have my bro help me do them myself as he's got an awesome welder. I thought they would be pretty easy, but hit a few snags along the way. You can't just slap these up there and weld them on. Obviously you have to disassemble a ton of stuff, break loose/grind off old tabs, but you also have to prepare the new tabs themselves and kinda 'assemble' them and prep them.
First I disassembled the lower control arm. Was pretty easy. The ball joint didn't wanna pop off so I just unbolted it. Tis a bitch with my lift. Unbolted the rack as well as the rag joint. Then juggled and moved it back out of the way and held it back with some zip ties. Also removed the rack boot and wrapped a rag over the internals to not get junk in there from grinding and welding there. So you dont have to remove the rack at all, just unbolt and move out of the way. vvv
I had a hard time getting off the old tabs on the driver side. The rear control arm mount tabs were actually welded on the sides, on two points of the tabs. The others had factory dimple welds or whatever you call them, and had to be drilled as there are 3 spot welds holding the factory tab in place. I trimmed the first welds with a cutting wheel. Just enough to break the weld free and pop off the tab. I also took the cutting wheel to the inside tabs as well because I didnt wanna fight with getting the drill up there as I dont think there was enough room anyways and I dont like drilling at angles.. I just cut a straight line right down on top of the spot weld and that went pretty quick. The front outside tab was the only one that was drilled. Almost all was a bit hard to break loose. I just used a heavy duty chisel and sledge to bust the rest of the weld loose and pry it off. Some still stuck on so I just continued bending it off. Wasn't too worried about not getting it all off as a grinder would take care of the rest. I ground down as much as I could and prepped the frame. Was a little hard to get in the corners but we got it.
Cutting wheel on welds ^^^
Location of spot welds needed to be drilled ^^^
Drilled and popped off with chisel ^^^
Cutting wheel. This one came off easy. Perfect cuts^^^
Another easy one ^^^
This one was harder to get off. You can kinda see where I cut through to the spot weld instead of drilling. ^^^
Grinding the welds flat and just the whole surface right quick ^^^
THEN, most of the plates did not line up! So I just trimmed the edge of the plate for these spots where the crossmember had a seam/lip weld. vvv
Welded the back of the tabs that set into the slots of the plate. Then grinded flush.
"Oops" my bro says, weld got too hot on one, hehe. No prob..
My brother got all the plates tacked on and the fronts welded up. Thats as far as we got. Ran out of light. Tomorrow we'll be finishing it all up. Basically just a few more welds, wire wheel it all, quick paint over, paint the control arm so it matches the other side which is now brand new shiny black heh, then reassemble everything and take it down for an alignment. PHEW. just saved me $400 though. Think it's going pretty well for being noobish at this
Also on a side note, it was a BITCH figuring out how to get the LCA bushings out. I could see that they could be pressed out, but was having a helluva time getting the Harbor Freight C clamp ball joint removal tool to work it on there. Just not really possible. Until my bro reminded me of a post I completely forgot about, regarding using a bottle jack to press it out. Worked GREAT!! It was jammed/rusted in there pretty good though. Just tapped on the outside of control arm where bushing was, and POP!! We were cutting and grinding and hammering the shit outta that bushing until we finally did that, haha. Oh well. You learn the hard way sometimes. And the times your memory hits you at the last possible moment to save you, heh.
Another side note, I noticed today that the fab shop welded the tab plates ALL the way around. They should NOT have welded the very top of the plate with the alignment tic mark. Oh well. I'm sure it's not a huge deal. But was kinda pissed. Now it's gonna look odd now that the ones we are installing will look proper. Also you should probly reference the pic they have on total chaos, which I'll add on a second post right after this, for where to weld it, which is pretty much just on the outside edges. The instructions they give you do NOT clarify this at all... So mine certainly arent as clean as it should be. But pretty damn good welds nonetheless. The ones the shop did for me, are really sweet welds, but damn, all the way around, haha. Shit aint goin NOWHERES now!
That's all for today. Follow up tomorrow upon completion.
|02-09-2015, 12:30 AM||#2|
Reference pic from TC website. Where to make your welds. Outside edges should be more than plenty. Bottom should be left open. You can weld it, but make sure to grind it flush to allow the cam plate to rotate without obstruction from weld. My bro did on mine so I just grinded it down with a sanding disc for a cleaner grind/buff-out
|02-09-2015, 03:49 PM||#3|
Well I took a shot at welding. Seeing as the welder was already set. I think it was still set a little too hot, but oh well. Shit's done. Looks like bird crap now that I look closer at it and painted it. Ha. It works. Just waiting for the paint to dry then reassemble. Then alignment.
Also painted the control arm and skid plate...
The ones fab shop did;
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