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Old 07-28-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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Mid-life crisis build

So I originally posted the following in the "Calling all Virginians (Tidewater Area)" thread, but in the interest in keeping with good forum etiquette I decided to start a build thread, though it will be a slow one and one filled with more questions than answers (at least from me)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbraddock View Post
So here are the promised pics:

RuggedT Vinyl


Here was the chrome grille that I painted Hammered Black:


In this picture you can kind of see the hammered effect. The color is more of a dark grey than black, I kinda like it, but may pick up a rattle can of color matched black.





I also debadged, but still have some ghosting of where the badges were. I am hoping that a few washes and waxes will fix it. It is not noticeable unless you are looking for it, but it bugs me.

I also spent the day making a cardboard template for the IFS skid. Since I have a 6" Pro-Comp lift using BudBuilt skids or the like will not work. I plan on using 3/16" A36 Steel for the skids. But I need to figure out how to go from the rear of the front differential subframe to aft of the TCase. SEE PICS BELOW WITH QUESTIONS! Once I have it all templated, I will have some buddies at the shop where I work take care of the bending, welding, and powdercoating (they work for beer on the weekends!!) If all goes well with the skids, I may see about tackling a front and rear plate bumper with swing away. If anyone has some suggestions or will let me measure off their existing bumpers, I'd appreciate it.

Other near term plans include making a bed rack similar to the All Pro Expo rack and a roof rack for the double cab. Some lights, RTT, sliders, etc.

Longer term I am wanting Deaver replacement leafs to get rid of the rear blocks, Icon extended coilovers to get rid of the spacers upfront, onboard air, and solar.
So now on to the real reason for this new thread:
As stated above, I made templates for the IFS skid, from the lower bumper support to the rear of the front differential drop bracket:





What I am having a problem with is how to go from the rear of the front differential drop bracket to behind the TCASE. Here is a photo showing the void:


And here is one showing the general location of where I want the skid to end, somewhere between the end of the transfer case and the carrier bearing:


My questions are 1) How to cover this void? Use one or two plates? If two where to make the joint? 2) Any problems with making a bracket that attaches to the ProComp brackets (on the frame just behind the Cat and just forward of the TCASE)? 3) Where do I attach the end of the plate back by the carrier bearing? There is really no good support! Should I just bracket and tube off the frames?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, especially if you have pictures (no sense in reinventing the wheel!!)

Oh and since I didn't really give any details here: I bought a 2013 DCSB SR5 4x4 with a dealer installed 6" Procomp lift and 35" Procomp tires and wheels on June 2, 2013. I have always wanted one, but could never really justify it with the clan that I have, well my third just graduated high school (June 13th), so I bought me a truck as present one evening and have been lurking TW since for ideas and help. So that is me in a nut shell.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbraddock View Post
So I originally posted the following in the "Calling all Virginians (Tidewater Area)" thread, but in the interest in keeping with good forum etiquette I decided to start a build thread, though it will be a slow one and one filled with more questions than answers (at least from me)!



So now on to the real reason for this new thread:
As stated above, I made templates for the IFS skid, from the lower bumper support to the rear of the front differential drop bracket:





What I am having a problem with is how to go from the rear of the front differential drop bracket to behind the TCASE. Here is a photo showing the void:


And here is one showing the general location of where I want the skid to end, somewhere between the end of the transfer case and the carrier bearing:


My questions are 1) How to cover this void? Use one or two plates? If two where to make the joint? 2) Any problems with making a bracket that attaches to the ProComp brackets (on the frame just behind the Cat and just forward of the TCASE)? 3) Where do I attach the end of the plate back by the carrier bearing? There is really no good support! Should I just bracket and tube off the frames?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, especially if you have pictures (no sense in reinventing the wheel!!)

Oh and since I didn't really give any details here: I bought a 2013 DCSB SR5 4x4 with a dealer installed 6" Procomp lift and 35" Procomp tires and wheels on June 2, 2013. I have always wanted one, but could never really justify it with the clan that I have, well my third just graduated high school (June 13th), so I bought me a truck as present one evening and have been lurking TW since for ideas and help. So that is me in a nut shell.
one thing i would suggest doing is re routing the exhaust crossover. that would help u figure things out a little more. most skids that cover the tranny, and tcase are seperate that tie intogether at the tranny crossmember
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Decal looks sweet
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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Good start.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Skids

Templates for the first two skids are complete! I decided to go with 3/16 5052 Al in order to save weight and based on the type of wheeling I am interested in. Plan is to fab them this weekend and to template the tranny and transfer case skid.

I am also designing the front and rear bumper, though those will be 3/16 & 1/4 A36. I am planning (hoping) on those being done by labor day.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruggedT View Post
Decal looks sweet
Hmmm wonder why?!? Once the rain stops, I'll snap a pic of the gray ExPo sticker; it really looks good on the black and makes me wish I would've gone gray on the bedsides. Might need to replace them in the future.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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http://www.flyzeye-designs.com/

So I had a little setback with the skids, ended up having to work on another project for work but should make the coupons this weekend and bend and paint on Monday.

However, I did come across what I think is an awesome product here on TW: The Flyzeye-Designs TCMA-0513 V2W LED Light. It is a perfect fit and took me less than 15 minutes to install, the majority of the time was my anal-retentive OCD alcohol cleaning surface prep.

The customer service was amazing. I emailed last night about 9pm asking if I could pick-up locally by 9:10 I had a return email asking me to call. I spoke with French over the phone for a good bit, he took my requests over the phone so that he could start building (before I had even processed an online order), and I could have the next day by lunch time. Unfortunately a meeting ran over which prevented me from meeting up with French, but French solved the problem by arranging to have me meet him at a location closer to my office while he was with his wife at doctor's appointment. I think even if the product sucked, WHICH IT DOESN'T, I would be happy with the customer service I received. Any way enough words here are the pics:

Professionally packaged:


Contents:

I had a question regarding the wire colors, since the instructions didn't exactly match what I saw, but a quick phone call to French resolved my stupidity and hook-up was a breeze.

Two wire clamps tapped into the OEM wiring harness and the AC panel popped right back in.


Removed the 3M adhesive tape after initial fit-up:


Magnetic mount board in place:


And product installed; looks stock:


I opted for the white and blue LEDs with amber Halos:



Here they are on my lap. The actual unit is removable allowing it to be used as a flashlight if the need should arise. And the one thing I forgot to mention is that they dim via touch controls on the front panel and with the wired V2 version the factory dimmer controls the lights as well.



And the required night shots:

Lights off can't see a thing:


Blue LEDs OEM dimmer at ~50%:


White LED OEM dimmer at ~50%:


Sorry I didn't take any pics at full brightness, because I never turn my dash lights up past 50% so I didn't even think about taking any until I started typing this sentence.

I'm very pleased.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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flyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shedflyzeye designs is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbraddock View Post
So I had a little setback with the skids, ended up having to work on another project for work but should make the coupons this weekend and bend and paint on Monday.

However, I did come across what I think is an awesome product here on TW: The Flyzeye-Designs TCMA-0513 V2W LED Light. It is a perfect fit and took me less than 15 minutes to install, the majority of the time was my anal-retentive OCD alcohol cleaning surface prep.

The customer service was amazing. I emailed last night about 9pm asking if I could pick-up locally by 9:10 I had a return email asking me to call. I spoke with French over the phone for a good bit, he took my requests over the phone so that he could start building (before I had even processed an online order), and I could have the next day by lunch time. Unfortunately a meeting ran over which prevented me from meeting up with French, but French solved the problem by arranging to have me meet him at a location closer to my office while he was with his wife at doctor's appointment. I think even if the product sucked, WHICH IT DOESN'T, I would be happy with the customer service I received. Any way enough words here are the pics:

Professionally packaged:


Contents:

I had a question regarding the wire colors, since the instructions didn't exactly match what I saw, but a quick phone call to French resolved my stupidity and hook-up was a breeze.

Two wire clamps tapped into the OEM wiring harness and the AC panel popped right back in.


Removed the 3M adhesive tape after initial fit-up:


Magnetic mount board in place:


And product installed; looks stock:


I opted for the white and blue LEDs with amber Halos:



Here they are on my lap. The actual unit is removable allowing it to be used as a flashlight if the need should arise. And the one thing I forgot to mention is that they dim via touch controls on the front panel and with the wired V2 version the factory dimmer controls the lights as well.



And the required night shots:

Lights off can't see a thing:


Blue LEDs OEM dimmer at ~50%:


White LED OEM dimmer at ~50%:


Sorry I didn't take any pics at full brightness, because I never turn my dash lights up past 50% so I didn't even think about taking any until I started typing this sentence.

I'm very pleased.
Wow, thanks for the extensive write-up! We ALWAYS appreciate feedback.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:07 AM   #9
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Welcome to TW! You're off to a good start.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbraddock View Post
My questions are 1) How to cover this void? Use one or two plates? If two where to make the joint? 2) Any problems with making a bracket that attaches to the ProComp brackets (on the frame just behind the Cat and just forward of the TCASE)? 3) Where do I attach the end of the plate back by the carrier bearing? There is really no good support! Should I just bracket and tube off the frames?

Any help will be greatly appreciated, especially if you have pictures (no sense in reinventing the wheel!!)
I don't know how other shops do it, but BudBuilt sells a crossmember for placement just aft of the transfer case to support that plate. They may make their own crossmember, but I seem to remember seeing a website that sold a variety of crossmembers of a similar design. If you want Bud's part, they sell it separately, and it should work fine for your use. It clamps onto a lip on the C-channel section of the frame and seems very strong.



Also, Bud's instructions may give you some ideas for the rest of your skids. From your mock up photos, I'd be concerned with protecting the LCA alignment cams better. Jerry's plates would do the job, and there are other options.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyzeye designs View Post
Wow, thanks for the extensive write-up! We ALWAYS appreciate feedback.
You're welcome!
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:35 AM   #11
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoorDing View Post
Welcome to TW! You're off to a good start.

I don't know how other shops do it, but BudBuilt sells a crossmember for placement just aft of the transfer case to support that plate. They may make their own crossmember, but I seem to remember seeing a website that sold a variety of crossmembers of a similar design. If you want Bud's part, they sell it separately, and it should work fine for your use. It clamps onto a lip on the C-channel section of the frame and seems very strong.



Also, Bud's instructions may give you some ideas for the rest of your skids. From your mock up photos, I'd be concerned with protecting the LCA alignment cams better. Jerry's plates would do the job, and there are other options.
Thank you very much. I will definitely be looking into the cross member and the LCA skids.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #12
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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rbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Work side tracked the skids again!

So work has side tracked my skids for another weekend. But I have spent some time playing around in Solidworks and came up with this for a bed rack and eventually the RTT:



Between work and helping a buddy move I haven't had time to go measure for the front and rear bumper designs, so I maybe lucky if I have the designs done by Labor Day.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
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Looks great. Since you have SolidWorks, I'm sure you already thought of this, but have you stressed it to determine what wall thickness you'll use? The framing looks stout enough that you may be able to save some weight with thinner tube.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:57 AM   #14
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8-26-13 Update

Finished the front skid Thursday evening and installed just in time for a road trip and first time wheeling trip to Shoe Creek on Friday and Saturday. Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics but left the camera sitting on the end table charging because it was dead. The wife was more into nature pics than taking pictures of the truck.



Though she did manage to grab one:


Including this one of a full size not going anywhere soon:


I realized when I started this post today that I didn't have a pic of the front slider, I will get one up this evening. I ended up fabricating it out of 1/4" 5052 Aluminum and powder coating it yellow. Looks good at least I think so. I had intended to dimple die (flare) the holes, but decided against it at the last minute. Now I just need to get the remaining skids made and installed.

Also, I was going to pull the sway bar from the front end. But I have an insane vibration that starts at 40 mph and remains constant all the way up to 80 mph and probably beyond. I noticed it prior to the trip but didn't think much about it figuring it was the road conditions around Hampton Roads and the fact that most of my normal commute is stop and go. But after 2.5 hrs on the freeway to get to the mountains it was very noticeable, so I will be taking the truck in to RK Toyota for a WTF inspection. From this site and talking to Slimwood Shady at the local meet and greet Saturday night, I may have the dreaded driveline vibration or it could be just a wheel out of balance. Believe it or not I am hoping for the DL vibration so that I may be able to get a single piece shaft out of the deal.

With the blocks in the rear I noticed some bottoming out, so I am seriously considering Deaver leafs rearched for the 6" lift and plussed up on weight, as eventually I will be throwing a bed rack, roof top tent, and swing away back there. Along with a sliding camp stove, dual fridge/freezer, camp table, gear etc., etc.

But for now, I am going to focus on armoring the undercarriage and getting sliders installed (I am considering getting the weld on ATO DOM sliders--good cost and they are in stock). As well as, learning the truck a little more.

Other short term plans include installing a CB and possibly a new HAM radio. I've had my license since '93 but sold my radio 5 yrs ago, so a new Yaesu FT-8900R may be in my future. And I want to accomplish a few of the other cheap mods that I've learned about on here (BHLM, Anytime Fog, breather relocate, AC condenser drain relocate, ABS switch...)
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoorDing View Post
Looks great. Since you have SolidWorks, I'm sure you already thought of this, but have you stressed it to determine what wall thickness you'll use? The framing looks stout enough that you may be able to save some weight with thinner tube.
Sorry I missed this last week. I am just learning Solidworks so I have not done any FEA on it. I know SW can do this but I haven't figured it out yet. The design calls for 1.75 DOM and I used 0.120 in the profile. I would like to save on weight, especially since the rack provides no protection, so I will probably make out of .065 or .095 wall thickness, but didn't have those for profiles in SW and was too lazy to model with those thicknesses. SW calculates the weight at ~200# so if I can get away with using .065 that would be idea. My welding buddy wants to make it out of Aluminum since I have stated I am concerned with weight, but he doesn't have to purchase the materials.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:40 PM   #16
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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rbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Name: Randy
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No Driveline Vibration

I won't be getting a single piece driveshaft anytime soon. Took the truck to the dealership and the tires needed balanced and the front end needed alignment. The Service Advisor tried to blame it on taking it off road, I told him it has acted this way since I bought it June 2 and that I had it in on June 5th to fix the swaybar links their tech installed backwards and that I asked at that time if it needed to be realigned and was told by YOU that it didn't need aligned that it was the roads in the area that were causing the vibration and pull not the links or alignment. I then asked for the alignment history and he said he could not find any; now since they installed the lift wouldn't you expect them to have the maintenance history? I have the documentation now for today's adventure! And asked for a copy of everything...this will now be the norm.

All in all, I am still very satisfied with RK Toyota. I don't think they are incompetent or anything I just think they are a business and warranty work cuts into the bottom line.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:19 PM   #17
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DoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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What happened that required new sway bar end links?
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #18
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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rbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shed
Navy: Retired MMCS/SS
Name: Randy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoorDing View Post
What happened that required new sway bar end links?
I bought my truck from the dealer with a 6" Pro-Comp lift. The Tech that installed the lift installed the drivers side sway bar drop link on the passenger side and vice versa. So the links were at an extreme angle and clunking (best way I can describe) whenever I turned. I thought I had a pic of it but I can't seem to find it now.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:37 PM   #19
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DoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shedDoorDing is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Ah, that makes more sense. I thought it was odd that a 2013 would have broken end links from the factory.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #20
rbraddock [OP] rbraddock is offline
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rbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shedrbraddock is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Can I pull a rabbit out of my hat?

I have something in the works based on some research I did here on TW.
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