Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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dustymojave
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by dustymojave » Tue May 01, 2018 12:52 am

My fiberglass buggy has a 1 x 1 square tube set into the body mount bolt channel just as you show in that top picture of your last post Lee. I consider it good. It's not a pan rail. There will be lots of other structure to share total loads. And I NEVER LET anyone sit on the edge of an incomplete pan.
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue May 01, 2018 9:43 am

Yeah, my bad. Didn't even think about it being not that strong since it was either 0.095 wall or 0.120 wall (I think it was the former). The body lift was in place (and it was done a couple of years before) but the pan, lift and tube were not bolted together... again my bad. I was trying to get the "big Butt" seat (driver's side) located both to not contact the body so it wouldn't wear the seat cover or interfere with the turning brakes while still allowing full travel back and forth. The seat is located to accommodate a range to fit both a 6' 4" person and a 5' 3" person which is why the sitting in the incomplete pan. It was also being used to locate the turning brake handle assy and help with the decision to leave the turning brake assy in one unit or separate the handles from the cylinders and remote them.

Still playing with your idea on the spreader bar. I have a thin walled 1 X 3 sitting and I am thinking about "channeling" over the casting (in his book Hibbard calls it a casting so I am now back confused :roll: :lol: ) instead of welding the 1 X 2 directly to the shock mount tower. My thinking right now would be to box the tower then, instead welding the 1 X 2 to the shock mount flat, would be to notch the 1 X 3 allowing it to be sorted of channeled down leaving ~1" above the flat weld for some additional structure. Too much out of the house stuff to do today but, assuming the wife doesn't have too much for me to do (I have to mow before it rains again) I can try to mock-up the idea using one of the thinner pieces of 1 X 3 that I have laying around. Stronger plus I already have two of the brackets designed and done.

On the suggestion of not letting anyone sit on the edge of an incomplete pan it was interesting that when I had built the first 1 X 3 body lift for my blue buggy: as soon as I stepped into it when the buggy was fully back together I could feel the difference immeaditly... the body lift made the floor feel so much more secure! I didn't put the 1" tube in the blue buggy but I do think it is a good idea.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue May 01, 2018 5:40 pm

I took the 0.120 tube off and replaced it with one of the thinner walled ones that has been already marked up from previous photos. I scribed a line where the top of the shock tower joins the the bottom of the tube so now I'll have to pull it off, measure to see if the upper and bottom of the shock tower to see if the shock tower itself is square or there is an off-set so I can cut it to fit the top and bottom of the shock tower and up to the notch I plan on adding. Once fully marked then drill the holes at the corner for a stress reliever at the square corner then start whacking away with a cut off tool. Not sure if I will get to it tomorrow but within the next couple of days (I still have a lot of long grass yard mowing to do before the rain comes back) I should have and idea if Dusty's idea will work better than mine (I hope it does anyway). With the top notch I see a lot of advantages compared to any disadvantages.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue May 01, 2018 7:35 pm

I did get a chance to try locating the rectangular tube down low between the shock towers but it won't work as the trans top would be in the way.
IMG_1158 copy.jpg
I really hadn't paid any real attention to this area for a long time and since nothing hit I pretty much ignored it. This is what is looks like with a 1 X 3 (or 1 X 2) rectangular tube on top of the shock tower as I have been playing with. The gap is about a finger joint or roughly 1/2-inch. To modify the spreader tube to allow for a gap for the trans would be doable but it also would weaken up the design way too much.

Lee
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed May 02, 2018 9:26 am

I had an epiphany (a revelation but not a "Divine" revelation) this am that I am going to try to mock up either later today or tomorrow (depending on time). I still like the idea that Dusty proposed but it is going to take some work to see if it is viable (it would be easier in CAD assuming all the parts to the stock assy were already in CAD :roll: ) It looked good manipulating it in my head but in reality... not sure if it is worth all the work that would go into it assuming I could do it.

I raided the recycle dumpster this morning (today is garbage pickup day) for thicker card stock (cereal boxes) not card board which is too thick, enough to span the just less than 4' distance between shock towers.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed May 02, 2018 12:13 pm

The morning dew hasn't "burn't off" yet so I got a few minutes in the garage to mock up something.
IMG_1160 copy.jpg
I got some old double bag cereal boxes (Costco size) and cut some 3" wide strips then taped them to a cut to size length of 1" rectangular tube. I had already set the angle in place then marked the inside and outside arcs of the shock tower on them. I then taped the tops of the 3" wide stock to what would be the vertical side of the angle to imitate a 1 X 3 rectangular tube. I then marked the center of the tube and the locations of the truss bars. I think I may have also marked the locations of the mounts for the tank mounts but I think they are going to move some.
IMG_1161 copy.jpg
I then clamped the mockup in place but with the forward side that you normally have seen facing out. You can't see it well here but there is a slight problem with the ends of the mockup due to some taper and stiffener that is part of the shock tower but that should not be much of a problem after the boxing or the tower.
IMG_1162 copy.jpg
This shows were the interference is on what would be the rear of the spreader. It is close to 1/2" but I did not measure it. I then turned the mock up piece around to check the rear where the problem is and...
IMG_1163.JPG
Ooooo, that is a lot of contact... which I expected :) . Again, I haven't measured it but it looks to be about an inch and a half then add to that a 1/2" keep-a-way cut in the 1 X 3. A lot of strength taken out of the tube so...
IMG_1164 copy.jpg
This might seem confusing but the spreader is really 1 X 3 but the angle takes 1" off that height so putting a 1 X 3 block on it simulates a 1 X 2 doubler on top for strength. It will be longer than this and it depends on the finish cut at the bottom of the tube. I will also box the seam front and rear as a precaution.

Again, this is just a mock-up to check the idea out.

Lee
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Last edited by Ol'fogasaurus on Thu May 03, 2018 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu May 03, 2018 1:51 pm

Just about a whole post disappeared! :shock: I'll try to redo it after this.
IMG_1165 copy.jpg
This is the mock-up as it sits now. I put a tube where I am planning on the truss/Kaffer bar. The angle is close to 30° and the spreader bar is about 3" from the axle at full hang. I will still have to check things out before I go much farther.
IMG_1166 copy.jpg
This might be how I cut the spreader bar to clear the trans and hydraulic clutch. The line going from the bolt on the engine mount to the top of the spreader might be where I mount the brackets for the fuel tank. It ends up meaning that the mounts will move inboard from each end of the tank by ~3" which should be OK. I'll have to play with that later.

Remember that there will be a doubler tube over the area cut out as well as a doubler on both sides of the addition at the top of the tube to end up with a full 3".

Lee
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu May 03, 2018 8:09 pm

Correction: The old angle before trying this mounting idea was close to 30° with the angle I posted today being closer to 20° (I was in too big of a hurry and it was still fairly dark outside as the garage door wasn't open to allow more light in. I had opened it up and closed it several times before I thought about measuring the angle.). The angle on the spreader is way different between the spreader and the engine mount because the spreader sits so much lower. A good thing is that the angle of the spreader could changed by changing the lengths of the overhang in the notch (I hope this makes sense) on the upper part of the spreader bar.

Good and not-so-good things on this concept. I do like the idea Dusty, just not completely sure yet as there are +'s &-'s on both designs.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Fri May 04, 2018 12:12 pm

I am a bit confused and in a quandary right now and it has to do with welding the stiffening plates on the shock towers. Is the shock mount piece at the end of the rear torsion tube a casting or a forging? I spent the whole morning looking up how to determine which it is and how to weld and am still confused. I never did any forging drawings so I am missing information on them but from what I can determine castings are more difficult to weld to (stay out of the 150° tp 500° temperature range and watch out for embedded gas problems. For a while I sat a few hundred feet from what I remember being a 40 to forging hammer and when it was operating you couldn't draw a straight line even with a straight edge :roll: :lol: . You had to time yourself between blows.

Also I don't see any seams that a casting would have but I also could have ground them smooth. I have always heard of the end pieces being called "castings" but was told they were "forgings" recently. I don't see how they could be forgings based mostly on the bump stop location but then, again, I have never done a forging drawing so that information I never had to look up to see the pros and cons on it (if you ever had access to looking up a spec. then you would understand but one spec. leads to a whole bunch of specs imbedded in the first one and each of them would have specs embedded and so it goes on seemingly to "ad infinitum").

Dusty's idea of dropping the spreader bar between the shock towers instead of sitting on top of them has some very good points after the doublers are added into sides of the shock towers (this is most of the problem I am having with this decision) with the angles for the spherical rod ends angles being a bit iffy (couldn't think of a better word) and a lot more work which I don't consider a problem and may be fun to see if I can do it. Mostly it would be shaping the ends of the spreader, the notch for the tranny, the additional stiffener on top and the doublers on the seams.

They way I had the spreader before was easier but I worried about the shock tower join to the spreader strength and access to the bolt hole for use in setting the torsion preload.

Does anyone have good information on the end pieces and MIG welding on them.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Fri May 04, 2018 4:15 pm

As I am still futzing with this I took some more pix today as I was looking at things.
IMG_1167 copy.jpg
This is a fair representation of the truss bar between the two heights of the spreader bar. The top truss does sit about a half inch higher than it would but the angle is close enough not to quibble about. The lower bar is the angle at which it would be with the spreader bar sitting lower on the shock tower. The two angles will load the spreader bar a bit differently but I am not sure just how much of a difference that makes in the long run.
IMG_1168 copy.jpg
I took these two photos to make a point; using the after market truss/Kaffer/traction bar any loading on the motor mount/pickle fork that attaches to the shock mount part of the torsion assembly stays basically only in the assembly. You smack the bottom of the forks and the torsion bar wants to rotate forward. You land hard and the weight of the cantilevered engine wants to push down which makes the assembly rotate to the rear.

The photo also shows the outboard connection of the torsion tube to the body which is going to get a bunch of loading. I think the drag racers are going to do a lot of "nasty" to this connection as well as off-roaders.

For stock bodied and Baja cars adding a connection to either the floor of the body behind the seats or directly to the down bars of the cage or maybe to the center tube run in the cage assembly.

Also notice that the angle iron slipped on me when I was trying to clamp things together so the angle of the spreader bar is going to be a bit more of an angle. I took pictures of the shock tower showing the two angles it has. I can post them if someone wants to see them.

Still at loggerheads (not the archaic version of the word :roll: but that's my opinion on it's use :lol: ) over this.
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Fri May 04, 2018 6:01 pm

IMG_1176 copy.jpg
I made the cut of an arc to clear the clutch slave cylinder then duplicated the arc on the 1 X 3 to determine the end length of the cut on the 1 X 2 that will be used as a doubler to support the cutout. I won't put an arc in just a 45° degree cut at each end... assuming I go this way. Not cutting metal until I am sure of some things.

Lee
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by dustymojave » Sat May 05, 2018 2:18 am

Whew!!!

The end of the torsion housing is a FORGING. The way to tell is to look at the seam at the edge of the piece. A casting will have a thin line where the mold halves separate. A forging has a thick parting line. Usually has grinding or other cutting marks. Check your "FORGING".

Yes, a CASTING is difficult to weld well. FORGINGS on the other hand, weld QUITE well. Note that the end piece is electro WELDED to the torsion housing tubing. And that the hooks on the bottom are WELDED to the bottom of the pan corners. WELDED.

Jeff Hibbard got that word wrong in his book. MANY VW folks CALL that piece a casting. That just shows that while they may know many things about offroad cars, the differences between forgings and castings are not within their expertise. Like Jeff. He was a Fireman, not a metal fabricator.

I have welded on torsion housing ends MANY times. MANY buggy frames have tubes welded to the torsion end pieces.

You can certainly weld plate gussets to the inside of the forging to reinforce it. And you can weld other things like the spreader tube to it. But you have mis-understood my suggestions. I was referring to setting the spreader tube on top of the forging above the body mount perch, just as you were planning. Weld it there. Then adding a triangle gusset welded to the under side of the 1x3, and to the inner face of the already reinforced forging.

I like to keep the CG low, but not to the point of weakening the structure.




I have many times
Richard
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dustymojave
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by dustymojave » Sat May 05, 2018 2:28 am

That is: The BOTTOM of the spreader tube sitting on TOP of the angled upper surface of the forging. NOT setting down between the forgings.
Richard
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sat May 05, 2018 8:38 am

Thanks for clarifying. I think I probable "dressed up" the "forging" years ago so no parting/seam marks but I seem to remember that they may have been wide and looked like flashing may have been sawed off. I had not thought of gusseting parallel the spreader length as I was more worried about 90°directional loads to the spreader especially if the tube flexed under load but then going up to the cage should give some support to that. Gusseting in that direction is going to be a lot easier I think.

Glad I didn't do any cutting as what I posted was made mostly from scrap stuff I already had laying around. Hopefully others learned from my "Oh $#it" exercise. I did learn a few things though so it wasn't all wasted time and effort.

Lee

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Re: Ol'fogasaurus black buggy

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sat May 05, 2018 5:45 pm

Opinion needed.
IMG_1177 copy.jpg
The spreader is now back on top of the shock tower but I did learn a lot and got a bit frustrated a couple of times (mostly when the spreaders kept falling off the shock towers when I was trying to clamp them in place :roll: :lol: .

When putting the spreader back I put the tool for setting the preload in place just to make sure I would have room for installing it after all the "glowing" work is finished.

First question: Do you think I need to box both the inside and outside faces of the shock tower? The spreader alone is going to stiffen things up a lot by itself.
IMG_1178 copy.jpg
Second question: This is the inside of the shock tower. Right now I am planning on boxing from the shock eye to the torsion housing or is that overkill?

Currently I am planning on some sort of gusset from the spreader to the shock eye on the upper surface of the shock tower and a longitudinal triangular under the spreader to the shock tower. That should add support to a couple of problems with breakage that I have seen with buggies and rails using stock torsion housings.
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