I was just wishing for a longer cable yesterday haha.... the ground clamp isn't confidence inspiring, but it's been working so far, I agree, a better one is in order. Had someone last night ask me "this doesn't seem very cost effective, why not just buy an all wheel drive chevy express and put a transfer case in it"? Lol.... If I could afford an all wheel drive chevy express, I wouldn't be doing this at all, I'd just buy one and be done with it haha.
Finally there.... I figured out, how to figure it out hahaha, that was the hardest bit I think. The van frames are asymmetrical and the drivetrain sits a little to the passenger side, so... I was having a HELL of a time figuring out how to make sure that my TTB mounts were properly placed to put the front wheels in the proper spot side to side.... That was really tough. Anyhow, finally put a level on the fender to the 4x4 hub, pull it out until it reaches "plumb" and measure the distance. Of course you have to get the van's frame level... anyhow, I'm within 1/16th of an inch and I don't think it's gonna get any better than that. It's taken two days to get that close. I came to a full stop on all work today so I could get multiple people over here with "fresh eyes" too just look it over and see if there was anything I missed. I even drove to an alignment shop and jawed with the owner for a bit about aligning the dana 44 and what I should do now before everything is finalized. I think we are a "go" for making the real mounts, likely get a start tomorrow. I will be doing lots of measuring and photographing so, if anyone wishes to follow me down this path, there will be lots of info. I don't know that I'm doing it "right" but I'm doing it!
Congrats on making it this far. From my limited knowledge you have chosen a path few go after, but I think the result will be pretty great. I love the way my van rides with the TTB.
And thanks for the good word on the Millermatic 211. When I first looked into bumpers and such and all the things I want to weld, that welder seemed like a great deal to get me going. I opted to just take things into work and flip the welders a couple bucks to take care of me. One guy at work lays down some amazing TIG beads, hes worth the cash! We also have a better setup there for doing fabrication work with tables and clamps and all that. I still might pick one up anyway.
Oh and on the TTB. Agile has mine set at 5-6 Caster with 1 degree of positive camber and 1/8 toe in. Here's a good article I read on the TTB alignment and steering geometry:
Probably stuff you already know. Good luck with the install.
Thanks :-) I got the first mount nearly done today, I have decided to make a "cradle" that includes both mounts on one solid chunk that fits into the engine crossmember. Thinking about not welding it in place but just bolting it with some good hardware so I don't have to worry about stress cracks on the engine crossmember... that may change by the time I'm done, but I don't think it will... also, figure while I'm doing it, I'm gonna make another cradle, probably only take another few hours and after a good 8 days on it, that's nothing haha.... Thanks for the info on alignment, I really haven't researched much specs, just trying to match what my bronco has under it since it drives well but I'll for sure check it out. I'll take post some pics of the mounts when there is something to look at. Had a couple boilermaker friends come by and check out the welds, most of the crap I weld I don't care much since it's farm welding, but this is important, they suggested I heat the whole thing up in my forge and cool it slowly to help relieve any stress on the critter from welding because I'm burning things in really hot and making multiple passes. I had to take a break today and go get a torch, the little janky ones I had just didn't output enough heat to bend the 1/4 inch plate that I need bent and I really didn't want to fire up the forge for a couple bends. Anyhow, found some cheap used ones and ready to go again on monday. I expect to be able to drive the van to the alignment shop early next week though :-)
Made some good progress today, front mount is nearly complete, it's spot welded in place so I could start on the rear mount. Once it is done, they will be joined and, this will be one solid bolt on piece... I hope haha.... I'm going to wait until I see if it works out before I make another thread about the build.