More Mr. Doug Fab work. Here is how the rear bumper should sit when its all mounted up. Its just sitting in position on bottle jacks here. Still need to fabricate the tube tie-ins to the frame rails on the sides and rear crossmember, tie it in to the down tubes on the exo cage, and weld on recovery points. Also, that jerry can holder is going away.
Outer corner of the rear bumper... 45 degree corners to keep it tucked in and following the body lines. The side shown here is actually the bottom edge of the passenger side outside corner. 2 x 2 -inch 1/4 wall square tube, fish plated on 3 sides, 1/4 wall fish plating all along the outside edge for strong corner joints and good rock grinding potential. That's 1/2-inch thick steel on the corners! Overkill? I seriously doubt I'll ever grind through it no matter how many rock ledges I drop off, grind over and rub across.
Box of parts to set up my AllPro pinion e-brake. Have to hold off on the installation until the transfer case crossmember is all squared away. I installed 6 of those Tantrum rock lights yesterday as well. The last 2 have to wait until the back bumper fabrication and welding is complete, or else we'd fry the wiring.
Plenty of room for strapping down some action packer boxes with recovery gear, spare fluids, etc.
Room for a cooler on the platform
as shown here, new spare 37x12.5 x 15 Creepy Crawler and the 60-inch HiLift jack in the bed, plus there is still more room both inside the storage compartment I built and on top of the platform. And the payload remains low for a decent low C.O.G. (Zilla could use all the help she can get due to all the tube weight up high in the exo) and the cargo does not block my view, which is important in a rig with such limited visibility out past all the tube work.
After the rear bumper fabrication work, here is the last major frame/structural integrity issue we need to deal with. As you can see, the AllPro transfer case crossmember mounting point on the inside of the factory framerail leaves something to be desired. On the passenger side (shown here) the mount connects to the slim factory frame rail alone without any plating or reinforcement and does not even attach the whole height of the rail to the corners where its strongest, but stops in the middle.
The result is the welds are splitting open and the frame rail is caving in at the mount from all the forces it sees. So we will be cutting all this crap off, plating in the frame rails and fabricating better mounts. Stay tuned for that, it should be a challenge. Those are fuel and brake lines running along the top of the rail.
Here is another angle showing how far in the frame rail has caved in the middle at the mounting point of the T-case crossmember. If you ever make a T-case crossmember mount for your rig... do yourself and your frame rails a favor and make it better than this.
Stay tuned for more