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Big Changes To Project F-1Filthy

Posted in How To on August 28, 2013 Comment (0)
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Big Changes To Project F-1Filthy
Photographers: Doug Hale

We've made a few big changes since the last F-1Filthy project article (Apr/May '13). We know from the feedback we've been getting that a lot of you are following along on this build and that you plan to build your own mud truck one day. Most of these suspension modifications can be completed on almost any truck, be it a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Jeep, or Studebaker. Any truck can be four-linked with Rockwells, either 2½- or 5-ton.

We moved ahead with the next step of our 2½-ton Rockwell conversion, the design and fabrication of our custom four-link bars using Rod End Supply's XM Series Heim joints and bungs. We completely replaced the worn-out factory frame with a custom-built box-tube frame, and our Ford now has a wheelbase of 117 inches. With a major modification like that, our rig is much stronger and will be able to handle the abuse of hardcore off-roading in the mud and will be a better base for high-horsepower performance. And it's just way cooler!

We will get into the technical details of the frame build a bit later; for now we'll hit on the design and fabrication of a custom four-link suspension system to give you some ideas and suspension principles so you can build your own. Whether you're building a mega truck or a weekend and daily driver, a four-link suspension has the same basic design and function. The only major differences between vehicles are the suspensions geometry and the materials used to construct it. Getting as much articulation as possible is a good thing, but maintaining control and traction is also extremely important—a properly engineered suspension will handle well on the road if it's a daily driver, or it will have great energy absorbability and articulation if it's a full time off-road rig.

A correctly built four-link suspension will center the axles under the truck for good stability; wheelwells can be moved. The four-link will also prevent the axles from shifting out of place side-to-side or front-to-back during suspension travel. If the link bars are installed incorrectly or the measurements are off and not properly aligned, the suspension could bind up, snap, and possibly break other components, leaving a truck stranded in the middle of the pit while the well-built trucks circle like sharks.

We used 1 3/4 x0.25-wall DOM tubing for the suspension links. Our Rod-End Supply XM series Heim joints have a 1-inch bolt opening, a 1¼-inch thread diameter, a 2½-inch thread length with a 2-inch outside diameter and ¼-inch bungs. The suspension links will be mounted to our custom-cut brackets from PlanB-Fab and welded in place by the White City Boys.

This hardware from Rod End Supply includes the XM series Heim joints, which have a 1-inch bolt opening. The XM Heims are self-lubricating to last longer. This hardware from Rod End Supply includes the XM series Heim joints, which have a 1-inch bolt opening. The XM Heims are self-lubricating to last longer.
This hardware from Rod End Supply includes the XM series Heim joints, which have a 1-inch bolt opening. The XM Heims are self-lubricating to last longer. This hardware from Rod End Supply includes the XM series Heim joints, which have a 1-inch bolt opening. The XM Heims are self-lubricating to last longer.
Before Brian and crew welded up the new framerails, our trusty Ford 460ci motor needed to be pulled for measurements and some paint! Before Brian and crew welded up the new framerails, our trusty Ford 460ci motor needed to be pulled for measurements and some paint!
Before Brian and crew welded up the new framerails, our trusty Ford 460ci motor needed to be pulled for measurements and some paint! Before Brian and crew welded up the new framerails, our trusty Ford 460ci motor needed to be pulled for measurements and some paint!
After a bunch of measurements, the 2x3-inch square metal tubing was chopped and welded into a 117-inch wheelbased frame designed for this build. After a bunch of measurements, the 2x3-inch square metal tubing was chopped and welded into a 117-inch wheelbased frame designed for this build.
It is tough seeing F-1Filthy like this, but the results will be totally worth it. It is tough seeing F-1Filthy like this, but the results will be totally worth it.
The framerails resemble the letter Z, which is where the term “Z-frame” comes from. This will allow the WCB to mount the front link bar locations lower to the ground and at less of an angle. The framerails resemble the letter Z, which is where the term “Z-frame” comes from. This will allow the WCB to mount the front link bar locations lower to the ground and at less of an angle.
The framerails resemble the letter Z, which is where the term “Z-frame” comes from. This will allow the WCB to mount the front link bar locations lower to the ground and at less of an angle. The framerails resemble the letter Z, which is where the term “Z-frame” comes from. This will allow the WCB to mount the front link bar locations lower to the ground and at less of an angle.
Once we bolted on the PlanB-Fab top hats on our 2 1/2-ton military axles it finally started to look like a truck again. Once we bolted on the PlanB-Fab top hats on our 2 1/2-ton military axles it finally started to look like a truck again.
Once we bolted on the PlanB-Fab top hats on our 2 1/2-ton military axles it finally started to look like a truck again. Once we bolted on the PlanB-Fab top hats on our 2 1/2-ton military axles it finally started to look like a truck again.
Ideally you want to keep all the link bars the same length and thickness. We used blue tape to mock up our link bars. You can also use PVC pipe to mock up the bars with the links. Before you weld your bungs make sure you tape the Heim joint. Not only does this protect the self-lubricating joint, but it also keeps your weld slag off the threads in the bung itself. The link bar mounting location on the framerails should be at your rig’s center of gravity. Also, lift the truck up and down on the lift before final welding to ensure that there is no binding in the suspension travel. Ideally you want to keep all the link bars the same length and thickness. We used blue tape to mock up our link bars. You can also use PVC pipe to mock up the bars with the links. Before you weld your bungs make sure you tape the Heim joint. Not only does this protect the self-lubricating joint, but it also keeps your weld slag off the threads in the bung itself. The link bar mounting location on the framerails should be at your rig’s center of gravity. Also, lift the truck up and down on the lift before final welding to ensure that there is no binding in the suspension travel.
Ideally you want to keep all the link bars the same length and thickness. We used blue tape to mock up our link bars. You can also use PVC pipe to mock up the bars with the links. Before you weld your bungs make sure you tape the Heim joint. Not only does this protect the self-lubricating joint, but it also keeps your weld slag off the threads in the bung itself. The link bar mounting location on the framerails should be at your rig’s center of gravity. Also, lift the truck up and down on the lift before final welding to ensure that there is no binding in the suspension travel. Ideally you want to keep all the link bars the same length and thickness. We used blue tape to mock up our link bars. You can also use PVC pipe to mock up the bars with the links. Before you weld your bungs make sure you tape the Heim joint. Not only does this protect the self-lubricating joint, but it also keeps your weld slag off the threads in the bung itself. The link bar mounting location on the framerails should be at your rig’s center of gravity. Also, lift the truck up and down on the lift before final welding to ensure that there is no binding in the suspension travel.
After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today! After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today!
After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today! After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today!
After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today! After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today!
After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today! After Brian welded up our rod end links, we bolted them onto the PlanB-Fab four-link kit and welded it to the top hats. The lower front shock mounts are also tacked into place on the front axlehousing. Before testing this setup, we will unbolt these link bars and take them over to Rick at Action Powdercoating to match the killer wheels. We are in deep with this project, and we can’t wait to test it up against the biggest and baddest racers in the mud scene today!

Sources

Rod End Supply
Olathe, KS 66051
800-284-2902
http://www.rodendsupply.com

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