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#1
Twister

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Did anyone wonder how Electric Lettuce went from a rig that couldn't win an event to 2nd place at TTC? Well the four link that was in it for the last few years was hampering it's performance and travel in an unbelievable way. So I offered to fix Robs issues. He took the offer and we went to work.

 

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First things first. The layout of the existing v'd four link was unstable. The geometry was off and because his rams were on the inside of the diff (link side) the links collided with the steering when the suspension was drooped. Funny because according to the internet it would have been a perfect set up. However the suspension had to be limited to almost o droop. Aside from the stability issues this kind of limiting makes for a really tippy truck. I mean the name of the game is keeping your tires on the ground. Right?

 

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Since I was relocating the mounting points I made new 3/8 thick mounts. replacing the 1/4" thick ones. I get laughed at for using 3/8 but  the people laughing are used to FK or ballistic joints. So I don't get mad because really if they use crap like that a 1/4 inch mount will do fine. Their joints aren't capable of taking the pounding that would warrent 3/8.

 

 

 

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#2
Twister

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Once again it's common for customers to help out on their rigs. Another thing that was an issue was the length of links. They were to short which creates a horrible driveshaft angle at full droop. This can also create constant t-case failure.

 

Some different mounts to relocate the front upper links farther back into the cage.

 

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Kinda looked like claws or fists

 

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and showing him where I would put the sway bar. Again unique to the emf shop. This stlye and theory have been prooven over and over. However because it's different it's never caught on because people just can't wrap their heads around the concept. I never installed this on his rig but saw it on it at Havoc 2014. It changed the truck quite a bit.

 

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#3
Twister

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extended link mounts used to shorten the length of the lower link. Something everyone says is wrong but I say is right. The purpose is to roll the pinion up as the suspension drops. Massive travel requires it for the u-joints to live. You do need a cv at the t-case though.

 

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most stable link set up is wide on the bottom.  This was the origional link mounting position. Narrow at the diff wide at the frame. Not so stable. The upper weight of the truck teeters over it back and forth like a see saw

 



#4
Twister

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Sometimes it's extremely hard working with other peoples mounts and existing cages. It's hard enough to build a rig from scratch and properly place the cage supports etc without them getting in the way of an ideal link mount position.

 

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This is a perfect example of having to work with existing work. I had to cut the main cage support and pocket mount the fist brackets into that spot. This kind if thing can be scrary. If you look just above the knotch you';; see a new 3/8 plate welded in that attaches the cage mount to another support tube just above.  This actually made the cage stronger than it was before I knotched it. Actually just having an unsuppoerted span for an A-pillar support would just allow the front corner of the cage to fold if the truck ever landed on it's roof so it's convenient that we had to do this. I also welded the inside of the fist mount to the frame rail. And just because I added plates to fill in the gaps top and bottom. These apparently look ugly but if memory serves it was a tight area and we were under a time crunch.

 

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Also you'll notice the butt welded link. That's where the links were extended. Link tubing isn't cheap and it suckes not being able to use your old link material when you need them lengthened. So if the customer chooses I machine extendors. If memory serves his links were 1 3/4 xx pipe. That measures 1.875 ish on the O.D. and has just under a .400 wall.  I think I took 2" 1018 solid stock and turned either end down into slugs that fit into the I.D. of the cutt off ends. Drilled rosette holes, pressed the parts together and welded it up.  The cool things you can do when you're an actual fab shop and not just one that buys parts and bolts or welds them on.

 

 

 

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This side shot shows the mount and sectioned link  bit better. The amount of up travel we gained out of notching the tube was huge. It gave us almost 6" more travel. And moving the link mount back we were able to control the pinion travel from flat at compression to pointed up at droop. Previously it dove into the ground at droop. Also by lengthening the links the diff didn't travel back into the cab as bad it had more of a long arc which in turn is how you get rid of axle steer.  By splicing the link we were also able to save the tube inserts at either end.



#5
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The lower axle mounts on the front diff. Like I said before the origonal ones were against the face of the housing. This is okay on a non steer axle or even a steer axle if the ram or steering components are on the outter side of the diff . It's a mega problem if the steering is on the link side. The only way to get your links to not collide with a lot of droop is to mount them low. Even then there will be issues when flexing. That and you've just created an anchor under the diff , opened up your vertical distance at the diff changing your squat / anti squat and put unnecassary angle on your links creating axle steer and excessive movement. Crazy right?  All those issues. Now you're thinking to yourself "everyone runs mounts like that they must work. Clay's crazy" and they do all run their mounts like that but their suspension doesn't work like it could.

 

These are the new mounts moving the pivot point to where it needs to be.

 

IMG_9084.JPG It's important to make sure the mount doesn't interfear with the knuckle at full lock

 

 Unfortunatly there's no pictures of the origional mounts. However like I said before the suspension was useless until we did this. It had to be limited to the point that there was no droop or flex to prevent the links from contacting the steering links.

 

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The funny part is people question me because TMR, Balistic etc don't make mounts like this. I guess they should question a steak house  on how they make their food  because Macdonalds  doesn't  do it that way. Fast food fast parts same shit quick, easy and cheap doesn't mean it's right.

 

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That is as close as that mount will ever get the the steering. and the mount acts as a ski protecting components and sliding over damaging obstacles



#6
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Two last shots  showing the clearancing that had to be done for the front upper links to properly work. It was a ton of work. It did take the suspension from being completly unusable

and made it agile for a big truck.

 

 

Later he bent a rear link trying it out practicing for TTC and Rick from E-mortal customers pointed out that the suspension had side to side play in the rear end.

He blamed it on my work and insisted that Rob put a trac bar on the system. Which Rick did and it got rid of the problem. Right before TTC Rob called and told me about this.

 

 

Here's were knowing suspension comes in

 

My first question - why was the suspension moving  -check the rod ends for play and tighten them if they're loose

                                                                                    - check the bolts and see if they're loose

                                                                                    -check the mounts and see if they're any cracked welds

                                                                                    - go over the frame and look for fractures

 

He said he had done all of that.

 

Next step what did I over looked ?  -the bent link? E-mortal customs is a profenssional fab shop that understands suspension. They had to have taken the bent link into account

                                                          but then again he was trying to make me look bad and was probably excited that maybe I screwed up

 

 

I called Rob on his way to TTC and asked if the link was still bent when they found the play.

He said yes. I asked if it was still there after the link was straightened. He told me they never checked. Rick had just thrown a trac bar on and solved the problem. A Trac bar on a triangulated four link doesn't work. It's suspension 101. Everyone in suspension knows this. Rick was happy because it made the truck more stable however Rob was worried because it limited the travel again. It was binding. I told him to take it off or it would rip his truck apart. There were other issues at play and there was no way it wouldn't destroy his truck. Rick had him so convinced that it was right I had to call him several times to get him to get rid of it.  They took it off before they got to TTC.  Close call .

 

 

 

 

 

                                            



#7
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so more bashing instead of tech....

 

 

Was a good thread.



#8
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so its okay when people bash him but when he defends himself with tech and the truth oh no lets stop reading....

the funny thing is people honestly think when they say stuff about him it doesnt make it back to him
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#9
Twister

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It's not bashing just more tech explaining how by making a mistake it could have cost him his second place. Assuming some one has the knowledge and skill and trusting that in that.  For people wanting to compete in ttc they need to understand how stupid mistakes and bad decisions can cost you. Or should I not share that part? Sort of like not double checking all of your fittings cost first. I'll being doing a write up on the Warthog and about how an improperly installed fitting and a poorly placed oil gauge can destroy a 25 000 dollar LS.



#10
Twister

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Another thought Denver. Maybe all the time that was spent installing the trac bar onto the suspension could have been better spent on the little things. Some thing for future TTC hopefulls to think about yet again. I'm about to do a thread on a PCS ram that was in a hydro assist on a JK. The JK burnt out the pump driving it on the street. When I took it apart I found the pully was way to small hurting the pump, the lines were routed wrong and the wear band on the piston in the ram was .003 larger than the id of cylinder body. Thats a press fit. It means it would take half the pressure of the pump to simply move the ram. Would that be bashing psc or would it be a thread of actual tech that may help people know more about how things are and whats proper? I learned from making the mistake in my own product.   Do you give me permission ? I'm sure it would shed light on something important that no one even thinks about. I'll wait till you tell me it's okay.

 

 Bashing would be the thread about gold digger last year. I never mentioned  the shop that did that. I could link it here for you to go check out.



#11
dodgy_style

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electric lettuce speaking hear... just wanna clear up some confusion and just wanna tell my personal experiences with emf and e mortal and some history on build, first off i would like to say that i dont claim to be a fabricator or welder at all this was my first suspension build that i have taken on in my garage with a zip cut and welder and half drunk the whole build lol! this was a major learning curve and would change alot if i were to do it over again. as clayton said i had travel issues with front diff and truck had a major body roll so clay offered to help me dail everything and that he did with his awesome fabricating skills got full travel out of my front suspension with no driveshaft binding! and was kind enough to share his knowledge with me! after it left emf the truck was alot better but i was still not satisfied with the body roll, so me being stubborn and like to learn the hardway i like to experiment with mods so i designed and built my own swaybar from a torsion bar out of a chevy half ton, was working great untill iwe decided to flex it out with a forklift and snapped the bar! epic fail! i then got on the phone with king and re valved the shocks and changed spring rates, i then took it out for a test run and rear spring they suggested were way to soft! once again epic fail! after recieveing invite to top truck 2014 and recently breaking the atlas t-case i was in a major time crunch to get truck together so rick at e- mortal pulled a solid and offered to let me use a bay at his shop! dureing test running i also had an issue with blowing off rear bump stops with what looked to be from the diff walking side to side! at this point it was 100 % my idea to install a trackbar reason being is porkchop runs a very simular link geomatry and also runs a track bar on his and seems to be working great for years, so i figured what the hell lets try it! after installing a rear trackbar and taking a quik drive body roll felt amazing felt very solid! but after flexing it out we relized we lost all of our travel something was binding so made a call on speaking phone with rick to clay and the 3 of us tried to come up with a solution! we took clays advice double checked over everything couldnt find anything wrong! would just like to mention i never heard any bash talking about clays work at all, i seen nothing but positive feeback about clays work and product at e mortal, at this point we had to put this problem aside as we had bigger fish to fry and few days to departure we still had no t-case so that was our focus, after getting new case in we only had enough time to play with spring rates and lengths and pressers i decided to change a longer bottem spring and upped the spring rates we left truck as is and left for ttc a couple days early, when got there did some test and tuning tried adjusting rear trackbar thinking we could find a sweet spot and then decided to completly cut it off and go with it, took another test run and with new spring rates and higher pressures in shocks it felt wayyyy better!!! we left it alone and went with it truck performed great whole event with only minor repairs!, i noticed fitting for rear steer line leaking early in comp so sent someone to town to get another line made, finished day with leaking fitting, and after great success and ripping my cage apart on coalshoot, nervousness for tank trap set in! after hearing roumers i was point leader and focusing on cage repairs cause it was also part of my shock hoop support we completly forgot about steering line and started helping richie change out his tranny. and of course being first early in morning we didnt have time to look over truck and of course i shit the bed in the trap. all in all the meaning of this post was to try and clear up any mis conseption about trackbar i dont like being put in this situation and feel obligated to make it better! im not picking any sides as to clayton and rick are both my freinds and were both major support and help to the success of my 2014 race season,



#12
GiS

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Either way - It's an ENTIRELY different rig now!

 

I was absolutely amazed at your TTC experience, you nailed it Rob :)

 

Also - When you spoke with KING, what sort of info did they ask you for over the phone?


Once along time ago, in a subduction zone not to far away, great thrust faults and up-lift occurred, that my friend blows me away..... In this great land, we all treasure the same, I see no reason to only have mud trails, thats just lame. Thus today I made a vow I promise to uphold, I will find a rock trail in Alberta by hunting through the heat, rain and even the cold. So to all those Igneous and sedimentary rocks around, look out, the day is coming when you will be found.

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#13
Twister

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Thanks for clearing that up Rob and thanks for  mentioning we were a part of how it performed. Now  would you say that the trac bar was a bad idea? And that it only worked in Richies because Richie runs bushing joints so it was binding up and only worked because the bushings made up for the binding. Allowing an error to seem proper?  For tech purposes and for any one reading this thinking of using it on their rig. Would you say they should try it? From your experience.

 

 

and after great success and ripping my cage apart on coalshoot,

 

 For me that was a highlight. You rammed that post hard and the EMF steering components held up no problem. People always over look that stuff. The force of the impact showed  up at Havoc when your knuckle broke but the steering links and joints still never let go. Were those braced knuckles or just stock? They were the medium joint with medium ball sockets that we sponsored you right?  Front and rear. I remember not having the money or material to do it at the time. Doesn't TMR have similar components?  What made you want to run mine?



#14
dodgy_style

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thanks gis! hopefully next year i can keep the roll going! i want hrc bad next year!! king had very good service were willing to help as best as they could, but i dont think they understood what i was doing with the truck cause the springs they suggested were way off but i did like the way the re valved the shocks they seem to drop way fast and really absorb the deep holes and logs now! they wanted to know the how much compression i had on the springs at full drop so they say 2 inchs of compression at full drop is the ideal spring i beg to differ now! and they also wanted to know what i was doing with truck and a ballpark wieght.

 

as for the track bar no i would not run one again because once again i had to learn the hardway that it doesnt work with hiem joints... like u had mentioned richies works cause he had bushing in it to allow to move just enough to not creat binding which actually works out to be a slick system richies truck barley has any body handles well at high speeds! as for your steering joints i wanted a set ever since i seen travis's on his jeep there bad ass and strong as hell i have put them through the test! the knuckle i broke at havoc was reinforced and broke further up! then the next day broke another one same side on ironman and joints are still perfect!! when i recieved your sponsered joints would just like to mention that even rick had posted them up on the emortal facebook page saying how sexy they are! and yes i do believe they are the medium size joints. every joint on my truck is emf if that means anything and never had an issue ever besides the fact they probably dont get greesed enough!!

 

as for the sway bar on my truck u seen at havoc i bullt in my garage out of scrap steel and a old trackbar that had gotten given to me! i pretty much copied your design! after a shitload of headachs i finally understood the concept of how it worked,, its a tough one to grasp but once again it has been proven cause mine works awesome! i may even build another one for the front out of another shitty sway bar i have laying in garage! 

 

if anyone else has any questions on how to learn the hardway please ask as i think im begginging to be an expert at it now! lol

 

ps. how are the cutco knives clay??






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