Alright so this project officially commenced on 1/20/19.
Below is after cutting the body, I wanted to wait to cut the frame until I had the tube in possession.
Waiting to bite the bullet on tube, I shaved my 14bolt with the Motobilt 13bolt diff cover.
Next I cut the frame. Seemingly obvious lesson to be learned here would be to cut is square to the frame and don't reference the cut on the body. You will see further down how I somewhat fixed the difference in the box in.
Next was to build a crossmember to strengthen the frame, and box in the existing frame.
On to the bending. I have a JD2 manual bender with a 5.5 CLR die. I mounted it to a piece of 3/8" plate on top of a 3"x3"x.25" tube then welded that to my trailer. I started with the lower frame tube. I smashed my brain for a while calculating all of the angles and dimension constraints I was shooting for with bending it all as one piece but decided to simplify it into 3 tubes and will use D-ring tube ends to finish the ends all in all it turned out well.
Next was the main hoop. Time for another lessons learned.. I bent 14' of tub too wide for what I wanted. I forgot to subtract some "in the bend" inches and i messed it up on the first two bends. No big deal, I have already cut it up and used the straight pieces. I rebent the main hoop with two 80 degree bends, then two 10 degrees (same angle as that the windshield comes in at), then two 30 degrees to meet the lower frame tubes. Below are pics of it tacked in place.
Next up were the A-B tubes. I used the Under Cover Fab windshield brackets to retain the factory windshield mounting. I cut the tubes, notched them, slipped onto the brackets, tacked in place, then removed for final welding of brackets. Time for another lessons learned.. Always check your welder settings. while welding the brackets to the tubes, it didn't feel, look, or sound right. I initially was blaming it on me just having a bad welding day or whatever, screw it, I will grid the majority of them down for the A pillar and overhead spreader, and its not structural to the cage. I put the tubes back in the jeep and tacked in place on the main hoop. Went to final weld them and was getting serious cold joints. I did not like the welds by any means. Long story short, I stupidly just had my buddy turn my material thickness up on the welder and welded the tubes. Still unhappy with the lack of fusion to parent metals, we rechecked the settings, somehow my wire size got switched from .030 to .024 on my Miller autoset. I hadn't touched the welder since the week before when I did the main hoop so I assumed it was where I left it. I ground out the welds, and did new passes with the correct settings, not perfect aesthetically given the molested joint, but it'll stick.
- Pics in next post due to 15 image limit -
I then Final welded the main hoop to the lower frame tubes and the Frame box in plates. I forgot to take pictures of that connection last night so I will update tomorrow.
Thoughts, criticisms, recommendations encouraged.