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Old 01-12-2016, 03:34 PM   #101
AKPrice
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

you could find a gmc 1500 grille shell for pretty cheap and swap your headlights and all into it. Then you wouldnt have that center bar.

And all of those fasteners on mine are 1/4x20 stainless bolts. That is what takes the longest in the whole process. Then on the back side I just have a washer that catches the mesh. Iv done it before with out any bolts or rivets. I just ruffed up all the plastic on the inside of the grille with a scotch bright disk and cut the mesh to fit nice inside the grille and then used that fuzer stuff and laid a bead over the mesh and onto the plastic all the way around and it worked out great.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:26 PM   #102
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

I have a GMC grille from 94+ Laying in my garage I will part with. Give me a text 907-632-2531. Reid
Sorry the picture is so big. New to posting here.

Last edited by snowbear; 01-30-2016 at 10:28 PM. Reason: removed giant picture :)
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:19 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkReido View Post
I have a GMC grille from 94+ Laying in my garage I will part with. Give me a text 907-632-2531. Reid
Sorry the picture is so big. New to posting here.
Sweet! Msg in route
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:54 PM   #104
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Thanx Reid! Some time later I'll trim out the middle. It's going to work perfect.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:59 PM   #105
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Last piece to fit behind the grill is the power steering cooler. I will use the original tranny cooler for the extra capacity and it's crazy stout. The only place it will fit is mounted to the hood latch bracket so more light bracket fab needs to be done.

Hit our internet cap so pics have to wait
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:40 PM   #106
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Scott,
With the GMC grille you have now, an aftermarket bar type insert would work. There is one listed on CL now for $70 in "Car parts", would look clean and probably give you as much room as possible behind it for clearance. Just a thought, Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:18 PM   #107
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grrrrrr, cut it too close

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Last edited by snowbear; 01-31-2016 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:08 PM   #108
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Yikes! Well, what's a little more time in moving the steering box?
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:57 PM   #109
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Its' like one of those puzzles with the plastic numbers, every time you need space, every thing else has to move. !!!!!
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:26 PM   #110
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Fixed it



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Old 01-31-2016, 07:32 PM   #111
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Back to working on the rear axle. After about 10 trys I figure it's close enough



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Old 01-31-2016, 07:37 PM   #112
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Still needs parts like the proper u-bolts, brake pads, e-brake cables, ... to be finished but I pushed on ahead to see how it sits on the ground.



A little taller than expected but there is nothing inside, no fuel tank, no bumper or spare tire all the stuff that will bring it down some.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:46 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasillashack View Post
Scott,
With the GMC grille you have now, an aftermarket bar type insert would work. There is one listed on CL now for $70 in "Car parts", would look clean and probably give you as much room as possible behind it for clearance. Just a thought, Good luck!
Thanx Shack. There is no room for factory type inserts. I have to cut all but a 1/2" from the flange that those things mount to. I'll make something out of expanded metal but that's a ways down the road.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:41 PM   #114
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Continued chipping away at it. Installed fuel tank, e-brake cables, brake calipers and lines. The interesting stuff, steering. I got a drop pitman arm from Adam for test fitting. It made fitting/figuring MUCH easier. To hook it up I had to shorten the steering linkage about an inch. 2.5 would be better but it runs out of threads. I had to clock the arm about 8* so I cut splines into the blocks in the pitman. Not too hard if you are patient. Once it was all hooked up I started flexing it.

Here is full stuff plus a bit, about 7" from ride height. It'll won't have this much up travel in real life. It shows how much room I have left for more drop in the arm





With the wheels hard right the steering makes contact with the track bar mount at the axle




I didn't take pics of droop... Before getting to full droop the tie rod end on the knuckle binds. Since the track bar isn't hooked up the axle starts moving to the drivers side. I think the perfect arm would have about 2 more inches of drop and maybe a half inch shorter.
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Last edited by snowbear; 02-06-2016 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:43 PM   #115
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Unemployement is causing troubles with my plans for the build. It has me thinking of less expensive options for the front suspension. The plan was coilovers and bypass shocks. Total cost in the neighborhood of 3500$. Combined with all the other parts that I think need to be replaced, unit bearings, calipers, rotors, drivelines, etc, etc I need to choose building much slower or cheaper.

The first thing I am looking at COs vs Multi-Rate Coils. MRCs are about 300-400 vs COs at 1800 providing I get the CO springs right on the first try. COs are so much better with the infinite tuning options where multi-rate coils are not tuneable at all. MRCs also mean coil buckets that limit or complicate future changes.

Another option is COs and cheap shocks. 2.5x10 dual bypass shocks run about 800 each. I like this option cause when $ become available it is a simple swap to upgrade the shocks but would require a complete retune of the COs.

The lowest cost, worst option IMO, is MRCs and cheap shocks. Almost sure to be poor performance.

Lots to think about with lifes changes.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:06 AM   #116
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Sucks to hear about unemployment man. Hope it turns around and ya get back up work.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:36 AM   #117
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

I'd go with the 2.5 coilovers for now, and bypasses if you feel you need them later on. Just a simple revalve to use it as a coil carrier. Don't bother with 2 tube, go with 3 tubes so that you can use the upper compression zone as a bump zone and still have a rebound adjustment.

Also, what brand are you looking at? I just bought 4 king 2.5 coilovers and 4 2.5 3 tube bypasses and I don't think I paid near the prices you're throwing out there.

Another option would be a set of 3.0 coil overs and be done with it. They'll for sure handle all the weight without getting hot. Unless you are going to be bombing over whoops at 60 I don't think the bypasses are going to do much for you anyway. They're pretty freaking loud too.

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:04 AM   #118
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Prices are for Fox Factory series. All the others use a hard chromed shaft that I wouldn't trust to hold up for years of daily driving.

Thanx for the info on the bypass shocks.
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Last edited by snowbear; 03-14-2016 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:34 AM   #119
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Gotcha, I have those on one of my runners, they've held up great so far getting bashed on behind the rear axle.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:23 AM   #120
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I had a few hours to work on this yesterday. I got a set of Carli multi-rate coil springs for the front and decided to try and do some fitting. For me this part of a build is a bit stressful. Getting the spring buckets in the right place is critical. Since the front of the rig is not complete it seems even harder. Using coilovers would have been easier but four times the cost.

I figured I'd start with measuring the spring rates. Carli will not share this info. They did tell me that I was close. I'll describe what I did here and if anyone sees an error in my work or methods please speak up. First I weighed the front of the rig, sprung weight. Then I clamped some spring buckets to the frame and installed the springs. I lifted/lowered the rig until it was freely resting on the springs then measured the springs.

Front sprung weight 2364#
Springs uncompressed 27"
Springs compresses 22.5
Spring rate = 2364(27-22.5) = 525#/inch, this is for both springs, one would be half this

Now is when the guess work begins... the springs are multi-rate (they get stiffer as they compress) and the front is not complete. How far will the springs compress when another 500# is added to the front. 500# is a wag. The rig is missing everything from the engine forward including the hood. I don't have a 500# weight I can hang on the front. Maybe I could get a couple of big 250# friends to stand on the frame horns?

After going thru all this I figured out the only way to get this right is to use/make an adjustable spring bucket. Either a temporary one or build one stout enough to hold up to the abuse the rig is going to see.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:26 AM   #121
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

I like this design, it's simple and easy to fab.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:09 PM   #122
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Got tired of sanding the tow rig and had to do some fabrication to regain my sanity. I mock up difficult parts, sometimes I use cereal boxes or 16 gauge. This part is too large for cardboard and I didn't have enough 16 gauge so I used plywood/paneling. The nice thing is the plywood is 3/16ths" same as the steel I plan to use. That really helps cause I didn't have to refigure sizes due for the thicker material.

This bracket includes the track bar and shock mount.

3rd or 4th draft




The wood model is sooo much easier to position
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Last edited by snowbear; 12-21-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:30 PM   #123
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in steel

Ride height - approximate


Full stuff. Notice how far back the axle has moved. It has me scratching my head cause the droop doesn't move that far. I'll have to trim the rear upright or else the spring will hit.


Full droop


With the spring compressed until it starts lifting the rig.


Can kind get an idea of how this upright piece will have to be trimmed. It's going to loose a lot of strength so I'll have to do some figuring on where I can fit more structure.



I spent a bit of time trying to position the top of the spring bucket to keep the spring straight thru it's travel. I am sure you've seen springs that deflect to the sides. For a crawler that's tolerable but for something that goes fast that deflection really messes up the spring performance.

Still have many hours to go before this is finished. I still have to do the shock mount, finish the track bar mount, figure out the gusseting, cut speed holes, knock it apart then pickle, weld and paint. I figure I got enough done that I can return to sanding door jambs on the tow rig.
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Last edited by snowbear; 12-21-2016 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:30 PM   #124
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Default Re: Suburban Expo build

Why would more trimming be necessary? If the wheel/tire clears the spring, it should clear the spring mount, at least it looks like it from your pictures.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:39 PM   #125
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I guess the pictures don't make it clear. The spring will hit the mount. Look at the right vertical rib, look at a the pic w/a spring. Now look at the pic full stuff, no spring, 2nd pic w/plumb bob. See how far back from the center line the spring base has moved? That will push the spring into that vertical support.
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