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Old 06-23-2015, 10:40 AM   #191
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Re: Popping my top

Dang Scott, sweet setup and idea. Hope it works!!
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:25 PM   #192
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Re: Popping my top

......140 lbs of brake rotors.....

So, I've decided to upgrade my brakes.

My van is a 2008 E350 with a kingpin Dana 60 front axle, converted at Advanced 4X4. Apparently, Advanced uses Chevy outer knuckles and mid 2000+ Chevy truck/Suburban rotors and calipers, at least on my van anyway.

So, after some research and some guidance from BajaSportsmobile, I picked up a few rotors..

Right to left are: my existing Chevy rotors (12.8" diameter x 1.5" thick, 8 x 6.5 lug), Ford F250 Superduty rotors (13.66" dia x 1.5" thick 8 x 170mm lug), mid 2000's Dodge 2500/3500 truck rotors (13.9" diameter x 1.4" thick 8 x 6.5" lug) and F450 rotors (14.5" diameter x 1.5" thick 8 x 170mm lug)

...the keen observer will note that the Dodge and the F250 rotors have 16 holes in them; I added another set of 8 x 6.5 holes with my rotary table and mill. The Dodge stock lug pattern is 8 x 6.5 but the holes are much larger than my studs, so they got modified.



I've been at this project for awhile, and have gone around with a number of rotors over the past few weeks. My initial setup idea was to use the Dodge rotors as they were the correct lug pattern and slightly larger than the F250 rotors although, as mentioned I ended up drilling a new set of holes anyway and the rotors are a bit thinner than the Fords.

For reference, the stock 2008+ E350 rotors are thicker than any of these rotors by a couple of mm.....

I also picked up some 2008+ E350 calipers......the same ones that would have come on my van from the factory.

The kingpin Dana 60 uses removable caliper brackets that also hold the spindles to the knuckles; later ball joint type axles have the caliper mounting bosses cast into the knuckles. The brackets on my van are fabricated weldments from Advanced to hold the Chevy components, and the 6 hole pattern in the brackets means Chevy knuckles. I'll take a picture of these and post if I can remember.....

So, next up was to fabricate/design some wood patterns/mock-up caliper brackets.....from left to right three attempts from primitive to so-so....



Note that the last iteration has two sets of holes; this was to rotate the bracket slightly so that the upper caliper mounting bolt will clear the steering stuff on the top of the passenger side knuckle.

Here is a picture of the Dodge rotor, new calipers and the last wooden pattern/mock-up



Once the pattern looked good, I bought some 1" thick mild steel plate and had a fabricater torch it to rough dimensions......plate steel is rediculously expensive retail! $75 for the plate and $75 to torch......and another $25 to weld...yet to come.

here are the rough cut plates



.....and here they are after about a zillion hours of milling.....did I mention that steel is harder than woodpecker lips to machine? ...and the chips come off the piece scorching hot...pro tip....milling steel goes way faster when using a roughing end mill...like 10X faster.



more machining and bolted on ears (ears will be welded shortly)



The crude notch in the bracket is for the ABS sensor; I just duplicated what Advanced machined into the brackets that are on the van.

.....more to come.......
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:59 PM   #193
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Re: Popping my top

Holy cow, you have a BIG bag of tricks!
I'm totally digging your process.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:23 AM   #194
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Re: Popping my top

Why didn't you have those parts laser'd or cut on a waterjet? Or CNC'd as one piece? I'm impressed with your effort here, don't get me wrong... I'm just curious why you'd put yourself through all that manual machining punishment vs. having things done the easy way???
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:19 AM   #195
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
Why didn't you have those parts laser'd or cut on a waterjet? Or CNC'd as one piece? I'm impressed with your effort here, don't get me wrong... I'm just curious why you'd put yourself through all that manual machining punishment vs. having things done the easy way???

$$$$


......and I figured I could use some rotary table practice.....
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:03 PM   #196
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Re: Popping my top

I've been seduced by the sheer size of the F450 rotors......so I fabbed up caliper brackets for these...

Well, even with 17" wheels, the caliper clearance to the rim/wheel weights was extremely minimal as shown here:








...nothing that I little milling won't take care of....did I mention that I've been spending a lot of time with my rotary table lately? .....removing a small amount of caliper casting helped tremendously...those are paper towels stuffed in the holes to keep the chips out of the pads. This milling moves the shoulder/step inboard to clear 8" wide wheels.





Here is the clearance after milling the calipers:





While working on this project, I noticed that my spindle on the driver's side has some wear/galling from a spun outer wheel bearing. The grease on the outer end of the spindle was quite rusty/brown when I pulled it apart. I've ordered a new spindle, spindle bearing/seals, and outer wheel bearing. Does anyone have any insight into what causes this? Insufficient bearing preload?





Here is a picture comparing the old Chevy rotors and the F450 rotors, almost 2" difference between them.





....and here is a shot of the calipers mounted with the brackets (not done yet, still need to get the brackets welded)





...still need to get the brackets welded up, connect the brake lines and bleed.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:52 PM   #197
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Re: Popping my top

Brackets are welded; the welder TIG welded them...they look great. The welder gave me a little lip for doing a 1/4" double bevel around most of the joint (worried about overheating/embrittlement)...he wanted a single bevel but in the end, everyone was happy.





Brakes are just about complete, the brackets are painted and both E350 calipers are installed and bled. I just received the new driver's side spindle and I need to machine a few things on the flange to make it ft and press new bearings in the spindle and the hub. I did final assembly of the front passenger side wheel today.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:10 PM   #198
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Re: Popping my top

While I was waiting for the welder and the spindle, I started the build of the upper driver's side cabinets.

....Browsing through this build thread makes it look like I have ADHD...



I've been planning on remaking the entire left side cabinet but to start with I've been fabricating some upper cabinets only using 1/8-1/2-1/8 sandwiched Baltic birch as discussed here:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=16662

The tricky part here (for me anyway) is the curved rear section. I'm using "wiggle-wood" for this...there are two compound curves to keep me very entertained.





Also, as promised to one of the Brian's earlier in this thread, here is what the A/C outlet duct looks like when the headliner is chopped up:



Hopefully as the cabinet build progresses things will become clearer......
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:49 AM   #199
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Re: Popping my top

I'm continually amazed!
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:30 AM   #200
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
While I was waiting for the welder and the spindle, I started the build of the upper driver's side cabinets.

....Browsing through this build thread makes it look like I have ADHD...

Phhhft----we're ALL guilty of this same thing I'm sure! Its tough doing any one project start to finish especially on a complete build out or refit. Always one more part needed, a new & better design occurs to us after we see something we previously thought was sheer genius.

Oh yeah---we ALL have ADHD here!
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