Build Thread JHF Trail Chassis

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
What did you think of the fuel cell overall? Looks great for $116
Hard to argue the price....and no complaints as far as build quality.

Still playing with mounting ideas, may just have SHO tig a few threaded bosses on it and mount it that way.
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Have some "used" aluminum laying around, decided to cut out a "severe" duty hood panel. 1/4+" thick is a bit much...but no worries about standing on it :) Need to add a handful of tabs to mount it, and call 'er done. (and maybe some vinyl so it's pretty...haha)

PXL_20210217_221050469.jpg




More 1/4" alum, test fitting for the side-skids. Two per side, welded in, 3/16" AR450 plate will be the final plan. PLENTY solid. Notice the keyhole....need to enlarge that to 3/4".

PXL_20210217_221108260.jpg




And the REASON for the keyhole...the rear seat mounting rod :) Pull one cotter pin, and the rod slides out. Allows for very easy seat removal.

PXL_20210217_221124063.jpg



DXF files attached for the skids. Rear is "final", front might need a tweak yet (and both need fillets on the corners for weld clearance) (plan change, files pulled)
 
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Scooter

Loves Light Bars
Nov 9, 2020
2
Washington
Really dig the seat mount rod, I will likely copy it. (I picked my chassis up a couple weekends ago)

You going to machine your ram bodies like Jesse does or clearance the mounting cups?
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Really dig the seat mount rod, I will likely copy it. (I picked my chassis up a couple weekends ago)

You going to machine your ram bodies like Jesse does or clearance the mounting cups?
You have to machine them...they don't fit otherwise ;) Had mine done last week at Sand Hollow Offroad in their lathe.

Today's projects included cutting the roof material (1/4" aluminum), plasma cutting lower link braces, plasma cutting skid tabs (90s done, designing the balance), and tossing around why my inset side skids are a terrible idea (tube exposure) and ways to solve that without running a one-piece skid outside the tube. Tomorrow will likely be all experimental with the plasma table :)
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Fuel cell and fuel cell skid, mocked/mounted. The skid plate is 16ga, 20" x 20.75", plasma cut with the edge scallops and 25 1-1/2" holes, ready to dimple. My new Langmuir Crossfire and PrimeWeld Cut60 made the cutting process super simple. (and, I learned a ton in Fusion360 too).

PXL_20210223_183218697.jpg



Dimples were a bit tougher, since my press could only handle 21 of the 25....the last 4 had to be done with a hand jack. Put some 1-1/2" - 1/4" angle into the corners of the slide to wedge it to the top bar, then ratchet-strapped it snug. The 4-ton was awkward, but it worked for those last 4.

PXL_20210223_185208948.jpg


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I didn't like any of my "clamping" ideas for the fuel cell, so I finally opted to have Steve from Sand Hollow Offroad use his amazing tig skills and weld on 3 threaded bungs so I could bolt it in. Makes for a very clean install. Cut the 3 tabs out of some 3/16" plate.

PXL_20210223_193828105.jpg



And finally, the cell tacked in and the skid zip'd into position. Will make for a perfect tray for recovery gear and a cooler bag, plus offer decent protection for anything that pops up from below when out wheeling.

PXL_20210223_193835792.jpg


PXL_20210223_193845388.jpg
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Need to order the correct button head hardware and finish the 4 B pillar bolts, but the roof is done. (Well, and do the quilted headliner, but that's much later...)

PXL_20210225_030149513.jpg



Ignition coils are mounted as well.

PXL_20210225_030222191.jpg



Adjusted the fuel cell position too, minor adjustments (and gapped the mounts for some nylon washers)

PXL_20210225_030552672.jpg
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Today's progress...

Found the 1/4-20 flange head cap screws and installed those in the roof.

PXL_20210226_032013182.jpg



Side panels? FRP? Cheap, and easy....I'll build out some nicer aluminum panels for the long term, but these are the perfect solution for the initial breaking....and if I wreck one, it's off to the hardware store with $40 to replace it. (even blingier, I could switch sides and put the rough side out!!)

And yes, there is a foot cut out. Don't hate me. I'm old.
PXL_20210226_032023585.jpg



Next, the 387th rendition of seat mounting...uugh. I agonized over seats and positions and all that early on, and have now struggled with the mount itself. Finalized tonight: the front seat tabs are now slotted and fit between the fork'd front seat tabs...and the rear is one single 3/8" solid rod for each seat. Super easy removal.

PXL_20210226_032037892.jpg



And finally, cooling....the fan/shroud will be "clamped" to the edges of the radiator (no holes)...my 10-24 nutserts were not deep enough however so it's off to the hardware store tomorrow. If I can't find those, 1/4" bolts will drop in easy enough.

PXL_20210226_032106112.jpg

F
 
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woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
I think your on to something, My guess is those black ones well rust in short order 🤷‍♂️

Mcmaster Carr is a great resource, excellent customer service & super fast shipping. BEST OF ALL not Amazon
Rust, in the desert? ;) I ran these black screws on my FToy as well, 4 years with zero issues. Climate does help however.

Stainless will all depend on the quality/grade....and stainless is particularly susceptible to thread galling. Pick your poison I guess :)

Alloy steel (per McMaster) is also 2x as strong as Stainless.
 

knapp870

Spotter Required
Oct 23, 2020
20
Lincoln NE
Rust, in the desert? ;) I ran these black screws on my FToy as well, 4 years with zero issues. Climate does help however.

Stainless will all depend on the quality/grade....and stainless is particularly susceptible to thread galling. Pick your poison I guess :)

Alloy steel (per McMaster) is also 2x as strong as Stainless.
I did have issues with the stainless locking up during install but found if i ran them in the extruded U nuts first alone or a dab of antiseize all was good.

20210227_103208.jpg
 

Broski

Spotter Required
Rust, in the desert? ;) I ran these black screws on my FToy as well, 4 years with zero issues. Climate does help however.

Stainless will all depend on the quality/grade....and stainless is particularly susceptible to thread galling. Pick your poison I guess :)

Alloy steel (per McMaster) is also 2x as strong as Stainless.
Ya, the Climate well make the difference, where I live those would be toast in short order. fore sure the alloy steel is stronger, in your application probably not necessary 😜
 

whiterhino

Spotter Required
Nov 10, 2020
27
michigan
I have stainless Philips head screws right now and over time the heads are getting sloppy and burrs are on several. (using a cordless impact for fast and easy install doesn't help) Plus each one has a stainless washer under the head, which always get lost LOL. I like the female hex and flange all in one. Probably gonna give them a try. I agree that stainless tends to gall and although I use anti-seize a lot, I don't want to use it on all of my panels.
 

MNorby

Spotter Required
Dec 31, 2016
86
I used 1/4" stainless machine screws and rivnuts for all my panels on last buggy. Used a milwaukee m12 screwdriver gun with a clutch and found setting 12 was just right. Used antiseize and naver had one stick. A few screws the head started looking rough after going in and out lots of times but a bag of like 50 screws was $10. Also had a few rivnuts slip and spin but same thing, they are $.25 each and easy to replace. I'd have no problem using them again but will probably do something a bit more exotic for the side panels this time. Roof and interior will likely use the ss screws.
 

whiterhino

Spotter Required
Nov 10, 2020
27
michigan
I have a bunch of left over SS bolts. Eventually I will change them over but too many other things to worry about now. At some point I need to start a thread with all the changes I have made to my "turn key" buggy. LOL
 

woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
1,222
53
Toquerville UT
Remember like a year ago when I claimed the seat mounts were done? I lied....but this rendition works perfectly. So again, I claim they are done.....

You can see the welded/tabbed front bar, the notched front seat tabs, and the rear slide-bar.

PXL_20210304_041039199.jpg



Upper radiator mount, version 3ish... The radiator is sandwiched with 1/8" rubber.

PXL_20210304_041048985.jpg



Side panels are both installed, just need some trimming.

PXL_20210304_041101220.jpg


Power steering resi mounted. Hole in the hood pending... If I have measured correctly, the 3-3/4" diameter hole will JUST clear the resi-cap when the hood gets pulled. I may have cut a few pieces of alum scrap to test this....

PXL_20210304_041110927.jpg


And a front winch....the Warn 9.0Rc is the perfect fit.

PXL_20210304_041133874.jpg
 
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