Buggy Build, Part 4

Jocelyn Fechner, Staff Writer


After what seemed like forever, it was finally time to work on the front steering. I bought two complete Rockwell specific full hydraulic steering systems from PSC in Texas. The cylinders are 3"x9". There is an orbital dash-mount valve for control of the front steering and a joy stick valve that will mount in the console area for control of the rear steering. I designed the mount/skid plate on my CAD program and had the local fab shop laser cut and bend them. All I had to do was tack them together and onto the housing.


Now for the rear. I welded up the rear skid plate and installed the mounts for the PSC steering cylinder. It also has provisions for the winch cable because this car will have a winch at both the front and the rear.

The rear axle was ready to be installed into the car after completing the truss, shock mounts, link mounts, steering skid plate with cylinder mounts, brakes, hubs, and calipers. Then I fabricated and mounted the upper shock mounts.

Once the rear shocks and suspension were installed, I adjusted the ride height down 2". It may need to be lowered a little more, but I'll wait to see it sitting on the tires and adjust the shocks accordingly.


I designed aluminum high steer arms on my CAD program and my brother at Side by Side Innovations machined them from 1" thick aluminum. I bolted them up to the knuckles and installed a drill bushing in the lower arm. Next, I drilled a center hole through them to line up with the holes in the lower steering arms.

I installed the arms on the knuckles and cut some chromoly tubing for the spacers and installed the 3/4" grade 8 bolt. Then I fabricated the tie rods from 1-1/2" x .250 wall chromoly steel tubing and 2 tube adapters were welded in using the "skateboard contraption." I used chromoly rod ends to complete the steering.


I designed a winch mount and, after having it laser cut and bent, I tacked it in. I am outfitting the car with a 10,000 lb winch on the front and the back of the car. We may never have to use one or the other, but I figure it’s cheap insurance.

While I was working on the rear winch mount, I also worked in the rear bump stops and tail lights. Then I moved on to completing the front bump stops and perches.

Bump stops done, it was time to get to the limit strap mounts. Limit straps keep the suspension from over extending and possibly damaging the shocks. I used 1/2" x 1-3/4" steel flat bar and cut and drilled the mounts. The upper mounts have one 1/2" hole. The lower mounts are tacked to the lower link arms and have five 1/2" holes, so as the straps stretch, I can move them to the next hole. When the suspension is fully drooped, each hole is a 1/2" adjustment. I ordered the only 6 ply straps I could find straps from Trail Gear in Fresno California. They are rated at 9000 lbs. and are bolted in with 1/2" grade 8 bolts. I have 2 straps on each corner of the car. Not only are they the best straps I could find, but the price was great too.

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