Fabrication

Auxiliary truck lighting and 110V wiring. 

I now have a 110V cord hard wired, or permanently mounted anyway, in my truck. Run from under the center of the dash in the cab, out the firewall, and ending in the drivers side inner fender. Should come in handy for any 110V current tools I might want to run off of my power inverter. 


I’ve actually wanted to wire a setup like this in both the front and back of the truck for a while, just never got around to it.

So, Why now? your asking…

Weeeeelllll….

What do you get if I’m bored, not feeling the season, wanting to do something festive, and just plain silly fun, and have a brand new 20′ spare set of Christmas lights just laying around?

😀  ðŸ˜‰ 

Cut up a couple old cords, one from a dead fan, the other from a dead string of lights, to make a small extension cord. Cord ends wouldn’t fit through the hole in the fire wall, and I needed a custom length anyway, so I put it through, then installed the 2nd end, thus my now permanent cord.


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Dug out the old power inverter I cary in the truck;

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Lots of zip ties;

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And voila!

😀 


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Yes, I know I’m a total redneck… And that I’ll Never live this one down. But its just so freaking cool to drive around! 

One guy that passed me on the 4 lane, as he went by me slowly, his passenger suddenly did a double take as they came up even with my front fender… The guy just about Garfielded himself on the window! Just so hillarious! 

That reaction alone was worth it if no one else noticed… And a lot of other people noticed. Got lots of smiles out of people on our quick trip to town last night. 

If nothing else I “lightened” up a few folks evenings, hopefully for the better… Definitely got me feeling a lot better

Next year I’m thinking I’ll hang a wreath in the middle of the grill, and light it, and run the other lights on out down the full bed length.  ðŸ˜€

Merry Christmas everybody.  ðŸ™‚

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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Christmas, Custom, Customized, Decorating, Fabrication, Funny, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, MacGyverism, mechanical, Modifications, Sillly, Silly, truck, Truck gear, Winter | 3 Comments

A new idea; cord or zipper pull ends. 

Had this thought while turning beads last night, I’ve seen others do this,  and I used to do a few when my beads included modified cartridge cases.  Bored one end of a pair of my medium sized aluminum beads out larger.  Forms a snug fit over a knot tied in a single strand of u-gutted 550 cord.  

(Yes I know I need to re-trim the flash on those holes… I somehow missed it before polishing them.)

I need to play with the hole size. See if I can get one big enough in this metal stock, to fit over a knot of two strands of gutted 550. So that they could be put on loops of 550 cord.

  I know I can fit that into my magnum beads, but I’m not sure it can fit in this “large” size and leave material for much of an outer design. 
 Also need to try it in my “small” sized beads, a hole size combo that will fit micro cord knots. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Aluminum, Beads, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals, New Products, Products, Prototypes

Beaded shop side tracking… 

Went to the shop to do a few things last night, only got one done. I got side tracked with other ideas… “What ideas?” you ask? I’m glad you did! 🙂








Coming soon to a sales page, to be announced soon as well. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Beads, Brass, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals

ATV plow, first use. 

Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver…

The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter

motor boating!

A buddy of mine is converting his outboard river boat to an inboard. Going from a outboard prop to inboard jet. 


The motor is a GM made Ecotec supercharged in line 4 cyl 2.4L. Mostly stock Except some EFI, exhaust, and cooling components. 240HP. And the super charger is off of a 2.2L Ecotec… the 2.4s didn’t come with them.

The outboard that came off was 80HP. 

He had a custom boat(among other things ) welding shop that another buddy works at chop, channel the boat and build the motor and jet pump mounts in the boat. Then he’s done all the install, wiring, tuning(most of it) etc himself. 

There is a lot of custom stuff done with this motor, it’s a popular one to swap into things, but this is the only jet boat, and IIRC only boat of any kind in the world with one!

I was out with him on Monday the 18th for the first ever in water running and tuning. We spent 9 hours on the water, only about 45 min running it. The rest of the time was chasing fuel supply issues, mostly mechanical, but also in tuning the computer control of the EFI.. 

I’ve learned an Epic amount of stuff that I didn’t know about how EFI systems work.

There is a lot of his builds details posted on a couple forums;

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/2-4…5-supercharger-2272-mv-jet-boat-build-322969/

http://www.meanchicken.net/webmain/forum/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=69&t=19737

Apparently jet boats are Really popular in NZ? A lot of the info hes using came from down there!

http://www.nzjetboating.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30216.0
It just amazes me, the new motor and jet setup is only about 100lbs heavier than the old setup, if that much, he’s still only drafting 6″ under this thing,(on step it has to be 3″ or less!) With selling the outboard motor off it, he’s almost broke even, and gained 100+ HP ( 80 to 240, but ya lose some to the jet pump).

Unfortunately I lot all my video and pics from that day except one shot;

Yeah, the scenery is pretty epic too! 🙂 

That lake is unique in the area, and relatively new, only been there a couple years. It’s only about 1/2 mile,  maybe a touch more across the London way, 1/4 the other way I’d guess… BUT  It’s within 2 minutes of the industrial part of town, and 5 minutes from metro/downtown,  a 10 min max from just about anywhere in Fairbanks.

 It’s Deep, has a great launch and floating dock, picnic areas, bathroom facilities,  and allows power boats. That last one is the big thing… Otherwise it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to a lake that allows powered craft. Otherwise it’s the rivers… But playing in a current can get old, and these are shallow water rivers… Can be less than fun at times.  

It’s perfect for this project, as shallows and a current could be killer for testing a new motor! 

As a bonus, this lake does outlet into the Tanana river, so it has options.  And fish.. 😉 
So, onto the next time we were our with it, last Saturday;

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Junk yard GM ecotec 2.4L with a supercharger from a 2.2L. Full custom setup for fuel delivery and injectors( the only GM part left is the rail itself). The jet pump unit is top of the line made by Scott. 

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Our day out the first time that Monday, 9 hours on the water, 45 min run time mixed with problems…. But it did run all the time… or would run for short times.

This last time out on Saturday, boat was in the water 6 house before we got it to run at all… uhuh. 

First 3 hours it would fire over but not stay running. We were trying to run it without an O2 sensor (which technically it should do!) since the machinist that’s making the O2 adapter for the marine water jacketed exhaust had the sensor. 

No go. 
We had his spare sensor, but different plug/wire harness and colors. Tried unsuccessfully to hot wire it in. 

Drove the 40 miles(1.5 hours) round trip and picked up the right O2 sensor. 

Installed. 
Then it wouldn’t even fire! 
Checked and found no spark. 

Serriously turning into a rough day at this point. After over an hour of checking everything, I found a main fuse blown. We’d shorted out something and blown power to the whole setup when hot wiring the first O2 sensor! Oops!!

Them it ran great! Other than a hick up or two at about 3200 rpm, where it would stall out, and if you pushed it, the compute would kill the electronic throttle… 

We found out later that the tuning/computer fuel tables transition at that point to a higher rpm/load setup, but it not set right and it leans out too far– enough to cook the motor fast– computer was doing right to protect the motor when it was cutting off. 

So that will need chased in the programing, to richen up that tables’ mixture curve. 

For the rest of our testing we kept it below 3K without a hitch.

Its a non issue for general run though. We hit 50% throttle and 25 to 30 mph at 2800 rpm or below depending on load in the boat. 


And there is the big point; load in the boat. 

First run with around 900 pounds in the boat and it went “on step” within a boat length, and ran like it was empty! 

So we bumped up to all we had.

Two 50 gallon drums, two 20 gallon drums all full of water, my friend and I, and we had 1800 pounds in the boat. 

With the full 1800 in it, it took maybe 40 feet to get on step, then ran 40% throttle to 25 mph, at around 3000 rpm, ran fantastic, circle after circle in the lake, without a hitch. 

Never bogged, never pulled bad… was almost like an empty boat!! 

:D

Technically, the hull itself is only rated at about 1800 pounds, so add in motor, jet pump, and gear weight etc, we were a good 500 pounds over that. Ha! 

So the most weight you could ever safely have in there, and more than you’d ever really need to, and it ran basically like the loaf just wasn’t there.

100% success to the project! (A single 66″ moose, 2 guys and their gear last fall with the 115 hp outboard, he couldn’t get it on step, and they got back with less than 2 gallons of gas to spare. Almost didn’t get back, basically!) The point wasn’t a speed demon, but a super weight hauler for hunting. I think he’s got it. ;)

A bonus too, on about the third loop around at constant rpm/speed, the fuel ratio suddenly improved by dropping on air percentage.. anything over 15% is bad, and 17ish on up will cook the motor. 

We were running between 14 and 14.7 to start, at cruise speed. OK but not great. It suddenly dropped to 12.5. The computer is learning what it can do, and what the motor needs, and is tuning itself. 

At this point, the more it runs, the better it should run the mixtures as it continues to learn. Shouldn’t have to worry about it as much. 

Anyway, our last two runs of the day, part one and two from in the boat. And part three from the launch, while we waited for some kids to get out of the way of loading on the trailer. 

Slight hitch at the end of this next one… lol. 

Sorry you don’t get to see me.. (lucky you actually! ) we started out both filming, but he ran out of hands between throttle, steering wheel, and phone… lol.

So, anyway, this has really been a lot of fun for me, I’m super grateful he’s included me, and allowed me to be a part of helping with this. 

  As you all know, I Really enjoy custom work, things out of the ordinary. Along with my automotive interests, growing interest in boats, and absolute (if probably a bit weird)love of troubleshooting, improvising  and chasing a problem,  I really am loving this project. 
As I type this, he is mounting the marine water jacket exhaust(last few days anyway), and custom O2 sensor mount. Be interesting to see how, or if, that changes the run of the motor. 

All things stay good, and God willing, on the 3rd of August this boat is one of three going on a church group fishing/camping trip. 3 days in Minto Flats, one of the biggest and most remote norther pike hot spots in the state.  Yes, I’m going! 😉 😀

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Summertime, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

New ATV Taillights.

Well, brake lights anyway. 

I’d had to take the stock brake/tail light off when I mounted the rear winch right where it had been.    

Then the rear accessory recievers, and the bumper, and it left very little realestate for putting it back– Especially since it’s bulb housing is 4″ off the back of the light… It needs 6″ depth where I had rack cross bars at. 

Had bought a 2″x3″ trailer marker light for this, but even it was a bit big to fit in the space I had left, and too thick to end up behind the bumper face. 

Then, I remembered the marker lights that came with my big trailer,  that were left over when I cheated and mounted reflectors instead.  1″x4″. Perfect for between rack and bumper, recessed from bumper face.  Just so happens that the space between the frame rails there is 9.75″. Perfect for 2. 

Made a mount bar from 1″x3/32″ 1095 bar stock. 


Paint,  mount lights,  and mount between the frame rail tails with the upper bumper bolts.  

(Ignore the scratched paint around holes… I scraped it up to ensure it all grounded.)

These lights are nice. They’re a base plate that mounts and wires, then a sealed  water proof 2 bulb unit plugs/snaps onto the top.  Should be easy to change when burnt out, but being sealed I can’t see them ever burning out very easilly. 

I wired it to the brake light circuit, intending to later add another couple lights under the rack as constant on taillights. 

 I might end up just making one of these a taillight, leaving one a brakelight. Won’t be symmetrical anymore, but it would work! We’ll see.  ðŸ™‚ 

Anyway, they’re pretty bright, here they are with the park brake locked, in daylight, on a bright sunny day.  

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Vehicles, Wiring

ATV Turn Signals.

This has been a long time in the works.  I started ordering parts in early to mid June. Took about 3, 3.5 weeks for everything to come.  Then I had to find time to start it… 

Then decided I had to do the fuse block first, which took several days over last week. Now I’ve finally got the turn signals wired in, which also too a few days spread out over several total. 

Covering the fuse block install and the turn signals, I believe I have about 50 hours in this wiring and mounting. 

 Yes, I’m epically slow at wiring! 

Why turn signals? I dunno, just seemed like it’d be cool . 😎 Why not?  (No, unlike in some states I can’t make a quad street legal in Alaska.)

When I get the second flasher hooked up and have hazard lights, that could have a practical use, for emergencies, or simply visibility. But, these I don’t really need–but who cares? 😉

I bought two styles of small cheap motorcycle turn signals, off ebay. Serriously, these things were about $5 a pair!  

I originally intended the round ones for the rear, and the pointed ones for the front, to match a bumper bar angle.

But in the interim while waiting for them to come, I mounted the front bull bar,  and changed the bar angles and openings.. 

Tuned out great though, I really think the look fits better this way. 

I did the rears first, designed mounts, and spacing, working off the right side… Then got ready to mount the left side and realized it didn’t clear the rear winch motor. Oops. 

Slight rearrangement, flipped the brackets side to side, and turned over, and a small angle, and it’s perfect!

The brackets are a simple angle iron, but at least 3″ on one leg… Not common, and especially not in my scrap bin..  

I remembered some 2″x4″  rectangular tube I got from scrapping a BowFlex.  Slightly bigger than what I wanted. Then again I remembered some other older tube I had, that is 1.75″X3″. Used that. 

Cut off 1″ long, then split into two “L”s.  

Worked great, being tubing made by  forming then welding it up one side; It has a crease halfway along one long side. 

That gave me a perfect locator to drill mount holes exactly the same distance from the end on both. The crease also worked as a centering locator on the front bumper tube, keeps it from twisting as easy.   For the rears I used the other side Ls, that were flat and straight. 

 The rears mounted;

Bracket is on the lower bumper mount bolts, sandwiched between frame and bumper. Since these lights had ground wires, I ran them to the upper bumper bolts.

The fronts turned out to be really easy, using the exact same brackets, bolted to the bull bar, and angle trimmed to match it for looks. 

And amazingly they ground! Even though that bar isn’t directly bolted on, it has great continuity! I didn’t have to use the ground wires I first installed.  (These lights came setup to ground off their mount studs,  I was adding wires.)

Yes, I’m an electronics techs’ nightmare lol. 😉 Looks worse than it is actually, it’s all cleanly routed together(as clean as possible without a bare frame to start with anyway), down each side of the wheeler, and zip tied off. 

If I was installing everything at once it would get wire loom/covering… but I don’t have that luxury(kinda glad actually –that stuff is expensive!)

Hot wired test half way through;

Finally had to pull all the front plastic half way through… really wanted to do it with it on, but my hands are just too big.. lol. 

Getting the wires from the switch pod tail run..

More progress;

Yeah, I even did indicator lamps. getting fancy here, I know! The custom dash in my truck doesn’t even have the indicators installed and it’s been 4 years since I put that in! Lol. 

Finished, front;

And back(hard to see, but they’re there); 

And dash/switches; 

The other two switches on that pod are designed as a 2 position low/high light switch, and a momentary horn button. 

When I get the hazard flasher wired in, I’m going to use the light switch for them. Simply leaving nothing on the “low” circuit for “off”,  and “on” on the “high” beam position/circuit. 

Not completely sure about the momentary button yet(working on an idea though!). 

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Automotive Work, Custom, EDC/MT use, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

ATV Rear bumper/brush guard

After I got the front guard on, on my trail ride test run, the day I posted about, I also did some brush busting. Going forward was great, a lot less worry with that push bar, I was plowing over sma 2″ to 3″ diameter trees! 

But when I couldn’t get through where I was trying to make a trail, turning around meant a 12(more like 20!) point turn in narrow quarters, pushing against/over what I had to… And it was a lot of pushing against the rear rack, rack walls, and fenders. 

Decided then that I need a rear bumper/guard. 

Lots of research later, I decided on the simple tube bumper style, and preferably one big tube. Hoping I could get curved ends.. 

To the scrap pile we go!

Bunk bed frame ends, just happened to be wider than the racks and plastic, but narrow enough to match overall… 

Some creative cutting, and more cutting… 

Amazed me, those 3/8″ cross bars were solid, not tubing! 

Mock up of Mount positioning…

Simple brackets, angle irons welded into slits cut in the tube. 

Getting it all squared and oriented right, those slits aligned, and the brackets squared in to get the curved bumper ends level/square was a pain… But worth it.  

And some welding, which I didn’t get pics of.  Worked out perfect… Ran everything together, got it all. Then decided to touch up a spot, ran about 1/4″ of bead, and the wire stopped… Ran out of welding wire right there! (Man, that roll went FAST!!)
Had to move the winch fairlead down about 3/4″ to clear. Was easier to do that than notch the tube. 😉

 Voila, crooked bumper mounted. 😉 

I’d squared and leveled it to my accessory receivers… Forgot that the left side of the rack is still tweeked down a little, thus that tube is low on that side as well.  

Adjusted the mount holes, little bigger for some tilt, and thus a level bumper!  

Not sure I like the clearance I ended with. The rack wall corners stick out further than the bumper corners.

And everything else is only an inch, or two inside it…  The idea was a brush guard more than anything, and a push bar so I don’t push with plastic or rack, and it should accomplish that.

  Will run it for a while and see if I need it spaced out some (thinking 1″ max), but I *think* it’s ok. 

Also wasn’t thrilled about the winch roller fairlead being recessed slightly.. But it’d take an extreme upward cable angle for it to rub the bumper, so that too *should* be fine. I didn’t want to space the fairlead out very far, reducing it’s stiffness to its bracket (figure all the pull of the winch, and weight of the wheeler rides on this rollers when in use!).

Amyway, thar she be!

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

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