Project "Autonomous" F-350

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I ground down all the rivet heads today except for the leaf spring mounts. My hands are still tingling. I fabricated the second upper cross member and installed it. When I was a design engineer, I used to always make things to nice round dimensions. Sticking to that practice has allowed many parts that were designed for one application to be used for another. By sheer luck, I was able to use existing holes from the rear factory cross member for mine. It saved me a bunch of time drilling through the frame and the less holes the better. I was a little nervous removing the factory cross members, I expected it to move a little but was hoping it didn't spring. I punched out all the rivets with an air hammer and removed both the factory cross members.



There is now a ton of space for my 60 gallon tank. Tomorrow I fabricate the lower cross members/ fuel tank mounts.

 

patoz

Expedition Leader
I will be installing some water and gray water tanks under mine between the frame rails, so seeing how you design all of this will be really helpful to me.

Looking forward to seeing the end result!
 

underdrive

jackwagon
Wow I haven't been on here for a while and you're moving along at full clip! Good progress, really just removal of a single one for them crossmembers would count as good progress in my book. Tho given how open your access to the frame is, I'd have been very tempted to go for the blue wrench instead of the grinder. Also I've had better luck with just a regular punch and a 4-lbs engineer's hammer while driving them rivets out, few good swings and they're out, it's less fatiguing to me than the air hammer and it's a good workout to boot... Well, and I just like hammers a bit too much :D

Btw backing plates like the ones you made for your crossmembers (but with stainless nuts) is how we bolt our spares to the bed rails in one of our trucks. The better half was actually supposed to tack them in way back when, so they don't fall off every time the wheels get pulled, but knowing her I somewhat doubt that actually did happen - guess I'll find out next time I need a spare wheel :D

How worried are you about frame twist? The factory crossmembers are stamped not only because it's cheap, but also because it's not torsionally resistant, meaning when the frame twists the crossmembers will elastically twist with it. Tubing on the other hand is very stiff torsionally, so if the frame goes to do its twisty-twisty the crossmembers will not like that very much. Unless of course the U-haul box makes the frame so stiff there's like zero twist going on to begin with?
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I will be installing some water and gray water tanks under mine between the frame rails, so seeing how you design all of this will be really helpful to me.

Looking forward to seeing the end result!
Thanks, happy to give back for all I've learned here.

How worried are you about frame twist? The factory crossmembers are stamped not only because it's cheap, but also because it's not torsionally resistant, meaning when the frame twists the crossmembers will elastically twist with it. Tubing on the other hand is very stiff torsionally, so if the frame goes to do its twisty-twisty the crossmembers will not like that very much. Unless of course the U-haul box makes the frame so stiff there's like zero twist going on to begin with?
Not very worried. I jacked up the rear corner to get better access to the shock mount rivets for grinding. With only the top two crossmembers on, there was very little frame twist. The cab and chassis frame has a taller profile and additional bracing on the top and bottom of the frame rails under the cab. Also, my progressive leaf springs move easier than the stiff factory springs. With all the stuff I am adding to the frame, it will be plenty stiff.
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I bought this today http://www.ebay.com/itm/371440635255 Going to put all my fuel delivery components in here to keep them high and dry; AEM pumps and filters, ball valves, electric breaker, filler pump, etc. For that price it might be paper mache but it's not going to be under load so I think it will be fine.

 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Hope I'm not breaking any rules here but I posted that a friend of mine was selling her Kodiac. It got some interest but it was quickly sold. Sign of the times but the buyer backed out when they found a 2wd cheaper on ebay. Anyways, the truck is for sale again and is super nice and 4 wheel drive. Here is a link to the ad. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/5534503612.html If I had the dough, I would be all over this, it's ready to go.

 

java

Expedition Leader
Very nice ride, if I had the cash if look at it. Great platform to start from.

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Yep, that thing is loaded, but no where does the ad say how long the bed is. It looks to be about 8', but ...?
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Very nice truck. I broke open my piggy bank and the pennies just didn't make it to $48k, I got to $4.80. GLWS. It is a beauty.
.
Jack
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Yep, that thing is loaded, but no where does the ad say how long the bed is. It looks to be about 8', but ...?
The bed is actually 11' 8" It dovetails for the last 12" or so on the back.

Very nice truck. I broke open my piggy bank and the pennies just didn't make it to $48k, I got to $4.80. GLWS. It is a beauty.
.
Jack
You and me both. Lately, I am just a clearing house for truck parts and materials.
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Well, so much for my guestimation! That's definitely long enough to build a camper on.

Thanks...
 

pricey

Observer
Looking good papawheely! I've been away from the site for ages (new family member) and just had to read 15 or so pages. Like the move to the single cab. Makes sense. Keep up the great work ;)
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Trudging along, I spent several days fabricating temporary parts to lift the rear of the truck so I could move the tank back where it belongs. Also had trouble getting the leaf spring bolts out. I think the uhaul techs used red loctite on everything; bass-tards.

Getting the tank moved shows the amount of space I will have to sink the house batteries down into the frame rails.



Framing out the utility space behind the cab. I will tie it into the cab. It mounts on rubber bushings. It will also be the means that I create a pass through to the box.



Good thing I saved my camper jacks, they are coming in handy. The box is tying up the lift.



Making lower crossmembers/tank supports. I need to support the underside of the tank; not sure what to use. Wood will rot eventually. Aluminum is expensive.



In case I get stumped, I'm fortunate to have a lab at my disposal.

 

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