All Big Six Build thread, f350 4x4 Dually

Relates to all big sixes

sdiesel

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yes weld it . i prefer that and eric say he gonna weld it in spots along with the bolts." to keep it from wiggling".
using a come- along to pull springs and hangers free of the rivet's grip.
anda clear victor in this battle. " the conquered littered the face of the earth".
clearly the bolts could be better chosen. these are simple full threads.
and
abit of something in tony's shed that fueled a 408 stroker for exactly 3000 miles before being replaced by a newer version. should be ok .
ill use an msd 6 with this system and a dsll distributor. going away from my HEI. i will keep the module in the glove box .....
 

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sixtseventwo4d

Famous Member
If just the threaded bolt fits nicely in the hole and you go with a shouldered bolt it won't fit. It is a real SOB trying to drill an almost 7/16 or so hole marginally bigger to 1/2''. A reamer saves breaking a drill bit off also; or one of your banana peelers.🤬 Die grinders just dance and vibrate excessively as they orbit the inner circumference too.
 

sdiesel

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frame rails or horns: yes, by eye they are fairly strait. i used all-thread and sucked them together enuf to get the bracket on over them. i believe that after i get everything assembled and tight, ill heat the horns just a bit to relax them into their new position. i cannot say if vertically they are even but appear to be. this is likely to be a mystery forever as there is a month wait for the frame machine here in this little town. and i hope to be happily motoring by that time.

the rivet holes in the frame, are smaller than the holes punched into the brackets. thus the frame holes need to be brought up to the same diameter as the bracket holes. i will use a reamer to get things precise.
the solution to mismatched holes, is as follows. weld up the two holes in the bracket that do not align. redrill them from the inside of the frame into the bracket, producing a matched hole based on the ford frame position.. clean up with a reamer. use 1/2 " shoulder bolts for a snug fit torque till one eye squints, then apply a bead in select locations around the bracket. going to use stover nuts in place of the nylocks supplied. weld thru primer under and around the bracket. Things done as they should be done in this critical area. two or three extra days due to sloppy engineering sets both my schedule and temper on edge.

its too late to back out now. just hope the darn kit has better engineering going forward. did receive one spring today. oh joy. hope the second spring arrives soon. UPS was not well pleased with this as they are heavy.

Yes the advice to use die grinder to enlarge a hole is just childish. and foolish and produces no great result. its kid fix again. and the bolt will never really grip the two plates if the hole is not very precise. an oblong hole just gives teh bracket a head start in getting loose it seems to me.
pictures tomorrow. too many folks in the shop today to really get much done . i did a lot of painting of rusty things, and some farily seriouswork on the engine. it appears my cylinder head has shipped from the outfit making them i got a cryptic text from them and as i understood it the piece is on its way. very rapid in my opinion, as i had asked for the extra machining be done to the pedastals. looking forward to finishing the head, degreeing the cam and calling that a wrap.

actually looking forward to basking in the sun in the lonely stretches of the anza borrego, but thats too far forward looking for now. this truck is supposed to carry me there.
 

Bronctopia

Well-known member
I like a step drill for embiggenating existing frame and mount holes.
If your mount metal is thicker than the frame, and holes are miss matched, I would consider tack welding the mount in position, plug welding the frame hole or blind portion there of to the mount, then using the mount hole as a pilot to re-drill the frame.
 

sdiesel

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i just learned a new word and that is very cool!
essentially i did just that except in reverse.
this job is plagued with gremlins. today 30 miiles from the shop i drove to get 1/2 shoulder bolts in a box. sure evuf the coontents are all 7/16" -misboxed. dint know till i got back. yes i want to pull the shoulder through the hole for a very tight fit. eric blew my plans to helle by deciding to weld it up tight. who am i to argue with a master fabricator?

as we progress (regress) thru this kit, things ,though confusing, are getting easier the closer we get to the front of the springs. been a headache to date. nothing of note to report. promaxx head is due here on the 7th of the month
 

BigBlue94

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as we progress (regress) thru this kit, things ,though confusing, are getting easier the closer
A while back I installed a Solo lift kit for another bronco owner. For those not familiar with Solo Motorsports, they make high end lift kits for TTB equipped fords. They cut and extend the TTB, add uniballs and heim joints, lower leaf springs etc. This was like an $8000 lift kit. He even had the TTB beams plated and reinforced.

Most went together real well. But there was exactly one front page of instructions, mainly relating to relocation of the new radius arm pivot brackets. They locate off a couple factory holes. Well this put them about an inch to far forward and the holes didnt even line up. I had only a weekend to do it so I managed to make it work, but the radius arm heims have zero rearward adjustment. Then the front of their extended radius arms had to be ground because of the plating on the beams. After he had everything powdercoated...

Overall it was a great kit, but for $8000 it should have been perfect.

Also on the subject of embiggening (LOL) holes, Starrett makes what they call an Oops Arbor for hole saws. It replaces the centering drill bit with a small base arbor for a small hole saw. A small hole saw can be used as the pilot and a 1/2" or whatever can be used to embiggen the hole. Of course this only works if the hole is directly in the center.
 

sdiesel

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8000.00 is a terrifying number for a lift kit, exceeding, on all but the most unique cases, the value of the vehicle.

im frequently dismayed at the industry peddling, or pushing nonsense about enhanced performance products, when the efforts of the factory engineers often exceed the claims of the wild eyed purveyor....

yesterday i met once again with failure. it seems he is living in my shop and our acquaintance is more than casual.
i found proper and satisfactory flange bolts that agree with me for the rear hangers.
at 5 dollars each, nut and bolt. but its right, proper and im content.
thats times 12 ...lets see...no, im not going to do the calculations. and of course Ace hardware did not have enuf in stock ....

moving to the front hanger: what a mess.
7/8" reamer to open up the " pivot holes" where the front shackles once swung. then slide the front hanger with its two brackets welded to the " cross bar" over the section of frame and slide the bolt through.
nope. not to be. aint gonna happen.
the brackets were improperly spaced leaving me with an inferior product as the picture will show.

the solution is to ask for a new bracket , which i have done .
SKY of course,is not answering their phones and this is Thursday and being either overworked, or over rich chooses to not open shop on friday.

so monday is earliest to address this issue with them. i insist on a new bracket absolutely. if they comply or no we will see.
the brackets being too close together, means my new leaf springs will not fit either .
what eric did was to heat the bracket which " sprung " them so we could get them into place. a solution i am very displeased with and will reverse in the early hours of todays efforts. i want this right and its simply not asking too much that the mfgr get it so .
what is the point of inferior product ?

likely i will carefully document the issue and will cut the cross bar between the brackets, expand the necessary amount slide a pipe inside the bar and reweld.

im beginning to despair of this kit actually delivering in its promise of a better ride. at this point, the work is so sloppy i believe the springs may even wind up being mounted out of square and the whole mess making a bad situation ( fords original design) worse.

common in this " aftermarket" wilderness.

discovered they shorted me two of the pivot bolts.

most of the day blown on this mess.
the machined bushing that works in place of the old shackle pivot is too short and only barely catches the inner wall of the " shackle box". my guess is the mfgr, found a ready supply of " made up" bushings that " almost fit" for very cheap.

how else can it be explained? even a child can get that measurement right or very much closer than what you see here.

im inventing all kind of new term here.
and were i a swearing man i would have articulated in clear language a few new swear words.
mostly im annoyed with myself for ever starting this fool project, but ive got enuf parts for three trucks, enuf indebted talent to help and the need to get much of this junk up and running and out of the shop that i felt it a worthwhile project when i began.

waiting on parts.
head will be here on the 7th install. set cam up, purchase the manton pushrods in thicker wall, and finish engine assembly.
undecided on chev rockers with the 256 cam.
probably not.
degree cam , finish engine, connect to transmission on shop floor and stand by while i reassemble the front suspension. and axle.

looking at a holiday rambler fifth wheel. a monster of a thing that has caught my eye, as a moving base camp.
problem is the weight. HR'S are never light, tow like a dream, but likely this is too much weight for my little six. so may reverse course and go up to 4:10 gears again rather than 3:73.
we see. i want to pull the rear GMC axle anyhoo to check its condition.
it may go from 3.73 to 4.10. rather than the front going from 4.10 to 3.73.
or i may go to a zf 6....
no, wait, get a grip!! wake up!
whew that was close i nearly doubled my grief over this project.
thanks all for bearing with me.
oh speaking of bearings, dropped by applied tech for some quality bearings for the front differential.
no biggie. i did get to view some very high quality bearings, but none that would fit my application .
they had one of the three...in Fontana California. i bought from ebay. waiting now on delivery.
i could buy napa' s SKF from china....but even they did not have them available locally
 

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BigBlue94

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The Solo, Desolate, Threat, etc. kits are overpriced, but perform phenomenally when going fast in the desert, for which they were designed. The main point of these C&T lifts are to negate the use of drop brackets. A byproduct of that is extreme suspension travel, with some guys seeing 22-24" of travel. The truck will literally glide over 12" whoops.

The lift in these videos is more in the $15k range.


Also, leaf springs dont need to be square to the frame, as long as both sides are "off square" equally. I wish you luck with the sky endeavor.
 

BigBlue94

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they need be square enuf to avoid the crab walk.
thats some impressive action there. is that you or your rig?
As long as they are equal, leafs can be angled in or out by 10-20°. I.e. the front mounts under frame and rear mounts outside the frame.

No not me or my bronco. Just a video ive seen. He has more in the suspension than i have in my whole bronco lol! I have just a normal drop bracket lift with extended radius arms with 1985 factory leaf springs with an add a leaf.
 

Bronctopia

Well-known member
That is some kinda high velocity wheel travel.
I probably don't want to know how hot that shock oil gets worked that hard.
 

Bronctopia

Well-known member
Sdiesel,
Sounds like you have been through the wringer on that prefabbed mount/brace.
I am of the belief that old trucks are like old houses. After enough odometer spins under hard work the frames tend to "settle" into something not quite the same geometry they were riveted together to at the factory.
I also think 1 tons in general are farther away from the pure assymbly line mass production modularity than 1/2 tons.
They were traditionally offered in a wider array of structural customization for commercial big customers. Having unexpected frame holes and locations doesn't surprise me.

Have you caught your welder muttering quietly to himself that he could have spent less time and far less of your money fabbing one in place from a few feet of DOM and angle yet?

I think many of us here will think over your experience with a somber face and narrowed eyes the next time we surf across 4x4 shiny farkles that claim to make our next mod a bolt in cakewalk.
 

Wesman07

Famous Member
Supporter 2020
I understand your frustration. I have yet to buy any non OEM chassis bracket that fits properly. For that reason I always assume everything either be OEM, semi custom or full custom.

For instance the front clip frame mounts I purchased from LMC had the correct bolt pattern but sits almost an inch high.
 

BigBlue94

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That is some kinda high velocity wheel travel.
I probably don't want to know how hot that shock oil gets worked that hard.

Im sure its running triple bypass reservoirs at 800 or so a pop. They can handle it.
and u joints....
where is that in California? arizona?
looks like cali

Lol yeah i dont know anything really about the bronco. Just one I like to show. It looks like a $75,000 rig to me

Plaster City is in the far far south of CA. Where Border Patrol used to run broncos with 3" lifts.
 

Wesman07

Famous Member
Supporter 2020
The Solo, Desolate, Threat, etc. kits are overpriced, but perform phenomenally when going fast in the desert, for which they were designed. The main point of these C&T lifts are to negate the use of drop brackets. A byproduct of that is extreme suspension travel, with some guys seeing 22-24" of travel. The truck will literally glide over 12" whoops.

The lift in these videos is more in the $15k range.


Also, leaf springs dont need to be square to the frame, as long as both sides are "off square" equally. I wish you luck with the sky endeavor.
Yeah that rig runs pretty good. It still porpoise’s a bit, but it’s very close for a kit. I hope that price tag comes with four 2.5” coil overs and springs.

Sdesiel

Doing chassis work out side is tough. The hardest thing is getting your bearings on what needs to be plumb and square and whats just “is what it is”. Old truck chassis get twisted often and racked more often than not.

I’m my case, I knew I was working with a chassis that had a rolled frame rail at the radius arm bracket. So, I made a sturdy wide foot print Jack stand and leveled the four corners. I shimmed under the frame rail to really fine tune it. From there I had control points to work off of. I then pulled sting lines to work the center section. Can you tell I was a carpenter?
 

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sdiesel

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...and , from appearances, a metal fab guy. nice.


on this frame what i dont know lets me sleep at night....
there are no cracks, and no unusual flares in the flanges. i have worked this truck to death: twice.
this is her second and last makeover.
her life began in the canadian oil fields and continued as a number of owners beat on her including me.
im a maintenance junkie, so thing began a turn for the better...
now to a pleasure rig solely. i mean just for commuting or whatever.
 

sdiesel

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no updates but for one.
its an oregon rain day.
my accomplishment today consist of stripping a GMC. frame of its rear spring hangers overload pads and so on.
easily the best method has been a rosebud on propane, and an air chisel to remove rivets. by my fourth hanger i had it down to a few minutes torch on one hand air chisel the other.
red hot rivet and they slice off handily. two people and shorten the time necessary to half.
air chisel handily seperates the hanger from the frame after the chisel has d capitated the rivets.
no pics .

my other accomplishment was to buy the ace hardware almost dry of2" flange bolts that have the perfect shoulder for reattaching the hangers it is long enuf for both plates of metal; the hanger and the frame providing a tight fit - and added 100 dollars to the cost of the kit.
there is no room for debate on the value of flange bolts, the debate could settle on if they are necessary in this application especially if we weld .
my sole response is that the flange bolts are the proper fastener for this job. it settles my mind, and it " feels" right.
i will tighten the dickins out of them and cut the excess thread off if they protrude too far .
 
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