More metalwork

I’ve spent a couple of Saturdays helping two expert metalworkers prepare some of the steelwork that bolts onto the main part of the vehicle, and this time I’ve remembered to photograph it for the blog. Some of this I mentioned in my previous post; this time I’ve added pictures.

Front bumper removed, exposing the dumb irons

Front bumper removed, exposing the dumb irons

First, we removed the interim bumper (which will go back on for a while when the winch bumper is off for galvanizing).

Front bumper, with some added holes

Front bumper, with some added holes

We completed the front bumper, welding some plates with holes and weldnuts onto the back of it to take supports for a bumper-to-bumper roofrack in case I ever do that, and I drilled holes for foglights and towing eyes. The lug on the top surface next to one of the square holes is for padlocking a removable winch cover to, and the square holes are what the winch cover slots into. The bumper fits slightly further forward than it did on the old chassis, as it didn’t quite fit and I had to get a couple of plates welded to its mounting points to make it compatible. The winch drive shaft will need lengthening to match.

Roofrack with mesh

Roofrack with mesh

We cut the top rails of the new section of the roofrack, to make it a single tray a the front and to take the tent at the back, and welded expanded steel mesh onto it. There are a couple of bits of mesh still to add, where we’ll take out the recess that took the front of the tent cover in the old length. This mesh makes the roofrack much easier to use, although I think it increases the overall wind resistance as the air can’t escape so freely from between the “ramp” at the front of the roof and the roofrack. There are still some bits of steel plate on the old section of the roofrack, meant for making it more comfortable to get in and out of the tent. They failed to do that, and won’t be replicated when I replace that part of the roofrack.

The triangular patches about half-way back in the rear section of the roofrack are plates with weldnuts, for attaching a seat to.

Roofrack details

Roofrack details

The roofrack upper rails slant down at the back, towards the tent cover. I’m designing a new tent cover, that will lift forwards separately from the tent instead of hanging down behind it, and those holes (with weldnuts behind them) are for pivots for struts to support the cover.

A multi-function bracket for the rear crossmember

A multi-function bracket for the rear crossmember

We made a pair of brackets for the rear crossmember. These will support the poles that support the tent, and will also support some bracing for the roofrack. At the outer ends, there are pieces of thick steel plate wrapped around the corners of the vehicle, so they’ll also serve as bumperettes (corner protectors). I was originally planning to make them form a rear step too, but decided to get a ready-made on of those separately, that will bolt onto the towing bracket.

A sidestep, welded

A sidestep, welded

We modified a pair of old Discovery side steps / tree sliders, to fit onto brackets that I’ve bolted onto the chassis. They will be pivoted, so they can swing upwards to make the vehicle a bit narrower, and in the upright position, they’ll block the doors from opening, as an extra security measure. The bracket at the back is to connect them to a motor which will push them up and down.

Seat frame

Seat frame

We made a frame for one of the two-person bench seats that originally came with the vehicle. (I replaced them with three-person seats at the “Millenium”, but I still have one of the originals.) The frame will also hold the seatbelts, so the seat and belts can be moved as a unit. So far, there are four points where it can be mounted: either side of the loadspace (between the three-person benches, which are right at the back, and the forward-facing second row seats); on the roofrack; and on a winch cover frame that slots into the front bumper.

Winch cover frame

Winch cover frame

Here’s the winch cover frame, which also serves as a seat support. It drops into the square holes on the upper surface of the front bumper. The idea of putting a seat here is so that when wading the vehicle, you don’t have to wade in yourself with a stick to prod for the depth ahead of the vehicle; someone can sit here with a stick instead. It might also be good for filming from (one of my brothers teaches film-making).

There’s still some more steelwork to do; when it’s all fabricated, it’ll be galvanized before attaching to the vehicle.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 2013/05/28 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Love the idea of the seat frame that mounts on the front of the vehicle -a very civilised way to sit and have a coffee when out in the wilds 🙂


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