Suspension almost ready for wheels

I finished making all the bogie arms, and I cut all the springs, so now they just need to be installed onto the bogie assemblies.

Here is the spring I used for all the suspension springs.  I got it from a steel yard in the scrap section, and payed by the pound, so I’d say it cost me, maybe $1 for 2 of them.. and turns out 1 is plenty for making the 6 springs I need.  It’s even rubber coated, and already green.

So I cut it up on the chop saw, and they are ready to go.

So I just need to install the bogie arms with springs, and then finish the 24 wheels (getting closer, slowly but surely),  make some spacers,  and we are talking rolling chassis time.

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Roads wheels slowly coming along

I need 24 total road wheels.  6 bogies x 2 bogie arms x 2 wheels per bogie arm= 24.

I started with making 12 of them by cutting slices from a solid cylinder of UHMW.  This works great for having a perfectly round rolling surface.  But my chop saw doesn’t go all the way through, so I have to rotate it a couple times, which creates an uneven surface.  So these will be used for the back (inside) row of wheels that is harder to see.

For the outer row which are much more visible, I am cutting the wheels out of flat 3/4″ UHMW.

No short cuts here, just lots of cutting with the jigsaw.

Once they are all rough cut, I will use one of the wheels cut from the cylinder as a guide with the router to make these closer to perfectly round.

Chassis assembly hath begun

I drilled the holes for the bogies and the rear idlers.  Now I’m just test fitting everything, and lookin at a few things like alignment of the different components, and where I will need spacers later, etc.

Hull and frame about to become one

Although it doesn’t look like I’ve done much, I did a few things I was previously putting off, and finished up the bogey mounts.   I finished up some welds I never quite did on all 4 sides of the joints, and ground down all the welds that were sticking out off the frame, which would have kept the hull from fitting right.   So, without further ado, today’s pictures…

Here’s the outside of the bogey mounts where I ground the welds flat, flush with the frame:

Here, you can see I finished fiberglassing the inner seams:

Here is the frame inside of the now really-close-to-being-finished hull:

All the hull needs now is some more sanding, maybe some more fiberglass resin in places, and of course, my favorite part… paint.  But for now, I have the frame sitting in there so I can drill all those holes through the hull, so I can then mount the bogies, and the rear idler arms.  I will also drill holes in a few other places where the frame and hull will be bolted together.

Making bogey mounts

Before I can have a rolling chassis, I  need to make the frame mounts for the 3 bolts that attach the bogies to the frame.

Here are the mount  pieces:

They will be welded to the frame like this:

Bolting the bogies on, to hold the mount pieces in place while I weld them on:

Here they are, all of one side bolted on, ready to be welded… they really make this chassis start to look like something.

Once the mounts are all welded in place, I will remove the bogies, add the spacers, bogey arms, springs, upper rollers (which support the track), and finally the wheels.  I am currently using 1/4″ bolts.. I’m a little worried they will be weak, so I might drill them out and replace them with 3/8″ or even 1/2″ bolts.  I could also just replace the bottom center bolt making it the load bearing bolt.  We shall see.

One other note… the wood hull will also need to have these same holes drilled, so the bogies can mount on the outside of the hull.

Just more busy work…

Not many landmark milestones being hit these days.  Just chipping away at boring stuff.  Did some fiberglass epoxy on the interior seems of the hull, and will add fiberglass cloth to those seems soon.

I am also going through the bear of a process that is cutting the road wheels (aka bogey wheels).  Cutting a 6″ thick cylinder of UHMW with a dull blade on your miter saw is less than ideal.  And at the rate I’m going, I may only have enough for about 12 to 14 wheels, and I need 24.  Uggh.  Wondering if I should just look around and buy the wheels from somewhere.  Hopefully I can go find another cylinder of the same diameter at the Plastics place.  If not, i will have to cut them out the hard way, jig saw from a flat piece.

Here is the cutting process, with plastic shavings all over the place: