Part 10: Subframe Construction and Propane Test Fit


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The Trip

Construction on the sub-frame continued and we performed a test-fit on the new propane tank.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Our tank arrived a day late and was missing the "remote fill" kit that will allow filling the tank without removal or getting underneath the vehicle.  The missing kit is scheduled to arrive later in the week, so we cannot complete the installation without it.  But, the missing kit did not impede our ability to do a test-fit of the tank in the frame.

Rob performed an additional fitting assessment.  Of course, this assessment was performed BEFORE we ordered the tank but when purchasing online one never knows the accuracy of the published specifications.

The axle mount tabs were trimmed in anticipation of welding.

Additional brackets for the front sub-frame member were fabricated.

The extra components were laid out for inspection.  The triangular pieces are the spring bolt tabs.  The odd-shaped piece is the wear surface and gusset for the cross member.

Trailer axle mounting tabs were tacked to the 2x2 support beams.

The tabs were tacked front and rear.

The front cross member tabs were tacked as well.

Once the mating locations were noted and constrained by the tack welds, the truck was rolled forward to provide easier access between the frame rails.

Our 8 GC-2 AGM batteries also arrived.  This 500 pounds of lead will provide us with about 1000 amp-hours of electrical capacity.

We are planning to mount the battery box in the pocket between the rear frame rails behind the axle.

The Lance electrical connection box was loosened to provide access for welding without damaging the wires.

We decided to use the old tool box mounting members as part of the propane mount.  The left member was reattached to its previous position.  The right member will need some holes drilled in the frame to complete the mounting.

The test-fit was needed as we discovered some potential complications due to our chosen mounting location.  The solution will be to use 1X2" material for the support beams rather than 2x2".  The photo above shows the 2 inch beams.

Additional cleanup on the intercooler mount was performed in preparation for painting and final re-installation.

The end tabs on the front cross member were hard-welded.

The front tow yoke was cut close to the Lance's leading surface.

A test fit was performed to determine the final position of the spring bolt tabs.  We finally settled on 1/2" of clearance (which turns out is the same as the Mercedes factory values; those guys must know what they are doing).

Tacks were applied to the tabs prior to full welds.

The rear cross member was pulled off the frame and placed on the bench for full welds.

The rear member is shown upside down.  The bearing surface is the large area perpendicular to the long axis of the member.  The vertical tab is to prevent the Lance from slipping left or right.  Thus, this mounting only allows slippage along the long axis of the truck.

Rear frame member attached with spring bolts as viewed from the rear.

Our current plan is to re-use the tire lift winch from the 1017 and re-purpose it to lift and lower the 500# battery box to make service and battery changes easier.  This worm gear winch has been unused for the past 10 years and is in need of cleaning and lubrication.

Good progress was made today.  Tomorrow, the plan is to conclude the assessment of space for the battery box and start fabrication.  Additionally, material will be cut and drilled for the propane mounting.  Exhaust modifications and re-routing is planned for Friday.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.