Part 9: Sub-frame Fabrication


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The Trip

Our mission for the day was to fabricate sub-frame components and, if possible, actually set the camper on Thor's frame in a full weight-bearing test.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

First action was completion of the intercooler mount modifications to a degree that we could judge the clearance with Lance.  The partially completed mount was inserted into the frame sockets and Thor was backed underneath the lift.

The partially completed intercooler frame (harvested from the old headboard) was inserted in the sockets on the upper frame rails.

Clearance on the front mount was measured.

Having spent my Easter in the shop gazing at the material rack, I suggested that a 3x3" tube just fit between the mounting pivots.  We all agreed this was a good choice for this application.

In addition to the square tube, we planned to use a polyurethane bushing for the front mount.  Modifications to the bushing would be required for correct fit.

Axle retaining bolts were removed in preparation for insertion of sub-frame components.

The bushing was put in the lathe and material was removed until it fit within the designated pipe.

Polyurethane is a fickle material and can only be removed in small cuts or the material will gouge so patience, and multiple cutting passes were needed.

Soon the bushing was small enough to fit in the pipe.

A semicircular hole was cut in the 3x3 tube and the pipe was to be welded in the pocket.

The finished part ready for a test fit.

The bushing was a snug fit in the pipe and the mounting pivot.

The 3x3 tube was cut short to allow direct connection to the old hitch yoke.  Caps will be welded on both ends of the tube and they will have angle attached to support the outside frame rails.

Next up is the rear sub-frame member.  We chose 2x4 rectangular tube since the rear mounts will be on spring bolts.

2x2 tube was placed between the axle mounts to assist in spreading the load of the mount on the frame rails.  The spring bolt mounts were moved aft and we co-opted one of the bolts from the frame cross member.  Tomorrow, the other part of the spring bolt mount will be fabricated and attached.

We had to place our propane bottle on a chair as a temporary measure until our final propane tank arrives (hopefully tomorrow) and plumbing is addressed.  The new tank will mount between the frame rails and will have a remote full/bleed connection.

The full weight of Lance is sitting on Thor's frame, albeit not yet welded.  But, the arrangement was sufficiently stable to allow us to sleep in Lance overnight.  Note the step ladder which was required because our folding stair bracket was not yet attached.

We made very good progress today.  Thanks to all who participated.  Tomorrow, the intercooler frame will be completed, painted and installed.  We also expect to be able to complete the subframe fabrication, but will likely not attach the trailer to Thor until all sub-frame and intra-frame modifications are completed.  These actions include the battery box, propane mounting and fabricating a mount for the tire handler.

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