PAGE 1: Current State
PAGE 2: Frame Up Build
PAGE 3: Some Bad Ass Trucks
PAGE 4: Tailgate animation (High Band)
PAGE 5: Tailgate animation (Low Band)
PAGE 6: Mods and How-to's
PAGE 7: Carputer Install
PAGE 8: My El Camino
PAGE 9: Jason's G-35, "The G-SPOT" and his "OLD" truck
List of Mods:
3" Fabtech spindles
New torsion bar keys (4")
4" body lift
Escalade front end
3" blocks in the rear
Shaved gas tank filler, 3rd break light, tail gate, plastic tailgate rail, stake bed pockets, and welded in roll pan
Chrome escalade handles
Tailgate actuator to raise and lower tailgate (see page 4, 5)
20 inch wheels
40 inch tires
Carputer audio video system
8 inch touchscreen
15 inch monitor in the rear
TORSION BARS EXPLAINED
Quick intro to mechanical engineering.
When analyzing the forces on an object we draw whats called a free body diagram. This is a rough scetch that shows all forces, torques, pins, hindges, etc. Then there are rules to solve for unknown forces.
This is the view that we'll use for the f.b.d. Were only gonna look at the lower a-arm because the upper is just to stabilize the spindle. There isnt any suspension in that arm.
Start with the force on the right. This is due to the weight of the vehicle. This is the point where the spindle mounts. The other 2 forces are whats called reaction forces. Certain connections have certain forces that you just memorize. This is whats called a pin. Therefore it has a force up or down and a force to the right or left. At this point we are unsure of the direction- up, down, etc. We just know that it is up or down. But you always draw it up just for consistency.
Here we have our forces labeled and we determined the unknown torque. It equals approx. the weight divided by 4 all times the length of the a-arm. So now, at the stock height the weight applys 12,000 in-lbs of torque on the torsion bar. Now lets determine the torque applyed when it is lifted.
Now with the truck lifted, lets analyize the a-arm. You can see that the torque is substantially less. What this means is that more of the weight is going into the a-arm and into the frame rather than translating into a torque of the torsion bar. It takes alot more force to twist the bar the same amount that it would have previously. Does this all make sense? Let me know if it doesnt.
How the torsion bar works
This is called the lower a-arm. Your torsion bar fits into the hexagon shaped hole. The ball joint is on the left. This inserts into the spindle which is bolteed to your wheel. The other 2 ends on the right bolt to the frame. It pivots up and down about those 2 points. This is what gives your truck suspension.
This is the torsion bar key that many people switch to ford keys. The only difference between the 2 are the "clock" position. That is, the angle that the hex. pattern is oriented at. A ford key is slightle rotated so that when it sits on the torsion bar the tip is pointed more downward.
This is the actual chevy key.
Torsion bar with hex shaped ends that slide into the a-arm at one end and the key at the other.
This is the crossmember. The keys fit into this and the bars go through the holes at each end. It will make more sense in further pics.
This shows the assembly coming together. You can now see that if you were to pull up on the loose end of the key the bar would rotate and the a-arm would point downward assuming that it is fixed to the frame.
This just shows it with the wheel on. so if you pull up on the key the a-arm goes down. Wheel goes down frame goes up, and you have a lifted truck.
This shows where the cross member is relative to everything. You can see the top rounded part of the key fits against the top of the cross member Allowing it to rotate in the cross member. Your spring actually comes from the "torsion" of the torsion bar. It twists in the elastic range, never exceeding its yield strength. There are formulas to calculate, based on the diameter and material of the bar how much torque it takes to twist the bar a certain degree. Theta=TL/JG Theta is the angle of twist in radians. T=torque L=length J=polar moment of inetia G=modulus of rigity.
This is the design of the adjustment bolt. The half circle is part of the crossmember. As you tighten the bolt it presses against the key.This causes the key to rotate. Your limiting factor is not the length of the bolt. The tip goes up till it hits the top of the cross member. That is why you can use the ford keys. They start off pointed downward. I hope you can visualize that. If not let me know and ill draw more pics.
This is an actual pic of the adjustment bolt, bar, key, and crossmember.
These are some actual pics from when i built the truck. You can kinda see the a-arms. On the far side you can barely see the torsion bar going back.
This shows the cross member with the torsion bar leading into it. Its on the far side, jsut under the frame.
On the right side you can see the a-arms. If you look closely you can see the torsion bar inserted into the lowr a-arm.
I hope this has been helpful in clerifying the torsion bar myths and discrepencies.
These pics show the centerlink drop that I designed and built. It utilizes a stock centerlink with the tie rods removed. I used another centerlink and welded it 4 inches down with some steel that I cut to fit.
This pic shows the overall postion of the centerlink when its installed. It also shows the stabilizing system to keep the drop from swaying front to back. Remember the idler and pitman arm have a ball joint so there is nothing to keep it from moving around without the use of the heim joints. They must be the same length and angle as the idler and pitman arm to retain the same path of movement and keep things from binding.
This is what you see from regular view. As you can see, I dont have huge frames dropping down from underneath thus limiting clearance. I wanted to avoid that, which is one reason I built the lift myself.
Chrome escalade door handles. I used rear handles on the front so there is no lock cylinder. I hope the alarm remote battery doesnt die.
New gas tank filler
These pics show the custom brackets that I fabricated to lift the bumper six inches. Two because of the difference in the escalde bumper and 4 from the body lift. You can also see the body lift that I built out of 4 inch square tubing. I laid the tubing on top of the frame to eliminate the ugly gap found on all body lifts. It is reinforced with solid aluminium cubes pressed into the tubing, for compresive strength. Stock escalades have a large gap between the bumper and fenders. This is because the bumper mounts to the frame and the body moves because of the rubber mounts. If you make this gap smaller, the fenders and the bumper will rub. To get around this, I mounted the bumper to the core support, so that there will beb no flex between the two. This will allow bigger tires and it will look better. The side brackets that you see fit perfectly when I put the left on the right and the right on the left, and use my custom brackets as a mounting point rather than the frame. You can also see that I had to cut the frame horns off because the escalade bumper interfered with them. And finally I need to make and air dam to redirect the air through the radiator. You can see that because of the body lift the fan and shroud is lower than the radiator.
Shaved 3rd brake light and stake bed pockets.
I flipped the shackle brackets to keep them from hanging below the body. INstead of being in tension they are now in compression. It looks much better with the roll pan.
I used the ford keys to get an extra 2 inches out of the torsion bars