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Finally, found a way to support my tilt front clip

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 73k5blazer, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    So in the continuance of my build, I came to something which I really didn't think would be a big deal. How to lift and support my fiberglass front clip.
    I spent 2 weeks thinking about it and trying different ideas before settling on this.
    I first thought to throw some gas struts on there. Seems simple enough, but it's not. How to mount, force and throw and huge considerations. I tried a couple different sizes and quickly found I needed quite a bit of throw to go the full swing (from closed to 100 degrees). I've alot more respect for the people engineering the struts on those giant liftgates out there. Plus, they need to assist in opening, hold it open, and not fight you on the way down. That's somewhat of a trick.

    So I looked at the H2, it has a torsion spring in there at the hinge and requires you to pull on the center (they have handles on the hood). That doesn't work for me, our hoods are much much longer and flat, and mounting a handle in the middle of the hood would look really stupid. I think the H2 ones look stupid too. It has cable limiters to hard stop at 90degrees or so.

    Anyway, another problem is once the clip is beyond 80 degrees or so, it really wants to roll over. While the struts could hold it, how to mount the struts to the underside so they wouldn't tear through would be a problem. The lower you mount the struts so they don't fight you to close the harder it becomes to hold the hood open from such a low position. So some cable limiters to the top edge are in order. Plus, at full open, that hood is really up there, most garages wouldn't take it.

    So, after much consideration, I came to this solution:
    I have a nice set of stainless gas struts custom ordered to my needs. There's no place to mount them anyway to get full swing, so I decided on a 2 stage effect.
    The struts lift to 45 degrees or so. This puts the clip high enough to check oil, fluids, etc, but no so high where it's gonna hit stuff. I have push button t-handle disconnects to pop the struts loose on one end and I can push the clip to full open position then. This is easy because once at 45 degrees, 90% of the weight is on the hinges and you can use a couple of fingers to push it the rest of the way over.
    I then have cable limiters, which are on retractable spools mounted underneath in the wiper train area.
    The spring wound cable spools came with much to thin cable, so I restrung them with thicker cable for safety. I then had to make custom cable ends and such, I used spring loaded disconnects on the ends of the cable so I can disconnect them so they are not in the way and I can fully remove the front clip too. All cable and hardware are stainless steel. The are attached to the studs of the rubber hold down straps on the fender sides. This worked well because they go all the way through and I don't have to make any additional holes in the clip or worry about tearing if I just screwed into the underside.

    Whew. Way more effort and money than I thought just to open and close the hood.

    Struts assist and hold open at 45 degrees or so:
    [​IMG]



    Struts & mounting
    [​IMG]



    The cable spools (nice and hidden)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    The Full open position. I can stand in front of the tire. Great access to everything here. That thing is skied!
    [​IMG]



    T-Handle disconnects (w/ lanyard of course!)
    [​IMG]



    The ends of my cable
    [​IMG]


    So, the whole procedure goes like this:
    1) Pull disconnect pins on H1 style brush gaurd, fold brush guard down.
    2) Undo H2 style rubber side hold down straps
    3) lift hood to 45 degree position.
    4) If you want to full open, pull t-handle disconnects, push foward to cable limited hard stop position



    The clip is fully removable, once past 60 degrees or so, it can slide off to the drivers side. It's kinda of feat to get it back on though, 2 people is a struggle. It's not the weight, it's light enough, it's just big and awkward to hold in the air, balance and try to line it back onto the hinge pins. Plus you need to disconnect all the wiring harness.

    All told, I've got about $390 into the mechanisms here. $250 of that cost is the stainless gas struts though. I wasn't looking for bling, I just HATE rust.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  2. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    put simply, that's freakin' cool. :bow:
     
  3. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    trick! :D
     
  4. NoReGrEtS

    NoReGrEtS 1/2 ton status

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  5. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    Nice, those Thandle pins we call Ball-Lock pins and we use them all over the place on Submarines. Mainly to lock valve handles in one position or the other.:D

    Good use of your brain on that setup:bow:

    Ira
     
  6. Stomper

    Stomper ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ GMOTM Winner

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    Damn, nice work there:bow::bow:
     
  7. Chrisblazzer89

    Chrisblazzer89 1/2 ton status

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    Sweet!!!!
     
  8. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Yeah, the Air Force is real fond of them as well.



    Really innovative my friend. LOve all the extra work and thought you've put into everything. A real Rolls Royce of Blazers!!! :bow: :bow: :bow:
     
  9. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    PiMpIn'!
     
  10. mxfireman

    mxfireman 1/2 ton status

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    Looks great! I really like the rhino paint job too.
     
  11. Clod_King

    Clod_King 1/2 ton status

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    Man, you really went all out on making that thing simple, and attractive.

    Is there any way you could get a picture of the whole truck with the hood open??

    And what kind of paint did you use anyways????
     
  12. 84 K5 4x4

    84 K5 4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I would almost kill to have that.:D :waytogo: :bow:
     
  13. makovai

    makovai 1/2 ton status

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    very nice work.
    I'm really jealous.
     
  14. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    Where'd ya get the clip?
     
  15. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    When it gets nicer out I'll get some pictures outside. Here's the last one I took outside:
    The whole truck is coated with Line-X inside and out. It's bedliner stuff, hot mixed epoxy type material sprayed on. Not the herculiner roll-on stuff. Simliar to Rhino-liner.

    The '73 tub and front clip are fiberglass. I purchased them many years ago from US Body Source The price has more than doubled since then. Not sure why.
     
  16. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Yeah, if I really wanted to pimp it, I would have put an air cylinder to open and close it. They are pretty cheap actually. I thought about it. I have On Board Air, but the valving and plumbing for an air cylinder would be rather complicated. Nothing that couldn't be done, but I like simple much better.
     
  17. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, the K.I.S.S. method. Too bad most of us can't do that, huh? Very nice hood and installation. Kind of like a big rig or Humvee now. Bada$$ :bow:
     
  18. uberbeans

    uberbeans 1/2 ton status

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    Very thourough. How much weight did you save?
     
  19. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I'm not really sure there's going to be much weight savings here.
    I Weighed the truck before I tore it apart. It was 5500lbs.
    With the addition of roll cages, heavy steel bumpers, and many other accessories (OBA for instance), I think it'll come out just the same in the end.

    My goal with the fiberglass was rust prevention. Everything in MI here tends to rot in a couple years, especially the ungalvenized, unprotected older metal. It would have killed me to bring another pristine 73-75 body back here and watch it rot away again.
     
  20. mr.smartass

    mr.smartass 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That's some fancy chit right there, I like it.
     

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