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89 Suburban - The Canyonero: Rear Suspension Time!

Budget friendly build for General off-roading with an emphasis on camping and self reliability featuring a host of self-built, DIY mods.

nutt7

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So recently I bought a drill press and a chop saw to start prepping the rear bumper. I got a craftsman 1hp press that goes down to 250rpm for $100, and a chop saw with about ten cut off wheels for $60. Hopefully it won’t take too long to complete.

I am using 6x2x1/4 tube with a fold down carrier.
Here are the brackets that will support the fold down part. That tang will pass through the main tube and get welded on both sides. I still need to round the corners and widen the holes to 5/8 for the pins and bolts. Between the brackets will be bushed doms that the spare carrier will weld to. 6EA1B09C-650B-4BCE-BD02-0FE8FEFD1ABA.jpeg

Here are the mounting points/clevis mounts. It is 3x1” bar that will also pass through the tube and bolt to the frame. I used a hole saw for the shackle pin hole. It was 1”, but it came out to 1-1/32 which is good since it allows the shackle pin to fit well. How the hell did I ever drill without a press?! This thing is legit. Low speed, lots of oil, no problem with standard bimetal saws. I still need to chop the edges off the ends and maybe round them off. 60669569-3DBB-41EC-A7D3-D8C31B31FA71.jpeg 9C55BC7C-A1FC-4A4A-BE59-F976C24EECB2.jpeg E09F409A-208E-4776-88DF-162FFA4D4B1D.jpeg

Next is the piece that will hold the square tube that extends to the wheel mount flange. It is also a 6x2 but with part of it cut out. This piece will join between the two 1-1/4 sch 40 pipes that will be welded to the bushes doms. I drilled four holes and need to connect them so the wheel flange’s square tube will pass through. Doing it this way should eliminate the need to brace it since the square tube will have 3 planes welded. AF664E60-EF7E-411D-8CC9-C21AEB713E7E.jpeg

That’s it for now! More to come soon...

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nutt7

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Some more progress was made. Today I got the tube mocked up with all the slots cut for the tabs that will support the fold down and clevis mounts. Glad I got it mocked up because I have room to move it up an inch and towards the body an inch. I'm getting excited!

Here are the clevis mounts.
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I learned my frame rail is tilted!
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Here I'm drilling the pilot holes for the slots that the tabs will pass through. Note my blunder where the clevis will pass through! Good thing I didn't go all the way through. I drilled holes and used my angle grinder, sawzall, and carbide burr to finish the job.
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High speed support.
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I
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Here you can see that I can afford some more clearance.
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The wheel should keep a low profile...here you can see that I can move the tube towards the body a little bit...I have about an inch before the frame end.
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Here is about where the wheel will sit.
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This is what will support the wheel. It will be tied between two 1-1/4" sch40 pipes that run down between the tabs.
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About 1-1/4"-1-3/8" clearance with the tailgate down.
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Truckman4life

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Looks good. Mine is sucked up tight to my tailgate with it open for max clearance. It still looks like it is way far away from the body whenever I look at it though. Does that tire position give you enough clearance to see that left tail light?
 

nutt7

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Looks good. Mine is sucked up tight to my tailgate with it open for max clearance. It still looks like it is way far away from the body whenever I look at it though. Does that tire position give you enough clearance to see that left tail light?

I want to move it a little more than in inch up, but it will expose too much of the lower section of the frame and I’d have to trim part of the body pan that straddles the frame. Pulling it closer than one more inch would require trimming the frame.

In terms of the light, if you don’t tailgate me, you can see it fine!:D After adjusting the bumper height, and giving in another 1/2” or so space wiggle room above the bumper, it will have more visibility. I have thought about adding some extra lighting for that but I’d like to keep it clean if possible.
 

nutt7

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I know my progress is slow, but here’s where I am currently:

I moved the bumper up and an inch and it looks much better. Note the tilt! I learned my body mounts were worn.
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So I hopped on Amazon and ordered a prothane kit for $28. It was marked wrong by $84...so I bought it. Afterwards the price promptly went up!
Thankfully this AZ truck had manageable corrosion and everything came off ok. Here is the worst of it.
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Before and after treating. Everything got sylglide to prevent/slow future issues.
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This cup was collecting coolant from my old shitty radiator leak.
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This was the worst piece. The rest was real nice. The new bushings went on ok and everything sits level. My engine seems louder but road noise is the same. Hardly noticeable but the truck sways less and feels like it steers more responsively.
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Break.
 

nutt7

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The new mount location featuring a 1/4 plate below to help distribute forces. To be welded later. I drilled 3 holes in the frame total.
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I did a little math and calculated some chop angles for the pipe coping. Came out pretty close. This pic looks worse than it is. The inside wall is touching. Biggest gap was like a mm. This piece will be part of the fold down frame.
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I made some bumper ends. I used 1/4 since that’s what I have and the wrap around pipe ends deserve a sturdy place to weld to. Like my rigging job? :D It worked.
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I decided to buy a pipe bender since I can foresee myself using it more. I went with the HF kinker. I researched, I played around and by bend 3 I had er licked. I marked the pipe every 1/2” and bent 5 degrees per mark until I reached the bend I needed. I think you can determine the order I went. The issue is the dies run out of radius if that makes sense. If you want 90, they start to fold over the edges of the die, thus making the center kink. Spacing out the bends incrementally prevent this.
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I borrowed a small 135 amp mig to tack things up here and there. I used some non critical parts to practice some welds. I suck, but after some practice I managed these on the backside of some tabs. I used .035 flux core on a Lincoln 3200hd. I also passed a small tube through the face of the bumper for wires. I need to touch it up...I’m learning :dunno:
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My attempt at patching a mistake I made earlier with the hole saw.
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Feel free to critique
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I have a buddy rounding the clevis mounts. Then I have a few more chops and bends and I’ll be ready for final welding!
 

ashman

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pretty damn good bend for a HF kinker. Better than I ever got out of mine. Maybe I'll have to put more effort into it next time.
 

nutt7

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Did you do any massaging to the dies or was that straight out of the box?
Straight out of the box. They’re not designed to allow a 90 degree bend as is, you gotta keep changing the center of the bend. Even so, it gets a bit finicky and harder to manage as you go...but I didn’t try many methods...only 4. What massaging are you talking about?
 

JoshHefnerX

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Straight out of the box. They’re not designed to allow a 90 degree bend as is, you gotta keep changing the center of the bend. Even so, it gets a bit finicky and harder to manage as you go...but I didn’t try many methods...only 4. What massaging are you talking about?

Didn't know if you'd done any grinding or not. Thought those HF kinkers were technically 'pipe' benders vs 'tube' benders and the dies didn't fit quite right on tube otherwise.
 

nutt7

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Didn't know if you'd done any grinding or not. Thought those HF kinkers were technically 'pipe' benders vs 'tube' benders and the dies didn't fit quite right on tube otherwise.

Oh, no I didn’t since I’m actually using pipe. I’m using a structural 1-1/4” schedule 40 (1.66 od, 0.14 walls) for the fold down and 1” (1.315 od, 0.13 wall) for the quarter protection.
 

nutt7

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Bumper is doooone!!

It took longer than I hoped, and I had to rush a little (shows in the finishing details), but I think it came out pretty good for my first fab job. I skipped some details so if there’s something you want to see, ask. I likely have pictures...On to the finished product:

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Here you can see the spring assist that helps take some of the weight off the lift. It helps, but not as much as I hoped. It does hold the carrier up with the pins out though. It sits a little too close to the fulcrum for a huge assist...No data yet, but I can probably use a scale to compare. Also, when the tire is off the carrier, the carrier can swing down enough to leverage the rod sideways...a bit of an oversight. Placement of the assist took more geometry than I thought it would in order for it to stay in its parameters. Up any higher, it would reach its extension limit before the carrier. Any further aft, it would reach its compressed size before the carrier reaches all the way up.
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I ran the wires for the license light and back up light through the carrier’s pipe. I also welded a tube through the face of the bumper to pass the wires. You can see them in this pic. It tucks up and tight when the carrier is stowed. I sadly had to use a zip tie to keep the wires tight. In the future, I might make a zip tie tab so it doesn’t wrap around the pipe and look cheesy.
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Six bolts to mount it. Only had to drill the back two holes. Welded 1/4 plate below the clevis bar to distribute force. Used factory hardware down there. Other holes shown are from initial mounting which was too low and too far aft.
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Not sure how strong the wrap around quarter sliders will be, but I added a brace to bridge the bend of the lower pipe. It ended up pulling the whole thing closer to the body which is evident in the next pic. You can tell I did the welds on this part, lol. I ground them down a bit but they’re still ugly. I can do the smaller stuff ok, but when I get to larger pieces that push the welder near it’s limits, it gets ugly! I’m getting better though.
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