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Old 08-06-2006, 10:49 PM
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Shaffer's Diablo Sport Buildup

Headed out Thursday afternoon from So Cal to Carson City to pick up the chassis from Shaffer's. It was a nice drive, and we had some time Friday before heading to the shop so my gf and I toured the old Senate building that's just around the corner.


Anyways, it sorta fits into a shortbed Dodge


Had to give it a test fit once I got home


A bunch of buddies showed up and in no time we were tearing down my Jeep


It's a shame to send this to the scrap pile....




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Old 08-06-2006, 10:52 PM
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Another buddy stopped by to see how we were doing


I upgraded to 1.75" DOM tube, and hot dog...the new tubework is MUCH lighter then the half of a tub that was left, and much lighter then the cage I had built out of 2" .120 wall DOM. Combine that with 4 guys and it goes on like nothing.




So once the chassis was on the frame, I started gutting the dash. My plan is to use the stock gauges and steering column. Something I've discovered while going through this is that Shaffer's has designed everything so exact that you could easily use the cowl, firewall and even the dash without very much modification. I'll be making an aluminum dash and mounting the factory gauges under a slot cut in the dash.

There is A LOT of room in this thing too. The tubework is as wide as the tub, so you've got about 56" of space in between the outer tubes. I could almost fit a third seat in the front. OK maybe a teen seat.


Today I cut out the firewall and cowl and trimmed it to fit. Very minor trimming. I'll probably be picking up another cowl since this one has seen the rocks before. I'm still undecided on building a firewall or just using what I've got now. There are positives and negatives to each, but just using the stock piece is so easy I may go with that.



The hood needs to be trimmed to close all the way, about 2", or the grill needs to be raise, or the tubework dropped a little. It seems to sit pretty tall right now so I may do that. I've got some figuring to do in the next couple of days so I probably won't have much in the way of updates until later this week. Want to make sure I go the right route the first time.


Looking forward to starting work on the 4 link also. I'll be using 2.5" Johnny Joints, fixed on the axle end, and 1.25" shank on the frame end. I might be doing same length uppers and lowers, can you say beef?

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Old 08-06-2006, 11:02 PM   #3
 
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Nice looking chassis. You and your friends sure made short work out of taking the ole YJ apart. Great to have a bunch of friends to help out like that. Looks like the start of a fantastic build. Thanks for keeping us posted on this.

I thought you were getting a complete chassis, looks like it integrates with your original frame. I thought your frame was in tough shape?
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:09 AM
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nah wally's frame was in need of replacing, mine's a nice socal specimen The 'Sport' chassis is like a formula toyota chassis, it welds onto the existing frame. Unlike the formula toyota chassis however, this is compatible with the stock yj dash, firewall, cowl....it's incredible how well they've engineered the specs on this.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:01 PM   #5
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Lookin good Chef. Hell bro for a second there I thought that buddy of yours in the hot rod was Boyd Coddington.

Your idea of engineering all of the arms to the same length is a good one. That way you only have to carry one spare and all of them can be changed out with it.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:06 PM   #6
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Man, he DOES look like Boyd!!!
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:08 AM
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I started off tonight by getting the tubework square on the stock frame. To do so, just tied some nuts onto some string, tied it to the tube and measured off the frame. About 8" off the frame in the back, and about 11 3/4" on the front iirc.


I tacked the grill hoop to the frame, measured everything again, then made these out of the same material as the rest of the chassis, 1.75" .120 wall DOM



In all, there will be 5 of these on each side, spaced about 12" apart. They won't be on the same plane, meaning I couldn't use one piece of plate to cover it all, but that's ok. The orange line on the frame is how one piece of plate would line up from the rocker to the frame...sticking down low up front and going higher in the back. I'll place the runners from the rockers to the top edge of the frame and end up with a sort of wave effect on the boatsides, but again, that's ok. I'll have more clearance in the end.

I had a couple other friends stop by tonight to brainstorm so that's all I got done, I hope to get the other 8 welded on tomorrow.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:41 AM   #8
 
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Damn...........looking sweet bro.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:00 AM
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I've been having a rotten time trying to get the seat mounts figured out. I'm 6'2" and always wear a helmet when I wheel, so to fit that with a comfortable 4"+ overhead is difficult. Seat mounts always give me a trouble. To make it even more difficult is the fact that my gf is like 5'2" and I've been wanting to get her driving more often. Easy Rick made some slick sliders for his buggy that I wanted to copy but with the Atlas clocked flat and tucked all the way up, there's not much room to work with. I finally just started working on them and bent a piece of tube for the front mounts. In order to get it as low as I wanted I notched a section of the bottom and plated it so I'd have a half inch or so of clearance for the Atlas. I may drop it 1/2-1" but figured either way the clearance would be good. This shot is a bad perspective, the vent fitting is about 3" away from the tube




After getting frustrated with the seat mounts and deciding I'd have to wait to progress until tomorrow night when I can source more tabs (I really dislike making those things, but not quite as much as I dislike paying $2-3 each) I started work on a heat shield for the exhaust. The aluminum is just shy of 1/8" thick, and boy, it sure is a pain in the ass to make a bend in it with a 6" wide vise. I scored it with a cutoff wheel, then used some C clamps and angle iron to get a start to the bend, then worked it back and forth in the vice to about a 45 degree angle. I welded a couple nuts to the Spintech muffler and will weld another to the cat, make some spacers and bolt it down and have one task completed.



The seat needs to mount right about here. I welcome any suggestions.



I really want to get the floor and seat mounts done this weekend
and start on the dash
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:15 AM   #10
 
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You are doing a great job. It is looking very nice. I understand the height problem with the YJ, I have the same problem with mine. They put the seat cross bars as low as they could, and my head still wraps the roll cage.
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:23 PM
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yeah it's always very frustrating trying to get them right. the atlas poking up so high just makes it that much worse....looking forward to someday having a full tube chassis and being able to build everything around my seats
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:45 AM
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Started off by building a sheetmetal brake. The design works pretty well, I need to upgrade the size of one part to something thicker, and I could redo the whole thing to work even better, but for me it's great and I don't have to do what I did before to bend it :ashamed and embarassed: pretty crappy pics to show the design but it's what I've got. Not too bad for about $30-40 worth of scrap steel and a couple hours of my time. It's about 3' wide and the sample bend was in aluminum, just shy of .120 thick.




Finally got the drivers seat mounted. It's still a little tall, but I've got about 3" between the roof and my helmet, so I should be good with my lap belt and just fine with the full harnesses


Front frame supports in on the sides


Started the frame for the floor. Barely. Tomorrow I'll do the rest of it and start working on templates. Aluminum is expensive...$2.80 a pound. Wondering if the weight savings was worth it....the whole no rust part is worth it at least. I guess. and the bling.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:01 AM   #13
 
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I envy your fabing ability. You've got a nice set up there. The work looks outstanding. I wish I had 3" of extra head room....
It is looking very good. Good to see someone that is that talented.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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I agree with bluviking...your fabrication is great. I hope when I get started I can come close to what you are doing. Looking great.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:52 AM
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the nice words. Hope it turns out nice This will be my 4th or 5th major build so I've learned a lot and keep on learning.

Sunday, got an early (for me) start and managed to finish up the frame for the floor. I redid the tranny hump a couple of times to get something I was happy with. I wanted to have plenty of room to be able to access the starter bolts and the CPS, and then realized I could just pull a panel and have easy access. Thought still kinda looked crappy but had to get it done and see how it looked further down the line. To make it worse, I was welding with vapors in the cylinder, but somehow managed to finish up



Tonight I made all the templates, or almost all of them, for the floor. Tomorrow I'll start transferring them and cut the aluminum out. I was going to rent a Miller 251 to weld it with, but I don't think I'll need to. There's not really an excessive amount of panels, and It looks like it'd be a hassle trying to squeeze them out if a few of them were welded together, but I do plan on using the brake I built to put a few bends in. The pics make it look like there's a lot of gap in between panels, but they're a nice tight fit, and I'm pleased with the templates






I think I'll do the plexiglass panels on the firewall at my feet for front axle views, and I'm not really looking forward to tieing in the floor with firewall, but it'll get done. May as well make my own firewall though...still another maybe.

remember, safety first. These are the best goggles I've come across. Uvex Stealth. They don't fog, it's near impossible for something to sneak through a vent and get your eye. I love these, well worth the $15 or so. Just gotta have a couple pairs of other goggles so your friends don't scratch em up
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:45 PM   #16
 
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Sure glad you admitted to doing this several times before. That at least makes me feel a little less adequate. I was beginning to think you were a genious or something. You really are doing a great job of it though. Glad to see your taking some good safety precautions. You definately have a good head on your shoulders. Glad that you are protecting it. Keep up the great work.
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:57 PM   #17
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Your building project is amazing! Really enjoying the progress shots. The plexi panels at the floor sound interesting --- though I am trying to immagine what'd you'd be able to see. Picturing my butt in the seat, steering wheel in my lap, legs and 10's in the compartment...

Looking forward to the pics!
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:02 PM
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haha, well, this is how I originally had it,

I forget how the first change looked, but it had some sort of wierd (to me) looking lines to it. I've ended up with a little more of what I was originally going for. I had to compromise on the drivers side of the tranny tunnel because of the atlas shifters and my lack of aluminum welding ability. I'd love to weld it up but renting the 251 will be added expense I could put elsewhere right now. If it turns out looking iffy, I can always redo it, so no big deal. My biggest difficulty sometimes is over engineering something really simple. It was a really tight fit to get the gas pedal to fit, keep my heels low enough, close enough to the steering wheel but not too close, arms at a good distace, legs comfortable, head clear of the tube...UNCLE!
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:09 PM
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I can see the axle tube, diff and tire on the drivers side...really not much on the passenger side but I can have my passenger play navigator for me if needed.
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:03 AM
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Trimmed out a few of the panels and bent them up to fit. Not all that bad for my very limited sheetmetal experience and a quickly built brake. Will pick up a nutsert tool from a friend tomorrow. Bought the nutserts and some SS fasteners this morning on the way in to work. Tomorrow I'll work on mounting these panels (which is the part of the floor I'm most fearing) and then be able to see if I need to adjust the sizing on any of the others, but for now I must go see my gf before I become single again




proposed color of the tube, battleship-ish grey. Boring, but I like it. I'd like to get something similar with heavy, small-sized metal flake in it, still looking.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:15 AM
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takes forever when you wirewheel every piece of steel going on, round off all the handmade tabs, clean off the edges...finished up the floor, will do the firewall tomorrow. woopidy doo. lots of nutserts, lots of 10x24 ss button heads. everything is a very tight fit and doesn't seem like it will rattle all that much. both seats mounted as well, just need to clean on some of the paint marker and it'd be good enough to weld.






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Old 08-24-2006, 01:41 AM
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Here's the burn after a few days of healing, the big part is about 5" long.


I'll spare you the step by step since it's pretty basic, and y'all kaint reed eneewa

ended up not using the stock firewall section that everything bolts to. One COULD easily adapt the entire firewall to be used in this, it fits quite well, but I'm not one to come up with simple solutions for simple problems. I didn't like any of the ideas for combining the stock piece with the rest of what I've built, and I can't afford new pedal assemblies and master cylinders and fancy steering columns, so I made a template, drew some stuff, banged my head on the tube some more, and am just about done. Need to make the column mount on the chassis, and then do the go pedal mount and go cable stay. So far everything fits like it oughtta, except the steering wheel may be a bit close, so i'll see about mounting the plate to the other side of my cowl tube tomorrow.





Also test trimmed my old hood so I could get it to close and make sure the brake booster and everything fit ok with the new panel. Normally you wouldn't have to trim the hood, but I have my grill mounted really low, and the extra view might be nice some day. I've got a good half inch clearance on the brake booster, so I'm happy there.


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Old 08-25-2006, 01:08 AM
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Mounted the gas pedal tonight. It's sorta half assed but I want to make sure I'll be comfortable with the placement of everything. I'm already thinking of dishing the firewall back and modifying the pedals to sit a little further back...a big "we'll see"


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Old 08-25-2006, 08:40 AM   #24
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nice shoes, i had a pair for a while till i busted em up real good, i dont understand why new balance gives you them 2 ile long shoe laces...... oh yea, sweet lookin rig too. about how much $ are you into it so far? j/w
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:06 AM   #25
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OK so it must be a YJ thing. I bought a set of replacment pads for the brake and clutch pedals. Can't keep the clutch pad on to save my life. Tried caulk and still can't keep it on.

Your build is looking great!
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Old 08-25-2006, 11:17 AM
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hahaha it happens on all my vehicles, my dodge lost the pad for the e brake. frustrating, and i can never manage to get them back on, if i can even find them.

the shoes are comfortable and have lasted me a few years, though they're wearing fast. and yeah, the laces are wayyy too long.

i'll have to tally up the cost so far
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:28 PM   #27
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they make a paint that we use on aircraft wings and what not so that you cna step on it to get into the plane and not slip when the wing is wet, it's like a herculiner or rhino liner type deal but i dont think it's as tuff bc it's just used to step on. my dad has talked about using that to put on the petal after the pad has come off. sounds like a good idea to me. if you're interested, i'll find out where you can get it
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Old 08-27-2006, 12:14 AM
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nah that's cool, i gotta make some new pedals so i'll just use some grip tape on the face. i don't have much of a problem with it anyways, usually dry out here

Burnt out on the firewall and floor, I built a battery tray, cause after all this work, I can't reuse the stock one! After that spent some time on the firewall again and should finish it up tomorrow if I just stick with it.

with the fuse box attached




and a cleaner view without the fuse box
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:52 AM   #29
 
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Sure looks like you have made some great progress in the past couple of weeks. I appreciate you sharing this build with us, and showing us some great fabbing. It is good to see someone with this much talent.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:53 AM
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Code enforcement left me a notice to clear the other project from public view, and to keep my trailer from blocking the sidewalk. Had to spend a little time on this rig and am working on selling the trailer, but was finally able to get back onto this build.


It's been Christmas in September this week with lots of brackets and good stuff showing up. Usually I'll take the time to make my own brackets and tabs, but feeling guilty for not getting anything done on this lately I ordered a truss from Ruff Stuff and a whole slew of 4 link brackets from Poly Performance. Took me a night of grinding to get the truss fitted where I wanted it, measured about 37 times to get things where I wanted. I've got 8" of seperation at the axle, 6" at the frame. lowers are about 33" long, uppers around 37". the goal was to get the instant center out in front of the bumper. made a last minute change after talking with Mike S today and pushed the uppers forward at the frame a couple of inches. Unfortunately it'll be a few more days until I work on it again, gotta head out to the Roxy Bash Saturday, but not before picking up some more materials





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