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rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
People have mentioned briefly the costs associated with fabricating components for a prerunner or race vehicle in this forum. Here's my situation: I'm starting to plan the construction of my next truck, 96 or 97 Ranger full cage, I-beam front/ 4 link rear, with coilover and a bypass at each corner. I know Kreg says he prefers leafs in the rear, but after 20 years and 4 other trucks, I like the adjustability the 4 link would offer to tuning the suspension. This wouldn't be a daily driver, more for hitting the desert on the weekends. With 20" of travel front and rear, what would I be looking at price wise for just the metal fabrication from a competent shop. This is at least a 4 year, possibly longer evolution (I'm by no means rich, just determined) If you have any input or experience regarding this, I'D like to hear from you.



Keep the dream Alive !!!
 

Donahoe

Well-Known Member
I never said I like springs better then 4-links... 4-links done right are great... But it comes down to cost. What it really comes down to is time... A fab shop is going to get you on time spent. I would suggest calling everyone you respect as a Fabricator and pick there brains. Ask them there opinion. Find out who is filling you with bullshit... STAY AWAY FROM THE GUYS WHO THINK THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS... The guys that tell you " IT SHOULD BE DONE THIS WAY BECUSE I SAID SO!... Ask Lots of questions. Look at there past work. FABRICATORS are EGO MANIACS.. All of them think they are the best..And most of them will bad mouth other fabricators.. Its in there competitive nature to do so. Look at the work they do.. As far as cost goes its a tuff call... Donahoe racing has done 4-links for 1500.00 bucks and a couple for 30,000.00 it all matters how badass you want it and what you have to start with.. I can spend an hour on a hanger bracket or two days... and you can imagine the hour bracket is alot less in price then the zoomy 2 day project. This is one way Idiots will bag on certian jobs a fabricator does. They never take into consideration how much the guy spent. To Give you an example Take the truggy we built for Brady Helm. Guys have givin me ribbing for that thing, Saying its not nearly as nice as Herbst truggy but what if I said I only charge him 30,000.00 for the complete running truggy?? Then you might think that thing is pretty bad ass huh? So Fab guys do produce differnt levels of work for the money they recive for a project. It all goes down to time.
Questions to have ready for your fabricator (he will ask you this):
What kind of rear end to you want? 9"?? Full floater?? Does it need to be gusseted?
Do you want the frame kicked???
do you even want a rear frame? TUBE CHASSIS?
what kind of fuel cell?
what about the rest of the car?? (front suspension)
Sway bars? (sometimes you can trick the truck into thinking it has swaybars with the right by-pass set up.)
Mig or tig??(BIG COST DIFFERNCE HERE)
Keep in mind that if you dont kick the frame on a ranger you might as well run springs becuse you limit the possible wheel travel by about a foot.
Ahh hope that helped.


NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Okay, lets start with MIG vs TIG, advantages and disadvantages, I'm familiar with both but never had anything build for my vehicles using TIG. Also, what about mild steel and chrom- moly tubing, differences in regards to this, or is it just price (more of one less of the other) in it's ability to serve the same purpose. Kreg, I sent a private EM to you, did you get it ?



Keep the dream alive!!
 

Donahoe

Well-Known Member
Yeah I got your message... I couldnt tell if you wanted a reply. As far as mig and tig... Tig looks really pretty. Tig is easier to crack check during prep. Mig tends to give some false readings. When done right a Mig weld is plenty strong for any off-road application. It usally takes a Fab guy longer to tig weld up a truck becuse the over time in fit and welding. Cost vs. bang... I would say mig it...... It you have a small penis you might want to tig weld it becuse all the yahoos will think your cool...Thus making you the big bull in the bench racing compition. But thats about it.

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
LOL!!!
Ouch, it might be small, but it has a bad attitude. Besides, the only one I need to impress is me. I've long since passed the time when I've modified my vehicle for others to improve my self esteem or pick up women. Been married way to long! But I get your point.

You didn't touch on mild steel vs chrom-moly subject, what are your thoughts? Also, if you know of any good fabricators in the S.D. area, send me a private EM and let me know. Maybe someone you know of I may have overlooked.



Keep the dream alive!!
 

Chris

Well-Known Member
This is good useful stuff thanks guys, as for mig vs tig, tig looks way prettier, I had my shock tabs tig welded and it looks like they are just glued instead of welded it's that clean, no booger welds vissible. As for tiging everything that's kinda like suspenders and a belt (i.e. costley overkill on a non race vehicle) To each his own. Keep the good info coming
 

billymanfroy

Well-Known Member
Spend extra and do it ONCE with the cromo. I cheaped out on our first try and built everything out of mild and it ALL broke. Everything I've ever made out of cromo has lasted and never cracked. It still rusts, but not as easily. One thing though, I do EVERYTHING out of .120 wall. (Well, except for mounting the body) Some people will try to tell you you can save weight with .096 or whatever, but it's not worth the risk, and it's only a few pounds lighter in the long run. DO THE CHROMOLY
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Thanks for the info, I knew about the weight savings, but since I'm not building this to race it wasn't a big concern. Looking more for strength and reliability so I don't have to return to the shop every time I take a run in the dirt. Anyone else with some comments?
 
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