I was able to pretty much finish off a big job this weekend; namely the trunk. There were a few things to consider when fabricating this area… First I was waiting for the RideTech air ride system to come in, so when Kevin at Air Assisted sent me an email saying it was all ready and available for pickup, my daughter and I headed straight over first thing on Saturday morning to pick it up 🙂
I ended up going with the RideTech RidePro system that will give me different presets for ride height so that I don’t have to fiddle around with switches. From talking to some friends with air ride systems, they said that if you don’t go this way to start, you’ll end up spending double the money to put one in later.
It also gives me an opportunity to reverse engineer the ECU so that I can eventually plug it into my PlayBook!
As you can see, there’s lots of parts that come with the system including the upgraded 5 gallon tank and compressor. The wiring harness on this system is really nice. Professional plugs and a well labeled instruction manual.
In order to start the trunk area, I needed to make some mounting points for the tank. I figured I would create a little “H”pattern and line it up with the tank’s mounting points.
I needed to make sure that the tank would sit low in the trunk, but high enough to clear the floor. I drilled and welded in some nuts so that I could simply bolt the tank to the trunk frame for easy install and removal. Then it was just a matter of centering the “H” in the trunk and welding it in place.
In this picture you can see the clearance behind the trunk wall and the rear axle. There’s lots of clearance both when the rear suspension is fully extended and when it is sitting on its bump stops.
I performed a quick test fitting of the tank to make sure everything still fit and that my clearances were going to work.
After I was satisfied with the test fitting, it was on to making some templates out of bristol board for the steel that would cover everything up.
The top plates were made out of 1/8″ steel to give some structural support as well as the area along with the passenger side “nook/platform”. The passenger side platform needed to have some strength because it’s where the compressor sits. I welded in some nuts to the bottom of the 1/8″ plate and into the 1 x 1 tubing so that the compressor mounting points would fit nicely.
The drivers side will eventually get a little mounting bracket for the air ride valves.
Here’s what everything looked like once all the platform surfaces were welded into place. You’ll notice the opening boxed in-between the two spring bucket/perches which will eventually get a raised lid to allow access to the axle for any maintenance work.
NOTE: I made sure to remove the rear air springs so that they wouldn’t get damaged by the heat of the welding.
From there it was just a matter of finishing up the framing of the bottom of the trunk with 1 x 1 tube and sealing it all in with some 1/16″ steel. A lot of time consuming welding 😦
There are still a couple of very small triangles that need to be cut and welded into place right where the rear frame starts to arch over the axle.
All-in-all I’m pretty satisfied on how it turned out. The final items that will finish up the rear are:
- Triangle patch pieces
- Weld in anchor nuts for side walls
- Hang hatch hinges
- Hang fuel filler holder