Talon2006's Cummin turbo diesel long arm build.

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    Talon2006's Cummin turbo diesel long arm build.


    So I have been itching for my first project. I live in an apartment in Houston and have a little one car garage/fab shop, and decided it was time to build something “cool” and attempt to improve the ride of my truck.

    I have been drooling over a long arm setup for years. There is a pretty sweet radius arm build on Cummins forum, along with a few here. Though I just didn’t want to go that route, I need all the flex I can get for the curbs at the mall! Fo2

    The bds and other long arm kits didn’t appeal due to the short uppers and long lower arm setup. This leaves a few others which I got most of my inspiration from. Sure, I could have bought a kit but that would be cheating, plus I have a welder, fusion 360. Cnc plasma cutter and my home plasma cutter. It was time to fab something! On top of that most long arm kits require at least 3” of lift, if not 5”. The dodge off road one is the lowest sitting one and I think they even want 3” with some body mount cutting, and also require the lower links to be cut off. I wanted to keep this In case I ever needed to go back to factory.

    The goals for this build is to have a better riding truck. Not need more than my level kit, and clear 37" tires.

    So, first I had to acquire a tubing bender. I had found some plans on here and the morning I was going to search for some 3/4” steel I found a model 32 for sale for a steal! Got it home and made a frame for it and grabbed a air over hydraulic mount.

    I figured exhaust u bolts would be just enough to hold the hydraulic cylinder in place.

    Yes, those casters came from shopping carts left at my apartment comples.

    I started playing with fusion and got a general idea going. Yes, I had a ton of influence from kits that have already been made... but I really couldn’t found anything I liked better. Plus, I still ended up having to figure out all the measurements and ran a few calculations on the 4 link excel sheet.

    At this point, still have a ton to figure out, along with what joints to use and materials to acquire!

    #2
    Started this off cutting out the main plate of the mount. I knew where I was going to mount on the frame. There is a big hole right where the upper link bolts to, and four smaller holes around it. Made it easy to decide where to mount it.



    I didn’t want to drive across town to use the cnc plasma. I ended up making a drawing 3/16” smaller so I could print it and glue it to some plywood. I then cut it out of plywood to trace it with the plasma cutter on some steel plate (hypertherm 45). Note, I only made the edges I traced 3-16” smaller. The side against the edge of the plate was not offset in.


    They came out perfect if you ask me.
    ​​​​​​

    From there I took the plates outside and clamped them to the frame, that way I could use a punch and mark my holes. If only I had a centering punch of the right size.....

    Used my digital angle finders a ton! Thanks to the pirate who let me know they were on sale in shop and tools! Basically used them to see what angle the frame was at then to match the bracket to the frame. After it was square I punched the holes and moved to the other side. I didn't have the 9/16” bolts so I used 3/8 for mock up.

    Next is to start making the upper and lower mounts.

    Comment


      #3
      Have not had a ton of time to update this the last few days... stupid school!

      Though I did get a few things cut out! I originally cut the mounts out using the plywood technique but didn’t like the size and shape of them. Wasn’t due to the technique, I just drew them funky in fusion. Finally got checked out on the cnc plasma at the makers space and made good use of it!

      Comment


        #4
        So looks like my buddies updated y’all for me.

        I have been pretty busy with school the last week but will update this soon. I’m still going to continue the build thread as I was building it. Both as a personal log and for if anyone in the future that might want to try the same thing.



        Some parts as they came off the cnc plasma.

        Comment


          #5


          So, for some reason I don’t have nearly as many pictures putting the brackets together as I thought I did. After getting all the holes drilled it was pretty straight forward though.

          I bolted the joints in using some cardboard on either side. Lined up the other pieces and tact it together. I tig welded most of the brackets during the semester. Mostly because I find tig welding fun. Though once I got on semester break and this project needed to get Finished I pulled the mig out. I ended up capping all my tig welds with the mig... just to be safe and to fill the outside corner joints.

          To weld up the lower link mounts I mounted the bracket on the truck, and drove it around to my little apartment garage. Incase you don’t know I did all this in the parking lot of my apartment complex lol.

          I wanted to ensure the top of the lower mount was perfectly flush on the frame so I figured tacking it up while on the truck would be best for figment.


          Since I wanted to keep the welding semi low key I put a blanket up to block he view from other residence. Out of sight out of mind right? Is so did this after the front office went home for the day. Lol thankfully I missed the security guard on his rounds too.


          Overall I was pretty happy with how they turned out. This is one of the mounts holding up half of the truck so I think they will be strong enough.


          So about two year ago I was at @guidolyons house and we took a 37” tire off his power stroked scout to put on my truck. I don’t have any pictures of this but my main issue was clearance between the tire and the rear corner of the fender. Knowing this going into the build I knew I wanted to push the front axle forward. I originally did not plan on changing the stock track bar at this point... but I was starting to get nervous about pushing the front axle forward with it. Looking around I figured I would be ok an inch or so but didn’t want to risk it. One impulse buy later I had all the stuff needed to put one together.




          Some of you hinted that my stuff looks like the dodge off road stuff... well I have been drooling over one of his track bars for about 4 years now. I’m sure y’all can guess what the track bar design is gonna look like. I feel slightly guilty.... but there are not really a lot of other good mounting options imho.

          I drew up a thought design in cad. I had a general idea what I wanted to use for mounting points. I used a few measurements from these points to get my cad design close. From there, I threw a piece of plywood in the laser cutter and got a test piece cut out to see how it would fit in the frame. Using 1/4” plywood works great for checking 1/4” steel fitment.

          Comment


            #6

            Found it! Ignore the square cutouts. They were already there. I basically held it up where I wanted it, then walked over to the cnc plasma with the same file and had a part.

            So coming up will be the track bar build. My other big debate at this point was bending the arms. I was pretty nervous to do it and I can list the names of people who said I wouldn’t be able to do it Fo2. Though it was bend arms or do 5” lift springs.... which the shirt wife didn’t want!
            Figured I better add to this. Track bar build.

            I was unsure of how my stock track bar was going to hold up, and was pretty nervous about this whole project working. I think I actually started the track bar before everything else... minus having the brackets on and done.



            There was a lot of holding the bracket up under my truck, using a magnet to hold on a piece of steel, walking the 400 yards to the garage to tac weld it, walking back and finding out it moved just a hair grinding it off and repeating. Eventually after about 20 trips I got it right.

            The previous post showed the tubing and joints I got from barns4x4. Essentially all the dom, inserts and links was about 100 bucks. I used 1 5/8” wide links as this fit the stock bracket down on the axle. (Though I ended up having to grind it down a tad. The lower link was a barns4x4 generic heim and the top is a Johnny joint.



            Few more pics of the bracket bolted up.





            Got this band saw from Guidolyons and it has been awesome!



            Something else worth noting. The general consensus on having a steering system that eliminates bump steer is ensure the track bar and drag link are both the same length and parallel. I could not find any info thought that said how much you could be off and still be ok. Writing this 6 months after the build I can’t remember for sure but I think I ended up 3 degrees off and my track bar a few inches longer. My big issue was my drag link had a slight bend so figuring out the overall slow was difficult. String method didn’t get me super accurate readings either. Needless to say I don’t have any bump steer:


            I used a ratchet strap to get it where I wanted the track bar and drilled the hole. Then took everything off. Welded it up and installed it.


            You can see I have a lot of extra room below the hole. This is anticipating lifting the truck more and using a drop pittman arm. I can just re-drill the hole and not have to make a whole new bracket.

            Comment


              #7
              ]I knew I wanted to have bent arms on this, mostly to help clear he frame and tires. Had a TON of people tell me it wouldn’t work, or that I would never get them right. I had a buddy who gave me some 2” conduit to practice on.... first try I realized I was going to spend a ton in tubing to get it right. I ordered bend tech and was quickly happy with the progress I made. I emailed Ron and he let me upgrade to 3d and even gave me a military discount.

              Had I not spent the cash on this program I know my arms would not have turned out as well.... and probably would have spent more in tubing the the program was.




              As you can see... the first prototypes were ok... but here are what I ended up with. This was bent out of 2” .25 dom with my gettofab air over hydraulic mount made out of exhaust clamps.




              Came out pretty bitching. Next up was throwing them on the truck. I wish I had more pictures of installing them... but 1. It was hot as balls. 2. I’m pretty sure my phone took a shit and I lost a ton of photos.

              Comment


                #8
                Figured I would finally get around to showing the last steps of this build, putting the arms on the truck!



                Figured I should stress test the bracket and see if it could hold up the truck.



                First arm going in







                Putting in the lower arm. They slid in pretty easy. This was by far the easiest part of the project.


                Had a bolt that would not come out. I call this image, "attempting to gain and eviction notice from landlord" Can't be tight if it is a liquid.


                I won...



                Both arms in on the passenger side now.


                Precision alighment. When I took it to the shop it was actually pretty spot on.

                So this project has been done since before the thread started, I am just super slow at making these post. School can keep me a little busy and not wanting to use a computer at times.

                The new suspension Rides wonderful and I have not had any issues with it. The pictures show the truck on 35's with stock 3rd gen rims. The truck is currently sitting on 37's on H2 times and rubs slightly on the arms at full lock. I think a 1/4-1/2" of more offset would eliminate this though.

                I wish I could afford some progressive springs to soften up the front more but am debating if I want to build a air ride suspension like the Kelderman setups next. I think it would be really sweet, but I worry about the reliability of air bags vs springs. The ability to drop the truck a few inches to get into a parking garages around the city would be pretty helpful.



                On other notes, I still have a lot more to update. Truck has had some big changes, and I started building the bumper I talked about in a earlier post.

                Comment


                  #9




                  Few flex shots, last picture shows how I clear around the stock mounts.

                  I could cut them out... but if the truck ever gets totaled I could easily return it to stock and keep my expensive parts...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    So I left off this thread finishing up the suspension. I need to find my flex shots. Well, I moved in to fixing a few other things. For example my front case was leaking. That was a hell of a job.




                    I machined out this billet tappet cover.





                    Repainted the valve cover.


                    And some poser shots!







                    And some carnage......

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Before I explain why I posted my diff in the last post, we need to go back a few years to Christmas Eve. This is the sole reason my wife loves this truck. It was Christmas Eve and we were about to make the ring of Texas tour to go see the in-laws. We took the truck because I loaded up my welder, some steel and other things to make a grill for my father in law. We also had a metric shit ton of presents. (Please see pics of Mexican wife on page one for reason we had so many damn presents).

                      We were heading East on the freeway when it happened. It felt like we were driving on a rumble strip. I remember saying to my wife this road sucks.

                      At that point the truck started shaking violently. I hear a loud thud as the truck jumped. I already knew what happened. My front drive shaft broke and took out the transfer case with it. My wife was not amused.

                      Fast forward to the present.

                      So there I was, driving home from work. I was in a parking garage waiting to turn right into the street and it was typical rush hour traffic. I see a break in traffic, make the turn and give it a little throttle. Well, I jumped the curb with the right rear tire, heard it unload and hit the pavement with a screech.

                      At that point I heard the most awful sound ever. It sounded like a midget was under my truck with two Mina sledge hammers beating the shit out of something under there. I also was failing to make any forward momentum. I immediately think it’s my transfer case based on previous events. I shift it to 4wd to see what would happen and make forward progress. There is literally no place to pull over on this street. I get to the next stop light and I jumped out to look under the truck to see what carnage was there. Nothing looked broken...

                      I put on the e brake, put it in 2wd and drive and hear the midgets with sledge hammers again. Look under the truck, see the drive shaft turning with the truck standing still. Yep, I just fucked up my rear end. The rear end I paid someone to rebuild 3 years ago, this is why I do things myself.
                      I live about 2 miles away so I drove it home in 4wd and parked it. Dropped the rear differential cover and found the carnage. All my spider gears were stripped. Looked like the friction plates were not replaced in my diff rebuild, that gave just enough slack to let the spider gears rip each other to pieces.

                      Thankfully, there was another dodge Cummins at the junk yard that week that I managed to grab the spider gears and carrier from. Ordered new bearings and friction plates and had a rebuild limited slip.










                      Like most typical doge's of this age, my dash was pretty non existent. To say the least one day I got sick of it, and somehow my interior pieces all ended up in my bathroom. Did i tell you all that my wife love's this truck.







                      Comment


                        #12

                        Well, l was tired of my ratty interior. I didn't have good before pictures but a good representation can be found in any 2nd gen dodge in about any junkyard. Dash gone, carpet crap. It was pretty bad.


                        The previous owner had done me one favor, and put in like new grey seats. This would have been great if the interior wasn’t tan.




                        I got everything out and gave it a good scrub down. That apartment living screws me again so I couldn’t do this outside with a hose. The bathtub worked though.







                        This is the paint I used. Had decent reviews in the internet so I went with this.







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                        Reply Quote T Talon2006

                        Premium Member


                        Joined May 9, 2010
                        1,302 Posts Discussion Starter • #66 9 d ago (Edited)It turned out very good. I did a degreaser, adhesion promoter then sprayed the color. It bled into the fabric well too.




                        Here is the back doors, and pieces from the dash. The scratches on the door drove me nuts, but I figured in all honestly i was going to have them get scratched up again. I don't think they are as noticeable installed in the back seat.




                        The interior is starting to shape up. Now for the dash. Here I have it masked off to paint it. Did the same as the doors. As you can tell the dash is mostly non existent. I really wanted to get a nice one off geno’s garage, but iirc they are almost 500 when you add in shipping.


                        I ended up getting this one close to me for 125. It’s made of fiberglass and apparently they are made in Mexico.



                        Seems like it will be a good fit.




                        I was thinking about trying to salvage the carpet. Though it had to go. This left me with other decisions like sound deadener. While the 5.9 is the sound of my people. It can get fatiguing after hearing it for hours.



                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                          #13
                          Someone talk me out of doing this....
                          Attached Files

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                            #14
                            Can't see the pic. Did you do it?

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                              #15
                              Do it!
                              LBZ SFA’D
                              74 KTON’D

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