Operation Rebuild Chaos Edition Part 11
A lot of thought went into this design, with the help of Bruce and also the WWW. Gotta love finding others that have done something similar to give me a better vision of how to complete this job. I ultimately used two different tube frame configurations around the engine bay.
1. Using 1.5" tubing I reinforced the engine bay by having a very rigid system where the radiator, a/c condenser, tranny and power steering coolers, batteries and other engine related components are tied together. This way the vehicle can run as is without anything else such as the hood, fenders, etc. I also triangulated everything around the top as the front bumper will also be attached at the top. I did this by design so that if I were to get into another accident, the front bumper will not buckle and cave it like it did on the last design. (the concept is like a double sheer design for the most part) By having two rigid points (one at the top and one at the bottom) the bumper will definitely be more securely attached and distribute the forces. Now if I get into a really bad wreck I'm sure the frame will give cuz something will. (or my welds will crack if my welds were done crappy!
2. Since the 4runner is a body on frame configuration, I didn't want to attach the fenders, hood and headlamps to the rigid 1.5" tubing frame. This is because the front will now become rigid and the rest of the cab will definitely get affected as the body will flex on and off the trails. So I had to get creative and designs a lighter duty subframe (0.75" tubing) around the engine bay to accommodate for the fenders, hood and headlamps. I cut off the bottom of the front body mount and used that mount along with the rubber bushing by relocating it higher where I wanted to place it. By having a secondary subframe for the body panel items this keeps the frame and the body separate and maintain the same rigid setup that comes from the factory. If you look closely at the smaller tube subframe with the lights, you'll notice that I incorporated a "L" bracket that will be welded to the firewall of the cab. I used a large piece to ensure that it is distributed so nothing will prematurely fail since the sheet metal is rather thin in comparison to the bracket.
The main tube configuration is setup to go through the "rigors" of offroading. If you look at some of the extreme offroading vehicles, their entire setup is tubed (with hardly any sheet metal) so the concept is the same. The only difference is that I've just added tubing to the existing frame. Basically reinforced it and made it stronger for the most part. I highly doubt the engine tubing/frame will get damaged now that it's really boxed up. Of course anything is possible so I won't say it's 100% bullet proof but it's much stronger than it was before.
Didn't get to work on it this morning (had an all nighter project to get done for work
). Maybe tomorrow morning if I can get up early enough!