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Is this build over my head???

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This is an interesting topic..Being a Tinkerer who has been figuring out and building things for over 50 yrs I can honestly say that you never know it all and should always listen to others opinions. In my way of thinking it is a crime that vocational education has been mostly removed from schools. I often wonder how many builders of mechanical things have been lost to the lack of instilling basic knowledge and creating interest at a young age. Wouldn't it be nice if the current idiotic way of thinking got thrown out and a return to basics was achieved.

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13 hours ago, big_daddy_jp said:

So then at what point do you use your own brain and figure out things without asking a million questions?  Maybe try a forum search and see what comes up or maybe even google the damn question? Most people on here that know the answers don’t mind helping and that’s including me. My knowledge, as I’m sure most of the others, came from years of busting knuckles, reading books, and countless hours of just plain trying to figure it out. If you want to take on a build project you should at the very least be knowledgeable about what your working on. If not, take some time and try to figure it out on your own for once! We can tell by the step your in on your project what step is coming next and can figure out the question that is coming! If you need us to tell you how to build your car step by step than this project is over your head. That’s when we worry about safety factor. If you didn’t know the answer to this small thing, than what is being overlooked that could be dangerous down the road? I guess it’s another case of the ones that know, know, and the ones that don’t, won’t.

I see what you're getting at. There are various levels of knowledge and even being able to assemble parts on a chassis isn't enough to build a good sand rail. I bought my sand rail used and luckily, got a very good quality chassis. I brought a professional welder with me to verify the quality of the welds. He gave them excellent marks, but there was so much more than that included that I got very lucky to get.

I've seen everything from RFRs all the way to Geiser Bros trophy trucks and everything in between. On a lot of the better vehicles, there are design decisions made that affect anti-squat, ant-dive, Ackerman, braking efficiency, chassis strength, etc etc that I can't answer even after studying them for the last 15 yrs.

My advice to people is to always buy a quality used sand rail. It will be better than most people can build and cheaper to boot. You can always learn how to maintain it, but you're not going to build a great quality car on your own the first time out.

However, if someone ignores my (and plenty of others) advice and tries to build their own from scratch, there isn't much I can do about it. Hopefully they get plenty of good advice from others and follow it. I've seen some suggestions that were suboptimal IMHO, but in order to keep costs down I understand it. I prefer not to cut corners in some areas but that's a matter of opinion. It's worked on plenty of other sand rails.

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9 hours ago, Super Hunky said:

This is an interesting topic..Being a Tinkerer who has been figuring out and building things for over 50 yrs I can honestly say that you never know it all and should always listen to others opinions. In my way of thinking it is a crime that vocational education has been mostly removed from schools. I often wonder how many builders of mechanical things have been lost to the lack of instilling basic knowledge and creating interest at a young age. Wouldn't it be nice if the current idiotic way of thinking got thrown out and a return to basics was achieved.

When I was a kid, I had to maintain my bike and build my skateboards myself. My stepdad wasn't going to do it and I eventually did all of the house repairs also. He did bring home interesting parts from torpedos like electric motors, big batteries, reduction gears, etc so I learned how to build stuff on my own. In high school I took all AP classes, no shop classes, so that was no influence on me.

I think a return to vocational classes would help the population in general, even though I didn't take any. I learned it all out of necessity and through looking things up.

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12 hours ago, Super Hunky said:

This is an interesting topic..Being a Tinkerer who has been figuring out and building things for over 50 yrs I can honestly say that you never know it all and should always listen to others opinions. In my way of thinking it is a crime that vocational education has been mostly removed from schools. I often wonder how many builders of mechanical things have been lost to the lack of instilling basic knowledge and creating interest at a young age. Wouldn't it be nice if the current idiotic way of thinking got thrown out and a return to basics was achieved.

This.  As an engineer, and now PM, I see lots of people who get stuck in what "the book" says as a hard and fast rule that can never be violated.  A lot of this is because many of them are of the younger generation of take a test and answer the question exactly as prescribed.  Have a couple of old school "figure it out" guys who either went to school decades ago, or never did (came up through the trades) to balance out the bookworms.  Get to hear complaints about those old school former vocational guys getting most of the design work while the bookworms get stuck in FEA purgatory, but those guys who did it in the real world generally come up with shit that works instead of shit that looks great in CAD...

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Oh, Hell. This thread is even over my head. I just had to look up what an AP Class, PM and FEA are. Guess I'm just a DA.      :simrak:

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14 minutes ago, SofaKing said:

Oh, Hell. This thread is even over my head. I just had to look up what an AP Class, PM and FEA are. Guess I'm just a DA.      :simrak:

Yea I figured out I’m a DA also. 

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2 hours ago, Rockwood said:

This.  As an engineer, and now PM, I see lots of people who get stuck in what "the book" says as a hard and fast rule that can never be violated.  A lot of this is because many of them are of the younger generation of take a test and answer the question exactly as prescribed.  Have a couple of old school "figure it out" guys who either went to school decades ago, or never did (came up through the trades) to balance out the bookworms.  Get to hear complaints about those old school former vocational guys getting most of the design work while the bookworms get stuck in FEA purgatory, but those guys who did it in the real world generally come up with shit that works instead of shit that looks great in CAD...

Very true..when I was a student in engineering at SDSU there was a lot of guys who had really never built or worked on things. Some of the nonsense they came up with was comical. When I would explain to them why their idea wouldn't work, usually they would act like I didn't know what I was talking about then when they built it there was generally a 'see I told you so' ..

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How is a person to learn without asking? Asking a veteran or looking for help seems much safer than “figuring it out on your own” to someone who doesn’t know... I’ve noticed a few members give a lot of “that won’t work” or “you’re doing it wrong.” As for my project, I’ve taken a lot of bumps and bruises over the past year with this. If I tried to “figure the small stuff out on my own,” I would have short cutted many things that I had asked. No,  I don’t take it to heart and get upset. I try to retain as much info as I can and apply it to my car. Why? Because I don’t know everything and questions need to be asked. How many questions were asked when you first got hired at your job? Like, “where is the bathroom?” Or did you just “figure it out on your own?” Anyway, on my behalf, I am thankful for everyone’s help. Especially the ones who reached out with personal messages and cell phone texts. 

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12 minutes ago, Jonesin' said:

How is a person to learn without asking?

Some people learn from their mistakes after they're released from the hospital and complete physical therapy. Others ask in advance and avoid the helicopter ride and debt crushing medical bills.

Rule #1.....build it so it's safe and nobody gets hurt. I took the Rule One short cut. I had someone who knows what they're doing build it for me. "A man's GOT to know his limitations." I think that's Dirty Harry.

Anyway, the pics I'll post are, I think, where you started and about where you are now. I've been watching from the sidelines and I've really enjoyed the game. Rooting for you to finish successfully.

You pretty close to starting it up?     You better post a video................

SandCar1.jpg

F678F66A-0978-4185-940C-04FDA7380582.jpeg.1f466616e2d706096f4b85d8c39453ba.jpeg

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1 hour ago, SofaKing said:

Some people learn from their mistakes after they're released from the hospital and complete physical therapy. Others ask in advance and avoid the helicopter ride and debt crushing medical bills.

Rule #1.....build it so it's safe and nobody gets hurt. I took the Rule One short cut. I had someone who knows what they're doing build it for me. "A man's GOT to know his limitations." I think that's Dirty Harry.

Anyway, the pics I'll post are, I think, where you started and about where you are now. I've been watching from the sidelines and I've really enjoyed the game. Rooting for you to finish successfully.

You pretty close to starting it up?     You better post a video................

SandCar1.jpg

F678F66A-0978-4185-940C-04FDA7380582.jpeg.1f466616e2d706096f4b85d8c39453ba.jpeg

Yes. Hope to have it up and running in the next few weeks. 

0DC61B02-515D-4779-806F-A8C567673A9D.jpeg

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Of those who consistently offer technical advice and criticism around here, it would be nice to see some pics of  your personal cars once in a while, besides JAlper and LRS. 

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The best part of this place is seeing people build stuff and ask questions. That’s the whole draw of how I got here. That’s the reason I check this place. I don’t care how you people vote, I don’t care of your religious beliefs, and I don’t care about the last movie you watched, although it still might turn into a good thread.  What I care about are the sand cars and the technical questions and answers that I can learn from. And if you want to put down people who ask questions it only leads me to believe you must profit from people bringing in cars to have you work on them as opposed to them enjoying building themselves.

To everyone asking questions no matter how stupid you think the questions are and everyone answering those questions and to everyone posting up their technical builds... I salute you! Thank you so much for that. Now carry on. 

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Just before I bought my sand rail I was riding my quad and rode up on a small lip that various people were launching off of. Some of the rails were well built, but one rail was a home built and it had been converted from a beam car to an a-arm car. It had fairly wide, thin looking arms that had obviously been copied from another brand. The two guys in the car got in line and jumped off the lip. The front suspension collapsed like toothpicks and the car flipped forward and landed on it's roof.

It had no roof on it and it immediately sank into the sand. The 2 guys were drowning in the sand and so busy trying to get the sand out of their faces they couldn't even try to unbuckle and get out. A bunch of us ran over and a few people tried to dig them out, I told them they were just digging the car deeper, we needed to flip the car back on it's wheels. A few of us grabbed the driver's side and flipped it right over. They wiped the sand off of their faces and finally got unbuckled.

By now, there is a large group standing around talking about it and the most common comments were, "I had no idea the front suspension would fold up like that!" and "I had no idea the car would sink into the sand so fast, it was like they were drowning under the sand!"

At that time I didn't know much about sand rails, but I did think the front a-arms were too thin and way too long, I thought they would break, which is why I want to stay and watch them jump, to see how bad they folded up. They were a lot worse than I even suspected. The sandrail sinking under the sand is something that I didn't suspect, I was totally surprised how quickly it sank.

The point is, the vast majority of people don't know how to properly build a very safe sandrail, including me and probably 95% of the witnesses of the incident at that time. I know a lot more now and I still would not attempt to build a sandrail from scratch. It's the same reason I don't build my street car, I think Toyota does a much better job of it.

That's the  reason I suggest people buy a completely built used car. Not a project car that someone else quit and put in the corner. Sure, sometimes they run out of money, but a lot of the time they got to a point in the project where they realized it has a lot of serious design flaws and they decided to get out of it and buy something safer.

If someone who lived fairly close asked me to go look at a bare chassis with him, the first thing I'd ask is what brand is it. If It's not a brand I'd trust, I'd tell them to forget it. There are even 3 or 4 brands that were turnkey brands that I wouldn't buy due to poor design. I truly think they're unsafe to drive and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. 

As Hondo said above, priority #1 is safety, then #2 is safety.  Why take a chance on figuring out all of the little details that make a difference when you can rely on someone's professional expertise and years of experience. 

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Exactly what I did.  Bought a complete used car. I wouldn’t attempt to start from scratch.

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17 hours ago, Jonesin' said:

Exactly what I did.  Bought a complete used car. I wouldn’t attempt to start from scratch.

I guess I will try to explain myself yet again but I will use your situation as an example. Yes you bought a complete used car. Did you just tear it down to have it powder coated, freshened up, and reassemble? No, you decided to change out power train. Now to some people that’s no big deal. Was the frame built for that hp and torque? How about the extra twist that the frame is gonna take from the motor sitting further back, different location, from the new found weight distribution? Those few questions are huge from the safety factor aspect and how the car will handle. Those factors were completely skipped when the only questions asked are how to mount the new trans, how to measure for new axles, how to make motor mounts, etc. Then to top it off, you start a thread asking what direction the clutch disc needs to be installed. Eff my life!!! If you can’t take a second to look at what you have and realize it can only be installed one way, than what else are you blind to? As I stated earlier, there are mechanics and there are parts changers. Please don’t think I’m being a dick and picking on you. I’m just being honest and stating a fact. I feel your car has a lot of things that have been overlooked because you don’t know what to look for. If you don’t know what to look for than how can you ask the question? This applies to any and everyone out there building projects not just you. There is so much more to building a sand car correctly and safe than just simply throwing new parts at an old frame. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, big_daddy_jp said:

I guess I will try to explain myself yet again but I will use your situation as an example. Yes you bought a complete used car. Did you just tear it down to have it powder coated, freshened up, and reassemble? No, you decided to change out power train. Now to some people that’s no big deal. Was the frame built for that hp and torque? How about the extra twist that the frame is gonna take from the motor sitting further back, different location, from the new found weight distribution? Those few questions are huge from the safety factor aspect and how the car will handle. Those factors were completely skipped when the only questions asked are how to mount the new trans, how to measure for new axles, how to make motor mounts, etc. Then to top it off, you start a thread asking what direction the clutch disc needs to be installed. Eff my life!!! If you can’t take a second to look at what you have and realize it can only be installed one way, than what else are you blind to? As I stated earlier, there are mechanics and there are parts changers. Please don’t think I’m being a dick and picking on you. I’m just being honest and stating a fact. I feel your car has a lot of things that have been overlooked because you don’t know what to look for. If you don’t know what to look for than how can you ask the question? This applies to any and everyone out there building projects not just you. There is so much more to building a sand car correctly and safe than just simply throwing new parts at an old frame. 

You know we all have to learn sometime, get the F#ck over it!  Do you not want people to post on here anymore?  I have built several rails, starting with VW beam rails, I had no idea what I was doing.  I took some pictures of a VW rail, bought a Johnny's tack kit, never had welded before, and I had a f#cking blast.  Maybe there are other sites that are more friendly, less put down and will answer your questions in a professional and polite way.  I like a little ribbing once in a while for fun, that is all good, but your just being an ahole! Man, this thread is really pissing me off!   rant over

Edited by budlight69

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5 minutes ago, budlight69 said:

You know we all have to learn sometime, get the F#ck over it!  Do you not want people to post on here anymore?  I have built several rails, starting with VW beam rails, I had no idea what I was doing.  I took some pictures of a VW rail, bought a Johnny's tack kit, never had welded before, and I had a f#cking blast.  Maybe there are other sites that are more friendly, less put down and will answer your questions in a professional and polite way.  I like a little ribbing once in a while for fun, that is all good, but your just being an ahole!  rant over

My point has nothing to with whether or not you had fun building it but whether or not what your building is over your head “ safety wise”. It seems as much as you are pissed at me, you only hammered my point even harder! You never welded before but went ahead and bought a weld it yourself kit and just went after it? What am I saying, im sure your welds were perfect and you and your passengers were totally safe in case of roll over. 

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When judging if a project is beyond your ability the amount of info you are aware that you DO NOT know, or skill you DO NOT have,  should be a hard point.  If leaning on the internet for 90% of it is your game plan, have thick skin and be wiling to start over...a lot.  Chances are you will ask the question in a manner the people with the info you seek will be a little confused by you, or their explanation is confusing to you.

  "Over your head" could also just be a point of time line and your time to devote.  I need to paint my house.  I travel a shit ton.  Can I paint a house? Sure.  Can I paint MY house in a reasonable amount of time?  Not according to my GF....

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14 minutes ago, big_daddy_jp said:

My point has nothing to with whether or not you had fun building it but whether or not what your building is over your head “ safety wise”. It seems as much as you are pissed at me, you only hammered my point even harder! You never welded before but went ahead and bought a weld it yourself kit and just went after it? What am I saying, im sure your welds were perfect and you and your passengers were totally safe in case of roll over. 

Drove it for 10 years, rolled once, never cracked a weld.  My buddy drove it for 5 years after that.   No, they were not perfect welds.  But I think the spirit of any off road vehicle project is "dream it, build it, do it yourself".  Or that is the way it used to be, how I grew up.   I have nearly as much fun building them as driving, almost.  Don't take the fun out it.  Just help em out.  

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One thing this site can benefit from is less build threads from guys who are eager to learn. And in its place, more old guys on Facebook style of threads based on politics and how the youth of America aren’t as good as they were. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, big_daddy_jp said:

I guess I will try to explain myself yet again but I will use your situation as an example. Yes you bought a complete used car. Did you just tear it down to have it powder coated, freshened up, and reassemble? No, you decided to change out power train. Now to some people that’s no big deal. Was the frame built for that hp and torque? How about the extra twist that the frame is gonna take from the motor sitting further back, different location, from the new found weight distribution? Those few questions are huge from the safety factor aspect and how the car will handle. Those factors were completely skipped when the only questions asked are how to mount the new trans, how to measure for new axles, how to make motor mounts, etc. Then to top it off, you start a thread asking what direction the clutch disc needs to be installed. Eff my life!!! If you can’t take a second to look at what you have and realize it can only be installed one way, than what else are you blind to? As I stated earlier, there are mechanics and there are parts changers. Please don’t think I’m being a dick and picking on you. I’m just being honest and stating a fact. I feel your car has a lot of things that have been overlooked because you don’t know what to look for. If you don’t know what to look for than how can you ask the question? This applies to any and everyone out there building projects not just you. There is so much more to building a sand car correctly and safe than just simply throwing new parts at an old frame. 

Bruh, you seem to think I did this all on my own. If it’s something I don’t know, I WILL ASK QUESTIONS...  Eff my life! I learned about solid mounts. Now I understand. I learned about triangulation. Now I understand.  Trust me, I do not think you are being a dick and picking on me. You are being a dick and picking on me. Not once have I seen you post a picture of your car stating the facts that you talk about...  I’m sorry but, I will speak a little truth that it is people like you that make others not want to post questions or issues on here.   It’s always “do not do this”, or “do not do that” but, the people saying it never post up pictures or the reasons why it is being done wrong. And that is what I do not understand.  I do apologize for inconveniencing you on starting so many threads.  I guess if you don’t have a top dollar Tatum, you are a nobody in this group. Maybe I will just go ahead and finish this car on my own without help. ✌️

Edited by Jonesin'

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Thanks for all the help to those who helped. I’m out! Peace ✌️ 

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25 minutes ago, Jonesin' said:

Bruh, you seem to think I did this all on my own. If it’s something I don’t know, I WILL ASK QUESTIONS...  Eff my life! I learned about solid mounts. Now I understand. I learned about triangulation. Now I understand.  Trust me, I do not think you are being a dick and picking on me. You are being a dick and picking on me. Not once have I seen you post a picture of your car stating the facts that you talk about...  I’m sorry but, I will speak a little truth that it is people like you that make others not want to post questions or issues on here.   It’s always “do not do this”, or “do not do that” but, the people saying it never post up pictures or the reasons why it is being done wrong. And that is what I do not understand.  I do apologize for inconveniencing you on starting so many threads.  I guess if you don’t have a top dollar Tatum, you are a nobody in this group. Maybe I will just go ahead and finish this car on my own without help. ✌️

He doesnt own a car ,he has a rzr

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Are you signing out of this thread, or are you signing out of your build threads?     I kind of feel like I checked out a copy of War And Peace and the library called it back before I had a chance to finish it.

I, for one, would like to see how your project turns out. Been following it since the day you took delivery.

I'm only good at two things. 1. Making a little over minimum wage. 2. Having a plan to save up enough to buy a car. Here it is. It works for me. I didn't build it. I'm not even a Bad Ass Driver.

Whatever you do, good luck and dune safe.

_MG_9194.jpg

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Built this from scratch, in my garage. It is very far from the "cookie cutter" sand cars. My preference. Still learning and asking questions. Sounds like I am not worthy of being on the sand with some people. I have seen some "professionally" built rails that I would put my welds up against, any day. And I am not a "pro".  I, also, respect the safety of any passenger with me. Rebuttals accepted! And Budlight69, I will see you at the dunes. Hopefully this year.

IMG_20190608_192626648.jpg

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