Just thought I would give you guys a little update
Rendered the frame rails, then placed all the suspension components where I needed them. Some math and a few pot of coffee later I have the basis of the new weld in kit. Enjoy the pictures.
Been busy drawing and thinking hard to come up with solutions to manufacturing and user issues. I have tried to simplify the already simple installation to the point where it is idiot proof to install. There are slots and tabs to lock parts in place like a snap-together model car kit, no guess work and a more precise fit. Anyone with moderate welding skills and a 110V MIG welder should be able to pull this off.
This is more of an open thread, I am considering a run at the kits again but this time I want to make some serious changes to the kit and it’s function. It has been over a year since the split and my former partners plan of manufacturing the old kits. He still may at this point and I encourage him to do so. I want to push the fourth generation of the kit since it’s introduction.
Here is an outline of what I plan on doing.
First off, I want to try and unitize the whole kit and make it a bolt in. I have never been a fan of the current crop of bolt in kits, however I do realize there are many people that were turned off of the old kit because they could not weld but still wanted to upgrade their front suspension.
I also want to make the base kit standard with tubular control arms set up for coil overs. You will still be able to use a stock (modified) upper control arm, spindles and rack and pinion. But one of the major issues we had was matching spring rates. There just were not enough choices for the guys trying to jam this IFS into stuff that was considerably lighter than the Dakotas were.
Your input is welcome!
I have been measuring and brainstorming with this for a month now. I have some ideas to start with but I am actually kind of disappointed in the response from this. I have been tracking my hits on this thread and others related to the Dakota IFS kit and I will continue with my development in the next few months and see if I get any uptick in interest.
I hear you guys want cheap, well that frankly cannot happen unless the kit is very raw and on the level of some of the low end Mustang II kits already available. That is just not something I want to hang my hat on, so sorry guys it will not be sub $500.00. Bolt in IS going to happen and I have a few ideas firing from neuron to neuron with the occasional flash of brilliance. To make it a bolt in, the stock coil springs are gone. The problem I am having is adapting coil overs to stock control arms for you junkyard scroungers. I did however talk to a company over the Fathers Day weekend about aluminum castings. What I am going to have to do is render the entire kit in Alibre’ and start doing my FEAs and initiate a conversation about pricing. My initial introduction with them is very encouraging and they are casting and machining right here in the USA and Anaheim CA no less!
My backup would be to produce a fabricated or tubular control arm. Considering the fixturing required to do a proper run of tube might put them on par with what the cast aluminum would cost. So I have to consider the fabricated steel units for the base kit. My next hurdle will be spindle, rack and brakes. I might have to introduce them sans those parts and tool up for the rest at a later date.