After trying to build part of it in our garage while having enough room for decent pictures, we decided to go down to a welding shop we knew well, only a few miles away. We had already added 10-leaf National Spring spring packs weeks before to get them to stretch and settle a little bit under load. Hank Van Gaale and Chris Bishop of Imperial Muffler & Welding were helping us weld and fabricate at our house, and the shop was closed for the weekend, so we called owner Don Akman to get the OK to pull some late-nighters through the weekend. Once at the shop, we started in the rear because it was the easier end to do and we were working against the clock, since the shop would re-open Monday morning. We started by removing the front half of the original rear crossmember. We did this to make room for the addition of 21/2x1/4-inch square tubing as a rear upper shock mount. Van Gaale and Bishop cut and ground bridges to weld the new crossmember to the remaining part or the original one.After trying to build part of it in our garage while having enough room for decent picture Either Bishop or Van Gaale custom cut and smoothed to shape every mounting tab we used. This takes a considerable amount of time since they have to be cut with a plasma torch and ground smooth from 1/4-inch plate. Remember, we said we were only using tools that a guy with a welder would have at home. This means only drills, grinders, torches, welders, and miter saws to do the entire job...except, of course, for the forklift (See following Image).Either Bishop or Van Gaale custom cut and smoothed to shape every mounting tab we used. Th Van Gaale welded 1/4-inch mounting plates to the ends of the new crossmember and bolted them into place using four 1/2-inch bolts on each framerail. Dodges have been rumored to crack around this area, so we made the plates extra beefy to reinforce the frame.Van Gaale welded 1/4-inch mounting plates to the ends of the new crossmember and bolted th With the shock tabs fully welded in place, we used a forklift to unload the rear suspension and place the shocks. Have you ever tried to compress a fully charged nitrogen shock with 200 psi in it at a funky angle? Bishop is a big guy, but even he couldn't push the shafts up far enough to attach the bolts. All Fox shocks use 1/2-inch hardware, so we had loaded up on 1/2-inch Grade 8 bolts to use on the rest of the suspension. All our joints, mounting points, and shocks use either 1/2-inch or 9/16-inch bolts, so we will only have to carry two sizes of spares to have replacements for every bolt in the suspension. Easy.With the shock tabs fully welded in place, we used a forklift to unload the rear suspensio To mount the reservoirs, we used weld-on reservoir mounts. Van Gaale bent a piece of 11/2-inch round tubing to make a hoop to attach the reservoirs to and also help tie together the new and old crossmembers. The finished product sat with approximately 6 inches of uptravel and 10-11 inches of downtravel. We were hoping for more uptravel and will be adding a 11/2-inch block in the future, basically because we bought shocks that were too long and we do not want to go through the bed. This will also help bring the rear up to the height of the front for a more level stance. We like a prerunner look, but right now it's a little ridiculous.To mount the reservoirs, we used weld-on reservoir mounts. Van Gaale bent a piece of 11/2- « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!