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Wheel well build begins

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I purchased construction window wells (plastic) in hopes that they might work. Got them from HomeDepo. Just over $20 ea. shipped to the store. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Shape-Products-37-in-x-24-in-Gray-Plastic-Straight-Window-Well-3724AWE/310205782

They are not as 'straight' as shown on the website.

ut56DZXl.jpg

I'm impressed at the construction. 1/4"+ thick. They are 24" wide, 37" long and the depth is 16". They are flexible enough that I can form them with brackets to be a bit more round, if I choose.

mhjsCEFl.jpg

Tomorrow I will get some steel and start building brackets. I'll keep you posted. They will be painted with bed liner when done.

LrIgegRl.jpg

 

Edited by trimster

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Absolutely.  I just set them onto the tires to get an idea of the fit. The frame is aired down so this is the lowest point.

I'm thinking the thickness of a 2x4 clearance at this point.  They will move away (up) 5" when the bags inflate.

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33 minutes ago, jenandjon said:

I dont know about that. I would be worried about road debris shattering it. I hope it works out for you.

The wheel liners of my F350 are a plastic material and they do not shatter from road debris. I think this is an ingenious idea and look forward to seeing how it all comes together.

 

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3 hours ago, jenandjon said:

I dont know about that. I would be worried about road debris shattering it. I hope it works out for you.

These are seriously thick plastic. I guess you could damage them with the round end of a ball-peen hammer, swung with considerable force. They are ticker than the pricey plastic fenders for HDTs, albeit a different plastic.

For the price... easily worth the experiment.

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18 hours ago, trimster said:

Tomorrow I will get some steel and start building brackets. I'll keep you posted. They will be painted with bed liner when done.

I used the step fairing bracket as my guide for steel brackets.  (Your top photo on left)

They needed more width and thickness, and further outboard.  My first version was 1 x 1 angle probably 1/4” thickness, across the drive tire width.  These broke from metal stress where they welded to a thicker piece.

I kept the 1 x 1 but brought some 2” angle out halfway to the end.  That seemed to fix the stress cracks.

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Sculptor...exactly what I was designing as you posted. Thanks for the input. Putting 2x2 angle on the buy list. I need some for other bits I'm fabricating.

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30 minutes ago, trimster said:

Sculptor...exactly what I was designing as you posted. Thanks for the input. Putting 2x2 angle on the buy list. I need some for other bits I'm fabricating.

I wanted to save what I already had fabbed, so there were plenty of lap joint welds.  This made it quite a bit stronger.

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I apologize if i came off as rude. That was not my intention. We have 5 trucks with fenders and I am somewhat of an expert at tearing them up. I Didn't have 200 miles on my new truck before I ruined one of the minimizers. I dropped a trailer on another truck in the winter below zero. Didn't even scratch them. So just because they are thicker dont mean they are stronger. But I realize we are not doing things with the HDT that I am doing with our work trucks.

When I say I hope it works out for you I mean it. I am the last one you will find dogging on someones build. Heck almost everything on mine came out of a junk yard.

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51 minutes ago, jenandjon said:

I apologize if i came off as rude. That was not my intention...

Not an issue.  No offense taken.  I was concerned about the durability of these until they arrived. They will be under the bed, once that is built. So on reality, they will be wheel well liners.

For me, this is really a budget decision. And I like to build stuff. 

Hopefully I'm going to get this project done before the snow flies here in Salt Lake.  We're expecting a high temp of 42 on Monday. I don't have access to a shop big enough for the truck. (Sad face)

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Robert, You said your having the wheel liners bed lined.  Are you taking it to a LineX shop or doing the DIY.  I have found that the LineX is a pretty durable coating against rocks and other debris impacts, where the DIY isn't.  Mythbusters also did some pretty fun testing with it.

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1 hour ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Robert, You said your having the wheel liners bed lined.  Are you taking it to a LineX shop or doing the DIY.  .....

I was thinking DIY because they will be under the bed eventually. Until then, exposed. Might be worth the extra $$$ to get the LineX done.

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Robert, I like the "ingenuity "of re-purposing something already on the market at a very reasonable price. If it's durable enough (actual use will determine that), this could become a trend. Line-X is a proprietary product, but there are many similar (rubber like) bed liner products available in small (and large) quantities over the counter. Having these coated with it would slow down the abrasion from the tires picking stuff off the road. If the tire goes, say "good bye", but there is always another Home Depot.

Edited by phoenix2013

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Making some headway. Fab'd some arms and brackets last night, tack welded them together.

5zM9IeBl.jpg

The brackets are beefy angle stock. The tubing is 1x2 thick wall.

qy78l6tl.jpg

Roughly clamped to the bed riser rail (also just clamped roughly in place) it looks like this...

mnlH1fBl.jpg

Air'd down, the clearance is the thickness of a 2x4.

jLHyPNwl.jpg

Aired up... it's 4.5" roughly. Without being welded in place, everything sags just a bit.

ne2ks7Al.jpg

The arms will be thru-bolted with carriage bolts (round tops towards the tires). There's a 2"x 1/8" strap steel running on the tire side to create a long washer/support, sandwiching the arm and the wheel well.

b2qiqS6l.jpg

Thoughts...suggestions welcomed.

Ya...and it turned cold and snowed. Ugh.

Edited by trimster

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I wondered what that white stuff was!  Haven't seen that for ages. 

Looks like you are doing a real nice job.

Take care; hope it warms up for you to get the project done.

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Look'n good!  I like the direction your taking.  And I been thinking about the notion of using the coating (LineX) on the plastic.  My conclusion is that it would likely cost more to coat them than just replace them if that time comes.  But I could be wrong.....again.

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I'm going to test some stuff on this plastic. My hunch, based on the surface, it might be difficult finding something that will stick. Unless I spend a bit of time roughing up the surface. And there's a lot of surface there.

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12 hours ago, trimster said:

I'm going to test some stuff on this plastic. My hunch, based on the surface, it might be difficult finding something that will stick. Unless I spend a bit of time roughing up the surface. And there's a lot of surface there.

If you determine you need to rough up the surface perhaps sandblasting would be faster and easier. Lot's of tool rental places have them if you don't already. 

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In my experiences with heavy duty trucks working on rough roads (dirt, grabbel, poorly maintained paved) the enemy of fenders is vibration causing them to crack. Your brackets look stout. Is there room in your design for a tapered gusset on the top so they Do Not Vibrate? :)

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Many of the commercial mounts are spring loaded. A bit past my fab ability.

The gussets idea is possible.  I did get some 1.5 x 1.5 angle to possibly make a doubler.  I'll noodle on this.

Harbor freight just tempted me with a sale on their 5x5 hand held band saw. That will help with this build and making these brackets.

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I weighed the fenders... 17.5# each

The brackets are 10# ea.

So total leveraged weight on the brackets is 17.5#. + the weight of the bracket support arm where the arm joins with the fender to the outside edge of the fender. The brackets will be welded to the bed frame rail (shown clamped in place in previous photos).

When done, if there's more 'end movement' than I'd like when running those fine roads in New Mexico, I can add a vertical strap from the bottom of the bed to the end of the support arm. Might just do that anyway. Easy add as the build progresses.

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13 hours ago, trimster said:

Many of the commercial mounts are spring loaded. A bit past my fab ability.

The gussets idea is possible.  I did get some 1.5 x 1.5 angle to possibly make a doubler.  I'll noodle on this.

Harbor freight just tempted me with a sale on their 5x5 hand held band saw. That will help with this build and making these brackets.

I purchased their handheld saw for light duty cuts.  Tough to get straight cuts, but works very well otherwise.  I have had the saw about 4 years or so, very handy.

Edited by Parrformance
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