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Belly clearance verses overall height


bill van snorkle
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A recent employment change has taken the pressure off my LandRover as a daily driver, so I have been giving some thought to how I may be able to lower the vehicles profile whilst maintaining belly clearance and a respectable degree of suspension uptravel. Having already elevated the engine, transmission and its crossmembers within the chassis and chopping the hardtop lid down 2 3/4'' I feel there is not much more I can do with a LandRover foundation and its still not as low as I would like for clearance under and against trees on offcamber stuff. I have been thinking about ditching The LandRover shell and chassis and swapping my portal axles and transmission into something with a lower profile. Vehicles such as Toyota Hilux, GQ swb Patrol and Jeep Wranglers appear to offer good belly clearance and a relatively low roofline, and the Jeep chassis has a high kick up over the axles to allow for plenty of uptravel even after the suspension has been lowered to compensate for the extra height of the portal axles.I'll be going round to a 4wd wreckers (breakers) yard on Saturday with tape measure in hand looking for likely candidates. Anyone had similar ideas? We are not permitted to make our own chassis or to notch existing ones over here.

Bill.

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Man have I struggled with this! :angry:

Bringing the top down and the bottom up.

You end up with a thin slice to squeeze everything into. If you think its hard when limited to a 'real' car, I honestly think its worse when you have to figure it all out yourself - more variables.

Remember that the ali body is pretty light even if it is quite high, and you could be worse off changing to a lower but heavier body type (steel?).

A high curve of the chassis over the axles is exactly what to look for in combo with your portals, since the axle crossbeam needs to be that much higher for a given ride height, but you don't want to push the whole truck skywards.

Since we can make our own chassis, I doubt you'll find anyone in quite the same boat, but the probelms encountered are just the same.

Cheers, Al.

:)

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Suzuki vitara's have a really good kick up in the chassis front and rear. Hilux cabs are nice the chassis has almost no kick up in it though.

Why not section the series body? you should be able to get at least 4" out of it, you could even channel the body down over the chassis and chop the arches some more?

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seconded on the vit chassis, light as a feather as well :)

I'd always thought Vitaras were Monocoque,and the metal a bit thin. If I ditch the LandRover chassis I would like to try something made from steel for a change, instead of the pre rusted wafer thin material they are glued together from.

Si , I think we can make actually make subframes, or even full chassis for monocoque cars. might have to look into that.

Dan, I looked under the seat box, and can probably drop that down 2'' before I reach the chassis rails. that would allow me to drop the roof down a bit more only if I didn't want to carry a passenger in the single forward facing back seat as head room back there would be a bit tight, unless I put a dome in the roof over the passengers head. Wheel boxes are already 5'' higher than standard and that gets used up during articulation. What's really needed is a chassis made from heavy wall thickness 3''x3'' box section instead of the 6'' deep Landy one. I had an International Scout years ago with a 3''x3'' chassis that in pite of a lot of hard work and neglect never developed cracks or rust, so I'll try to find one of those to measure up as well.

Bill.

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The problem with LRs is seeing over the bulkhead vent flaps. Starting again, I think the crucial thing to consider is your thigh position. If you sat in a more 'car-like' position with your thighs nearer horizontal, you could drop your eye height by 2ft or more, pull the roof right down and still see over the engine.

A wider, shallower chassis will need to be much heavier for the same strength. A spaceframe could use the roof and chassis as the extremities of the cage and your bum could be nearly the closest thing to the floor...

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The problem with LRs is seeing over the bulkhead vent flaps. Starting again, I think the crucial thing to consider is your thigh position. If you sat in a more 'car-like' position with your thighs nearer horizontal, you could drop your eye height by 2ft or more, pull the roof right down and still see over the engine.

A wider, shallower chassis will need to be much heavier for the same strength. A spaceframe could use the roof and chassis as the extremities of the cage and your bum could be nearly the closest thing to the floor...

I would love to be able to make my own spaceframe but local regs don't allow it. But even if the shallower chassis wasn't as stiff I could tie my 6 point cage and rock sliders into it to form a pretty rigid assembly.

Bill.

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Slightly off the wall, maybe, what about keeping the chassis etc of the existing, and doing a 'body' swap, in the same manner that RRC's are used to build 'hybrids' here?

Could then potentially swap a more svelte monocoque bodyshell onto the existing chassis?

For example, on another lr forum, someone has nearly finished putting a Ford Ka onto a 4x4(poss RRC), that looks surprisingly 'right'.

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I couldnt tell you what the material thickness is Bill (could check later if you like?)

food for thought on strength ; this is Roope

mikjus-ladoga_trophy_reissu_2007_053.JPG

qualifiers

1) he's insane

2) he's Finnish (see above)

3) its a Vitara chasis

4) its got this in it :)

mikjus-ladoga_trophy_reissu_2007_046.JPG

750hp formula offroad motor, biiiiiiiiiig blue bottle in the boot as well, and still embarrassingly light in terms of weight.

not sure if its of anyhelp to you but I thought you'd like seeing it anyway :)

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I couldnt tell you what the material thickness is Bill (could check later if you like?)

food for thought on strength ; this is Roope

mikjus-ladoga_trophy_reissu_2007_053.JPG

qualifiers

1) he's insane

2) he's Finnish (see above)

3) its a Vitara chasis

4) its got this in it :)

mikjus-ladoga_trophy_reissu_2007_046.JPG

750hp formula offroad motor, biiiiiiiiiig blue bottle in the boot as well, and still embarrassingly light in terms of weight.

not sure if its of anyhelp to you but I thought you'd like seeing it anyway :)

Very impressive Jez. Did you sell him the old mudguard extensions off Petal? :)

Bill

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Only the very latest of Vitara's are monocoque, anyting pre 07 has seperate chassis and and tin worm loving body work!. LWB are a good size, SWB dont leave much room for creature comfort, Passengers or stuff unless you remove rear seats. I think the one Jez has pictured is on an SJ LWB chassis though not Vit though, but then a LWB SJ or Samurai may better yet although a little basic inside. Can you change engines? as the 1.3 is not the bestest on power.

if you wanna hear Roope's making some noise

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Yes we can change engines transmissions, axles and bodies etc. Some years ago a customer wanted me to fit a set of 303 Volvo portals to his swb Sierra. I could not get engineering approval from the Road Traffic Authority to go ahead with the project because he deemed the chassis wasn't strong enough to cope with the increased forces that the heavier wider axles would impose on the structure. So I think a Vit chassis would also get knocked back.

Bill.

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... Some years ago a customer wanted me to fit a set of 303 Volvo portals to his swb Sierra. I could not get engineering approval from the Road Traffic Authority to go ahead with the project ...

Bill.

The final outcome was Nam sold the portals and they are now under my bushie :D

I have similar height issues to those being discussed in this thread. The bushie is nearly 2100mm to the top of the roll cage and about 600mm under the chassis rails.

Like Bill, I would love to build a space frame or change the curve of the chassis over the axles. I have air bags above the springs that allow for another 120mm or so lift if needed.

I'm swapping the engine from the bushie to the rangie. I hope the new engine will allow me to chop the firewall and drop the body and cage. Fortunately the guards are high (about 1400mm now) and have scope for lowering the body (thanks to the portals).

Also planning to make the bushie into a tray back, which may allow the new cage to be lower again.

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Vitara chassis are actually quite an inspired design. Light and strong - although they do have annoying crumple zones built in - but nothing a bit of hot-glue won't solve!

Although the photos are not specifically of the chassis, you can see more in these than most Vitara Build.

Si

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Vitara chassis are actually quite an inspired design. Light and strong - although they do have annoying crumple zones built in - but nothing a bit of hot-glue won't solve!

Although the photos are not specifically of the chassis, you can see more in these than most Vitara Build.

Si

I need a cold shower after looking at the curves of her rear end. :)

Bill.

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food for thought on strength ; this is Roope

mikjus-ladoga_trophy_reissu_2007_053.JPG

After James mentioned it was a Zuk chassis, I shook my camera at Roope, got the nod and stuck my head under to have a bit of a 'Technical Spy'. ;)

It is definatley a Suzuki Samurai LWB Chassis. I have a LWB undergoing surgery in the workshop at the moment. If anyone wants any pictures of the chassis, just let me know. :)

Paul.

post-1435-1188089372_thumb.jpg

post-1435-1188089393_thumb.jpg

post-1435-1188089408_thumb.jpg

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After James mentioned it was a Zuk chassis, I shook my camera at Roope, got the nod and stuck my head under to have a bit of a 'Technical Spy'. ;)

It is definatley a Suzuki Samurai LWB Chassis. I have a LWB undergoing surgery in the workshop at the moment. If anyone wants any pictures of the chassis, just let me know. :)

Paul.

Yes please Paul.

Bill.

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The final outcome was Nam sold the portals and they are now under my bushie :D

I have similar height issues to those being discussed in this thread. The bushie is nearly 2100mm to the top of the roll cage and about 600mm under the chassis rails.

Like Bill, I would love to build a space frame or change the curve of the chassis over the axles. I have air bags above the springs that allow for another 120mm or so lift if needed.

I'm swapping the engine from the bushie to the rangie. I hope the new engine will allow me to chop the firewall and drop the body and cage. Fortunately the guards are high (about 1400mm now) and have scope for lowering the body (thanks to the portals).

Also planning to make the bushie into a tray back, which may allow the new cage to be lower again.

John, I am at 2 metres high with just over 500mm belly clearance and 110mm of rear axle uptravel.so the vertical dimension of the body chassis assembly is about the same .

How do you manage to get in and out of the Bushie at that height ?

Do your airbags expand when the coil springs reach the point of dislocating and then guide the spring back into position ?

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A recent employment change has taken the pressure off my LandRover as a daily driver, so I have been giving some thought to how I may be able to lower the vehicles profile whilst maintaining belly clearance and a respectable degree of suspension uptravel. Having already elevated the engine, transmission and its crossmembers within the chassis and chopping the hardtop lid down 2 3/4'' I feel there is not much more I can do with a LandRover foundation and its still not as low as I would like for clearance under and against trees on offcamber stuff. I have been thinking about ditching The LandRover shell and chassis and swapping my portal axles and transmission into something with a lower profile. Vehicles such as Toyota Hilux, GQ swb Patrol and Jeep Wranglers appear to offer good belly clearance and a relatively low roofline, and the Jeep chassis has a high kick up over the axles to allow for plenty of uptravel even after the suspension has been lowered to compensate for the extra height of the portal axles.I'll be going round to a 4wd wreckers (breakers) yard on Saturday with tape measure in hand looking for likely candidates. Anyone had similar ideas? We are not permitted to make our own chassis or to notch existing ones over here.

Bill.

Could always get a pig shotting ute and then put that on a rangie chassis :D

Or this Ford XR8 . Has the V8 and the bull bar and spots already :D:D:D

Shame about jules and mine ugly mugs in the pics though :D:D

post-178-1188120215_thumb.jpg

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