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The Raven


The drive has also recently seen some inspiration and progress. Originally I had planned to directly connect the entire drive system with no type of clutch or other disconnect. After realizing the risks involved with everything being steel and very strong, I decided to throw in a slipper clutch from a 1/8 scale vehicle. Larger than 1/8 usually means some sort of high-speed clutch which will not work in this situation. The small slipper is quite common and enjoys support for both technical issues and replacement parts.

I purchased a slipper from Tower and proceeded to adapt it to the truck's needs. I drilled the aluminum spur adapter to accept the slipper's pressure plate, and modified the cone which separates the clutch spring from the spur. This effectively shortened the overall length of the assembly enough to fit a pinion and bearings on the ends. Since I opted for four mounting holes on the chassis plate for drive mounts, I am free to add another support for the forward end of the slipper shaft. Once drawings are completed, I will add photos here.

One enormous step recently was the drive shafts themselves. The shafts I fabricated from steel have proven to be wobbly and noisy. Plus, since I used mild steel for all parts of them save for the pins, they have gathered rust. I cannot have this. So, I pointed the browser toward Stock Drive Products and ordered two massive stainless steel telescoping shafts.

They have almost three inches of travel and are nearly 13/16" in diameter. Heavy, beautiful, stainless. They are a welcome addition to this monstrosity. In fact, they nearly perfectly match the outer diameter of the shocks, and that makes for a nice bit of symmetry. If I remember correctly, the shafts are 304L stainless and the joints themselves are 416. These are manufactured with a smooth bore at each end so I had to set up and drill each bore for threading. I was a little hesitant to work with them since they are so expensive, but patience and planning paid off. Stainless cone-point set screws capture them to the aluminum bushings. All in all a very nice look.

One aspect of this chassis which may not be immediately apparent is the difference in length from the previous photos. In order to adapt the drive shafts, I needed to extend all eight suspension links by another inch over the prior incarnation. This marks the second time the wheelbase has been lengthened from 'stock'. The first was simply to even up the axle length with the frame rails, and that idea grew from a need for symmetry. This new extension became necessary in order to fit the shafts. Another option would have been to use shorter drive shafts but they likely would have appeared too small for the bulk of the chassis.

Now, of course, the suspension geometry is a bit goofed up due to the angled position of the shock links. Thankfully, the thread adapters on the lower shock ends can be spaced slightly off the shock body in order to stretch the length and boost one end of the frame. As for the odd angles created through extending everything, I just don't know what to do.

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Content Updated: Sunday, September 04, 2016 at 10:25 pdt

Maltese Cross

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