Who needs custom fabrications?





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  1. #1
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    Default Who needs custom fabrications?

    Hi everyone!

    Recently joined this community and realized just how diverse this forum is.

    I'm a master's engineer that specialized in vehicle dynamics at Tuks, and I'm reaching out to all of you to be able to pursue my goals.
    Right now I work in the scientific and forensic industry designing and installing mortuary and lab equipment across the country, but my passion lies in vehicle dynamics.
    I'd like to start designing and manufacturing custom components for your vehicles, for now just as a hobby. If anyone has anything they'd like made please get in touch with me!

    I do not want to give a false impression here. I do not have the same capabilities as for example a proper company or engineering workshop would have, but I'm hoping that some of you would give me the opportunity to give it a shot. Let me try to deliver a product to your specifactions which you'll be happy with and perhaps one day I could be doing this full time.

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Subscribed

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Subscribed.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Go for it!

    As a retired structural engineer, I've always felt that there is quite a lot in the "aftermarket" that can do with better design and, perhaps, complete re-thinking. Light-weight, compact and robust are areas to concentrate on.

    ROOF TOP TENTS: My 2-man mountain tent is less than 3 kg and has withstood several storms on top of the Drakensberg. Therefore, why must RTTs weigh 70 kg? At 2 m above the axles, this is a large increase in the polar moment of inertia, drastically affecting suspension performance. Reducing this to 30 or even 20 kg will make a large difference. Need a strong light base - carbon-fibre and foam composite? A mountain tent outer is wind- and storm-proof while being light - the secret is in the curved panels and very strong connections following the force paths. Need to add some clever light-weight insulating and vapour layers. Must be quick and easy to erect and put away.

    SECOND BATTERIES: these fail due to heat in the engine bay and vibration from badly corrugated roads. Need effective heat shields while still maintaining air circulation. What is the best support to reduce vibration (rubber hardness and thickness, holding down system, etc.)

    MOVING WEIGHT FORWARD: most overlanders have too much weight on the back axle. How can you move weight forward? Cleverly designed water tanks, storing hi-lift jacks in running boards, tool kit storage up front (that is slightly more elegant than the bonnet storage box), etc.

    And so on. Develop the kit on your own vehicle. I'm sure others have kit that they think could be better.


    Another thought: we use tuned mass dampers on long bridges and very tall buildings to reduce sway and vibration. Can we fit a transverse TMD to the roof rack, consisting of a tube with water in it? This will reduce transverse sway at the natural frequency of the suspension. Or will this be too heavy?
    Last edited by WillMartin; 2020/01/19 at 04:15 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    I would pay good money for such a RTT

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillMartin View Post
    Go for it!

    As a retired structural engineer, I've always felt that there is quite a lot in the "aftermarket" that can do with better design and, perhaps, complete re-thinking. Light-weight, compact and robust are areas to concentrate on.

    ROOF TOP TENTS: My 2-man mountain tent is less than 3 kg and has withstood several storms on top of the Drakensberg. Therefore, why must RTTs weigh 70 kg? At 2 m above the axles, this is a large increase in the polar moment of inertia, drastically affecting suspension performance. Reducing this to 30 or even 20 kg will make a large difference. Need a strong light base - carbon-fibre and foam composite? A mountain tent outer is wind- and storm-proof while being light - the secret is in the curved panels and very strong connections following the force paths. Need to add some clever light-weight insulating and vapour layers. Must be quick and easy to erect and put away.

    SECOND BATTERIES: these fail due to heat in the engine bay and vibration from badly corrugated roads. Need effective heat shields while still maintaining air circulation. What is the best support to reduce vibration (rubber hardness and thickness, holding down system, etc.)

    MOVING WEIGHT FORWARD: most overlanders have too much weight on the back axle. How can you move weight forward? Cleverly designed water tanks, storing hi-lift jacks in running boards, tool kit storage up front (that is slightly more elegant than the bonnet storage box), etc.

    And so on. Develop the kit on your own vehicle. I'm sure others have kit that they think could be better.
    Thank you for the suggestions!
    I believe that a large factor in the weights of RTT's is that most have built in mattresses that are a part of the structure. This could easily be overcome with an inflatable mattress design.
    I really do appreciate this commentary and will begin work on a concept. In the meantime, please do let me know if anyone else needs other products.

    Shifting weights is a very interesting topic, I'd love to look into this more. I'll send a message to you directly regarding the battery problem.

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillMartin View Post
    ROOF TOP TENTS: My 2-man mountain tent is less than 3 kg and has withstood several storms on top of the Drakensberg.

    Cleverly designed water tanks
    I like the idea, BUT:
    Back in the day when I first bought my first RTT I was considering buying the lightest one on the SA market. Nice little tent, the latest model weighs 43kg now. When I asked the shop about it they said they sold them originally like hot cakes, but eventually people started complaining about the wear and tear on the nylon fabric itself, specially on tents that was permanently mounted to vehicles all year round. The problem is that internally the tent is constantly being rubbed on itself when packed away. That is unfortunately where canvas take the lead.

    Yes for custom built water tanks! Thereís heaps of space underneath a bakkie to tuck away a few smaller tanks.

    My biggest wish currently is that I can utilize the wasted space in and around my bakkieís loadbin. It would be great to have access from the side, and a few small compartments down low for things like tools, recovery gear, and air compressor.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrTolbos View Post
    I like the idea, BUT:
    Back in the day when I first bought my first RTT I was considering buying the lightest one on the SA market. Nice little tent, the latest model weighs 43kg now. When I asked the shop about it they said they sold them originally like hot cakes, but eventually people started complaining about the wear and tear on the nylon fabric itself, specially on tents that was permanently mounted to vehicles all year round. The problem is that internally the tent is constantly being rubbed on itself when packed away. That is unfortunately where canvas take the lead.

    Yes for custom built water tanks! Thereís heaps of space underneath a bakkie to tuck away a few smaller tanks.

    My biggest wish currently is that I can utilize the wasted space in and around my bakkieís loadbin. It would be great to have access from the side, and a few small compartments down low for things like tools, recovery gear, and air compressor.
    Tanks and storage really should be easy to do!
    Let me know if you'd like to give it a shot.

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSJooste View Post
    Tanks and storage really should be easy to do!
    Let me know if you'd like to give it a shot.
    Iím definitely game. Iíll PM you

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSJooste View Post
    Tanks and storage really should be easy to do!
    Let me know if you'd like to give it a shot.
    New thinking required for tanks. Like bladders in enclosures rather than metal tanks....
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    New thinking required for tanks. Like bladders in enclosures rather than metal tanks....
    Seen a chap who manufactured a tow bar and turned it into a water tank. Took a few lts of water. Some big trucks install stainless steel bull bars that carry water in them for drinking.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    I was looking at making my rocksliders do duty as air tanks along with onboard compressor. Just so you have a bit of a stash of air when it comes to pumping up 33"+ rubber with a little 160L/min dual head compressor. It takes so much longer than the little 245's.

    Today I was taking some measurements, and on the verge of tackling my radias arms with coils and panhard conversion. Busy packing my garage up for the move to Cape Town, and I realise that anything not installed or mounted on the car, will have to be stored and transported later when I got my house sorted. And the darn thing rides like a pig in a snow storm.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    A 90l fridge drop down fridge slide that dont weighing 38kg, or what ever.
    Johan Kriel

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    How about a cheaper and nicer hard top for the Jeep Wrangler JKU?
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Thank you all for the excellent opportunities you've presented me with.
    I'm hopeful that this grows enough for me to begin supplying the community with the parts they've wanted but couldn't find.

    The air in Rocksliders idea is interesting, but it would turn them into a pressure vessel. From an engineering perspective you don't want to be exposing those to impacts.
    Perhaps that would be better suited built into a canopy?

    As a small update, if anyone has a 2018 single cab Hilux around PTA/Jhb I could take a look at for measurements I'd really appreciate it.
    I'm also having trouble with plastic molding at a reasonable price. The issue lies in tooling needed for a once off job. For now this unfortunately makes plastic fabrications unpractical, but doesn't mean it will never be a possibility for me.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    The Hummer Club might be a nice niche market. It is very active on whatsapp and FB. While from a maintenance and repair perspective, we are fairly self sufficient, accessories have to be imported from the US which can be expensive. Items like roofracks,bull bars, rock sliders etc might be the types of products that would be sought after.

    Its not a very large club but it is growing and there is a small demand for accessories
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Rocksliders would only be used for a few minutes under pressure just before inflating the tyres. Besides, the tubes and square tube are 3mm wall thickness. I've dented mine, but never torn one open.

    Maybe also look at glassfiber instead of plastic moulding. There are resins that you can even use for fuel tanks. And you can get way more creative with it than plastic moulding.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfreesani View Post
    Rocksliders would only be used for a few minutes under pressure just before inflating the tyres. Besides, the tubes and square tube are 3mm wall thickness. I've dented mine, but never torn one open.

    Maybe also look at glassfiber instead of plastic moulding. There are resins that you can even use for fuel tanks. And you can get way more creative with it than plastic moulding.
    I didn't think of fiber, that's probably going to solve my problem. Thank you!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    I could do with a lekke steel rear bumper on my bakkie - but something that is robust but cheap (I know cheap and good isnt supposed to be used in the same sentence)
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4 (workshop whore)


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    Default Re: Who needs custom fabrications?

    Quote Originally Posted by bfreesani View Post
    Rocksliders would only be used for a few minutes under pressure just before inflating the tyres. Besides, the tubes and square tube are 3mm wall thickness. I've dented mine, but never torn one open.
    From a legal perspective you would have to have this designed by an engineer, approved by an Authorized inspection authority (AIA), Certificate of manufacture, and it would be subject to annual inspections, pressure tested, nameplates and I am sure there are other requirements to go with it.

    Considering this, I doubt it would be viable.

    That is if you would like to do it properly and legally...
    Pieter Greeff

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