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Old 12-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
aardvarcus's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Evensville, TN
Posts: 651

Deep Blue - '94 GMC Suburban K2500 SLE
90 day: 23.75 mpg (US)

Griffin (T4R) - '99 Toyota 4Runner SR5
90 day: 25.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 228
Thanked 545 Times in 303 Posts
Current Detailed Plan:

Step 1: Roof Chop (Maybe)
Add a temporary third brake light to the rear doors. Cut out the Suburban roof from the back just above the doors weatherstripping and then 30” forward, stopping inside the window framing. Fabricate a patch panel using the roof of the parts truck and/or sheet metal tapered on an English wheel. Also fabricate a tapering Z patch for the sides near the windows, probably with a brake and bead roller. Weld all the items together onto the roof. Overhang the roof slightly over the doors to shed most water off past the weather-stripping. Cut off the upper portion of the doors, stopping at the weather-stripping. Put a cap/patch on the top of the doors to keep them sealed as needed.

Step 2: Fixed Tail
Relocate the rear tail lights to the bumper/other location. Beef up the tail light area to accept a heavy duty hinge. Create templates of the shape of the rear taper near the front and back of the tail. Bend aluminum tube (1.5”?) using a tubing roller/bender to match the templated shape. Cut/bend extension pieces to run between the two and weld the assembly together. Hinge the assembly off the tail light area on the passenger side, add a latch on the drivers side, and add areas to mount hinges for step 3. Using 0.040/18ga aluminum, create contoured panels to skin the frame and to transition from the frame to the Suburban body. Some mockup and field fit will be required. Weld the panels to the frame.

Step 3: Hinged Tail
Similar to step 2, create templates and build three frames one for each side and one for the top. (I am not sure about doing one for the bottom, I kind of liked leaving the bumper exposed from a “bumping” standpoint.) Hinge the three frames from the fixed frame, with the hinges for the top rearmost and the hinges for the sides closer to the vehicle. Offsetting the hinge pivots back slightly should allow clearance between the panels so they can shut without binding. Connect the frames to one or more electric linear actuators.

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