Part 2 – Bodywork Begins

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So far we have covered the basics extensions to make up our engine chassis.

My next job was to organise the cutting of the deck plates and side skirts and make suitable fixing / support brackets.

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Making 4 lifting lugs came next with some tedious efforts to make suitable profiled bits and weld them together to produce some reasonable sized bits as shown in the drawing. I also needed 4 sander box cover plates made to fix onto the side skirts.

Cutting and making the steps came next so that these could be fitted and checked out for size and suitability since we were using “that looks about right” rather than real scaled sizes which would have given some odd looking results! The fact that we had taken several hundred pictures of these helped to produce what we think is a good result. Some mild steel plate did the middle steps whilst some stainless steel dimpled plate was used to sort out the bottom steps.

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With the deck plates fitted it was now possible to eye up the deck platform and try to establish the footprint of the engine bay and cab etc..

Although the measurements taken were expounded into a database and gave some positional sizes some adjustment would be necessary in order to produce a good reasonable profile. But since some items like the engine could not be moved then some adjusting was needed.

I had some thin alloy sheets so made a mockup of the cab and engine bonnet, these showed the best positioning thus the cab footprint was set in place, followed by the engine bonnet. The bonnet frames then needed cutting together with the bonnet sides, the cab profile plates plus the cab sides.. Once the drawings were completed Dales then laser cut me the finished plates.

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Once the real bonnet profile parts were cut then the actual final fitments could take place with regard to actual practical considerations. The front fan housing was then altered, adjusted and completed. The front of the cab when fitted in position needed the bonnet side plates given some slight adjustment due to the duplex curved shapes.

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The bonnet sides had a fold line cut into the plate to allow bending in the correct place with the folds matching and aligning correctly.

The main front section bonnet top needed to be removable so as to allow access to the wiring and battery. This complex piece was made in 3 bits and welded together to fit the profile and gap correctly.

Also the bulkhead frame had to be positioned such that access to the hyd.fluid filler and expansion bottle could be gained as and when needed.

Numerous small items had to be taken into account and not overlooked since it might inhibit maintenance being carried out later on when operating.

The fan unit also needed protection mesh fitted to ensure safety while working.

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