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    1. Kit: , by (VIP/Sponsor) hot ford coupe is offline
      Builder Last Online: Feb 2021 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 04-23-09 Build Revisions: Never  
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      When you decide to fabricate a working suspension for a large model, nothing completes the job and makes the model sparkle more than a set of fully functional shock absorbers. Why scratchbuild working metal springs and attachments only to make them non functional using the static, rigid plastic parts from the kit? This is a case where taking your work one step further really adds to the realism of the model without being too difficult or requiring very expensive equipment. In this tutorial, weíll use some brass and solder to scratchbuild working shock absorbers.
      Materials
      Our first consideration is materials. I use a combination of rods and tubes, which are shown in Photo #1 along with their sizes. Nuts and bolts are also used but those will be discussed later. I use both the inner and outer diameters because parts will be inserted inside other parts and that way I find it easier to keep track of my sizes. Itís just my personal preference. Youíll notice that Iíve included one copper and one aluminum tube. I did that because it will be easier to follow the tutorial during the final assembly point. Itís definitely not a problem. If you can find all brass, that would be totally acceptable also.

      Tools
      Photos #2, 3 and 4 show three different sets of files I use to clean and shape the brass. You donít need this many to make the shocks but this is my entire set for general use. Note the variation in the sizes and shapes. I just pick and choose what works for me at any particular time.

      I also use a number of sandsticks of different grits from coarse to very fine. Photo #5. The multicolored stick was bought at a beauty supply store. I know weíve made jokes about men shopping in beauty stores but you can find some really good sanders at some very good prices. The stick includes 4 grits and is generally used to shape and polish acrylic Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers . It polishes brass very nicely as well. The brush has brass bristles and is used to clean the files and sticks. Believe me, it definitely extends their working lives.

      Photo #6 shows what weíll need for soldering the retaining rings at each end of the shocks. For those not familiar with flame soldering, you definitely must use flux which whets the metal surfaces and causes the solder to flow where you want it to go and not where it wants to go. Note that for this type of soldering, weíre using a lead-free, silver bearing solder and a lead-free flux. Both can be found at most Radio Shacks. I bought the torch at Lowes in the Bernz-o-matic section. It comes with a front attachment which can also be used as a soldering iron. The flame instead of electricity heats the working tip. I find this more appealing since I can turn off the flame and let the tip cool down so I donít accidently burn myself. It heats back up very quickly and can be turned on just before you need to use it. Youíll also note a little plastic applicator. I use this for adding flux.

      The next photo (#7) shows a metal stand that I use to hold the parts together during soldering. Unlike soldering with an electric iron, the gas torch heats up everything, parts, alligator clips Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers and I mean everything. Plus the stand holds the parts extremely still which is very difficult with hand held parts. Why do I solder sometimes with the flame? In my hands I can get much better control over my part positions, the amount and final position of the solder joint with a lot less clean up. This is similar to the way we used to solder dental bridges and appliances together. I do however use the soldering iron when I want to solder a number of areas that are very close together. If you need to solder each area one at a time, there is less chance of melting your previously made joint. Included in this tool set up are a ľ inch wide pair of flat pliers, a good caliper and a Dremel Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers diamond wheel for cutting off our pieces of brass. A pair of wire cutters is contraindicated here because they squash the cut ends of the tubes and makes us trim off too much brass to get nice round open ends we want.

      Cutting and Smoothing The Main Parts

      Cutting your parts from the raw stock is probably the most dangerous part of the procedure, so if youíre not used to handling and working with some of these materials, please, please, please observe all the safety rules you can. Youíre using rapidly turning, fast cutting instruments, building up lots of heat and creating a lot of mini shrapnel. A moment of inattention can result in a rotten ending to an otherwise rewarding building session. Those of you who work routinely with metal know what I mean. Your mandatory safety equipment should include 1) clear safety glasses, 2) a dust mask or respirator, 3) a small section of paper towel or fabric to be used as a wrapping to protect your fingers from heat generated by the cutting action, 4) a small cup of cool water and 5) an apron to cover your shirt and keep it from coming in contact with the cutting wheel. Youíll see during the tutorial how each one of these articles work. Photo #9 shows the main parts along with their correct measurements. You can use the kit parts as your guide or mock up your front and rear suspensions and make your own measurements to suit your own axle height. Youíll want keep your measurements consistent so you donít wind up with two different shock sizes. Youíll want to keep your inner rod piece long enough so that you get enough of it inside the tube to keep it stable yet keeping enough space for our internal spring. Photo #18. Youíll notice that there is one really short piece of rod in the center of Photo #9. Youíll solder the other retaining ring to that as you did to the longer rod piece. Weíll see how to anchor that later on during assembly.

      When you do your actual cutting, first make sure you have a good mark for your measurement and cut very slightly longer than your mark. Youíre going to need to clean up the ends and this way, you wonít over trim the parts. Your next consideration is a good finger and hand rest position. Your hands should be locked to your body and to each other. You gain so much more control with the right positions and have a better chance of not ruining your brass or yourself. Never try to cut brass without using these rests. Your wheel will stick and jump out of the cut and youíll never get a decent result. Use no more than medium speed. If you find some difficulty, slow the wheel slightly. It takes some time to do the cutting so donít rush. The results are well worth the time you take. Once you have your individual parts, using your files and sandsticks, trim off your metal tags (Photo 16) and bring your parts to their correct measurements.

      The Ins and Outs of Soldering

      If youíre familiar with soldering then this part may be a bit basic. If youíre not, this section will give you a lot of the confidence needed to attempt this fairly easy procedure. Itíll really expand your technique tool box and give you more options to play with. Again, the safety considerations surface their ever present heads. Make sure you know where your torch is pointed every time you use it. This may sound a little silly but a couple of times I myself didnít pay attention to the flame direction and set fire to something. Make sure you use your safety glasses because hot Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers flux can sputter and burn your face. The most important part of soldering is you need to start with clean joint surfaces. There should be no oxides or other foreign materials on your surfaces. A little sanding Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers and a wipe should do the trick nicely. If your joint fails and you need to resolder, always start again with clean surfaces. ĎNuf said.
      Next, put your parts, the rod and the ring into the alligator clips Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers and position the arms so that when you let go, your pieces are in the exact position you want. Photo 10. There should be a tiny bit of space between the parts but .5 mm is way too much. Take your applicator or fine brush and apply flux into the joint space. Then cut off a piece of solder, about 2mm and flatten it in your square nosed pliers. Photo 11. Gently stuff that between the parts and make sure your parts are in the correct position. Photo #12. Light your torch and bring it over to the work area. Your flame should be blue with a relatively short inner cone. Photo 19. The tip of that inner cone is what you want concentrated on your joint. Itís the hottest part of your flame. If there is yellow in the flame, that will cause carbon to deposit where you donít want and carbon acts as anti flux. Get that into the joint space and forget about a solid joint. Leave the parts cool in the stand for several minutes. Photo #13, 14. Donít forget that your alligator clips Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers will heat up too and youíll need to let those cool. If you feel the part might still be too hot Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers to handle, remove it from the stand and dunk it into the small cup of cold water. It wonít affect your part and will help prevent unexpected burns. Once your part is soldered, you can tidy up the area if need be and polish with one of your steel brushes in the Dremel Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers . Do this for both the long and short rod pieces and proceed to the next step.

      Final Assembly

      Now weíre going to complete our retainer rings and put our shocks together. Hereís where the copper and aluminum tubes will come in. Cut off 2 pieces of the copper tube just bigger than the brass outer ring. Cut off 2 pieces of the aluminum tube slightly bigger than that. Clean up your tubes and make sure the copper one slides easily inside the brass ring and the aluminum tube into the copper tube. This is how you get your final inner diameter. Cement these parts like you just fitted, one tube inside the other with CA glue Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers . Photo#15. Clean up the excess, polish the whole thing with your steel brush and use two 1-72 Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers or 0-80 Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers bolts and nuts to each end. These will anchor your shock to its upper base on the frame and the lower base on your axle or spring. Do you remember that short piece of 3/16 rod we soldered the retaining ring to? We cement that piece into the end of our long tube with CA glue Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers . This will create the chamber for our spring and provide the anchor point for the upper part of the shock to the frame. The final step is to insert a portion of pen spring inside the shock. Photo #17. If the spring pushes the pieces all the way apart, trim the spring a bit. You wonít need to have a stop on your shock because once itís in place, that will hold your shock pieces together and they wonít come apart. Your shocks will now mount similarly to the real thing and compress and release when pressure is applied. Have fun and practice.

      Build Photos

      Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-1-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-2-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-3-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-4-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-5-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock6-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-7-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-8-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-9-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-10-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-11-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-12-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-13-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-14-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-15-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-16-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-jpg  Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers-shock-jpg 


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  1. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
    Name
    Jeffrey
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    7,833
    Sorry, but some of the photos are a little out of order below the text. The numbers in the tutorial however direct you to the correct picture. Just count, point and click.


    Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. Tage's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Daniel
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    Jun 2008
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    This is wonderful!

    Oh waiter, A box of crayons for my friend here...

    Can we see a photo of the completed shocks?
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Ahhhh Foooooo!!! Now how'd I forget to do that? O.k. give me a little while and I'll get some shots of them. I didn't paint them so they'll be in all their brass glory. Sorry about that.


    Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. Deuces-wild's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Guido
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    Why aplogize???... You did a mighty fine job on these... I think I'll take a wack at a set of my own using your ideas... Thanks Jeff!
    Be nice or else ~1~**
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  5. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    7,833
    All you gotta do is follow the numbers and cut on the dotted lines.


    Making Fully Working Shock Absorbers
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

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