Got some good work in today. Got the steering disassembled, and the steering box removed (a huge mess).
Then started measuring, marking and cutting the areas of the front clip that needed to be cut out, and made quick work of it with the plasma:
Then, got the box into position, and marked out where the holes were to go in the new location. Using a long bit for a pilot and then a nice HF step bit (great bang for your buck BTW) the holes were drilled out and the old bungs were ground off so that both sides of the frame had smooth, clean surfaces:
Then, back to scissors and card board, which was then transfered to plate and plasma'd out:
There are two plates, one in the outside, and one on the inside. The outer plate is 1/4" and the inner is 3/16".
The plates were then installed with tubes running through the frame, and everything was welded into place:
Then, the tubes were cut off and the face was ground smooth so the box can mount up flush:
Finally, the box was stuck on, the relay rod, and a yet un-assembled tie rod to check for fitment:
I like this much better already. I think my original idea was just plain flawed, and while this is a lot more work, I think it will be stronger in the end.
The other thing that will have to happen is that the relay rod will be cut, and sleeved with .250 wall DOM, to make it stronger and lengthen it the appropriate length for the fact that the box, and soon, the idler, will be spaced out 7/16".
From everything I can tell, it is a forged piece, but none the less, I will be heating it to 500F in my barbeque, welding, and then post heating in the barbeque as well, just to be sure that it stays straight and doesn't get brittle.
Tomorrow I will work on mounting the idler arm