some more developments...
I struggled with the decision of samurai vs sidekick. I posted on pirate4x4 also since there are some seriously knowledable offroaders over there who use samurai's. anyway, most people said go with the sidekick. I hate to agree since samurai's are just so much "cooler" (in my opinion). But, its more practical, has EFI, etc. It may weigh more, but I will strip it down to bare nothing as much as possible to reduce weight. also the heater works! Last reason, is I have another thing that's come up to use the samurai for, and or I may sell it to help pay for the project. we'll see.
anyway... I started working on adapters. I have some 1/2" aluminum plate. I tried to plasma, but it was so thick it was going to turn out like garbage if I could even actually get it to cut. So, I decided to CNC router it. Once I figured out the speed, rpm's, bit type, and air cooling, it worked great. Here are the first 3 sections of one adapter.
But THEN.... drats! two major snags
1. I don't have enought plate to actually make them all, I am one short. I could buy some i guess.
2. it took like 10 hours to cut just these 3. I have to make 21 more. I can't tie up the cnc at work that long, nor be there that many hours after work for weeks just for a set of adapters. you have to cut so slow and shallow per pass to keep the bits cool enough and not breaking or melting the aluminum which sticks ot the bit...
Just found these tonight. Might be the answer:
$300 for 4, not horrible. But, only 2" thick, which will cause the hub to stick out 2" past the face of the adapter. I could buy some 5x5.5 spacers to stack behind the 2-part adapters. But, maybe, the hub can stick into the backside of the track. It seems like there is a bit of a hollowed out area in the middle... not sure its enough depth. Maybe I can split the difference and use 1/2" spacers and have the hubs stick out 1/2" into the back of the tracks??
well, that's it for now. snow is falling as I speak. but I have very limited time to devote to this. My goal for now is get adapters and get tracks mounted to see how it might handle it. If I can get around to fabbing anti-rotating brackets etc I will test it at the cabin this winter and see how it does before I start digging into locking diffs, lifts, stripping weight etc etc.