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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Snowflake" is about as attractive as a mud fence as she stands now.
'08 standard-cab, 3.7 I-5, automatic, white.

We all know that a man needs a motor toy of some sort... car, truck, motorcycle, boat, airplane, whatever.
I've waited years to be able to own a toy..
And my '05 crew has seen many hard miles and needs a rest.


So my intention is to build a fun cruiser with a huge trunk that'll be good-to-go for the daily commute, etc also.
I gotta have a little weather-tight secure cargo space, pretty-much always, whenever wherever.
So a practical toy means something in which I can lock away some personal gear and that means a hard tonneau.


I've spent many highway miles in my '05 crew since I rolled it off the dealer lot, daydreaming about an IRS. I had thought to install some manner of IRS on my '05, but recently I decided to pursue a 2-door toy.

My situation has never allowed me to have more than one vehicle at a time, regardless of cost.
If you had given me a 2nd vehicle I would not have been able to keep it, as I'm single and was away from home most of the time working.
A month ago that changed.. and I'm way overdue for some fun.



<ETA a real photo...>


She's liveried like a basic work truck.
She spent her entire life so far on a military base, army reserve in Tennessee issued to non-comm officers as a runaround. Damn thing ain't much larger than a golf-cart anyway, right?



So why post today?
'cause I'm celebrating:

I spoke with Dave Held at Team 321 in Florida.
321HotRod Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 [email protected]

Dave builds these totally custom independent rear suspension assemblies as a weld-in assembly ready to roll. He'll install any variation of a *ord 8.8-inch diff.
(I gotta have a good limited-slip for a 355 toy..)

This is his basic display model:


He displays some customer projects here:
321HotRod Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 [email protected]



I plan at this point if possible to use The Street Machine Manufacturing Company's driveshaft-mounted disk parking-brake, $250.
It'll bolt onto the pinion hub between the diff and the driveshaft.


Dave at Team 321 had never seen the SMMC parking brake kit, but he told me it should greatly reduce the cost of his IRS assembly.
And it'll reduce unsprung weight at the (rear) wheels also, which will improve handling and ride quality.

I'm expecting that IRS assembly out the door ready to be welded in for possibly $4000 or so, after he factors out the cost of parking brakes he isn't providing in this assembly.
Compare that to the cost of a 355 rear disc conversion, a fresh set of ZQ8 leafs, blocks, and QA1 or Belltech shocks, and it seems pretty reasonable to me.

I'm going for a very basic gloss black finish on that rear end assembly.
Couldn't care less about chrome, etc.

Now if I can only find a shop to take this on..
Dave told me he has a list he'll send my way.

I intend to relocate the battery to the rear, to help balance out the front end and get all that high-mounted mass off the left wheel/tire.
Then I'll need to tub the front wheel-wells, mildly.
I don't intend to get into the weeds, but..

Combined with a QA1 front conversion, I'm expecting something that will put a smile on my face and be a practical everyday driver also.
I doubt I would take this on if not for the knowledge I've gained from 355 Nation.net.
:salute:



ETA: I had posted "Mike Held at Team 321..".
Correction, and sincere apology to the man, its DAVE Held, not Mike.
Going way too many directions at once here working to finance this thing..


.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Do you recall the term "going postal" ???
I was kinda getting out on the skinny end of my mental equilibrium. I need therapy.

355-variety motor-toy therapy that is..
Fabbing lots of little details, accesories, and fiddldy-bits ya know......
In that I'm taking my inspiration from you Rich.

...you know.

Now if I could just find a set of small flares.
 

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VrrroooooomWhooooosshhhht
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Aw yiss.

I'd love to have one of these. That rocker arm setup is pretty slick.

In for updates on the cost and installability of this.

Also wondering how long before a v8 swap....
 

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This is going to be interesting to see develop.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
..
Also wondering how long before a v8 swap....
Yeah, I love the LSx series and I want... something with an LSx 5.3, someday.

At the same time, I really love the I-5.
To me the I-5 is the heart and soul of the 355 series.
I've been driving a 3.5L '05 crew for 10 years and I've loved it.


So it's I-5 for me and I don't have plans for any engine mods at all, except possibly headers.
A 3.7L in a standard-cab?
Not Porsche territory I realize but plenty OK for me.

A 5.3L V8 weighs considerably more.... I'm in this for fun cruising, handling, and comfort.



Not going super-low, not going larger than 18-inch wheels, 'cause I'm planning for comfort and practicality. And fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
i looked into those, I was going to buy a jaguar IRS, love the disk brakes right after the pumpkin, IRS's are awesome, subscribed
Locating the brakes inboard gets most of the weight of the rotors away from the wheel, reducing unsprung weight. That improves both ride-quality and handling at the same time.


There was a website for a guy from California I believe who reconditioned Jaguar IRS units and sold them with a semi-custom fabricated mounting frame to order.
His customers are street-rod builders, etc.

ETA: he doesn't seem to have a website any longer, but I found him here:
http://www.hellotrade.com/concours-west-industries/cwi-jag-irs-suspension.html



This is an interesting page:
http://www.jheengineering.com/jagirsgenerations.html

And this:
http://irsforum.boardhost.com/index.php



The Jaguar IRS is well-proven of course but it uses the half-shaft as a control-arm.
Team 321 is offering a unit that does not do this. I like that.
The Team 123 design incorporates an upper and a lower control-arm, and the half-shaft does nothing except transmit drive torque to the hub.


One nice thing with the Jag rear is that later models use a Dana 44 differential, which is golden. Many are in use on Jeeps and other off-road vehicles, a well-proven unit.
If you have the shop skills to fab the mounting and all, a re-purposed Jaguar IRS can be an inexpensive way to go, and parts are easily obtained.


I haven't seen anything to compare to Team 321 for value and engineering.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Took delivery of my new baby yesterday.
I'm headed out of town for a couple days for work, I'll post pics next week.

Having more time to give her a once-over, I'm happy that I found the right truck for this project and I got a very decent deal.
 

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Sounds like an exciting build/project and can't wait to see your efforts progress. Have fun and keep us updated as you morph this new toy.
 

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Dont let the Nation die
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Nice. That irs would be perfect for the mustang.....
 

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US Army 19yrs and ......
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Discussion Starter #17
still no pics?
Sorry,
I left town on business for what was supposed to be a day plus, and now I'm stuck in the middle of something I didn't want to get into.
My camera is at home, but I should be back there by the end of the week.
Not much to see though, just a plain-jane std-cab.

I'm hot to trot..
On a backup hard-drive I have a pdf of the GM frame dimension drawing.
I gotta find that and go thru Team 123's form to provide the measurements they need.
Once I've done that and paid a deposit they will begin to build my rear suspension assembly.

I knew when I bought the truck it has water under the rubber floormats.
I went to the dealer expecting that and I used it to chisel a chunk off the asking price, along with the burnt-out fan resistor ("what??? this truck has electrical problems ???").

So I gotta stop the leak and get to stripping the interior and installing Dynamat before cold weather arrives. I also hope to get the dash painted (black) before cool weather.

Haven't had time yet to find a shop to handle the rear-suspension install and my front-end/QA1 rebuild. Hopefully I can make some phone calls next week.

Its tough working for a living, but now I got a toy to build so I gotta get out and chase every penny.
 

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Fuck it, get it done Rick.................... can't get it done without the loot or a nice credit line LOL

I really hope this IRS comes together
 

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Third brake light leaking?

I know the city truck I see everyday has the issue. Nobody has complained yet. They leave the windows open so it can dry...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Fuck it, get it done Rick.................... can't get it done without the loot or a nice credit line LOL

I really hope this IRS comes together

Spoke with Dave this afternoon. He called me to prompt for the essential frame measurements. He had a time-slot open up in his shop schedule and is ready to rock.

Dave has a parametric solid-model where he can input your frame measurements and out pops a CAD 3-D model to your specific application. Very professional.

I'll have a printout of that model of my rear assembly and a GM frame dimensional drawing to take to a shop for working a deal to do my install.


Dave was also kind enough to call The Street Machine Manufacturing Company to speak with them for me regarding their driveshaft parking-brake.
They don't have a flange for the *ord 8.8 rear diff, so Dave is investigating whether he can fab one for me. If that works out then I'll buy the remainder of the kit from TSMMC.

They were great to work with when I purchased the rear disc conversion for my '05, and I'm confident they'll help us out here.

I think the driveshaft parking brake is the right way to go, and it'll be worth it.

http://www.tsmmfg.com/


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That leak in the cab around the 3rd brakelamp?

I love that leak.... and the fan resistor problem!
I used them to chisel a piece off the purchase price.
Went in and talked the dealer guy off his asking price then "discovered" the leak and the fan resistor problem and talked it down further.
 
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