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(finished)[project] make a multiport tank


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Old 02-26-2008, 01:24 AM   #1
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8 lug thug

I own a bagged 99 S-10, its never done . I recently replaced the front bags with Slam Specialties HE4-6's (equal to a firestone 225c or 2500#) with dual 1/2" ports. I plan on running dual 1/2" fills with single 1/2" dumps. The 5 gallon tanks I currently have only have 2 ports, 3/8" npt...LAME. For those of you new to bags that means:

1 3/8" NPT port is used to fill the tank and 1 3/8" NPT port feeds all 4 bags...this = slow. Even with 1/2" fills there is only so much volume that you can send through that port.

The solution? A multi port tank. This allows each line to have its own fitting directly into the tank. This means FAST. Now you may think "dude, just buy a tank already done". Sure thats the easiest way to do it, but, I really don't need 3 tanks. I have 2 perfectly good tanks and I have the means and ability to make my own. And far be it from me to pass up an chance to weld on something.

Following is an outline of what I will be doing to my tank to convert it:

1) plan where I am going to put the ports on the tank.

2) Find the materials needed to complete this task.

3) Buy anything that I don't have laying around to do this.

4) Prep the tank, this includes:
a: Removing paint from the area that I will be working with.
b: Measuring the tank and plotting where I will put the ports.
c: Make sure everything is aligned properly and center punch marks.

5) Drill out holes using drill press or end mill (most likely the end mill). This includes:
a: The actual cutting of the holes into the tank.
b: Making sure the fittings fit properly and adjusting the holes as
necessary.

6) Weld the fittings into place. This includes:
a: Testing the metal that was drilled out to find proper settings.
b: Properly cleaning and prepping the metal for welding
c: Welding the fittings into place.

7) Hydrostatic Testing (this is a test of the tank using pressurized water to make sure there are no leaks). This test will most likely be done to at least 1.5 times the rated pressure of 150 PSIG for a span of 5 minutes.

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:01 AM   #2
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Steps 1-3

I started the project today. I figured out how I want to do the port configuration and also checked into the price of the 1/2" NPT 3000# half couplings that I will be using ($1.04 each from McMaster-Carr).

Step 4

Today after work I started on the actual tank itself.

Here is what I started with:


as you can see I experimented with a few different methods of removing the paint.

The best method was using an abrasive flap wheel on a die grinder.



The fastest way to remove the paint from the metal is to hold the wheel on about a 30 - 45 angle from the surface you are grinding. This keeps the wheel from bogging and clogging.



Note the flap wheel is nothing more than a bunch of folded pieces of sand paper. These are available in different grits for different applications. I believe this one is 80 grit.

To make things easier and faster I made several lines down the entire length of the tank. This serves 2 purposes. 1 I can see the boundaries of where I need to be and 2 it is easier to remove paint from many small sections than to just have at it on one large section.





There are different motions for removing the paint from the surface effectively. You can use the following:

A swirling motion:


The same swirling motion spread out for demonstration:


Side to side in 3 or 4 inch sections:


I used a combo of both methods, it takes about the same time to remove the material.

Here is the tank stripped down. It took about 10 minutes to do this:



can you see the hidden message:



After I was done having fun I hit the area with some light grit sand paper by hand to even everything out:



I then took it over to the wire wheel and cleaned everything up. (this is an effective way of removing the paint too but not everyone has a 3/4 horse bench grinder with a wire wheel on it)

ohhh the shine:





I wanted to keep the fittings even with the fittings on the side of the tank. I took a square and drew a line down the center of the connections. I drew the line between the shells. This is the area where the weld to connect the cylinder that is the tank body and the semi elliptical heads (The ends of the tank) is.



I then measured the distance using this line. It is 15-1/2" between the shells. I then divided that by 4 and got 3-7/8". I marked these distances out on the line. I then played with some distances until I got the ports spaced where I like them.

The locations of the ports are marked with a line through both sides of the longitudinal line:





you can see where I erased a few marks. Look at a few different options don't just settle for the first outcome that comes along.

All of the small marks were made using a dial indicator:



Do they really need to be accurate to the thousandth. No, but hey its better to be accurate .

Note in a few of the pictures you can see safety glasses on the table. I also had a pair on my face...YOU SHOULD TOO!!!!

As soon as the fittings come in (probably Wednesday)I will start on step 5 and 6. Stay tuned!!!

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Last edited by lincolnmetal; 02-28-2008 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:38 AM   #3
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Looking good Dan, You should just build the tank of your dreams!

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Old 02-26-2008, 02:58 AM   #4
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8 lug thug

Kinda doing just that

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:35 AM   #5
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OK fittings came in today. I got 5 each 1/2" half couplings and 2 each 1/4" half couplings. These will be welded into the tank. The 1/2" pieces will be for air supply to the front bags, the 1/4" pieces will be for draining water from the tanks, this is to try to control corrosion. I also grabbed some 1/2" x 1-1/2" pipe nipples off the shelf at work.

The reason I bought 5 of the 1/2" couplings is just in case I messed up, or I might want to add another port somewhere at another time. It's always good to get an extra or 2, no matter how good you are mistakes happen.

Here is a picture of the half couplings and the nipples:



I decided to weld the nipples into the half couplings to reduce the chance of leaks. The more threaded connections you have, the more chances you have for leaks. Improperly sealed threaded connections are the most common cause of leaks in air suspension systems. I am welding the nipples in now because it will allow me to properly cool them and also its less heat that I will subject the tank to. The more heat you subject metal to, the more fatigued it can become. This can lead to failures.

Prior to welding the nipples and half couplings together I wire wheeled them both.

Here is a picture showing the cleaned side of a nipple and the uncleaned side:



When TIG welding cleanliness is key!

Since we have a handy powered rotary positioner (turn table), I used that for 3 of the 4 welds. It makes life much much easier.

Here is a picture prior to welding:



Note the ground clamp is attached to the machine, and is not close to touching the table. If it is touching, or close to touching the table is can cause the arc to suddenly jump to a different part of the clamp.

Here is a shot during welding:



Having the turn table allows me to keep the torch in the correct position and rotate the piece without stopping the arc. This allows for a much nicer and even weld.

Here is a picture of a piece welded on the turntable:



Note how smooth and even the bead is.

Not everyone has access to a rotating positioner, so I did one free hand:



Note the bead is still pretty even but you can see I started the arc a little far out after rotating the piece. The major downfall to this is that you have to stop and rotate the piece after a little bit. Its just time consuming is all. I could do 2 on the turn table in the time it took me to do that 1 free hand.

Here are both side by side:




Immediately after finishing the weld I put (for the most part tossed) each piece into cold water. This makes the parts easy to handle quickly, and also solidifies the weld by preventing carbon precipitation. This is carbon forming in "molecular clumps" during slow cooling. It can cause a weld to become brittle. In this case it is not a big deal as it will not see much expansion and contraction. Something used in extreme temperature changes would benefit from this method though.

Here is a picture of my cooling bucket:



Thats it for now. All the fittings are welded, and I am ready to drill and weld the tank. I need to make special hold downs for the end mill so I can properly secure the tank to the table.

Enjoy!!

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Last edited by lincolnmetal; 02-28-2008 at 01:39 AM..
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:54 AM   #6
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lookin good so far dan. that tank should have been drilled already...

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:44 AM   #7
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8 lug thug

tanks bro, hah i didnt feel like staying at work really late...and like i said, i gotta make some special hold downs for the tank

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:56 AM   #8
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Nice job dan.. So when are we going to see your truck on the road?

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DAVE

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:26 AM   #9
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8 lug thug

springish

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:05 AM   #10
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Today I finished up this project. The last few days have been spent drilling the holes, grinding them to size, and welding the fittings in. I have about 7-8 hours into this project and I am happy with the outcome!

Here is the tank on the end mill prior to drilling:



I used the end mill as opposed to a drill press because I can precisely move the tank on the X, Y, and Z axis so that the bit s exactly on the center of the mark:





When I am done with one hole I can just reposition for the next hole by turning the X and Z axis. No need to unsecure the tank!

Here is a shot with the smaller Bit that I used to bore the starting hole:



The white stuff all over the place is a coolant/lubricant. You need to use this or the bit will get too hot and dull and/or snap. Plus it cuts more efficiently.

Here is a shot of both bits:



Note the size difference. By using 2 different size bits I was able to drill more efficiently.

Here is another shot of the holes:



I would also use the bigger bit to actually mill the holes larger than the size of the bit, this way I didn't have to grind the hell out of each hole.

Here is a shot of one of the holes prewelding:



Note there is a chamfer ground into the edge to ensure proper penetration.

Here is a shot with Just one fitting welded in. I wanted to do it on the turn table but it was way too awkward.



Each fitting slightly varied in size. Each hole was ground to a corresponding fitting. I numbered the fittings on 3 sides to their corresponding holes. I made sure it was a fairly tight fit, they needed to be hammered in to the hole.



To keep the tank from rolling around I used an aluminum V block to cradle it:



I also used this on the end mill. Made life wayyyyy easier.

I would set the depth then tack the piece in place. This way I was free to make adjustments on the final centering of the fittings:



You can see the gap of the chamfer here. This ensures proper penetration.



I used filler when I welded these fittings in. I used 316SS filler, this will allow the welds to stay fairly corrosion free on the backside.

Here are a few shots of the welds:



I went slow to ensure penetration was maximum. I started the arc on the fitting and once that was fluid I moved it down to the tank surface. Once the 2 puddles became 1, I waited a few seconds and then proceeded with the weld.




_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:05 AM   #11
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And here is is with all 4 fittings welded up:



I waited a few minutes between welding each fitting so that the tank metal had time to cool a bit. Even though it is about 1/8" thick its better safe than sorry.











After everything cooled down I hosed it down with some paint to finish it off:









All said I am pleased with the outcome! It was challenging but worth it. How many people can say they have a hand built multi port tank .

Next and final step before installation is the pressure test.

Thanks for reading and following along! If you have any questions please ask!!!!

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincolnmetal View Post
How many people can say they have a hand built multi port tank .

Next and final step before installation is the pressure test.

Thanks for reading and following along! If you have any questions please ask!!!!
I have one. The detail involved in yours is more than mine and it shows. lol. I have a total of 6 ports. 5 1/2" female boss O-ring fittings and one 1/4" male port for the drain. It was proof tested to over 300psi and fits perfectly where it needs to be. I will be running JIC for all of my fittings where applicable.

Good job on the write up. I wish I would have read it prior to doing mine cause I learned a couple neat tricks.

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Old 03-04-2008, 02:09 AM   #13
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Hehehehe nice!

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Old 03-04-2008, 01:56 PM   #14
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So what's the advantage of having male threads?

At least with female threads, if you strip them, you can tap a larger thread in the bung. What are you going to do with those if the threads get damaged?

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Old 03-04-2008, 11:32 PM   #15
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I don't plan on taking my valves on and off. Having the fittings welded in give me 4 less leak paths.

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

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Old 03-06-2008, 04:13 AM   #16
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are you gonna be able to screw the valves on when there is a vale next to it?

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Old 03-06-2008, 04:18 AM   #17
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I'm probably going to mount the valves near the bags

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

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Old 03-06-2008, 05:51 AM   #18
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So you're putting female NPT to airline fittings on the tank? If that's the case, it wouldn't have eliminated leak paths. Maybe I'm just not following where you're going with this.

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Old 03-07-2008, 01:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98SS View Post
So you're putting female NPT to airline fittings on the tank? If that's the case, it wouldn't have eliminated leak paths. Maybe I'm just not following where you're going with this.
No, that's not the case. My dad owns an automotive hvac shop. The connection to the airline will be crimped on in the same manner that automotive a/c line is done. This method will hold well over 400 PSIG, and is leak-proof. The tubing to be used is standard a/c rubber hose with plastic inner core. This type of tubing is superior to regular rubber tubing as the inner core adds rigidity and also provides a better seal on the barbed ends of the fittings as the plastic conforms to the sharp angle peaks and valleys of the barbing adding a better seal. The fittings to be used are 316SS and their durability and pressure rating far outweigh the $60.00+ cost per fitting. This project as been in the design/planning stage for over a year. Much has been researched, and there will be no standard airline or airline fittings used at anywhere in the front air system. All connections will be 3000# ASME B16.5 NPT fittings.

Upon completion of the project there are 2 different test procedures that I can use to detect leaks. They are as follows:

1) professional grade automotive a/c ultraviolet leak detection dye will be put into the lines at the tank connections and allowed to circulate through the lines to aid in leak detection prior to final assembly. The bags will not be connected, as ball valves will be on the ends to allow the dye to fully circulate through the system. The valves will then be closed and the system fully pressurized and let sit for a predetermined amount of time. By watching my pressure gage I will be able to determine if I have a leak.

2) Assemble the entire system and fill the tanks with an inert gas such as nitrogen, argon, or even oxygen. I will then cycle the system a few times to ensure thorough dispersement of the gas in the system. I will then fully pressurize the bags and allow it to sit for a predetermined amount off time. I will, during this time, periodically check all of the connections for leaks. We have a hand held leak-seeker which "sniffs" for the presence of hundreds of different chemical compounds and atmospheric gases. I cannot use compressed air as it is the same composition as the neutral control setting of the leak-seeker.

Now do you follow?

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:54 PM   #20
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I follow every bit of that. I'm an engineer for a company that makes A/C plumbing lines for automotive, heavy truck & ag equipment, etc. I design and develop tooling that end forms aluminum tubing end fittings that mate and seal either rubber hose to AL tube or AL tube to compressor, condensor, TXVs, etc.

400psi is an understatement for these lines. We typically leak check at 500psi with Nitrogen, but can go much much higher. Burst tests typically fall in the 2,000 to 3,000 psi range, but obviously I don't recommend ever going anywhere near that. It's rather violent. haha.

We also have the sniffer method, but don't use that as often.

Despite all this, I guess I still don't see why the need for the male thread instead of female.

Not knocking the work at all, because it's great. Just trying to understand why, that's all.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:50 PM   #21
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Honestly, just for the hell of it. And I'm going to use a female swivel end.

I'm an engineer as well...if that isn't evident lol

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lincolnmetal View Post
Honestly, just for the hell of it. And I'm going to use a female swivel end.

I'm an engineer as well...if that isn't evident lol
Engineer?????????????????????????????

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1/4milecrazy View Post
Engineer?????????????????????????????
yes that would be one of my duties at work...and im also going to school for a me degree

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Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:01 AM   #24
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Yeah, I had read that in the "what do you do" thread. It looks good. When will we see it rigged up and installed?

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Old 03-08-2008, 03:58 AM   #25
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soon, gotta button a few things up first then its time to tear it down

_____________________________________________
Dan

2004.5 CCSB 4wd LLY Duramax Diesel 17,500 lb recon winch, aFe mouthpiece, 5" MBRP straight pipe downpipe back, resonator plugged internally, spectre filter, airbox mod, Edge CTS w/lockpick reverse cam, PPE SS Tie Rod Sleeves, 17x9 procomp 7031's w/33.5x12x17 super swamper m16's

mig...tig...stick...any questions
lincolnmetal's welding learning center

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