Saturday, January 11, 2014

Time for more upgrades to the AMPhibian.  The epoxy skin job has held up well, no more cracks in the two years since I did it, so it's obviously time to stress it even more.  One large drawback of the plastic bathtub design of AATV's is the lack of mounting points for any sort of equipment.  The solution is to make an angle iron "belly band" that goes around the perimeter seam.

The purpose of this was to allow me to attach a plow.  I wanted to cut a trail into a steep side hill leading down to my stream.  I wasn't sure if the AMPhibian would have the traction and power needed so before I got too far into the project I slapped together a crude mount that would allow me to test the capability for bulldozer duty.

It worked well enough that I used it as is for quite a while and moved some significant dirt, before the wood finally split.

I brought it into the shop and began the transformation from wood into steel, including the belly band.  The design was adapted from a similar setup I'd seen on 6x6 world.

The angle iron pieces act as clamps to hold the belly band in place without drilling into the plastic and weakening it.
Before the ground was frozen I was able to get the trail in passable condition, though it needs more grading to reduce the slope so it's not such a scramble to get back up, especially when wet and muddy.

Now the plan is to get two 24 Volt linear actuators to move the blade up and down, each running off one half of the 48 Volt pack.  Using two will also allow me to add tilt capability if I wish.  I don't think I'll bother with power angle, but who knows.  With the belly band in place maybe I'll finally get around to building that rollbar.