Wheels are more important than you think when it comes to designing suspension, so you aren't mega early.
you're right. By my math, the tires (205/60/15) are 1.6" taller than what I would like to run. I'm thinking of 205/50/15. it is a readily available size, and commonly used by others on here. so.. I'll need to address that before I really get into suspension design.
Was able to hang some new lights in my garage today, and I finished building my table today. was summoned to federal jury duty, and was dismissed at 1pm, so I had some time before I had to pick up my little one from day care (and her mom was still at work).
I was looking at tolerances for table tops, and it seems that everyone is satisfied with moderate intolerance in surface levels. I built mine in a slightly odd way. Knowing that my garage floor isn't anywhere near true anymore.. I built a frame out of lumber ON top of a sheet of melamine, laid out across 1x4 pine stringers. checking after every joint went together with a t square and measuring tape. I then attached the legs (staggering the two middle ones, so there was more than enough clearance on both sides of the table for my engine hoist legs), flipped it upright, and attached a sheet of 3/8 exterior plywood as the base for the top. This was the straightest sheet I could find, and went 3/8 because it is still able to be "corrected" using some flat shims and screws in strategic locations. I then busted out my trusty straight edge and checked the plywood. I was shooting for less than .5mm (5 sheets of normal copy paper) difference, knowing that the melamine would absorb some of the differences across the surface. I then positioned the melamine across the top panel and spun and flipped it until I got the best "natural" flat surface (using a straight edge) across the melamine. Then, using a combination of shims and screws, I mounted the melamine to the rest of the table. I chose 2.5" #9 construction screws. this left nearly an inch of the neck of the screw thread free, so that the surface of the melamine could be pulled down where needed due to the high spots created by the plywood underneath. I also sealed over all the heads with an oil based acrylic paint, to try and protect any moisture from penetrating the melamine. I have not decided how to seal the ends of it, but it is definitely on my short list.
Prior to this, I tried to use 1x4 pine stringers laid across between the plywood and the melamine, but they amplified the imperfections and I couldn't get them arranged in a way that smoothed out the surface AND contributed to the tables strength.
what I was left with when I was done tinkering with it, was a surface, that to the best of my knowledge and according to my straight edge, is at most, .2mm difference in height across the entire table. obviously, I do not have an 8 foot straight edge, so I could only test 4 foot sections at once.. but I am fairly confident that it is more than decent enough to construct the frame.
I am expecting my frame to not be perfectly square, so getting as flat a surface as possible to begin with was important to me.
another comment about the table.. I am an above average tall guy (just over 6', 1.82m for you euro dudes) and have spent more than my fair share of time bending slightly at the waist fabricating. I'm not sure why, but every welding table I've ever worked on has been between 28 and 32" tall. It's great if you're sitting on a stool.. but since this is quite a large project, I figured i'd be moving quite a bit around the table. So, I built it at 36" without the melamine.. so with the plywood and melamine, its just over 37" to the top of the table. I have my concerns about clearance to the rafters of my garage. I have 4', which should be plenty for the time that the frame will spend on the table before I remove it for the larger assembly bits. I will probably build some small saw horse type stands like many others have done for the later stages. I considered putting casters on it, but could not find appropriately sized casters in stock, and being that my garage is 400 sq feet, I didn't think I would be moving it very much.
I forgot, visible here.. I left one of the long side runs of the frame 1.5" longer. You can see it sticking out the end. My reasoning for this is kind of stupid. I wanted somewhere to stick an extension cord/air hose, so It wasn't just flopping around on the floor. I trip on things, a lot, so I was trying to be preemptive. It was nice when moving the cord around the table. I was able to stuff it in there, and not have to yank and tug and flip it trying to get it free off of whatever it was stuck on.
I also have not yet done any of shelf or bracing for the bottom of the legs yet. The reason being, I have not decided If I want to do a shelf or just braces.. the floor is the biggest shelf of them all anyways. As is, the table is quite sturdy. It has very little flex in the structure of it and I've already put 500lbs of weight on it with little complaint from the surface.
I think next up is to cut all my steel for the frame, and start laying it out on the table. after that, I will pull the motor/trans from the s10 so I can complete the frame. It's getting cold here, fast.. near 20* over night, and I have a small heater that does a good job of keeping it bearable in the garage, but it isn't a sauna by any means. I've been toying with the idea of trying to find a wood stove.. but for the 1-2 hours at a time I get to spend in the garage, it isn't very ideal.
Forced Induction + Magic Spinning Doritos = EMod