Well, I’ll start at the end. I messed this up! If you are reading this and getting ready to do the z-brackets, make sure you do your homework first. I was so eager to get moving after my hiatus, I rushed this a little bit and I’m going to have to replace the two innermost z-brackets. Research the “Checkoway Method” and use that. Here’s a good link.
Van’s instructions on this particular step are not good. So I went to my buddy Mike’s site to see how he did it. As soon as I started reading, I could tell he didn’t follow Van’s instructions, but I didn’t take the time to fully figure out exactly how he did it…. As a result of my rush, I will not have the proper edge distance on my two inner most brackets. Oh well.
I’m not going to re-write the whole method as I’ve not yet done it myself, but I will say this about the brackets. Offset the holes slightly toward the web to allow better clearance for the pop rivet puller. HOWEVER, the innermost (here’s what I did not do) brackets need to be offset AWAY from the web in order to allow a socket head to fit over the bolt. Additionally, the rivet holes attaching to the tank will be better positioned with that offset.
Since I messed up the two z-brackets, I decided to move on to the tank construction. The instructions tell you to make the stiffeners at this point. That can probably wait till later, but heck, I might as well do it now. And that brings up to my current progress.