Month: December 2011

A big night…

JC came around to give me hand on the car.  Together we got a stack done! (of talking that is :))

The engine and gearbox are now back in the car, hopefully they wont have to be removed again.  We’ve already learnt so much from this that will be better on the next car!

We also sorted out where all of the water pipes, water pump, air intake, intercooling piping etc will run. Next job for me is to start making them.

Then we got all of the steering rack etc in and bolted up, then got the steering wheel etc all mounted as well.


I then did the final cuts on the strut top mounts, so that was out of the way and I could then mount the suspension.

Finally starting to resemble a car again.

I’ve got the new brake calipers mocked up in position, one of the next jobs is to create the new ‘dog bones’ to hold these on.  Might start to tackle that one tonight, along with finishing mounting the water pump, now that I have bought another piece of radiator hose today that should be the right angled bend to make it all fit – I’ve changed my mind on the original mounting spot, and will now modify a couple of bits to move where its located as its going to make the whole setup much nicer.

New book

Got a new book for X-mas, of the small amount that I have read so far I like this book a lot!

This book is all about driving technique, but also goes into how to read things like the tyre surface to work out what car adjustments you need to make to go faster.  In fact, the whole book is about going faster 🙂

How to keep your cool when its 40 outside?

Last night I got some painting of the transmission tunnel done, and got some of the firewall insulation completed.

The drivers footwell area is mostly complete, there is just one small section that needs to be welded, so that’s been left…

The trans tunnel bar work is also now painted, ready for the gearbox to go back in tonight.

There are a couple of bits of the floor to complete still, but i had run out of paint….

I’ve got the cooler and radiator back in now, ready to work on the piping to connect them up as soon as the motor goes back in (tonight hopefully).

I hopefully have all the pieces that I need for the intercooler piping, after yesterdays trip to the shops.

Coolant system modifications

The first job completed in the last few days was to cut up the radiator.  So the original top mounting tabs were cut off, as was the radiator cap mounting.  The radiator cap is going to be in another section of the system, as the radiator is now laying down, so the cap location is no longer the highest point in the system (which is where you need it to be for it to all work properly).

On the lathe I machine some threaded spuds to weld onto the top the radiator, to allow it to receive a bolt.  This makes the installation of the radiator much easier in its new location.  I then cut a circular piece of flat plate, to weld over the hole where the radiator cap was removed.  Then it was time to make a new, larger water outlet at the bottom of the radiator.  This larger outlet is to match up with the larger inlet of the electric water pump, making the plumbing of this much easier as everything is now one size for that section of piping.  I used some alloy pipe, that I welded a ring around the end, then machined this on the lathe to create the retaining lip on the end, that holds the hose on.

This was then re-painted in black wrinkle paint like the rest of the radiator is.

Attention was then turned to modify the intercooler.  Don’t you just love buying nice, new, expensive parts, then taking an Angle Grinder and cutting the ends off it :).  I’ve made up the new curved outlets, and these have been welded together.  The more alloy that I weld, the better I’m getting – along with the help from the new amperage adjustment that is now on the hand piece on the TIG.  They are still not perfect welds, but I was really proud of how these welds turned out (it looks worse in this picture than it does in life).

I still need to weld these onto the intercooler, but this needs to wait until the engine goes back in, so that I can align these outlets in the correct direction to point them to the turbo and the inlet of the engine to make the pipe lengths as short as possible.

Then I cut up the coolant swirl pot that I made about a year ago during the “motor swap” that I was doing, that has now seen a full new chassis being built :/.  Anyway, this now meant that to make the chassis the best it could be, a tube needs to pass through the center of this tank.  So, back then I took the decision to modify the tank and make the chassis in the ideal way.  Now it was time to pay for that decision…. The grinder came out again and the mounting and the water inlet pipe were cut off and ground all smooth.  This is as far as I can go for now, it needs to wait until the motor goes back in so that I can orientate the new inlet to the tank correctly, and make the new mounting bracket for it.

After a 39.9 degree day today, predictably no progress was made… Tomorrow is going to be the same weather wise, but I’m hoping to get out there tomorrow night to finish the painting of the chassis center section, so that the motor and gearbox can go back in, allowing all of the other items above to be finished.

Grinding and painting!

After 3 hrs on the grinder, all of the tubing and the remaining body shell parts have been ground off and smoothed out.

Then spent a bunch of time putting sealant in all of the sections where the firewall meets the chassis tubing, then it was onto painting.

So then the painting began!  Even though I’m probably a week early on the paint, for me its a good moral boost as its a step where the car is actually going back together.

I’ve got some more sanding to do (and pictures to take :)) on the frame in the center section of the car, then that can be painted too.  As soon as that is done the gearbox and motor can go back in so that I can start working on the intercooler and coolant piping.

‘More little bits’ update

In the last post I talked about some of the little bits that I made, so here they are completed and ready to weld onto the car.

So here you can see how the bolts will attached from the bottom.  This bolt will go though the bumper and screw into this little spud.  This is then attached to one of the tubes that make up the car.

Photos of them on the car and finished:

In the first pic, the spud is the bit at the top, fairly easy to see.  These ones will hold the corner of the front 1/4 panel.

In the second pic, its at the bottom of the bars that are heading down and to the front of the car.  These ones will hold the bottom of the bumper and the floor.

3hrs work = 4 little parts

I needed to machine up a couple of little threaded pieces to mount the bumper etc.  This involves the lathe, so first item was fixing the piping that runs the coolant.  The existing pipe has spent a little too long in the sun and is no longer very happy, liking to split in various places while nobody is in the shed.  So, first job was to redo that.

I also had to resharpen some of the cutting bits.  So around 40mins of setup, to machine 4 little things that took about 10 minutes.  Nice progress so far….  :/

Then I needed to weld these little pieces into some tubing with the TIG – Which also needed to be fixed…  So I changed the plug on the front, made up a new cable for it, replaced the switch in the handpeice, modified it to fit the new adjuster knob and then taped it back together like all good shed engineers do.

The hand piece now has the start/stop button on it, and it now also has a knob that I can use to adjust the current that the welder is putting out, right from the hand piece, while I’m still welding!  So what you say, well when doing alloy, or even small steel parts like I was about to do, build up heat as you go.  So when you first start welding, you  need  a higher current, then as the heat builds up in the piece that you are welding you need to turn the current down, else it applies too much heat and you melt a hole in it.  I used to have to stop, put the helmet up, go over to the machine, change it, then start welding again.  Now I can do it from the hand piece – without stopping the weld 🙂

So, after all of that, totaling around 3hrs of work, I now had 4 little pieces of metal…

Very impressive for 3hrs work hey!   :/

I’ll show what these things become in a future post.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Fitted the panels back on to make sure everything was correctly aligned before I started welding everything up.

It all fits well, which is a nice start 🙂

I then progressed to working out exactly where the exits in the bonnet were going to be placed.  The masking tape rectangles show where the cutouts will be.

And then the night was over…

Another days work – accelerated!

JC and Terry came around late in the arvo and gave me a hand for the rest of day, and into the night.  Thanks boys!

We got a bunch more of the front framework completed, got the radiator and intercooler mounts all built, made new plates to hold the bonnet and front fenders on.

Then JC found the angle grinder (I had cunningly hidden it under the welder)  and proceeded to perform some important weight reduction – removing all of the remaining standard front end.

Some detail of where the old car stops, and the new begins.

I’ve just got a couple of little braces left to do, and a touch more grinding to clean a few areas up, then the frame painting can start!

Thanks again to the boys for their help, it was a fun night and get a lot done too.