Month: August 2012

The first real part off the mill

I had done a few cuts with it, to see it going, but here is the first real part.

Its 5mm alloy plate – the start of a tool holder for the tooling bits for the Mill.

All those holes are perfectly aligned and spaced – something that I’ve never been able to do by hand, until now that is 🙂  The outer edge has been machined too, so its perfectly square too.

The weight and rigidity of the mill has made a massive difference to even my existing tools, like my hole saws.  On the mill, they cut so much cleaner on the mill than they ever did on the drill press – I’m very impressed, and happy.

I made a little overhead cupboard to store all the tolling for the mill.  I wanted something with a door on it to protect all of the finely machined surfaces of the tools from flying angle grinder sparks, weld splatter and any other muck that I’m spraying around.  The tool holder shown above will live in this cupboard too.

Pics soon….

Play time!

Got our performance bonus from work last week, so it was time for shopping.

For a long, long time I’ve wanted a milling machine.  Each time something else came up, or things just didn’t work out.  Well no more!

Managed to get the monster home without incident!  That was a not a relaxing drive.

When loading it on the trailer at the shop, they only had a forklift.  To fit it over the side of the trailer we had to stack it on two pallets.  This made it much higher than I was anticipating.

Now, the reason why this was a problem was that then plan was to back the trailer into the shed under the hoist, and use that to lift the nearly 900kg off the trailer and onto the ground (That’s heavier than the race car – which is now 890kg).

With it packed up on pallets it was now going to be too high to get into the shed…. hmmm…..

No probs, I’ll rotate the head sideways, cause that will give me plenty of room.  The only issue was that I couldn’t figure out how!  (In the end there was a locking pin in there that I did not find until after it was in the shed)

So, first thing was to remove the motor, as that sticks up making the tallest part of the machine.  The backed it up to the shed to see how much more height I needed.  About 5cm too high still….

Next was to use an old trick, let down the tyres on the trailer, which will lower the whole trailer.  That did the trick and I finally got the trailer in under the hoist, very relieved, as when they loaded it onto the trailer on two pallets at the shop – I was wondering how I was going to get it off as it looked way too tall to fit into the shed!

Then put some straps under it, connected to the arms on the hoist and lifted it just enough to get the pallet off the trailer, then pushed the trailer out the way and lowered it onto the ground.

Did the same thing again to get it off the pallet, and then lowered it onto a piece of sheet wood, with a bunch of metal tubes under it – Egyptian pyramid building style.  Then  by moving it forward, taking the poles that rolled out the back and putted them back under the front again, I started the slow push from one side of the shed to the other.

I figured out that by putting the poles under the front on angles, I could actually steer it 🙂   Well, a little bit of steering anyway.  So with some 3 point turns, some crab steering across the shed, she was finally almost in position.

Then, using the block-and-tackle hooked to the roof, I was able to tilt the mill enough forwards and backwards to edge it across into its final position, and remove the metal poles from under it.

And here she sits….

Then it was a little bit of cleaning up, wiring up security lights on the shed and hooking up the house alarm to the shed as well.  After that, it was 2am, so well and truly time for bed.

Wanners Results

A mixed day, 3rd outright and 1st in class (and first tin top) was a very good result, but had two incidences of the injector o-rings coming off again 😦

Fixed it once, then got a run in before it did it again.  So the day ended early, but the lap was good enough.  On the last run that I did (when it broke) the handling was much better – so there was more time in it…

The weekend before the storm

As is the way with me, after having plenty of time to get the car ready for Waneroo, I’ve now run out of time again.  All because of the addiction of going faster….

On previous events, the air intake temperature (temp of air going into motor) was much higher than what you want to see.  There were two possible reasons for it – One was that I’d not made any ducting to force more air through the intercooler, and secondly that the air filter is in a location near the exhaust, and I never got around to finishing the box around it to keep the hot exhaust air away from it.  The ducting into the intercooler is done and pending time over the next few nights, I want to re-locate the air filter as well, to put it in a better location (hindsight is a wonderful thing :))

Looking into the duct.


From the side.


Next on the list was to make some improvements to the drivers door.  One is due to the fact that I’ve cut so much out of it that its really floppy now, and doesn’t want to shut very well.  The second one is to make it a little bit safer.  While I know that its a bit late to have come to this realization, but my recent overnight trip to Sydney made me think out things a bit different.  Sophie was very upset because I was not there to read her a story and say goodnight, and by the time that I got out of the presentation that I went to they were already asleep.  I’ve never really worried about me dying, and I never really thought that the kids would miss me that much – I’m at work for most of the time that they are awake.  So I guess as I’m more important to them (than I am to myself) I really need to spend some more time making the car as safe as it can be in an accident.  So to stop the floppy door syndrome, and to make it safer in a side impact the door is now filled with 120mm thick foam across the whole door, and there is now an internal skin that is a lot more structural than the standard door trim.  The idea is that in a side impact, the foam in the door crushing against the roll-cage will absorb some of the impact, rather than the metal skin of the door just instantly crushing.  Hopefully I never have to test it out, but if I do, at least I’ve done all that I can to make it safer.

The door weighs in at 15kg though – not too happy about that.  The next version needs to be safe, but lighter 🙂

The reflections from the inner skin make it look all warped…


The skin is rolled over at the top – again no sharp corners are safer…


I finished off the passenger side of the rear diffuser (aerodynamics) so the outer strakes are finished now (apart from paint).  At some point I need to make one or two more strakes for the middle section.


JC asked me the other day as to what was inside of the lower A-Pillar section of the car.  I didn’t know, but its been on the list of things to remove from the car for some time, so I cut it open to see what was in there.  The answer is not much……..


And it only took about 900 grams out of the car 😦  So JC, the answer is very little!

After that it was a lot of items that were not really photo worthy – like changing spark plugs, changing the diff oil, putting a new battery in, cleaning the inside of the car, re-assembling the removable firewall section, putting the rear window back in, putting the front bumper and fenders on, putting the new fire ext in, etc, etc, etc……

More dreams

Last night I had to change the oil in the car, so I either needed to cut a hole in the floor or take the floor off (the floor completely covers the bottom of the motor, where you drain the oil out of).  So I undid the bolts holding the floor on, but the floor also attaches to the front bumper.  Then it was either take the 8 bolts off that hold the fenders and bumpers on, or the 12+ screws and glue that hold the floor to the front splitter.  So funnily enough it was easier to just take the whole front off the car…..

And this is what you are left with.  A front end in one piece (sort of).  The next project that I want to do it to take a mold of this whole front and make a one piece fibreglass end for it.  The parts here are heavy in most cases, and that whole thing weighed a lot more than I was expecting.

So I’ll see how I go after waneroo as to if I can get a start on this one piece front clip.

Another angle:

Its still alive!

Got all the injectors and parts back in the car last night, and got it run up on the dyno.

Its still running, and still producing the same peak power, so it’s looking like I got lucky and the motor has not been destroyed.

While its a good thing, I was liking the idea of putting something different in, like a Nissan VK56 motor…..