Thursday, 28 November 2013

Radiator, Rear suspension fitting and brake lines (yet again)

Well ill start with the brake lines, I was never quite happy with the the T pieces, when tightening in the male connectors they always felt a little too lose till tight and although plenty of thread I always thought maybe a little more was possible....So I bought some different ones and I'm glad I did!! the new ones felt so much tighter when being tightened by hand and with an even longer threaded bit, they didn't feel like they were going to rip the thread away when tightening. So I'm very happy with the brake lines now. I just need to complete the rear brake lines and I will aim to test the brakes as soon as possible as Id that area completed and tested in case I have to redo any pipes.

Next I test fitted the rear corner, this involved fitting the subframe which I had to source 4x M12 170mm bolt.. Once that was on I got the coilover and arms on.

The Coilovers I have gone for are the BC Racing Coilovers (RM), the main reasons are they have pillowball top mounts and also the dampening setting is on the bottom of the shock rather then the top, So once the bodywork is on, I can easily adjust the front ones which would otherwise be covered by the shell.

After this I then fitted the larger discs (323mm) at the rear which is using the stock MR2 rear calliper because of the handbrake mechanism.The calliper is moved further out by a bracket on the hub. By using the balance bar when setting the car up I can ensure the car meets the requirements of the IVA in terms of front to rear balance. Although one thing to note is the IVA will require me to wirelock the balance bar as adjustable bias is not allowed.

Following this my uncle (he has to be mentioned now or he may not do any more parts) produced a bracket to secure the radiator from the top for added stability, It was simply attached using 3 rivnuts into the frame on a S shaped bracket which bolted through the lip of the radiator. This means if I ever have to replace the radiator then the bracket can be removed and radiator easily swapped.As well as this I have bought new SPAL electric fans, so I will of saved a lot of weigh with the new radiator and fans as well as improved the cooling efficiency further.

The Photo below will show the kick panel has now been sprayed and installed by the pedals filling the space with more black, Again I have chosen to rivnut this panel because once the shell is on I might need to remove this as an inspection panel. to insure there is no rattling from it I have placed 2mm foam in between the panel and the frame which should stop the rattling.

You will also see in the photo the position for the small washer jet bottle and the aircon drier. The only two things left to go into the front of the car are the battery and air condenser. (plus wiring of course). I need to source a condensor that ideally is around 450mm wide and height of no more then 320 max, any ideas just comment!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Kick Panel, Air con unit and additional brackets and parts

The one thing I'm realising is no matter how much prep I've done I'm always fabricating new parts or brackets! So last weekend and this week one of the main tasks was the kick panel behind the pedals.

I wanted this to be removable so needed to be made to size then rivnuts put in the chassis so I can take it off going forward for any work in the future as Once the shell is on, things become trickier. Again the benefits of family in manufacturing came to my aid with a laser cut piece. I then had to sand the steering column hole large enough to be able to fit the steering column with it in place and also sand out areas where welds existed on the chassis, that's all done now so the part will be sprayed.

Once this was done I fitted the aircon unit, with the car being RHD this meant the aircon units pipe mounts would be different from the demo car so I had to take this into account. However once mounted although I was happy with the position I was unhappy with the flex in the brackets so they will be copied and thicker steel ones made. You'll see in the pic below I used a U shape bracket (silver in colour) this is because I plan to make a bottom part to the dash to give a more finished look and this will mount on these parts.

Once that was done I could install the aircon drier on the other side of the bulk head and also found a position for my compact 1litre washer jet bottle, so its accessible through the front hatch but out of the way!

The bolts I'd been waiting on for the rear subframe arrived so I can test fit that and make sure everything fits well. As well as that I should receive brackets to fit the radiator properly and pipework securely finishing that area over the weekend.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Brake lines (Again!) Steering parts and solutions

Well Last time I said I was going to run the brake line and clutch line down the tunnel with the coolant pipes. It became clear quite quickly this wasn't going to happen with fowling taking place between the brake pipe and coolant pipes which would of produced an IVA fail.

So a change of tact was needed, now the tunnel only holds the coolant pipes, secured by 3 P clips each, very secure and going nowhere any time soon! Then more P clips holding the vertical pieces of the coolant system as well. Perfect one area done in terms of securing.

The rear brake and clutch line I decided to attach to the top of the tunnel in the end, there is plenty of room there for all the pipes and cables so it fitted nicely. The IVA states it needs to be secure but I know for wiring it says maximum of 300mm apart. So I decided to start as I mean to go on with the brake pipes secured roughly 280mm apart along the clips. showing the IVA examiner I want to do all parts to a high standard should put me in good stead!

You will notice that the part down the tunnel has a couple of wide bends at the end and although neat, they could be better...why...Simply put if the flares leak and I need to re-flare I have enough slack to give it one more go! After that a new pipe is needed. It looks neater in the flesh and as I wont see the pipes in this position ever again was the most natural place to put the extra bit of pipe.

I had two other problems I needed to solve before moving on to the front brake lines and both these issues involved the steering area.

1) Steering Rack Column was too short
2) steering track rod ends were too short

Issue 1; The original design of the DDR was with a PAS rack with fluid drained and holes blocked, I didn't want this as it gives a heavy rack / steering and I already have plans for an electric PAS system later. So I wanted to change to a manual rack but this meant the column was too short (the PAS rack spline sits about 4cm higher then the manual rack). Queue bring in a family member and a custom column extender was made

You can see where the spline and the union has had a shaft of metal welded in, this moves the union further towards the bulkhead changing the angle at which the union goes across to the spline on the rack. You can see in the pic above, the steering column goes behind the brake with plenty of space! Imagine that piece going to the bottom of the pic above where the join is and you can imagine how it would fowl on the brake pedal when pushed. The picture below shows good the space behind the pedal as well as the brake and clutch pipe in the background.

Issue 2; The tie rod ends as standard are too short and were pulling the Toe in on the hubs. Queue another family member coming up with a suggestion in case the larger ones weren't to my fancy (lucky to have a lot of family members in manufacturing). So some rod extenders were created and these bridged the gap nicely giving full adjustment. I seem to of got my family into the car as much as me with the steering rack piece and rod extenders both being done in a day for me. Pic Below;

Next will be to complete the front brake lines from the T piece and then get the radiator and new electric fans on to the front of the chassis and to make some supporting brackets.

Everyone likes seeing pictures and if you want to see them first or different ones, I am posting to twitter more than I thought I would so feel free to follow

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Issues, Solutions and Brake system

So last time you remember I fitted the steering rack and had an issue on fowling the brake pedal, well the manual rack and longer column does appear to resolve this. I now need to fit this permanently and get the column attached permanently as well.(that will be a future update)

So in the meantime I have been putting the front suspension corners together. This showed up an issue with the steering rack as it was pulling both wheels inwards, after speaking with DDR I need different / longer tie rod ends so am awaiting the details on them for the time being but at least that mean't I could move on and not worry about the issue.

The next area for me is to fit the brake lines, however because of the tunnel under the car being large but still tight to carry the coolant pipes I needed to do a dry fit of both at the same time. So in the tunnel I will mount the rear brake and clutch lines at the top of the tunnel and the coolant pipes underneath. I am using brake line clips that you simply drill a 6mm hole for and push the clip in, they are far more secure then I thought they would be and will also pass the IVA test.

The IVA states it has to be secure and as there are no bends in this area, there should be no movement, the extra support will be on either end where the pipe bends. My first issue was...I cant get a drill up there...So I had to drill through the very substantial steel frame  from inside the cabin...then drill back out the front side. I will have to grommet the holes in the cabin which wont be seen when the interior is done, but I had no other solution as a right angle drill wouldn't even fit up there.

This weekend Ill be making up the initial pipes for the clutch and brake line down the tunnel and then hopefully rivnut'ing below for some P clips to hold the coolant pipes. I've decided I will run the Power cable, wiring loom, aircon pipes, earth down inside the cabin, most will go down the centre of the cabin under the centre console as there is plenty of room. I will separate the positive cable's run point from the loom / earth to ensure no electrical issues are caused.

Finally in the final prep for the brake line creation / positioning, I fitted together the front suspension and brakes. They are 324mm Supra MkIV vented front discs with 4 pot Nissan front callipers (used on Sx200 / Skyline GTR) with an adapter bracket and stainless steel flexible brake line (PVC covered - required for IVA test)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Master cylinders, Pedals and Steering Rack

The Pedals and master cylinders have to be installed together as one piece doing them separately wont work and you will end up undoing some bolts and putting the pedals back on, Trust me :)

To make this easier its better to do the clutch pedal first + master cylinder then move on to the brake pedals. First of all I attached the pedal from above loosely so it has plenty of movement in it. I then attached the master cylinder from behind the firewall and through the pedal back mounting.

This is why both have to be done together, the master cylinder bolt will also go into additional pedal mounts as well.Tighten as you would do normally pinching across corners before doing a final tighten on each screw. The reservoirs then attach to a mounting bracket nice and easily.

Next came the steering Rack, now I had a PAS steering Rack and column and this was actually an issue in itself. The issue is not that they have different mounting points but that the PAS rack union point is higher and the union uses a damper making the union much larger, this causes it to fowl on the back of the brake pedal when pushed down and it fowls quite a way up.

I then received my manual rack today and installed that and can see that the angle at the union point it is a stepper angle and lower down without the PAS parts, so this should hopefully resolve the fowling. However the manual rack has a smaller spline size coming out of the rack compared to a PAS unit and I had already researched and found this so am awaiting a new Column to arrive, you can also see the column wouldn't even reach now as shown below. (look to the left of the pedal and you can see the column)

I understand the manual column to be longer and should resolve the issue, if not I will make a custom piece to bridge the gap which wont be a massive issue.

Following on from that I started to dry fit the steering column and get an idea for position, being a tall guy at 6ft 1 I want as much cabin space as possible so will be trying to place the steering column as far forward as possible on the mounts. I also wanted to do this as I noticed how far forward the pedals are and I like to sit comfortably. However the final fitting needs to wait till the actual column piece arrives.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Delivery Details and Preparation for working

The delivery itself went smoothly, but the biggest advice to anyone I can give would be find a local company with a loading dock and ask to borrow it if possible, even if charged! At one point the car was like this.

Not really how you want your car in the air! But this shows the height difference between a delivery truck and a flat bed truck.

Following that it was nice and easy to drag off the flat bed truck.

With space at a minimum I first had to move the shell into where it was going to be stored in the back garden, this was done on delivery day. First of all I had to undo the bolts holding it to the chassis. It was very securely attached and probably took around an hour to free all the panels up but once free it could be removed, it was late by this point and the red below is from fireworks. The fact it was so secure was really nice to see.

I wanted to get the chassis into the garage that night but its so strong and bulky 3 of us just couldn't quite lift it. So I arranged 6 of us to lift it on the Saturday and place it on the car Dolly, with 6 it was no issues, I think with 5 of us was possible but would of been harder. So outside it sat for the night, although was wrapped up.

Once it was in the garage, there was some surface rust on places and this was most likely from the added bonus of being at sea for so long, so I cleaned up the chassis removing all the dust and surface rust spots. these wiped off without an issue. My thoughts on the chassis, is it is strong and the welds are really good. I cant fault it, its going to feel like a very safe car when in it. The paint on the chassis has runs in places which is not ideal and probably could be a little better, but that said it is thick and as its primary job is to protect the steel it does that well. Of course the difference with this chassis is, 99% of it wont be seen.

Following wiping the whole thing down, I looked for ages to check what parts had been scraped on loading etc... and gave a very light sand and spray of gloss black, there was only a few but I wanted to ensure every area was covered.

Not content with that, I decided I would also polish the chassis, this way the paint has a bit more protection as well, it may be a bit OTT. But I will get no other point to do it so easily once things start to bolt on.

Below are a few shots of the chassis, as you can see I am in a single garage, but the car is pushed more towards that wall, so one side has about 10" free and the other about 2 foot. Its not spacious by ant stretch of the imagination but I can work in there.

So the next step....fitting master cylinders, pedals and steering column and Rack first.