Archive for November 2012

Great Article on Ham Radio Heroes Today!   Leave a comment

Nov. 29, 2012 by Glenn Bischoff in Urgent Matters

Ham radio, public service and super storm Sandy. . .

One fact in Glenn’s article needs correction:

ARRL is the American Radio Relay League. I worked there in Newington, CT many years ago…

Singing the Praises of Unsung Heroes

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Thanksgiving 2012: Type 65 Coupe Progress and Some BBQ Meats   Leave a comment

The front steering arms came in the day before Thanksgiving. That meant that I could continue building the front suspension. These little cast iron parts were the things holding my progress:

I installed the steering arms without too much drama. Installing the front hubs onto the spindles was another matter. The instruction manual says something about them being a tight fit, and that is true. I did not want to damage anything, so I used a PVC pipe elbow (remember the body dolly? This was a left-over part from that…) to protect the hub, and I used a plastic hammer to pound the hub into place. A few whacks and it slid right in. I hope that I won’t have to remove them someday – they are stuck on really tight.

And yes, a coupler or a T would have made a better anvil, but all I had on-hand was this elbow. Anyway – the hubs are now mounted to the spindles.

Torque spec for the hubs is 225 to 250 lbs/ft. This is a lot. The nut takes a 36mm socket and I bought one earlier (Coin Star money) just for this step. It took a lot of cranking on my 1/2-inch torque wrench to meet that 250 lb mark. I thought I was going to lift the chassis off the jack stands!

Thanksgiving Ribs

Meanwhile, I prepared some Kansas City Style pork spare ribs for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house. I was in a hurry, and forgot to completely trim the ribs (the cartilaginous tips). I did, however, remember to remove the pleura – the silver skin on the back of the ribs.

If you don’t know about removing the skin from spare ribs, then I am sure you may have experienced eating that stuff somewhere. The pleura is the tough membrane that you might see on the back of the ribs. If left on, it blocks the spices and will never get soft after cooking – it is sort of like chewing gum, and ruins the eating experience….

Anyway, they were still very tasty, although I was out of paprika. No one else noticed it missing – but I sure did.

Ribs with a dry rub. I made two racks for Thanksgiving this year.

Smoky goodness.

After Thanksgiving Turkey

Per my tradition, the day after Thanksgiving, I went to the local grocery store and found a good deal on a fresh 12-lb turkey. I decided to try a recipe from Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill TV show – see Orange Brined Turkey.

Strangely, both the book and the website say this is for turkey breasts. On the DVD, Steven smokes a whole 12-lb turkey. At any rate, I salivated over this since last year, and finally got to try it. Take a look at my version The bird is a hen, just over 12 pounds . . .

Orange brine for the turkey.

I need a bigger bucket or something for brining the turkey. I turned her (it’s a hen) over in the middle of the night.

Back to Work on the Coupe

Since the turkey had to soak over-night, I went back to the Coupe project. I started to assemble the front disc brakes, when another delay came along: No “supplied grease” for the disc brake slider pins. So I went onto the Factory Five forums and searched on what sort of special grease this might be. I almost skipped this step, but I am glad I did not. Lots of bad things can happen if the brake calipers stopped sliding on the slider pins.

Turns out the grease is special – the grease must be silicone-based, high temperature and must not affect rubber. So I did some more research and found this stuff: Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube Silicone Formula Item #24115. High temperature, silicone based and intended for brake caliper use.

There are some little spring clips that go into the brake housing, and some rubber boots that fit onto the caliper slider pins. The pictures are not too clear and I had to do some fiddling with the parts to make things look right. Here are some pictures that may help other builders. . .

This is the clip that goes into the long slot in the middle of the housing. If you are struggling to get it in, it is probably backwards. Hold it like this and insert it into the housing from the inside. It will just pop into place with a little bit of pressure.

The caliper slider pin boot is easier to install if you “un-curl” it first, like this.

Then you can push the little lip into the shallow groove in the pin. . .

. . . to make it look like this.

Since I was at the car parts store, I also bought a box of disposable gloves and some adhesive for the aluminum panels. There’s a ton of postings on what adhesive to use on the Factory Five Racing car projects. Many different adhesives are mentioned. But there was one build gallery that I found, and I am going to use the product they used – it is Permatex Ultra Black RTV silicone gasket maker, Item #24105. This is what Kirkham Motorsports uses in their projects, so I figure it would be acceptable in my Coupe build. Kirkham has an online assembly manual posted, it basically follows David Kirkham building one of his cars: Kirkham Motorsports Assembly Manual.

What Good is a Sale on Something When It’s Out of Stock?

Since I was running about getting the grease and other stuff, I decided to go tool shopping. A local hardware store chain had a 50 percent off sale on Makita and Milwaukee power tools this weekend – I thought this was the perfect time to go get that right angle drill I wanted. I got to the store, only to find no Makita or Milwaukee right angle drills available. I went to two stores and wasted half of my day looking for the thing. I decided to look for an alternative to the right angle drill – how about a right angle drive attachment? I did not find one of those, either. So I left the hardware store empty-handed – I think this was the first time that ever happened!

Back to the Turkey

After an overnight soak, the turkey is ready for the smoker.

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

I can never resist peeking. Orange brined turkey, after the first hour.

After the 2nd hour. I rubbed the turkey with butter and continued to smoke.

After 4 hours. Almost done.

Total time in the smoker: About 5 hours. Temperature in the thigh 170 degrees F. After a 15 minute rest, time to carve!

Yes, this is as tender and juicy as it looks. The mayo-mustard-triple sec dressing that is part of this recipe is very good. I think I will try this with lemons next time.

So not much work completed on the Coupe today, but the holiday weekend is not quite over. I hope to complete the front end tomorrow.

Type 65 Coupe – Hookers are Here and Sheet Metal Work   Leave a comment

Having things from Factory Five on back order is not so bad. It just means that packages arrive every now and then, and it is sort of like having gifts to open and see. For example, earlier this week, the box containing the exhaust headers and rear view mirror finally came back to me. In addition, I received the rear brake kit and the rest of the rear end hardware and fasteners.

The headers are nicely polished aluminum and are surprisingly light for their size. It looks like they mount to the exhaust muffler assembly with these splice-connector sections. Other versions of this exhaust are joined with a flange arrangement. I am not sure if I like this method of connecting the headers to the muffler assembly. I will have to post a question on the Factory Five Forum to see what others have done.

The steering arms are still missing (FedEx tracking info indicates they are in transit and will arrive just before Thanksgiving – this is great timing, since I will have a few days off to do some more work on the car), so I cannot install the front disc brakes. The CV shafts are missing so although I can start on the rear end, I will have to stop in the middle and wait for those pieces before I complete the rear end assembly.

So, I decided to work on the aluminum panels this weekend. I marked, center-punched and drilled the driver’s side footbox first. I used my new cleco pins and pliers for this sheet metal project. I really like them – I wish we used these in Mr. Spence’s 7th grade metal shop class!

See the gap at the peak of the box? I will install a strip of thin bar stock over the entire top seam to make it look better.

Some of you are wondering – what’s a cleco? I wondered about that, too. Wikipedia says, “A cleko, also spelled cleco, is a fastener developed by the Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company. . .”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleko

So the next thing you may be wondering is – why do I have to use temporary fasteners to put these sections together? Another good question. I have to trim, drill and assemble all of the sheet aluminum parts – and then take everything apart so I can de-burr the holes, remove all the marks and scuff the panels to get them ready for paint. Although some builders have left these panels un-coated and raw, I decided to apply a finish to all the panels to prevent corrosion. My plan is to paint all interior panels (except the dashboard) with silver Rust-Oleum high temperature barbecue paint. I will paint the dashboard with Gray Hammertone – a darker color than silver, and it will have a nice contrast against my AutoMeter gauges.

Everyone seems to talk about the high temperature part of this paint, but no one mentions the fact that no primer is needed. I think that is one of the best features of this paint – one less step to do.

An alternative to the BBQ paint is what I use for my electronic chassis project boxes – Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy. This is another paint that does not require a primer, and the stuff is pretty durable. I would use that instead, but the colors are limited to white, black and almond. Yuk. Too bad.

At least, that is the plan so far. I might change. I am also considering some color alternatives to my original plan of having a white body and black stripes. But that part is a long way off. I will make a final color selection when the Halibrand wheels arrive – they still have not shown up yet.

It looks like there are just three things missing from the kit: The front steering arms, the rear CV shafts and the Halibrand wheels. The 302 V8 and T5z transmission should be here in December – so some serious building is about to begin!

Type 65 Coupe – A Pipe Dolly, Sheet Aluminum and the Independent Front Suspension (IFS)   Leave a comment

I’ve been busy with work and other chores so haven’t had much time to work on the car and update these pages – but – here is a re-cap of the work done over the last few sessions.

The day after the Welcome BBQ, I built a PVC pipe dolly for the Coupe body. It is made of 1-1/2 inch PVC pipe, some Ts, some 90 degree elbows and some casters from the “As-Is” bin at the local Ikea furniture store. I chose the plastic pipe because I had some connectors and lengths of pipe leftover from some other project. If I were to do this over, I would have made the dolly with 2 x 4s.

 

 

Next, I removed all the sheet aluminum from the chassis, marking the outlines of chassis tubes underneath. This is done to indicate where to drill holes for the pop rivets that are used to mount the sheet material on the finished car. This went pretty smoothly – except for the trunk area. It reminded me of one of those mechanical puzzles – you have to warp the trunk floor upwards and then slide and pull it toward the front of the car and then through the roof section. Or something like that. It is a tapered shape. After scratching the area just behind the seats – where the roll bar attaches – I decided there had to be a better way to get the trunk floor in and out of the chassis – this would be more important later in the build, because I will paint the trunk area. I decided to cut the trunk floor in half length-wise. Later, I found some posts in the forums that mentioned this, so I kind of re-invented the wheel on this one.

I used my power jig saw and a fresh metal cutting blade for this. My long saw guide was in another garage, so I had to come up with an alternative straight edge – a really long power strip worked fine. I centered a line on the trunk floor, and made the cut. You can see the wax along the cut line, this lubricates the blade and helps prevent the aluminum from clogging the blade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The independent front suspension (IFS) came next. The steering arms are on back-order, but I decided to start building this section. The parts are beautiful, nicely powder-coated black. Some parts have a neat little detail built into them – see the “5” on the front lower control arm? Sort of like the hardware version of an “Easter Egg,” if you know what I mean.

 

 

 

I ran into a small snag at this stage. The mounting points on the body for the lower control arm were slightly off. I solved this by squeezing the arm into place with a quick-clamp. Easy.

 

 

 

A similar, but more difficult puzzle for the upper and lower shock mounts. A pair of aluminum spacers is used to center the coil/shock assembly on their mounts – the spacers were too long. This is a common problem, and it is documented on the forums. There are several ways to correct this, and I combined several hints to solve my issue. First, the upper mounts were a total of one-quarter of an inch too tight. I padded the rear-facing mounting ear with a rag, grabbed it with a pipe wrench, and pulled. It was surprisingly easy to bend that mounting ear to make it fit.

The lower mounts had a similar problem, but slightly worse, because there is no room for a wrench to tweak it. So, I used my new disc/belt sander to grind off about an eighth of an inch on each spacer. Because I wanted to make sure the ends remained square, I made a “sled” to hold the spacer and gauge the amount of material being removed. This 2-1/2 inch nut and bolt does three things: First, it safely keeps my fingers away from the sanding disc while holding the little spacer. Second, the side of the hex nut and bolt helps to ensure the spacer is 90 degrees to keep the end square. Thirdly, by screwing the nut so that the end of the bolt is the needed 1/8th of an inch inside the spacer, I can tell when to stop grinding: Sparks will start to fly when the bolt hits the sanding disc. (Something I remembered in 7th grade metal shop class – sparks can be an indicator of the type of metal – ferrous vs non-ferrous. How cool is that!)

 

 

Anyway – at the end of the day – Front suspension at 90 percent complete. Still need to attach those back-ordered steering arms and then attach the hubs.

I will start the rear suspension system next. . . .