65 Coupe Update IFS Re-Do (Still), Cutting the Dash, Cookie Sheet Heat Shields and a Roomba Battery-Ectomy   Leave a comment

The front IFS is still not right, and the responses from the forums and the directions are confirmed by Jason at Factory Five Racing. Now the difficult task involves more un-building and hoping parts are not damaged. The ball joint on the passenger side needs to be removed and the upper A-arm top plate has to be flipped over. This is a direct result of an error in the Factory Five Racing Type 65 Coupe manual (revision 3E, July 2011) on pages 60 and 61 and 63 and 64.

The manual says to install the ball joint into the upper control arm to make “a left and a right.” I did this, and now must dis-assemble one of the ball joints. A new upper control arm is more than $200, so this is a costly error if I am not able to correct this.

The correct orientation is shown on the driver’s side of the suspension. The passenger side is incorrect. This assembly is difficult to describe in words, so it is best shown with pictures.

Here is the driver side showing the upper control arm and the ball joint mount on the plate – see the wedge-shaped, “thicker” end at the apex of the triangular plate? This is correct.

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This is the passenger side upper control arm. See the thicker wedge-shape on the opposite side of the apex? This is incorrect (wrong).

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kh6wz 130-Pass IFS

I dis-assembled most of the front suspension to get to this ball joint. However, the ball joint fits into the spindle via a tapered hole. . .  meaning that some force must be applied to remove the ball joint stem from the spindle. I started by tapping – then pounding – with my plastic hammer, since I did not want to damage anything. No good. I changed to a scrap of oak and my ball-peen hammer and hit it hard for several minutes. Still no good. I got rid of the piece of wood and really slammed with the ball-peen hammer. Finally, the stem popped loose.

Of course, this created a mushroom on the ball joint stem, and it would not come out of the hole. I filed around the mushroom and finally separated the ball joint from the spindle. I should be able to file or grind the stem so the ball joint can be re-used.

Mushroom on the stem!

Mushroom on the stem!

Removing the ball joint requires dis-assembly with 450 degrees F (since I used Permatex medium strength thread locker blue), a vise and a big wrench with lots of grip and torque.

I tried several times, but my vise just isn’t gripping the ball joint properly, it slips off. I need a bigger vise and a torch for this. My bench vise is too small.

Cutting the Dash

Since I could not remove the ball joint, I decided to move to another part of my project – cutting the dashboard in half. This is a popular modification that will increase access into the area between the dashboard and the firewall.  This area will soon be stuffed with wiring and air conditioner ducting, so the dashboard had to be cut sooner or later.

I wondered how this was done, should I leave a “lip” on one of the sections so I can patch the panels together? Or do I just slice along the fold? What is the safest way to do this with my power jig saw?

It turned out to be easier than I thought. Here are some pictures of the cutting operation . . .

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I used some duct tape and a wood scrap to hold the dashboard in place for the cut. My trusty Makita power jig saw did the trick.

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I will use a piece of aluminum angle stock to mend the two sections together.

I may make a new dashboard front panel, especially since the original one has several things wrong. For example, I ordered the “modern gauges” option. There is no mention that the modern gauges are smaller than the vintage gauges. The dashboard comes with cut-outs for the larger gauges, and a triangular-shaped adapter plate for the smaller gauges. Also, the steering column hole is in the wrong place, as mentioned in a previous posting. If I knew this was going to happen, I would have ordered a plain, non-drilled dashboard – so if you are planning your order – consider asking for an un-cut, un-drilled dashboard and make custom cut-outs where you want them.

Cookie Sheet Heat Shields

A few weeks ago, I found these cookie sheets in the close-out bin at the grocery store. They have nicely rolled edges and they happen to be almost the right size for the footboxes.

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The amazing part about these cookie sheets is the angle at one end – it exactly matches the angle at the back of the driver-side footbox. I will mount them with 8-32 machine screws, spacers and locking nuts. I will also add a layer of insulation (Cool-It mat) between the heat shield and the footbox panels.

I am no longer sure if I want to use the Rust-Oleum BBQ paint for my firewall and other panels. I did a paint test this weekend, and the paint is quite soft, and scratches easily.

The Battery Mounting Plate

After noticing how soft that BBQ paint is, I decided to do some more paint testing. This is the battery mounting plate. It is made of steel, and it is already starting to rust. So I decided I should paint this part and the other steel items soon.

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I used Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy paint for this test. This is my standard paint for radio and electronics projects. The finish is very hard and glossy, the cured surface is washable and no primer is needed. However, it is not meant for heat, the maximum temperature is 200 degrees F.

I prep the surface by scuffing the surface with 80- or 150-grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander, followed by a dish soap and water wash. I apply the paint in three or four very light fog coats and the surface becomes slightly textured. I may go with this paint, if I can find a suitable color. The last time I looked at spray paints, this appliance finish comes in white, almond and black. Too bad it does not come in silver or gray.

Roomba Battery-Ectomy – Vacuum Cleaner Battery Replacement

After almost three or four years, the battery pack in my Roomba 530 stopped taking a full charge. I re-newed the charge cycle several times, but the Roomba would run out of charge before completing a single room. So I performed a battery-ectomy on the Roomba. It needed a good cleaning inside the chassis anyway, so this was something I needed to do. You can see the debris inside the mechanisms that are impossible to clean unless you open the case. I used my shop vac to suck out the junk inside the various nooks and crannies inside the Roomba. The new battery has a larger capacity and should provide a longer running time. This will be good, since Roomba will help increase my time in the garage and other non-house cleaning activities. . . .

Here are some pictures. . .

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