Archive for the ‘independent rear suspension’ Tag

Type 65 Coupe Project Update: Preparing for Engine Installation   1 comment

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I spent the last two weekends in the garage, getting back to the Coupe Project. It was nice and relaxing to lay on the creeper, under the chassis and working with tools again.

I had to modify the chassis in the pedal box area to allow more clutch pedal movement. This is a known issue in the Roadster forums, but not so much in the Coupe forums. This happened when Factory Five Racing changed the Wilwood pedal box – the old version would actually break. The new and improved pedal box moves the clutch pedal arm over to the left by about an inch or so, and the arm hits a brace, limiting pedal travel.

When the modification is done before the pedal box is bolted into place, it is a simple chore to make two cuts, chopping a small triangular cut into the frame member. This can be done with a reciprocating saw or maybe power jigsaw.

However, if the modification must be performed after the pedal box is bolted into place, the tube must be accessed from below, in an awkward angle. A small grinder tool would be ideal for this, but the only tool I have that will fit the space and the angle is a Dremel tool. It took me two half-day sessions to do this.

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In the pictures above you can see the half-moon shape cutout I had to make. This is a view from under the chassis, looking up from the creeper. This will be painted black later. The tube looks normal from the top, so that is good. And clutch pedal travel is doubled, so free play adjustment range should be much better.

Since the brake system is installed, filled and bled, I removed the Clekos and riveted the lines in place. I changed several P-clip anchor points so it complies with my “routing and clipping manual” from the office. Unfortunately, I followed some other builders’ clipping, and mounted several p-clips upside down. Most of them will be under the car, and might be hidden from view when the car is finished. But I know they are upside down.

Here is a picture of how the clips should be mounted. This is the X-member in the front of the chassis.

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Looks like I didn’t take a picture of the riveted clips. I will post them later.

Next, I made a bracket to support the ECU for the MSD Atomic fuel injection system for my 302. This plate will secure the ECU and provide strain relief for the cables going in and out of the unit. It is on a plate so it can be easily removed if I have to work on the wiring or the ECU later. It is mounted with 1/4-20 stainless steel studs and nylon lock washers. It was raining so I was not able to paint this plate. Will have to do that at the next build session.

The passenger side footbox is on the left. Three stainless steel Allen head screws come through the wall and into the passenger box. The center photo shown the ECU engine cable going into the engine bay, and the right photo shows the MSD computer and plate inside the passenger footbox. Carpet will cover the interior, so a carpeted cover will be made to hide the ECU and wires when the car is finished.

I am also laying out the air conditioner system components on the chassis. I have to make several brackets and small boxes to mount the A/C components on the chassis.

As I was doing this work, I took another look at the battery box mentioned in an earlier post. It is installed with clecos so it can be removed. I think I want to mount the battery above the passenger footbox. Two reasons for this:

First, it will shorten the battery cables, decreasing the voltage drop.

Second, the “factory location” for the battery – in the rear center – blocks the rear axle pumpkin. So, when I have to change the oil or make adjustments, the battery must be disconnected and the battery and the box must be removed. Sounds like a painful procedure for a simple maintenance chore.

I will make a mock-up of this in my next build session. Stay tuned . . . .

 

 

Type 65 Coupe Update: Fuel Pump Bracket, Cable Bulkhead Brackets, E-Brake Location   Leave a comment

After something like three or four false starts, I finally settled on a way to mount the external fuel pump on my Coupe. The final solution is so simple, I feel stupid….

First, I tried mounting the pump on the lower brace, under the IRS pumpkin. But that just did not look right, and it was difficult to access from either above or below the car. Then I tried mounting the pump on the Factory Five Metal battery box, but discovered the battery box blocks access to the fill and drain plugs on the differential.

Here is the final answer, a simple, flat plate of 1/8-inch aluminum. This will help simplify the fuel hose routing, too.

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More Fabrication

I made a pair of triangular plates to create a bulkhead to hold the e-brake cable and the fuel hoses (one for supply to the engine and one for the return into the tank) on the passenger side of the chassis. An identical plate for the driver side will be used for the other e-brake cable and any wiring harness going to the rear of the car.

Since the 1/8-inch aluminum plate I am using for these brackets is scrap material, some extra holes are sometimes included in the items I make. When I am not able to re-use existing holes, I patch them with JB Weld or epoxy, then paint the item with high temperature BBQ paint. These brackets are finished in silver.

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The large holes are cushioned with a PCV grommet; it is thick and large enough to pass the 3/8-inch fuel lines nicely.

Here are some views of the passenger-side bracket installed with Clecos:

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Next, I started laying out the e-brake cables and the complete kit e-brake handle. When I installed the rear brakes, I thought the cables looked too short. And last night I noticed that I am correct – the cables supplied with the IRS brake kit are about four to six inches too short.

I may have a solution to this, based on some Forum postings on this same topic — see the photo below. I do not like the turn buckle from the hardware store, I think I should replace it with a stainless steel clevis six to eight inches long to allow for adjustment. (McMaster-Carr items. . . )

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UPDATE: I ordered an e-brake kit from Richard Oben of North Race Cars. (The same place I ordered my air conditioner – yet to be installed). The kit will move the e-brake to a more practical location at the top of the transmission tunnel.

Many builders of the Roadster as well as the Coupe do not like the way the brake cables rub against the big four inch tube. I will make a small Teflon block and mount it to the bottom of the chassis so the cable can slide more easily, and make it look much nicer. More details when I get to that step.

Main Wire Harness
I started laying out the main wire harness. A few weeks ago, I painted the fuse panel with white appliance epoxy paint. This will brighten up the underside of the dash and will prevent corrosion. Based on something I read on the Roadster section of one of the F5R Forums, I added a small hinge to the fuse panel mounting plate. You can see the hinge on the right side of the bracket in this picture:

 

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However, this is bad advice, at least for my Coupe application. This is not a good thing to do for several reasons:

1) It moves the fuse block about a quarter-inch forward into the footbox, and adds strain to several wires in the Ron Francis harness supplied with the Complete Kit.

2) The reason for the hinge was to make it possible to swing the entire panel down for easy servicing. However, this is impossible, since there is not enough slack and the thick harness will not allow the fuse panel to simply “swing down.”

3) The mounting holes must be very close to the edge of the 2-inch rail. Removing the hinge makes a better location for the mounting screws.

After removing the hinge, and mounting the fuse panel per the instructions, I noticed some “squishiness” in the fuse panel, which I do not like. I have not seen this mentioned in any post so I thought I would bring it up here.

The fuse panel is a piece of thin aluminum, laser cut to shape to hold the plastic fuse panel. Three zip screws (the self-tapping hex-head screws that held the cockpit aluminum in place when the kit was shipped) fasten it in place under the driver footbox, near the steering column.

All fine and dandy, but the fourth corner is “floating in space” and flexes easily. I decided to add a small aluminum bracket to make the fuse panel stronger (flex less). I hope the bracket does not get in the way of anything to be mounted later….

 

IMG_8422 - kh6wz - added bracket for fuse panel

Type 65 Coupe Update – IRS Brakes   Leave a comment

I forgot to add notes and images from the IRS (standard width) brake installation. Here are some images, plus a link to a YouTube video…

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As you can see in the picture above left, an open end wrench can go onto the caliper mounting bolt. This was a button head Allen screw in the past. The emergency brake cable seems very tight and has a sharp bend, but this seems to work OK.

 

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The vintage Halibrand replica wheels fit nicely over the axle-hub-brake assembly, but I don’t have tires yet.

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The rear wheels are 17-inches by 10.5-inches, and the tires will be 275 / 40ZR17, probably BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2, but not sure yet.

A Silent Movie: Rear Brake Installation

Oh – almost forgot. Here is a silent movie about the rear brake installation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVcX8-Nnqfo

 

Type 65 Coupe Update: IRS Brakes   2 comments

Not much Coupe time this weekend. The rear brake adapter plates and spacers from Factory Five Racing finally showed up – Saturday delivery via FedEx.

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Since these are raw steel, I decided to prep and paint them, using gloss black Appliance Epoxy paint. They look much nicer now.

I removed the rear spindles from the last build session and did a dry-fit to see how these get assembled. Once again, the assembly manual and the actual assembly are different. Instructions say to use some button-head Allen bolts, but there aren’t any.

Here are some pictures of the “RH” side of the assembly to see how this goes together. The adapter plates are not painted in these images.

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I will bolt these components in place in the next building session.

A Color Decision

I decided to paint the engine bay white. I know this sounds scary, but after thinking about this for a while, it just makes sense. It will match the body color, it will have nice contrast against the black chassis and the engine and other components, and – I can use Appliance Epoxy, which is pretty durable and washable. I will be painting only the outside surfaces of the panels because all of the inside surfaces will be covered with Thermo-Tec Cool-It sound and heat insulation mat.

Type 65 Coupe Update: E-Brake Handle, Fitting the A/C and More IRS – and Maker Faire 2013 Application   Leave a comment

I got tired of fiddling with the IRS so I did something different this weekend. Here is a picture of the E-brake ratchet handle that comes with the Complete Kit. Since the parts are plain, un-finished steel, I decided to paint it to prevent rust. The exploded view in the instructions make assembly very easy. I wish The Factory would include an exploded view for the IFS as well as the IRS – makes things go so much better. The finish is white and black appliance epoxy from Rustoleum.

Here are some pictures. . .

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I am not sure if I like the location of the E-brake handle, it is on the passenger side of the transmission hump. A popular modification is to use a Pontiac Fiero unit and re-locate it closer to the driver. We’ll see if I want to change this setup. (The sharp-eyed people will notice the e-brake handle is backwards. . . . . . )

Here are some images of the air conditioner and a cardboard aided design (CAD) templates I am making. This requires some cutting of the dashboard and firewall, so I want to mock everything up before I start cutting. I have some very sturdy aluminium plates for the A/C baseplate, and some sheet aluminum for the enclosure. A CAD version will be made first, then transferred to aluminum.

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Moving back to the IRS, I received some advice from the veteran builders, and so here is what I did to the lower control arm mounts. The shims (thin black steel washers) F5R supplies are slipped into place and some adjustment is done by placing shims here and there. However, it makes more sense to limit the toe and camber adjusters so that the tweaking can be as simple as possible. By “fixing” one side of the control arm, and limiting it to one adjuster for toe and one adjuster for camber, alignment is simplified and less time consuming.

Currently, this stage is to just “eyeball” the adjustments, and continue the build process. Wheel alignments – both front and rear – may be done after the wheels and tires are mounted. (Probably can be done at the “go kart” stage, when the chassis is complete and the engine, drivetrain, electrics and brakes are installed and running.)

Here are some pictures. As this step gets closer to completion, I will add more details for future reference.

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Above left: The Type 65 Coupe IRS lower control arm mounts. One shim on the front side of the mount, six shims on the side toward the rear of the car. The heim joint is threaded on so that 5/8-ths of an inch of thread are showing.

Above right: Here is the trick I use to install slippery washers, shims and spacers onto things – Use a punch or some other tool to poke through the stack of parts together, thus aligning the holes of each part. Then . . .

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. . . push the fastener – and the punch – through the stack of parts. Wiggling, pushing and pulling will help. Sometimes a quick-clamp can help, too.

Maker Faire 2013 Update: Application is In!

I turned in an application for Maker Faire Bay Area 2013. Our Maker name is “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio 2” and we will continue the theme my team entered last year. We will have some new projects on display, and we will bring some of the more popular items from last year. Here is a look at some of our projects from last year – as well as some other interesting and amazing things I saw last year.

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Above – One of the most interesting exhibits at Maker Faire 2012 — The Electric Giraffe named Russell  – it is a scaled-up and enhanced version of a plastic model kit – it is 17 feet tall. Below left: Jeri Ellsworth, aka Circuit Girl, and her electric Key-Tar at Maker Faire 2012. Below right, Maker Alex shows us her finger tip no keyboard keyboard.

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More Maker Faire 2012 images are posted on my YouTube channel. 

Type 65 Coupe Update – Welcoming Another So Calif Coupe, More Steel Parts Painting   Leave a comment

I did not do much work in the garage this past weekend, since I had to pull an all-nighter to get my CQ magazine article finished before a deadline, and there was a Coupe welcome party at a fellow Factory Five builder’s house.

Here are some pictures of a brand new Type 65 Coupe kit that recently arrived at QSL and Mrs QSL’s house. (They just finished a Factory Five Racing Roadster. It looks great and is finally registered and running.)

It was good to meet some of the other builders in the area and see the special parts QSL bought for MRS QSL’s Coupe.

Follow the Casey Family Coupe Thread for the latest updates on Mike and Julie’s Type 65 Coupe.

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I took a nap shortly after I got home, lack of sleep from the all-night writing session before wore me out. I woke up, and it was dark outside, so I just went back to sleep, and woke up at 3AM on Sunday.

After doing some chores around the house, I decided to prep and paint the other steel parts on the Coupe. Here are some before and after pictures of the steel items painted with gloss black Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy. It is a great finish, and looks almost like black powder coat.

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For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the hatch hinge parts or the door frame after painting. Oh well.

Hopefully will be able to get some more work done on the chassis and the rear suspension in particular next time.

Stay tuned for more. . . .

Type 65 Coupe Update Plus a New Antenna   Leave a comment

Some Body Parts, More IRS Conundrum and a New Microwave Antenna for KH6WZ

Inspired by a post on the Factory Five Racing forum and the dry and sunny weather this weekend, I decided to paint some of my body mounting parts. I am using gloss black Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy paint for these pieces. I have used this paint for my electronic and radio projects with good results. The paint dries very hard and is waterproof and washable, perfect for these parts.

Surface prep is easy for this paint, I scuff the surface with a 60 grit sanding disc on my random orbit sander. For the hard to reach nooks and crannies, I use a wire wheel chucked in my hand drill. Then I use liquid dish soap and water to wash off the grit and any oils. No primer is needed for this paint. Then I apply two or three light fog coats first, and then blast a thick coat for the fourth or fifth and final coat.

Here is a “before” and “after” picture of the front nose mounting hinge.

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I did the same with the door hinges. Here you can see some weld splatter that will interfere with the mounting bolts, so I used a Dremel tool to grind those weld balls off.

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Although many of these parts will not be seen, I do not want them to rust. Other parts will be painted in the same way, and include the door frames, the rear glass hatch hardware and the emergency brake mechanism.

Meanwhile . . .

After spending some time fiddling with the factory-supplied accelerator pedal, I decided to buy an aftermarket gas pedal instead. I ordered one of Russ Thompson’s gas pedals earlier this week from Breeze Automotive, one of the Factory Five Racing Forum supporters. I was amazed the box arrived on Thursday – that was fast!

The new gas pedal is really a machined aluminum sculpture. Pictures on this will be coming later, since I need to get the engine mounted before the gas pedal goes in.

IRS – Finished – Sort Of . . .

The IRS section is now fully “dry-fit” completed, and the bolts will be tightened to specs in the next work session. One thing that is putting this assembly step on hold are the mounting points for the lower control arms – see the gold color on the right of this picture? That is the mounting bolt and as you can see, there is a lot of empty space between the mounting ear and the thin washer (the manual calls them shims). This cannot be correct, and I need to find what is wrong here. . . .

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Just after I ordered my Type 65 Coupe kit, I came across a lot of posts on the forums about the IRS  shafts (CV joints) coming apart. Those messages made me worry, but when my kit was shipped, the CV axles were on back-order. I called Factory Five Racing technical support, and they assured me that the problem has been fixed.

I am happy to report that my IRS system assembly went very smoothly, after the pumpkin was in place. The CV axles slipped right into the differential, and it felt just like many posts said – you can feel it lock into place. No hammering, no drama and no R- and X-rated words necessary.

Once again, Chris comes to the rescue by posting images of the IRS knuckles and which part goes on the left side and which one goes on the right side.

Here are some additional pictures of the IRS components and system . . . . “R” is for Right side of vehicle (passenger side in the US)

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Above left: The IRS upper control arm has another pair of small mounting tabs that are not mentioned in the assembly manual. No pictures are included in the manual, either. After a quick search on the Factory Five forum, I found out the smaller set of tabs point downward, and are used for quad shocks – used to minimize wheel hop during acceleration.

Give Me a Brake – Again

Now, the rear brakes are another story. Seems the Factory sent me the wrong rear brake kit. So now I have to wait for the correct parts to arrive, and then have to send the wrong parts back. . . Stay tuned for more . . .

Another Box Arrived this Week – a 10 GHz Slot Antenna

I received this nicely machined antenna for 10 GHz earlier this week. It is made by fellow SBMS member Dan, W6DFW.

Here’s a picture of this omni-directional microwave antenna. The background is the radiation pattern plotted by another SBMS member, Chuck, WA6EXV.

I am planning on using this to make my roving 10 GHz station even more portable, perhaps getting on 10 GHz FM mobile. More on this item and possible applications at station KH6WZ later.

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