Archive for the ‘lower control arm’ Tag

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: Another Kind of IRS   Leave a comment

It has been raining off and on all week, and continued through this past weekend. This is a good thing, since I can avoid yard work, and even better – I can spend more time in the garage. However, the garage has been cold, 40 degrees F. This pretty much kills any plans for painting anything.

Since the 80 pound metal medicine ball – also known as the pumpkin, center section, differential and other names – is re-sealed and mounted, the rest of the independent rear suspension assembly is going smoothly.

Learning something from the front suspension experience, I decided to assemble all the pieces on one side of the car first, and only hand-tighten the fasteners. This will prevent time-consuming error-fixing.

There is a saying on the Factory Five Forums – it goes something like, “if there aren’t any pictures, it didn’t happen.”

So, since there aren’t any pictures of the parts I installed backwards, it didn’t happen, right?

Let’s just say the assembly manual lacks good pictures to help us understand how to orient things properly. Many of the pictures are cropped too tightly, and do not show the nearby parts to help us visualize relationships to other parts or reference points.

Here are some pictures of the driver side lower control arm and coil-over-shock being installed. . .

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While mounting the lower control arms, I kept dropping a stack of small shims (they look like thin washers) needed between the chassis mounting tabs. Of course, since they are round, they roll all over and under the strangest places. I had to use a small magnet to retrieve several of them.

The magnet made me think of a great way to hold and install these small shims on the mounts. Take a look. . .

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The little magnet holds the stack of shims together, and by wiggling, pushing and pulling on the suspension parts, the bolt will slide through the stack. This works great, and it makes me feel happy rather than mad while underneath the chassis.

Of course, this only works if the parts are ferrous. The aluminum spacers are another story.

The spindles, upper control arms, and CV axles are next. Stay tuned . . . .

65 Coupe Update – IFS Re-Do Done, Heat Shields, A/C, IRS Begins   Leave a comment

My go-to car builder friend Spider Larry once again came through for me. Using a Mapp gas torch and a piece of pipe, he separated the ball joint from the top mount for the passenger side suspension. Here are some pictures from the dis-assembly and re-assembly process on the Type 65 Coupe IFS, passenger side.

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Here is the correct passenger side upper control arm and ball joint assembly:

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The driver side looks like this:

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So you MUST ignore the manual when it says to create a “left and a right unit with the ‘solid corner’ pointing to the front of the car.”

Footbox Heat Shields

I located, dry-fit, and drilled mounting holes for the driver and passenger footbox heatshields. The material is cookie sheet steel from the local grocery store. They have a nice rolled edge and will help deflect heat from the engine bay coming into the car interior. I am using riv-nuts and spacers to mount these sheets – er – heat shields to the footboxes.

I used BBQ paint for the shields, but may decide to powder coat the engine bay sheet metal parts, including the heat shields.

But I have to decide this quickly, since the engine is scheduled to be delivered within a few days!

Here’s the driver footbox with riv-nuts installed. All aluminum panels for the engine bay will be powder coated, the others will be painted.

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Air Conditioning

Here is a picture of the air conditioner unit and where it will go. It fits behind the passenger side dashboard area, where a glovebox wold normally go. I need to allow space for the ducting and the windshield wiper mechanism, which mounts in the same area. A box to house the A/C unit will have to be fabricated.

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The IRS – Independent Rear Suspension

Note to builders: This procedure is quite difficult, even with a helper or two. It is highly recommended to keep small children away to protect them from hearing rated-R and -X words and phrases loudly coming from the underside of the chassis and to keep them safe from thrown objects.

Since my ham radio friend Larry was going to stop by for a visit, I decided it would be a great time to get him to help me boost the rear differential (pumpkin) into the rear suspension cage. The Factory Five Racing assembly manual calls this unit the “IRS center section.”

There are many posts on how difficult this step is. The manual says, “It installs from the bottom with the driveshaft flange pointing straight up and the axle holes lined up front to back with the chassis.”

Err. So that means the giant 70 pound, lop-sided bowling ball like thing must be pushed up sideways, 90 degrees from the way it mounts onto the frame, and then must be twisted 90 degrees in the opposite direction to drop into place. This cannot be done safely with just one person. I found out that this is actually impossible to do with two people.

After several long hours and a phone call to Spider Larry, the pumpkin still refused to go into place.

I began to think about getting a grinder and removing any offending protrusions on the differential case and chassis to make this thing fit. My ham friend Larry had to leave, but a neighbor showed up, who also happened to be a car builder. I put Phil to work right away…

We tried a different route, maybe through the X-member at the rear of the chassis could work. So we used the jack to lift the differential high enough to check. We made a few measurements. No way.

We measured again, and noticed that no matter how you turn this pumpkin, it will not fit past the rear cover mounting plates.

We decided to remove the rear cover.

After unscrewing ten Allen bolts, and giving the rear cover a light tap with a rubber mallet, the cover popped off, very much like breaking an egg. To gain another inch of clearance, we removed the two plastic dust caps from the axle holes. Verifying that the diff does NOT have to come apart to mount the rear brakes, we put it back on the jack. Modifying the instructions, we lifted it with the driveshaft flange pointing up and the axle holes at a 45 degree (not 90 degree) angle, and pumped the jack. Now it went past the offending rear mounting plates, and into place.

Of course, now the differential must be re-sealed, so we tried a dry run with the rear cover. Yes, this will work. I currently have the pumpkin suspended above the mounting location, held in place with the jack, a 2×4, and a nylon strap. I will finish mounting this beast at the next build session.

Here are lots of pictures of the wrong way to do this. A video of this procedure would be most helpful, but I am sure most builders will have enough in their hands to not have a camera operator getting in the way.

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So – take my advice, save at least 6 hours and lots of non-child-approved words and thrown objects, and remove the differential rear cover before you install your IRS center section. . . .

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The rear mounting tabs (with the nice “5” logo laser-cut into them) are too close – use the threaded rod-expander trick to make it fit.

By the way – anyone else missing two nuts and bolts for the pumpkin mount? My parts list is correct, and yet I am still missing two fasteners for the standard width IRS differential.

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I discovered I have the wrong adapter plates for the rear disc brakes, These are for the non-IRS version of the car.  Jason at The Factory is sending the correct parts to me……

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