Archive for the ‘pedal box’ 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 . . . .

 

 

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Post-Holiday Type 65 Coupe Updates and Visitors to the Garage   2 comments

I am working on several things on the car at the same time. Whenever I get stuck or run into a problem, I move to a different part of the car to build. At some point, things will meet up and progress in a more orderly fashion, but at this stage, nothing is complete.

This Factory Five Racing Coupe project is consuming my life. Even when I am sleeping, I have dreams about the car, the building process or driving the car.

But lately I have been having nightmares about the car….

Front Suspension Re-Do

I managed to install a part on the front suspension upside down and backwards. Of course, like a lot of automotive things, in order to get to that part, a lot of other parts must be removed first. Some parts required a tremendous amount of torque to install. These are parts that should never “fall off” like anything in the front suspension and wheel mounts.

So, one of the chores I had to do was to remove the front wheel bearings and hubs. I tried to remove the mechanical lock nut with my ratchet, but it would not budge. This is a good thing, since this one nut fastens the wheel to the car. Installing these parts required several very hard whacks with my plastic hammer and several Rated R and X words and phrases. I could not help but wonder how those parts would come off if I ever needed to repair or replace them.

Reading the forums made me lose a lot of sleep, since it seems that a lot of fellow builders have had trouble with this part, too. I bought an AC-operated impact wrench and some very large (36mm) impact sockets to remove the hub nuts. As a back-up, I also bought a large 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and a piece of pipe to increase the torque if needed.

I called my friend Larry over for some assistance.

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Surprisingly, the breaker bar made the hub nut come right off. Even more surprising is the condition of the spindle where the wheel and bearing mounts – it still looks brand-new and without any distortions or scratches.

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After purchasing the impact wrench, Larry sent me an e-mail advising me to not use an impact wrench on the front hubs, because this may damage the wheel bearings. I took this advice, and returned the impact wrench. Good thing I did not open the box. . .

Interior (Cockpit) Aluminum Panels

After the problem with building the IFS, I decided to “dry-fit” all parts from now on. This way I can verify everything is correct – or fix things that are wrong – before tightening the parts into place.

I decided to do some more work on the interior sheet aluminum. Compared to some of the other tasks, fitting the aluminum is easy. I made some diagonal cuts along the floor to make the parts fit easier, and to prevent scratching the nearby interior panels. By cutting the single large pieces into multiple smaller pieces, they will drop into place, rather than bend and scrape into place – preserving the painted surfaces.

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The seams and bend directions are hard to see in these pictures, the aluminum sheets do not provide enough contrast. I may use masking tape to show where the parts go and where the seams meet next time. As I said, this is the first attempt to fit the cockpit aluminum. Based on old Factory Five Racing forum posts, it looks like my aluminum panels have been improved somewhat. The only poorly fitting space is this big gap on the driver side, right at the corner of the transmission tunnel.

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I may either trim the mounting tab behind one of the panels, or just install some sort of patch over the top. Overall, though, this Generation 2 Coupe seems to have better-fitting interior panels, so far.

Dashboard

Here is an example of something gone wrong —

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Notice the odd-shaped hole for the steering column? The mounting location for the steering shaft is not straight and parallel along the ladder structure in the driver side footbox and clutch quadrant. As I examined all the parts in this area, I believe the factory did this because of an interference issue with the brake pedal. If the steering column shaft were to run parallel to the ladder structure, it would block the brake pedal actuator. Moving the mount – but not compensating for this on the dashboard panel – makes this problem look worse than it may be.

I used a nibbling tool, a round file and a sanding drum to enlarge the hole for the steering shaft.

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A popular modification to the dashboard is to cut along the bend, making the one long piece dashboard into two long pieces. This enables access to the inside of the dash from the top as well as the front, and will make installing and maintaining dash components such as gauges, air conditioner and plumbing much easier. I will make this cut at the next build session.

I just have to figure out a way to disguise the big and ugly hole in the dashboard. . .

The Racing Seats

I placed the Kirkey high-back racing seats to see how it fits, and although the steering wheel is a bit toward the passenger side, I think it will be all right.

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Clutch Quadrant and Pedal Box

Many Coupe builders owe a lot to a guy named Chris, who has documented his Type 65 Coupe build experience with lots of pictures. (I added a link to his flickr photostream in the Automotive Links section.) The Factory Five Racing assembly manual left an entire section out for us Complete Kit builders. There are no instructions for the Wilwood pedal box and clutch quadrant assembly. Thanks Chris for sharing your images!

Anyway – here are some pictures of my Wilwood pedal box and clutch quadrant. I do not have too many fitment issues here, except for the mounting points to the 3/4-inch tubes – I will have to wedge the mounts at the firewall in order to securely mount the pedal box to the ladder structure. I painted my footbox mounting plate with silver Rust-Oleum BBQ paint. I wanted to do a test to see how the color came out and how durable the finish is. I like the color, it is much better than the raw steel and hopefully will prevent any rust from forming inside the car.

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A Roadster Driver Visits

Rick, a neighbor and Roadster owner, stopped by for a visit. Here are some pictures of his very nice car. Rick did the paint job by himself in his garage – I am very impressed with the way the finish came out – take a look!

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A Christmas Party, the Lytro Camera and a Coupe Goof   Leave a comment

The San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) had a Christmas party this past weekend, and it was a good break from doing sheet aluminum work. The event seemed smaller this year, several of the usual suspects were not able to make it. There was lots of food to share and gifts to exchange. Happily, regular guests Mel WA6JBD and his better half, Tisza KI6DBR came and brought their usual homemade treats, including Tisza’s famous chocolate truffles, microwave dish cookies and a chocolate sculpture. This year’s sculpture was a 10GHz horn and a section of waveguide. And yes, they really do work at 10GHz. Mel measured the return loss of the horn and waveguide and reports more than 17dB or something like that – pretty respectable for an edible 10GHz antenna.

Here are some pictures of the event. . .

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Where else but a ham radio Christmas party would one find a 10GHz horn and waveguide made of chocolate – that actually works

Tisza's homemade chocolate truffles - Yum!

Tisza’s homemade chocolate truffles – Yum!

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Gift exchange crowd

Gift exchange crowd

What in the World is That?

After the party wound down, I stayed to get a closer look at Dennis’ new camera. It does not look anything like a camera, but it really shouldn’t because it makes images in a whole new way and enables a whole new way to enjoy still images. I thought it looked more like a kid’s kaleidoscope, rather than a camera.

The camera and lens system optics look very simple. And that is one of the points: You do not need fancy telephoto or macro lens capability. It is done in software.  There are no fancy controls or buttons, only soft pads on the rubberized parts of the case. There is a power switch, a zoom control and a shutter release. An LCD with touch screen is on the back. Here are some pictures of this new gadget.

WHAT is THAT!

WHAT is THAT!

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That's an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right - a tripod adaptor.

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That’s an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right – a tripod adaptor.

As I mentioned on my LinkedIn update, the Lytro camera introduces a paradigm shift in the way we can look at still pictures (pun intended, sorry). At first, I thought this camera simply used some sort of image processing to “fix” images, simple things like contrast and color adjustments and maybe some image manipulation, like PhotoShop. But then Dennis said that you can change focus and “raw image” features, like zooming in – after the image is stored on your computer.

The images are not jpg or other familiar formats – but then – these are not ordinary images, either. You can actually change the depth-of-field – change the point of view of the image.

Watching some of the demos on the Lytros website made me think of scenes from the TV show “CSI:” because you can see an image captured by the camera, and you can actually zoom and move around the various places on the image, and see what else the camera captured.

Visit the Lytro website, pictures and demos and details are worth closer examination. Unfortunately, I don’t have any Lytro images to share – yet.

The Coupe Goof

The day after the party, I went back to work on the Coupe. Something bothered me as I looked at the images and some postings of other builders. The driver’s side footbox and the front, where the pedal box mounts, looked different than mine. And I found another driver side footbox front panel in my box of aluminum parts. I looked at the part number of the “extra” footbox front (15312) on the packing slip, and noticed the description: “Driver Footbox Front Wall, Coupe Wilwood Pedals.”

Argh. Since I have the Complete Kit, it came with a Wilwood pedal box. Part of the confusion is the way Factory Five Racing packed the sheet aluminum – the major parts are held in place on the chassis and are shipped in place. This would be fine for the builders using a donor Mustang pedal box, the “Basic Kit” version.

So, I had to remove the driver side footbox front panel and replace it with the proper one. The good news is that I had all these things in place with Cleco fasteners, not rivets and silicone. And, I used the old panel as a drilling guide for the new panel. Now I have a spare sheet of aluminum I can use for – something. Hatch covers, maybe.

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn't silicone and rivet that panel!

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn’t silicone and rivet that panel!

Disaster averted - the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.

Disaster averted – the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.