Archive for the ‘upper control arm’ Tag

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.

kh6wz - IRS2 016  kh6wz - IRS2 035

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.

kh6wz - IRS2 037

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. . . .

kh6wz - IRS2 032

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)

kh6wz - IRS2 002

kh6wz - IRS2 001

kh6wz - IRS2 004kh6wz - IRS2 003

kh6wz - IRS2 015

kh6wz - IRS2 008

kh6wz - IRS2 012

kh6wz - IRS2 018

kh6wz - IRS2 026

kh6wz - IRS2 028

kh6wz - IRS2 023

kh6wz - IRS2 033

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.

kh6wz - 10GHz slot ant 001

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. . .

kh6wz IRS1 008

kh6wz IRS1 011

kh6wz IRS1 014

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. . .

kh6wz IRS1 009

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.

kh6wz 001

kh6wz 002

kh6wz 004

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

kh6wz 013

kh6wz 015

kh6wz 018

kh6wz 019

The driver side looks like this:

kh6wz 017

kh6wz 020

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.

kh6wz 024

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.

kh6wz 023

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.

kh6wz 031

kh6wz 034

kh6wz 036

kh6wz 037

kh6wz 038

kh6wz 042

kh6wz 047

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. . . .

kh6wz 048

kh6wz 049

kh6wz 050

kh6wz 052

kh6wz 057

kh6wz 062

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.

kh6wz 063

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……

kh6wz 055

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.

kh6wz 129driver IFS

kh6wz 128

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

kh6wz 127

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 . . .

kh6wz 017

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.

kh6wz 018

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.

kh6wz 105

kh6wz 103

kh6wz 024

kh6wz 025

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.

kh6wz 026

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. . .

kh6wz 005

kh6wz 006

kh6wz 011

kh6wz 012

kh6wz 007

kh6wz 010

kh6wz 009