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bits to be used during the engine installation. Eg engine mount cross member, steering rack mount, Peddle box and pedals.
It was now time to finish some of the welding and the next few days were spent firming up the chassis. The next bit of was to drop the motor and gearbox in. While this is being done I will also start the alignment of the engine and gearbox mounts finalize the engine height under the bonnet, set up the tail shaft. I will also start measuring accurately the pedal box, steering column, steering rack and think about the front wish bones and the geometry.
I found I had to remove the engine because the gearbox had two lugs either side I didn't see while it was still in the car and also I didn't allow for the speed transducer. These items have resulted in small changes to the center tunnel design, which meant the chassis had to go back to the shed to be re-worked.
What's that I hear you ask? Where has all this work been going on? Well if you notice in the Pic's I am in the carport, which is where Silvia was ban from only a couple of weeks earlier. I managed to get a temporary reprieve from rule 3 provided the car...it's now called 'The Car", (it must be taking shape)....was only there for a couple of days.
It was then that I was reminded of rule 6. "Thou shalt NOT drag dirt and crap through the house" and with that the car port door was locked with a sign hanging from it saying "Tradesman's entrance at the rear".....who was I to argue.
While I had the chassis in for mod's to the tunnel I ran the tape over a number of other things that looked a bit suspension and decided to also alter the feet well for the passenger and driver firewall by angling it back 50mm. This will allow me to move the engine rear ward to it natural position with respect to the firewall allowing clearance for the existing exhaust system and, as luck would have it, allow me to use the existing tail shaft with out any alterations. Just beautiful to watch when sheer arse kicks in.
The chassis was then fully welded to prepare for the 16-gauge sheeting to be cut and fitted. This turned out to be more than I had planned for. The sheet had to be cut with a metal cutting blade in my circular saw because of problems with the guillotine I had arranged to use. I also took the time to cut the remaining items out or the Silvia body and take the remains to the local dump. I will finalize the panel cutting and weld it all in over the next few evenings.
While the chassis was in the shed I was under tremendous pressure to commit to rule 3 and realizing the enormous impact this would have on my project, I dug deep to win out on a technicality. You see I convinced the wife that because I still had the engine/gearbox hanging in the car port, I never actually vacated the it and therefore still with in the guidelines drawn up to allow the use of it for the purpose of the engine installation...... Good...The chassis is back in the carport and the engine is back in or should I say hanging in.
The next thing to do was fit the engine mounts, check for alignment and height and fit the tail shaft. Just Like a glove......The engine sump was the lowest point in the car so have decided to leave the cross member in place therefor making it the lowest pint by 10 mm. The lowest point of the car is 150 mm above the ground and if my calculation is correct will give me 25mm clearance under the bonnet. Speaking of which I had better get cracking and order my fiber glass paneling and nose cone now that I have all the dimensions I need.
This brings me back in time to April 97 and the "Toys for Big boys" show. One of the people I met back then was a wonderfully colourful character who is now the Queensland Westfield agent and owns White Pointer Fiberglass P/L. Rienholt has developed a set of moulds that enable him to provide panels for just about any LoCost car of any dimension. This was a wonderful find for me living in Weipa. He was able to take my order over the phone, make a full set of panels and shipped them in 4 days. Excellent service.
The steering rack was next on the list along with the steering column and the pedal box. I had to fabricate a small bridge for the steering column to pass through and avoid fowling on the chassis and the steering shaft spline lengthened 300mm to connect back to the steering rack.
The pedal box, hydraulic master cylinders for both the brake and clutch and brake servo were carefully measured and put in place. The peddles were then cut and welded to fit in the drivers foot well area and allow space for the accelerator peddle.
It was about now that I received an E-Mail from Rick Hargraves who gave me some positive feedback and suggestion of some improvements. He also reminded me of some structural members that were missing in the photos of my progress to date and a very useful copy of the chassis plan on p40 with colored in sections showing the panels that need to be fitted for the torsion and beam test. He also provided some great shots of typical side intrusion panel fitted to a chassis.
Now for the front-end geometry and wishbones. I have been leaving this until I have had some time to absorb the technical complexities of the front end and there are many. It was interesting to find that nowhere have I been able to find anyone who claims to have "The Answer" to the ideal front-end geometry. The closest I can find is an admission that there is no perfect answer instead an optimum compromise.
So there I have it.....a job to do and a paradox to use to work out how to do it. I have opted to use rod ends for my attachment points and the final geometry is a result of a full size drawing and 1/4 scale model.
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