Monday, July 27, 2020

Fresh ground steel?

Another heavy day on the grinder and the Dremel today. The main rear brake adapter plates are at or near their final shape. The first one was the hard one. I had to check the fit and grind away bits a number of times until the emergency brake caliper would bolt up well. But since the plates are mirror images of each other, one the first one was done, I just bolted them together and ground away all the protruding edges. That cleaned up both plates to near-final shape very quickly.
 And the sub-plates for the Brembo service brakes are half-done. I've adjusted the clearance where they fit near the suspension knuckles (the outside edges in this picture). I need to massage the clearance where they will fit with the Brembo calipers. The right bracket has the locations punched for the mounting holes, so I need to remove metal until the caliper can actually locate on those.

I'm pretty sure I will do the same trick here as I did previously - I'll get one working, then bolt them together so I can remove any excess from both pieces.
Here's the Wilwood e-brake caliper bolted up to the main bracket, just to show what that will look like. The Brembo service brakes, on the sub-bracket, will mount on the other end.

This has been a really good couple of days. I have some better perspective on the project, so I am focusing on the sub-project of the rear brakes right now, and I've been able to get a lot done.

Next, I need to drill bolt holes for the sub-bracket, and get that all in shape for mounting. Once I get these brackets to their final shape, I'll be prepping them for paint and turning back to the front suspension.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

What a grind!

 I've been spending a lot of quality time with my grinder and my Dremel today, getting the rear brake adapter plates closer to ready for use. I've got the steel and aluminum parts, shown to the left, closer to their final shapes, ready for tweaking until it all will mount up.
 Here's what it will all eventually bolt up to, the rear knuckle. Those four bolt holes around the bearing housing are key.
 The main plate will go on in this orientation.
 This subplate will mount behind the main plate. I need to make a little more clearance so it will fit closer to the knuckle.

 The aluminum spacer will be sandwiched between the two steel plates to get the caliper centered on the disc.
 The e-brake caliper will bolt up on this end. Some of the aluminum parts are spacers for the caliper - the discs are so wide that we have to expand the caliper some to make it all work.
And the Brembo caliper will bolt up to the subplate about here for the service brake.

Once I get everything clearanced so it will fit together, I'll have a bunch of holes to drill and bolts to install. But it's all coming together quite nicely, and I am excited to see it continue to progress.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Busy weekend

 I did not get a lot of time in the shop this weekend (weekends for me being defined as Sunday through Tuesday), just because other stuff kept happening. Not, to be clear, bad stuff or catastrophic stuff, but just stuff involved with daily and ongoing life.

But I did get enough time to rough-cut the Brembo adapter plates. You can see them to the left in all of their rough-cut glory!
And here's how they will look in relation to the larger brake adapter plates. I've been thinking of the main plates as "goldfish," so that makes these Brembo adapter plates the googly eyes you see on those decorative goldfish at your dentist's office.

Once all of this is ground to final shape, painted, and fit up to the rear suspension knuckle, the Wilwood parking brake will bolt up at the "tail," and the big ol' Brembo caliper will bolt to the "eyes." Relative to the target mass of the car (818 kg), this should provide a whole bunch of braking.

In the front, I'll be using exactly the same Brembo calipers and the same rotors (from a WRX STi) - but there's an existing solution for that, using a bracket that Subaru people use to add big brakes to their WRXes.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Another good day, if too short

 I didn't get to spend as much time as I wanted to on the car today, but I did get some time on a 6 ton press in my uncle's shop. I was able to press out the bearing races from the front knuckles, as well as the hubs and bearings from the rears, and press in new races, bearings, and seals for the fronts. Other errands and chores needed doing, though, so I had to stop around 12:30 and head off to do them.

But here's the important thing - the brake brackets that I have been cutting out bolt right up to the rear knuckles, with no additional modification needed to the bolt holes or the hub hole.
Here's the second bracket, which still needs a bunch of grinding to get closer to final shape. But it's all coming together so nicely!

Next, I'll cut out the sub-brackets for the Brembo calipers, and continue to shape everything for paint and final assembly.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Good day

 Had a good day in the shop today. These are the brake brackets my uncle developed, in the process of being cut out. The big, huge win today is getting the central holes cut, where they will fit around the hub of the rear knuckle.

These were delivered to me as scribed outlines on 3/16" steel plates, so I have been working to cut them out with a jigsaw (note the scraps and shavings on the floor) and then using the bench grinder to get them closer to final dimension. It's a complete, noisy, messy, sweaty pain, especially this week.
If we look at this piece of steel as a "goldfish" shape, the Wilwood emergency brake caliper will mount at the "tail," and the big ol' Brembo/Cadillac service brake caliper will mount to a secondary plate at the head end.

Tomorrow, I hope to get the second plate ground to rough dimension and to cut out the secondary plates for the Brembos. I'm also going to work on pressing out the bearing races from the front knuckles, and installing new bearings and hubs.

Down the road, I need to test-fit the calipers on these brackets to make sure it will all go together. No doubt, there will be additional work needed to make everything fit well. Then, final cleanup, paint and assembly!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Slow week

 Well, this last weekend was one of those that felt like I did not get much traction, or get much done. It seems like I am at one of those choke points where I am working on little ancillary things, but not making any progress toward actual assembly of the car.
 Above and at right are some brackets related to the front suspension that I have been working on prepping and painting. The ones at right were actually backordered from the kit manufacturer, so I was glad to get them a couple of weeks ago and start cleaning them up.
And here is one of the rear brake-mounting plates I have been working on. My uncle did a ton of development on these, and made me a couple of marked and drilled plates to work on, so I have been cutting these out and getting ready to assemble them. It's slow going, cutting through 3/16" steel with a jigsaw, but it can be done with patience.

So overall, it feels stalled because I am not actually bolting things to the frame, but if I look past my frustration, I can actually see that progress is being made.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Brake Development, Pt. 2

Well, I don't have a pic for you today. But I was able to pick up some parts from my uncle today. He put a ton of development effort into the brackets for the rear brakes, so I now have some marked-up pieces of steel, ready for cutting out to make the rear brackets. Also, some shims and mounting hardware.

I did get two coats of paint on some from suspension bits today, and the could be used as they sit right now. I may add a top coat just to be sure - the jury is still out.

The big progress today is that I added an A/C unit to the garage today, which will allow me to work through the summer rather than putting the whole project on hold until October or so. I'm very, very happy to have it! And I am going to try to make the most of it, for sure!