Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Set the controls for the heart of the car

OK, so today I got a bunch done on the clutch and the steering. I started with these spacers for the clutch master cylinder. Being mild steel, they wanted some corrosion protection, and I am still not happy with my skills with a spraycan, so I decided to nickel plate them instead.

Before I could actually go to plating, I wire-wheeled them to remove surface gunk, put them in an acid metal etch, and gave them a rinse in regular old water.

Mmmmmm... forbidden Gatorade.

Actually, it's a nickel acetate solution I made. It's not hard or dangerous - it needs only some vinegar, nickel strips, salt, and low-voltage, low-amperage power - I literally used an old USB wall wart. 

Anyway, by hanging the steel parts into the solution, with voltage applied to the nickel strips at the edges and to the parts themselves, nickel gets applied to the steel.

Maybe it's a little underwhelming, but this is what the parts look like after a couple of hours in the plating tank. I decided these were all ready to go onto the car after they were fully dry.
And there they are, keeping space between the clutch master cylinder and the firewall! 
After that, I installed the steering column and the universal joint connecting it to the steering rack - so now the steering knuckles actually steer when the wheel is turned.

Next up is the accelerator pedal and cable - but that requires more parts needing corrosion protection. And, sadly, my current capacity of nickel plating is not large enough. I need to buy more vinegar, but I am not feeling the need to go to the grocery store on the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving.

 

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