Monday, June 14, 2021

The engine is in!

The engine is in! .. for the first time. There's lots and lots to do before it will go in for the last time, but today, my uncle and I were able to get it into the engine bay.

First we hooked it up to the hoist, and unbolted it from the stand. Then we put it onto a table, sitting on a skid to keep it supported level, and installed the clutch and pressure plate. After that, we mated up the transmission and picked up the whole assembly with the hoiust.

Here it is, going into the engine bay. Ed is guiding.
And here it is in place. It's sitting on the engine mounts, but there is nothing supporting the tail end of the transmission - it's just hanging from the hoist. The idea from here is that, once I get the angle how I want it, I will bolt the transmission support frame to it and start measuring and marking the drop tabs in preparation for welding that back in.

This isn't the final position just yet, but it's close. Next up is to order new engine and transmission mounts, which will let me get it  into its final spot

This is the tail of the transmission, hanging below the frame. This downslope will help the oiling issue I described earlier. The black X-shaped item on the floor is the support frame that I need to weld back in.

This feels like a really big milestone. It's going to come out and go back in several times, I am sure, but this makes it look and feel a whole lot more like a car.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

More welding practice

With a little help from my friends, I'm getting a bit better at welding. I added a magnifying lens (a "cheater") to my welding helmet, which helped me to see the joint. And I slowed way down, which helped me to actually put the weld bead where I wanted it.

I'm still not a good welder. These are completely serviceable welds, but I won't win any prizes for consistency or overall beauty. But I am getting better. And that feels pretty good.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Modifying the transmission

Wow, I thought I had taken more pictures of this process. But it appears I didn't. But here's the conversion process for the donor transmission, to change it from all-wheel drive in the donor car to rear-wheel drive only in the kit.

In this pic, you can see a stub axle coming off the side of the transmission, at the left side of the frame. In the donor, that (and the one on the other side) sent power to the front wheels. The driveshaft at the tail of the transmission, to the right of the frame, powered a drive shaft for the rear wheels.

I don't need that second part. Because I am relocating the transmission from the front of the donor car to the rear of the kit, what used to feed the front wheels will feed the rear wheels instead - and the rear drive shaft just won't exist.

This locking collar will go where the center differential used to be, preventing the rear shaft from turning at all. This effectively redirects all the power to the formerly-front axles.

In order to get this in, I took off the last segment of the transmission case, pulled out two geared shafts (I swear I thought I had pics) and a differential, and then installed that collar to lock the rear of the transmission.

And this plate blocks off the tail end where the rear driveshaft used to go. The 25 mm bolts supplied with the kit ended up being too long, but I was able to source some 20mm bolts locally. A little RTV to seal it all up, and the transmission conversion is done!

This coming weekend, I am hoping to make progress of getting the engine and transmission mated, in prep for the first (of many, I am sure!) introductions to the frame.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Welding practice

Having cut out the transmission mount plate, the basic idea is that it will get welded back in with about a 3" drop at the back. Based on a bunch of calculations done by people who have done this before me, a 3" drop should tip the tail end of the transmission down about five or six degrees, which should go a long way to keeping the gears oiled.

Here's the drop tab I am planning to use at the aft end - it's a 4" square of 3/16" steel.

I want the welding to go well, so I need to practice. Here's another 4" plate, clamped to a short piece of tubing, as a stand in for the frame. I need to master (in increasing difficulty) the weld along the top, the two vertical edges, and the overhead weld underneath.
This 1" weld is probably my best weld of the day. I still have a lot of practicing to do, and I need to slow down and stop rushing.

But hey, it's still fun melting metal together.