Friday, March 25, 2022

Wire Diet II - Diet Harder

If you remember my previous posts about wire diet, that was just the harness for the top of the engine - this is the diet for the main part of the car. There's a lot more to it, and of course not all of it is labeled, so there's a lot to get through. This lump of wire weighs maybe 30 pounds at a guess.
The first key is to go through and identify things - and if they are not needed for the kit, to go through, wire by wire, and remove them. This module, for example, had unknown function until I googled the part number and found out that it's the cruise control computer. No cruise control in the kit, so the box got removed and all the individual wires run back and cut out.
All of these are airbag wires, which connected to the airbag computer in the dash of the donor. This system is mostly discrete from the main harness, so it was easier to pull out these cables as assemblies rather than wire by wire.

I pulled out a good chunk in my first pass, but there's still a lot to do. And I also will need to identify all the wires from this harness where they connect to the engine harness, because there will be a bunch of wires I can remove there to match things I cut out of the engine harness already. Then the fun of splicing it all together can begin. Or just building my own, I haven't really decided yet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Driveline work

Only one photo in today's update, because everything I worked on was in the rear of the car.

First, I got the axles in, connecting the outputs of the transmission to the rear hubs. Of course, this meant I had to unbolt all the links that connected the knuckle assembly, and just last week I bolted a bunch of heavy stuff to it. I ended up using my engine hoist as a kind of skyhook so I didn't have to wrangle all the weight myself.

As I was putting it all back together, I also assembled and installed the rear coilovers, and went through to install a bunch of spacers on all of the bolts connecting all of the rear suspension members to the rear knuckle and to the frame. And there are kind of a lot of them - each side has two trailing links, three lateral links, and a coilover.

Last but not least, I installed the shock tower brace that ties the rear end of the frame together above the transmission, adding rigidity to the rear portion of the frame.

It feels like good work got done this week. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

A collection of smaller tasks

I took care of a few smaller tasks this weekend - little things that were not super critical, but definitely needed to be done.

First up, I bolted in this support for the back of the driver's seat. The seat bottom will bolt to brackets on the floor; this supports and constrains the upright back section. I need to take it back out again, of course, because I need to paint the steel angle it's bolted to.

I also finished installing the brake discs and calipers. Big ol' vented rotors, front and rear, and Cadillac Brembos to provide squeeze.
In the rear, same setup, except for the addition of a Wilwood e-brake.

The donor car, like most passenger cars, had more braking up front. The kit, being rear-engined, needs more balanced brakes, so the big discs and 4-pot calipers on all four corners will help, particularly since the brakes are unboosted. There will be a proportioning valve in the hydraulic system to tune the balance if needed.

And the shift cables showed up today, so I had to get them installed. They go from the tail end of the transmission up to the shift lever - past and around the engine. I need to fab up a mount for the clamps on the tunnel, but that shouldn't be hard.

I'm thinking axles and rear suspension might be next.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Back to it, and it feels good.

Well, even though I haven't been posting lately, I haven't been completely off the car project. I did do a little bit of recreational research, by going flying with my uncle. This gave me the chance to try out a headset which I may end up using for an in-car intercom. It should give me good hearing protection, allow conversation with the passenger, and also give me audio from my phone for navigation.

But as far as actual work on the car, this weekend I got the shift linkage installed again, and hooked up some push-pull cables to measure for length.

These cables are way longer than I need, because I am using a different shifter than the kit specifies. This should give me better shifting, with a shorter, more direct run.

The cables go up over the engine block, then down through the firewall and into the tunnel, where they will hook up to the shift lever. Once I got them routed, I marked them, removed them from the car, and measured them, and then I submitted an RFQ to have custom cables made.

I also reinstalled the upper portion of the rear firewall, and got a few holes set up so that important things can go through it - fuel filler, fuel tank vent, shift cables and electrics. The fuel tank is in and bolted down, too, and I finished bolting down the seat rails and anti-submarine bracket for the driver's seat. 

There's also another portion of the firewall which will install forward of the fuel tank, but I'm not quite ready for that - which in turn prevents me from completely nailing down the seat mounting. But I did put the seat in and sit in it for a while today.
I was going to call it a day there, but the header wrap tape I had ordered showed up, so I wrapped the two pieces of the exhaust that I had not yet wrapped. This is the passenger side header, which I wrapped with 1" wide tape. The other components (driver-side header, crosspipe, and up-pipe) all got 2" tape, but the tight bends and branching pipes on this one made it easier to wrap it with the narrow stuff. 
Then I mocked up all the exhaust pieces. Nothing is tight here, just assembled as a mockup. Like most things in this project, it will probable all come off again before it's final.
Turbo goes here.