Tuesday, April 28, 2020

New template for the oil filter bracket

Made some adjustments to the template - created this paper version.

A guy on TheSamba.com made me aware of a website called SendCutSend.com - they will laser cut parts if I send a .dwg or .dxf drawing and a few pieces of information.  I spent over an hour trying to remember enough of AutoCAD to get the template into the program.  I failed.  I may just have to find a local shop to make the part.  It'll be more expensive but I don't have the time or patience to re-learn AutoCAD to create a drawing to then get the part made.

Monday, April 27, 2020

"Commitment is an act, not a word."

A conversation and some frustration turned into the purchase of a NOS rear seat kick panel.  I didn't think these existed but at least one does and I bought it.  I can take this off the list of 'shit I have to find' and move it to the list of 'shit I have to get put on the car'.
 There are a few minor issues with this piece - nothing serious.  It should go into the pan pretty easily.  There's no secret that the pan needs some rather significant work to be correct for the body of the car.  I may as well do it right.  I don't want to look back on this and regret taking a short cut 'a while ago'. 

The seat belts will need brackets welded to the pan, the rear seat kick panel will be replaced, the brake tubes will need to be tweaked to work with the IRS rear end. 
 I bought these years ago and have been dragging them from house to house as we move all over the place and I wondered if I'd ever use them.  I now know the answer.

 I took a trip to Home Depot and picked up a piece of sheet metal.  I traced the FastFab bracket and make it one hole longer.
It's rather ugly in appearance - but I was able to confirm that, if made correctly, it'll fit and work.  I might make another one - drilling the holes first and I'd make a slight change to the bracket. 

Sometime next week when things are a little less nuts I will seek out a fabrication shop to make one that's more suitable in appearance and fit.

Next up is the bracket for the oil cooler - then I can get that chapter closed.  I can't fucking wait.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

"We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

 A couple of years ago, I bought a FastFab bracket and attempted to use it to mount the oil filter bracket.  I very quickly determined that it wouldn't work because it wasn't a direct fit.  The one piece I should have immediately recognized is that NOTHING on this car is a direct fit and acted accordingly.  But because I'm a stubborn dumbass, I went in a completely different direction.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find another place to put this blasted thing.  And guess what?  I'm right back to where I was two fucking years ago...it's not a direct fit, per se, but it's real close.
It's in a fairly good spot here - not super close to the J tube, easily accessed for oil filter change, not in the way of the valve cover.

It is, however, large enough that the thermostat side gets within 1/2" of the header pipe.  I'm hoping that wrapping the header with fiberglass wrap will help control the heat and not cook the thermostat.  Short of this - I guess I could get a custom bent pipe for the exhaust that allows for more space.
 The plan is to contact FastFab and see if I can interest them in making a modified version of their bracket for this location.  Failing that, I'll use their stock bracket as a template to have one made on a waterjet.  I am not super concerned about how 'pretty' it is if it works.  Once this is sorted, I'll figure out where to put the oil cooler and get brackets made for that...then work on getting the hoses made and connected.
View from the rear - showing the space between the J tube and the oil filter.

It's not solved yet - but it's feeling close.

Once I get this part done, I can fire up the engine and make sure it's still in good shape.  And then figure out how to get that heat shield installed!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

I wanted to seek but I got distracted

This doesn't look like much but it represents the surmounting of a rather large obstacle in the journey to getting this car back together and driving - my motivation to work on this car.

Two days ago, it was snowing...today it was up near 65°F.  I mowed the lawn and pulled weeds. On my way into the house, just before I closed the garage door, I stopped to look at the car sitting in the garage covered in dust. 

I decided to take a look at the rear end and see if I've got any new ideas for the few minor modifications that are required to put the back end together.  I didn't come up with anything for the rear brake lines - after a short time, I realized that it'd probably be easier to figure out if the shock and axle assembly were in place. I swapped out the trailing arm because the one that was in the car had a malformed bump stop mount - and I've got three fucking sets for one car, so why not? 

I pulled out the parts for the rear stub axle, grabbed the parts book for an exploded view of assembly and set about assembly. A short time later, I swapped out the trailing arm and then spent an hour trying to figure out just where the hell I was going to put the oil filter/thermostat mount.  Late into that hour I discovered a suitable location just behind the engine tin, slotted in the curve of the CSP Python exhaust.  I can get to the valves without it (or the hoses) getting in the way, it won't be as susceptible to road debris and at least one set of braided lines will be short/straight.  The mount location will require fabrication of a bracket that'll hang on the exhaust studs over the header but it should be rather sturdy.  I'll make a test piece before I go spending the money to get one made.  I'm content to have a location worked out at this point.  Next up will be figuring out where/how to mount the actual cooler.  Once I get past this obstacle of oil cooler/filter mount, I should be able to clear my head enough to get the other shit done.  I'm super distracted by this part for some reason.

My list to finish before it's on the road again:

  1. The seat belts mounts need to be figured out
  2. The parking brake tubes out the rear of the pan need to be bent upward slightly
  3. New parking brake cables (custom, of course)
  4. New rear brake lines (may need to weld new brackets)
  5. Figure out the solution to coating for the spring plates (they're starting to rust through the zinc coating) 
  6. Install the rear torsion bars/level the car
  7. Oval out the holes for the pan to fit the body (body mounting)
  8. Tweak the late oil/dipstick tube to fit the early body (slightly off)
  9. Figure out how to install the heat shield for the Python exhaust (doesn't fucking fit!)
  10. Send the transmission out for a new case
  11. Paint everything that was modified on the pan/subframe
  12. Assembly
2020 might be the year I get some of this done if I can get out of my own way.