Wednesday 30 November 2011

Why Am I Here?

A simple enough question, but one that has troubled mankind for some time. I'm sat here bored stiff trying to find something to interest me. My wife's asleep with a migraine, the brace of daughters are each occupying a room-with-a-telly-in watching either some dreadful drivel involving stupid people being unpleasant to each other, or cheap imported sit-coms where the only actual laughter comes from a can.

So that's the three most comfortable rooms in the house accounted for & strictly out of bounds to a mere male who would like to see something entertaining and / or improving. I could watch Pixie Lott on Buzzcocks on the I-player again, but I'll only get impure thoughts.

"Why arn't you out in the garage?" I hear you cry, well, I'm waiting on parts, niether the welding rods nor the hose have turned up yet. I could I suppose take the main bit of the exhaust off & see just how bad the situation with the side impact bars is likely to get, I could look at the throttle linkage, I could start making the airbox, as my design is more-or-less complete, but here I sit, in the smallest bedroom / office twiddling my thumbs.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Long Time - Little Progress

Where was I?
The Zetec conversion seems to have ground to a crawl of late, partly because I keep inventing interesting projects to add that were not in the original game plan, like building my own engine mounts & a cold air intake. But mostly because I've been taking it slow - no point rushing it when they're about to dump tons of corrosive salt on the roads.

This weeks progress revolved around pipes of a variety of kinds. After my big box of bits arrived from the nice men at Car Builder Solutions, I set about making the cooling system complete. This was "just" a case of joining the stubs on the thermostat housing to the bottom hose, but I managed to make a meal of it all the same, adding tee pieces into the bottom hose in such a way that they're hidden by the chassis. It's still not quite finished as I need another 19mm 180deg bend having used the first one next to the radiator instead of where I bought it for. Next was the expansion pot, mounted on a quick-release set up on the "shelf" behind the engine & thus right in the way of the cold air intake. To ease the intake fitting & make the pipe runs prettier, I removed the quick release frame & hard mounted the pot turned through 90deg, this took a while to achieve nicely as it had to be trimmed to get it as far outboard as possible.

Then to the exhaust. When I bought the second-hand Powerspeed header the chap pointed out that it needed a little welding - it had been sawn off! so in the CBS order was a stainless exhaust stepped reducer, & I'd bought some stainless welding rods some time before. I started by removing the collector & chopping the reducer to fit on the cut end, then tried to tack weld it - this resulted in it being welded all right, but also blew a large hole in the thin tube. Too much ampage I think. Then I couldn't get it to arc at all & cooked a couple of rods. By the time I'd got the amps right & welded up the holes I'd blown, I'd used all the welding rods & there were still a hole or two to be welded up as you can see from the picture, so there are some more rods on order & hopefully I'll be able to finish it - then comes the joy of moving the silencer back to mate with it while still getting a tail pipe round the side impact protection bars. Hmmmmm - looking forward to that.

Friday 11 November 2011

Plumbing The Depts

This week I’ve been drawing up a cold intake system fed from a NACA duct on the bonnet, there’s been a couple of iterations, mostly foiled by bits of the car getting in the way, but I think I now have a plan that will work. But I'm not going to show any pictures of it just yet.
Today’s efforts centred around finishing off the idler pulley bracket & fitting the top & bottom hose, the first of these jobs was just making up a small bracket to hold the lower foot in place, the second involved shortening some of the pipes & hoses & re-beading the pipes. When I first built the car I had some very thin wall aircraft pipe which I cut into appropriate corners but I needed them beaded - to stop the hoses blowing off. Beading them properly in the garage was a non-starter & getting them done professionally was fraught with risk as the aluminium is VERY thin & VERY heat treated, so would probably just crack. But I applied my brain & when I took it apart I was very pleased (not to mention relieved) to find my beads still in place & working perfectly.
So how did I do it? I bought some cotton string (cotton because it's absorbent), cleaned up the end of the pipe with coarse sand paper to "key" it, the superglued one end of the string to the pipe, wrapped it closely round twice & superglued the other end. Next I made up some araldite & built up a "hump" around the string, cured it in the cooker (shhhh) & sanded it smooth, then one more coat of araldide to get a good finish & waterproof the string, another light sand & it's done. Next job is to make up some brackets to hold it all in place. In this close up picture the lower bead is the old one that's done four years & 3000 miles, the upper one is a new one half finished. This bit of pipe was part of a larger one but I sawed it off to make a hose joiner.
Scoff if you must, but it's free & it works!

Sunday 6 November 2011

Pulley'd Up

With my wife & elder daughter out of the house looking for a horse & the younger daughter going through her 13year old recluse phase, I awarded myself an hour in the garage to sort out the pulleys for the auxiliary drive belt. The idler was rubbing against the cam wheel cover, so needed a washer under the bearing to space it out a little, the alternator pulley from Mango Dave had a 17mm bore but the alternator had a 15mm shaft – not good.

I found some steel tube about the right diameter & 1mm wall thickness & made up a sleeve, cut a keyway in the new pulley, & with a couple of spacers made from 3mm aluminium, it was fitted & running true.

A measure up with a straight edge showed all four pulleys were in line, so I finished off the alternator bracket by tightening the titanium Hi-Lok bolts that hold it together & trimming off some spare metal, bolted it on & all it needs now is a belt.

So time for that picture of the engine in the car.

With the engine on proper mounts & the idler & alternater fitted, that's all of the difficult mechanical bits sorted. Next job - plumbing.

Friday 4 November 2011

Weight Bearing Mounts!

Friday PM is Fury time, & today I lowered the engine onto it’s home made engine mounts for the first time with no issues at all, no groaning, no twanging of bad welds. The engine looks a little low perhaps with 3 ¾” clearance under the sump, but it’s MUCH easier to raise than it is to lower, so I’ll see how the bonnet fits over it before doing anything hasty.
I then set about making up the Idler Pulley mount to the drawing I’d done, this was all straight forward, with only the tube brace giving me any problems. It appears to line up with the other pulleys & it's as rigid as a stiff thing, so should be fine.
Also in this picture is the dipstick David Mango gave me off one of his old engines. Fits a treat.

Wednesday 2 November 2011


Not too much to report, I did pop round to Mango-towers yestereve & picked up a dipstick (no comments please) & an alternator to lever the pulley off of.
I've also finished the design for the idler pulley mount, which looks like this:-

With a little luck I should be able to make it up this weekend, but first i need to clean up the second engine mount, paint & waxoil it & get the engine fitted all proper-like. It's occured to me that I haven't added a photo of the engine in place yet, well you'll just have to wait, though I can tell you it looks SPLENDID.