Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Prepped then Broken

Picture this - I get a phone call from Hamo "you're taking the E21 to the drags, like it or not - I'm paying".

Honestly, I don't care that he's willing to pay - "I'll just break something" I protest.

"Plus, I want to weld the diff before I go out so I've at least got some traction, and I -hate- the smell of diff oil".

The response "I'll come around tomorrow night and weld the diff".

I considered his offer of assistance, decided it worth pursuing and proceeded to jack up the car to get it ready to drain and weld... .

...then drained it - since it was already up in the air, and cleaned it out by spraying acetone from a spray bottle.... then welded it while I was there for good measure.

I refilled it with SAE90 diff oil (just happened to have almost the perfect amount lying around??)

So when he turned up the following evening, the garage already stank of stale diff oil. Only the timing remained to be adjusted. At first glance, there's more room in the E21. On further inspection; it's very - VERY tight. The problem is the approach angle. Hamo assures me you actually need rubber arms to achieve this task with any form of ease.

He must have rubber arms.

He got it done.

What he also got "done" is this brilliant window sticker.

It's 400% bigger than I imagine necessary.

I'm very impressed.

Off we go to local plumbing services provider Cri-Tech who have agreed to sponsor the use of some left over materials and their equipment to manufacture door skins and other miscellaneous parts I erroneously believe I need done before I can pass scrutineering.

A fan guard/air guide is guillotined and fitted.

I think to myself, a shed like this would be nice to have.

Plenty of room, multiple locations to work on a car.

Door skins are made and screwed on with self tappers. 

I make a floor for the driver's side.

I later decide it's terrible and throw it away.

My cousin Fletcher turns up, replete with battery drill and a supply of screws - he intrepidly secures all of our creations to the vehicle.

The car looks a lot less "thrown together" and a lot more "carefully planned and executed".

I think this is wonderful.

Back home, I decide that the front fan guard is boring.

I put some stickers on it.

To the petrol station! I don't think many people fill their cars via the middle of the boot.

An uneventful drive to the drag strip.

One run down - no traction through first, still sideways through second - cross the line at 72.46mph (1/8th mile) in 11 seconds.

I think this is woeful. My EB managed a 9.2 with a slower motor.

I go again. Still no traction, half throttle through all of first gear.

74.38mph and a 9.9 second. Ok, It's headed in the right direction - but the motor is heating up from doing a flat out run then idling for a long time. I park and let it cool down.

Out again, this time I'm going to do a decent burnout and try and warm the tyres. Hamo, get out your phone and record this!

The burnout goes well.

The light goes green.

BANG. That's not good.

Oh look, I've broken something. See Hamo, I told you!

The car drives very strange, it turns on the throttle and axle tramps what feels like one wheel. 

Back at the pits, one of the half shafts has about an inch of play. Hamo removes the dust cover and is greeted by a ball bearing and pieces of bearing race.

The CV joint has suffered what can only be described as a monumental, fatal failure.

I need another.

There aren't any? (anyone have any hints?)

Maybe a driveshaft? Nope, none of those either.

Oh well. It's still moveable, thanks to the welded diff (I removed the broken axle)

At least Scarlett likes the new sticker!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Single Piece Shaft!

My tailshaft came back, nicely tig welded.

A quick spray with some black paint to keep it from corroding.

I don't think I've shown the complete shaft before, so here it is. Sorry if the camera angle makes you feel ill - the iPhone accelerometer seems to struggle when aiming almost straight down. 

I also replaced a flange on the back part of the exhaust, it was leaking quite badly as it was actually the wrong size. Remember this was only originally to be a temporary exhaust.

Finally, the car back down on the ground.

The test drive proved conclusive: the new, single piece tailshaft is awesome! No tailshaft vibration at all. 

I did however have some dramas as you may have seen. First, the battery was almost flat. I got it charged enough to fire into action the first time around but it unfortunately wasn't really enough for a second go.

The other thing is that the front right hand side brake caliper was locking on. Pedal feel was quite average and pulled to one side, and there was quite a smell of brakes.

Unfortunately a combination of both things made the car quite difficult to roll start - indeed in the video you can see I'm pushing the car backwards down a hill with my foot out the door to get enough speed to roll start it.

The solution to the battery problem is simple - charge it.

The solution to the brake problem was also simple however I took no photos of the process.

I removed the wheel, brake caliper and pads, pushed the pistons on both sides back into the brake caliper (the inside one was very,very hard to move with my g-clamp - guilty!!), refitted, pumped the pedal, removed and pushed back again, and refitted. 

Scarlett is happy the car is back on the ground as she can now climb up onto the boot again.

Tests today showed that the car has even more poke when the brake piston is not sticking slightly on. Stomping the throttle in second gear is just a recipe for wheel-spin even at low revs.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Tailshaft Progress

After my last post, I cut the tailshaft just shy of the total length, to test for trans tunnel fitment. I then also cut down the E21 tailshaft (not pictured) and slid it inside the falcon shaft. This was then fitted up to the gearbox and the diff, measured, and sent away.

Tonight, the guy doing the work on my tailshaft turned up with the adaptor made and pressed then tacked into place, uni joints clocked.

This was so I could test fit and ensure that with the adaptor fitted, the tailshaft could still fit onto the vehicle. At first... it didn't.

Somehow, despite owning two bottle jacks, I couldn't even find one. The single piece shaft slides up the passenger side of the diff, then you lift the front and slide into the box. Before the adaptor was fitted, there was enough flex in the shaft because of the diameter differences for it to clear the tunnel. Afterwards however, the edge of the tunnel (where it opens out between the factory fuel tanks) was stopping it from lining up and sliding into the slip yoke on the gearbox.

I gave up subtlety with the jack, and got out a wood splitter and the trusty angle grinder.

And butchered the poor trans tunnel some more. The main problem area has four pieces of metal meeting which means it's impossible to just hit it and bend it, it needs to first be cut with the grinder. Because the seat is in the car, I haven't yet welded it back together - I think down the track I will probably cut a section out and weld a new piece in.

I also had to cut off the mounting points for the standard center bearing. The shaft finally went into place and could then be checked - measurements are looking spot on!

I also got some stickers to get the car a little more ready for track work, with thanks to Karl Thomson for the first set, and the inspiration to order the second battery triangle for the opposite side rear window.

It's looking a little more like a race car now :)