Monday, December 24, 2007

Parts for lower a-arm ready

The parts for the a-arm got ready yesterday.

Thinking in hindsight, they would have probably been faster to make with a manual machine because even if it only takes 2-3min to make such parts, programming and setting up the machine takes so much time that it probably isn't worth it. It's good practise though...

The machine had enough power to get a tap this far before it got overloaded. This particular machine is designed for manufacturing of small parts, so it doesn't have much power for doing something "bigger".

Attach the workpiece, press the green button

Wait 2 minutes and 31 seconds and when the door opens up the ready part awaits. To the left of the spindle (the part that rotates) is the measuring arm for the tools, and to the right you can see one of the 12 tools that fit into the machine.

This machine is by it's real name a cnc turning center, it means that besides turning you can mill grooves and drill anywhere on the outside or front face.

I had to make the threads by hand because the cnc machine wasn't up to the task. Because I had the tap already set up, I made a 8mm deep thread with it to help to guide the tap straight when making it by hand.

Milling the "bolt head" manually. Width is 27mm, just like stock.

The first ready part.

Even when trying to make a race part the resulting part reminds me more of something from a tractor.
It still needs the mounting points on the chassis, the right length from the tube and then it needs to be welded together
The camera lens makes the tube look bent.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Machining parts for the front suspension

I began making parts to adapt the front suspension for spherical bearings. The first part is for the lower a-arm longitudinal support. The part will be welded to a tube and the spherical bearing will be fastened into the other end.

The old compared to the new one. It still need the "bolt end" machined to it so it can be tightened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Testfitting a new bodykit, painting some parts with primer

We got a bodykit to make molds from, so we had to testfit it on our car. The bodykit makes the car look a bit more aggressive, and lower.

A picture from the rear

A picture from the front.

We also painted some of the stock bodykit parts with primer.

You can see from the background that the last couple weeks have been spent cleaning the garage. Now there is almost double the stuff there was before. I guess we will have to do another cleaning round this year. The results of the cleaning was about 12 100l garbage bags and one T3 full of metal junk.

The rear door and dashboard were also painted with primer. Also the ghia..

Fixing a part of the side skirt kit

The side skirt kit we bought from german ebay had one part that was in two pieces (we knew this when we bought it). So we had to do some glass fibre work.

The stock side skirts and bumpers seem like molded glass fibre. The parts look exactly like plastic parts from the inside. This is probably the way glass firbre parts should look like if you manufacture them for a series production vehicle.

In two pieces. Where the work began.

I tightened the piece into shape, and then glued it together with polyester resin to get it to stay in shape. After that I turned the piece upside down and reinforced it with some glass fibre cloth and polyester resin from the inside. Sadly I don't have any pictures from the inside, but I'll still have to reinforce it a bit more, so I'll add the pictures to this thread.

First layer of filler on. I opened up the cracks a bit and filled them with carbon fibre filler. It is structural, and should hold up, but we'll see how it lasts in use.

A couple more layers of filler and a layer of base coat. The piece still needs a couple finishing touches.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Improving the stock suspension for track use, planning

Because a wannabe sports car fills up the garage, we have some time for planning.

A red, soon to be black, Karmann Ghia.

Modifying the suspension for race track use seems a bit more difficult than we thought.
Pictures from beneath the car, from where you can see the problem spots.

The suspension bushings aren't aligned with each other. This is no problem in a stock car with elastic rubber bushings. But if you want to replace them with something stiffer to keep the wheels aligned under racing abuse, you will have problems.

A drawing of the front suspension point for the lower front a-arm to clarify what I meant. The front suspension point is far from ideal, it consists of two washers that tighten two rubber donuts on a steel plate, and this is all that limits longitudinal movement of the lower a-arm.

In the back the situation isn't as bad, but not very good either. The bolts are almost aligned with each other. If the bolts holding the rear suspension would be aligned, it would be easy to turn a couple metallic bushings to replace the stock ones. We do have some ideas to get it better.

Camber adjustment is also one thing that will be improved. We would like an adjustment that is easy and accurate to adjust even on the race track.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Disassembling the spare parts van, cleaning the cellar

Sunday was spent disassembling the spare parts van and cleaning the cellar next to our garage. When we started disassembling the car Vilho showed up, with the front suspension in his mind.

Like the race taxi, we began with tipping the car over. We then took as spare parts the radiator, heater, shifter assembly and wiring.

The front suspension is coming off, with frame and everything.

You usually don't see the front suspension from this point of view.

The car after we were done. Ultra rare double sliding door version. The coloring is what the Finnish telephone company used at that time, a nice three tone paint job. The car also had a good windshield, so we took it as a spare for the race taxi. The vent grille at the upper rear corner was also taken, in case we want to make a claer style grille for engine intake.

Rest of the day was spent cleaning the cellar. There was still garbage bags, building material and insulation material from the time when the garage was built. I didn't take any pictures, because it looked really bad... It's a work still in progress, we only got through half of the stuff.

The race taxi had to go outside for a while. We'll have to paint a karmann ghia before it can go back in.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bringing stuff to the garage, relocating the clutch slave sylinder, finishing the rear compartment

In the beginning of this project I wondered why everything weighs so much...

Not anymore. The plastic engine cover has to cope with transporting lathe chucks from village to village, and I guess they have quite big lathes in Germany... While on the subject of lathes, we're getting a "new" lathe to our garage.

If we need to do some turning on under 40" rims, we should be able to do it in the future. The size and current drain of the machine were both estimates. We also brought some metal we saved from going to garbage.

We also relocated the clutch slave cylinder to a better position.

Lenghtened clutch actuation arm.

In "stock" form the slave cylinder is right next to the turbocharger that you can see on to the right.The previous slave cylinder didn't like being so close to the turbo. Well actually only the rubber seal melted, but the clutch pedal feel was a bit odd after accelerations.

We also finished the rear compartment. The holes will be covered by aluminium, but they will still haunt us if we won't do them well. At the same time we lost a bit more weight.

Now it's starting to look like it should.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lovering the oil pan, testfitting the intercooler

Lowering the oil pan, and at the same time wondering where to put the baffles. The oil pan was lowered ca. 50mm. The oil pan is longer to the rear to get a bit more displacement for oil.

Picture of what's inside.

Done, you can see the first spot for the drain plug.

Height compared to stock.

We also testfitted the intercooler, and in the process had to remove more metal from the cars body. The engine has been raised ca. 4cm compared to our previous project, so now the intercooler is even closer to the firewall. Cool air to the intercooler will be directed through the right side air channel. The intercooler will be moved forward, so we can put the air ducts in the firewall instead of the engine hatch. Intake air will be drawn through the left side air channel.

The shifter is also installed. Someone of the previous owners had of course adjusted the shifter wrong, so just reassembling it like it was when we got it didn't work. The reverse gear lock was in a wrong angle and bent a bit, so it took a while to wonder how it works and to get it like it should be. Luckily we have another car as a model.
After cleaning the parts the shifter all the friction is gone and the parts feel like new, I guess this has to be done on our other cars too...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Making the front brake adapters

For a start we're using T4 VR6 parts for the brakes. The front brake discs will be ventilated and the rear discs will be solid. Legal and smart brakes seem to be hard to find for such a heavy vehicle, but we will continue our search and upgrade once we find some.

First I measured the needed measurements for a preliminary CAD model. Then I printed the model on paper, made final adjustments with a scissor to get the final shape right. The other way would have been to make CAD models of all parts, but it would have required so much more measuring and modeling that I thought making it this way was much faster. It took about 15 min to make the model.

At the same time I had to measure the weights of the parts. The spindle with hub and disc weighs 20,5 kg and the front caliper weighs 8,4 kg. And you still have to add the suspension arms and wheels to get the whole unsprung weight. We just have to remake the front suspension using lighter parts.

CAD model

CAM model. Toolpaths are visible in green.

Virtual machining, a friend took some pictures with his phone of the actual machining, I just haven't had the time to get them yet.

Finished part. About 11 min of machining time each.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Installing steering quickner, testing coil overs at rear

The steering quickner arrived and we installed it right away. I'm not sure what the internals look like, but I'm guessing it has a planetary gear that makes the steering double as quick. This model is nice because it has the input and output aligned, so you can just put it somewhere in the steering column without changing the angles of the original joints, so it's quite easy to install.

You can guess that we joked about installing it the wrong way, making the car a handful to drive, so of course it was installed the wrong way at first. Before the steering was four revolutions from end to end, now it's only two (and in the middle it was eight).

The steering column was pressed to the coupler, and it will be also welded.

We had to make a hole in the cabin floor to make some room for the quickner.

A picture from beneath. The quickner was installed as close as possible to the frame to ensure an as rigid mount as possible. If you would have installed it more rearwards, the mounting would have been more complex.

And a picture of the floor after the mount is almost done.

We also tested the locost's coil overs on the rear, because we already happen to have them. We just had to test the stock mounting points, and of course it didn't fit.

At this height it is starting to look okay, sadly you can't really lower the front as much.

The coil over is almost in line with the trailing arm, not good.

There's still a bit room for bump.

Looking good. I guess we will have to think of something for next year to get the car really low. At the moment the car doesn't look normal compared to a stock height Multivan, because you can see over it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Making panels and floors

Not much progress during the weekend. We finally had to clean the garage, so most of our time went in to that.
We had to do something to pedals, as can be seen from photos,if you want to push clutch or brake pedal, you had to raise your foot quite a lot. So, plan is to shorten the pedals about 8cm to get them in the same level as the throttle pedal.

Test fitting the Multivan side skirts.

Aluminium panels for floor and front seat frame.

Extra space for middle seat passengers feets.

We also measured extension for clutch cylinder rod. Cylinder is too close to turbo so the heat burns the rubber parts. Plan is to move it about 15cm. to better clear the turbo.