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.