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PostPosted: March 4, 2010, 9:08 pm 
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Pretty good sized baby steps. You're moving along really well.

Know what you mean about the $10.00 bid situation. As hard as it is for me to chuck stuff :| that might, sometime, somehow be of some use in the future I'd rather chuck it than have the nuisance of selling an item for a few bucks.

Ron

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PostPosted: March 16, 2010, 2:45 pm 
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My run to Bolt and Nut Supply wasn't quite as expensive as I feared and they had EVERYTHING I needed. Someone PM'd me about not being able to find a 14mm grade 10.9 bolt for the lower outboard connection done with sphericals like mine. I found some. They are just long enough to have shoulder bearing all the way through. - Not too spendy either. Let me know if you want some.

As such I spent last night wrestling the driver rear suspension into final shape. - There's been ample discussion on what set-up to use for rear lower arms (Chet's post specifically, I'll see if I can find it and linky it here) but my only word of advice is give yourself more room than you think you'll need. My lower rear inboard nuts have to be put on before sliding the bolt all the way through, and the rear upper forward connection is so tight I can only swing the wrench 1/6th rotation at a time. It took WAY more time than it should have, but at least it's all finally in there and bolted down. -All this time I've just been sliding bolts (or handy screwdrivers) through the connections for 'proof of concept' knowing that I would come back later and do a real install. - the real assembly is far more time consuming and tedious than the 'throw it together and see what it looks like' approach.
- But oh man I'm getting close. My drive shaft is in for shortening right now, and I'm going to pick up the brake flex lines on Friday. I figure another 15-20 hours of assembly and verification and I'll be going for my first test drive. - Stoked!!!

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PostPosted: March 16, 2010, 10:26 pm 
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rust_bucket wrote:
but my only word of advice is give yourself more room than you think you'll need.


Probably the best advice you can give to other builders. Somethimes in that situation I've joked "what moron designed this?" :D

Funny how putting it together "for real" takes much longer than you think it will. You think that parts that have been previously fitted, in some cases several times, would just install quickly but it just doesn't seem to work out that way.

Sounds like a major milestone is in sight.

Ron

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PostPosted: March 16, 2010, 11:25 pm 
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I'm glad others realize that too. Sometimes I debate whether or not to post an 'update' because sometimes they're really non-updates. - I fear some people out there are just thinking "Dude! Why don't you just put that thing together and go for a drive!?"

- Dudes, I AM! It just takes time, and one or two nights a week for a few hours just doesn't knock it out like one might hope.

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PostPosted: March 18, 2010, 4:41 pm 
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Yo Rusty!
I'd say you're getting there, it just takes a while... I mean Geeze, you're putting together an entire car!?!?!? Can't be done in 30 minutes, anybody that says they can obviously never tried!

I had a conversation with some friends just last night, they were telling me about a car show weekend in Pas Christian MS, in October. Their "take" on my build-in-progress was, "Well, now you've got a target date. Just get it finished by October and come on down for the show!" Ya know, I appreciated their offer but they just don't "get it". They'd seen the pictures of my partly completed frame, no suspension installed, no driveline, no interior or body... Didn't have a clue...

So, don't get discouraged, and don't worry 'bout what anybody else thinks... (If you did, you wouldn't have built your own car to begin with, now would ya???)

She's comin' together nicely, keep up the good work!!!

:cheers:
JDK

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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 5:24 pm 
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Just picked up my brake flex lines - for the SECOND time. The guy at the shop apparently didn't know what he was doing and I should have pushed back harder when he brought out a 45° IFF and swore up and down it was a "dual taper" end that would work for american IFF and 37°AN. WRONG. I told him I thought he was wrong AT THE TIME and I didn't want that style end. He assured me it would work and made up the hoses. - Once I got them home I fit them up to my AN3 hardlines I realized there was NWIH they were going to hold pressure. :evil:
I went back into the shop today and made my case. After about an HOUR of futzing around with various combinations and debating with about 4 counter guys I finally got (very close to) what I wanted. I ended up with AN3 female on the flex side and will have an AN3 male / AN3 male coupler to hit the hard lines. It should work. I balked when they wanted to charge me full price for the retro fit. I said "Uh, No. I asked for a specific configuration and your guy sold me a bill of goods. -I'm not paying full sticker for your mistake." I wanted them free but we were at an impass. I do lots of business with these guys through work so I thought they'd be more accomodating but they weren't and I wasn't up for a big fight. We agreed the labor would be free and I'd get the new parts at cost. $16 later I Finally have the lines I need.
- Brakes are tough. Anyone who says otherwise has never spec'd out a system from scratch before. NPT/JIC/IFF/Metric/American/British/Hard line/Flex line/braided/banjo/residual pressure valves... blah blah blah the list goes on. I like going into a shop like EVCO since you can put your hands on the parts and say "yeah that's what I want, but in restrospect I probably would have been better off ordering a 'kit' from Speedway or JEGS. Oh well. I think I now have what I need to make the car stop. (Not that it has trouble standing still right now...)

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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 8:04 pm 
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I think brakes can be VERY easy. Stick with AN-3 fittings from M/C to banjo on the calipers, and you'll have no troubles. Use S/S flex lines throughout, and you'll have 6 lines, 2 tee's, and not much else. Best of all, no converters, no obscure couplers, and no confusion about what you'll need or if it will work.

Just my $0.02...
-dave "likely overpriced" hempy

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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 11:36 pm 
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That was my intent, AN3 throughout. I did select hardlines as opposed to flexlines for everything but my approach is the same. I'm still just amazed at how many different flavors of fittings there are. I have to run residual pressure valves because of my lower reservior position and they come with NPT so I do have a couple NPT to AN3 fittings in there.
I should have bought pre-made flex lines with AN3 female on both ends then just bought the banjos that are AN3 male. Anyhoo, I think I've finally got it cased.

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PostPosted: April 2, 2010, 11:36 am 
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I wasn't about to shorten the drive shaft myself. I can deal with a weld failure on a pick-up point or even an A arm, but on a hunk of steel whizzing around at 5,000 rpm, 3 inches from my hip!? No. Not on your life. So I dropped my drive shaft off at the local shop that did my 390 to 9-inch conversion for the Ford a few years ago. I got the usual response for a Miata unit: "Sorry dude, it's not rebuild-able, the forward end is crimped on." I knew if I went in swinging with big demands and a short timetable he'd tell me to hit the road, so I took the patronizing approach: "Well, I know others have done it and if anybody in the county can, it you. Put it on the back of your pile and stew on it for a while. See what you can come up with, I'm not in a big hurry." - Which wasn't exactly true. I wanted it done ASAP, but better to see if a professional can salvage what's there than have to pay for a brand $panking new unit.
He finally agreed and said he'd cut it apart to see how it was put together. After about 3 weeks of waiting he agreed he could do it. He's going to completely disassemble it and machine off the crimped tube on the forward end. He insists that the U joints need to be replaced too and won't accept the liability of letting one of "his" drive shafts out the door with joints that bad so I agreed to all of the above. I'm afraid the initial $55 quote is going to triple -or more.
- - - Maybe I should have just had a new one made...

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PostPosted: April 3, 2010, 2:11 pm 
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rust_bucket wrote:
I wasn't about to shorten the drive shaft myself. I can deal with a weld failure on a pick-up point or even an A arm, but on a hunk of steel whizzing around at 5,000 rpm, 3 inches from my hip!? No. Not on your life. So I dropped my drive shaft off at the local shop that did my 390 to 9-inch conversion for the Ford a few years ago. I got the usual response for a Miata unit: "Sorry dude, it's not rebuild-able, the forward end is crimped on." I knew if I went in swinging with big demands and a short timetable he'd tell me to hit the road, so I took the patronizing approach: "Well, I know others have done it and if anybody in the county can, it you. Put it on the back of your pile and stew on it for a while. See what you can come up with, I'm not in a big hurry." - Which wasn't exactly true. I wanted it done ASAP, but better to see if a professional can salvage what's there than have to pay for a brand $panking new unit.
He finally agreed and said he'd cut it apart to see how it was put together. After about 3 weeks of waiting he agreed he could do it. He's going to completely disassemble it and machine off the crimped tube on the forward end. He insists that the U joints need to be replaced too and won't accept the liability of letting one of "his" drive shafts out the door with joints that bad so I agreed to all of the above. I'm afraid the initial $55 quote is going to triple -or more.
- - - Maybe I should have just had a new one made...


I ended up getting the same story with my drive shaft about the U-joints. And you are right on the price. Oh well.....good to know it won't fall apart on me.

J. R.

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PostPosted: April 3, 2010, 3:36 pm 
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Yo-
I've slung a few driveshafts over the years. One of 'em came out of the truck and went cart-wheeling down the oncoming lane of US 19 in Lebanon Virginia. Nobody wrecked bad enough to damage cars or hurt occupants, but several folks went into the ditch to avoid the oncoming object. I was scared sh... Uhhh, real bad.

Tore the rear u-joint out of Lucretia exiting a hairpin at the Crow Mtn Hillclimb in '09. Almost as exciting, plus it ruined the driveshaft and my weekend at the races.

Either scenario, it's better to go ahead and put some new u-joints in the driveshaft. Cheap insurance.

IMHO, YMMV, etc, etc, etc.

JDK

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PostPosted: April 6, 2010, 7:58 pm 
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Talked to the drive shaft dude today. It will be ready on Thursday. My list of to-do's before I can go for a spin is down to these few items:

Install the drive shaft
Find/Buy 10mm copper crush washers for the banjo bolts
Tighten all the fittings and bleed the brakes
Bleed the clutch master/slave
Top off the trans oil
Top off the diff oil
Air up and install the wheels/tires
Take it off the jack stands.
Take a deep breath... and go for it.

- I think Saturday might be the day!!! Yee Haw.
I'm running 200 lb/in springs in the rear and 30,000 lb/in 'springs' in the front but I bet I can still get the rear end loose. :lol:

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PostPosted: April 9, 2010, 3:18 pm 
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I picked up my rebuilt drive shaft yesterday. We played a little game of cat-and-mouse before agreeing to $175. I think that's fair for the science experiment it turned into. - Makes me wonder what a new one would have run... $300 or so I'd guess. He said it should be bullet proof and stronger than the one that came out. - I mentioned that I was putting it in a car 1/2 the weight of a miata and he just chuckled saying "Well, keep it lubed up and it will last forever."

I installed the thing and it fit PERFECTLY! Yahoo!

Bought the crush washers and installed
Replaced the missing nuts for the rear half shafts
Buttoned up some more of the wiring harness so it won't flap in the wind on Saturday (hint hint)
bolted in the battery
charged the battery
put the wheels back on and torqued them to spec
checked the Ebrake - works perfectly
re-installed the gas tank
re-routed the rear wiring harness through the tunnel so it won't get wrapped up in the newly installed drive shaft.
Did a thumb-in-the-air alignment
Torqued the steering wheel on
tightened up the steering column


Now all I need is some gear oil, brake fluid and two stupid stinkin AN3 sleeves and nuts for the rear. They're supposed to be here by 2:30 today...

I'm guessing I'll spend a few more hours wrapping up the "oh yeah, I have to take care of that before I can drive it..." type stuff I can't think of right now, but I'd say Saturday is highly probable.
Here's hoping for no Cops in the neighborhood this weekend. 8)

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PostPosted: April 9, 2010, 8:01 pm 
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rust_bucket wrote:
I picked up my rebuilt drive shaft yesterday. We played a little game of cat-and-mouse before agreeing to $175. I think that's fair for the science experiment it turned into. - Makes me wonder what a new one would have run... $300 or so I'd guess. He said it should be bullet proof and stronger than the one that came out. - I mentioned that I was putting it in a car 1/2 the weight of a miata and he just chuckled saying "Well, keep it lubed up and it will last forever."

I installed the thing and it fit PERFECTLY! Yahoo!

Bought the crush washers and installed
Replaced the missing nuts for the rear half shafts
Buttoned up some more of the wiring harness so it won't flap in the wind on Saturday (hint hint)
bolted in the battery
charged the battery
put the wheels back on and torqued them to spec
checked the Ebrake - works perfectly
re-installed the gas tank
re-routed the rear wiring harness through the tunnel so it won't get wrapped up in the newly installed drive shaft.
Did a thumb-in-the-air alignment
Torqued the steering wheel on
tightened up the steering column


Now all I need is some gear oil, brake fluid and two stupid stinkin AN3 sleeves and nuts for the rear. They're supposed to be here by 2:30 today...

I'm guessing I'll spend a few more hours wrapping up the "oh yeah, I have to take care of that before I can drive it..." type stuff I can't think of right now, but I'd say Saturday is highly probable.
Here's hoping for no Cops in the neighborhood this weekend. 8)



Sounds like its coming along nicely. I would guess your not going to Miller Raceway tomorrow then for the Ferrari Challenge Series. You can get in free if you become a fan of miller motor sports park on Facebook. $35 buck ticket for free.

I have been driving the car a lot because of the nice weather. Tomorrow is supposed to hit mid 60's so get the car ready and get it out. First drives are great. If your ever down south give me a call and I will take you for a spin. The car is running better than it ever has before, yet I still have a list a mile long of things I want to get done.

Good luck on the first drive

J. R.

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PostPosted: April 11, 2010, 2:23 am 
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:zoom:
FIRST DRIVE FIRST DRIVE FIRST DRIVE FIRST DRIVE FIRST DRIVE FIRST DRIVE
:zoom:

Finally it moves on its own power :!:

I spent a VERY late night Friday finishing up the tidbits and whatz-its for the first drive. By Saturday morning, literally all I had left was to bleed the brakes. My dad came up to witness the awakening and helped with that task. To my shock and delight I didn't spring a single leak anywhere in th brakes. I am SOLD on AN3 single flare fittings. Simple and effective. The only place I had trouble sealing was on the mandatory 45° double flare American fitting that came off the clutch master cylinder. Could have predicted that I guess. I had to re-flare it to get it to seal.

We cleared a hole to get it out of the garage and lowered it off the stands. After almost 3 years there was still enough air in the tires I didn't even check the pressure.

We rolled it out and it BARKED to life after about 3 cranks. (after a momentary lapse in memory that I had to use the anti-theft clutch button to get it to turn over. I made it so hard to steal I can barely remember how to get it started myself!) :lol:

A disconcerting squeal quickly ensued. My mind of course immediately jumped to the worst possible conclusion; no oil pressure and I have a block full of cam or journal bearings self-destructing. - So I quickly turned it off and checked the oil, no problem. I fired it back up and had my dad take a closer look. He noticed the alternator belt was loose. Yay! :yay: My favorite repair of the whole build! 30 seconds later it was fixed.

Again, crank crank and BOOM it leaped to life. - and No squealy squealy.
It settled into a low rumbling idle. For blowing right out of the header it was surprisingly mellow. It didn't get raspy until I got on the throttle.

I wrapped it up a few times and checked the gauges, everything was a begging me to go!

Released the brake and backed it out slowly, snicked it in gear and let out the clutch. It’s a pretty abrupt engagement, I’ll drive it for a while but right now I’m thinking I may have overshot the clutch bore diameter by an 1/8th or so – It doesn’t trouble me now, small details…

There was no chirp in the tires (did I mention they’ve been sitting for almost 3 years?) just a smooth lunge forward.

Brake check… QUITE firm, but capable, again maybe overshot those diameters by an 1/8th as well, - TBD.

Steering? Check. Nothing clunking or scraping, full range of motion.

Cops? Nope, check.

Time for a spin around the block. Why go shyly? I’ve been waiting 3 years for this, right!?
First gear, BWAAAAHHHH!!! Second gear, BWAAAAAH, Oh… too fast for neighborhood streets.. :shock: Get on the brakes, crackling from the header, and a little complaining from the tires. Pure ecstasy. Zing around the corner. Repeat previous sentence. Zing around next corner, repeat. Yeah baby. I didn’t have to work hard at all to break the rear tires loose.

It was like a go-kart already but needs some (read a LOT) of tuning. I put a LOT of caster angle in, too much in-fact, and I don’t have near enough static negative camber, too much preload in the springs, the list goes on, but this wasn’t a tuning run, it was a maiden voyage. Mission accomplished.
Yee Haw.
:zoom:
I didn’t drive it long, but it was a blast, gratifying and rewarding beyond belief.

Thanks to EVERYONE who has been a part of making this day possible.
I still have A LOT to do, but I feel like I’ve finally eaten the elephant. I plan on sending an email out to the skeptics and nay-sayers as well as those eternal optimists who’ve been wondering just what in the world does that crazy guy think he’s doing???
- I’m having fun. That’s it. No more, no less. My own personal flavor of crazy, ambitious, raucous, delicious FUN.


Attachments:
First Drive 3 Apr 2010.jpg
First Drive 3 Apr 2010.jpg [ 58.79 KiB | Viewed 6288 times ]
Maiden Voyage Apr 2010.jpg
Maiden Voyage Apr 2010.jpg [ 107.96 KiB | Viewed 6313 times ]
First Drive 2 Apr 2010.jpg
First Drive 2 Apr 2010.jpg [ 164.37 KiB | Viewed 6316 times ]
First Drive 4 Apr 2010.jpg
First Drive 4 Apr 2010.jpg [ 149.31 KiB | Viewed 6312 times ]

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Last edited by rust_bucket on September 13, 2010, 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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