So, the rubber tiled garage floor has been relaid. It took three burghers of the parish, strong and true (ahem) a full day to do it, from emptying, laying, cutting, glueing and re-laying.
The original floor was loosely laid with these tiles and to be honest, they were great. amazingly better than walking on and kneeling on than the normal concrete floor.
However, as they warmed up, and as I heaved heavy things around the garage (like engine cranes and scissor lifts), they rucked up. Even without anything in the garage, they expanded in the heat and rucked up.
So, we emptied the garage (two blokes can carry a fury chassis), and lifted the tiles. From then on, this was the order of work:
- all tiles out, and don’t really make detailed notes of what went where
- brush the floor down
- debate how much PVA sealant is needed, bearing in mind there is a trade-off between concentration and setting time (the more dilute, the longer)
- go for 2:1 with 2.5L of sealant
- congratulate yourself for not throwing it out the previous week thinking “I’m never going to tile a bathroom again, so why would I leave this lying around”
- brush the mixture in with a yard-brush. none of those namby-pamby rollers, thankyouverymuch.
- find that you have covered 99% of the floor before running out and decide that it is good
- marvell at how the drive now looks like steptoe’s yard with all the stuff you have on it
- be impressed at how much rain there is
- watch the tall stanley tools cabinet fall crashing over in a mild gust of wind (POS)
- wait for Julian to turn up, and hold him responsible for where the tiles are going to go back to
- have lunch
- trial-lay the tiles back down again
- clean the backs of the tiles with acetone
- start sticking them down with pink-grip
- be amazed at how one tube does 4 tiles if you’re sparing
- cup of tea
- be amazed at how the tiles don’t end up in the same place when glued down as they did in the trial fit.
- lay two rows and find them to be good
- cup of tea
- lay all the tiles but the edges
- cup of tea
- cut the edges back from the originals and stick them in
- cup of tea
- haul all the garage parts back in
This has made a big difference. Firstly, the undulations were becoming a trip-hazard and a garage is a place full of spikes and hard edges.
secondly heavy wheeled tools like the engine stand, engine crane and scissor lifts now move around in a much easier manner because they’re not pushing a ruck of loose tiles in front of themselves.
Very happy with that as a result. I have a dull ache between my shoulder blades – the indicator of a good days physical work completed. Much better than a dull ache in my left arm which indicates i would be past doing this work.
So, I’ve ordered the plans for flakmonkey’s duratec sump. I’ve ordered the parts to be cut in stainless from Yorkshire Profiles. I didn’t ask if they were laser or water cutting it (ideally water – no need to heat the stainless up) and the thickest part is the flange to engine at 5mm.
Interestingly, the economics of getting parts cut mean that the unit cost drops rapidly once the job has been set up.
The costs break down as follows:
What this doesn’t include is the £10 I spent buying the plans, costs of argon or stainless rods. Nor does it include a license to reproduce from the set of plans I bought. The chap selling them didn’t mention reproduction but if I was to flog a sump, I’d pay him another £10.
So, I’ve ordered two sets of sump parts in 304 stainless. Nice to weld. Nice and clean. Very easy to get a neat tig weld.
If you were to buy a cast sump the costs come in at £350 onwards, and even a welded stainless one (specific for a MK2 escort) comes in at £300+.
So, I remember from years ago, a friend of mine told me how he prepares RS2000 shells – after buying a second-hand one in good shape, it would be stripped back to the metal and seam welded rather than spot welded.
Mine isn’t seam welded where some of the strong panels join the spaceframe, but stitch welded (i.e. one cm of mig welding for every 5 or 6 cm of space). It’s quick, stronger than spot welding, but let’s face it – it’s an economy solution.
So, now I want you to queue the Ghostbusters theme in your head and hear me sing “welding makes me feel good”. As a result, I thought I’d quickly try a couple of quick seams in an easy to weld area to see if it’s worth the hassle. Quick answer is yes.
There are a couple of issues with the quick approach I’ve taken to see if it’s sensible.
- Firstly, grinding the existing the existing powder-coat back isn’t too tough a job (circular belt on the dremmel) but you need to go back quite a way, which I didn’t. The heat of the weld made the powder-coat peel back. I’m going to get a blow-torch and see if this will get more of the powder-coat off. This leads me to my next point:
- The powder-coat gives off fumes when burning away. I’ve had a sniff of this and it’s not pleasant. I will need to do the burning off with the garage door open, ideally with a breeze. Once I’ve burnt off the bits I want off, I’ll then weld it. One big burning. Maybe with a fan.
- There is a little inevitable powder-coat down between the gap of the panel and cross-member it’s stitch-welded to. This will cause a little pollution of the weld. I have a really nasty pointy grinding tool for the dremmel which gets most of the powder coat out. It’s evil, and I’d love to turn it on a dentist some time.
So, here’s the welds – they look good and really nicely round the corner off. The holes aren’t blow-throughs but screw-holes from whatever was mounted on there.
And here are some photos:
Here you can see the first weld, and the second shows stitch between the seams.
There are a few things I don’t like about the original pedal box, or there are ways in which it isn’t suitable for me any more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad pedal box at all but I have some reservations:
- The original clutch pedal was specced for cable clutch, and I now need hydraulic with the new engine. I could modify it but it wouldn’t be that simple and would take a lot of time.
- the the brake pedal (whilst with bias) wasn’t adjustable from the cockpit, and I couldn’t get the central bearing to not fall out without blocking it with washers. Blocking it with washers wasn’t such a bad idea though because it passed SVA with that, cross-drilled shaft and locking r-clips. It also rattled a little.
- The pedal pivot mechanism was a bolt in a sleeve, and I want somethin g a little more sophisticated, like bearings
- The throttle pedal went up through the top of the footwell, was roof mounted (if you like) and left a big hole where it protruded into the engine bay. this fails scrutineering because you cant have a point where fluid (hot, burning fluid I assume) can get from the engine bay into the footwell
So, rather than re-engineer it or make one myself, I just went and bought an
Optimum Balance Products race pedal box, with dual accelerator cable adapter block and cockpit balance adjuster.
So, I’ve gone from the old to the new.
Meh – it’s all about preparation. I’ve removed the rear diff carriers to powder coat them and get them ready, and then it dawned on me – handbrake cable. Bugger.
The handbrake cable (dunno what flavour it is anymore) was cable-tied to the diff carrier in a couple of places to make it route. I didn’t p-clip it because the car was built as a rolling chassis at the time I bought it and I converted it from drums to disks, so a different cable was needed to the original. This is made more difficult because you can’t easily get to the weird sides of the carriers when they are in situ to screw p-clips. When the body is also on, and the entire rear suspension is in place, it’s even harder. Hence it was put in place with cable ties.
Like a pair of nylon pants, the cables have chaffed now.
So, last night was to put the diff carrier back in place, work out where the brackets needed to go, mark up and weld up. Then drill the brackets to take M4 bolts for p-clips. Two brackets in, four to go: two brackets on each carrier, and one each side of the chassis. The end result will be that the handbrake cables now are properly suspended in mid air, and routed sensibly.
Speedo Sensor Mount
In a similar manner, I’ve also moved the speedo sensor mounting bracket from the top of the diff carrier down to the floor. The main reason was to create space in the top of the transmission tunnel for the fuel-tank to go in there. I’d hate to have to make a recess in the tank to accommodate the sensor otherwise – just isn’t worth it. It also game me an opportunity to put the whole unit on the bench to position it to get the maximum amount of the face of the Hall-effect sensor facing the diff/propshaft mating bolt head. I’ve struggled a bit in the past with this and have had to bend the bracket now and again. Hopefully this is a done deal.
It’s all about preparation – taking time now to put a few brackets in place will mean the handbrake cable should fit and route in a few minutes when the chassis is back from the powder-coaters. Mental note to self, fit the handbrake cable when the diff-carrier is going back in, not afterwards – it’s a pig. Worse if the body is on.
It’s a right pain to do now, but I’ll feel very smug when it all goes back together quickly later.
Well, I’ve been busy stripping like a £20 tart.
I now have the entire front of the car back to the chassis, apart from the brake master cylinders and pedal box. I’m leaving them in situ just at the moment because I need to convert the clutch pedal from cable to hydraulic. The plan is to cut the necessary circular hole in the right place and fir a bearing in place in the pedal to take a clevis acting on the master cylinder.
I’ve started to take the side panels out, drilling out rivets and whatnot. One option would be to leave them in place and get them powder coated with the rest of the chassis, but I just don’t know if the rush has got in behind them. I’m going to go with plan-B. Get the chassis blasted (a nicely keyed surface then) and epoxy the panels in place, securing with advel stainless rivets. These have upwards of 3000PSI clamping force rather than the crappy soft alloy ones. You can’t put them in with a hand riveter, but luckily I have an air-riveter. I may get the chassis done, then epoxy them in place. Assuming the job is done well, I will be putting epoxy onto epoxy – not a bad idea if it’s keyed first. Saying that, just writing that down makes me want to go with plan-A.
I’ve also got the rear hubs and half-shafts out, and everything split down as needs be (again, the original IRS installation rear hub carriers are rusting to buggery).
The half-shafts are in good condition. I will probably replace the handbrake cable. I’ve changed one without the car being stripped down and it’s a hellacious job.
I kinda wished I hadn’t stripped things back so quickly – it means I don’t have a rolling chassis in order to work with when I bend up some side-intrusion bars. I still have the side pods and tub handy, so can certainly mock most stuff up.
The rear shocks are off as well – all that’s left is the diff and diff-carrier then it’s back to the bare chassis.
SBDev have got my bits ready, so I can proceed with the engine rebuild. I will at least need to get the sump on before I start offering engines/bellhousings up to gearboxes and cutting the tunnel to get it as far back as possible.
Should be a good day tomorrow – the strip down will be complete and I’ll start looking at how I’m going to tig in the new roll-bar.