So, this is the second strengthening rail in place. Unlike the one on the left which replaces an existing cross member, this one on the right is entirely new. The original chassis didn’t have one of these, so I think this is an improvement. If nothing else, it satisfies my need for symmetry.

When you look down from the top of the engine, the only thing that would foul a simple extraction of the engine is the starter-motor. Not too tough to undo that if and when I need the engine out.

I’m out of argon now, so could only seam it in on two sides. I’ll get more gas next week – this bottle (BOC, Y Cylinder) didn’t seem to last very long (previous one lasted ages). I need to find another supplier in Harrogate, I think.

My next plan is to fabricate a demountable strut-brace that starts from the new front pipe joining areas and goes around the front of the engine, with 20mm clearance. I don’t yet know if I’ll weld the tube or bend it. Ideally I’ll bend it.

symmetry in the Fury Dashboard

Someone on the LocostBuilders forum was asking about good dashboard design, and I’m rather proud of mine, so here it is.

Things of interest are that the second gauge in from the left is a triumph multi-indicator dash dial, that shows indicators, oil, etc. They’re very rare now, and I couldn’t even find a photo on ebay to show you what they look like up close.

I did try hard to get a good-looking layout, and the secret was symmetry. The difficulty was that the wiring harness was designed to put all the gauges in a line, rather than where I wanted them (i.e. no gauge obscured by the steering wheel, etc). As such, the harness had to be chopped and extended extensively behind the dash.

The tacho is behind the steering wheel and canted over so 7500PRM is vertical.

Finally, watch out for the electronic gauges. I found that the vibrations when racing eventually knacked most of the electrical gauges such as oil pressure, so I replaced them with mechanical capillary gauges from VDO. Definitely worth the investment.

The medicinal powers of cosmopolitans

So, I was feeling fairly crap and out of energy yesterday, culminating in a bit of a bollix of a day. I didn’t go into the garage even though I felt like I was losing a day; instead i relaxed, watched telly, snoozed and tried and failed to resurrect a dead windows XP machine that has my Alibre Design CAD installation on.

Going into the evening, infinitely better half and myself decided we’d have a couple of cosmopolitans. Why am I telling you this? because I feel really good this morning. The medicinal effects have so worked out. I’m also a caring sharing type of person, so here’s the recipe for you (for 2 people at a time):

  • 4 shots vodka
  • 2 shots triple-sec
  • four shots cranberry juice
  • juice of 2 limes
  • fill the remaining volume in your shaker up with ice
  • shake a lot to get the ice desolving

serve. Add more ice to your glass if you are not going to drink it quick enough.


The new chassis rail is in

So, this is the original rail, lowered by me to give clearance for the steering column on the exhaust and alternator when i’d dropped the engine height by 2″. Now I’m on the new engine, it’s not needed anymore

So, welded the new on in on the night before last. It was really tricky to get all the intersecting plane angles right and to get the fitments close enough to get a good gap for tigging. Got there in the end.

This is the top-shot. The angle just ‘feels’ right and intersects the horizontal top of the pedal box nicely. I think I’m going to chop out all the remaining metal in the pedal box now, and go for a new enclosure. I’ll keep the 1.5mm mild steel thickness of the original design. Rather than stitch 1 inch, gap 3 as the current design is, I’ll stitch one, gap one. If I’m in a bad enough shunt to need the pedal box straightening, actually straightening it is the last of my worries.

Next we have the weld quality. I’m reasonably pleased bearing in mind it’s not the easiest place to get to. I added extra filler around the corners because I found it had a tendency to undercut there. The scattering of holes there are for the mounting of the tub, and other things I attached straight to the chassis. They look a little random, but when you take the mounting patterns of the components into account, they make sense.

Finally, this is the view from the exhaust’s perspective. there’s 50mm clearance between the cross member and the bottom of the flange. There’s also clearance now for the exhaust stud. If I find the exhaust is getting a little close to the steering column then I’ll add a little bend into it’s travel to give decent clearance.


Here’s an interesting thing I discovered though – This picture shows  the remaining footwell plate (lower left diagonal) separated from the cross member (diagonal above it). To get this pic I ground the welds out and peeled one away from the other. When separating them I found that rust had creeped in. There’s not much but there’s no powder coat where in there to protect things. I think this may be the slow creep of trapped moisture rather than ingestion. However, it’s there and would over a number of more years caused more pain. It’s probably worth noting that this is 10 years worth of grief, so maybe the correct plan is ‘do nothing’, or once i’ve welded the new parts together, smear a little metal putty along the edges to get a seal before i send it off for coating.

Narrowing my OBP Pedal box – or “is my warranty OK?”

So, as expected, my lovely OBP Pedal Box doesn’t fit the admittedly narrow fury footwell. There’s nothing wrong with this per-se. It’s a lovely made piece of equipment and I knew when ordering that it wouldn’t fit. This previous post shows the modifications I’ve needed to make in the footwell to prepare the shape to accommodate the OBP box, but after careful consideration, I decided there wasn’t enough room to make it all fit with any degree of clearance so decided to slit it like a cheap whore and make it thinner.

So, what you can see here is the pedal box in the 360 degree vice, scored and cross-hatched ready for cutting. I’ve been sure to leave enough room for the brake and clutch cylinders to have plenty of clearance, and the slit also takes into account the cross-bracing gusset. The only place it should be narrowed is between brake and clutch, not between brake cylinders – the clevises need to be straight when they go onto the cylinders. Moreso, it wouldn’t really be feasible narrow it here, what with the pedal wanting to be in the way.

Also worth note is the fact that I bought a 360 degree vice for the clean half of my garage. This means I can mount and mark and weld things without having to take them over to the dirty grinding cutting side of the garage. What you may be able to see on the right there is the corner cut off and grinded ready for welding.

It’s not all that clear in this photo, but I’ve got the whole thing cut now (0.8mm slitting disk for maximum accuracy). The steel used the the pedal box is only 1.2 or 1.5mm thick (hard to tell with the powder coat) so the disk went through it like a e.coli in an OAP home. I was pleased with the results though – the fact that it’s difficult to see the gap in this photo is because I’ve got very clean mating edges – essential when tig welding something so thin. One cock-up and you blow straight through.

This is what the extracted section looks like. There are a couple of stitches on each edge of the gusset that need removing. Up close, you can see where the stitches have penetrated the back plate (a good thing) and this meant I had easy guidelines to mark and cut against. The gusset came out quite unscathed, but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t ground it quite so thin at the base to remove the stitching – it made it very thin to weld. I would have rather left a little metal around it and used that as filler. Live and learn.

Next is lots and lots of spots at about 1″ distance. They’re done at 40A and with very little filler. Bearing in mind I am seam-welding this, and the metal is so thin it would just warp away from me (in the vertical plane) if I attempted to weld in a seam. Patience now means a better result later. At this point I was also glad I have so many different welding clamps.


When it came to completing the seam welds I stitched an inch and let it cool completely first. I also drilled mounting holes in it and bolted it down to my big heavy 1cm thick welding plate. Even then I ended up with a very small amount of warping, but so little that it pulls flat when bolted down. I initially kicked off at 40A but found that to be too hot when putting the seam in and had to back off to 35A. That gave me a great weld, full penetration and very little filler needed on the 1mm dia rod.

Here’s the end result. I’ve ground the seams flat (little effort) because I want to get the ‘not been touched or modified’ look when I get it back from the powder-coaters. You can’t see the gusset in this shot. I did struggle a little with this blowing through (where i’d ground it a little thin). I compensated by going up to a thicker filler rod and chucking a lot of metal in (it ended up looking like tidy mig). Then I got my pointy ended tungsten carbide burr and dug around in there like a demented dentist until it was all nice and smooth again. As long as the powder coat goes on reasonably thick, no-one will be any the wiser. The strength is all there though.

Following is the final result. Note the greater amount of room on left now – plenty of space to rework the foot well. I feel fairly chuffed with this result.

how I made my engine mounts – very happy with them

How I made my engine mounts putting a duratec in my fury rebuild

So, as part of rebuilding my fury and shoving a duratec engine in, I decided to make some new engine mounts. I wanted to reduce weight and improve the packaging as well – the old mounts used up a lot of space that could otherwise be spent moving mass down – I have swirl pots and fuel pumps to put somewhere after all.

Firstly, I went to Fast Dan (DanST Engineering) and ordered some engine mount plates. They’re a great fit. I think the price is good value and there are times when buy is far better than build.

Secondly, I decided on the design, and went for something inspired by SBDev and which gave me quite a compact result and rather contradicted the original design that was somewhat agricultural (see the picture on the right). The original design was from my previous pinto installation.

So, here is the assembled list of bits. Rather than go for a huge rubber mount (which of course would be good for absorbing vibrations) I’ve taken a gamble on using (reusing) the bushes I’ve taken out of the suspension. I’ve fabricated everything from 32mm dia 3mm thickness CDS. The sleeve inner diameter didn’t match the bush outer diameter, so I bobbed over to a friends and put it into the lathe. It was then machined out to take the bush with a reasonable amount of slack, knowing the sleeve will clench up a little when welded.

The mounting plates needed to be notched in order to accommodate the way the plates were offset when mounted on to the chassis rail. Note that each plate is a different size to account for the angle of the rails; I wanted to feed the load into the chassis at 90 degrees, rather than an angle. An angle would mean putting some bending load to the leg from the plate to the chassis (not ideal). In order to get the hole in the correct place for the plate, I hand-fitted the sleeve and plates to the chassis, and clamped it with a welding clamp (you need a third hand for this, thank you Zaphod). Then I used a CD marker pen to draw around the sleeve, added cross-hairs after dismantling and punched a hole.

These plates are 3mm stainless (left over scrap), so you can’t just go riving at them with a 1/2 inch drill bit (the bushes are the standard, mandatory, obligatory, inexplicable 1/2″ inner diameter). I started out with a 3mm hole, and went up in increments of 2.5 or 3mm, depending on which bits I had to hand. I also found that the cobalt set of drill bits bought from tool-station started to show their value. A cheaper set of bits just screamed and blunted making virtually no impact on the hole, yet the cobalt ones cut through nicely. I also used a spray cutting-oil (and lots of it) to help things along.

The thing you have to remember is that drill bits don’t cut round holes, and the larger the bit, the more obvious this becomes. Once I’ve got the hole out to 12mm, I then ream it out to 1/2 inch. I bought a tapered reamer from ebay for not a lot of money and it’s done me proud. It reams stainless out as well, but again, it wont go out more than 0.75mm. You can see on the right here how the hole isn’t perfect before reaming.

Next, I needed to machine the down-leg to fit the sleeve. The sleeve was cut from the same tube I’m making the leg from, so that was at least reasonably simple to cut a matching fish-mouth. I used this software, printed it out, stuck it to the tube and got busy. I cut the majority of the metal away with a 0.8mm slitting disk, and then tidied up and ground out to the the marks using a tungsten burring tool on an air-die grinder. You can see the results yourself on the right.

There are other things to note in setup before finally welding it together. The main one is to try and have the engine level in the chassis. It helps to keep coolant and oil levels as horizontal as possible. I used a spirit level on the back of the car to be sure the chassis was level (it was) and then put the same level on the flat gearbox top to be sure i had the engine in the right place: one can’t really take a measurement off the top of the duratec: it’s all curvy.

I found out that chocking the engine in place was tricky – the chocks were difficult to place and kept popping out. Interestingly, a run of duck-tape from the chassis rails to the top of the engine was a great way of keeping it in place (Thanks Darren – very smart move). Duck Tape is like the force – it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.

This is what the mount looks like from the engine down to the bush:

and this is what the whole lot looks like when nailed together to try the fit. The offset between one bracket and the other is more noticeable on this side.

Finally, this is what the almost completed installation looks like. There are a couple of points to note – I’ve put a reasonable seam in to hold the bracket facing the camera (and the one you can’t see the seam on) but I won’t be able to complete the seams until I get the engine back out. This was part of the plan – the engine is just a dry-build at the moment to be sure I have everything in the right place.

I still have one job left, which is to put a bracing plate in at 90 degrees to the bracket to tie the front-to-back loads to the chassis. I don’t think the loads will be all that significant, but they may eventually fatigue the joint. I only need one plate because the bush will transfer the load from the other bracket to the bracket with the cross-brace. It’s only going to be a few grams of steel but it’s worth getting right. Even if I’m being paranoid I’m only wasting a few grams.

Speaking of which, each mount is 500g lighter than the previous, so I’m a kilo up on the deal as well.