So, I’m a good way through the sump build and I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the way.
Having a heavy bolt-to jig helps. Mine’s made of 10mm thick mild steel. The sump is bolted to it at every bolt point to prevent warping and to act as a reasonable heat-sink.I’ve also repeatedly offered it to the block, front cover and ally bellhousing to ensure accurate fits.
The steel around the bottom of the flap-gates is very thin and prone to warping. This can be helped with a flat-bill welding clamp before you start. It’s a good tool for the job but means positioning all the parts and the job at the same time can be tricky.
Part of the quality of this sump is that it mounts to the front plate as well as the base of the block. However, this means (in my case) that I need to tap stainless steel. Normal taps don’t cut it, so buying a specific, decent stainless tap has helped, as well as good cutting-oil. I don’t need shed-loads of this, so I’ve bought it in spray form rather than liquid. You need cutting oil rather than (say) WD40 because the cutting oil can still lubricate the tool even at the extremes of pressure when cutting stainless, whereas a normal oil blend would break down. It’s funny stuff – like a very light oil but it seems to hang around the job when normal oils would have wiped clean or evaporated. I use acetone to clear it all away before welding. It acts as a solvent as well as evaporating away nice and quickly. It helps to buy it in industrial quantities rather than at the chemists. Also, I like the smell. Oy Vey – always with the complex hydrocarbons.
Here it is, with the gates hanging down and bent into place. I’ve bent this one with a set of clamps and some pressure, but it wasn’t as accurate as I would have wanted. I’ve moved on and now am using a proper parts former. It requires some lining up by eye, but the result is pin sharp and accurate.