(11/7/99) At 1:44 a.m. the Moskito Comes To Life!!!
(10/30/99) The End is getting near?
(10/7/99) The Fire Suppression System is Mounted and the Brakes Work Too.
(9/18/99) The Pedals are in.
(8/20/99) The engine, tranny and steering rack are in.
(8/2/99) I'm working on the chassis again!
(7/15/99) Little stuff that takes time - also known as "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back."
Part V - The Chassis
The Foot Well; formerly known as "Installing a Steering Rack"
(7/15/99) The past two weeks around here have been HECTIC!!! I've been able to get down and work on the car a little bit, but nothing that really stands out. It's been a lot of small "attention to detail" stuff.
It seems that I'm to a point where I make three steps forward and then discover that I need to take two steps back. Take the roll cage for example. First I ran out of tubing and ended up being down for a week. I get the tubing, get both of the main tubes bent and discover that I need to change some of the vertical members in the lower part of the cage. The problem is that I'm mounting the suspension components directly to the frame tubing instead of in a mounting plate setup. These mounts put the pivot points farther in on the chassis and give me about one and a half inches more length on the suspension arms.
These mounts take quite a bit of time to make, and I only had to make twenty eight of them! The first set I made - for the upper a-arms - were the easiest (eight of them were needed - then I only ended up using six of them). Since the upper a-arm heims are 1/2", I took a piece of 1/2" tubing, and cut it to sixty millimeters. Next, I took a piece of 5/8" tubing and cut it 1/2" shorter than the smaller tubing - the width of the ball in the heim. I reamed out the 5/8" so that the 1/2" tube became a tolerance fit and then I pressed the two together. This makes a shouldered mount that the 1/2" heim will slip on. After that, I drilled out the mount so that the 10mm x 60mm shouldered bolt will slip in and the head of the bolt keeps the heim joint in place. Make sense? Now, I know you're thinking six upper mounts? But there are only four upper arm pivots. Correct! BUT, I'll set it up so that I will have two different mounting locations for the upper a-arms. This setup will allow me to tune the camber of the car as the suspension compresses.
The other twenty mounts are 5/8" and took even more time. These are three layer units. Basically the same as the 1/2" mounts, but the 1/2" and 5/8" tubes are the same length (60mm) and the last piece is 3/4" and it's also 3/4" shorter than the other two. By the time I was done making all the mounts, I had cut seventy six pieces of tubing, deburred one hundred fifty two ends, drilled seventy six holes - most of them took forty turns on the tail stock of the lathe to plunge and return the bit - and then forty two pumps on the hydraulic press to push a piece together. It ended up taking all night to make the mounts.
I also took the time to strip the Pilot down. I still have to pull the drive train out and make a jig for the mounting brackets that hold the engine and tranny in place, but that shouldn't take too long. I'll be able to take the mounting jig, set it in the back of the new car frame and build the engine/tranny mounts for the new car. I've done some test fitting of other parts like the steering rack, the brake pedal and the seat. As soon as I get the engine/tranny located, the seat will be very easy to put in.
I won't get a chance to do much for the next few days. I got my new trailer so I have to get it set up and I'm leaving Friday night to go riding (the motocross bike) in the forest of Southern Kentucky. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to work on the front suspension mounts, the seat mounts and the drive train mounts early next week. Getting these done should let me start the final mounting of the roll cage. Like I said, hopefully next week.
(8/2/99) I'm back in the shop working. (I had a MAJOR get off in the Kentucky Forest - fourth gear over the bars. I haven't hit the ground that hard in years!) I know that the pix above show that I was working on the roll cage, but I've discovered that I need to work a little lower before I could put the upper section on. I've made three forward steps - one big one and two smaller ones. One of the smaller is getting the seat installed. By getting it located and in, I now know how much room I have between the engine and the back of the seat. The Pilot had eight inches of room between the cross bar for the back of the seat and the front engine mounts. I was able to move the seat forward about two inches in comparison to the Pilot's chassis and in turn, I'll be able to mount the drive train about one to two inches farther forward in the new chassis. It should help move the weight bias forward quite a bit.
The second small step is obviously the jig for mounting the drive train. After I pulled the engine and tranny out of the Pilot, I made up a jig to locate the mounting points of the drive system for the new car. I cut tubing that fit into the mounting points on the Pilot's chassis, ran bolts through them and then welded tubing in between the mounting points. Also, to make sure that I have clearance between the bottom of the chassis and the rear brake rotor, I dropped a locator arm down from the mounting jig. It looks like this setup is going to work great for getting the mounts in the correct spot.
The big step that I've made over the past couple of days is getting the front suspension mounts made and installed. After a lot more CAD work and a lot of ca