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Lincoln7
Lincoln7 None
1/31/22 8:36 a.m.

Loving this build! Great work on that crossmember, lots of benefits from the changes you made there.

Interesting that it had a spool (and that you didn't know, not a knock on you). I'm curious how it will feel on track with the TrueTrac instead. Also, that TrueTrac looks a lot different externally than any others I've seen. Appears a lot lighter than the one I put in my 8.5" (25lbs!)

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
2/15/22 10:22 a.m.

Haven't posted in a while as life got busy but progress has still been made.

In a continuous effort to save weight where/when possible I moved ahead with chopping the frame horns off and doing a full tubular front end. 

Due to the terrifying fact that with the fenders not installed pulling up and pushing down on the frame horn would show at least and 1/8" of flex all the way back at the windshield area and significantly more at the bumper trying to save weight in the fender and core support was out of the question. Class rules don't allow cage tubes forward of the firewall so I got creative with a fender support tube. It bolts on with the fender at the base of the windshield and door hinge area which is nice and strong. Then runs inside the fender until it turns and lands on the tube frame rail. 

I then cut away the inner fender steel and made tabs to hold the fender skin.

Next was the core support. I want to tilt the radiator in anticipation of fully ducting it so the plan was a cross tube that would hold up the header panel and double as upper radiator mount. This header panel is crap, with several stripped out holes and others only held by body filler I wasted no time cutting away what I could and making new mounts near the headlights with riv-nuts.

Haven't gotten to the radiator yet as the plan is to use the sway bar cross tube for the lower mount and not need another cross tube just for the radiator.

Instead of reusing the factory style sway bar that I have not been happy with due to several stripped holes, reduced turning radius and no adjustment I'm going to a splined setup. Its easier to mount, less work, tuneable (way higher or lower rates available), and I can move it lower in the chassis and get some tire clearance back. Waiting for a few more parts to get going on that.

Also should mention that I used interlocking tube clamps for the fender bars at the front so they can be removed. It was an afterthought when I realized that welding them solid would make it nearly impossible to remove the doors or fenders if the need ever came up. 

As part of my major front end upgrades I'm swapping to a 3 pc spindle. They're ment for circle track and are direct replacement for the stock spindle. The kicker is that they are stronger, and have the option of a pinto "short arm" steering arm. Not only does this quicken the steering (with my 2.5" rack it will net a 21% increase at 1/4 turn) it also moves the tie rod further outboard to help with Ackerman and improve bump steer geometry. Here's a comparison.

The 3pc spindle is different how the brake caliper brackets bolt on which will require fabrication of new ones. I'm attempting to be more exact about it this time which is required since it's a much more complicated bracket needed. I may end up needing to mill them as a billet part.

I decided that I would lower the car again as the turn in response just wasn't crisp with the higher ride height. Not that it was slower per lap, just not the feel I like. Using a 6x6 block to set crossmember height at 5-1/2" is about where I was before. I then went about moving the body and suspension parts through roll to see what was actually going on. At this height I could put my weight on the fender and get 2.0 degrees of body roll at about 1-1/4" of movement at the fender. This same process yeilded 2.6 degrees of negative camber gain. I tired again with a stock length upper ball joint and only got 1.5 degrees gain. I'm going with the 1/2" longer ones which should let me run less static camber. The weight jacking effect will reduce that figure some due to increase in ride height while cornering. 

With the sway bar and going to coil over changes another set of control arms are in order. Was going to get on them Sunday but had to stop or go blind when the battery died in my welding helmet. Can't find one in town as they're backordered but have one coming I found on line.

 

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
2/15/22 11:06 a.m.

Wow, nice progress!

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
2/15/22 11:52 a.m.

Looks great. Seems like a full tube front end gives you a lot of room to work with. 

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/15/22 12:06 p.m.

This seems to be escalating quickly.

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
2/15/22 2:43 p.m.

In reply to Somebeach (Forum Supporter) :

It sure does. Its a bit mind boggling how that core support is so BIG and in the way but not that much weight to it. I've pretty much gained 4" at the front of the car getting rid of it. The frame rails are now only 1.75" vs the stock ones were any where from 3 tp 5-1/2" wide/tall.

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
2/22/22 1:17 p.m.

Finished up the A arms last weekend other than the coil over and sway bar end link mounts which have to wait a bit.

Cut down some hubs for using Corvette rotors as spares too. 

It took 3 days to get this steering shaft figured out. At first I was wrong about how much room I had to the headers than didn't realize I needed two supports between the double u joints. By the time I sorted that out I needed to cut the frame and the A arm was interfering. Lots trial and error with the supports until I had a functional steering system but it had tight spots. Eventually cut and bent the rack mount a few degrees closer to level which reduced the angle on one of the double joints then some small adjustments of the supports got it all bind free. Worst case scenario now will be a minor ding to clearance the header. 

 

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/22/22 1:42 p.m.

That is an impressive solution.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/22/22 2:08 p.m.

Dayum. That is quite the steering linkage.

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
2/27/22 10:04 p.m.

Weekend progress included needing to cut out and reposition the right side upper control arm mount and the fender bars at the front of the frame section. The more I work on this the more things I find that were significantly off from the factory and I've been needing to try to use the same measurement locations. Which isn't exactly easy. Some factory stuff has been off my 1/4" or more so I don't always catch things the first time.
Coil over mounts are done on both the chassis and the A arms.

The sway bar arms are bent and drilled. The front end body alignment is fixed and support brackets added to line up the fenders. Bash bar modified to line up with the frame tubes and flanges made to make it all removable.

Started to mount the radiator. Its moved forward about 4" and my plan is to angle it in order to make fully ducting it possible.

Harvey
Harvey SuperDork
2/28/22 3:35 p.m.

I love g-body cars and this is terrific.

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/1/22 12:15 p.m.

Came up with a really slick idea to mount the radiator yesterday. Aluminum pins inside a coolant hose inside a tube. Can remove the upper nuts and tilt the radiator back and lift out. Sits in there snug and isolated with rubber.

Also got the oil tank in a good position where it will clear a wheel tub and be easily serviced.

 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/8/22 9:58 a.m.

Parts for the swaybar endlinks have shown up and the mount locations set. Wound up flipping the arms to run under the tierods because during compression and turning everything got too tight on the top side. Under they have tons of room and there's no binding for over 5" travel in both directions. 

Some initial checking of the bumpsteer characteristics shows an improvement over stock. I was able to get down to 1/32 on one side and even less on the other. Previously 1/16 was the best it could do. I won't be final setting anything until the car is completely back together and ride height,etc is all set first. Should be able to get it really good as both sides (inner and outer) are adjustable for height.

Over last weekend I got the front grills put back in after clearancing the ducts a little. After that I tackled making sheet metal inner fenders. I'm by no means skilled with sheet metal or have any of the proper tools but starting out with some 36" rear wheel tubs and poster board/construction paper for making templates I was able to get the passenger side done. It is a lot of work but I was able to make it be able to be unbolted from both the fender and chassis. Can also be removed with the outer fender as one piece. I've started to work on the driver's side now too.

 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/14/22 11:50 a.m.

Alright it's hard push time to make the Motorhead Madness show in Duluth this weekend. Setup is Friday so that gives me 4 days re assemble the car. 

Last week I was able to finish getting the inner fenders fabricated, painted and reassembled. On the driver's side I started out trying to notch it around the brake proportioning valve and lines but after checking and finding tire contact I scraped that idea and the valve/lines will need relocating. 

By Friday I was putting a second coat of paint on the frame.

Didn't have much chance to do anything Saturday but put in a full day Sunday. Started out with completing the new brake caliper brackets. I've been through a few tests (fails) and ideas that involved steps and a complex shape to work with the new spindles. Eventually I just decided to make a simple modification to the spindle and go with a simple bracket.

After sorting the caliper brackets out I moved on to relocating the proportioning valve. I had to cut up the wilwood bracket and a speedway one I had. Re used the 90 degree line but needed to make a mirrored version of the front line. It will now be mounted to the right (inner) side of the master cylinder instead of the left. The brake lines should fit up as it only moved about 6" at the most. But...I might have to make new front lines anyway as I won't be remounting the stock location bracket for hard to soft line. I just hope I won't need to order new braided lines and can work with what I have.

I cleaned up the firewall best I could and applied some heat barrier. As much for blocking heat from the pedal area as just making it look better. I haven't had a big problem with toasty feet but it is noticeable on longer drives.

Knowing that time is tight I wanted to get back into assembly ASAP. I don't have time to get the suspension parts powder coated and I'm not going to bother painting them either. I'll be pulling most of it back off after the show anyway to continue prep work for the season. The steering shaft needed to be done first so the rack and shaft went back on and I got the steering wheel and rack centered to each other before drilling into the column for the set screws to register in. Maybe just the setscrews are enough but I'm way more comfortable with a mechanical interlock to prevent any chance of slipping and consequencely loss of steering.

With the front clip pretty much sorted out I decided to get the engine in and start looking for problems while they were easy to get to. Engine went in real quick and test fit of the headers went easier than it used to be too. I did add a little clearance to the driver's side for the steering shaft. Plenty of room now. As I started putting the clutch back on I noticed a location pin missing from the center plate (dual disc setup). After finding some rod that fit I just made a new pin and got it assembled.

This is where I'm at right now. Should have the transmission, driveshaft, exhaust, etc all hooked up tonight.

If you've noticed, that's not the new engine and dry sump. That part of the project is back burner right now and I suppose has been since the rule changes allowed me to do more with the chassis. So the engine will likely become a mid season change as I want to put effort into a 3 link setup in the rear as well. Doesn't hurt to get testing in on the chassis updates without needing to fret over a new engine too.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/14/22 12:43 p.m.

Dang. A whole lotta awesome in this thread.

Thanks for sharing. 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/15/22 10:31 a.m.

Knocked out the trans, driveshaft, exhaust, EFI, wiring, and few other odds and ends last night.

TheWraith
TheWraith New Reader
3/15/22 11:03 p.m.

Love this direction!

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/16/22 10:03 a.m.

Last night I put the front suspension back together. Not going to get the Viking coilovers in time so the too long afcos will have to suffice for the car show. I need to finish the new front brake lines and verify that I won't need different braided lines to the caliper. 

Nothing is painted because it'll all come back off next week for powder coating and need to get some different length bolts and a new batch of nylock nuts. 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/17/22 8:31 a.m.

Front clip back on. Need to have this thing at the show tomorrow.....

 

 

 

tperkins
tperkins New Reader
3/17/22 11:11 a.m.

Wow, you've been busy. Maybe I missed it, but can the trans come out from the bottom still?

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/17/22 1:45 p.m.

In reply to tperkins :

Yes. I haven't changed anything under the center of the car, but now that I designed this front clip to be easily removable I could do engine/trans out the front as well.

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/21/22 1:13 p.m.

Thursday after work I was able to quickly fabricated a battery tray before friends and family started showing up for dinner (was my birthday). After most headed home my buddy Ross came out to the garage and we started knocking things off the list until midnight when I felt my mind getting slow. We were able to get the rear calipers on, brakes bled, oil filter housing and dipstick on, fluids in the rear, trans, and engine. Install the hood and figure out the springs and latch wouldn't work which was expected going in. 

I got up at 6 Friday morning and put the center console back together and installed the shifter. Went to the parts store and waited a few minutes for them to open. Got radiator hoses that might fit, oil filter, bulbs, and some cleaning stuff. Once back it was quickly determined I needed to cut off the radiator outlet and weld it back on at a different angle. We skipped the expansion tank and heater core plumbing. While Ross filled the system I was fixing a new fuel leak that wasn't there before. Last fall I decided not to pull the distributor out just in case I had to put this engine back in. Good too because it fired right up. Started pushing oil out the dipstick because I thought just maybe we could skip the catch can install. No dice, so I had to fab a simple bracket setup to put those parts back in. No way were we going to have time for power steering so it was skipped completely. At this point the car was running, no leaks, and able to move on its own and stop. Good enough mechanically. I made temporary brackets to hold the splitter while Ross was getting the other trunk and wing ready. Not wanting any bad surprises from a hood not latched down I installed some old hood pins I had. Eyeball alignment then move it outside to wash the thick dust off. Ross handled that while I was getting the truck and trailer ready. Quickly realized the the yard has turned into mud and I might have to drag the car out to the driveway.... figured I'd try to drive it first. With a little run out of the garage and up the slight hill I just let it idle in first. The new torsen differential worked well enough to not outright dig a hole but the car was crab walking, or possibly the slowest drift in history all the way to the driveway. Luckily minimum mud was applied to the car but the tires were packed. We swapped deck lids and loaded up. 2pm was my finish or take as is cutoff and the car was loaded and ready to go almost exactly at that time. (so ahead of schedule right?)

We hauled the car down and got setup after washing the mud out of tires on the way in the building. A quick detailer wipe down and we were done.

Here's pics from the show on Saturday since I had no time to take any during the thrash to get there.

I really didn't know how the car would go over in this crowd. I mean, there's a reason I don't do car shows much but this was to display with Dad Mods who wanted to have a group display of variety that would hopefully spark interest to the younger crowd or who aren't interested in the typical street rod/stock muscle car that shows up at car shows.

Overall I think it went well. All day Saturday I don't think the was less than 3 or 4 people checking the car out and at other times it was many more. I was loosing my voice by the end of the day from the constant stream of people. 

Asphalt_Gundam
Asphalt_Gundam Reader
3/21/22 1:23 p.m.

Some pics of the group that Brian aka Greenlight filming took.

And one more car in the group. Jake's pic aka Dad Mods

TheWraith
TheWraith New Reader
3/21/22 7:53 p.m.

Red fender tubs are a nice touch for those that remember. 

OneSickGNX
OneSickGNX Reader
3/23/22 9:47 a.m.

Wow that's a lot of progress for the time. What's your plan for upper trailing arm mounts for a 3 link? Or are you going to use a torque arm?

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