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AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/9/23 10:08 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:


Neon wheels acquired from a salvage yard in Warren MI that actually had what they said they had

yes.  yes you are.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/23 10:01 a.m.

Let's back up a bit.

Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Stop right there.  You see that dowel pin/rivet looking thing at the top of the input?

Okay, let's continue.

New problem... okay, two new problems.  First new problem is that the pinion shaft is actually two piece, and the outer section can slide freely up and down.  Will need to break out the welder to deal with that, although I may disassemble the thing first to make sure it goes together in the right spot.

It turns out this is a major problem.  Not only can the outer piece slide up and down, but it can also rotate, and this clued me in as to what was actually going on and how I had majorly berkeleyed up.

More later, McMuffins are required.  Going to explain this and then go back to soothing, soothing wiring

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/23 10:45 a.m.

So.  How power steering works.

It is a neat negative feedback loop. There is a vertical spool valve in the quill that directs pump pressure to the return line or to either side of a piston mounted in the middle of the rack.  Rotating the spool valve inside its housing one way or the other will direct flow to the appropriate side of the ram.  The housing is connected to the outside of the input shaft and the spool valve is connected via a torsion spring directly to the input shaft.  Steering force twists the spring, rotating the spool valve in the housing. More twist means more assist, which untwists the spring, and it all feels very progressive and natural.

That rivet, or dowel, connects the torsion spring to the shaft.

This means that the two shafts must be precisely aligned with each other, or the power assist will be biased one way or the other.  As in, the steering can actually ram itself all the way to one side with no steering input, which is a failure mode that can happen when the torsion spring gets bent.

So, yesterday, since I was able to get some proper sized steel tube from the metal supermarket (no 3/4" ID steering shafts in the Batcave), instead of modding the fuel tank, I made the steering shaft and set about fixing the rack.

The steering shaft came out very nice.  The rack...

I pulled the input assembly off of the rack, removed the whole quill assembly, and then one snapring and pulled the spool valves housing off.  Now I was looking at this.

No obvious things things to see.  So, I moved things back and forth against their stops and eyeballed the center position, tacked it into place, and not trusting just some welds on top I drilled a 10.5/64ths hole so I could tap it 5mm-.8 to take a hardened bolt I found, which would be installed with green Loctite before cutting the ends flush.

Then this happened.

My right wrist has been gimping for a while so I was trying to tap left handed, and I ended up breaking the tap off.


Was able to remove the tap, decided I could deal with that part on the car after Snap-On replaced the tap on Tuesday, so I went to reassemble the rack so it could go back in the car so I could put the steering shaft in so I could finish firewall mods.

Step one, put housing and circlip on.

I had welded the two pieces together too low to get the circlip in.  And found out AFTER drilling the through hole.

Disgusted, I threw everything into the car and went home.  Time to buy another rack.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/6/23 1:12 p.m.


One each: MS GPIO kit, one collection of additionals components, one high side driver control box.  Not pictured: Assembly instructions.


I knew this going in.  And I knew that the Mshift firmware has been abandoned since 2015ish.  However, there are two major reasons why this PITA is necessary:

The Microsquirt based trans controller does not support the 4EAT.

The Microsquirt based trans controller does not have a gear indicator.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/23/23 7:41 p.m.

Saw  this for sale today and thought of your build.........Facebook

Product photo of 2005 Mini Cooper/Honda V Tech Swap  AWD 5 Speed Manual · Hatchback 2D

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/23 3:18 p.m.

Post #40000.

So. State of the Colin.

No particular order here.

Things sucked.  Last time I posted, realized that I borked the rack.  Ordered another rack from an eBay seller.  A week went by and they still had not apparently pulled it from the car, let alone shipped it.  Canceled order, got money back, ordered another rack.  Seized.  Ordered another rack.  That one stayed up!


Tried several attempts to mate the dash to the floor in such a way that the shifter and handbrake would fit.  There is very little room!


Acquired many new tools.  Got a tubing roller, got a sheetmetal brake, modified the sheetmetal brake so it would work.  Bought a nibbler.  Bought a Milwaukee mega impact because I had no tools here that could take apart anything put together with Evan's tools.  No air here, and my Bauer electric impact couldn't do the deed.  That alone was like $500 with battery and charger, but buy once cry once.  Or in my case, buy twice and cry moar.

Had a depressingly bad time getting my welder to work right.  Could not lay a good bead to save my life.  Very confidence-killing when trying to put a car together that will bear a lot of scrutiny from people and oh yeah we want to bomb sideways on dirt at 50-60mph.

Along with all of this, for a couple months I had been battling some weird flu like thing that sapped all energy and I could barely work at work, let alone have anything left over after work.  Constant temp fluctuations and working in a 55 degree wind tunnel when my comfort zone is about 85 also played a large role.


But it is warm now, my duties at work have shifted a lot, much cool equipment has been acquired, things are moving again

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/23 6:46 p.m.

Some pics of progress.  First, steering.

Steering shaft is made, and the boot that came with the ??? shaft fit snugly into a leftover piece of 3" exhaust pipe.  The rolled bead is enough to keep it in place.



And after much consternation, it got welded in.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/23 6:54 p.m.

Strut tops.

Need a place to put the spring.  Not much room at all to go directly on the bearing, so let's use this bit under the threads.  Enter the 7/8-14 die.

Tap tap tap, until it takes more torque to cut than my questionable vise technique can stand.

Flip the die over to its more bottoming-die side and cut some more.

It's ugly but it gets better.

Test fit a thin 7/8-14 nut, which I think was a ball joint nut from an I beam F-150, so it has been sitting in my toolbox since years started with a 1

And test fit into car.  Barely clears, but barely is sufficient!

Shavarsh HalfDork
6/24/23 7:52 p.m.

Awesome! Great to see some progress. Glad to hear some challenges are behind you.

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/23 8:16 p.m.

Nice to see this one back. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/30/23 8:02 p.m.

Yeah, I still don't like it.

I am thinking that I have to do some spot weld drilling and pedal bracket reorganization so the pedal stub is not starting from an obtuse angle.  

What I WANT is the the master cylinder mount to be a permanent part of the floor, so the dash frame can be removed without having to open the brake hydraulics, which is a pain to bleed and also messy in general.  Need to have yet more think.


This part needs to be done before the underside of the car can be painted so the drivetrain can go back in.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/3/23 5:00 p.m.

More stuff that has been sitting in my toolbox since forever.  This time, some shock mount tabs that I made far too small for what I wanted because I neglected to account for moving clearance. And leftover bolts from a 3.5l V6 conversion in a Legend

Not pictured: remembering to put my Bauer batteries on charge.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/11/23 8:49 p.m.

I just love getting a much better idea after I'm already mostly done with something.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/23 11:06 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

I just love getting a much better idea after I'm already mostly done with something.

you speak my language

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/12/23 11:13 a.m.

I haven't had anything to add in a while, but am overdue to reiterate the obvious: this thread is berking fantastic.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/12/23 8:32 p.m.

Grr indecision.


Original option:


Out of the way

Rod is under tension.  Figuring max load 300lb with a 4.5:1 ratio on the linkage

Wiring to switch is shorter


The trans wiring needs to come out there-ish

Definitely not going to have HVAC.

I don't like the angles, although I can get the master higher by trimming one of the brackets

New option:


Angles are much nicer.

Can hide under the Subaru center console to prevent elbow banging

Can use Mini HVAC after reshaping the floor (see also: sheetmetal brake)

Don't need to hack up the dash panel more, which is kind of structural the way I drive with my legs braced against the dash and door

More weight low and to the back wink


Definitely not going to put the boost/AWD knobs on a console between the seats

Clearance to cable shifter kind of tight

Not sure if the .5×.062 tube can handle the compression stress without flexing, and flexy handbrakes suck


Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/23 6:17 p.m.

So, what happen.

I got very, very ill.  

As a result, I also got very unemployed.

This would be great for Colin except for the very ill part.

This is not to say no progress has been made in the last, uh, month, but it is slow, and few photos were taken.

Such as the fuel pump.  Finally bunged it in.  The 340lph pump for a 4th gen Camaro ($60 in Summit returns bin) took the Subaru sock with ease after putting the Holley spring tensioner on it.  The top is reversed so I had to do a very minor tweak to the outlet pipe.  But the most annoying thing was that the literature said it had a 5/16" outlet when it very clearly was 3/8".  Probably why it was returned.  I've been to this rodeo before, and with a little lube and pressing it on with a vise, the Subaru hose slipped over it.

What the delay in this was wanting to run 12 gauge wire to the pump.  I bought a pass through, lost the pass through, bought another pass through, and realized two things.  First, I can't get any wire through it larger than the pump and the Subaru already have.  Second, as rusty as the sending unit is, I cannot guarantee it will seal.  So, I figured to leave well enough alone, and at least run 10ga wire to the connector.  Pump is rated at 16.7a at 13.5v at 60psi.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/23 6:29 p.m.

Next.  Something that had been bothering me for a very long time.  I didn't like the mounting plates I had made for the rear diff T and trailing arms.  They were 16ga but fairly well unsupported in the middle.  I could see them oil canning and cracking out.

I got the great idea of putting posts on the captivated nuts, to brace up to the Mjni chassis... except someone had not only boxed in the mounting plates, he welded a floor in over them, making it really difficult to cut everything apart.

I thought to double skin it, bought a sheetmetal brake allegedly good for 16ga, found that it wasn't, modified it with leftover rearend parts so it was, and still didn't like the idea.

Then I went to Metal Supermarket and poked around a little.  Found this.

A lot of cutting, measuring, drilling, realized measured wrong, etc... found that I could not wedge my self under the car to weld anything in.

Enter the Hi-Lift, courtesy of a Jeepin' friend who won't need it until October.

Not enough room to lift it on the side with a car or wall in the way.

Let's see if we can lift the back from inside the car.

hahaha no

Fine, I'll TAKE the bumper off.  Was going to have to do that anyway.  Five screws later...


The car now is four clicks higher on the jackstands. Now I can wedge myself under and get my weld on.


Through bolted just to keep everything in alignment before welding. 1/4" plate plus 1/4" strap equals the 1/2" spacer that used to be there to take up the height difference in the trailing arm mount.  The rear nuts are so close to the edge, with the trailing arm bracket overhanging, that I do not foresee any issues.

After paint:

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/23 9:44 p.m.

A place that E36 M3-cans you for being sick

is a place that can eat an elephant's dick

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/17/23 8:59 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

It is what it is.  Given the opportunity that presented itself shortly after, it may have just been providence, the will of the cosmic subconsciousness, "Bob" tilting the luck plane in my direction, whatever you want to call it.  Certainly it was bizarre that I went from fine to delirious in the space of a couple hours, and started to improve after I was let go.

All that aside, I've been recovering that Vision that I had lost.  It centers around that indescribable feeling of cornering hard on dirt or clay as the tires fight for grip, almost tasting the melting rubber in the air mixed with shredded vegetation...


If you will notice, the brakes are still not done.  The coolant needs to be routed first.  I would like the engine in before that happens, and to do that I want the trans in at the sale time, and to keep it from falling off the jack stands (they are rather close together) the rearend should be in place, which requires the floor be finished so the fuel tank can go in...

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/14/23 7:43 p.m.

Acquired: guacamoliffic side skirts courtesy of ​​​​​AxeHealey.


No pictures lately because everything in the garage sucks

AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/15/23 12:44 p.m.

Nice seeing you, dude!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/17/23 4:30 p.m.

In today's episode of fitting things where they should not go

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/23 8:48 p.m.

Not pictured: going to town with a set of Lang thread chasers on a whole lot of rusty fasteners, after finding them in the front suspension box instead of the rear suspension box where they should have been.


This was Monday's project, except someone forgot to take his thread chasers home from work, and Tuesday was a NAPA class.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/1/23 7:12 p.m.

I should update more often or something.  I have not been taking too many pics, my phone is usually pretty low when I am here.  Samsungs are finicky when it comes to charger quality.

Some pics today.  Have a puzzle to solve.

First (un pictured) was the realization that wheel offsets mean something!  The 1" spacers worked well with the Legacy 15" wheels, but the Neon wheels encountered hard contact with the fender while cycling the suspension.  Removed the spacers and checked again.

That's really far back in the wheelwell.  While this may be acceptable if you are Volkswagen engineering the Quantum Syncro,

we can do better.

Next issue.

I had wanted the fuel filler and coolant tube to go through there.  There's not a whole hell of a lot of room, is there?


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