Thursday, August 6, 2009

diff adventures, panel work begins

Marc and Ben decided to crack open the diff to see if it needed servicing.

Check out Ben's high school robotic team jumpsuit.

After popping off some C-clips, you can draw out the half shafts.

Then you unbolt each side's bearing cap. One is undone here:

The crown gear is stock and looks is great shape.

You can see the clutch discs of the LSD toward the bottom.

With the shafts out and the caps off, you can pull out the diff. Little oopsie on letting the outer race of the bearing fall off.

This wad of gum looking and feeling thing was sitting in the axle housing, just past where the diff sat.

What the hell could it be?

We brought out the diff and sat it up. Is that ok on the bearing?

Gotta keep things organized so we can remember how to put it back together.

You can seen the pinion gear in the murky bottom of the diff housing.

So after extracting all that, we realized we had screwed up a bit, as far as complete disassembly of the diff goes. The pinion gear is held through the outside of the diff housing by a big nut, which we couldn't get off with nothing holding the pinion gear in place. We put everything back together only to realize how hard holding the rear axle still was while cranking on the bolt. We'll try again later with an impact wrench. Are there other good ways to do it once the axle is free of the car?

Next post details the other work we did.

We're finally getting into the kit car phase, where all the fiddly parts come out and we take on the challenge of putting together a car from scratch. With the old car out of the way, there's a real buzz hanging in the air. It's like Christmas opening up all the new parts boxes.

Recap of the car. This vantage point is nice. Maybe I'll bring my GoPro out next time and set it up to take time lapse video.

Placing the rear trunk panel. Here's where the kit-carness really sets in. The tolerances on these panels is good, but not perfect. I'll bet it's not much better in factory cars. The only difference is that the workers have tons of experience placing and fitting things just the right way. And that they're not placing things straight onto a space frame.

The trunk consists of 4 pieces: the floor, the rear, and the 2 walls. The kit comes from the factory with every panel in place, to help you memorize their relative placement.

All the writing has been done by us. The matching arrows are annotated with O/U. O being the panel that sits [b]over[/b], and U being the panel or lip that sits [b]under[/b]. The concentric rings you see on the trunk floor panel are from huge suction cups Factory Five uses to move these panels around.

A sample of my incredible markup work. This is the passenger side trunk side wall.

The panels and spaceframe have been designed with each other in mind, so where possible the edge of a panel is folded to sit on a square bar. In other places, you have to mark lines for the bar. Here you can see that fitment can get quite sloppy. I'm using a small x over a line that is to be disregarded. The lines to the left are from where we thought a bar would be flush with the panel, but actually ended up angling away. The small o's are where we'll drill and rivet. The kit comes with enough rivets for one every 3". And I think that's fence post style, so if there's a span of 6" that needs to be riveted, we can use 3 rivets. Just in case that's not the case, I'm trying to be conservative and save a rivet here or there. I only got the 2 trunk side panels done.

As you can see, we're not taking the utmost care with the panels and marking. At the end of the day, this is a track car, so if the rivets are 1/16" off the center line or not aesthetically evenly spaced, that's not the end of the world. We'll do our best to clean off the aluminum after we're done marking up the panels. But most of it is supposed to be covered by the provided carpet. For looks CG suggested just clearcoating the trunk panels and leaving off the carpet.

Here's where I let yall down again. I was in a hurry to leave, and didn't take pictures of tons of neat parts. We were reconciling the packing list box by box, just to make sure the factory gave us everything we needed.

Radiator, fan, belts, stuff:

Lighting, plastic covers, etc.:

Shifter handle and boot:

The two bolts on the shifter handle line up vertically when bolted to the shifter, so the whole thing is angled extremely forward when in the car. This is because the engine and trans sit much closer toward the middle of the car.