Or Angle cuts as well (if it has a turntable?)
Carried on with the (w)underbar today – mostly just measuring and mocking up the first cross beam and making sure it’s all level. It needs a little adjustment but only once the cross beam is attached so it all stays lined up. It’s gradually taking shape though 🙂
This was first time out with the new chop saw and whilst it seems to have some limitations (mostly due to some disc “wobble”) the cuts are noticably better than freehanding everything with the angle grinder. It got dark before I could get much further but the fit of this cross beam looked a LOT closer than any of the previous joins.
Hopefully pics tomorrow if it’s not chucking it down…
More progress today, got the first couple of cross beams tacked in place and so far it all still fits!
I was planning to just have one vertical beam in the middle (along with one on each side) but the bit where the chin panel bolts on juts out more than I thought it did so we’re going for a total of 4 verticals…a bit more cutting but no biggie, and might mean I can use slightly thinner sheet to bridge the gaps (or something).
The centre verticals are just clamped in place in the last pic (hence the great big bit of angle iron to keep things aligned) but they look to fit ok and will get tacked in place next.
Once actually under the car the “longwise” sections (i.e. the continuation of the verticals, in line with the car) will need to deviate from equal spacing to allow clearance for the sump, gearbox etc but there should still be plenty of bracing to ensure it’s nice and study for when I grind it over kerbs, rocks or whatever 😉
finally got to do a bit more work on the syncro…hopefulyl more tomorrow too \o/
Started getting the in-between bars welded in place. Unfortunately I used up much of my metal stock on other projects recently so will need to add more but am hoping to get this wunderbar wrapped up shortly.
Next up is a new downpipe since the current one is blowing at the manifold flange and I feel like this might be a good opportunity to practice my TIG welding 😉
got the next set of intermediate bars on the Wunderbar tacked in place and got the first tabs onto the front bumper section so now it holds itself in place…
I’m awaiting more tubing to do a bit more cross-bracing and then hopefully add some nice thick ali plating and we’re done \o/
so it turns out I might have found out why my downpipe was smoking…there was no gasket between the exhaust manifold and the downpipe flange…so that possibly just saved me a shitload of work \o/
guess I’ll have to practice my TIG welding on the sump cage/Wunderbar then…
So the Wunderbar mock-up construction is done (pics are MIG’d tack welds) and I spent much of this afternoon working on the finish welding to practice my TIG work, and it seems to be coming along nicely.
I love the level of control you get with the TIG (using the foot pedal) rather than the more “point and pray” approach with the MIG, though the extra set-up time is a pain in the ass…in most cases it’s meant the welds don’t even need dressing. I’m not quite up to the standard of being able to do consistent “fish scale” welds yet but a few of them are in that ballpark, and most of them are just smooth which will do me nicely for the moment 😉 Will post some pics when it’s daytime (it was dark by the time I finished today).
got it all back together again now with an exhaust gasket and the fecker won’t start. Not sure what I’m missing though i did find out that a couple of the plugs were loose before (when it ran).
Am awaiting some starting spray so I can see if it’s a fuelling issues, tho the plugs seemed wet and there’s spark….so not sure what else is wrong. ugh
I guess being up on ramps meant that there was no fuel getting to the engine…put some more fuel in and it fired right up \o/
There was still a teeny bit of smoke leaking from the manifold/downpipe join but I tightened the bolts a bit more and it seemed to stop. Might have to have another go at those bolts and try to make sure they’re *super* tight to make sure there’s nothing seeming out. Failing that perhaps squirt a bit of exhaust gasket sealant type stuff in there though obvs would rather not have to take all the inlet stuff off again.
There was still some general smokyness from that part of the engine bay but I would imagine that was left over WD40 or engine oil since it didn’t seem to have a specific source.
So at long last and after much life/work turbulence… I finally got the wunderbar properly welded up and given a quick lick of paint. It still needs a couple of little bits adding since the bit of tin which normally goes across the front “chin” and ties the wings together is no longer present so the wings will have to attach to something, but the bulk of it is done \o/
I also finally had the money to get some wheel spacers so that I could fit the mud+snow wheels I acquired – they were off a vauxhall astra though so the centre bore was a teeny bit smaller. Hub-centric wheel spacers + lathe = nicely fitting wheels 🙂
They seem to be a little bit bigger diameter which increases the round clearance somewhat..bonus 🙂
I’ve also got some high temp RTV/silicone so *hopefully* I can sort the leak in the downpipe/manifold join, so it might have a hope of getting thru an mot, and also ordered bits to sort the rear brake piston which I managed to mess up many years ago.
There’s still the weird electrical thing where the tail lights come on whenever the battery is attached, which I have no clue how to sort but I think that’s gonna be a case of unplug everything and re-plug it and hope it fixes it or helps identify the problem. I must have plugged something in wrong somewhere since there’s no actual “custom” cabling as such.
Slowly its getting there.
it’s been a while since I posted any updates but I’ve been busy with work and the driveway’s been kinda full with cars and bikes so haven’t really had time to work on the syncro much recently. However I recently sold the polo so now have some driveway back and can hopefully resume working on the syncro.
After welding up the (w)underbar I guess either something warped a bit with the heat or I made some measurements off slightly since a couple of the front “prongs” don’t line up with the holes which secure it to the front bumper rail. They’re only out by a little bit (<5mm) but it all fitted so neatly before and I'd like to get back to that. I wondered if perhaps the car was twisted slightly (e.g. by being jacked up differently) but as far as I remember it was on ramps (looks to be in the previous pics) when I built it and it's on the same ramps now. The misalignment also isn't gradually off more to one side as I'd expect from the chassis twisting. It's the middle two prongs which are out of alignment. So I guess something got too hot during finish welding or I messed up a couple of the initial positions in the process.
Hopefully it shouldn't be a massive issue, with a bit of luck I just need to make a couple of cuts and get everything to line up nicely again and re-weld those joins, perhaps with it all in place so I can check the fitment.
I need to get some checkerplate for one of my scooter projects so hopefully I'll have some bits left to test plating the lower panels of the underbar. I recently built a slim-line skid-plate/sump-protector type thing for a very lowered mini cooper using checkerplate floor tiles and it came out surprisingly solid and has apparently been doing a great job, so I'm interested to see how well it might do here.
Made a little bit of progress with the wiring issue today – currently the top segment of both tail lights comes on as soon as the battery is connected and won’t go off.
I found there’s a big plug in the back of the fusebox which seems to do all the wires to the back of the car (fuel pump, lights etc) and if i unplug that then the lights go off, but then obviously there’s no fuel pump etc. It’s not much progress but it’s something.
It actually seems like whatever’s switching the lights on is doing so *before* the fusebox. I’m thinking perhaps the alarm/immobiliser is the culprit but that’s a whole mess of wires I haven’t dared get into yet. The alarm was installed on the old motor/loom so I guess it’s possible something zigged when it should have zagged when we swapped the loom over.
I did manage to eliminate a whole section of the loom which didn’t seem to be doing anything (possibly for the elec windows) so there’s a bit less clutter in there now, and found a couple of like-to-like connectors which weren’t plugged in and nothing caught fire or melted when i plugged them in so i guess that was maybe the right thing to do.
It still starts and runs fine, I’ve got the high temp rtv to seal the downpipe flange to get it thru the mot, but obviously with the wiring as it is it’s going nowhere in a hurry.
If there’s any wiring experts on here who have ideas then I’m all ears, and I’d be happy to trade some welding time for face-to-face help with wiring if anyone has the skills and the time. I get ‘dog-head’ with that many wires :-\