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Northstar swap, Grin Reaper style (56k warning by motoracer838
Started on: 02-13-2007 11:03 PM
Replies: 152 (12420 views)
Last post by: motoracer838 on 05-29-2018 07:54 PM
motoracer838
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Report this Post02-13-2007 11:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Edit, if your coming to this thread for the first time, the first 3 pages are fubared... (Seems I have bad luck picking hosting sites... ) The text is just soo much Bla, Bla, Bla... At least on Page 4 I finally get back to work... And have new pics, if my luck with hosting sites continues, flikr will be next to "go down"...

Every swap starts with a teardown.


In my case it meant removing the 4.9 that I had previously installed. don't get me wrong the 4.9 made for a fun car, just too much of a daily driver, and to much like most every thing 'Ive owned for the last two decades.
The project starts with modifications to the subframe. I added a spreader bar making it a 1/16th of an inch oversized to put some preload on the cradle to help minimize the distortion that will happen when I add the new crossmember, then I cut out most of the old crossmember leaving a stub for the front trans mount, the engine mount and the exhaust hangers. At this time I also elongated the rear mount holes to move the trans mount as far to the left as was practical.


This left the mount bracket a little close to the subframe,so out comes the grinder for a little reshaping.
That's better.
The front mount, I have to say it again, Shawn your mounts rock!!!
The clearance here is good.
Here, not so good so I'll trim a notch and box it in.

That's all for tonight more pics in a couple of days.

When things go wrong,
don't follow them. Joe

[This message has been edited by motoracer838 (edited 05-22-2018).]

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hatchetrider84
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Report this Post02-15-2007 09:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hatchetrider84Click Here to visit hatchetrider84's HomePageClick Here to Email hatchetrider84Send a Private Message to hatchetrider84Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

nice...im waitin on my tax return to buy my n*...

where did you get your mounts? and for how much $$$$?
is the front engine mount a straight bolt in?
will moving the trans mount effect the axles?

do you think welding the new cross member with the cradle installed on the car(working as a type of jig) would be better than preloading it?

------------------

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-16-2007 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by hatchetrider84:

nice...im waitin on my tax return to buy my n*...

where did you get your mounts? and for how much $$$$?
is the front engine mount a straight bolt in?
will moving the trans mount effect the axles?

do you think welding the new cross member with the cradle installed on the car(working as a type of jig) would be better than preloading it?



The trans mounts are a part of the set that Shawn ( Purple Reign ) sells for the 3800 conversion, I'll be making my own set of mounts for the front. Pics will be coming as I continue the mock up process.

The trans was only moved about 5/8ths of an inch, the worst case, depending on how deep the tri lobe is in the cv joint will be to shorten the left axle by the same amount, there is enough meat on the axle to cut new groves for the clips and trim the axle a like amount. ( credit for this info goes to Russ 544 )

About the crossmember, I don' think that doing it in the car will help much, and it will just be a PITA to work on. I'll be welding in the crossmember tonight, I'd rather do it on the stands than crawlling under and in the car to get to it.

Joe

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dratts
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Report this Post02-17-2007 12:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Are you using the 4t65ehd transaxle?

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-17-2007 07:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by dratts:

Are you using the 4t65ehd transaxle?


I'm running a Getrag 5 speed.

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KlingonFiero
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Report this Post02-17-2007 09:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KlingonFieroClick Here to visit KlingonFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email KlingonFieroSend a Private Message to KlingonFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hey Joe!

Is that a complete running 4.9 ? Quick, bring it too my house, we will install it this afte4rnoon

I am becoming rapidly jealous of your garage

The teardown is always the fun part!

Cradle work looks real nice so far too...

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Christine
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Report this Post02-18-2007 08:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ChristineClick Here to Email ChristineSend a Private Message to ChristineEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice. Keep us posted on your progress. Soon we will all be able to go on a nice spring drive in our Fieros.

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Will
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Report this Post02-19-2007 09:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:

In my case it meant removing the 4.9 that I had previously installed. don't get me wrong the 4.9 made for a fun car, just too much of a daily driver, and to much like most every thing Iv'e owned for the last two decades.



The project starts with modifications to the subframe. I added a spreader bar making it a 1/16th of an inch oversized to put some preload on the cradle to help minimize the distortion that will happen when I add the new crossmember, then I cut out most of the old crossmember leaving a stub for the front trans mount, the engine mount and the exaust hangers. At this time I also elongated the rear mount holes to move the trans mount as far to the left as was practical.


It's good to see someone starting a Northstar swap... good luck to you.
However, whenever I see someone doing this, I always have to wonder why on earth people cut the old crossmember out before they weld the new one in?
I think at this point you should bolt the cradle into the car, weld the crossmember with the cradle in place and then remove it to install the engine.

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WAWUZAT
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Report this Post02-19-2007 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WAWUZATClick Here to Email WAWUZATSend a Private Message to WAWUZATEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:It's good to see someone starting a Northstar swap... good luck to you. However, whenever I see someone doing this, I always have to wonder why on earth people cut the old crossmember out before they weld the new one in? I think at this point you should bolt the cradle into the car, weld the crossmember with the cradle in place and then remove it to install the engine.


I've finally started dis-assembling my N* engine ... still removing gobs of stuff from the outside of the engine. Regarding how one tackles the cradle, I like the idea of tackwelding a temporary brace across the front while it's still in the car. Then I can do a bunch of cradle mods with it out of the car, and not worry about how it will fit later. I did that once before when I "straightened" the forward ends that used to point upwards ... did that when I raised the entire cradle & drivetrain to lower the car ... along with top-hats for coilovers.

I'll tackweld temp-braces again this time, but I won't start any cutting until I start pre-fitting the N* & 4T80E to the cradle.

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Will
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Report this Post02-19-2007 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by WAWUZAT:

I've finally started dis-assembling my N* engine ...


That's another expensive thing that people like to do.

Seems like you can't open one of these engines up and spend less than $1000.

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-19-2007 08:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


That's another expensive thing that people like to do.

Seems like you can't open one of these engines up and spend less than $1000.


Ain't that the truth!!! I'm sure everybody following this has also seen my Northstar Autopsy thead.

I'll have some more on my swap latter tonight.

Joe

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WAWUZAT
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Report this Post02-19-2007 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WAWUZATClick Here to Email WAWUZATSend a Private Message to WAWUZATEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will: That's another expensive thing that people like to do. Seems like you can't open one of these engines up and spend less than $1000.


Only $1,000??? I've already spent much more than that, and the valve covers ain't off yet. With 149K miles on this engine & transaxle, I'll feel a whole lot better after I've gone through the mechanicals. Conversely, my wallet won't feel anywhere near as good.

BTW, I was going through the CHRFAB Holley 950 wiring harness this evening, and I found some inconsistencies. I bought the 950 secondhand (was never installed by the original buyer), and even though it has the "Pro" software, the wiring diagram is dated 12/23/00. Since I need to order a couple items from CHRFAB anyway, I'll send them a sketch of what I found (wires agree with the diagram at one end of the coil pack, but they're reversed/flipped at the other end ... not inagreement with the diagram).

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Report this Post02-19-2007 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AJxtcmanClick Here to Email AJxtcmanSend a Private Message to AJxtcmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I am lucky I open up northstars all the time and just collect extra parts along the way. I still have parts in the wrapper that we no long use in service. like oil pan gaskets.

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-19-2007 11:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Will:


It's good to see someone starting a Northstar swap... good luck to you.
However, whenever I see someone doing this, I always have to wonder why on earth people cut the old crossmember out before they weld the new one in?
I think at this point you should bolt the cradle into the car, weld the crossmember with the cradle in place and then remove it to install the engine.



I added the brace before I did any cutting on the original crossmember, it was a persuasion fit (it had to be driven into place to give the preload that I wanted) .

Iv'e been involved in welding and fabrication for more than 30 years, this is how Iv'e chosen to do my swap, I do apreciate the comments, thanks guys.

Joe

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-19-2007 11:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Tonights photos.



The notch I cut outfor oilpan cleance.





The finshed boxing.



One of the reasons Don is jealous of My shop.



The Jibb crane and electic hoist really make the mock up process a lot easier.

Joe

[This message has been edited by motoracer838 (edited 02-20-2007).]

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Will
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Report this Post02-20-2007 05:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by WAWUZAT:

Only $1,000??? I've already spent much more than that, and the valve covers ain't off yet. With 149K miles on this engine & transaxle, I'll feel a whole lot better after I've gone through the mechanicals. Conversely, my wallet won't feel anywhere near as good.


That's $1K just for a refresh... no mods.

$300+ in gaskets
$250 in bearings
$100 in rod bolts
$LOTS for time serts & toolkits

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KlingonFiero
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quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:



One of the reasons Don is jealous of My shop.



The Jibb crane and electic hoist really make the mock up process a lot easier.

Joe



Oh sure, just rub it in!

I am glad you found some time to get some work done on the cradle - I cannot wait to see it in the car.

Let me know if you need some help...

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Report this Post02-21-2007 04:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Another to join the N* club. I have a timesert kit if you end up needing it let me know and we can work something out.

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Russ544
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Report this Post02-21-2007 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Russ544Send a Private Message to Russ544Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:




One of the reasons Don is jealous of My shop.


The Jibb crane and electic hoist really make the mock up process a lot easier.

Joe




You're a brave man using that 440 lb hoist. I use the same units in my business, but I'd never lift an engine/trans with it. maybe the 880 lb version. the 440 lb hoist can be had for $59.00 and the 880 lb for $79.00 if you watch in their sales catalogue.
I do wish I could lay down a welding bead like yours however. very nice.

Russ

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-21-2007 08:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Russ544:
You're a brave man using that 440 lb hoist. I use the same units in my business, but I'd never lift an engine/trans with it. maybe the 880 lb version. the 440 lb hoist can be had for $59.00 and the 880 lb for $79.00 if you watch in their sales catalogue.
I do wish I could lay down a welding bead like yours however. very nice.

Russ


With the cable doubled like I have it the hoist is rated at 880lbs, I would never think of using it in this manner as a single cable.



Russ, how's your rewire project going?

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-21-2007 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Tonights update, I wanted to move the front of the engine a bit lower to give more room at the decklidhinge, and I wanted to remove the last of the orginal crossmember,so...



I made up a quick fixture to locate the bolt holes and mounting surface.



Then I cut out the last of the old crossmember and welded in the new one.



When I started making the new trans mount, I added a 1/4 inch thick spacer in between the fixture and the new mount lowering it a 1/4 inch.





Thats better.





A couple of shots showing how the new crossmember fit in the cradle. When I cut out the brace the ends of the crossmember only sprung in 1/16th of an inch.

Joe

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-21-2007 10:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

More pics









Shots of the front engine mount, now the real fun begins. the rear engine mount.

Joe

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John Boelte
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Report this Post02-22-2007 08:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for John BoelteClick Here to Email John BoelteSend a Private Message to John BoelteEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Great looking welds! Very nice fab work.

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Report this Post02-22-2007 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DeabionniClick Here to Email DeabionniSend a Private Message to DeabionniEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I like the new cross member, and the mounts that you fabbed up. Great work, and great thread.

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-23-2007 12:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I picked up engine #2 today.





#2 is a 9code 96, it appers to be less than oil tight, it's a good thing that it's a good runner.



Here's one of those things that make a person wonder what kind of drugs the GM enginners are using, I went to fit up the y section from the 95 to the 96 and found that the flange for the front pipe is different. the y fits fine, but the bolt holes are spaced differently. Thats ok I'm not going to be using much of the original system.

More fab work coming soon, thanks for the compliments.

Joe

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Icelander
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Report this Post02-23-2007 01:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IcelanderClick Here to Email IcelanderSend a Private Message to IcelanderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to welding. Why would you preload the cradle?

------------------
Kendall (Icelander) Whitlatch
'85 Fiero 2M4 - 5spd Isuzu
'67 LeMans/GTO clone 6.5 litre TH400
All the rest aren't Pontiacs, so what does it matter?

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-23-2007 02:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Icelander:

I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to welding. Why would you preload the cradle?




The distortion caused by the welding pulls the ends of the cradle in on each side making reinstalation of the cradle dificult, by pushing the ends out a little bit with the temporary brace, when I welded in the new crossmember I wound up back at the original dimension after removing the temporay brace.

Joe

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KlingonFiero
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quote
Originally posted by motoracer838:



A couple of shots showing how the new crossmember fit in the cradle. When I cut out the brace the ends of the crossmember only sprung in 1/16th of an inch.

Joe


That is such a beautiful weld, I could almost cry...

Very nice work indeed!

Cannot wait to have you help me put the 3800 in my car...

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Icelander
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Report this Post02-23-2007 11:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IcelanderClick Here to Email IcelanderSend a Private Message to IcelanderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ah. Now I understand.

My concern was that you woudn't be able to re-install the cradle because it was now too wide.

Thanks!

Kendall

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-24-2007 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Tonights update.



Clearance on the crossmember at the flange is a little tight, might need a small nocth, I really should have had the manifold in place when I set the crossmember.



A 1/4 inch street elbow lets the Fiero oil pressure sender to fit nicely



Upper altenator mount before.



After.





Begining the mock up of the exaust system, where the front pipe comes out of the nocth it will turn up and go left to y into the rear bank, then a u bend into a cat ( yeah we have to deal with the smog nazzis here ), then another u bend into a Flowmaster with two tail pipes.



Begining work on the rear mount.





The angle represents the corner of the trunk in relation to the crossmember, another tight fit. Will need heat shielding here.

More in a couple of days. Joe

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David DeVoe
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Report this Post02-25-2007 01:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David DeVoeClick Here to Email David DeVoeSend a Private Message to David DeVoeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I would sit at your feet wearing a sackcloth robe with a piece of rope for a belt if you would teach me to weld like that. I would live like a monk and take a vow of silence if thats what it took, Man, oh man, that welding is pure art. I can only guess at the hours you've spent welding. I assume thats tig welding? I just got a mig machine and so far I've managed to turn it on without getting electrocuted. Seriously, great stuff.

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ryan.hess
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Report this Post02-25-2007 03:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ryan.hessClick Here to Email ryan.hessSend a Private Message to ryan.hessEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

What welder are you using?

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-25-2007 05:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by ryan.hess:

What welder are you using?


the welder is a Hobart Betamig 170, that I bought back in '93 when I set up my first biz. the machine has had it's share of problems, it's been in the shop four times, the first three were under warenty the last one was out of pocket at a cost of over $400, all repairs were for the same thing, circuit borads.

The experience has left a sour taste when it comes to Hobart products and Airgas products in Denver. If I had it to do over again, I would have found a way to come up with the extra money to buy a Miller or lincon. When your fabricating, there's nothing worse than dealing with a finicky welder. DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO TO BUY THE BEST WELDING EQUIPMENT YOU CAN!!! I'll get off of my soap box now.

Joe

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Report this Post02-26-2007 03:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mrfieroClick Here to Email mrfieroSend a Private Message to mrfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looking good Joe! I miss my Northstar Fiero, so hurry up and finish yours so I can steal it.....er go for a ride in it (yeah, that's what I meant).

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-27-2007 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by mrfiero:

Looking good Joe! I miss my Northstar Fiero, so hurry up and finish yours so I can steal it.....er go for a ride in it (yeah, that's what I meant).



The next time your down from Fort Fun, you need to stop by.

On to what everybody is waiting for, the latest update, the rear engine mount.



Before I tore the car apart I took some measurments with the suspension fully extended in relation to the cradle to have a point of reference for determining where the axle would be during the mock up process.



this allowed me to leave as much material in the side plates as possible.



The rear mount tacked up.



Fiting the rear brace.



fitting the bottom.





A couple of shots of the finished mount.

Untill next time. Joe

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twofatguys
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Report this Post02-27-2007 07:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for twofatguysClick Here to Email twofatguysSend a Private Message to twofatguysEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice work, I would not go with the newer style Millers either, seems we were having problems with the same thing you are, circuit boards. We had 20 welders in the shop, all were the newer digital read nice ones, I think all went down at least once during the first year. Nothing like using those when they were brand new though, like a new Cadillac.

Brad

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hatchetrider84
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Report this Post02-27-2007 09:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hatchetrider84Click Here to visit hatchetrider84's HomePageClick Here to Email hatchetrider84Send a Private Message to hatchetrider84Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

thats gorgeous...what did you cut the sides out with?(rear mount)

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-27-2007 11:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by hatchetrider84:

thats gorgeous...what did you cut the sides out with?(rear mount)



The sides were formed using the flollowing tools,
4 1/2 inch angle grinder with cutoff and grinding disks
drill press with holesaw
vertical bandsaw

Those sides were made from 1/8" x 8" hrs plate, I start by using the angle grinder with a cutoff disk to cut a peice off of the sheet to the rough size I need.



Then I do the basic layout for the part



since this part will have a nocth, I use a holesaw in the drill press. then use the bandsaw to trim off the exsess and the angle grinder to do any needed finishing.



The finished parts. Sorry that I didn't take more pics of the parts while in process, Last night was one of those nights where I was in the zone and it seemed like I had them done in no time, that was untill I went inside and saw how late it really was, just completly lost track of time.

Joe

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motoracer838
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Report this Post02-27-2007 11:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for motoracer838Click Here to Email motoracer838Send a Private Message to motoracer838Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
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Originally posted by David DeVoe:

I would sit at your feet wearing a sackcloth robe with a piece of rope for a belt if you would teach me to weld like that. I would live like a monk and take a vow of silence if thats what it took, Man, oh man, that welding is pure art. I can only guess at the hours you've spent welding. I assume thats tig welding? I just got a mig machine and so far I've managed to turn it on without getting electrocuted. Seriously, great stuff.


Thanks, I think (j/k). BTW those are mig welds.

Joe

[This message has been edited by motoracer838 (edited 02-27-2007).]

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Russ544
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Report this Post02-27-2007 11:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Russ544Send a Private Message to Russ544Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I see Harbor freight must love you almost as much as they do me
Just curious if you've checked out if the emergency brake cables will still make it through the maze. when I did mine I found it to be very tight quarters to fit them in, and was glad I had planned ahead well.
That rear mount looks great. It's nice to see someone thinking outside the box on a project for a change.

[This message has been edited by Russ544 (edited 02-27-2007).]

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