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Blooze Own: An F355 Six Speed N* Build Thread by Bloozberry
Started on: 04-24-2010 08:32 PM
Replies: 1251 (208051 views)
Last post by: La fiera on 12-23-2017 07:43 PM
cptsnoopy
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Report this Post05-15-2013 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Awesome Dave!

Charlie

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BlackEmrald
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Report this Post05-15-2013 08:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlackEmraldClick Here to Email BlackEmraldSend a Private Message to BlackEmraldEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Very cool. Whats happening next, after the cradle and all associated work is complete?

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-18-2013 09:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks Charlie and BlackEmrald! After the cradle and rear suspension work is done, I've got to do some frame cleaning before I install the front and rear suspensions. There's some corrosion I need to address, plus the frame needs to be repainted. Once both suspensions are installed, then I can start the body work reshaping the fenders to suit the tires and straightening out the other body lines etc.

I made some progress fabricating the upper half of the aft engine and transmission mounts this week. With the cradle structure complete, I used a self leveling two axis laser level to set the engine square and level to the cradle, and to project the centerline of the crank and the axles onto the cradle for future reference. I got the laser level for Christmas in anticipation of doing just this sort of thing. For some reason the beams look to be a 1/4" wide in the photo... in reality they're 1/8" wide.



With the engine level to the cradle, I could begin taking the measurements to fabricate the upper half of the engine and transmission mounts. I started with the easy one and created a template out of cardboard that fit just right:



Then I transferred the pattern onto some 3/16" thick steel plate, leaving extra material in two areas. The first was where I wanted to create a return flange to give the brace some stiffness. This involves leaving lots of extra material because 3/16" plate doesn't bend easily unless you leave lots to leverage with. More on that later. The second area was where the bracket met the rubber mount. After a bit of playing around with the rubber mounts in the hydraulic press, I figured the rubber will compress about 5mm due to the weight of the engine and transmission, so I left 5 mm more material in that area than there was on the template. Here's what brace looks like after all was said and done:



I mocked it up on the transmission but it still needs to be welded to the plate sitting on top of the rubber mount. I'll add a gusset connecting the two pieces before it's finished as well, but here's the basic part:



I honed my metal bending skills on the easier transmission mount in preparation for the more complicated aft engine mount. From the drawing on page 17, you'll see I wanted to make a tubular brace running between the top of the rubber mount, up to the corner of the aft cylinder head. That was the only place where there were bosses on the engine that could serve to mount the engine, without getting in the way of the jack shaft. The challenge was creating a bracket that would pick up the four bosses that lay in three different planes. I played around with cardboard templates for several days before I finally settled on a design I liked and transferred it to some more 3/16" plate.



Once again, pre-planning the bends was crucial because I needed to leave at least 30mm of material on either side of each bend in order for my bender to work properly. I also needed to make three separate bends which couldn't interfere with each other nor the bender:



After the bends were made, only then could I trim off the excees steel to begin shaping the part:



Here's the bracket fully formed and drilled:



And here's how it fits on the engine:



The next step is to cut two steel DOM tubes (an upper and a lower) to bridge the space between the new engine bracket and the steel plate I formed earlier that rests on top of the rubber mount. Here's a mock up of the lower tube for a visual:

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ericjon262
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Report this Post05-18-2013 11:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ericjon262Send a Private Message to ericjon262Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

man, I wish I had your shop... lol!

mounts look great! If I don't got the custom cradle route, I'm going to pick up a 88 cradle and make all new mounts for my 3500 F23, you pictures have given me a couple of ideas! thanks!

------------------
we're in desperate need of a little more religion to nurse your god-like point of view...

Built not bought... Because bolt-ons don't.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/119122.html

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fieroguru
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Report this Post05-18-2013 08:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:




I need to get me some of these press dies.

Keep up the good work!

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jetsnvettes2000
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Report this Post05-18-2013 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetsnvettes2000Send a Private Message to jetsnvettes2000Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


I need to get me some of these press dies.

Keep up the good work!


I was just thinking the same thing! I know it will work since I have the same press lol!

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RCR
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Report this Post05-18-2013 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RCRClick Here to Email RCRSend a Private Message to RCREdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jetsnvettes2000:


I was just thinking the same thing! I know it will work since I have the same press lol!


Ditto for me...

Bob

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post05-19-2013 08:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Everything looks great Blooz. First rate fabrication techniques as always.

Starting the body work soon? Holy smokes, I need to get my chassis mods finished to catch up. Been busy designing the new ferry in 3D for production developement. Its funny.... a 400 passenger ferry is 1000 times easier to model than a 2 passenger car.

When you get a chance, could you send me your final measurements for front and rear track width.

Edit: typo

[This message has been edited by Yarmouth Fiero (edited 05-20-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-20-2013 02:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Woowhoo! I'm visitor number 75,000 to my thread. Cool!

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Sage
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Report this Post05-20-2013 08:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Mounts look awesome! Guess that makes me 75,001!

HAGO!

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-23-2013 10:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for your comments everybody... they keep me encouraged! I don't have a lot to report this time except that I cut and tacked the tubular braces to the aft engine mount after measuring everything six times, re-aligning the engine and cradle a dozen times (because I suffer from OCD), and finally committed them to the welder. Here's the aft engine mount (I'm very happy with the way it turned out):



And here's the aft transmission mount. I added a small gusset to give it additional side to side strength:



And here's what both look like on the cradle:



For the front mount (not shown), I also needed to drill access holes in the bottom of the front crossmember so that I could slip a socket wrench up inside to reach the nuts that hold the bottom half of the rubber mount to it. No biggie, just thought I'd mention it. Next up is to bolt all the mounts and brackets to the engine and lower it back onto the cradle, then, hope that all my laser levelling and squaring up will pay off.

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bubbajoexxx
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Report this Post05-24-2013 09:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bubbajoexxxClick Here to visit bubbajoexxx's HomePageClick Here to Email bubbajoexxxSend a Private Message to bubbajoexxxEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

with all the work on the brackets I hope you will be powder coating them

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BlackEmrald
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Report this Post05-25-2013 01:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlackEmraldClick Here to Email BlackEmraldSend a Private Message to BlackEmraldEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

One thing I noticed on your welds is that you stop on the corners. I know its too late now, but you should really try to weld around the corners. It will make it much much stronger. When I weld a long bead I usually stop every inch and a half or so anyway, so welding around the corners is even more critical for me.

Also, what kind of corrosion protection are you planning on all the fabricated parts? You should be thinking about internal and external protection. They may great stuff for the collision repair industry that is designed to replace the factory no-co, which is top notch. I'm not sure on brands, but I think 3M is one.

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Sage
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Report this Post05-25-2013 09:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SageClick Here to Email SageSend a Private Message to SageEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Both good points made above^.

That's one of the things that's great about this forum...through input from many sources (mind-pooling ) a project that was ok, can be made good, one that is good can be made great and one that was great to start with (like this one) can be made absolutly, mind blowing, jaw droping fantastic! Mounts look good to me but both suggestions above would make them even better IMHO.

Again, awesome progress.

HAGO!

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-25-2013 10:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for your interest Bubbajoe... to be honest, I haven't quite decided which way I'm going to go with refinishing the mounts and the cradle. Yarmouth Fiero suggested I get them galvanized, but I don't think it's really necessary for what's going to be a fair weather car. Powder coating seems like a better alternative, but then I live in the country and the nearest powder coater is about 1.5 hours away in Halifax... that'd be 3 hours return to drop it off and another 3 hours return trip once done. More likely, I'll talk to my local automotive "paint-shop-extraordinaire" and see what choices are available a little closer to home.

As for the welding BlackEmrald, I appreciate the tip. It's something that anyone who knows how to weld, knows to do, but in the heat of the moment (pun intended) sometimes overlooks.

For Sage, I couldn't agree more... I would not have ever dreamt about installing a Northstar in a Fiero if it weren't for those who did it before me on this forum. I gathered many ideas from reading other member's build threads, taking all the best from them and adding my own mix to what I believe is a continuing improvement of the Fiero's potential. It'll be exciting to see how future build threads will make this one seem prehistoric!

For today's update, I assembled the three mounts to the engine and transmission, then set up the hoist to lower the whole assembly onto the cradle with the mounts taking all the weight for the first time. I was really happy with my estimate on how much the rubber mounts would compress since the engine sits perfectly level, and within 2 mm's of the total height I was hoping to achieve. The bottom of the oil pan ends up about 8 mm higher than the lowest part of the cradle, and I was aiming for 10 mm's. It's better this way since I can always shim the mounts higher much easier than I could have shaved the mounts if it had been the other way! Here it is with the wheels mocked up for fun:

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post05-25-2013 04:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Looks great Blooz. I can't tell on my phone but I assume the wheels are in the right direction. However, if your were truely OCD like me, the engine would be orientated correctly in relation to the car body which is out of view in this shot. ha-ha-ha

Seriously, great job on the cradle

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post05-25-2013 04:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

My tires aren't uni-directional, and nobody else except you knows where my car is in relation to this photo, so

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post05-25-2013 05:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thorough answer as always Blooz.

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northeastfiero
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Report this Post06-06-2013 02:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for northeastfieroClick Here to Email northeastfieroSend a Private Message to northeastfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Hi, would you mind if I used your hard work on the suspension setup on my build. I think it could work quite well with the extra space I have here is a photo of where I am at the moment.



Thanks Carl

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-06-2013 06:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I remember reading your thread a while back, though I must admit I haven't visited it lately. It looks like a great, unique, build. If you can make use of my design in your chassis, feel free. For it to work properly, you'll have to try to match the locations of the various suspension pivot points, relative to each other, as closely as you can to my drawings. If you need some more details, just PM me.

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-06-2013 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

With the engine mounted to the cradle, I figured it would be a good idea to test fit it into the engine bay to make sure things lined up as planned. Of course that meant spending some "quality time" sitting in the confines of the engine bay with high speed cutting tools slinging sharp metal filings all over the place. At least there's a little more room in there with the 3" stretch:



Before test fitting the engine and cradle, I wanted to clean up the engine bay by removing a bunch of parts: some I wouldn't need, and others would just be in the way. For starters, the Northstar engine impedes on some of the real estate that the Fiero torque strut mount occupies, so that meant removing it entirely. I started drilling out the spot welds that held it to the strut tower with a relatively large drill bit to get the diameter I needed:



But the spot welds are pretty irregularly shaped so the drill bit just couldn't complete the job. I also used a high speed carbide burr to enlarge the holes in whatever direction I needed to get the welds to let go:



I still had a bear of a time getting the mount out but it finally succumbed with just minor damage to other parts:



After fighting the strut mount for about an hour, I decided to do something easier like removing a bunch of small brackets and the insulation material from the firewall. There's still a bunch more to remove though:

[This message has been edited by Bloozberry (edited 06-07-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-09-2013 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

...and I thought the torque strut mount was tough. Holy cow... anyone that tells you removing the old hinge boxes is easy, is either being sarcastic or doesn't know what the hell they're talking about. I can't believe how long I struggled to get those damned things off. Whoever designed the program that spot welded them in clearly wasn't thinking down the road about us tinkerers, because the welds holding them to the bottom of the rear window sill aren't accessible with a drill, grinder, cut-off wheel, or any other tool known to man. I finally got them off but it's a good thing I don't have a swear-jar in the shop. It's also a good thing that I'm replacing the lower half of the rear window sill with some rectangular steel tubing like Yarmouth Fiero did in his build thread. Mine now looks more like a piece of Swiss cheese that someone took a chainsaw to!

Here's the rest of the hardware I removed from the firewall:



It seems nothing was going to come easy today because after that struggle, I attempted to remove the fuel filler tube. Anyone trying this in the future should be warned ahead of time to make sure both rubber lines are taken off of the bottom end otherwise the tube simply won't pass through the hole in the lower firewall. And taking off the rubber tubes... that should take, what? Two or three minutes? Multiply that by 20. Those rubber hoses are so well attached to the metal tubes that I'm convinced the glue that holds the heat shields on the Space Shuttle couldn't do a better job.

Anyways, after way more time than I want to admit, the engine bay was finally cleared of anything that might potentially get in the way of my first engine test fit. Obviously the sheet metal still needs to be plugged and sanded and painted, but that's for another day.



I got busy raising the rear end using the approach that's worked for me time and again: two floor jacks and a 6" X 6". I'm always careful to raise both sides evenly and have back up jack stands under the 6 X 6 just in case one of the jacks fails.



Lots of people roll the cradle under the car from behind, but I've found that rolling it in through a wheel well means you don't have to raise the car quite as high in the air. I measured the highest point on the engine at 31.5" while the cradle was resting on some wheel skates. That meant I only needed to raise the car high enough such that the lower frame rail was about 32" above the ground, in line with where the axle normally passes.

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Yarmouth Fiero
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Report this Post06-10-2013 05:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Yarmouth FieroClick Here to Email Yarmouth FieroSend a Private Message to Yarmouth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Great job stripping the firewall of excess metal parts. Yours looks alot better than mine at this point. I'm embarrassed as to how mine ended up and whenever I take pics now of the car, I try to avoid any clear shots of the firewall.

Thank god its going to get covered up with insulation and cladding.

If anyone ever wonders how these chassis stay together with a few random spot welds of the sheet metal, try taking one apart.

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fieroguru
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Report this Post06-10-2013 08:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Blooze, I think your meticulous nature, which is a great attribute about 99% of the time, was holding you back on this "demo" portion of the build. My opinion is it is OK to destroy the part you are removing with no intentions of putting it back on, to speed up the removal process. I have removed 3 sets of the decklid hinge boxes and probably 9-10 dogbone brackets and they come out much, much quicker if you cut them into smaller individual pieces during the removal process. This allows you to have better access to the spot welds and can bend/twist the small sections to fatigue the remaining portion of the spot weld.

For all the metal tabs on the firewall, use tin snips to cut the bracket in half right in the center, then grab it with some pliers and rotate/spin the bracket around the spot weld, the bracket will fold up on itself and will pull itself free of the spot weld and "usually" leaves the weld on the firewall. Then the remnants of the weld just need to be ground down.

The fuel filler tube can be removed/installed with the hoses still on the end, but you need to rotate the bends to a specific position so they will slide in and out. The downside is the hoses are either glued together or 30+ years of close contact/vibration have attached them so that when you separate the hoses (so they can be rotated) you will expose fibers on the hoses. With the filler tube out, it is much easier to just cut off the old hoses and replace with new once the filler tune is back in the car.

Great job as always, but I had to give you a little grief for being too tidy with your demo process!
Your removed pile should be messier and show more destruction...

[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 06-10-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-10-2013 12:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:
Blooze, I think your meticulous nature... was holding you back on this "demo" portion of the build...


LOL. Hit the nail on the head with that one Paul.

 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:
For all the metal tabs on the firewall, use tin snips to cut the bracket in half right in the center, then grab it with some pliers and rotate/spin the bracket around the spot weld, the bracket will fold up on itself and will pull itself free of the spot weld and "usually" leaves the weld on the firewall. Then the remnants of the weld just need to be ground down.


Dohhhh! Now where were you when I could have actually used this advice? Now rather than simply grinding off excess metal, I've got to fill the holes with the welder and then grind them! You see... that's why you're actually driving your car and I'm still putzing around.

 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:
...the hoses are either glued together or 30+ years of close contact/vibration have attached them so that when you separate the hoses (so they can be rotated) you will expose fibers on the hoses.


You have no idea how long I tugged, twisted, and yanked on that big fuel hose before realizing it was fused to the smaller one. They were like conjoined twins sharing some vital organ. I tried to save both but killed them in the process. Notice there are no neat tidy pictures of the fuel hoses.

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cptsnoopy
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Report this Post06-10-2013 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Bringing back "fond" memories Dave!😮😬😮
It was while I was was grinding down the welds of the torque mount that I caught my garage on fire 😜
Good luck with the test fit! 👍😃👍

Charlie

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-10-2013 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Charlie! Don't say things like that! Geesh... are you trying to jinx me?

Well today I lined up the cradle with the wheel well opening...



... and rolled it under it's new home (for now):



Things were looking pretty good as I lowered the car back down...



But then I hit a snag. The extensions that the PO welded to the chassis cradle mounts (extending them 3" rearward) are tubular rather than just "ears" like the OEM mounts:



The "floor" of the tubular extensions force me to have the cradle sitting about 2" further aft while lowering the car in order to allow the cradle to be shoved forward into the ends of the tubular extensions. The trouble is that initially having the cradle 2" further back causes the rear valve cover to interfere with the trunk wall before I can lower the car enough to shove the cradle forward into the extensions (see arrow):



In this picture, to line up the front of the cradle so it can be shoved into the extensions, the car would have to come down another 5-6 inches, however I only have about one inch left before the trunk wall contacts the valve cover at the rear. I think I'll try cutting part of the the floor out of the extensions to make them more like the OEM ears. That should allow me to shove the cradle forward and have the cradle rise up through the bottom of the tubes rather than having to be inserted from the ends. Hopefully that'll give me the additional clearance in the back.

I'm starting to look at that passenger strut tower though... it's the next thing that is going to cause troubles...

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carbon
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Report this Post06-11-2013 01:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just finished reading through this thing... dayum.

I hope I win the lottery some day so I can do things like this too...

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-12-2013 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks Carbon... although you don't need to win the lottery if you spread the payments over many, many years like this project!

After looking at my setup for an hour or so and seeing several other clearance problems in the engine bay, I decided to figure out why my bay seems to need more mods than others who've done Northstar swaps before me. Then it dawned on me that I've shoved my engine over to the passenger side more than most to get the clearance between the F40 transmission and the lower frame rail. (I believe most Northstar swappers have used Getrags which are probably less long than the F40.) By doing so, my already-larger-than-stock aft valve cover interferes more with the passenger side strut tower. Then to worsen the interference with the tower, I've lowered the entire chassis onto the cradle by 1" more than stock meaning that the top of the engine must squeeze into an even tighter space between the towers since they angle inwards.

Luckily that's all fine because I don't need the strut towers with my new suspension design. I can keep the F40 where it's at and not have to notch the lower frame rail, and gain the necessary clearance on the passenger side by removing or cutting back the towers. Nevertheless, I became curious why I hadn't noticed the interference on my drawings but quickly realized I only drew the driver's side of the chassis in most of my drawings, assuming the clearance issues would be similar on the passenger side. Dohh!

The only other clearance issue I can foresee is between the aft valve cover and the forward wall of the trunk in one small area. I don't think other Northstar swappers have had interference with the trunk wall, though I'm not sure how many have the wider CHRFA valve covers. Regardless, it should be an easy fix with a clearance bubble in the sheet metal.

I've redrawn the top view of the engine bay (this time including the passenger side) and shown in green where the two interference areas are.

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zkhennings
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Report this Post06-13-2013 11:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Blooze are you using SolidWorks? How do you measure out all of the complex shapes and curves accurately? I would love to have my car in CAD to play with geometries and fitments but I cannot for the life of me figure out how you are getting such precise measurements. Your build is also very awesome!

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Report this Post06-13-2013 11:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

The only other clearance issue I can foresee is between the aft valve cover and the forward wall of the trunk in one small area. I don't think other Northstar swappers have had interference with the trunk wall, though I'm not sure how many have the wider CHRFA valve covers. Regardless, it should be an easy fix with a clearance bubble in the sheet metal.


madcurl had the same interferance issue and had that corner modified to fit (his might have been less with the engine further to the DS).

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carbon
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Report this Post06-13-2013 12:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:

Blooze are you using SolidWorks? How do you measure out all of the complex shapes and curves accurately? I would love to have my car in CAD to play with geometries and fitments but I cannot for the life of me figure out how you are getting such precise measurements. Your build is also very awesome!


He has stated numerous times that he just uses, get this, Excel with the grid lines set to a set dimension. I don't know how he does it... it's like getting Photoshop results with MS Paint.

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Report this Post06-16-2013 09:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
How do you measure out all of the complex shapes and curves accurately?


Painstakingly... with a laser level, bubble level, several long straight-edge rulers, calipers, a bezillion measurements triangulating everything, and lots of patience. If you looked up close, you'd see hundreds of little pencil marks used as reference and index points all over my frame in addition to the ones laid out in the FSM. It's old school, I know, but it works and it's inexpensive when time is on your side.

 
quote
Originally posted by Fieroguru:
m****** had the same interference issue and had that corner modified to fit (his might have been less with the engine further to the DS).


Thanks Paul... CHRFAB offers two styles of valve covers and the one you posted is different from mine, though perhaps only in the area where the spark plug holes are. Mine have a double-bubble look with a trough running the length of the cover down the middle. Modifying the valve cover is the way to go for those that need to keep the strut towers intact.

Back to the build: So here's where the first problem area was... as I was lowering the car back down over the cradle, I couldn't push the cradle back far enough to get the front mounts into the square extension tubing before the engine would bump up into the trunk wall at the back side. This picture is with the rear trunk wall actually overhanging the engine and the front cradle mounts still wouldn't get past the edge of the square tubing:



So the solution for that problem was simply to cut back the bottom wall of the tubing so I wouldn't have to shove the cradle so far back before being able to lower the car further. This pic is with the cut 3/4's finished:



The next areas were the strut towers. My last post showed how much the passenger side tower interferes with the aft valve cover, so I wanted to remove a portion of both towers at this stage to be able to carry on with the cradle test-fit. Even though I'll probably remove a greater portion of the towers later, I wanted to make nice clean straight, level cuts just in case I changed my mind. There's virtually no way to get a straight line on the compound curves of the tower without a laser level so I first double-checked the level of the car, then set up the laser to give me a line I could trace on the tower. This photo is rather fuzzy because of the low level ambient lighting needed for the camera to capture the laser lines. I only used the vertical line to mark the tower.



I went to make the cuts when my angle grinder decided to pack it in... time for a new one!

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Report this Post06-17-2013 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Wow that does sound painstaking. What do you use for references? Are there parts of the car you consider (for example) along the car's central axis you take measurements in reference to? Then you import a text doc into CAD with the xyz points? And bubble levels geez I would go crazy haha.

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Report this Post06-17-2013 02:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
What do you use for references? Are there parts of the car you consider (for example) along the car's central axis you take measurements in reference to?


I start by mapping the locations and measurements from pages 3J-5 to 3J-8 in the 1988 Body Service manual and use them as a basis for any other measurements and references that I set up on the main frame, and page 2A-3 in the 1988 Service Manual for the cradle.

 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:
Then you import a text doc into CAD with the xyz points?


No... then I sit in front of my computer using it like a high tech Etch-a-sketch and draw out the pieces one by one in three different views. The result is a vector based drawing (not simply a bitmap) which is scalable and easily modified, though has no 3D rendering capability. I would have taken an alternate route had I known I would get into a complete redesign.

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Report this Post06-18-2013 09:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

After marking the cut-line on the strut towers with some masking tape, I got busy with my new 5" grinder and a cut-off wheel... no turning back now!



For the tight spots along the trunk wall, I cut as far as I could with the cut-off wheel and then finished up with a hacksaw:



There was a lot of old undercoating and tar splashed up inside the towers and I almost wasted a couple productive hours trying to clean them about a year ago... good thing I waited because now they're headed for the junk pile.



I was careful to leave the rear tower arches which are structural members joining the upper and lower frame rails, and also interconnect the integral strut tower brace that runs along the trunk wall. Swiss cheese anyone?



I only absolutely needed to remove the LH strut tower for clearance with the engine, but clearly the engine bay would look silly without removing the driver's side one too, so off it came. Here's both parts after the operation:



Finally, an overhead shot showing that it's looking less and less like a Fiero engine bay.



Now I can try fitting the engine/cradle assembly back in to see how much of a headache the trunk wall is going to be. The gaping holes where the towers used to be should help me see where other problem areas are lurking too.

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Austrian Import
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Report this Post06-19-2013 05:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Since you took the strut towers out, are you doing a double wishbone rear suspension now?

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bubbajoexxx
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Report this Post06-19-2013 05:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bubbajoexxxClick Here to visit bubbajoexxx's HomePageClick Here to Email bubbajoexxxSend a Private Message to bubbajoexxxEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Bloozberry:

After marking the cut-line on the strut towers with some masking tape, I got busy with my new 5" grinder and a cut-off wheel... no turning back now!



For the tight spots along the trunk wall, I cut as far as I could with the cut-off wheel and then finished up with a hacksaw:




There was a lot of old undercoating and tar splashed up inside the towers and I almost wasted a couple productive hours trying to clean them about a year ago... good thing I waited because now they're headed for the junk pile.



I was careful to leave the rear tower arches which are structural members joining the upper and lower frame rails, and also interconnect the integral strut tower brace that runs along the trunk wall. Swiss cheese anyone?



I only absolutely needed to remove the LH strut tower for clearance with the engine, but clearly the engine bay would look silly without removing the driver's side one too, so off it came. Here's both parts after the operation:



Finally, an overhead shot showing that it's looking less and less like a Fiero engine bay.



Now I can try fitting the engine/cradle assembly back in to see how much of a headache the trunk wall is going to be. The gaping holes where the towers used to be should help me see where other problem areas are lurking too.


nice job on the removing of the towers will be easy to fill with the cuts you made

[This message has been edited by bubbajoexxx (edited 06-20-2013).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-19-2013 05:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Austrian Import:
Since you took the strut towers out, are you doing a double wishbone rear suspension now?


If you look back to page 14, I started working on the double wishbone rear around August 2012. I went through several iterations before finalizing the design shown on page 16, along with graphs showing the kinematics... so yes... I am planning a double wishbone configuration.

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Report this Post06-19-2013 05:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Bubbajoe... did you forget something in your last post? All I see is my second to last post quoted back without any other comments... strange.

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