Saturday, 8 October 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly...

Well, it seems that I'd not really thought through the axle-alignment / finessing job. Apparently you need the actual differential unit that's going to be used to make sure that the halfshafts are in the right position.  I'd foolishly assumed that the issue would revolve around the axle tubes themselves rather than the way that all the parts fit together.  The issue with this is that I haven't yet purchased the Quaife ATB diff - and due to the payment of a hefty deposit to secure our wedding venue/date I'm not in a position to do so this month.  Having apologised to Matt at Procomp, he's agreed to postpone the work.  Oops. 

I spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week with Martin Keenan in Rotherham essentially getting an introduction to MIG welding.  I wouldn't say that I was "born to weld" but I seemed to do okay.   My main issue is making sure that I can see the joint properly - it's all about getting my head in the right place.  I laid-down a fair amount of welds over the two days.  Apparently I used over a third of a big bottle of gas; Martin uses roughly the same amount to produce two chassis!

Here's my early practice runs:
These practice pieces were very useful and not only in their intended way.  They also made me realise how much heavier things can get if you have to weld something several times to get it structurally sound.  Right-first-time = lightness.

Anyway, by lunchtime on Day 2, I was producing welds like the two below with reasonable consistency.  They aren't wonderfully pretty but they don't break in the vice.  Result. 

While we all know that a 'bad workman always blames his tools,' Martin made it abundantly clear that a good reliable weld is a result of both man and machine doing what they should.  Unfortunately this means that I need to spend some money on my eBay welder.  
The bearings on the wire feed seem to be shot and as such it can be a bit hit and miss.  When it works though, it does so very well so it's worth sorting out.

In any case, I'm looking forward to getting stuck-in, something that I'll be able to do as my local workshop space is sorted at last.  I'll be in by the end of the month.  I'll make my next blog entry a welding to-do list.

Finally, the front wishbones from Dave at Track Developments are just about there with good levels of adjustment, more than sufficient freedom of movement and of course the intended geometry.
One needs to ignore the unnecessarily long bolts, odd spacers saving nyloc nuts (we are in a time of austerity after all!) and upside-down damper (borrowed.)