Monday, 26 November 2012

Z-a-p-p, C-r-a-c-k-l-e & P-o-p

The big weld-off with Dave at Track Developments happened as planned this weekend.  Here's the man in question wielding his TIG torch:
The modifications and additions to the chassis are too numerous to even think about listing.  If nothing else, it's unique.  Here it is inverted, with Dave moving too fast for the camera:
If you look really closely you can see the reworked portion at the rear of the tunnel; this is where we had to make changes so that the prop shaft didn't make contact with the chassis.  If it looks a bit lightweight here it's because the photo was taken pre-gussets.

The plan for one evening this week is to crawl all over the chassis with a torch looking for any missed welds. Assuming all is well, I'll give the chassis one last tidy-up before it goes for powdercoating (in grey).

In other news I've been identifying connectors on the loom.  I think I've got three to still find a home for.  Next I need to decide what to get shot of.  There is some really good information on the web relating to the wiring but nobody has removed the bike's relay assembly which I'm really keen to do.  I really don't fancy fault finding amongst that lot.  Therefore I am minded to invest the time now to make it a bit easier later.  This has been my train of thought throughout the chassis mods too.  Let's hope it pays off when it comes to bolting the thing together.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Multiple Trauma

I knew that the centre tunnel was important for providing stiffness.  The theory was proven to be fact when we cut a portion out of it last weekend.

My Gemini is going to run a rear ride height that is about 40-50mm lower than most.  This doesn't sound like all that much perhaps and you might well assume that it should be relatively straightforward to achieve.  However its thrown up a number of problems already and I now have fears about the rear tyres fouling the rear arches.  I've already had to reshape the rear of the car to prevent the panhard rod from interfering with the chassis, or rather the other way around.  Another issue was just around the corner.

The plan for last Saturday was to fabricate the mount for the prop centre bearing and to get the last tabs and sundry bits of steel tacked into place.  

Problem #1:  We couldn't get the prop into the car with the engine in place.  
Thankfully the solution to this was easy - split the prop at the sliding joint.  Happy days, or it would have been except for...

Problem #2.  The rear half of the prop is too long.  We have no idea if the issue was the measurement or the manufacture as I've lost the sketch.  Annoying but not the end of the world as the remedy should be pretty cheap and quick.  So all is not lost, except...

Problem #3.  Err, the prop looks a bit close to the top of the tunnel, even at ride-height.  Full bump is going to be an issue.  So, we replaced the 'dummy dampers' that have been suspending the axle at ride height with the 'dummy dampers' that suspend the axle at full bump.  Sure enough, it's not going to work.  Why-oh-why-oh-why is nothing straightforward and why-oh-why-oh-why did I start this daft project? 

I had two options.  Either cut-out most of the tunnel and replace it, which would have rendered the nice rear cover that I'd had fabricated absolutely useless or, remove the offending tube and replace it with thick plate and then add gussets to build the strength back in   Assuming that it all goes to plan, we're going to go with the second option.  Dave Gallop is looking after the gussets and fillets when he does the final welding.  It should be fine but it did raise my stress levels a bit.

Once a plan was hatched I then went ahead with all the other planned jobs; essentially the chassis is ready to be finished-up.  Hopefully this will happen by this time next week.

Since the weekend I've started to look at another potential source of stress, that is, the wiring loom.  Ay, Caramba! 


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Another chapter...

Its been a busy time: I've got married (amazing day); I've bought a new house.
It's not all change though as progress on the Gemini has been at its usual sloth-like rate.

I did have a good day on fabrication with Track Developments' Dave Gallop however.  I'll include some photos for my benefit but I don't expect any of them to go viral.  Yawn.

Crotch-strap mounts, devised using the very helpful Schroth website for guidance:

Exhaust mount and tab for the lockwire that will ensure the tailpipe doesn't fall-off:

Front ARB mounts:

Finished front-end showing the angled plates at the top corners that will eventually support the bonnet catches that hold the front bodywork in place:

The chassis to-do list looks like this:

  • Prop Centre Bearing Mount
  • Finish Prop Catcher.
  • Hand Brake Cable Bracket - have the basis of this but needs sand blasting.
  • Earth points

I collected the prop yesterday so this can hopefully be finished-off next week and then all welded up the week later.  I then need to decide whether to powdercoat or paint the chassis.  Hmmmm.