Sunday, 28 July 2013

10CR Preparations part 2

(Or tackling the last job from the aftermath of the 2011 edition of the 10CR ...)
I finally got round to changing the damaged front anti roll bar. The powder coating on this was badly damaged, which in its own might not be enough to justify the work involved. But as the tracking had suffered slightly from the accident (so had to be reset anyway) and I didn't want to be reminded of the incident in years to come, the decision was easy! (this is how it looked once removed).

The actual job of removing and refitting the front anti roll bar is pretty straightforward. But in my case I adapted it all a bit with a stiffening plate and a homemade anti-dive-kit, making removal and refitting a little bit tricky. Also putting the clamps and the retaining washers over the freshly coated anti-roll-bar without damaging the coating, was a bit of a nightmare which took much longer than expected.
But the biggest problem yesterday was the weather. First the temperatures rose to a very humid 30ºC before plummeting down 10ºC during a fierce thunderstorm, reaching well over 30ºC again soon after that. Needless to say I needed lots of breaks to wipe the sweat from my eyes and to refill my body's fluid levels. All those breaks off course meant lots of small things wore forgotten, so more time wasted to rectify them ...

As said the actual removal and refitting of the anti-roll-bar is pretty straight forward, as long as you do it correctly. Most people jack up the car, put axle-stands to support the body and remove the wheels. After which they start the struggle to remove and refit the anti-roll-bar's ends from the track control arms. And there's only one reason for this struggle. Due to the suspension being at full droop there's a fair amount of tension on the anti-roll-bar. You can try to get the ends closer together with ratchet straps or even hydraulic pull cylinders, but it is far easier to use two trolley-jacks.

After securing the front of the car with axle-stands and removing the wheels, the trolley jacks are placed underneath both the suspension struts, at a right angle with the car's axis. Now you jack up both ends of the car till you have maximum load on the suspension, so with the body just free from the axle-stands. This results in the track-control-arms being almost horizontal and as such the anti-roll-bar's mounting points sit further apart, making removal and refitting of the anti-roll bar a manual job which doesn't need much strength. Only problem you might encounter is not enough room to fit the rear bushes, retaining washers and nuts. But that depends on the jack's position and the shape of the lifting plateau. In my case no problems there.

Remains a check of the wheels alignment, hopefully I will be able to make an appointment to have that checked soon ...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

10CR Preparations part 1

With the start of the 10CR less than 50 days away it was time to start preparing the chosen car for the event, the DHC. But first she needed a new valuation for the insurance. The valuator (same guy who did the valuation after the restoration three years ago) was positively surprised by the new paint job, and how well the car had "aged" despite three trips to the Alps. And this showed in cars new value ! And the insurance as ever were rather quick to change the insurance policy! With this administrative job done, it was time to start on the car itself.

First job was fitting some extra equipment, like a pair of drink bottle cages. First wanted to fit them somewhere on or near the B-posts. But in the end I thought this location would be much better...

Also fitted a map-light-magnifier, to aid navigation on the night time section through France, on the first and longest stage of the event, together with an invaluable pen(cil)holder to prevent loose pens all over the foot wells ...

And while checking the fuel gauge I found out why part of the instrument panel was not illuminated. One of the bulbs had decided to pack up, but not before overheating badly and melting part of the green cover. Clearly something wrong with this bulb as the other covers were in perfect condition despite their bulbs (with the same Wattage) having seen much more action in the past three years ...

The fuel gauge turned out to be OK, so next item to check is the tank sender, but for that I'll first have to drive the car for a few more kilometres to get the tank a bit more empty ...

Another item on the to-do-list was some maintenance to the leather seats. This had been postponed several times because I hate the job, as it's rather boring and time consuming applying hide food with a cloth or a brush. But over the past few weeks I have been searching for better and easier options, which in the end I found in the shape of a spray bottle of Nikwax Leather Restorer. I have been using Nikwax products for my walking boots for years now, but I missed the fact that they also had for other products. And as with all their products it's rather easy to apply, spray on, wait a few minutes, wipe of excessive product, ready. Covering the car's interior to prevent overspray took longer. Some shots before, during and after treatment ...

Remaining list of things to do;
• Get some more miles on the new gear box;
• Fit banded steel wheels with new tyres;
• Get the fuel gauge working, now looking for another tank sender;
• Check back axle bearings;
• Fit new front anti-roll-bar and check alignment;
• Fit new badges/stickers;
• General service;
• Connect map light magnifier and fit some extra interior lights.
I have started on the last item on the list, fitting some extra lights to aid retrieval of dropped items from the foot wells in the dark. For this I will be using small green LED's which will be strategically placed to illuminate the foot wells and the glovebox. The ones in the steering column shroud fitted already ...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Back axle version 1.2

I should have been away on a walking trip to Süd Tirol now, but sadly we had to postpone that. Hopefully we will get another chance in the second half of September. Decided not to return to work immediately but start with some preparations on the cars. Over the past few months I have been toying with the various options for locating the anti roll bar to the new back axle set-up for 't Kreng. Initial plan was to use adapted upper links for all four parallel links, but that left me without mounting points for the anti-roll-bar. But there were a few available options, and the following options have been studied;

1. The anti-roll-bar mounted against the rear bulkhead above the back axle, with drop links from the end of the anti-roll-bar to the back axle. This was hampered by lack of space between anti-roll-bar ends and the underside of fuel tank. Also problems with the routing of the exhaust;
2. The same as above but with the anti-roll-bar mounted underneath the back axle. Here there were clearance problems with again the exhaust and the propshaft;
3. The anti-roll-bar fitted behind the back axle, underneath the spare-wheel-well with mounting points either on top or below the back axle. In both cases there might be issues with the exhaust;

So in the end I decided to model the original lower links and rear anti-roll-bar in AutoCad to see if that set up could be adapted and used. But first I had to find a spare set of lower links, which in the end I found hidden somewhere in the shed. I got them many years ago from a friend, but never used them as they are of the earlier (4-speed) type, thus lacking the bump stop at the rear to prevent the axle from twisting upwards under power.

And after taking some measurements on one of the lower links and a spare anti-roll-bar I was able to model them on the computer ...

As you can see adapting the lower links to accept rose joints should be rather straightforward. This is of course helped by the fact that they won't get the loads from the springs as these are already fitted directly to the back axle. And with everything "fitted" it was time to load everything up in the main file to see how the clearance is. Especially the clearance between the anti-roll-bar and the back axle's stiffening plate, and between anti-roll-bar and the Panhard rod are crucial.

Clearly visible is the fact that clearance between anti-roll-bar and Panhard rod is fine, although I think in real life it might be a little less. Well pleased with that as it makes life a lot easier because I can work from a (well) known suspension set up, and don't have to try out all sorts of (custom ) made anti-roll-bars.
And with that sorted it is time to start with preparing the DHC for this year's edition of Club Triumphs 10 Countries Run, which will be run in early September.