April 21 – 27, 2008
With all of the parts cut and ready to go I double checked my hole placement (with the plastic template) and started drilling. I knew I was within a few thousandths, so I only drilled the holes one size bigger. The first dry fit was good, but the smaller holes (lower side of bell housing) were a strange size. At first I thought metric, then standard. I tapped them for both and was wrong twice (how lucky!). All the other holes were fine and the stock 12mm fit them all. I went with nuts and bolts because of the ¼” plate I used. Those pesky bottom holes were all re-drilled and tapped for 5/16-18 bolts and now everything fit. I installed the flywheel, motor adapter, clutch assembly and guess what???? – it rubbed against my adapter plate. There is a very close tolerance in there between the throw out bearing and adapter plate. Too far in and it rubs internally on the bell housing – too far out and it hits the adapter plate. My solution was to increase the size of the opening on the adapter plate just were it rubbed. I knew the welds would more than cover it up, so back to the grinder. It only took three tries to get it done this time.
Next came the welding. With my motor adapter, 2” bar stock was the perfect size for the spacing. My motor adapter is on the big size, but better safe than sorry. I proceeded to tack weld these pieces to my motor plate first to make a nice hexagon box - so far, so good. I then took and aligned everything to the adapter plate on the bell housing. I figured if I aligned all of the parts a one assembly, clamped and welded it all aligned, it should be aligned. With everything now tack welded, it was time to remove it from the transmission. With everything unbolted I went to pull it off and it was stuck. The passenger CV joint is real close and I did not factor that in. The good news is the CV joint pops right out and I was able to get the whole assembly out and it was time for the good welds. I cranked up the juice on the TIG welded for the ¼” plate and away I went – welding is fun. Only a couple of booboo’s (long welds get hot!). I still am confident that this will be stronger than the ½” aluminum and it is very customized for the application. A good week indeed if I do say so myself – next up, getting it all installed and making the adapter for the other end of the motor. I think I will take the weekend off – ahhhhh.