Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Waiting Game

April 8 – 13, 2008

I am going to condense the work week into one entry to keep life simpler. I can only get a few minutes here and there during the day and after work is hit or miss.

First the bad news – the Warp 9 is on backorder. It may be until the beginning of June before it arrives, so it is on to other things. The rear cradle is in need of some general repairs and with it at work I can do this as it comes. The short CV joint was actually bad, so it has to go - $60 at Autozone. There is one ball joint that is an original (still has its rivets) and I figure for as cheap as they are ($11) I might as well replace it. One of the transmission mounts was broken and at $9 each, both are being replaced. With all of the stuff off, I can get the cradle thoroughly cleaned and prepped for some fresh paint. I know that with a little internet shopping I can probably beat Autozone prices, but there is the convenience of just going down the street and picking it up versus the waiting game – and if something is wrong, you can take it right back. Parts were ordered and most were installed this weekend. I will finish the upgrades this week.

The other mission of the week was working on a motor adapter. I know I can get on premade for $700-800, but what fun is that. I really believe the cost to make one should not exceed $100 if you have access to tools – and the tools you have will only improve what you make, not change its function. So many people use ½ inch aluminum plate. Some machine it (or have it machined), some just cut it an go with a basic square piece and drill the holes. Since I can weld, I am going for a steel version – ¼ inch plate steel with some type of spacer. I am trying to create a template of sorts for others to use so I spent several days trying to get some accurate numbers. From what I have read, the transmission shaft to motor shaft alignment is key, so I am basing all of my measurements from the center of the transmission. There are only about ten holes that I have to align – it can’t be that hard. I tried a poster board template first – rough cut it, clamp it to the bellhousing, trace and rub the profile and hole locations and measure. I then translated the numbers into Autocad and came up with a first drawing. Print it out and check it, correct and print and check – I was always close, but not close enough. On to Plan B. I had some 1/16 inch plastic – thick enough to not bend, but soft enough that it wasn’t brittle. I took the poster board template and rough cut the plastic. Now I could see what I was doing and made a new template. This was going to work better and next week I will make another plastic on and re-measure and hopefully get the numbers I want to get an accurate drawing. The key to this adapter is not to cut a round plate for the motor, but a hexagon. I am hoping to cut this out of the center if the plate, determine my spacer thickness and just re-weld back to the original plate – that’s the beauty of a theory – it good until proven wrong. Based on my calculations, the ¼” plate will actually be stronger than the ½” aluminum, especially after it is welded into a structure as I am planning to make – more to come….

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