Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More new tools!  Snap-on 4mm-8mm hex bit sockets. 

I ordered a sight glass (damn you Jimmy!), but I'm not sure if I'm going to use it.  It would be very practical, but the new coolant reservoir will look better without it.

I made another fixture to turn the OD of the hemispheres.

Chamfered for better weld penetration.

Bill Lewis welded up one of the pieces.  I need to grind the weld flush before it gets welded into the sphere.  This will be the coolant inlet at the top of the reservoir.

I also made this piece on my lathe.  It will get welded to the threaded cap, then press into the Billet Specialties cap cover.  With this piece, I no longer have to weld directly to the Billet Specialties piece.

After welding, this will go back in the lathe for a little more work.

A few weeks ago I finally got an EZPass.  Of course I can't leave anything alone, so I painted it black.

Now I've taken it too far.  I cut a piece of black vinyl film to stick inside the windshield, which will black out the whole area. 

Strategically located so I can't even see it from the driver's seat.

EZPass... OCD style!

Monday, January 28, 2013

New tools!  Ridgid 18", 12", and 8" pipe wrenches and a Williams USA 35mm deep impact socket.

I got some new putty to try - Evercoat Quantum1.  It is supposed to spread and sand better than the Evercoat Rage Extreme I have been using, and offer better corrosion resistance.

This week I have been working on my coolant reservoir.  This is the plastic stock piece I will be replacing.  The plan is to build approximately the same thing from aluminum, but with minor changes for a cleaner look.

Here are the purchased pieces - a threaded cap for the top, a Billet Specialties cap that matches my other reservoirs, a -6 AN fitting for the inlet, and a -10 AN fitting for the outlet.

I started by making some mounting bosses that will be welded to the car (steel) and to the reservoir (aluminum).   The steel pieces will weld through the side of the strut tower, in approximately the same spot as the original mounts.  The bolts will come in through the wheel well.

To make the steel inserts, I made a flat-bottom drill bit and turned them on the lathe.

I ordered two aluminum hemispheres from Wagner:

I had to drill holes in each end. I didn't want to clamp the thin-wall pieces directly in the chuck, I wanted to clamp them axially.  Here is what I came up with...

The closest piece I had to the diameter was an old brake rotor.  So I mounted it in the chuck and bored it so the spheres were a tight fit.

Then I drilled and tapped some holes, and cut a hole in a plate.


hole drilled

Everything is just about ready for welding!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I had to replace the door lock mechanism in my Rabbit today, which requires removing the outer door skin!  There are 20 bolts that hold it in place, and you have to be careful not to damage the panel, but it makes access pretty easy.

The $115 offending piece:

The lower three sections of the driver side are puttied and sanded to 80 grit, I need to touch them up with 150-220 grit then they're ready for primer.  I can't spread bondo any higher because I need to weld some mounts near the top of the strut tower this week.

Next step: build a new coolant reservoir!  That's what the weld-in mounts will be for.  This is the old plastic reservoir and mounting bracket.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I've been making progress, but the pictures all look the same!  I finally sprayed some primer and decided to make an update.

More bondo on the passenger side of the engine compartment...

Evercoat Tiger Hair for the first coat, to go over welds and seams.

Ready for primer

DP40LF epoxy primer.  It's not perfect, but it's getting closer!   The strut tower piece needs work - I knew it would, I rushed it so I could spray outside on the 60ยบ weekend.

Here are two "before" pictures of the passenger side.  It's come a long way!

The drivers side is up next.  Here are some "before" shots.

Let the bondo begin!