Sunday, November 30, 2014

I decided to use an interior shop called Love's Trim.  He's a VW specialist and does excellent work, much better than any of the local shops I've checked out.  The only wrinkle in this plan - he's located in Georgia!  This weekend I made arrangements to meet a guy named Jack in Hagerstown, Maryland on his route from CT to GA.  He was making the trip for his interior, so I gave him some cash to haul my stuff as well!

I was so glad to get this stuff out of my way.  I had un-boxed most of the interior over the last few weeks in preparation, and I didn't even have room to work!

I borrowed a friend's motorcycle trailer to keep everything dry on the trip down.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but managed to achieve 10.5 MPG all the way down and back.

Fro rode along.  We left at 7:30pm on Black Friday.

We met Jack in a Walmart parking lot at about 1:15am.  Not sketchy at all.

Jack was rocking a MK4 Golf pulling a Uhaul trailer.  The photo is a little dark, but this thing was PACKED.  He had 8 interiors in there!

Back to work.  I'm walking the line between "detail oriented" and "clinically insane" on this fan shroud.  I decided to add a few strips on the bottom of the flat area, and of course I couldn't leave the corners sharp!


Drilled and clamped with Clecos:

Plug welded through the 1/8" Cleco holes:


I have to add a clearance radius around the radiator inlet and outlet hoses, but I need to get a new radiator first.  I'm not going to re-use this one, it's pretty old and has evidence of leakage.

I started shaving the radiator support.  I'm going to use the original steel "North American" spec rad support, which has a lot of extra holes.

20ga steel filler:


Ground.  I'm about halfway done filling the holes, then I'm going to re-shape the top section.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I did a little more work on my fan shroud this weekend.  I started thinking about it, and couldn't remember exactly when I started building this thing.  I knew it had been a while, but I started digging to find some actual dates.  It started on April 29, 2010 as a few emails with my friend Chris D'Eramo debating the design details, then I uploaded this picture on May 1!  I started this piece 4-1/2 years ago.  My sheet metal skills have definitely improved since then, so I've revisited some of the construction.

When I left off, I had finished the fan mounts, but they were still not welded to the plate.

They closed up a little bit during my last welding operations, so I had to straighten them out a little bit!

Fast forward a few steps - the fan mounts are welded into the plate and all of the welds are ground.  To minimize distortion, I laid a bunch of ugly, cold MIG tacks and ground them smooth.  I originally wanted to have Bill Lewis TIG it up, but I wouldn't be able to manage the distortion on such a thin, flat plate.

The big wide open areas looked a little too plain, so I decided to add some ribs to break it up.  The plan is partially shown here in white paper.

I'm getting greedy now, shearing sheet metal to 3 decimal places!  Each piece is tailored to the width and taper in each leg of the fan blades.  If I cut all 8 the same, the proportions would be off on the legs that are slightly wider or slightly narrower than the average.

I also made some round plates for the center of the fan mounts, just to add something to break up the big flat surface.  I needed two 3" diameter 18ga steel plates, so I cut them into octagons in the shear and rounded them off in my lathe.

To bend the ribs to their shape, I cut a wood fixture.  Every once in a while I get to use my first real hammer - this Stanley steel-reinforced claw hammer was a gift for my 9th birthday!

I pressed each of the 8 ribs to match the curvature of the fan mount legs.  I guessed pretty close on the amount of over-bending required, they all fit pretty well.  You can see the desired radius marked on the lower wooden plate, it's slightly wider than the radius cut into the fixture.

Fast foward a few steps, I mounted each of them in their spot and drilled for Cleco clamps.  I'm going to plug weld these in place to preserve the edges.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I finished building my fuel tank this weekend.  I assembled the Aeromotive Phantom in-tank pump setup, which is a pretty nice piece.  I'm also using a JAZ level sensor.

The Aeromotive pump setup includes its own foam and rubber baffle setup, which makes the tank fabrication much simpler.  It even includes a fixture to stuff the foam into the tank without cutting it on the sharp edges.

All buttoned up with stainless fasteners and gaskets.  I'm waiting on a few -6 O-ring boss plugs before I can pressure test the assembly, but I'm sure it will be fine.

I made this fan shroud a few years ago, and I'm finally getting back to it.  I decided to clean it up a little bit.  Previously the beams or legs were open on the inside, but I decided to close them in.

I got it a little too hot during the welding, and the entire thing shrunk and puckered up!

I cut it back apart, ground all of the welds, and straightened out the flat panel.  The next step is to weld the panel to the fan mounts.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I officially finished all of the brake lines and hydraulic lines this weekend.  I had to finish one bend and flare for the right rear brake line, and I also added a few P-clamps.

The old P-clamps were mounted a little higher, these ones are closer to the bend.

I also added P-clamps to all of the 3/8" hydraulic plumbing.  These are rubber-lined stainless steel, and they mount through an M5 rivnut.

All of the hydraulic lines are done, so I removed them from the car and capped all of the ends.

Speaking of rivnuts, I replaced some more of the factory threaded studs with rivet nuts.  The stock clips and sheet metal nuts don't look very good, now I can use stainless bolts.

I spent a lot of time cleaning up a bunch of old welds under the car.  These were all welded 6-7 years ago, and I'm not real proud of most of them!

Some of them I'm re-welding, others I'm just grinding smooth.

So occasionally Pandora plays this song... and it always seems like the line "the surface shines, while the inside rots" plays at the exact moment I'm doing something I'm not proud of haha.  The last few times have been while I was re-painting some part I didn't rebuild internally, and this time I'm grinding off shitty old porous welds so they look nice.  Fuck you, Rise Against, I'll make my car shiny if I want.

Grinding over your head sucks.  My eyes and lungs are itchy.

I welded a few more patch panels under the car - these are the last ones.  I forgot to take 'before' pictures, but these areas were all smashed up.

I welded one more patch panel in the interior, and I think I'm officially done with patch panels!  Maybe one more in the trunk, but this is about it.

I threw the motor assembly back into the car, because the next steps are going to be bodywork.  I'm starting with the radiator support, I plan to modify it and clean it up a little bit.

I also need to finalize the fuel line routing once I get the fuel rail in place.

Woody and Sr. have made a lot of progress on their trucks.

The shop is clean and showing a lot of progress!