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hotrodders.com: Project Journals: Bob Heine's Journal
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View Bob Heine's profile Entries: 40
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06-13-2011 08:36 AM Baby Steps
I bought a few pieces of steel angle and square tubing from Home Depot many months ago. Started wiith a couple of pieces of 1" angle but it just didn't look any stronger. Bending a piece of flat stock looked even worse. Finally, looking at the 1" square tubing, I thought I might be able to fabricate a bridge to strengthen the mount. I cut a 3.5" piece and removed 45-degree wedges from each end. Hacksawed a little clearance for the shock from the center and drilled two holes. Top is where it started and bottom is the finished bridge. My vast background in fabrication enabled me to get one of these done in less than three hours. Let's see, measure four times, double check, measure again, make one cut - repeat process for each additional cut and then go to work with grinders, files and sanding wheels. Measure and mark holes, drill a pilot hole and then use a step drill to enlarge for 3/8" bolt -- followed by a little more filing.

Looks like it may help strengthen the mounting point.

A little welding, grinding and paint (paint seems to make my welds look a little better.


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  [Entry #40]

06-13-2011 08:23 AM Remedial Fabrication
As part of the front suspension upgrade, I wanted to replace the 39-year-old springs and 30-year-old shocks. I also want to eventually replace the iron cylinder heads with aluminum (along with a hydraulic roller cam). That means the ride height will be up for grabs. Forgetting air bags, the obvious solution is an adjustable coilover setup. Already replaced the upper control arms with lightweight tubular pieces. I did that for the extra caster to go with the rack & pinion setup. QA-1 sells a coilover conversion that bolts right on the stock suspension so that's what I chose. Took the lower control arms off and removed the ball joints and bushings. Cleaned, sandblasted and did some grinding on them so when the coilovers arrived I thought I was ready to go.

It looks like a simple bolt on. All you have to do is remove the welded nuts from the shock mount locations and enlarge the holes to accept the QA-1 mount. I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy so the mounting location looked a little flimsy to me. That just doesn't look like adequate support for the weight of one corner of the car.

The QA-1 kit comes with fine-thread mounting bolts and nyloc nuts. I didn't want to use that hardware until the actual install so I used a couple of coarse-thread 3/8" bolts for mock-up. Even from the bottom, this just looks like trouble.


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  [Entry #39]

11-12-2010 06:34 AM Bracing and more Cooling
To install the upper control arms, the power steering pump had to come out again and the fuel pump on the other side of the engine had to be removed as well. As long as I had taken those things off to upgrade the upper control arms, may as well add a brace between the suspension towers. These bars don't fit if you have the stock fan and shroud so it kinda goes along with the electric fan upgrade.

As I got ready to finish the power steering/hydroboost system, decided to add a cooler. Made a couple of brackets from some Home Depot angle aluminum and attached the cooler to the front crossmember through existing holes. This B&M cooler has ½-inch NPT fittings so I adapted them to AN -6. Using the same braided stainless Teflon hose as in the rest of the system.

While I had the catalog open, also ordered the hose and fittings for an add-on transmission fluid cooler, mounted in front of the radiator. This TCI cooler has -6 female connections so it only required -6 couplers (one straight and one 90-degree).


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  [Entry #38]

11-12-2010 06:29 AM Cooling Off
Big block Corvettes need all the cooling help they can get so I decided on some upgrades. First upgrade was to the electric fans on the radiator. I originally installed the dual 12" fans using straps and they hung about an inch from the radiator. Without a shroud that's not very efficient. Ordered a shroud from Cool Craft and the fans fit the shroud perfectly.

The shroud also fit the radiator perfectly. Unfortunately the driver side fan hit the upper control arm bushing. Aside from the interference, the stock upper control arms don't allow more than 2.5-degrees caster adjustment and the Steeroids system recommends 5-degrees. Installed a pair of lightweight tubular control arms and of course it didn't fix the fan problem.

I was able to cut both sides of the fan blade rim and was able to get it to fit. You can see the drastic difference in the thickness of the fan in the background compared to the one In the foreground.



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  [Entry #37]

11-12-2010 06:23 AM Power Steering Pump Mods
Been months since I posted anything. Work on the car continues but it's all the small stuff.

Looked to me like you can cut off the brazed tube and put two bungs side by side in the center of the pump.

When you try to install a 90-degree fitting on the rear bung, it hits the block (should have seen that with the amount of adjustment in the bracket). Went back to the drawing board for this design. Cut off and tapped the bung that wouldn't work and added another.




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  [Entry #36]

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