I have used my own design and construction for most of this project so why not continue the trend and use my brains to work out the steering joints. usually in Oz you have to get stuff that is welded inspected and a shaft for your steering can cost $250, not wanting to spend money I looked at what I had to hand. The Rover I had had a good column, flex coupling and 2 unis. I needed a central uni to snake around the motor so this is what I did.
First I mounted the column and the rack. I used the bottom of another column shaft cut off, reversed and slid the rag coupling onto its splines further up than the original position then cut a new recess for the securing bolt. Next I slid the first universal on to the other end and used the relief cut in the shaft to align the bolt. now I had a strong and most importantly, safe way to connect the shaft to the rack. I then took the two shafts originally used on the Rover and placed them at either end. One spline at the column end with one of the Rover unis and the other went onto the rack end on the newly positioned spline.
I then got the shafts cut to length and reduced in diameter on a lathe so that a single Torana uni could be used in the middle coupling. I also set the self centering bearing on to the lower shaft. You will probably see that there is no rag joint, the temporary measure is to use longer bolts and nuts between them as spacers, this will be replaced soon. The full view picture also shows my foot!! More importantly it shows the relationship between the shafts all done and all it cost me was $25 for the uni and $70 for the turning. NOTE THAT ALL THE JOINTS ARE PHASED, so that there will be no irregular motion in the steering rotation.
First picture is of the adapter plate with the 84 holes I drilled to cut the centre out, next I used a 3mm cut off wheel on the 115mm grinder and went between the holes, tidied it up with a grinding disc and now I have clearance for the starter ring gear. Thats how to cut a big hole when you dont have access to an oxy or a plasma cutter, mmmmm pl****sssssma.
Next pic is of the three spacers and the sigot made up
Last pic is the alignment jig in place but I have to send it back to the machinist to shorten it as I sadded the depth of the spigot instead of subtracting it, so it turned out too long, sh#@ happens I guess!
After some thought a plan of attack was established, I needed to centre the trans and engine as close to perfect as I could. I measured the pitch circle of the Holden converter and drew a triangle on cardboard, then transposed the centre on to the Rover flex plate, the corners of the triangle gave me the centre punch points for the three 3/8 converter bolt holes. I removed the original convertor adaptor from the crank and measured the hole. Next I measured the distance from the engine block face to the convertor bolts on the V6 and subtracted the thickness of the adapter plate and the distance from the Rover flex plate and came up with the distance the converter needed to be from the flex plate which was 16mm. Then I measured the difference between the depth of the converter snout and the bolt face which was 21mm and the depth of the hole which was also 21mm; this gave me the depth of the adapter spigot needed (42mm) the specs for the adapter were worked out as:
Length 42mm, Drilling 20.8mm to 28mm depth
Major diameter 34mm Minor diameter 23.9mm (crank hole size)
I will get this made and then I will sit the trans onto the Rover block with the adapter plate on, bolt up the converter which will centre the converter and then guide me to the drilling locations for the trans case into the adapter plate.(Phew!)
I did some calculations of the RPM per kilometre of my project using the standard Rover 3 speed auto, and found out that I needed to be doing 3500 RPM to do 110 KPH because my diff ratio is 4.35 to one.110 is the usual speed limit in Oz. Not wanting to lose acelleration by dropping diff numbers; I decided to look at options. First I tried a Ford OD but the local fords dont use an AOD - they use a BTR 85LE which is OK unless you need performance parts. After measuring it was too big at the front so back to the drawing board.
I continued my search and came up with a local GM 3800 V6 trans from a Commodore, cheap and plentiful - a 4L60E with the 0.63 overdrive, there is stacks of stuff for this trans so when I start to play with the engine it will be alterable (if thats a word!)
Here is the problem NOBODY makes an adapter for the Rover 3500 engine so I am going to have a go at one myself. I have made adaptors before so I have an idea of how its done. I put a C4 behind a 331 Hemi for a guy two years ago and its going strong still.
So far I have made two templates for the engine and the box, using a common reference point of the crankshaft centreline, I measured the distance from the dowells and the bolt centres. Then I transcribed the measurements onto cardboard and placed the two templates on top of each other using the centre hole and vertical as references. This will ensure the converter is centred in the crank. A bonus was that the snout on the convertor was a neat fit into the crank after the rover adapter was removed, amazing that GM would keep the same size after 40 years!! (The Rover used to be the Buick 215)
Next step is the manufacture of the adapter plate. I have sent the template to the local steel boys who are plasma cutting the outer, and then the inner after I drill the holes . I will post piccies when I get the plate back - stay tuned