Photo # 1 - Well, this isn't how things are supposed to be looking at this stage. When I test fired the engine, it ran nice but I was unable to hold oil pressure for very long. When I dropped the pan I discovered I had run some pretty serious trash through the bottom end of the engine.
Photo # 2 - Here is a shot of the scoring on the front main bearing.
Photo # 3 - And here is a shot of the scoring on the crank journal. Due to the extensive damage to the bottom end, I pulled the motor and dismantled it. I found no evidence of anything coming apart anywhere in the motor and the top end looks clean and fine. So my suspicion is I failed to clean out some oil port, passage, or tube properly and either got sand & grit or some machining shavings into the lower bearings. In any case, I'm doing a basic rebuild using a new block, and new crank. Everything else on the motor will pretty much remain the same.
Photo # 1 - As shown in a prior entry, my acrylic mirror firewall facing was cracked due to flexing of the clutch pedal mounting plate. So I am replacing the acrylic with 1/8" aluminum (3003 alloy). In this photo I have cut the facing to size, drilled the required holes, and am polishing and buffing the surface. This aluminum comes with one side nicely finished and a protective coating of thin plastic film. But it needs to be polished to get a nice shine to it. The aluminum will never match the wow factor of the acrylic, but it will be more durable and maintenance free.
Photos 2 & 3 - A couple shots of the aluminum facing installed. The face is held in place with half a dozen stainless steel screws along with the various items which bolt through the firewall, such as the master cylinders, heater bulk head and throttle cable.
Photo # 1 - Early in the chassis fabrication I set the front and rear axles in approximately the right positions and fairly square to the frame. Now I need to align the front wheels so I have to square up the axles and wheels much more accurately. I do this by first clamping an 8' straight edge (normally used for cutting drywall) across the bottom of the frame rails. I then use a square to position the straight edge exactly perpendicular to the frame and clamp it solidly in place.
Photo # 2 - I can then go from side to side and move the front tires forward or backward with my 4 - bar system until the tires/wheels are an equal distance from the straight edge and thus in line with each other and the axles will be in their proper location. I can also alight the front wheels by placing a square against the straight edge and then adjusting the tie rod ends until both tires are perpendicular to the straight edge (and thus, parallel with the frame and with each other). I also use the 4-bar system to set 6 degrees of caster in both front axles.
Photo # 3 - I then use the straight edge and a tape measure to adust the rear axle until it is square to the frame. [Note: the tape is stretched tight to do these measurements]. These setting should be accurate enough to get me on the road until I can have my local alignment shop put it on the machine and get everything dialed in to perfection.
Photo # 1 & #2 - Well, so much for my beautiful firewall facing. I cracked the daylights out of it as shown in these pictures. I was assembling and testing the hydraulic clutch and was having problems getting the clutch to fully disengage. To make a long story short, what was happening is that the bottom of the steel plate holding the clutch and brake master cylinders was not braced well enough at the bottom and it was flexing when I would apply pressure to the pedal with my foot. Because of the flexing, the master could not transfer its full power to the slave and thus the pressure plate would not release the clutch. And worse, all those attempts to operated the master just ended up cracking the acrylic.
Photo # 3 - I fabricated this brace to run from the steering column support bracket down to the bottom of the bottom of the plate holding the masters. This has remedied the flexing problem and the clutch now operates properly. And I have ordered up a sheet of 1/8" 3003 aluminum alloy, factory finished on one side, to replace my acrylic mirror experiment. The aluminum will be more durable over the long haul...just not nearly as unique or reflective.
Actually, I shouldn't say "finished". In the near future I am going to attempt to remove the acrylic and utilize a different method of attachment. Or in the alternative, add some mechanical fastening such as some through bolts or screws. I am not entirely satisfied with the way the contact cement seems to be holding. I think this is due to two reasons. First, the firewall itself is not absolutely flat. It has some "bows" and fluctuations in it and in some of these areas the bond seems weak. Second, although the firewall was painted, it was never sanded or smoothed in any way. So it ended up with somewhat of a rough surface which I felt would actually help with the bond. However, I don't think this was the case. I now believe the original paint should have been block sanded to about 400 grit before the contact cement was applied. If I can easily remove the acrylic, I will sand the surface and then try using the contact cement again. If the mirror is too firmly bonded, I will use some very short stainless steel screws to add a mechanical bond in some strategic spots.
Also, keep in mind that this is truly an experimental application. It looks nice at this point but only time will tell if the mirror can stand up to the weather, vibration, heat, stone chips, etc. So I make no claims whatsoever about the wisdom of others trying it.