More Manx upgrades - Suspension

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

:D Page 2
Another somewhat eventfull day till we ran out of daylight.
One step forward one step back to rethink the situation
At this rate it should be on wheels by Saturday?

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Yeah, not a ton of progress yesterday. I spent most of the time on my back under the car with the grinder removing tabs and tube stubs that are no longer needed...until the grinder disc got too small to continue.

While I was doing that Rick made up a plate for the pedal mounts which looks like it will work well. It also made it possible for me to remove two of the floor mounting tabs - which is good since they were in the way of putting the pedals right where I wanted them. Since the floor will go under this new plate which will be welded in the bolts for the pedals will secure the floor just fine in that area.

Rick also modified the seat sliders so they'll fit down between the floor tubes instead of up on top like they were before. That should give me an extra inch or so of head room. But when I tested it out I still wasn't happy with the amount of headroom I had available :( My seats will eventually break in and sink down some but I'm still sitting way higher in the car than I want to. Going by the rule of thumb of 4" of stretch in belts in an accident I could easily hit my head on the top of the cage in an accident. And I doubt I could wear a helmet without it rubbing. I'm going to try swapping my seats since the other one sits me deeper in it...so hopefully that will help.

We also ran into problems with getting the seat positioned and sliding. It's just a real tight fit. I don't think the problems are insurmountable...but I was way too tired, hungry and hot to try and think about solutions last night.

I have a few progress photos...but they aren't very exciting. So I'll wait to put them up. We didn't even get any more welding done yesterday though - I think Rick is still trying to think up a way to make a quick and dirty chassis rotisserie so he won't have to weld upside down :D

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by crash »

I've seen a guy that made a "rotisserie" out of two giant steel "hula hoops" some casters and creative welding. It was pretty cool, but unless you do ALOT of welding or have ALOT of extra space, don't bother. Just learn to weld upside down. Although as long as there are no fluids in it, turning that Manx over shouldn't really be all that hard for two grown men. Maybe on some grass?

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by MattV »

You could always practice a little on something unimportant to get the hang of it.

It might be easier to do it in short bursts. Watch the metal pool and then shut the gun off after it's flowing, but before it falls on you. I have a friend who uses a timer almost all the time. Comes out very clean and precise.
Water is just beer that hasn't reached its full potential.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

It's not that Rick can't weld upside down...it's just that he'd rather not have to :D

We did think about flipping it...but doing so without damaging the fiberglass may be a little tricky. And it is heavier than it looks. I can flip my rail by myself...the manx is a bit difficult to lift even with two guys.

The gas tank would come out real easy...and other than that there's not much left there, nothing with any fluids for sure! That front is where all the weight is right now which does make it kind of awkward - heavy in front light in back.

We're taking tonight off though. I've got too much work I need to catch up on :(

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

jhitesma wrote:It's not that Rick can't weld upside down...it's just that he'd rather not have to :D
Well I couldn't help myself....after 5 practice welds upside down on the green frame I figured what the heck I still have about 30 minutes of daylight.
Had a slight problem with the welder about half way thru (and thinking now what the hell is this??) slide my butt out and clean the tip?? Looks like the wire is stuck to the tip (wont feed wire) pull tip off pull a little wire (still wont feed) cut wire off change tips (still not feeding wire??)WTH??
head over to the machine (great Miller Machine) lift the cover and :shock:
Image #-o #-o no wire left on the spool.
Last edited by r erfert on Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Sorry Rick, galleries are still down :( That's one of the reasons I couldn't come over to work on it today. Until I get some of these jobs off my desk I can't get things like the ASA galleries done :D

You can use the attachment feature though to just upload a photo directly into a post.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

Next class when Jason has time will be
gussets 101

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

Class is moving to J's house.
His car must have ate good at my house Look at the rear end Barely fits on the trailer :lol:
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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

I started an update post...but ran into some issues with my photo hosting site - then had to run off to the baseball game tonight. But as thanks for taking her to the game Amy has given up the ok to put the manx in the driveway despite things being a little crowded up there.

I'll have a bigger update with photos and full details tomorrow. Too tired to finish it tonight. Plus it's on my office computer and I'm not going back out there tonight :D

Maybe that wider stance will make it fit better on my trailer. It used to almost fall into the hole in the center!

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

I believe Rick said it best today "Don't let anyone say you're not motivated to work on your car after being out here today". Yep. 114.5 - in the shade - and we were out there making progress. We spent more time hiding in Ricks house cooling down than actually working. But between what Rick did without me the past week and a half and what we did today a lot has been accomplished.

So let's try and bring this thread up to speed.

As Rick hinted in his post he went ahead and finished up the welding without me being there. And why not, I don't really do anything other than stand around and take pictures while he's welding anyway.

But that's getting a little ahead of the updates. I have the photos from my last update uploaded now so I'll backtrack a little and relive the day of grinding on my back first.

These were the first two tabs to go - they were in the way of the new pedal plate:
Image

Next were the old seat slider mounts:
Image

Image

Image

Then test fitting of the sliders in their new position:
Image

Image

Image

We weren't able to eliminate the spacers on the inner side - I don't remember exactly why now...but we tried a bunch of things and pretty much just kept running into issues. Eventually though we did find a location that put the sliders in a location where the seat has room to move over about a 8" length which should be enough - at the furthest position I fit just about perfect...I'll drill a new locator hole in the far forward position for Amy...or however far forward she needs it.

As Rick mentioned he added a gusset at the torsion housing:
Image

We'll probably add some on the outer bars - and we will be adding more support bars to the torsion - but not until the tranny is in and probably not until we decide where shocks will go. But I have to come up with funds for shocks first.

The new plate for mounting the pedals is in - and once I dig my gas pedal back out of storage and get Amy to test fit the seat I'll drill new mounting holes for them:
Image

And finally the view you've all been waiting for:

Image

Yep, it's on wheels and looks straight! The spring plates I have (cut down swing axle plates) are going to go. We're not convinced they were drilled properly and without slotted holes it's impossible to adjust the toe. So I'm also going to save up the bucks for some new spring plates to finish this up. The drivers tire has just a tiny bit of negative camber - and the passenger side seems to have a little bit more. But I suspect that's mainly due to the issues with the spring plates. The camber barely changes throughout the limited travel available so things look pretty good. The travel is limited due to the ridge on the top of the new arms hitting the stock up stops...well, it hits on one side and misses on the other - again the goofy homemade spring plates not seating quite right as the fault there.

I'm probably going to hack off the stock shock towers and upstops. The shock towers are not going to be used and will just be in the way. I may even cut off the lower stops and just get some straps to set the limit...but for now the stock down stops will be ok...and cheaper than straps.

And proof of our dedication:

Image

Rick just left after dropping the manx off here at my place. But most of the bolts and brackets are still at his house. So I may go by later to pick them up so I can install the tranny and try to get some axles in tonight...then again I have some work to get done so I may just give it a rest tonight. Besides I left my sunglasses in the car which Amy took to work so driving over to Ricks isn't very appealing until the sun goes down!

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Well I've been real busy and it's been real hot. I also haven't had much room in my driveway due to a friends boat I'm storing, and not much room in the backyard due to anther friends RV I'm storing.

But today the boat went home, at least for a few days (he bent the prop shaft on his other boat and needs to steal some parts from this one now since he's trying to sell the other boat.) And tomorrow morning the RV goes home.

With the boat gone I shuffled things around a little in the driveway, and I swung by Ricks to pickup the brackets, bolts, tools and other bits and pieces I left at his house. Since it didn't take any tools I couldn't pass up at least trying to fit the alternative tranny mount I borrowed from Rick since it would fit my frame horns while mine would require some modifications...and mine is setup with a bolt on bus conversion mount designed for a bugpack chassis which may or may not be close to stock.

I put ricks mount on finger tight and then lifted the tranny into place. it's resting on the bolts but isn't really fully in place yet. It's a tough fit and hard to maneuver by myself even with the floor out, which does make it a lot easier. But Just that got me drenched in sweat so I figured it was enough.

A little later I wandered over with one of the axles that came with the arms (read back for more about this situation) and ... they still seem too long. I may be able to compress the suspension somewhat but I doubt that will give me enough clearance to get these axles on. And that's without CV's in the way....just trying to get the shafts into place.

I haven't re-measured yet...but if you read back I'm sure I mentioned that previously going by the math/measuring methods I've seen discussed in the past for finding axle length these axles should actually be a little too short for my application. But even so there's no way to get them in.

I'll have to go back out the a measuring tape and re-measure everything again...and get the transmission seated that last little bit. But right now it looks like a big enough problem to keep me from making much more progress without adding new axles to the budget...and that could take awhile to get spousal support for. Thankfully with things as hot as they are outside right now...I don't mind taking a month or two off. Unless someone has a cooled work space in town they're will to let me use, heck just a portable swamp cooler would be nice to have, though it is starting to get humid now too. :D

When it's over 110 for over a week and even the nights don't get cooler than 80...I'm not much for working on my vehicles outside. I miss the insulated garage at my old house even if the AC in there didn't work. It's the ONLY thing I miss from that house though so big picture it's not much to give up. From the manxes point of view it's probably the worst thing to have given up - the manx doesn't get a vote in that though.

So I'm back to hot frustrated and left scratching my head on this project yet again. I knew I should have test fit those axles with the vw transmission on the pan before cutting it apart...With no body and frame to work around it would have been much easier to figure this part out.

I'll also have to dig out the set of stock bus axles I have...but I don't think they will be the right length either.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

I knew I should have test fit those axles with the vw transmission on the pan before cutting it apart
:shock: #-o
I was under the impression you did that already.
have to dig out the set of stock bus axles...but I don't think they will be the right length either.
Worth a shot, but now I'm really starting to wonder what size arms you have? (could be 2x3 and the axles are for 3x3)

And everything fit (trans, arms, and axles) on the rail you pulled the arms from??
Could the IRS hangers in the donor rail frame have been welded a little wider than stock? (might want to go measure the old frame) I'll drive would like to shoot some pictures of it anyhow.
Time to take an axle measurement

Hope my project goes a little smoother.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

r erfert wrote:
I knew I should have test fit those axles with the vw transmission on the pan before cutting it apart
:shock: #-o
I was under the impression you did that already.
I don't think I actually got as far as putting the axles in. Then again maybe I did....maybe they do fit when the suspension is compressed a little....But it sure looks like they're too long for that.
have to dig out the set of stock bus axles...but I don't think they will be the right length either.
Worth a shot, but now I'm really starting to wonder what size arms you have? (could be 2x3 and the axles are for 3x3)
Well these are the axles that were on the car everything came off of. David didn't have any other axles, and hasn't had any other axles...so there's no chance they could have been mixed up with anything.
And everything fit (trans, arms, and axles) on the rail you pulled the arms from??
Could the IRS hangers in the donor rail frame have been welded a little wider than stock? (might want to go measure the old frame) I'll drive would like to shoot some pictures of it anyhow.
Time to take an axle measurement

Hope my project goes a little smoother.
Yep, everything fit on the donor car and these are all the parts that were used. I was wondering last night if maybe the car had a wider torsion or something. I do think I'll go out there some evening this week...heck I was almost thinking about just going out with a trailer and picking that car up so I could start putting it together to sell it.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by mpc »

Nice build. I like those seat sliders. I'm assuming the harness locations will be fixed and you will just adjust the length of the belt straps when you adjust the seat?? Did you make the pin for slider? Is it spring loaded? What keeps it from from popping out on a bumpy ride? I like to see a close up of the pin if you get a chance. Thanks.
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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Yes the belt attachment points are fixed - there's really only about 6" or so of usable slide so that's only 3" extra per belt (except for the shoulder straps of course) so it doesn't add that much extra length to the belts when pushed forward. The belt attachments are optimized for me though since I drive it the most :D

Sorry no detail photos of the pin...to be honest I'm not entirely sure how the pin was made...the sliders came with the car when I bought it and I've never had cause to take the pin assembly apart. Rick may chime in since he's build a copy of it for one of his projects. It is spring loaded...but that's about all I can add :(

Oh - and no progress on the car since my last post. Just been way too hot. We've had more 110+ days this year than normal and it's just been brutal out. Even if I had a garage I wouldn't be getting anything done out there right now.

Hopefully next time it's under 100 for a few days I'll get out and finish mounting the tranny and trying to get the axles in again.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

:shock:
I checked for updates and thought Crap, he's working on his car again......I need to get out and finish up my project before he finishes his :D
Looks like I still have a few days lead.

Here are some pictures of the seat sliders on the purple project (Purple Project :) that has a good ring to it)....it is basiclly a hardened bolt with the head cut off (stud) A washer a spring and a washer welded to a tube to keep it from all coming out. (basicly an encapsulated spring in a tube with a stud for a knob) ---I---XXX---I-----
I have a full length tube slider that is more rigid that the 2 piece style. (IMO makes for an easier slide)
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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Well, the Manx has been collecting dust for too long. I was all set to start making some progress last year around December, and then I found a deal on an RV that was just too good to pass up. So the Manx funds were depleted.

However with the discover earlier this month that our family will be expanding the Manx is now a priority. Partly because it is capable of being a 4 seater (at least for those under about 3' tall) but mostly because Amy and I both know if it doesn't get done before May when the kid is expected...it won't get done until the kid is out of college. Since neither of us want to see that happen the Manx is now a high priority despite the added expenses we're looking at with the kid on the way.

Tonight I'm hoping to finally get the tranny mounted once and for all. The brackets are at a friends house being slightly modified but the lower rear bracket is already modifed and once again fits. This is the original bracket that came with the manx and has all of the proper holes for the rear cage, supports, skidplate and tranny strap. So Rick, the other two you gave me to try will be coming back to your house next time I stop by!

It also sounds like I may have talked Rick into finally selling me the shocks he's been saving for his own project. Keeping my fingers crossed on that since shocks are the big financial hurdle to get over in getting the car back on the road - and off the road :D

So - hopefully over the next few weeks there will be progress made. I may have to scale back some of my plans for the interior just so I can get it up and running well again first. But that kind of little cosmetic stuff I can work on even after we have a kid. For now the main focus is getting it running and reliable again!

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Well, Rich and I did finally get the transmission in. The other mounts aren't quite going back to Rick just yet though :(

These did follow me home from Rick's though - The coils may be a bit heavy for what I'll end up needing...but we'll see. If nothing else they should be good for mockups:

Image

Older style foxes, 14" travel. Haven't measured them yet but I did hold them in place on the manx and they look just about perfect for what I want.


The Transmission though...we're still fighting with. What I realized is that if I had re-read this thread I would know that I was trying to mix parts from two different setups. The nose mount went with the rear bracket I didn't want to use - and the rear bits worked with a mid-mount that didn't work out on my frame and eliminated the nose mount.

I figure there are basically 4 ways I could deal with this:

1) Make a new nose mount that matches the height of the rear mount that re-used my original bracket. Pros: the rear bracket is ready to go with all the right sized holes in the right places for everything I need it to have holes for. Cons: Transmission (and therefore motor) will sit higher in the car. No mid mount either, and I really like mid-mounting transmissions with heavier motors like this.

2) Use the mid-mount and modify it and/or the frame horns to make it work. Could probably be done fairly easily with just two slits in the frame horns. Need to find the mid-mount...forgot to ask Rick if I left it there when I was at his place Saturday. Pros: Strong mounting. Cons: Transmission will still sit higher in the car. No nose mount, but I could always add a nose mount like option 1.

3) Use the rear mount that goes with the nose mount I have on the tranny right now. I can still look at using the mid-mount later on but it will need to be heavily modified. This would put the transmission lowest in the frame and still clear the frame horns...I like that. The downside to this plan is that the rear mount in question does not have all of the holes I need. It's also not big enough to just add the holes. So material would have to be welded onto it to add room for the rear cage mounts, and for the holes where some extra support bars tie into the upper cage. My concern with this plan is that those are some high stress locations I'm not sure that welded on material is the best plan for that.

4) Get a custom rear bracket fabricated somehow. But that seems rather expensive for what I need. I do have some friends with water jet's who could get it cut. But I'm not sure I know anyone would could make the bends in that heavy of material. (the style of bracket I need has the top and bottom folded over into tabs where my tranny strap and my skid plate attach.) Big problem with this solution is funding.

I'll probably end up going with option #3 right now with plans to make a mid-mount work with it for extra strength and keep looking into getting a custom bracket made that would do everything I need for the rear. For now I'm going to use the bracket for option #3 and focus on getting the shock mounts and axles taken care of - until those are done I don't need the extra holes anyway. Just need to talk someone into stopping by for a half hour or so tomorrow, getting that tranny in and out with the current mounts is very much a two man job still.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Finally, some serious forward progress today! The transmission is mounted again!

I took the manx over to my friend David's house this morning and we dug in. First thing we did was just hang the transmission in the frame to decide exactly where we wanted it. Since we were planning on modifying all of the mounts to make it work we could choose just about any reasonable location we wanted. So we tried to get it as low in the chassis as we could and as close to the original forward/back position as possible.

Image

(I even remembered to charge up the project cam last night so it's not just a cell phone update this time!)

I realized I had neglected to clearance the horns like I was supposed to before bringing it over ... at first we tried just hammering the seam down - but that German steel is something to be reckoned with. And IMHO the best way to reckon with it is with a good sawzall. That did the trick:

Image

Image

(We'll weld up the seam later. These photos were actually taken after we hammered the one side down and before we decided to just cut it all off.)

Next we dug in on cutting up the rear mount so we could get everything mocked up. This meant removing the type one mounts from the bracket - note the bottom half is already cut in this photo:

Image

Last night while searching for the CV's that go with this setup I found the mid-mount, so I brought it along today and we decided to use it instead of the nose mount. I've had nothing but bad luck with nose mounts and Ford 2.3 motors in the past and I really like how much the mid-mount stiffens the frame horns on the stock torsion housing. We just had to trim it down a little, and adjust the frame horns a bit more as well:

Image

Measure...measure...measure....

Image

Finally found a spot that we were happy with and David tacked it in.

Now we could place the new tabs for the rear bracket. It was real close to the edge of the existing metal, so David's plan was to make some tabs that would fit into notches we cut into the bracket:

Image

Things were starting to come together:

Image

We used the rear bracket adjusters that went with the mid-mount as spacers to keep things level and where we wanted them:

Image

Once we had everything tacked where it looked good David wheeled out his welder "cart" and stared making it permanant:

Image

(David picks up a lot of trash he finds out in the desert...it's amazing how much of what he finds ends up being re-used rather than carted off.)

After quite a bit of grinding and welding and then more grinding and welding and finally a bit more grinding he was happy with the results and so was I.

Image

We liked the fit and the position and the mount so much we decided to just get rid of the factory nose mount. If I really want a nose mount we'll just fab one up later, but I've gone more years without one on my rail and had fewer problems than the years I used the nose or the nose and mid:

Image

Image

Image

So the tranny is now mounted. The next step is to get the axles in and then start figuring out the shocks. Now that I'm going with coil-over shocks I'm leaning towards getting rid of the torsions and going to a Heim for the outer trailing arm connections. That would let me really get full use out of the shocks I'm planning on using. Next few updates should be interesting.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

The motor is back in! The cage needs to be trimmed a bit at the top before it will mount up, and I forgot to install the tranny braces so I'm going to have to pull the motor back out again. So with a halloween party about to start it looks like I won't be getting the axles in today :(

Just a quick cell phone shot. I'm not happy with my normal shots (in this driveway most of my shots are from the opposite side of the one that was easy to shoot at my old driveway. So it's hard to match up before/after shots to see how the motor is fitting now.)

Image

Overall it's looking really good though!

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

I should know better by now than to end my posts on an optimistic note...always seems to lead to trouble the next day!

Sure enough today turned into a lot of work with nothing to show for it. In fact the Manx looks like it took a step or two back since it no longer has a motor in it again :(


I pulled the motor out to work on getting the two support bars that go from the cage down to the rear tranny mount in. I was expecting them to need to move about 3/4" towards the front of the car. What I found is that they seem ok in that dimension - but are about 3/4" too long vertically now. Which has me wondering if we got the torsion housing in at the correct angle. Could it be we have the rear sticking up too much....the bars have to be modified and the suspension looks good otherwise. So at this point I think we'll just modify the two bars to fit. So I'll have to make another trip out to someones house to have some fab work done before the motor goes back in.


Trying to salvage my day I figured I'd give it another go at test fitting the CV's. I can still only find 2 of the CV's that came with the arms/axles but I did find the 4th CV that came off the bus the transmission came out of. They're all a mess and need to be cleaned then re-lubed. But for now I'm just testing how things will fit. What I discovered is that I've got quite a variety bag of parts on my hands:

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The two CV's on top are the two I could find of the four that came with the arms. What I noticed immediately is that one set has star heads and the other has allen heads. When I went to bolt them up I realized that one set of bolts is fine thread and the other is coarse. And both of them are too big to fit the holes in the tranny!

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The bolt on the left is one that came with this transmission and it's stock axles/CV's.

The center bolt is the fine thread with star head. And on the right is the coarse thread with allen head.

The fine thread star head bolt fits the stub axles that came with the arms/CV's. The coarse thread bolt doesn't seem to fit anything.

All of the CV's are the same spline (33) and fit both the factory axles and the axles that came with the arms/CV's.

Wish I could find those 2 missing CV's. I've searched and searched but can't find any trace of them :(

I'll probably end up getting a new set of fine thread bolts to replace the set of coarse threads, then use those and 2 of the CV's that came with the transaxle. But now I'm wondering if these are really all Type 2 CV's. They all have the same dimensions from what my measuring skills can determine - except for the holes the bolts go through and the bolts that are with them.

Do 002 and 091 transmissions use different size bolts maybe? Except I'm pretty sure the transmission that was in the rail these parts came out of was an 002 as well....

Will get the support bars figured out this week and then try to decide what to do about these CV's....

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

Except I'm pretty sure the transmission that was in the rail these parts came out of was an 002 as well....
YES it was...I say that becuase I know where it is :) (Julio has it in pieces)

Now that you pulled the motor out again :roll:
You need to put it back in #-o
make sure you have the Manx at ride height.....
Take a LEVEL measurement of the motor + OR - for return oil flow.......
You can adjust the motor level with the trans mount (Preferably before you fully weld it in)

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

r erfert wrote: Now that you pulled the motor out again :roll:
You need to put it back in #-o
make sure you have the Manx at ride height.....
Take a LEVEL measurement of the motor + OR - for return oil flow.......
You can adjust the motor level with the trans mount (Preferably before you fully weld it in)
The motor sits almost exactly the same as it did before. Just a tiny bit more forward in the frame. It had to come back out to put the support bars in since without them there's very little supporting the weight of the motor the way this frame is built. And the way those bars were built they can only be installed BEFORE the rear tranny mount. But now they have to be modified before they can go back in anyway due to the torsion being a little bit closer to the front of the car since we had to remove a bit of material on those bars to even things up before welding the new torsion in as I'm sure you remember.

When we figured out the tranny mounts we made sure that it would sit at the right angle to put the motor back in the original position. And in fact the lower motor mounts still line up...it's just that I can't get them on because the top of that rear cage needs to be shortened to match the material that was removed from the frame where the torsion housing meets up.

Since we got rid of all the factory mounts and redid them all the motor and tranny are now exactly where I want them to be. I'm just not sure that the torsion housing that they're attached to is quite where I thought it was when we put it on. Not a big deal though. I have to remake those support bars anyway, and since I'm going with the coil overs the spring plates and suspension stops won't matter. Yes, the suspension will be sitting at a slightly different point in it's travel when sitting at ride height - but with the motor in and on the tranny resting on the springs that are in there for now it sits right where I want it to. But that could change once we put the shocks and coilovers in since the springs that are in there right now will be coming out.

If the motor is a little more tilted than before (which I don't think it is) it would just tip it towards the deep end of the oil pan anyway. And I've seen 2.3's mounted at much more extreme angles than this with no problems.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

So I talked to David about the CV's. He doesn't know why, but he did confirm that the CV's which mount to the arms had thicker bolts than the stock type 2 CV's - and that one stub axle used coarse thread while the other used fine. Apparently when he got them from ORBS here in yuma that's what they gave him.

So for now that's what's going back on. I'll re-use 2 of the original CV's that went with my tranny and the two CV's with bolts that match the stubs. Since I'd like to upgrade to 930's at some point in the future I'm just going to live with this for now and use it as one more justification for upgrading down the road ;)

Friday we should have time to adjust the support bars and maybe the motor cage as well. Then the axles and CV's will go back in and maybe by the end of this weekend I'll be able to drive it on and off the trailer instead of pushing it finally.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

So the temps went from hot to cold in a matter of days....
Any progress?

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

r erfert wrote:So the temps went from hot to cold in a matter of days....
Any progress?
Unfortunately, the Manx has been put on temporary hold due to lack of funds. The Manx fund has been temporarily diverted into a "Buy a new drivers door for Amy's Truck" fund after I accidentally backed said door into one of the RV shade support posts while moving the trailer in the backyard just before T-day :(

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by r erfert »

I swear #-o
The least you could do is ask around.
I even know where there is a tailgate in the same color. :shock:

Not sure if the truck/parts are for sale?
It's over at Unzueta Auto Repair on 4th ave.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

So, almost a year to the day after any "progress" was last made on the Manx I'm getting pressure from Amy to get back on it. And thanks to a surge in work for a few months I finally have the funds that have been holding the project back.

We took Katie out to Plaster city for a few hours this past Saturday to check out plaster blaster. This was also Katie's first "off road" trek. (We never left the staging area but it's not paved and not groomed so I'm counting it.)

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Katie loved the quads and bikes she saw. And the smaller rockets she enjoyed. A few of the louder ones scared her - we found if we counted down with the announcer and then got really happy when they launched that she tended to follow along and not be caught off guard and upset.

Well, the point of all this is that the Manx is finally moving forward again. I just helped David load it up on his trailer to go to his house for a few days. He's going to take care of a few odds and ends and think some more about the shock mounts. Even if it doesn't have shock mounts by the end of the weekend it should at least be back enough that once I re-wire the motor and put the floor/pedals back in it will be able to drive on and off the trailer again.

And since David and his Cousin got their cars running and are camping with a even younger girl than Katie it looks like we will get getting a dune pass again this year after all. Even picked up some 6V golf cart batteries for the RV...it's got a few projects coming off the back burner too.

No photos because I'm ashamed to show how the car looks right now. I didn't even have time to pull out the leaf blower and get the leafs off it. Plus it basically looks just like a dirtier version of the last photos since nothing has been done since.

Hopefully I'll have new photos in the next few days of progress to share instead.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Had planned on spending the day watching Katie...but Amy caught the cold I had this week and ended up home sick. So she volunteered to watch Katie and let me get some progress on a few projects. Called up David to see if he was up for working on the Manx...and found out he has a wedding to go to today :(

But he has made progress. The cage is back on, the tranny/motor supports are back in place and the motor mounts have been tweaked to fit again.

In other big news those shocks that were posted a few posts back (little over a year ago) are officially mine as of today having finally payed Rick for them! Which means the last big expensive pieces are fully mine. Yeah, I'll probably have to buy or trade for better springs still...but the big expense is now out of the way!

Tomorrow I'm supposed to head over there to help with the shift linkage and see if we can't figure out some shock mounts! With the shift linkage done though all I'll have to do is put the floor and pedals back in along with the axles and it can drive on and off the trailer for the first time in WAY too long.

No photos yet since I haven't even seen the progress...but tomorrow I'll have my camera so updates should follow soon.

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Wow, big progress today!

First off a few photos of what was done before I showed up at Davids today.

First the slight modification to the support bars so they fit again:

Image

I wasn't there to see exactly how he did it, but basically I think David just Cut the ends off, trimmed them to fit and then re-welded the ends so it all fit with the new rear bracket location.

He also had to modify the motor mount on the drivers side to get the rear cage to fit back on again. Again, just some work with the grinder to cut the old mount off and the welded it into location where it fits now. The passenger side he just had to oval out the holes a little to give it a bit of adjustment room and it fit with no other modifications:

Image

We did do a few more minor adjustments to the rear cage while I was there but nothing photo worthy. Basically I didn't give David the big bolts on the bottom when I gave him the cage and his improvised bolts didn't quite work well. Once I bought the real bolts over today we had to make a few little adjustments to get it all to fit right.

The main goal today thought was shock mounts. After shuffling vehicles in Davids driveway and giving the situation a good look, a few test measurements and some serious eyeballing we decided the best course of action would be to cut out a section of the fiberglass wheel well and see what we could do. We looked at making the smallest hole possible at first...but fairly quickly decided we just couldn't predict where the hole would need to be. So instead we decided to cut out a fairly large section and later on I could trim the removed piece to fit around the shock location and use some new glass and bondo to fit it back in.

Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera so there were no early progress shots today :(

But with a chunk of fiberglass gone we were able to put a bolt in the bottom shock mount and see where the top came...and as luck would have it it ended up right in a spot that made it super easy to build the upper mounts.

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You can see in the photo we took the springs off and let out the nitrogen on one shock so we could easily use it to test fit things - while the other we left the springs on (but loose and no nitrogen) to check for clearance. David's friend has a nitrogen tank so refilling them is no big deal. Looks like one of them was leaking a bit and probably needs to be rebuilt anyway.

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For the upper mount David made tabs out of some 1/4" steel had had laying around. You can't tell from the photo but the other side the tab under the bar not on the side like the part you can see. As long as the tubing the frame is made out of is of decent quality these should be nice strong mounts:

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For the nitpickers. Yes, we know that the force from the shock isn't perfectly in line with the tabs. But the tabs are VERY beefy compared to most of the rest of the construction on this car so we feel confident that the frame itself is the biggest potential weakness with this. We debated making the tabs a little different so they'd be right in line with the force of the shock...but it just didn't look right or like it would give that much more strength. With the one tab almost directly under the bar it should take most of the force.

While David worked on finishing up the welds on the first side I went to work on cutting the fender well on the other side. This time having the experience of the first side under my belt I was able to make a much smaller cut - there will probably still have to be some fiberglass patching but overall I probably need to do a bit more material removal than replacement:

Image

And as you probably noticed I did get my camera partway through todays progress. I had to run out to get some new shock bolts and while I was out I stopped by and grabbed the camera. While I was doing that David made himself a new chipping hammer which quickly became one of his favorite tools:

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One broken drill bit, one piston pin, and a bit of scrap rod he had laying around. Ahh, the joys of homemade tools!

After that we loaded the Manx back on Davids trailer and brought it back to my house. We did climb on the back and jump on it to test out the new suspension. Right now it still has torsions in it and the coil overs have pretty much no pre-load in them...but it's looking pretty good. Maybe a little stiff but not as bad as I was expecting. I'm thinking once I get the torsions out and put a little bit of pre-load into the coils it may be pretty darn good. The coils probably aren't optimally sized but seem like they may be good enough until I can afford to buy some "perfect" coils. Need too look into rebuilding the shocks as well since at least one was obviously leaking a little oil and the bump stops on both are disintegrating - they probably need to be revalved for this application as well.

Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll continue to make progress with getting the manx back together. Need to pick up a few parts at the buggy shop tomorrow (some spacers for the shocks, a bus to bug shift linkage coupler, maybe some nice billet rezzie mounts if I can afford them....) but the big issue now is just going to be finding time to work on it since I'm watching Katie most evenings. Need to find some friends who want to come entertain her while I wrench to get this thing going again!

(of course there are a few "major" issues to figure out still like the radiator mounts, fuel system mounts and other such details. But right now I just want to get it together enough to drive on and off the trailer so it's easier to take to David (or Rick's) where we can work on those major issues!

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Re: More Manx upgrades - Suspension

Post by jhitesma »

Finally got another weekend day which Amy had off and I was able to get some work done on the manx.

Started out with a little shopping trip. Had a tip that NAPA had some of their Orbital AGM batteries (their version of an Optima) on closeout for $70. They were factory blemishes with only a 60 day warranty...but for almost half what a new Optima costs I'm willing to take that risk. Helps solve the problem of where to put the battery a bit and means I didn't have to buy an actual Optima. I'm not concerned about the short warranty since honestly I've never had a warranty on an Optima style battery actually honored by the store that sold it to me or the local distributor...so why pay extra for a warranty that isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Then picked up some new axle boots, axle circlips and a spare grease gun to devote to CV's.

Yep. Today was CV day.

http://www.dunephotos.com/Dunes/Mechanical/cv-cleaning/DSCN3756/1106422920_Gm3GJ-M.jpg[/img]

That's the axles that came with the tranny for a reminder of just how dirty these CV's were. The ones that came with the axles and arms I'm using were a little dirtier since they had been sitting in storage before I got them and stored them for the past 3.5 years.

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I setup a little cleaning station. First I soaked the CV in Harbor Freight degreaser. I kind of like this stuff. The CV grease pretty much just congealed and was easily wiped off after a 20 minute soak in this stuff. And it's non flammable less toxic than most degreasers and the smell isn't as annoying to me. After being soaked in the degreaser and brushed clean I gave them parts a wipe down with carb cleaner and re-assembled them working one CV at a time.

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This is the one I took from the stock axles to replace the one I can't find from the set that came with the arms/axles. All of the CV's I'm using are worn...some more than others. One seems more worn than the rest...but also seems to be a different material since it's a little shinier overall.

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Took me a couple of hours to get everything clean (including all of the bolts.) Then I sat down and spent another hour cleaning the bolt holes in the stub axles since they were pretty caked up with sand/grease/dirt....

Just as I was finishing that up Rick showed up...and it started to get dark. So we worked quick and I didn't get to take many photos. But we took the trailing arms back off and removed the torsion bars since I'm going to be running coil overs now. Then started putting things backtogether.

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We tried the grease gun and needle technique to pack the CV's. It was fairly clean...but it was a LOT of work pumping that grease gun to get the moly grease through that needle. My arms are still sore. It was NOT a one man job since it was a two hand job to pump that gun. Maybe a better gun or a pneumatic one would have been the trick. Next time I think I'll risk the mess of packing by hand instead unless I find a deal on a pneumatic grease gun.

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We got the passenger side axle in pretty quick and easy. No binding - and seems to cycle well. It has just a bit of side to side play and narrowest point so length on the axle (which I had been worried about) seems fine.

The drivers side we can't cycle due to an issue with the stock upper stop hitting part of the trailing arm and causing some issues I'm going to have to deal with. But it does seem like there's very little side play in the axle at the narrowest point...but still doesn't appear to be any contact or binding so I think we'll be ok there as well.

Still need to pick up a few more washers for the shock mounts, and found I have to clearance the fiberglass a bit more on the drivers side for the shock. But the shocks are ALMOST fully mounted now.

Unfortunately Amy has to work tomorrow so I won't be able to get much if anything done. In fact not sure when I'll have time to make more progress. But next on the list is to get the backing plates back on so I can get the brakes plumbed again, mount my pedals and put the floor back in, then get the shifter setup and wire the motor back up. At that point I can finally drive it on and off the trailer again so I can take it to Rick or David's to work on the radiator mounting.

Feels good to be making progress again! Oh - and with the torsions out the rear suspension feels better (though with the passenger side hitting the stops it's hard to tell.) It is sitting a little low and kind of sagging...but we still need to put some pre-load into the coil overs after I get the washers to finish mounting them up so I'm not worried yet and am still thinking these springs will get us at least in the ballpark.

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