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TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/8/20 9:15 p.m.

Looks like the right idea.  Maybe a little fast.  You can see how the bead is stretched out into a v-shape.

Try a little less wire speed and slow your travel.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/8/20 9:31 p.m.
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks like the right idea.  Maybe a little fast.  You can see how the bead is stretched out into a v-shape.

Try a little less wire speed and slow your travel.

Will do, thanks!

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/11/20 6:18 p.m.

It's time for an audience participation portion of this build: please critique my crossmember!

The engine clears in what I'd call the design intent location, but here's an example of what has been removed to get there:

 

Clearly there is more cleanup required, but that gives a good idea of what I'm working with. The stock crossmember has a top and bottom channel that meet at a flange front and rear, running along the length between both sides of the main chassis. My main thought is to turn that now significantly smaller center cross section into something more "corrugated" I guess is a good word for it, and then add an extra horizontal plate internally where it transitions at the sides, and that ties into that center reinforcement .  I'd like some feedback from the more knowledgeable if my plan looks like it's enough on both accounts. 

Here's another pic of the crossmember for reference first:

 

This sketch is a section through the center portion. The green is the stock metal, and red is new. The idea is to use angle along the center and between the steering rack mounts, then separate sections of plate stitching them together along the rear.

pics of a few progress mockups:

(would trim the flange portion that conflicts with the new angle on the rack mount on the right)

 

Here's a sketchover of the entire thing that shows a rough plan for linking the center and sides. Blue is the internal angle. Red is the angle reinforcing the rack mounts. The green is plate that I would slot the sides to allow to extend out to match the projected depth of the stock crossmember flange (hope that makes sense). The green would follow the internal contours so that it hits the front for as far as I can reach in to weld, and ties into the peak of the blue angle. The lightly shaded blurple areas are where there would be plate along the rear to box it all in, but split above and below to have a weld seam where it meets the side plates and center angle. The transition areas of the rear plate would either get bent or cut from tube.

 

I have more pictures I can share if it would help, too. thanks!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/11/20 7:08 p.m.

any thought of using some heavy-wall DOM tubing on the inside as the primary load-bearing member? Not to say your current plan won't work fine, just throwing it out there (I assumed you were going to do something tubular, initially). 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/11/20 7:24 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Sketch what you're thinking :)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/11/20 7:38 p.m.

I just meant get the correct diameter tubing, bend it into a shape that would fit inside the current remaining subframe, and attach it in a matter that it would provide support. Basically just think of a circle inside a square.. 

 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/11/20 9:56 p.m.

I hear what you're saying, but 3/4" diameter tubing won't be very stiff, and the remaining area is more rectangular than square. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/11/20 10:00 p.m.

ah ok. hard to tell how large things are in photos!

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/11/20 11:16 p.m.

Yeah, guess I figured my hands and the like would be enough for scale/proportion, but you're right. I can update that sketch tomorrow.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/12/20 7:39 a.m.

How low will the bottom of the oil pan hang below it?  Does it make sense to add some of your bracing on the bottom of the crossmember so that it takes a hit before the pan does?

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/12/20 7:59 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

How low will the bottom of the oil pan hang below it?  Does it make sense to add some of your bracing on the bottom of the crossmember so that it takes a hit before the pan does?

It almost doesn't hang below it. I forgot to mention that I do want to add some mounting for a skid, and jack point.

A few more pics to help:

That's a bit lower than it will actually be, the under pic next is cloer to correct angle/placement.

(bit off-kilter because hanging)

The engine is raised in that last one a bit. Basically can't put the engine any lower without really re-thinking the rack mount sitch.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
9/12/20 8:07 a.m.

In reply to bluej (Forum Supporter) :

Then maybe the current plan plus a nice thick chunk of something (or some angle with the leg going up to the seam on the front) welded to the bottom?  You could even tuck some weld nuts into those holes seen in the last photo if you want to be able to bolt something to it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/12/20 10:50 p.m.


 

my art fu is weak, but I think I can splain what I'm going for here.

so, at far left and far right are wheels and tires, magically connected directly to LCA's that may or may not attach to the crossmember as shown. Cutting out for engine clearance reduces strength vertically and laterally.

What I'm saying with point 1 is to regain lost vertical strength by adding material below the crossmember, if packaging allows it, to get back to original section height.

By itself, this helps some for lateral strength as well, but is weaker than OE due to the step down in the middle. Point 2 helps lateral strength by closing the open section. Again, you're putting material in the force path. Point 3, adding gusset plates fore and aft, also helps by making the step down more gradual.

there's nothing wrong with adding the inverted angle inside the crossmember before closing it in. It might be difficult to weld down in there, that's the only reason I didn't include it in my suggestions.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/13/20 10:09 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

After an IM with OP, it became quite clear that I did not understand what was going on. I assumed he removed the top of the center section for vertical clearance. The truth is he removed the back of the center section to gain horizontal (forward) clearance.

fortunately, the concepts for adding strength are the same: first, Put material in the force path, efficiently. ie if you turn it on it's side, a diving board becomes the web of an I-beam. Second, make any direction changes to a force path as gradual as possible.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/7/21 6:58 p.m.

This thread has been languishing for FIVE months.

Let me remedy that. I didn't have anything to do on my projects this weekend, so I got my ass over to blueJosh's house to make sure he's actually still working on this thing. He is :D

While I was there, he was busy cutting and welding subframe stuff, while I pulled apart his DD e46 wagon's front suspension to steal the springs to reassemble a faux-coilover front suspension setup for this. I'm sure he'll document at some time. 

 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/17/21 1:10 a.m.

OH hello. It's been a minute. I've actually been spending a few in the garage the last few months, so there's some progress to report.  It will not be ready for the next WDCR event this coming Sunday, but I'll be damned if it's not ready for the Two day Rallifestivalli Father's Day event in June. There's also that I quit my job this week. Gave a progressive 1.5-2.5 months notice, so a bit to wind down. It's been a great place to work at in many ways, but I work a lot, and I'm tired, after 10 years.  We've saved ahead, so it's time to do the Dad thing for a while.

So, I do have some picture which I'll try to share in something like chronological order, but progress wise:

  • Final engine location settled! The hood might even close.
  • Firewall max persuasion achieved. This will need attention later.
  • Front cross member basic form metalwork complete. still need to add the skid nuts and outriggers, but it bolts in place and the oil pan clears!
  • Trans mount is 75% done.
  • Motor mount design is complete, waiting on trans mount to be finished so that I can adjust the final driveline angle during fab. 
  • all driveshaft parts in hand, including correct length shaft (phew!). need to assemble the yokes to the shaft. how bad is it if the shaft is already balanced, to not get it again after doing the end yokes?
  • clutch hydraulics/mount figured out and done. after doing the math, keeping all the stock e30 stuff actually works well, and I was able to figure out a mount pretty easily. confirmed!
  • Shifter location works fine, just slightly aft of stock. opening needs, ahem, attn. 
  • Forlvo (forvo? vord?) electric PS pump acquired. Need to figure out what hose has the fittings to go from it, to the E36 rack. Need to fab a quick mount, waiting to see how long a line is.
  • I have a stock ranger exhaust mani to use if I have to in the name of time, but I also have multiple header flanges, and a set of 1.625" tubes I've already cut up for a header. This will likely wait till doing the cams.
  • Engine management settled on MS3pro, in particular a used ms3pr pnp from a wrx for a good price. There's probably the most to do here to be ready 

More to do, will go into detail soon.

 

 

If a mod happens this way, I think I'd like to change the thread title. Please msg me.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/30/21 11:29 a.m.

Well, it's the last day in June. Dirthammer isn't running with the duratec 2.5 yet, but I've hit a couple milestones: first paint for finished metal-work, and the engine is in with trans/motor mounts (minus paint) and sorted driveshaft:

plenty of space for the fans and some ducting :)

 

There were plenty of tight areas, though. The main coolant return area as previously noted:

 

Bellhousing to tunnel is tight most places from the firewall aftt. The exhaust mani shown above is from an '04 ranger. It'll work for this iteration, though that connection point is tight. A 4-2-1  constructed header is the plan for the next phase of the motor (more on that later).

 

Drivers side was also snug. There's clearance from the brake booster with the engine tilted like it is in NC miatas. Getting the oil lines right was also tight to make sure they adequately clear everything, especially the steering shaft and it's knuckles (not shown here). The oil line setup is also very much a "version 1". There's an oil cooler in the future, and I still need to tap that take-off block for a pressure sensor.

 

Some engine pics prior to this latest mounting:

 

Final belt routing:

One of the remaining challenges is figuring out the plumbing from the main coolant return on the left there to the radiator (with a take-off to the resevoir located about where the camera is). I've already hacked up one half of this set of headers. Some fabricobbling of beads to keep couplers in place should work.

 

Rear view, aligned for tilt. That's the adapter mount bracket for the transmission to go from a PPF mount to a more traditional rwd transmission crossmember mount. You can also see the EGR ports next to the coolant outlet on the head. The exhaust ports are getting capped, and I've tapped the upper right hole, which was the EGR coolant port, for a coolant sensor in addition to the cylinder head temp sensor that ford uses.

 

First paint was for the electric power steering pump studs/weld bosses. I ended up retaining the mount bracket that I kept when salvaging this forvo EPSP from the junkyard.  It's a little bracket for a bracket for a bracket, but oh well:  (disclaimer: yes, I know my welds look like petrified dino boogers, but they're strong)

For the pressure side, the BMW line I had been using (think it's from a late 90's 328) worked after I shortened the tapped bung on the pump (already removed below). The nut on the line didn't have enough thread to seat the line otherwise. Return is just a banjo to AN adapter and I'm using leftover line from the kit I got for the oil lines.

I'm putting in a new-to-me used rack w/ new tie rods, so was roughly setting that up, and you can see the pressure line and banjo adapter:

Progress pic of the upper EPSP mount bracket, and the DS motor mount:

 

 

I'll stop this post here, but I have more pictures ready to post, going more in depth like for the EPSP above.

Josh also came by again to lend a hand on a Saturday, and got some of my brake refresh squared away, so thanks again!

Big picture, my last chance to drive this before the summer break is the Susq. region SCCA Rallyx in PA on July 10th. I'm not sure if they'll even have it. the Rausch creek rally sprint is right in that area the day after, and many of the rx regulars will be there. I haven't given up hope of having it running by then for a shake down. I think there's a few too many things to expect to go just right for that to happen. Either way, I'm getting fatigued. I want to drive dirthammer, and not just for rallyx. It helps keep me pushing for now. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/1/21 6:07 a.m.

Is there a plan for adjustable assist from that electric power steering pump?  I bet juuuuuuust enough assist would feel great for rallycross.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/1/21 1:56 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Yeah, agreed, and I've thought about it. The unit has a built in vfd controller for the motor, and is signalled via CAN. You could try to hack/splice into the motor controller and skip the CAN, but you'd still need to give the motor instructions. That's plan B if no one has figured out the CAN control for these and I can't myself. I need to keep digging there, still. There's a pdf floating around from Volvo with info on these that's showing a map of assist levels. I'll come back and edit this to add the pdf (on my phone). I'm hopeful that using the map will help decipher the CAN if need be, provided I can get help with reading a Volvo network. Someone around here must be able to help figure that out.

That's a winter project. I'm happy it's easy to wire to a switch, and then defaults to something usable with just +12v signal. smiley

95maxrider
95maxrider Reader
7/1/21 3:46 p.m.

This is so impressive, great job man.  I can wait to see this thing in action, it should rip!

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/11/21 5:55 p.m.

This was a satisfying milestone to reach yesterday, all coolant lines figured out. I have all the stuff ready for the easier fuel and vac/iac plumbing, just need the time in the garage.

 

I need to clean up the edges of some hoses, and add a crossover between that stainless main return and the splice going into the overflow output.

I feel pretty good about how the routing ended up. Ill run the power steering after placing the fan/shroud.

Clearance of the pan to x-member is at least 1/4" everywhere.

 

This exhaust connection between the ranger header and the current cat location is tight here, but pretty straightforward.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/11/21 5:56 p.m.
95maxrider said:

This is so impressive, great job man.  I can wait to see this thing in action, it should rip!

Thanks, can't wait to be out there competing against you again! I was sorry to hear about be the coolant line fiasco. Coulda been worse, I guess.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/15/21 8:58 p.m.

Just made a fun discovery, two out of three bushing locations for the throttle pedal linkage were completely shot (1/2" of play). That explains.. some things. Wish I'd checked sooner! surpriseblush

 

mjlogan
mjlogan New Reader
9/3/21 8:54 a.m.

Awesome build!  Funny reading about you hitting the exact same stumbling blocks I have been hitting when putting a duratec into a RWD car.

Did you get anywhere with the Megasquirt interface to the duratec VCT?  I have my 2.5 running, but with the VCT disconnected. Seems ok so far but I havent driven it yet. 

Also where the heck did that intake manifold come from?  I scoured the junkyards for a while trying to find a forward facing one and eventually gave up and built my own.

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
11/24/21 1:19 p.m.

Any new updates on the Dirthammer? 

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