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volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/5/20 1:44 p.m.

Mea culpa, I've actually still been managing to get out and make almost nightly pilgrimages to the garage and bang away on the ES.  I just haven't been posting any progress.  This "Corn Teen" thing has me all screwed up- I wake up at the same time, stumble to the basement and start work, so completely focussed and dedicated to my real job that I forget about the important stuff.  wink

This was the end result of all the mental gymnastics about connecting the Miata rack to the Volvo spindles.  Basically, mate an M14x1.4 female to an M12x1.25 female and creating a bushing.  The two female couplings got welded together, and then a steel collar welded around them, for reinforcement.  This is the driver's side one:

The passenger side one is nearly the same, except that the 14x1.5 thread is actually a LH thread on that tie rod.  To get the female threaded couplings I simply diced up an old Volvo steering connecting rod; for the M12x1.25 couplings I sliced off the ends of the old Miata tie rod ends, which had female ends (the Volvo tie rod ends are male thread).  Welding up the couplings caused some distortion of the internal threads, so I had to go out and buy three (count 'em, three!) new taps: a 12x1.25 RH, a 14x1.5 RH, and a 14x1.5 LH.  My local NAPA had the two R taps; I ended up finding the weird LH size on eBay.  $40 worth of tools that I may never use again later, and the rack is connected to the spindles.  

And don't worry, I will replace that tie rod end shown above.  That was just the test mule.  

Rolling the icosahedron die, "Figure out steering column" came up.  Some facebook searching found a guy not too far from me with an NA he was parting out.  I grabbed the entire steering setup, from rack to wheel, figuring I'd either keep the rack as a spare or sell it to NOHOME if he wanted it.   Careful placement of an old Miata seat I had laying around (I sure have a lot of Miata parts for a guy who doesn't even own one!) to where the shifter felt comfortable resulted in my arms holding the Miata wheel in mid-air somewhere close to just in front of the front of the seat bottom.  Some angle iron, welding, and a bunch of fasteners later yielded thusly:

You will note, the plate that the column mounts to can actually swivel a bit, to set the wheel angle.  It's also got about an inch and a half of fore-aft movement possible, due to various mounting slots.  None of it's very stout at this point, but it'll get reinforced once everything is hooked up and placed.

A new, fun problem now rears its head:  whereas the Miata rack was to long, the Miata steering column is.... yep, you guessed right: too short.  Perhaps I should just splice in some of the rack that I removed to the column?  devil

Reaching....trying....but not quite.  

Falling short here, too:

Well, if I can figure out how to enshortenify a Miata rack...

 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/8/20 9:32 a.m.

HOW TO BELENGTHENATE A MIATA STEERING COLUMN

*Sequel to the immensely popular "How to Enshortenify a Miata Steering Rack!*

The outer tube of the Miata steering column is pretty thick stuff.  My wimpy pipe cutter wasn't going to hack it, so it was Angle Grinder Time.  To ensure a straight cut, I marked the circumference of the tube with tape, then carefully sliced around the circumference, being careful not to cut the inner shaft.

Then, with the steering wheel and all the peripheral crap (turn signals and wiper stalks) removed, I pulled the steering shaft out and cut it about 3 or 4 inches from the end, at the U-joint end.  SInce I wanted to belengthenate the shaft by 12", I cut off a piece of old Volvo tie rod (which was the same diameter as the Miata steering shaft) and lined up the ends square with the steering shaft. 

To ensure that everything got welded up straight(ish), I found a tube whose inner diameter was the same as the outer diameter of the shaft(s).  I then sliced a "welding window" into this tube, so I could make little tack welds, spin the shaft, and make more welds.  

After welding everything up in the welding window tube jig, I ground off the welds, removed the shaft from the jig, and gave everything a nice once-over circumferential weld.  Then, for added measure, I cut off about a 14" section of that larger tube and welded it around the shaft for reinforcement.

After it had all cooled, I reassembled the column, and spliced in a 12" long piece of the Volvo's steering column (which, coincidentally, was almost exactly the same diameter as the Miata's), and did a test fit in the ES.  I connected the end of the MIata column that supported the end of the shaft using a 1.5" diameter rubber tube and hose clamps to provide a little adjustability with installation:

The stock ES pedal box was hopelessly in the way, and partially rusted out, so I just sliced the whole bloody thing out of the way.  Future me gets to figure out pedals.  For now, the steering wheel turns the front wheels back and forth, so we're going to call tonight a "win".  

Recon1342
Recon1342 HalfDork
5/9/20 8:56 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

Enshortenify and Belengthenate are now permanently ensconced in my vocabulary. I am also writing Webster's to demand they be added to the dictionary...

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/10/20 6:37 a.m.

That alignment jig tube is genius. 

I assume the plan is the only accessory on the engine will be the alternator on the passenger side, so you don't have to worry about fitting anything on the driver's side?

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
5/10/20 7:14 a.m.

I love the ES, but could not imagine having one without A/C, especially with all of the extra heat mass here!

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/13/20 1:26 p.m.
TurnerX19 said:

I love the ES, but could not imagine having one without A/C, especially with all of the extra heat mass here!

Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

That alignment jig tube is genius. 

I assume the plan is the only accessory on the engine will be the alternator on the passenger side, so you don't have to worry about fitting anything on the driver's side?

The alignment tube was the result of me realizing the steering shaft would need belengthenating, and sleeping on the problem.  One of the benefits of working in small chunks of time, when a problem presents itself, I can just shut down the shop and give it a mull over.  I don't mind learning from mistakes, but I hate re-doing stuff.  

No A/C planned at this time, and going with manual steering, too.  There's actually a decent amount of real estate over there and a P/S pump or A/C compressor would likely fit, but, meh, I run all sorts of cars without A/C.  For me, it's part of the territory of hot rods.  I honestly don't mind an 80 or 85 degree day in a warm car, and if it gets much hotter than that I'd probably not drive it anyway.  Heck, at this point, heat isn't even in the current plan.  Heaters add weight.  devil

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/13/20 1:40 p.m.

Before working on the pedal cluster, the exhaust manifold needed some modification.  Where the manifold exits was right where the gas pedal would likely need to be.  Hot feet!  And the added irony of having spent gasoline fumes blowing over the foot that modulates the gasoline going into the engine.  

I looked at headers, looked at the price, and looked again at the car, and realized they wouldn't really, you know, help.  Remembering what I did with the Plymford, I pulled up eBay and browsed through all the various permutations of manifolds that Ford equipped its ubiquitous small block with over the years.  A mid- 90's F150 manifold looked like the hot (har, har) ticket, and as fortune would have it, One eBay seller seemed to have a stock of new-old ones they were liquidating.

"MADE in USA"....hmm...maybe the box was...

Though the ad showed "MADE in USA" and some other aesthetic differences, this does appear to be the correct manifold, and for $49 delivered to my door, I wasn't going to gripe, not too much.  

Old (left) and new (right):

The F150 manifold brings the exhaust exit forward a few inches, which is just enough for where the long skinny pedal will be relocating to.  

The exhaust will pipe straight down and out of the way.  With that hurdle cleared, now it's on to the trio of levers operating the clutch, brake, and GO functions.  

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/15/20 8:13 a.m.

Good morning, all 4 of my progress subscribers!  laugh  Happy Friday!  We're starting to lift out of the Governor's orders here in the Old Line State, hopefully that means this nasty mess that's been the last 2 months is on its way out.  I've been fortunate that it hasn't really affected progress on Kronchy the 1800ES, now with Ford Power.  And I hope, in some way, this has been as good for you all to read as it has been for me to do.  

The OEM Miata bracket turned out to be a good bracket to use in securing the end of the belengthenated steering column to the surprisingly-sturdy 1800 front inner fender.  

The lower mount needs a little angle bracket welded to the fender but should bolt right up.  Even with just the one bolt holding this in place, the steering column feels pretty secure and there's almost no slop.  Everything works as intended, which is hugely satisfying.

The pair of clamps on the upper right are temporarily holding in the new clutch/ brake pedal box, as a way to test different locations.  I bolted on various pieces of angle iron and used blocks of wood to figure out where the pedals would work best.  A couple of springs bodged in (again, temporarily) to keep the pedals in their fully-returned condition allows test-actuation of them from the driver's seat.

This particular pedal cluster came out of the '81 four-door Cougar that I snagged this 302 and T5 from.  I suspect it may be a somewhat standard Fox-body type cluster, but in any event it looks like it'll work for this application.  Where it's located in the above picture is as far right as it will go without the clutch mechanism hitting the steering column; since this was all set up to actuate the T5 clutch (and I have the cable) I'd like to leave it in this configuration.  I may have to modify the pedals somewhat (cutting/ bending/welding the pedal levers) but this should work.  The main issue right now is the lack of a dead-pedal area.  Once the box is mounted and I figure out how much space I have and need for the long skinny pedal on the right (which I'm also planning on using from that now-departed Mercury) I can modify the brake/ clutch pedals to suit.  

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/20/20 9:33 a.m.

Per usual, I didn't get much done this weekend.  But, despite my sore back from yard work, progress is occurring.  After some measuring and calculating, I framed in the firewall where the pedals will mount:

This part of the firewall is bolted in place, with angle iron around it welded in.  This way the firewall can be removed if needed for engine servicing, though hopefully that won't be necessary as it would also involve removing the pedal assemblies and master cylinder.  Still, I thought it best to leave myself an "out" here just in case it was needed. 

The angle irons are tack welded in and only 3 or so of the bolts are tightened; just enough to get everything lined up and firm.  I'll go back later and finish the welds and tighten all the bolts.

Next I located the pedal cluster where it needed to be on the firewall.  To determine the pedal height and distance from the driver's seat, I took measurements from my 2018 Mazda 3, since the pedal placement on that seems very good, and copied the height above the floor and the distance from the pedals to the front of the seat.  The pedal cluster is as close to the centerline of the car as it can go, given the clutch and steering column arrangements.  The pedal arms will probably need to be modified once it's all done to give some room for a dead pedal area. 

The Mercury booster and master arrangement just touches the inner fender...

So a solution was devised.

Peekaboo!

And on the inside:

Some extra reinforcement around the mounting holes might be a good idea.  Will sort all that out perhaps tonight before bolting the pedal cluster onto the booster.  Then probably take all of it apart and finish up the welding here, so I can move on to fabricating the rest of the firewall around the 302 and figuring out placement for the accelerator. 

Thanks for the vicarous living. You are helping to ease the withdraw of my rust addiction. Great Work.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/20/20 6:29 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) said:

Thanks for the vicarous living. You are helping to ease the withdraw of my rust addiction. Great Work.

Why are you having withdrawal?  Go get rusty!

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

Recovering from carpal tunnel release. I'll jump back on it soon. 

Make those of us on the bench proud.

 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
5/23/20 1:45 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

I step away from this thread for a few weeks (while letting my finger heal a bit), and come back to see you're going to have a Mid-(front) Engined Volvo ES.

Awesome!

 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/26/20 5:41 a.m.

In reply to Indy "Nub" Guy :

( while letting my finger heal a bit)

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) (Forum Supporter) said:

Recovering from carpal tunnel release. I'll jump back on it soon. 

Geesh, will you guys stop getting hurt?  wink 

Appreciate the kudos and words of support.  We're entering the long, hard slog portion of this project where lots of little pieces of steel get melted together and rust slowly gets de-oxidized. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/26/20 5:50 a.m.

As you may have noticed from some of the more recent photos, there was a giant gaping rust hole where the driver's inner fender connects with with the top part of the footwell.  One of the steering column brackets will attach here, so this needed to get put back to something approaching 'solid' again.  And so it is, after much CAD, grinding, cutting, welding, and bending, the end result is...

'Patches' continues to earn her name. 

The driver's floor was reconstructed from the longitudinal unibody member over to the left sill, but that still left a gap between the member and the drivetrain unit.  So I put some new metal over there, too.  Tacked in, for now.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/28/20 9:21 p.m.

No pictures, but I'm still here, welding, grinding, and welding some more.  E36 M3's getting done.   Little E36 M3, but still, E36 M3. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/10/20 2:09 p.m.

The new firewall is coming along.  Figured out where it looks like the accelerator will mount- it's a tight fit, but should work.  The sheet metal around the back of the engine I decided ought to be a doghouse, that can be unbolted, to facilitate spark plug access and whatnot.  Spent a bunch of time welding nuts on to the backside so the bolts will be able to be removed from one side, easily.  I also, excitingly, found a sheet metal supplied about 10 minutes from my house, so I no longer need to order material and pay exorbitant shipping, or drive to Baltimore to get stuff.  I try to use as much reclaimed steel as possible, but sometimes you just need something and you don't have it in your stash.

Anyway, here's what the firewall looks like now:

Think I'm going to turn my attention to the front brakes now, and see if I can get this puppy back on 4 wheels so it's at least a roller.  The plan is to go with vented 240 rotors, but I can't decide if I want to run the 240 calipers, which are 4 piston and fixed and have 2 inlet ports, or go with something a bit simpler, like a 1 or 2 piston floating caliper with a single line. 

Racingsnake
Racingsnake New Reader
6/10/20 10:29 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

The 240 calipers can be modified pretty easily to work with a single line. I put some on my Datsun roadster years ago along with Nissan Maxima rotors - can't remember the exact details but it involved splitting the caliper in half, drilling out a passage and putting them back together. Found the info on the 311s.org Datsun roadster forum - if you search for the Maxima brake conversion you should be able to find the details.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/11/20 6:46 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

Did you allow for insulation on the firewall and tunnel?  With the exhaust manifold so close, that space is going to get toasty.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/11/20 7:09 a.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

He should make an air gap piece but keep the slot open so he can cook quesadillias as he drives. Or something. It's going to be hot there. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 7:51 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

I plan to insulate on the inside of the firewall to keep out the engine heat.  I was thinking of also adding another firewall, basically like a double wall setup, with an air gap and/or additional heat insulation.  Thanks for the input- you're right, it will get pretty toasty with that manifold being *right there*.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 7:57 a.m.

In reply to Racingsnake :

Thanks for the idea- I was thinking about doing an external 'T' to marry the 2 inputs, but your idea would be "cleaner".  The only downside is if I need to replace a caliper, it would have to be modified as well. 

I did decide, after some deliberation, to try doing the 240 caliper.  The bracket for the 1800ES caliper has an offset to it, but the bolt spacing is right.  So, I cut off the offset piece:

And, after an iteration of welding and checking, and then cutting back off and trimming, and re-welding, came up with this:

The only modification to the caliper so far is that the holes seem to be clearance drilled for an M12 bolt, but the threads (and bolts) from the 1800ES were a 1/2".  A 1/2" drill bit shaved just a hair off the ID of the caliper mounting holes, so the bolts will work.  And I mean shaved- like less than a 1/64th. 

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/19/20 8:12 a.m.

Caliper is mounted!

Fresh new Volvo 240 disc on the hub, everything works and nothing rubs. 

Currently modifying the backing plate to provide airflow to the center of the hub for cooling.  After that's done, we'll move over tot he driver's side and repeat everything in mirror-image. 

Looking good. This is going to be a sweet ponycar/flying brake Swede wagon thing.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/21/20 7:41 a.m.

Was out beating on the M0lvo yesterday. You are so much going to like the final product.  I run a 3:31 rear diff ratio and a T5 and the car is happy  and civilized pretty much anywhere until you put your foot into it. The 3.73 was a bit rowdy on the HWY by comparison, but did make the guy in the rear view mirror go away faster when you mashed the pedal.

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