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Which means "Evil Twin". Lets see your projects where you change boring into fun or create the fun from scratch.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:53 am 
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I didn't have a general thread on the rest of "The Mule" here, so here it is.

Most recent progress on the rest of the car that's not the engine:
Also disassembled an '84-'87 rear ball joint (well... actually a U-body minivan part) to help me get some geometric data on the early style knuckles.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:27 pm 
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My dad and I did poorly thought through mods to the right hinge box years ago... Time to fix those.

Prior state. I got the left part removed this weekend... got most of the spotwelds cut on the right part, but there are 2-4 I can't get to without a drill extender.

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Before I pulled the engine out, I also scribed the mark shown depicting where the surface of the cam cover actually falls. This corresponds to the top of the hole in between the studs on the original hinge box.

I'm installing the hinge box that FieroGuru removed from his car, so I'm putting a famous piece of hardware into my franken-rig.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:45 am 
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Hinge box template was cut today, and since I had the day off, I put it to work

I cut the horizontal 2x4 to be a "light drive fit" in between the hinge box and the trunk wall, thereby firmly planting the hinge box against the firewall. The Hylift jack pushes it up against the underside of the rear window overhang and the template locates it left/right. The welder is probably going to tack or rosette the spot weld holes on the right flange, then we'll remove the template, but put the wood back so that he can tack the left flange, then we'll see how much he can weld while the wood & jack are still there.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:17 pm 
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A couple shots of the repaired hinge box
Now that I've replaced it, I'll need to cut it up again to get the engine to fit! :roll:

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Here's a current shot of the engine bay... I'll be doing a bunch of "tightening up" work to make this more organized and packaged more snugly for easier access all around.
I have the '86 & older heater tubes on this car because they work better with the Northstar heater circuit than the '87+ tubes that T's the heater return into the right coolant pipe. Those tubes end up really close to the stud on my alternator. I'm going to add a dual tube hold-down clamp to attach the tubes to the body pulled a little away from the stud. I'll also re-clock the rear housing of the alternator to move the stud away.

I have 90 degree silicone hose elbows from HPS for hooking up to the ends of the heater tubes, Pegasus Auto Racing billet aluminum hose connectors to connect the silicone elbows to the heater hoses and Gates PowerGrip heat shrink semi-permanent hose clamps to keep it all together. I have similar for the brake booster vacuum connection, so I have 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" versions of all the things I just mentioned. I splurged on the billet aluminum hose connectors because they have thinner walls and larger ODs than the plastic parts store connectors.

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I've put several coats of spray-on epoxy on the A/C lines... but I'm not satisfied with how durable it is. I'm going to blast both the A/C tubes and the heater tubes then keeping them blingin' with clear POR-15.

I also need to get the tubes to the fuel tank expansion volume out, cleaned up and POR-15'd, although they can be black. I'll try to replace all the little fuel hoses while I have those tubes out.
I'll also center-punch the spot welds on the battery tray and POR-15 that corner of the engine bay again. I'm center punching the spot welds to get a head start at removing the battery tray when I'm ready to switch over to a mini-battery. The stock battery tray is a packaging disaster... There's enough space for a mini-battery UNDER the stock battery tray. However, if I put the mini-batt there and left the tray in, then I wouldn't be able to to ANYTHING to the battery with the engine in place. It's also difficult to clean/paint/de-rust the body metal underneath the battery tray.

I also need a new select cable and to complete the design & production of the firewall patch where the shift and throttle cables go through.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:55 am 
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I pulled the old cradle bushings out and installed the new ones.

This is a cradle bushing puller:

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It's a 2 1/2" pipe cap with a hole drilled in the middle plus 7/16" threaded rod with nuts and washers

I somehow blew some dimensions and had to take 0.030 off the large diameter of the shells to get them down to a slip fit. In measuring the original bushing, I noted a 0.050 difference from the large end to the small end. When I modeled the shell, I made it a solid of revolution and incorporated a 0.050 difference in *radius*, so the small end is smaller than it should have been. Welding rod covers many sins and I've updated the drawing so the next ones will work more smoothly.

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I also got the cradle bolted in and centered between the mounts for tacking the shells... although it's not centered on either shell.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:57 am 
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I guess this is better off here than in the engine thread:

I got the cradle mounts done enough to mock up to tack the shells in place today... After 2 hours on the phone with corporate IT trying to get my time sheet ungedorked.

Couple of actions shots trying catch whipping chips on camera:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:47 pm 
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I buzzed the flats and drilled the eccentric holes on the plugs for the eccentric cradle bushings:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:03 pm 
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I got some metal cutting work done on the body. My plan is to run with the stock size battery for a while, then remove the stock battery tray and replace the battery with a light weight tiny lithium battery. The small lithium batteries I've seen could probably fit in the wasted space UNDER the stock battery tray, so I don't think I'll need the tray once I make the switch.

I previously center punched the spotwelds attaching the stock battery tray. I did this to facilitate being able to get a spot weld cutter on them with the engine in the car. I'm going to re-POR-15 that part of the engine bay, so I wanted a location more prominent than a center punch mark, which would probably be lost in the paint. Turns out the right tool for that job is a 90 degree point spot drill. That locates well in the centerpunch mark, then cuts a deep narrow divot that should work well with the spring loaded center in a spot weld cutter. These look like I can paint over them and then still find them with the spotweld cutter.

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Even though I replaced the previous over-cut hinge box with a fresh one, I still have to cut it in order to fit the Northstar. I knew I would have to do that when I pulled the prior engine, so before I pulled it I used the top surface of the valve cover to mark the remnant of the hinge box. That measurement informs this cut sequence.

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In a nutshell, the horizontal cut on the mating face of the hinge box goes right through the center of the hole midway between the two studs. The cut on the left (inboard) face then goes forward at a 45 degree angle.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:26 am 
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The cutting is very nice but its the die-grinder that caught my eye.....the looks like it was made before I was born!......and still working so there's hope for me :lol:

Have you priced the lithium batteries? I looked at one a few months ago that was $8-900, which led me to like the lead one I already have.....it is a big weight savings but it doesn't come cheap :(


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:10 pm 
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The die grinder is my dad's, as you probably guessed! :lol:

It used to work fine for long periods, but then it needed new bearings. He put new bearings in it and they must have too much drag or something because it doesn't turn as fast and heats up quickly.

And yeah, the extra cost and integration effort of a Lithium battery is why I'm not removing the tray now.


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