I have been absent for a while so not as much progress as I had intended but other life matters have had to take priority (moving home)…
Yes it looks like the Cob will not be getting completed in this garage. the new garage is already underway and will be the home for the final stages of completion but I basically decided to concentrate on the house move and slow down the car build…. a little.
Not that I haven’t done anything – I now have the windscreen on – boy was that a task – changing it to black is no small task but it had to be done… Oh and you may notice I’ve fitted the headlights. unconventional I know but hey I like them. and the halo changes from daylight running halo to flashing amber when the indicator is on – ill post a video if anyone is interested. – I had a friend check them for legality with his MOT equipment and they passed, so should be good for IVA – just as well since the wiring of these headlights was rather more involved than I had anticipated (thanks here to my electrical genius friend Chris :)) and hence they would not have been an easy swap over if I needed to change to conventional lights for IVA. So now my rolling car is much more like a car, pleased to say the electric power steering makes it a delight to move around the workshop and on and off the ramp.
hopefully ill get some pictures of the new garage up soon (Cobs new home) – I’m presently debating weather or not to take my 4 post lift or have a new 2 post lift.
I prefer the 4 post for storage (and its obviously better for this type of car) but in general Ithink the two post option is far superior for working on…
Final shot before windscreen goes on tomorrow and should start looking more like a car. I have removed the wheel rimbands but will probably still have a pinstripe on the wheels. Once the screens on ill put the car on the lift and fit the exhaust and fuel tank. Still waiting for my gauges ordered back in November so beware they are on a long lead time! Once I have the gauges and senders I’m about ready to fire up the engine…..
This was not nearly as easy as I was expecting, I found it extremely challenging to get the alignment perfect – I used a combination of plumb bobs and laser lines – got there in the end, although it did take me quite some time! One slightly useful thing I found was when using the plumb bob technique to plumb up from the chassis points, it is not easy to be extremely accurate at the first attempt so just get as near as you can to plumb then drill a very small hole – from there I used a split pin to hold the plumb bob string into this hole and then made small adjustments until I was sure the small hole was directly above the chassis fixing point.
Finalised power steering The picture above left shows the ecu for steering. this comes bolted to the column but has to be removed and fitted elsewhere. I have tucked it up above the pedal box on the outer footwell panel but this meant that the short loom back to the column torque sensor had to be extended. The picture on the right shows the speed control unit – this little box is connected to an independent speed sensor located at the diff UJ and effectively controls the maps for speed sensitive power steering assistance variation I will be able to fine tune this once the car is moving. As a side note I am also working with Dave at Canems to hopefully make this box redundant since a modification to the canems ecu allowing it to collect speed input data is eventually going to enable direct control of the power steering maps and the tremec reverse lock out solenoid.
I have bolted the power steering column end to the body with a simple u clamp type arrangement this has a fairly substantial backing plate on the underside. The blue tape is the position for my bonnet lock down keep brackets.
Finally fitted the ujs and shafts down to the steering rack and was able to power up the unit – very pleased the steering feels excellent very smooth and silent whilst in powered mode!
That’s it no going back – everything is stripped down to the bare bones ready to be de-chromed and turned into Satin Black… Ill have it all back before the Xmas break so this will give me lots to get on with in-between turkey and alcohol!
Already purchased my bullet style side mirrors and these are already in black, Ill post more pictures of everything in black Marine quality Powder coat once I get it all together again.
I also took the tyres off again to remove the red rimbands – decided they look naff!
Eventually got round to making more progress on the power steering installation. After a couple of trial fits in the car and lots of measurements I am now very happy with the position of the column. The top left picture shows the replacement cross member – this replaces the GD cross member due to structural and geometry requirements. as well as substantially beefing up the mounting bar and the side fixing plates it has to lie in a slightly different position to accommodate the power steering. I chose to mount the power steering to a top hung bracket so the columns collapse mechanism can operate as intended in the Oem installations (hope i never get to test that out though)!
Once installed everything fits very well and the wheel position falls in the correct place.
only just fits in – but im happy with “Only Just”. Notice the little bracket on the square section bar with two holes – these will take further reinforcement straps fixed down the side of the body tunnel adding even more rigidity to counteract the torque of the motorised column.
New wiper motor mount cradle required. and new demister vent fabrication to allow for glovebox.
The column on the engine bay side. A new bracket will be fabricated to fasten directly to the body at this corner location Rather than fasten it to the GD chasis. This should work well since it means the uppermost column is attached entirely to the body, with the lower part of the of the column attached to the chassis. The next section of column incorporates a splined slip joint, so small movements between body and chassis will be taken up in this joint.
Final Check that wheel sits nice and square to the car and approx 120mm back from the A post shutline.
I now have the wiring well underway. I purchased the GD body loom and dash loom but made the mistake of getting the ls3 engine loom direct from Canems. Not that there is anything wrong with the Canems ls3, on the contrary, it is clearly a quality loom but it is missing the wiring parts that connect directly to the GD body loom via the two Round pin Lucas connectors (9 pin and 5 pin). Since I cant go back in time (which would have been my preferred choice) the only solution was to obtain the Lucas plugs (these need to be purchased as pairs even though I only needed one side). Fortunately Dave at Canems was very helpful in enabling me to figure out his loom and Luckily I have a pal with a genuine genius in electronics and what may have proved a wee problem for me, was resolved in a couple of hours between Dave and Chris. The new loom additions are now made up and terminated /labelled as well as identifying where and what everything does from the gearbox outputs, fuel pump sensors etc.
Lucas Rists 9 Way E Series Circular Sealed Electrical Wiring Connector
Reverse Lockout Solenoid
One problem I can see is that there is no real provision for the reverse lockout wiring.
Here’s the problemDownshifting from 6th to 5th presents a distinct possibility of pushing into reverse rather than 5th. OK I appreciate that it would be very hard to push it into gear, more likely there would just be a very unpleasant grinding of gears but that still means something between a very unhealthy situation and a very nast one.
Tremec deliberately make the Reverse position very difficult to push across to to avoid any accidental sloppy driving that may event in such an outcome. and to overcome this they expect the vehicle manufacturer to adopt a control system that energises a solenoid that in effect removes the pressure required to shift across to reverse. Obviously this solenoid should only be activated when it is safe to engage reverse, so the logical control is to use the ecu and a speed sensor that energises the solenoid at speeds at or below circa 3mph.
This is not a problem for the volume car manufacturers indeed its a designed in system for safety. However this presents a problem for the retrofit market or low volume manufacturers such as ourselves because the system is not technically complete without the control from the ecu to trigger the solenoid at low speed only. It appears there are several workarounds to this problem:-
I guess the most widely adopted is to ignore it. do nothing, just use brute force to pull the shift lever across to reverse effectively fighting against the solenoid spring.
Wire it up to the brake switch (and/or the clutch switch).
install momentary switch or switch on timer at the gear knob or appropriately positioned switch to engage the solenoid for a short period whilst the driver wishes to engage reverse.
There are some other variants and combinations of these solutions but in truth they all seem a compromise over how it should work. Additionally, option 1 also apparently leads to excessive wear on the shifter parts that are being forced, probably not a big issue on such low use vehicles. Option 2 is not a real safe solution since you could still be going at high speed when touching the brake and downshifting. Option 3 is just messy.
Further research suggests two better alternatives both of which allow the reverse select mechanism to work as intended.
Aftermarket speed sensor/ reverse lockout control module such as A couple of these units exist unfortunately they are all from the USA and run about $100.
Utilise the ECU. Trigger this from the aftermarket ECU if available. all the above device does is recognise the speed the vehicle, then allows a 12v trigger if that speed is below a set level (say 3mph). I’m not sure if this can be done from the Canems unit but I will be try to find out. It seems such a solution is possible from other ecu units such as Megasuirt, which can capture speed data and output a switch at a determined speed. such an ecu trigger output control that switches on a nitrous pump at a set speed could be hijacked and used. I’ll take this up with Dave At Canems This would be the tidiest and lowest cost solution effectively working like any mass produced car using the tremec’s. If not I’ll probably opt for the aftermarket control unit http://reverselockout.com/
Final set up of pedal set and master cylinders. Used aluminium spacers between the master cylinders and the bulkhead to achieve the correct free play in the clutch and brake pedal. The modification to the fulcrum point on the pedal set has worked well since I have not had to cut the push rods on the two brake cylinders (to the left) and end up with about 5mm of spacers to get the correct clearance. I ended up cutting about 12mm off the clutch cylinder pushrod otherwise i would have had more like 18mm of spacer. Used some laser cut aluminium spacers in 2mm and 0.8mm. the first 2mm spacer goes across all three cylinders then individual spacers to get the correct setting. Then finally connected the high pressure and low pressure lines. I’ll get a bracket made for the master cylinders, some jubilee clips and should get this plumbing finished next week.
In the first picture I have done a little bit tidying of the footwell pocket formed to the right of the accelerator pedal. It has ended up a reasonable silk finish gelcoat which I may just leave unfinished when i carpet or may end up putting some thin carpet in this pocket. Tried the pedal action with a mock seat setup and find the pocket really helps with the space – I remember feeling a little cramped when I tried this in the GD demonstrator but I’m pleased to say it now feels very “ordinary”….