Project EXI

The building of a Marlin 5EXi kit car, using a Seat Leon 1.8T 20v Donor

Apr 19 2010

Steering column too close to pedal box


Now the main bracket was fitted, it was time to change the smaller bracket.
I made this bracket 75cm long and 50cm across, but had to weld in a plate that can be used to mount it to the existing bolt hole, otherwise the width of the bracket would be changed.
At the moment it is bolted on, but when I am fully happy with the position I intend to weld it on.
I need to round of the sharp corners, and remove the black coating from the hot rolled steel flat bar.
I can now see how much space this has freed up, between the universal joint and the balance bar. This gives a much better result, I can move the pedal box lower by upto 75cm, which means I can get the ball of foot firmly on the pedal instead of the tips of toes, which is not an ideal driving position.
Next job is reposition the pedal box.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Apr 18 2010

Dashboard first fit


Now the steering rack is in a better position I could do a first fit on the dashboard. I offered up the dash and marked the center line of the steering column. I then cut out 9cm of dash so it would fit around the steering column. The fiberglass was easy to work with, although the dust is toxic, so breathing protection was needed.
Once it fitted over the steering column I had to file out the dash around the roll cage, and increase the size of the whole on the left hand side to fit over the front bulkhead.
Good first fit, more work to be done on this later.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: interior

Apr 16 2010

Steering Rack modification


I've not updated the diary for while, as Ive been focusing on the steering rack and fabricating a bracket to bring back some adjustment in the steering wheel.
The metal work has been cut and drilled. Then welded together. I used an M10 penny washer as a template to round off the edges so the bracket has no sharp edges.
It works well, steering wheel can go from 27" to 30" away from the Bulkhead, previously it was 24", was is too short.
Now the front bracket is made, it was easier to see what position the rear mount can be made, the photos in the Build gallery show roughly were I think it should go.
The big advantage I can gain with this bracket mod, is to reduce the interference with the steering column universal joint and the balance bar. The net effect is the pedal box can be moved about 8mm left, and about 45mm down. This will reduce the effect and maybe the accelerator pedal can fit into the interior, at least the side panel change will be less severe!! :)
Got a call from Mark today, who has acknowledged that the length of the nearside gear cable is incorrect. It needs to be 120-125cm long, so my current cable with exchange for the correct length. Shame I have two holes in the rear bulkhead, to try and get the cable to fit. Will just have to blank them up.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Apr 15 2010

Gear Linkage cable too short!


Speaking to Mark I had to make a hole in the rear bulkhead to pass the second gear linkage cable through. I did this and the cable still appears to be short. So I made another hole to see if this gained me the extra I needed. Unfortunaly not.
I measured the distance from the gear linkage mount point on the gear stick in a stright line (along the top of the tunnel) at it came out at 62cm.
In a stright line from the gear stick mount to the bulkhead, taking the shortest possible route to the gearbox mount point was 75cm.
I measured the distance from the mount point on the engine mount to the rear bulkhead in a striaght line this came out at 30cm.
the only possible way to connect the second cable up is in a direct line, but then it is not possible to fit a passenger seat, and even then the cable may not reach as the distance between mount point to mount point is 105cm and the cable mount points are 100cm apart.
I've fired the question back to Mark at Marlin, to see how this cable fits. I'm waiting for a reply. I honestly dont see how it will ever fit. It MUST be too short.
The ideal length for this cable is 125-130cm long, this would then allow it to exit the rear tunnel, and be hidden from view in the passenger compartment. The minimum it must be is 110cm, that is if you by pass the tunnel exit point and pass it through the bulkhead.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Apr 13 2010

Fitting Gear Linkage cables


I've now fitted the first of the two gear linkage cables, the gear selector will run through the tunnel, the gate selector will not, it is 20cm too short.
I will have make a hole in the rear bulkhead on the passenger side of the interior and run it along the outside of the rear tunnel.
At about £80 a cable replacing the marlin supplied one is fairly expensive so I will leave this as an option for a future upgrade.
The fitted cable is fractionally too long by about 6mm to fully select the gear in both directions, this is with the ball/socket fully wound on, so it doesn't leave any adjustment so I will remove a small amount of thread on gearbox end to bring adjustment options into play, first job for tomorrow before fitting the second cable.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Apr 12 2010

Suspension mounting, alignment spacers


Myself and my neighbour used a Metal lathe to make up all 16 spacers that are needed to ensure the suspension is aligned correctly.
Made from 316 stainless steel, with a 1/2" bore they should last forever.
Each one is a slightly different size to take into account subtle differences in the geometry of the suspension.
I have a good length of bar left, so if I ever need to adjust them, we can machine some more of different sizes.
I also got to work on the tunnel sections again, I have cut the hole in the rear bulkhead, given the density of things that need to go through the tunnel i elected to cut out the complete hole. Then i can move things around to find the optimum way to organize the tunnel.
First thing to try is to see if the gear linkage cable can be hidden in the tunnel and still connect to the gearbox.
One cable may need to come out of the tunnel early, time will tell.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Apr 11 2010

Tunnel Brackets


I have assembled the calipers with the re-furbished donor carriers, and am well pleased with the results. I had to drill out and use a stud extractor to remove the old brake disc countersunk bolt that remained in the rear drive plates, then re-tap the hole as it was a bit tight for new bolts.
I could then secure the brake discs to it and fit the calipers. I am pleased to say it all fits, and the discs now align as they should.
I spent the afternoon making up 11 mounting bracket that I intend to put into the tunnels, the brackets should allow me to secure two coolant pipes, two fuel pipes and one brake line, handbrake and gear linkage cables on the rear section.
I have the option of fitting the coolant pipes to the top of the bracket, and the fuel and brake lines to the underside. The intention is not to use the floor pan as a securing platform for the lines.
I have made the 11 brackets up, from 3x20mm aluminum flat bar, each bracket is 96mm long.
I can fit them about 10cm apart. I want stability in this area, as once assembled, it is going to be very difficult to check them. I intend to rivet them in place, with all the pipes connected with P-Clips

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Apr 10 2010

Rear Brakes caliper carrier from donor is required


Found a metal merchant not to far away (Southampton), called Metal Supermarket. Went down in the AM and got some metal so make the modification to the steering column, suspension spaces (S/Steel), and mounting plates for the tunnel.
Now the problem with the calipers has been identified, it was time to put it to the test. I removed the carrier from the donor calipers, and fitted it to a new caliper, lining it up with the rear upright, it looks as if it will all fit together as designed!!
I spent the day cleaning the carriers, drill and wire brush, to remove 9 years worth of debris, rust and road crud, from both the carriers, before painting them with some left over VHT paint.
Tomorrow should bit fitment day...

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: braking

Apr 09 2010

Rear Brakes caliper carrier wont fit


Both Mark and Edd, have suggested to replace the caliper carrier.
At first I didnt understand this, but thinking about it, and looking at it further. It seems to make sense.
The carrier on the new caliper is different, Im not sure without removing it, if the caliper is any different. If the caliper is the same, then transferring the old carrier to the new caliper may well allow me to fit the rear discs and calipers.
Look out for the update..........

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: braking

Apr 08 2010

Fitting Rear Brake discs


Now the drive plates are machined to the correct size, I've tried to fit the brake disc to the drive plate, and the wheel bolts foul the hub, not surprising really as the wheel isn't fitted yet!!.
If I mount the caliper to the rear upright, there seems to be a serious alignment issue, the center line of the caliper is about 20mm away from the center line of the brake disc. Something is wrong here!!. Have sent some photos of to Marlin to see if they can spot the issue. Will let you know response as soon as I get it.
I've also drawn up diagrams for a modification to the steering bracket. I want to be able to see if it is possible to extend the range of the steering column movement, but I want to do it in such a way that it doesn't destroy the original bracket. See the pdf here
I compared the new calipers with my old donor calipers and they are different, the old calipers would appear to fit, and align well on the brake disc, the new calipers has a different arrangement for the center line of the brake disc.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: braking
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