I said last week that Marc must have had fun building a chassis around our Pinto engine. hahaha - if only we'd have given him all the bits that bolt onto it! A piece of advice for everyone not yet building a car - if the manufacturer asks you for your engine to make the chassis with - give them everything! Carbs / fuel injection, alternator, starter, gearbox, everything you can think of!
The reason? After fitting the engine last week, we started to bolt bits to it this weekend. We went to mount the alternator, and - it didn't fit. Not by a very long chalk. And at this point we hadn't even put the steering column in. Hmmmm. The problem was that the Ford alternator is a) fecking huge and b) has a fecking huge bracket, and c) the pulley wanted to be exactly where one of the chassis tubes goes...
So, after some head scratching and phone calls to Ron, Claire's dad, we strike upon the idea of seeing if we can steal the alternator out of his dead Honda Blackbird engine. So we toddle over to theirs to find out that it's fairly tightly integrated with the engine, being driven directly off the crankshaft. Bugger. So, onto locostbuilders and Ebay to see what we could find out. After some investigation, we found that some Daihatsus come fitted with a 93mm alternator. Usefully, the lugs are directly opposed, meaning it can be mounted vertically, which makes life easier. Ron happened to have some 90mm cardboard tube handy (?) so we tested out where it could go in true Blue Peter fashion. Even better news is, we reckon its a go-er, so I just need to keep my eye out for one now!
Definitely, if you're going to build a car, give the manufacturer everything that bolts to the engine!! We also tested how much clearance we have under the bonnet, and it's pretty tight over the top of the cam sprocket. That should be fine though. Touch wood.
So, what else did we do this weekend? I fitted the throttle pedal bracket - well, almost - as I realised that I'd given Ron back his Rivnut tool, and needed it. Usefully, Sunday opening hours meant I couldn't get one. Bugger again. It's ready to go in once I have the tool though. Apart from that, the engine came out, as we weren't going to have enough room at the front to time up the crank / cam. We also need to move the front brake t-piece to give a bit more clearance down there, but we need the rivnut tool for that as well.
We've also ordered a few bits from Burtons - a TDC finder (as we painted over the markings I made on the block when we took it apart - doh!) and fitted the head without marking it up again. The tool wasn't too expensive, but the adapter to fit a 14mm spark plug hole was! We also got some adapters to fit the coil pack, and be able to put standard distributer-type leads on them. Something useful from Halfords! :)
This week, hopefully we can get the engine timed up, the brake t-piece moved and the front pipes re-made, and the engine back in. We then need the alternator and oil cooler to be able to figure out where the brackets / pipe runs, etc., need to go. Ron's taken the trigger wheel away with him to get the centre turned out on a lathe, so we can mount it on the crank pulley. There's so much to do, but we need all the bits together to be able to do it - it's costing a fortune at the moment!!
I'll stick another update on later in the week, we'll see if we manage it!!