Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
6/4/21 11:26 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Brotus7 :

Great progress! I've been casually looking for another Europa, but I doubt I'll buy anything until prices settle back down a bit. I kinda need to sell a car or 2 to make room first too. 

Thanks Pete! At least you don't need much room for a Europa, right? Well, unless its like most Europas in that it spreads itself across your shop and backyard in haste.

This morning: say no to crack! This little guy is right behind the drivers seat where the Y meets the backbone. I think this thing is gonna need a cage just to hold itself together.

Also, there's no time like the present... So doing some future proofing and zapping in some cage spreader plates.

 

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
6/30/21 9:02 p.m.

Frame painted. Sandblaster procured, assembled, improved/made functional.

Going to paint the front control arms tomorrow, but I'm not sure what color. Silver, gray, black or British Racing Green.  Votes?

RichardSIA
RichardSIA HalfDork
6/30/21 10:08 p.m.

I have never liked the new fad for making suspension and brake parts stand out.
It is the body that should be drawing attention. So black or grey for suspension parts.

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
7/1/21 6:08 a.m.

I vote for gray, mainly to make new cracks easier to find in the future.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
7/1/21 8:07 a.m.

I would paint the control arms to match the frame. Black or gray is my vote. 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/1/21 8:38 a.m.

Gray it is. We'll save the BRG spray paint for something fun.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/4/21 11:52 a.m.

Steering rack stripped, cleaned and reassembled! This part of the project is really satisfying... Can make visible difference in a couple hours without having to do major fabrication.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/12/21 9:53 a.m.

Got a care package from Spitbits that includes the trunnion rebuilt kits, tab washers for the outer tie rod ends and the steering rack boots.  Steering rack is complete!  With that behind me, I wanted to address something that's bugged me.  The rack mounts are undersized for sticky R-comp tires, so I wanted to machine up some gussets.  I screwed up the first attempt in a couple places.... I had a heck of a time finding center of the block - I think my center finder was behaving differently when I touched off the bracket due to burrs or the angled gusset face.  In any event, the slot and holes are all off center in just enough to annoy me.  Redesigned it and started machining replacements yesterday - hoping to finish em up tonight.

The guessets are to brush off my poor machining skills, because the next project is going to be slightly more challenging.  Big brakes, here we come!  Either 10.5 or 11.75" vented rotors, big Wilwood 4 pot calipers.  If I can fit the 10.5"s in the 13" wheels - that's my preference.  If those don't fit, I'll go big to 11.75" and give up on the tiny wheels.

So much room for activities!

 

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/12/21 6:14 p.m.

Shiny! Pretty happy on my overkill steering rack gussets. The look like twins to me. Time to clean up in advance of a installing non-shoddy digital readout on the mill and my fancy brake parts showing up.

The pictures make the surface finish look way worse than in person. In any event, I need to reset the inserts in my big face mill, or just get/make a fly cutter.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
7/13/21 7:12 a.m.

What are you doing for wheels and brake mods? The unique lug pattern makes it difficult to upgrade.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/13/21 8:42 a.m.

maschinenbau said:

What are you doing for wheels and brake mods? The unique lug pattern makes it difficult to upgrade.

I redrilled the front hubs to 4x100 on a mill and used oversized lug studs - Big Studs

Brakes are where it gets creative... I tried and tried, but couldn't find a low height, vented rotor that I could simply redrill for the funky Spitfire application.  Closest I found was from a '82 Datsun 280ZX turbo - I think  you may be able to get away with a simple flat adapter plate that connects the rotor to the hub.  When in doubt, copy...  We have a forum member who made a 2GR powered Europa and he was kind enough to share some drawings & part numbers.  The plan is to use a Wilwood rotor, custom machined brake rotor hat and Wilwood caliper - certainly not challenge friendly.  If I was building a challenge car, I'd either look at using Datsun rotors with some readily available caliper, or making custom control arms that mate to Miata knuckles.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
7/13/21 9:52 a.m.

I have done Willwood caliper conversions on several Lotus cars with the small front hubs (Elans & Sevens). I used kits sourced from a Triumph specialist in England that came with caliper adapters and vented discs from some Rover application that I suspect is also Honda. The kits were pretty poor. On one I had to clearance the caliper adapters, later ones fit OK. On all of them the disc mounting holes were amazingly excentric. I had to re-drill every disc in the Bridgeport. These all cleared 14" wheels, I never tried stock 13s. They were advertised to fit 13s though. If I can remember the supplier name I will post it.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/16/21 5:48 p.m.

I like big brakes and I cannot lie!

First picture is the 11.75", second is the 10.75" rotor, both are in the 13" wheel. It's no surprise the big rotor won't fit, but smaller one just might! Calipers get here Monday, but I hope to turn up some MDF rotor hats in the mean time. I'm not married to these silly wheels, but I'd like the flexibility to run small guys if possible.  We'll see.

 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/19/21 9:31 p.m.

Finished the biggest brake hat. Learned how I can make the next one quite a bit faster - I'm going to attempt to make some locking alignment pins so I can flip it around in my rotary table without having to reindex. Never done it before, but it should work in theory.

It appears to fit in the 15" wheels though.  I'll build the smaller hat and see if I like that more.  If nothing else, I've figured out fixturing, order of operations and a couple dimensional tweaks.

Shavarsh
Shavarsh Reader
7/20/21 12:15 a.m.

Sweet!

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
7/23/21 9:12 p.m.

I milled up the adapter for a smaller rotor, and unsurprisingly it doesn't stuff inside the 13" wheels. As much as I want to use them, it's not a great idea to constrain the brake setup to some $20 craigslist vintage steelies.  I tried looking around but there aren't many reasonably priced 13 aluminum wheel choices these days. Really, I'm a little worried about the snowball effect of going to bigger wheels driving me to need flares instead of just wanting them.

The calipers rub on on the front edge. Wheel spacers would make it all fit, but these have the right offset already. Also, where did all the 13" Miata wheels go from 15 years ago?

While I do a little more research before pulling the trigger on a brake size, now's a good time to replace the shoddy DRO on my mill with an off shore unit.  Sadly, the X scale I ordered is too long because I'm an idiot and didn't read the description, so while that gets sorted, I'll use the Z scale on the X axis. First up, gotta use your tools to make tools. Hopefully my next post will contain a working 2 axis DRO, fingers crossed.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
8/15/21 6:42 p.m.

Not everything goes as planned.

In my haste ordering a DRO, I got a 1m x axis thinking, hey my table is 42", that's more than a meter.  Well, the scale is 1m readable length, not overall... Thankfully the seller exchanged it for a shorter one. Even the one I ended up with is longer than I need, but oh well.  I did manage to get the Y axis hooked up.

Also, FB told me to buy a vise, but it didn't want to come home without bringing some friends.  Not a bad haul for $700. 10" Horton 3 jaw chuck, 12" Troyke rotary table and a new Kurt 688 vise.... I think I do these things to avoid making progress.... Anywho....

This then morphed into rebuilding the chuck, and thankfully the brain trust here steerede towards Evaporust vs building an electrolytic cleaner... Simpler, and worked great. 

With the chuck clean, reassembled and drilled to mount to the table, I mounted it to check runout and found .005" axial runout. That won't do, so off came so I can stone the high spots - that got me down to .0025" runout. From there, a couple paper shims gets me down to about .001". Good enough.

Now to install the X axis of the dro, then I can get to building the brake rotor hats. 

I suppose I left out the "why?" of this detour... I have a lathe, why not use it you might ask? Well, frankly, I'm not as good at using it and don't have confidence I'll make good parts.  It's a Craftsman 12-42 lathe, so small and kind of flexy.  I made it work work small bushings and sleeves, but nothing that'll spin and have noticeable effects if not made square. I had to use it a couple months back and it felt like a toy. I couldn't believe the flex in the compound slide! After all this, I may still try to borrow some time on a buddies good lathe, but more tools and more capability is more better, right?

Stay tuned, hopefully I actually build something by the next update.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/17/21 7:41 p.m.

I decided to clean up the floor, and what better way than to install stuff?

I've had this generalized fear of doing something wrong and it's been killing motivation. In any event, taking a break from the tasks requiring brainpower and pressing on. Feels good to drill some holes and bolt on clean parts. Rack for now, maybe control arms and knuckles this weekend.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/18/21 7:13 p.m.

Cleaning and assembling stuff is cathartic. Control arms and knuckles are ready to go. Gotta get some bolts tomorrow to replace the misplaced trunnion and ball joint hardware, then it get slapped together!

Master cylinders look cozy. Thankfully I have 2 more compact masters in my Locost that it hasn't needed yet. Unfortunately I can't install the masters until the body's mounted, but I'll be laying out brake lines soon.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/19/21 1:35 p.m.

Micro update from my kids nap time. Mocked up the control arms. I didn't take great pictures of the front end before disassembly, and clearly didn't organize stuff well... I don't think it had washers sandwiching the control arms, but that just seems like a bad idea. I also think I might have the front vs rear upper control arms swapped, but I'll do some research to check.

The steering rack had a ton of drag, so that took some troubleshooting. Loosening the clamps, and breaking it down to just the rack confirmed it's not bent. Reclamped and it still moves. Dropping the pinion gear in creates some drag, but most of the drag came from the follower/guide piece. In removed the spring and it's a bit better, but I wonder if it just isn't greased enough? For some reason the grease zerk was replaced with a bolt? In any event, I'll install a fitting and fill it up. Hoping it's as simple as that.

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
9/19/21 1:42 p.m.

The bolt on the pinion cap was used (at least on a TR6) for a ground strap to make sure the horn reached ground.  I just leave the zerk fitting in place and hold the eyelet down with some washers.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
9/19/21 2:31 p.m.

I just rebuilt my Europa rack and it also has a lot of drag. Mine also has a fill plug instead of a grease zerk. I would think we need the spring or else the pinion may not mesh correctly. I also wonder if I got the order of washers and spacers wrong, or if that even matters. 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/19/21 2:36 p.m.

I just stuck a zerk on it and pumped it with about 20 squirts of grease. Still real tight, my pull scale says it takes about 35lbs to jog the rack. I loosen the big bolt that compresses the shim and it's about the same amount of effort. My only frame of reference is the Miata rack in my Locost which feels a tad lighter.

Using it as a ground kind of makes sense, there aren't alot of accessible grounds only these.

I'm mostly concerned because the Europa runs very little caster and return to center may be an issue.

Obligatory picture of the 7

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/19/21 2:43 p.m.

A quick search of the net brings me back to GRM, I love this place. Maybe I should be using gear oil and not grease?

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/spitfire-steering-rack-spec-lubrication/10674/page1/

Ninja edit: service manual says grease. Maybe I over packed it? The tie rods and ball joints are new so they're on the tighter end of spec. Trunnions are nice and free, freshly lubricated gear oil.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
9/19/21 3:03 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I'm glad you chimed in, I was going to ask you and Richard for a relative comparison to see if my rack is fubar.  I reinstalled the spring- whoever designed the rack is smarter than me so it's probably prudent not to remove parts and add lightness. Also, did you have to fight to get the boots on? Mine put up quite the battle.

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