Thursday, May 12, 2016

Going backwards

Today we set out to once and for all to finish the engine bay, the cooling and electrical connections. It didn't happen, again! However we managed to go backwards, more on that in a bit.

Incorrect throttle cable
Firstly the throttle cable supplied is too short (see above), it's supposed to run from the pedal box on the left of the picture, around the front of the cam cover (off the bottom of the pic) and over the plenum chamber into the bracket and throttle body. However the one supplied barely reaches across the engine bay! Derek on the phone said it's more than likely that we've been supplied one for a K-series engine Caterham (the cool and hot sides of the engine are on opposite sides to a Ford Duratec engine, hence a shorter cable required). Anyways the new cable arrived a couple of days later and we'll fit that next time.

Coil Cover doesn't fit.
The second thing was the coil cover on the top of the engine not fitting (see above). Due to the new spec Ford Duratec now coming from Mexico the camshaft sensor (we think?) must be a different spec to the older Duratec and it protrudes up too far to fit under the cover. Derek again said that we need a new style cover; we have part no. 38E066A and we need part 'B', although I believe it's on back order, so that'll have to wait.

The offending article, camshaft sensor (?) too tall.
Moving onwards meant moving backwards, backwards in the car that is (See what I did there?)! It was time to start fitting the rear suspension and drive-train.  Firstly we laid out the main parts just to check we had everything.

Rear suspension parts laid out.
The assembly guide says to fit the handbrake assembly before attempting to fit the prop shaft and differential, however we couldn't find the clevis pins for the handbrake cable. That'll again have to be done later, however we did fit the handbrake cable.

Cap removed from rear of the gear box, ready for the prop shaft.
I don't think the Assembly Guide mentions it however we thought it best to fit the prop shaft first, good thing too, as once the Limited Slip Differential (LSD) is fitted it looks nigh on impossible to change or refit it! We put some gear oil on the splines of the prop shaft and it slid easily into the back of the gear box.

Prop shaft fitted.
Next was to fit the LSD itself, a rather heavy lump. Glad I had bought a new jack from SGS Engineering with a much bigger lifting height than my old one. Even so we still needed a couple of blocks of wood and some spare architraving nailed on top to stop the LSD from rocking around on the top of the jack, precarious!

Dad using some architrave to stop the LSD from rocking on top of the wood/jack stack, worked well.
Getting the diff in place took a while, getting angles and translations right using the jack, especially considering the jack raises in an arc. We had to raise, lower, then reposition a couple of times before we were happy to go for the final fitting, we also took the plywood boot floor (held in by a few PK screws) to get better access from above. Once we got the top brackets in position we used a couple of thick-ish Allan keys as a safety in case the wood or jack toppled over, at least it wouldn't then fall down. Then we managed to manipulate the LSD to align it with the lower mounts and get the bolts started in their respective threads (see picture below).

LSD in place atop the 'stack' of wood and jack, starting to shim. Note the Allan keys in the top mounts to make it safe.
The next task was to ensure that the diff was equidistant between the left and the right of the car. We had to measure between the same points on either side and then use the shim washers to ensure this would remain the case when the bolts were torqued up. It was a little fiddly getting the shims between the diff and the mounting brackets at times, but I'm pleased to say at the end of it we were less than 1/2 a mm out (and the bolts were lubricated with copper grease). I think we can be happy with that!

Looking up at the LSD from below the propshaft. Note the 3 shims used on the bottom right mounting bracket.
Once this was completed there was a rather long bolt that then went all the way through the top mounting, liberally coated with copper grease. The assembly guide mentioned about putting a chamfer on the end of the bolt (sharpening it a bit like a pencil if you will) to aid in fitting it through all the holes and shims, however this had already been done for us - useful. There was no measuring this time, the shims were just there to remove any potential play or movement of the LSD. Again a bit of a fiddly job holding the shim washers in place while you tap through the bolt with a rubber mallet, however this was soon accomplished.

All in all a decent days work. Nice to have big bits of metal fitted, still a little frustrating to have parts missing. However we still have plenty to do!

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