Just a quick update: The engine is in solid now (there were complications) and I've got new nylon-braided oil lines and fittings ordered (after trying four different ways to re-do the oil lines.

I bolted the starter back in this am along with the breather tube and coil bracket, and re-filled the transaxle with gear oil. 

Here's a sexy shot of my car's jack as test-fitted, followed by a pic of the same parts on 550-0073.IMG_E4277

jack 0073

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The jack works but it seems to want you to NOT set the hand brake or put the car in gear. The car seems to want to roll a little as the jack levers under it. It's a little scary to do it. I might get a small conventional scissor jack and stow it somewhere.

Meanwhile, I'll just note for the record...

escutchen detail 0073escutchen detail

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Small update. Oil lines redone (maybe for the last time?) and so I put oil back in the engine and bolted the exhaust back on. Weirdly, it's tighter to the frame than it was before, so I'll loosen all the nuts tomorrow and see if I can adjust it.

Still gotta test the clutch but now I can maybe start the engine to do that.

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IF I can get clutch (wish me luck!) I'll be able to go ahead and tighten up everything— shifter cables, re-align the wheels, big axle nuts, etc. etc.—and then put the rear shocks, engine cover and various dust-excluding accoutrements back on the car. Then hang the driver's door, put the floor in and be at last ready for her close-up with the Maryland State Police and MVA.

Gratuitous shot of 550-0054's open engine bay follows:

 

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Tested clutch again this am. IT WORKS!

So of course I then hooked up the e-brake and then immediately pulled it and bent it cut it down and pulled the shifter to mod the e-brake mount to make it lower so it'll be more like an original. There is something really wrong with me.

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I can lower the round mount thing about 3/4 of an inch to bring the top of it even with the top of the shifter housing, and lower the front of the handle the same to get it closer to the top of the bulkhead. This will make it more like they actually were and give the driver just a skosh more leg room. While I'm at it, I'll also add another mounting screw to the front "leg" of the handle to tighten everything up, since it was just a little wobbly before.

While I'm welding stuff, I also plan to make a stiffening brace for the pedal box up front, as I noticed just a little movement there as well when the brakes were getting pumped violently for final (?) bleeding. It's only about 6-7 inches to the back of the beam mount and there are already bolts in it for the sway bar, so it should be a simple matter to fab up a T with some angle iron and half-inch round steel, with a loop to bolt it through.

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OK so here's an update with some stupid fabrication that no one is likely to see except for here.

I got my wife to help bleed the brakes like Danny said—hard pumps and such—and while she kicked those pedals I noticed just the slightest bit of movement on the front firewall/pedal bulkhead. 

As many of you know, that item on a Beck or TR car is an eighth-inch (3/16 maybe?) steel angle plate welded between the frame rails, whose top rises several inches above the tops of the tubes. It's plenty strong enough, I guess, but then to make my clutch pedal more "realer" I sectioned mine and welded those big chunks of it back in with the 220 AC stick machine which, although a good job for me, probably did it no favors, strength-wise. 

I could see it flexing, boys. I did not like that.

So I decided to make a brace tying the top of that plate, right where the clutch and brake pedals attach to it, to the lower tube of the beam, seven inches forward. Seems a good spot because it's also where the beam tubes attach to each other with that big channel piece that you'd ordinarily use to fix the beam to the frame head on a VW pan. Strongest spot on the front axle, I'd guess. 

I designed a triangle brace V-ing from inside that channel (thinking I'd bolt it to my swaybar bushing mount) out to a bit of angle bracket I'd affix to the back of the bulkhead. 

Then I started rummaging through my bucket-o-scrap metal hunks, CADing things out and shining a light up under there while trying to make more junk fit.

It's really tight up there in the space above the master cylinders and below the tank and steering stuff. Especially when you're trying to fit your hands in there with whatever you're trying to improve matters with.

So after simplifying and adding simplicity, I ended up with this.

IMG_4471

The curved part rests on the lower beam just behind the channel; the tube is centered on the beam. The bottom nut is fixed and welded so the bolt turns to adjust the tension. The middle nut is there to give your wrench something to turn, since the bolt head's gonna be shrouded.

It fits parallel to the ground. I have a bit of heavy C-channel that bolts to the bulkhead with a couple 1/4-20s.

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IMG_4473Then I welded this sway bar bushing washer to the bolt head, to tighten up the fit in the channel.

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I'll test fit it again tomorrow and, if it's good, drill small holes through the bolt head and the edge of the channel so I can wire it tight once it's adjusted. Not as good as a turnbuckle with a lock nut, I know, but I'm hoping this will be a one and done.

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mppickett posted:

Ed, I hope you're having as much fun doing this stuff as I am watching what you are doing! I bet you're over 3 standard deviations away from the mean on the Welsh Figure Preference Test Origin Scale (highly correlated with creativity). Short version: you come up with the coolest solutions!

No.

He (like other *ahem* pedants on this site) scores at least borderline on the Asperger's Scale. This stuff is 3 deviations past mean, for sure, and I mean that in the nicest possible way...

Stan Galat posted:
mppickett posted:

Ed, I hope you're having as much fun doing this stuff as I am watching what you are doing! I bet you're over 3 standard deviations away from the mean on the Welsh Figure Preference Test Origin Scale (highly correlated with creativity). Short version: you come up with the coolest solutions!

No.

He (like other *ahem* pedants on this site) scores at least borderline on the Asperger's Scale. This stuff is 3 deviations past mean, for sure, and I mean that in the nicest possible way...

There certainly are a few of us who need occasional reminders that everything doesn't have to be perfect! :-)   Although, as Ed demonstrates perfect is sooo purdy!

Update: It's good.

IMG_4483IMG_4484

I'll mount it in there tomorrow with a dab of silicone goop on the beam and lock washers on the nuts, and wire it tight.

A reminder: "perfect" would be if the thing didn't flex in the first place, like if I welded in proper gussets when I altered the bulkhead for the clutch pedal. 

I think this fix qualifies more as an "elegant bodge." 

I appreciate everyone's patience and encouragement over these past three years. It's the 11th hour of the build and my welds are starting to look "not totally incompetent," which gives me a feeling of great accomplishment and manliness. 

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So I tried to like military press the pedal cages up and there's no play or flex at all in those anymore. They move with the car's suspension now. 

I put the shifter and e-brake back in today, locked out the rear wheels and cranked the axle nuts to about 250 pounds. Looks-wise I think the interior's as good as it's going to get, in terms of fealty to the original cars.

This is 550-0018's interior as photographed from behind the driver's head.

550-0018 seat gap

And here's my car from a similar vantage point:

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Steering wheel's a little smaller. Shifter is a little shorter. Shift housing is a little bigger. But it's in the ball park. I'm OK with it...

 

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I've got a 17-incher on Bridget and it's great but you gotta kind of slide around and under it. Not sure I could work with one that big on the Spyder.

Here's the common interior diagram from (I guess?) the original 550 owner's manual, next to my car. Switch gear is even pretty close. I've got 8 (lower) as pre-oil/Accusump and 8 (upper) as wipers (which are not installed), and 12 pops the hood latch instead of the oil cooler grill slats as original. 

pedals and int detail-realPedals and int detail-mine 

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DannyP posted:

Yes. Definitely nailing the look. I seriously hope you have it come September. I'd love to see it parked next to mine in the Porsche Corral at LRP. Confuse all the arrogant ones......

Hopefully, if all goes right, that beautiful French Blue 550 will be in my garage come this September......I’m just waiting for 6 little numbers. (To match the 6 little numbers on my ticket)

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