Kurt Bilinski's build

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ChrisS
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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby ChrisS » 14 Feb 2018, 01:30

I like the original subtle arch myself, but I can certainly see the benefits with your setup. Looks an awkward piece to modify....good luck!

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 19 Feb 2018, 17:48

New transmission arrived today and will (hopefully) be installed next week.
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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 20 Feb 2018, 15:24

Removing the engine is enough work that consideration is being given to taking it out through the bottom instead. The hope is that by just disconnecting/removing a few things, the entire assembly can be lowered on a jack, then the chassis lifted with an engine hoist. In this particular operation, I don't even need to completely remove the engine; it just needs to get low enough to allow the transmission to be disconnected. This could be a really short investigation though because the chassis wasn't designed for it. If any part of the chassis extends under the edge of the drivetrain envelope, it can't happen.

The theory is that while cutting out the engine diagonals and making it bolt-in adds labor, more labor is saved by not having to completely remove the engine through the top of the chassis. We'll see.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby ChrisS » 20 Feb 2018, 23:51

On the Stratos rep I used to have, it was just possible to get the gearbox out with the engine in place. I think I could just manage that same trick on my Midlana too, but I appreciate it’s going to vary from one car to another. One thing that made it easier on the Stratos was being able to remove the entire rear “clamshell” bodywork in one piece. Made for easy access.

Good luck with the job Kurt, here’s hoping you can find an easy way to get it done. Looking forward to the report.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 26 Feb 2018, 09:45

Drained all the liquids. The nice thing about using distilled water for coolant means it's okay to let it run down the storm drain because there's no antifreeze.

The earlier idea that dropping the engine out the bottom isn't looking as promising because all the same stuff has to be removed: intake, exhaust, cooling, electrical, oil lines, shift cables, etc. The difference with Kimini was that the chassis assembly behind the engine was part of the engine tray, allowing full access to the engine and letting it be lowered without it hitting anything. Because the chassis behind the engine in Midlana is fixed, all the engine bits above it have to be removed, negating some of the benefits.

I also looked really hard to see if there's enough room to slide the engine and transmission apart while still in the car, but it's just too confined. The concern is getting them partly separated but being unable to get the transmission input shaft completely clear of the clutch assembly. Because it's a twin-disc clutch, there's two sets of splines to engage; the worry is that one disc could get shifted and prevent the two from being reconnected, possibly ending up with them jammed in the engine compartment without a clean way to pull either. We'll see, but right now it's looking like it's coming out the top again.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby ChrisS » 26 Feb 2018, 13:17

Probably of little help, but I always use guide studs when mating or separating a gearbox these days. Just cut the heads of some suitable bolts and cut some screwdriver slots in them so they are easy to install & remove. Make them long enough to allow the input shaft to clear the clutch and that solves those issues. Might not be do-able in such a tight space though.

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 26 Feb 2018, 13:37

Yeah there's just not much room, and with the transmission being right around 100 lbs, it's both awkward and ponderous to move around that much mass.

I'm realizing that it might take a bit longer than expected to get the car back on the road due to other matters coming to light:
- There's the rear engine mount that needs redoing or redesign
- There's the perpetually-leaking front chain cover that - if I want to fix things right, needs to be pulled off and redone. I'm up to doing that but would rather not have to remove the pan, due to the gasket being shared. Unfortunately it's likely that the gasket will get damaged when the front cover's removed.
- There's the stuck CV housing. Long story short, the CV end of the axle is stuck good in the transmission. WaveTrac is somewhat local to me so I'm dropping it off to them for repair, but that'll take a few days. At first that seemed like a problem but now it's no longer the "tall pole in the tent." Oh well, there's no schedule for this - other than having the floor clear by the time the wife wants her garage back!

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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Midlana1 » 16 Mar 2018, 12:49

Drivetrain's back in the car but have only done one short test drive due to rain. In that short drive however, it was fairly noticeable how much lower-geared (numerically) first gear was when leaving a stop. It's about perfect in a 1600-lb Midlana but Honda owners who bad-mouthed it are right; having this in a 3400-lb Honda would be a real pain and wear the clutch out in short order.

No sounds were noticed coming out from the LSD but that's not surprising given how noisy the car is overall.

The transmission shop is currently going through the transmission to prepare it for sale - see the ad here http://www.midlana.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&p=8941#p8941

Various odds and ends:
During the test drive, a log was made to recalibrate the ECU's "gear" variable function. The transmission doesn't produce gear position directly but the ECU has all the variables needed to create one. It's not perfect but is handy for various things such as boost-by-gear. Speaking of that, boost in 5th and 6th were increased to the maximum value - that'll be fun. Assuming it's clear this weekend I'll do a longer drive to fully break in the gears, then change the transmission oil when I get back, as requested by the gear manufacturer.

I reworked the rear engine mount (which resists torque) while the engine was out but don't like it, as it transmits too much vibration. I have a plan to basically roll my own, you'll see pictures here. The sweet thing is that the stiffness will be easily changed.

There's the wings to make, which is a significant project but since it's a fairly compartmentalized, I can drive the car while that's underway.

Rear diffuser, and right after that, filling in the gap above it, created when the damaged panel was cut out after my big off at Willow Springs. Will probably use screen mesh.

Upgrading the alternator. Totaling up everything, if I'm driving at night in stop-and-go traffic, the lights are on, the electric water pump, radiator pan, fuel pump, and of course the ECU. That totals to about 80 amps. I'm considering adding a small oil pump and cooler to the transmission, which moves the total closer to 90 amps potentially at idle. Just for the peace of mind I'd like to be able to support all that without having to load-shed as the battery voltage drops off. Other things I've noticed is that the stock Chevy pickup alternator I'm using produces around 14V when I first start the car and everything's cool - which is about right. But, warm everything up and even on the freeway with just the essentials (water pump and fuel pump), battery voltage ends up around 13.5V, lower than I'd like.

There are a couple solutions, like feed cooling air to the alternator, and put on a slightly smaller-diameter pulley, but I'm leaning towards going with a unit that can support everything even at idle, such as the PowerMaster 478618. Even better, it has remote sense and the output voltage is adjustable. We'll see.

Engine cover

Long ago I bought LED signal flashers because the old-school mechanical ones don't work with LEDs. Until recently, LED car lights weren't a "thing", so it was random chance how the mechanical flasher sockets were wired (since polarity didn't matter). Of course mine's wired backwards so just plugging in the LED-compatible part does nothing. I'll have to pull the fuse block out to access the rear of it and swap the pins.

Other things on the back burner are adding a transparent bulkhead window behind the seat to see what that does to the wind and noise. Further back on the burner is door fabrication. Pretty sure how I want to do it, it just comes down to endless details such as: material, frame substructure, hinge type, fabrication, and placement, weather stripping, and a latch.

As mentioned elsewhere, a Sony camcorder is on the way to replace the cursed GoPro.

ShadowCat38
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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby ShadowCat38 » 18 Mar 2018, 05:52

ALRIGHT! You're doing doors! I'll take and post good notes on how I'm doing mine.

Just out of curiosity, what changed your mind?

Langan
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Re: Kurt Bilinski's build

Postby Langan » 18 Mar 2018, 06:35

I plan on AC too. Maybe even PS


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