Saturday, August 26, 2006

Gear linkage part 1/Oil filter

A day of much thinking and head scratching, and some progress.

Plan today was to get the gear linkage fitted. First stage was a bit of work on the Mini gear shift. I have already removed the 'steady' arm which is bolted to it as it is not required on the Mongoose. As it operates back to front on the Mongoose I had to remove the base plate to allow full movement of the gearstick - the angle section attached to the plate prevents you engaging reverse instead of first. I have just removed the plate for now - the linkage is designed for a 4 speed box and I am using a five so may run without any 'reverse' protection

Once bolted in to the brackets on the chassis, I cut the rod to length which runs to the rear of the car. This then slides over the Mini operating rod for an initial line up/fit.

This then operates the two parts of the gear selector on the gearbox. The first part (when you push the gearshift forwards and back) is operated through an L shaped arm which then operated a arm which goes across the engine to the gearbox (not shown on image below), the other part of the selector (when you move the gear shift left to right) is operated by a short arm which is welded to the rod which runs to the back of the car (cross rod from this is shown on image below).

Problems I have encountered are the brackets for the gearshift unit are not in alignment so the rod from it does not run correctly down the side of the car to allow it to mate up with the rear rod (brackets need moving), and the same rod needs a universal joint in it to allow smooth passage from the gear shift to the rear of the car - I have found a steering UJ that I can use.

I have the basic idea of what needs doing in my head.....just need to get it all together, hopefully tomorrow.

Final job (so at least I suceeded in something!!!) was to grind away a small amount of the oil filter housing to allow it to clear the chassis - see below.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Few more parts fitted last night. First off was the handbrake. This is an exchange part which is modified to enable it to operate vertically rather than horizontally. It was a straight bolt on fit once I ground a little of the top of the bracket. May have to cut away some of the seat to give it clearance, and also put the bolts in the other way so they don't interfere with the water pipes.

Next up was the exhaust manifold - this was a straight bolt on part, may just need to grind away a little of the bellhousing to give a little more clearance.

Finally I refitted to top water pipe housing. To get this to fit I had to grind way a corner of the chassis rail that overhangs from the end of the upper engine mount just to give the hose enough clearance. This rail will be shorter on future production chassis's to avoid this problem.

I trial fitted one of the old Metro pipes to connect the top water pipe to the water pipes which run down the tunnel - and it worked! Just need to find one to fit the other pipe!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Engine cover part 2

Yet again too many distractions today so only managed to get the engine cover cut out finished.

The same process of repeatedly 'mark then trim' continued, and once I got the cover to sit correctly, I added back on parts such as the throttle body, fuel return & plenum stay bar and cut round those. Once I removed the tape I was quite pleased with the result. I have got the rear lower edge of the cover to sit level with the top of the chassis.

Wondering if I have been a busy fool taking the time to cut it so close - just think it looks so much better than a big oblong hole. Cover will be fixed by two pins near the rollbar which will go through grommets on the cover, then secured by two Dzus clips at the rear. The rear face of the cover has developed a curve which I may try and straighten out using a strip of aluminum bolted to the back of it.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Engine cover

Been a bit quiet on the car for a few days as I have been unwell. Wont go into detail but there is now a hazard warning sign on our toilet door.....! Good news is I received another batch of parts from Onyx - main items being pedal box, sump, pick up pipe, exhaust manifold and handbrake lever.

I turned my attention today to cutting the hole through the rear bodywork so it sat in the correction location. The reason for working on the bodywork so early is to ensure everything I fit under the cover will not foul it. Offering it up showed a reasonable size hole would be required. There were two ways to mark out the hole - either make a small hole and work out from it, or make a cardboard template and cut it out in one go. As there would be difficulty in locating the hole exactly correct on the cover using a template, I went for the first method.

Working underneath I marked the highest point (throttle unit) and drilled a hole through from the underside then enlarged it using a jigsaw. I supported the cover on two workmate units with sheets over to protect the paintwork

The first hole gave a starting point to mark from on top where to expand the hole.

I covered the work area of the cover in masking tape for the combined reason of making it easier to mark out and also to protect the paintwork. I worked out slowly, concentrating on the next part which prevented the cover going any lower, then cutting that away, and repeating the exercise. Along the way I removed the connection to the servo, various cable support brackets, and the left hand injection unit support arm. Where necessary these will be replaced once the cover is in place and flat.

By the end of the afternoon I had nearly got the hole finished, but frustration was starting to set in as the last cutting was getting very fiddly so decided to leave it until tomorrow, to prevent me loosing my rag with it and making the hole bigger than I wanted!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Engine fully in

Today seemed to be a lot of activity and not a lot of return, but the engine is now mounted.

Once the right hand side mount had been fully tightened, the mount at the camshaft end needed shimming out. I used a number of M8 repair (penny) washers and then cut bolts to the correct length. This then secured the engine at two points.

The rear/gearbox mount was next. This is produced undrilled and I put masking tape over the mount to make the marks for drilling easier to see - it bolts to two of the holes normally used for bolting the two halves of the gearbox together. I then marked up the bolt holes by eye and drilled 3mm pilot holes to check they were in the correct location. I then opened them out to 8mm and put the bolts in. This mount also requires a space/shims for which I have temporily used some 12mm tube, but will make something more substantial later on. Daft thing I did do was putting the engine/gearbox in with the bolts where the gearbox mounts still in - the problem this causes is getting them out as the mount is then in the way - doh! Got round it by loosening the other engine bolts and swinging the engine round slightly. I also ground a small amount out of the mount to allow the gearbox filler plug to be removed more easily.

So here it is in its new home. Busy with family things over the next couple of days but will hopefully get a few hours in here and there. Also the wishbones should arrive this week so should have some good progress over the weekend.

Engine in - images

Yet again Blogger fails to upload images in the previous post, and wont let me add them, so here they are:

Adaptor plate fouled on the water pipe pipe

Gearbox had to have four sections cut away to allow it to mate up with the engine tightly.

To allow clearance for the bolts that hold the plate to the engine

One of the bolts that holds the gearbox to the plate has to have the side of the head removed to give it clearance from the engine casing .

And finally engine and gear box mated together in their new orientation. Note how low the front of the engine sits compared to the gearbox.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Engine in.....almost.

The most productive day I have had so far. Despite feeling a bit tired following being kept up with our daughter who has been ill for a couple of days, and not really starting the day with a lot of enthusiasm, I ended up the day with the engine almost in. A lot of the progress can be put down to my rally co-driver Jason who came round to help and enthuse - two heads are better than one, etc.

I received another batch of parts from Onyx on Friday. This included the engine/gearbox adaptor to tilt the engine, the right hand engine mount, and the hydraulic clutch conversion brackets. I also received a replacement piece of 32mm steel tube to replace the waterpipe I kinked.

First jobs of the day were to bend the new waterpipe, which came out well, and to finish off the supports for the seats. I wont go into any more detail as these jobs have been covered previously.

Onto the main event of the day - getting the engine in! First job was to remove the RHS engine mounting bracket which is replaced by the modified one from Onyx. The new mount cannot be bolted in at this point as the bolts go through the chassis, through the mount and into the engine block, but it can be clipped in behind the cam belt cover.

Onyx recommended putting the engine on its cam belt end to put on the adaptor plate and gearbox as the 'box can be rotated easily, the engine is quite stable on its end but as ever be careful to endure it does not fall.

We then offered up the adaptor plate and it fouled slightly on the water pump pipe, but this was easily relieved with the grinder.

The plate locates on the two dowels that located the 'box onto the engine, but these have to be ground down flush with the plate to allow the gearbox to fit tight to the engine in its new orientation.

We were then able to offer up the gearbox for the first time. Initally, the box would not go on as the thrust bearing kept dropping out and preventing it going completely home - of course normally you would not put a gearbox on at this angle. You need to be careful not to move the clutch arm too far or this dislocates the bearing. Anyway, we got the box on and it was obvious it needed to be cut away at four points to give clearance for the heads of the bolts which attached the adaptor plate to the engine. These were marked with a pen and then cut away using a grinder.

There is a little trial and error here - remember you cannot but back easily what you have cut away, so do it bit by bit. After about half a dozen trial fits the box went home snugly and was bolted up tight. It was then laid back on the ground and strapped up ready to be lifted into the engine bay.

Once into the engine bay we had to remove the oil filter housing and the coolant outlet pipe from the front of the head. We were only able to offer the engine roughly into place before time ran out to make way for other commitments.

I am on leave from work this week so hopefully I will get some good progress.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Another evening of nominal success. Decided to put the bends in the waterpipes to get them to miss the steering rack. As mentioned before this problem has been corrected on future kits. I had borrowed a pipe bender from a friend at work to aid the task.

My road rally navigator popped round to give me a hand, and after some back of the fag packet calculations we set about bending the pipes. Unfortunately we (well, I) attacked it with too much gusto and promptly put a kink in the first pipe. After some fiddling I discovered the technique was to put several small bends in the pipe rather than attempt one big one, or you just kink it - like I did! After a bit of trial and error I got the bends I wanted, which lowered the pipe by about 50mm.

By the time I got onto the second pipe I had fine tuned my technique and made two smooth bends. I am going to try and obtain some more steel tube to replace the kinked one - its not really that bad but would prefer a better bend if I can achieve it.

Pipes now come out neatly between the steering rack and the bottom shock mount. Final job will be to weld some 10mm nuts in between the two pipes so they are spaced apart enought at each end to get the hoses on.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Seats part 2

Well not a good progress was summed up when the neighbour came to help lift the chassis back into the garage this evening and asked what I had actually done as he couldn't see any difference to when he carried it out in the morning. Big interupption of the day was watching the Hungarian GP and seeing Jensen take his first win (yippee!!)

After that I got down to it, but there was still some fiddling with the rear seat support. I decided that I wanted it further back than originally planned to give the back of the seat more support, which meant putting the angle iron brackets in a different place. I nipped to a DIY shop to buy some more 25mm tube for the cross rail, but the only stuff they had was about 2mm thick and like a girder - way too heavy. So I returned home and rummaged through my 'scrap' and came across the handle off an old lawnmower.

A quick measure up showed it was 20mm diameter and about 1.5mm wall thickness - ideal. A quick chopping session with the grinder I had the parts and tacked them together with the welder.

If you are wondering why the bracket does not appear central it is because the seat is over the the outside edge of the car slightly to give clearance for the water pipes which go down the centre tunnel. I did the welds a bit more securely and got the seat in. It needs drilling at the rear for the bolts to pull it straight, and the captive nutes welded on, but otherwise is almost there.

I have put in the front rail on the other (driver) side and plan to replicate what I have done on the other side to pull the seat into line - they both appear to be twisted slightly and I want them too look as a matched pair rather than lopsided. Then I went out for a run in the 2B with some friends, so it was work over for the day.

Hopefully the next few days will see better progress.....

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Seats Part 1

Been a bit quiet on the Mongoose for a few days but had some action today. A work colleague kindly dropped off the seats at 7am this morning, and I quickly had them in the car for a sizing up. It was obvious that the rather agricultural (and heavy) subframes had to be removed.

As you can see the passenger would of had a windy ride! After the subframes were off the seats were offered up again, and although a tight fit, should go in. I also had to have my first test fitting!

My first idea was to weld a 25mm tube between the angle iron for the harness mounts, two captive nuts on the back of it, and also two brackets at the front of the seat. Problem was this did not give enough support at the back of the seat - being fibreglass it flexed and I could see the SVA inspector not being impressed. A lot of thinking and mocking up later, I went with the 25mm tube, but with an additional piece across the back supported by two offcuts of the old subframe angle iron. Problems incurred were making sure I left enough space for the harness bolting in and also the rear of the seat lines up with the cross bar for the harness mounts. Will pull the chassis out of the garage tomorrow for a full welding job. Image shows the rear seat bracket vertical part - this will take the cross bar to support the back of the seat.

I have also borrowed a tube bender for the weekend to put an 'S' bend in the water pipes which will solve the problem with them touching the steering rack. Onyx have modified the pipes on future kits so this does not happen.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Steering column part 2

Removed the steering lock assembly so I could get the column lined up tonight. The lock comes off by drilling out the two M8 shear head bolts, the remains of the bolt can then be undone with a pair of molegrips.

I have lined up the column in the centre of the seating position (i.e. half way between the harness mounts) and all appears fine. May hang on actually drilling it until the seats are fitted.

Found an alternative mounting point for the ignition lock - clamps to one of the chassis rails and will poke the key slot out through the dash. Will cut some 'corners' into the lock clamp to make it locate securely.

Finally, offered up the Metro radiator to the chassis to see if it will fit - it fits the chassis but due to the right hand side outlet will not fit inside the nosecone. Onyx use a Polo radiator as used in Westfields, which with some internet searching came out as being a 1.05/1.3 Polo from 1983 - 90, the core of which is 380mm wide, 330mm deep, 35mm thick, VW part no. 867 121 253E