How's the Celica going, Dave?

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Dr Goggles
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Ahem

Post by Dr Goggles » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:33 pm

A mate of mine used to say " as a girlfriend said to me once " or of course the reverse......

David Leikvold wrote:Apart from the tremendous amount of work involved the next problem is that the standard roof height is not that generous. This is not a big car (it is 6" narrower than the Camry(as a girlfriend said to me once) and already has a lower roof line) and with a standard seat there is only 2 or 3 inches head room( as I said to a girlfriend once) for most people. I just sat on the floor to measure the headroom. At best I could get 8" (as the actress said to the bishop) but I couldn't see out of it( as I said to a girlfriend once) . I needed to be about 3" higher to barely see straight ahead but even then I couldn't see over the inlet manifold which may even go a bit higher yet( as I said to a girlfriend once) . (look at the photos, you'll see the V6 isn't sitting flat yet) Add an inch or so for a helmet( as I said to a girlfriend once) and about 2" for the rollcage cross bars that will be above my head and not touching the roof and I'm out of room already. I think I've made up my mind.
Rob, thanks for the ideas anyway.
...few understand what I'm trying to do , but they vastly outnumber those who understand why..

Rob
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Post by Rob » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:32 pm

Hmmm,

If you chop it right down and open the sunroof with a cage over your helmet......

Frontal area is frontal area but I hear you RE the work.

Wasn't there a tank or streamilner once that the driver lay on his back and looked through a periscope? Yeah I know it's illegal nowdays, just seeing if the grey matter is all one yet.

Cheers,
Rob

David Leikvold
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what did she say?

Post by David Leikvold » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:03 pm

Son, I'll tell you this just once, get off the drugs and stay off 'em. Seriously though, the car would have looked good with a chopped roof. I chocked up the hatchback with a block of wood to simulate the angle with a 3" chop, it didn't make much difference visually but it would certainly have helped the aero. And I would have saved about 6% of the frontal area too. Did I mention that the rear side glass was a long compound curve? Try forming that at home in perspex without the right tools and with no help! And even if I did go to the trouble of making a perfect timber mould to form it, I'd have to make one for each side. I'm going mad just thinking about it. When I started this thread Doc, you warned me that building a car on your own would break your wallet and your spirit. There are days when that reality comes too close for comfort. So what have I achieved lately? Well, the rear suspension is together on the RH side and the rear disc and caliper fit well, the track is essentially unchanged so I'm pleased about that. Today I'm fiddling with the front. The Camry ball joint is slightly different but will fit anyway. I have stripped all the struts and have put the Celica strut top on so I'll have Camry strut and discs with Celica lower arm to maintain original geometry. The distance from axle centre height to ball joint centre is the same for both cars. The only major difference is the steering knuckle height, the Camry being about 4" lower. As luck would have it, the Celica will be at least that much lower than standard so the rack will line up very well.
Rob, you're right, Jack Costella's Nebulous Theorem 3 used a periscope. I think it still does.
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

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Lynchy
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Post by Lynchy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:27 pm

Dave,

Fast & Cheap = don't chop it.

Good can also = no chop.

Just get it done it will look good regardless.

Lynchy

Rob
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Post by Rob » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:56 pm

Dave,

As Lynchy says, just get it going.

Remember you're never truely alone whilst you've got the forum to share the madness.

Cheers,
Rob

David Leikvold
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as is

Post by David Leikvold » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:04 am

The roof stays as is. End of problem. Today I trial fitted the Camry front struts (without springs). Again the problem of big diameter tyres arose, not that I didn't already know. I took the RH mudguard off so I could see what I was up against. To tub the fronts neatly will be complex to say the least. I'm not whinging about this, I can see how it is very complicated under there to give the car some crash resistance. I won't need much of that but I will try to reinforce the bits left over when I've cut out all the standard panels. This will also cut into the driver's foot well so I'm ditching the standard pedals and booster (it gets in the way of the back cylinder head anyway) and will run floor mounted race car pedals instead.
The Celica tie rod end has exactly the same taper and thread part as the Camry so that's a straight bolt up and the rack height is very good. To get the front as low as I want, i.e. about 2 or 3" off the salt, I'll have to shorten the strut tube considerably and use rock hard springs. And that super low ride height will mean opening up the wheel arch a bit (height and length) so I can turn the wheels. I hope to get the top of the tyre within 3" of the top of the mudguard. Hopefully it'll look good when it's done. More exciting minutiae next week.
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

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glacial

Post by David Leikvold » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:47 pm

Nothing much to report over the last two weeks. I have started cutting out the wheel arches. My cheap angle grinder caught fire last Sunday night so that put me out of business for a while. I had almost cut open the inner wheel arch for the RH rear. Had to finish it with a hacksaw blade held by vice grips. The 205/65R15 is a very tight fit so I'll just chop out everything except the guts of the strut tower and teach myself sheet metal work as I go. I bought a Makita angle grinder yesterday so I should have done some more today, but I thought I'd read the paper instead and give my long-suffering neighbours some peace and quiet. At today's meeting at Don's I bought two of his Falcon rims with 215/60VR16 tyres. Thanks Don. I'll use them to mock up the front clearances as that size will be the tyres I'll use (on the front only) for those last few mph. The PCD is perfect and the offset is about right but the hub hole is 10mm bigger than the Camry. I'll just turn up some spacer sleeves to keep the load off the studs if I use the Ford rims. 16" Camry rims are still hard to find.
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

Rob
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Re: glacial

Post by Rob » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:24 pm

David Leikvold wrote: Had to finish it with a hacksaw blade held by vice grips.


Geeze Dave,

Talk about doing it the hard way!! The old can opener would have done the job methinks.
Cheap tools are a pet peeve but I won't start on that one. Great to see progress being made.

Cheers,
Rob
Last edited by 1 on Rob, edited 0 times in total.

David Leikvold
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cheap tools

Post by David Leikvold » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:02 am

Rob, cheap tools are great, aren't they? A while back I bought a Chinese 17mm combination spanner for $1. I knew I was wasting my dollar, there's nothing the Chinese can't make worse than anyone else. It hasn't stood the passage of time well and is now seriously bent. Loctite and a long bit of RHS will do that every time! Despite my misgivings I bought a $19 XU1 heat gun from Bunnings to get the tar off the Celica cabin floor. That job is finished and it still works fine. Go figure. I bought the Makita angle grinder because I've never had any of my Makita tools fail.
This weekend I hope to finish the wheel arch chop front and rear to get to the point where the wheels can fit in their final positions and I can turn the front wheels lock to lock with the guards off. I might even post some photos.
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

Rob
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Post by Rob » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:49 pm

Good tools at cheap prices are ok, cheap tools at any price aren't. Sooner or later they'll cost you more than what you saved. I hit the garage sales around here regularly and it's amazing what people discard when they are moving for cheap though I always insist on plgging any power tools in. Hitachi are excellent quality too and as with Makita, spare parts are available so you don't have to buy a whole new one.
It'd be pretty hard to screw up a heat gun, element, motor and switch. I've had an Arlec for 20 years, it's renovated 2 houses and stripped at least 4 wooden boats with no signs of age. I worked for a mate here who bought Super Cheap grinders and we'd get a new one almost weekly as the gearboxes let go. I even disassembled and lubed one from new but it lasted not much longer.

There you go, got me started :wink:


Now, about those progress photos :lol:

Cheers,
Rob

David Leikvold
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well?

Post by David Leikvold » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:51 am

All good things come to those who wait. Where's that belly tank thread you were promising to start? :wink:
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

Rob
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Post by Rob » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:10 pm

In the screened room along with the tank, I think I shall have to name my effort "Team Vicarious". :wink: I don't plan to cut a thing until I've been to Gardener and had a look and a chat to other "tankiphiles". I may as well start one to contain my ramblings, thoughts and other peoples input.

Cheers,
Rob

David Leikvold
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cutting

Post by David Leikvold » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:35 pm

I'm still cutting out the RHR wheel arch, figuring stuff out as I go. It's going better than I thought, thanks to the new grinder, but there are a couple of reinforcing panels buried in the top of the wheel arch that are complicating the job. Now that I have plenty of fresh air where there used to be wheel arch I can see my next problem.
With the Camry alloy wheel bolted in there is only about 5mm clearance between the tyre and the strut leg. The Falcon rim improves that to about 12mm but that's still way short of enough room to fit the adjustable height, small diameter coil springs I had planned. The standard setup would have roughly the same clearance but with plenty of ride height there is room to put the coil spring above the tyre. Not so with my ground scraper.
I might have to raise the mounting plate as high as I can (probably only about 4" as the back window glass is very close already). This combined with a very short spring might get it high enough to miss the tyre, especially as it flexes in corners. Another thought was to remake the strut leg and move it and the mounting plate inboard about an inch or so. Moving the whole strut mount in wouldn't be too difficult, there's plenty of room and it will be reinforced by the roll cage anyway.
I stopped in at Fulcrum Suspension the other day to ask about their coilover kits. With all the mods to the strut tube done by them, Koni cartridges fitted and the right coils they estimated about $1,200 a pair. Ouch, for a set of four that's more than both cars and everything else has cost me to date! An off the shelf Tein set of 4 struts for hot road cars is $1,399 but they don't make anything for my oddball setup. The very low ride height also introduces the possibility of having to modify the cartridge length which blows out the cost again. I'll need to know the critical lengths before I decide how to do this. Perhaps moving the strut inboard and jacking the mounting plate up would be the best idea. That would give me more chance of being able to use off the shelf cartridges.
The front will be even tighter. The standard strut length bottoms out about 3" from optimum ride height. Expect to see Capri style bonnet bulges over the jacked-up strut tops. Where to put the coils is anyone's guess!

And I haven't forgotten that if I'd built a streamliner instead I'd have no suspension at all. Oh well, if you can't take joke don't build your own race car!
Good, Fast, Cheap, pick any two!

Rob
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Post by Rob » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:55 pm

G'day David,

It's hard to help when flying blind and I think $1200 is great encouragment for finding an altenative (cheap) solution.

My first thought was is it possible for you to just move the upper mounts inboard? That would give you more clearance assuming that is the major bug bear. Actually, my first thought was do you really need suspension but I figure you wouldn't be perservering if you didn't.

My second suggestion would be to work out your length/width/clearance parameters and head to a few wrecking yards, tape measure in hand. There must be hundreds of different strut types, lengths and sizes out there, possibly even a front may work for your rear.

Lastly, perhaps hit up a supplier for sponsorship to ease your pain.

All easy to say when your not at the coal face I know but you're a bit far for a drive and a look see I'm afraid.

Cheers,
Rob

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Dr Goggles
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50 opinions for a dollar

Post by Dr Goggles » Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:37 pm

Hey Dave , many cars we see out there tend to zero travel at the rear and next to nothing at the front.....there is a difference between what considered opinion suggests to most people and what they end up with after a few runs......Dave Partridges RX7 has been through a few "drops" and if it had been at the low end of what he thought was usable at first it would have been easier . It's sitting on the bump stops at the rear now and has barely any travel up front , Mark Bryan's XW is the same from what I remember.....

Get the car as low as you can ,change the strut angle to lower the leverage on them ( as vertical as poss')and remount them.Don't buy anything flash.

...that probably doesn't make any sense ...like I said 50 opinions for a dollar. :wink:
...few understand what I'm trying to do , but they vastly outnumber those who understand why..

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