With all the comments I have been getting about the project (at least 5) I felt I should put the brake issue out of its misery. So here is the actual finished product ready to be put back on the Fiat subframe that will soon be finished with a nice coat of Pour 15. One suggestion don't get that shit on your skin, or put the brush in your mouth like I did, I think my lips will be black for a week. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
First the new brake brackets drying on the back porch.
Second. The brackets mounted to the steering arm/spindle.
Third. The caliper assembly fitted into position.
And Fourth. The final product ready to be installed.
After working on the possible disk brake set up the next thing to do is to check for clearance between the suspension and brake caliper. With the front sway bar removed and a small chunk taken out of the suspension the calipers will now have the clearance to ride in the suspension pocket on a full turn. As you can see without the cut the bottom stud of the caliper would shear off on a left or right hand turn. Not a problem in Lemons since all we do is drive in a straight line. Not to worry though the steel that was cut out has been replaced with more structural steel making the car even heavier. Here is the mock-up once the notch was taken out. I think it's going to look cool with disk brakes. Of course I can't allow the rust survive, and it's really getting on my nerves. At this point I just want this part of the project over. As you can see it's on everything! After a whole lot of wirebrushing grinding and acid washing and lots of showers in between (Thanks Judy for not getting too mad!) here is the end result, with a little help from paint. Before: After:
Some new shocks, rotors and calipers and they can go back on the car. Eric wrote: "You are a lot insane". Ummm...yeah a little too much at the moment.
Once the amputation was over there had to be decisions made about which direction we would be able to go with the suspension, original, MR2 or aftermarket? After building a strut assembly and working it into the front suspension I realized it would not allow for the correct clearance for the driver and passenger seats. What most people don't realize is that the driver is literally siting directly above the wheel in this car, there is no room for adaptation of struts into the drivers compartment.
Fortunately there was only a loss of $100.00 in parts and lots of labor to find this out. (Does anybody need a 86 mr2 front strut suspension with a 4" drop?)
Once I was forced to go back to using my brain, I realized that the the aluminum brake drum was actually riveted to the front spindle.
This is a unusual set up Fiat used to make the front end lighter which kept the car under 1600 lbs. Of course the original engine was putting out an eye splitting 26 horsepower. Not quite enough to kill the bugs hitting the windshield, only maiming them. This cruelty had to stop, and of course with the addition of the 4age motor the car needed to stop too.Once the front spindle was separated the next issue was to find a rotor set-up that would be adaptable to the control arm that would fit both a 14" rim and be hub centric on the spindle. Once again the 87 MR2 steps in as a likely donor. The rotor was within 1/16 of an inch. I just happen to have a special tool from my woodworking days that I was able to shave the extra metal off the rotor. The back of the rotor fit perfectly within less than a 1/16 of an inch so the hub fits snugly in the pocket of the rotor flush against the plate.
The next process entails creating a backer plate that will hold the Brake caliper on the rotor
Everyone and no one is probably wondering what's been going on in the garage for the last 3 months. Well the truth of the matter is that all projects were on hold while we finished the MRolla and got it off and rolling around the race track at Reno. Then there was our race with the Killer Zombies in high plains Oregon, an awesome time, track and friends. We couldn't have asked for more. The next race will be Sears Infinion in October and the plan is to get the Fiat on the track.
So now on to the latest progress. As those who who have been following the blog know the Fiat came into our stable in very poor condition. I have been able to rebuild the rear of the car by fusing half of a MR2 sub-frame to the shell of the Fiat. No simple task in itself but quite a good fit for what I am attempting. The front end is a totally different beast though. With the extreme amount of rust eating away at the frame I had no choice but to amputate 90% of the front end.
Once the amputation was over there had to be decisions made about which direction we would be able to go with the suspension, original, MR2 or aftermarket? The next process was to rebuild the front chassis to handle the additional braking power and weight added to the front end. In this process as seen in the photographs there was really nothing to work with. I wanted to keep the front end as original as possible to keep the car looking as ugly as the day it left the assembly line so many years ago. This is no easy task, what most people don't realize is that I have no machinist background, no special tools other than my trusty wire feed Lincoln welder, a craftsman 12 speed drill press and a Makita 4" grinder. I of course see no problem with that, most of my racing comrades have been using those tools to keep cars on the race track for the last 3 years. So here is the process I used to build new front I beams for the Fiat, staying within exacting tolerances so that the steering and suspension would actually be true and continue to have years of trouble free driving.
The suspension has been upgraded to 11 gauge metal throughout so as to have more structural stability and lets not forget the ability to withstand a slightly bigger impact to the front end.