Seems like when you are skilled at something people want you. When you have a particularly useful skill you get hounded like it’s your life to take care of other peoples problems. Not only do I run that small speed shop with my cousin, but I’ve been a master mechanic for the past fifteen years. I have thousands of hours under the hood of a vehicle. In a world of parts swapers, guessers, and the tribal knowledge found on internet forums I’m the guy that can solve your problem. In one shot. Right the first time. No matter what.
Sounds like I’m inflating myself.
Specializing in engine diagnostics has it advantages and drawbacks. The only advantage is that it pays well. Someone comes to me, I tell them my price and they either pay or don’t. They have an option. Pay me and I fix your car. Don’t pay me, go somewhere else, spend less three times, pay more in those three trips and still have a broken car.
What does this have to do about my chassis jig and race car build?
Nothing directly. It eats away at my time and that’s why things aren’t as far along as I want them to be.
I also dumped my Facebook and Instagram. My cousin runs the business websites while I’m on hiatus. Now that I’m a social media leper life is simple and smooth. I don’t look at my phone every 10 seconds and only the old school, phone call customers can find me. It’s pretty damn great! I’ll never go back.
The chassis jig is done. I added on the 1.5″ tubing small supports for the legs. And if you really looking you can see the 5/8″ jacking legs with 2.25″ feet on them. The corner of my shop where the jig with be used is slightly off level. The jacking feet will set me perfect. Each 5/8″ rod is good for 1800 lbs of load and the feet is used are good for 6000 lbs a piece. This unit will never see anything close to that weight.
The jig was assembled on the level side of my garage under the lift. It’s square within 1/32″ and the side rails are perfectly parallel. I added 1/2″ coupling nuts down the inside of each rail starting 9.25″ from each end, then every 15.75″. I also added one nut into each corner of the inside cross member. This gives 10 positions for the Unistrut material!
On a side note there is one invaluable tool I’ve been using for the past few years. Wixey Digital Angle gauge is priceless when working with round tubing. Primarily I use these to cope tube ends at precise angles to each other, but if an angle is at play it can be used.
In the pictures it’s on a piece of 1.75 x .090 tubing that’s being cut on the band saw. First the tube is locked into the saw vise at a 45 degree angle to the blade, next the Wixey is attached and zeroed. After the initial cut the tube is fed through to length and rotated 180 degrees. This keeps the miters exactly 180 apart and gives a clean fit up, with no twist in the tube ends.
Trick Tools has just about everything you need for metal fabrication. That’s where I picked mine up. Check them out in that link if you have time.
With the jig finished I’ve been concentrating on disassembling whats left of the 240. I pulled the engine in August last year, so that put me about 30 minutes ahead of the game. Still taking it apart as I write this. I’ve been enjoying working on my own car for a change, it’s relaxing. Listening to the Ramones makes it all the more enjoyable. Having the freedom of wrenching to your own schedule and personal deadlines is a great thing. The payment you receive is not in money, but in blood, sweat, and pride.
I think next time I’ll show you the double wishbone suspension that’s in the works to replace the front MacPherson strut setup and multilink rear.
Sorry I haven’t made fun of anything or anyone yet. It’s coming.
If you looked closely you may have noticed an S13 in the background. That’s my car for next season. It goes completely against everything I stand for, but I’m going to show you how $2000 in correctly modified Ebay parts can make you a half decent race car.
Signing off – the Doc
Chassis builder, engine builder, cynic