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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
Where is THIS shop located....I can afford those prices....around here, it costs me that much to have someone to just look at it :cool:
The powdercoating shop is in Connecticut. They’re about 1.5 hours from me but I’m friends with the owner plus they have probably the largest ovens in the northeast.

With regard to your connecting rods, is there an ideal weight you are trying to reach or calculation of what the ideal target weight should be based upon how you are building the engine or based upon the specific HP range you are trying to achieve?
Just trying to make them as light as reasonably possible without compromising the strength. Then I will balance them end-to-end so they all match within 1 gram. The stock rods varied by about 5 grams.
 
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Discussion Starter · #302 ·
I am back from my 3-day excursion to northern NH to help my friend Tim with his R32 Skyline GTR. Of course I’m also physically wiped out. Getting old isn’t pretty folks….

For anyone interested in the R32 build, my friend Tim took time-lapse video of me and him working on the car in his shop.

I took yesterday off completely. Today I helped Tina around the house for most of the day.

I then ordered up the abrasives I’ll need to finish preparing the connecting rods from that 1.5 CIH donor engine. They’re coming in from McMaster-Carr and they should be here Tuesday.

Next I directed my focus on the turbo discharge flange I never got around to on the EFI turbo engine with the Chinese T28 turbo. If you recall, none of the turbo discharge flanges I bought were close to fitting. I did previously procure a piece of 1/2” thick steel bar, 4” wide x 12” long. My idea was to template the turbo flange and make a 1/2” steel flange from scratch. Instead of paper or cardboard, I made my template from .060” aluminum. I simply located two bolt holes, then tapped on the aluminum to emboss the turbo flange shape onto the aluminum sheet. It worked like a charm.

However, cutting the template accurately took longer than I hoped for. The thought of cutting 1/2” steel plate by hand into the same shape does not appeal to me! It will not only be time consuming, but also possibly debilitating to my hands and forearms.

I said ‘screw it’, and decided I will pay to have the template scanned, and then get the steel water-jet cut. At the same time, I’ll have some thin copper sheet cut to size as gaskets. Another waiting game and a few dollars more, but at least it won’t take its toll on my health.
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I am back from my 3-day excursion to northern NH to help my friend Tim with his R32 Skyline GTR. Of course I’m also physically wiped out. Getting old isn’t pretty folks….

For anyone interested in the R32 build, my friend Tim took time-lapse video of me and him working on the car in his shop.

I took yesterday off completely. Today I helped Tina around the house for most of the day.

I then ordered up the abrasives I’ll need to finish preparing the connecting rods from that 1.5 CIH donor engine. They’re coming in from McMaster-Carr and they should be here Tuesday.

Next I directed my focus on the turbo discharge flange I never got around to on the EFI turbo engine with the Chinese T28 turbo. If you recall, none of the turbo discharge flanges I bought were close to fitting. I did previously procure a piece of 1/2” thick steel bar, 4” wide x 12” long. My idea was to template the turbo flange and make a 1/2” steel flange from scratch. Instead of paper or cardboard, I made my template from .060” aluminum. I simply located two bolt holes, then tapped on the aluminum to emboss the turbo flange shape onto the aluminum sheet. It worked like a charm.

However, cutting the template accurately took longer than I hoped for. The thought of cutting 1/2” steel plate by hand into the same shape does not appeal to me! It will not only be time consuming, but also possibly debilitating to my hands and forearms.

I said ‘screw it’, and decided I will pay to have the template scanned, and then get the steel water-jet cut. At the same time, I’ll have some thin copper sheet cut to size as gaskets. Another waiting game and a few dollars more, but at least it won’t take its toll on my health. View attachment 443191 View attachment 443190
View attachment 443192 View attachment 443193 View attachment 443194 View attachment 443195
Well Mr Legere... you are right. Getting old isn't pretty but really Bob, how pretty were you before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #304 ·
Well Mr Legere... you are right. Getting old isn't pretty but really Bob, how pretty were you before?
If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is! 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #306 · (Edited)
All is quiet on the Opel front….

Been a very busy week, just not with my cars! Helped out my stepson’s best friend, he is traveling to Florida and needed help on some items on his Ford Transit Connect van. As is typical for an 18 year old, all the superfluous and extraneous items were dealt with first by the young owner over a period of two months. Leaving me with the important mechanical issues to deal with 3 days before his departure….

You know, stuff like: Is there brake fluid? Is there coolant? Do I have a spare tire? Should I change this pitch-black oil before my 4000 mile journey begins?

Anyway, 3 days later he is on his way, and as a bonus I welded him a light rack and donated/mounted and wired a pair of Hella 500 driving lights to improve nighttime visibility.
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I received a couple of boxes today, got my master cylinder for my Sportwagon, and got the remote under-seat rear heater for the Sportwagon.

The heater is an all-metal 12,000 BTU hot water heater.

The master cylinder is a Strange Engineering 1.032” bore aluminum master cylinder. They are essentially a copy of the 1980’s Chrysler master cylinders, I think those were made by Kelsey-Haye’s. They are not a direct fit to the Opels, but I’ve used them before. They work well with the larger 1975 brake boosters, but are a bit too large for the early boosters. More volume per pedal stroke = a harder brake pedal. I prefer a firmer pedal with less travel, and don’t care for the over-assisted feel of stock 1975 brakes.

To adapt this master cylinder, the mounting hole flange must be slightly slotted for the different bolt pattern. The brake lines also do not line up, but since I’m replacing all mine…no big deal. The last thing is the pedal plunger does not engage the rear of the master cylinder correctly. Years ago I designed an aluminum adapter and had a bunch of pieces machined. I still had a few laying around fortunately.

EDIT: I almost forgot, I did ship out the piece of 1/2” steel and the turbo exhaust flange template to the metal shop. So the flange(s) and gaskets are under way as well.
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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
I almost forgot, the abrasives for the connecting rod prep came in. I’ve just been so busy I forgot all about it. I’m hoping next week I can work on them again.
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Discussion Starter · #309 ·
Never got to work on the connecting rods this week.

Been busy prepping parts for the lift-kit installation on my daily-driver Nissan Frontier pickup. I was always planning to install a lift kit at some point, but that got pushed to the front of the line when my left rear leaf spring cracked not one…but two leafs. I’m concerned this will over stress the primary spring so I hurriedly ordered the lift kit.

Now, as usual it’s not enough to just fit the lift kit. I wanted to do it right so this entails some extra parts and some custom fabrication work. This of course adds time and costs more money. Money that I had hoped to spend on my Sportwagon. This will probably add a couple of months to the Sportwagon build as I don’t have it in my budget to do both as the same time.

As a result of all this, I’ve barely touched the Sportwagon lately. I got in a steering wheel
puller today (my old one is MIA), and promptly removed the stock steering wheel from the wagon. A test fit of the aftermarket 1980’s Italian steering wheel I found a while back was successful. With the custom 1” hub spacer on it, it looks and feels pretty nice.

A few days ago I was at Home Depot and I picked up a couple of lengths of 1/2” copper tubing, and some 45° and 90° unions. I will use these pieces to build rigid coolant lines to the rear under-seat heater assembly I recently purchased. Perhaps I’ll get to plumbing that this weekend.

Tomorrow I have to take a trip down to CT, and I’ll be picking up a batch of items from my powdercoat shop. These are mostly shop items like my manual tire changer and my recently fabricated storage cart for my tube bender dies. But I have a couple of pieces for the Sportwagon, like the coil springs, and the torque tube,
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Discussion Starter · #310 ·
Before dinner I managed to cut and fit one of the rear heater copper coolant lines, and part of the second one
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Discussion Starter · #313 ·
Looking good! What kind of mounting straps are those?
They’re just -10AN Adel clamps.

Since these are for interior use I’m using aluminum straps with neoprene cushions. They also make zinc-plated steel straps if you need more strength, and stainless straps for higher corrosion resistance plus higher strength.

There are also versions with silicone cushions which I guess are more oil resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #314 ·
Picked up a bunch of stuff at my powdercoaters today. I got a few tools (including Opel specific tools) blasted and coated.

I got my Sportwagon’s street springs coated. This includes stock rear springs and the 275 lb Mustang 2 springs I’m running up front (now 320 lbs after cutting down). My reinforced outer torque tube got coated too.

Another cool item I built MANY years ago was a custom jack-point insert designed to be used on lowered cars. A common issue with lowered cars is the inability to put a jack under the car. The offset jack insert makes it much easier. I lost it many years ago and recently found it.

It used to be black but I found that just tends to find my shins…
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Discussion Starter · #315 ·
I’ve been mostly working on my pickup truck these past few days.

Today I finished up on the truck stuff and decided before Easter dinner to work on my Sportwagon, if only for a half hour or so. I managed to pretty much finish the plumbing of my remote heater lines. I ran out of 45° unions, otherwise it would have been all finished, ready for soldering. Maybe tomorrow.
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Discussion Starter · #317 ·
Today I received a heater control valve and matching fan control switch for my remote heater. Got them both from Jegs BTW.
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Discussion Starter · #320 ·
I’m still largely in pickup truck/lift kit mode. I got my last lift-kit parts today in fact, and hope to have enough down time to install the lift kit later this week.

I’ve also been dabbling on the setup of my manual tire mounter I recently refurbished. I still need to pick a final resting place for it and then lag it to the concrete with some shallow expansion lags (because radiant flooring!)
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Yesterday I put in around 20-30 minutes grinding Opel connecting rods. Took it easy so I didn’t ruin my hands for later in the week.

Progress is progress…
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