Project EXI

The building of a Marlin 5EXi kit car, using a Seat Leon 1.8T 20v Donor

February 2010 Archives

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Feb 28 2010

Fitting Battery plate


Time to fix the battery mounting plate to the chassis. I am locating the battery as to close the original place in the Donor as possible.
This then allows you to use the same thick cables for the starter motor and the alternator. Having said that the battery plate will fit better turned through 90 degreess, the starter motor will still reach the +ve on the battery (+ve rearmost on the EXi)
The ground cable should also reach, the eyelet halfway along is the chassis ground. The big question is if the alternator cable which connects to Pin5 on the battery fuse plate will reach. If it doesn't then it a 150Amp cable 2m long with an eyelet on each each.
I had to make up two securing plates, to hold the underside of the battery plate in place. I had some 2.5mm think aluminium sheet. So I used that.
To stop the mount plate from twisting around the chassis member, I use the recessed hole on the top of the chassis plate and drilled into the chassis beam. Using an M6 counter sunk screw and aa Rivnut. This seems to hold everything in place.
Not to sure about the long term fatigue here (with just one bolt), so I have also drilled a hole from the inside of the battery plate at 45 degreess into the chassis beam, and used another RivNut and M6 bolt.
I lost two rivnuts in the process, these fell into the chassis beam when tightening then bolt, I hope they dont make a horrible rattle, particulary when braking when the car is on the road. Hopefully they will get stuck somewhere :)
I put some high density foam between the plates and the chassis to increase the friction.
I placed an order today from AES, for the reels of cable and switch gear that I need to build the wiring loom That should arrive mid week. Then its onto the wiring !! If I get my ECU from Marlin, I might be able to fire the engine up in a few weeks!!!
I also need to get some Nuts & Bolts, I need replacement bolts for the driveshafts, I need 12 but only have 10, so I will replace them all.
I also need some M6x20mm dome head bolts, for the tunnels, using domeheads will allow me not to fail on IVA due to sharp edges, particulary if I dont carpet the inside. I am planning on carpetting. But the dome heads will also prevent the bolts heads cutting the top of the carpet.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: electrical

Feb 27 2010

Rivnutting the front tunnel sections


I bought a RivNut tool from MemFast. I ordered it one day and received it the next, without Rivnuts, so ordered them on friday and got them in the post this morning. Superb delivery from MemFast, and what is a very sturdy design (has a liftime gurantee).
Being a newbie with RivNuts I was quite keen to try it out, and see how it all works.
As I hadnt fitted the two tunnels yet, these made an Ideal candidate to experiment on. For the front tunnel section I though 6 x M6 bolts would do the job, so it was drill time, once the tunnel was drilled I could then drill the chassis, so this was drilled with a 9 mm drill.
Once drilled the RivNuts were inserted and the memfast riv nut tool put into action. It was brillant, simple, no knucles smashed (Unlike Blin/Pop Rivets) and job done. The tunnels now have a secure non permanent fixings, so once installed I can get access to service anything that runs through the tunnels.
I think I may be a RivNut convert. :)

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: structual

Feb 25 2010

Front uprights


I received the replacement front wheel bearing and found out that you have to mount the free spindle from the inside of the front upright. I torqued the bolts to 100Nm, dont know what they should be.
The bearing fitted very easily so that was good.
I had to get hold of an M6x16 Countersunk screw to hold the front brake disc in place.
I had to re-tap one of the caliper thread on the upright, as the internal thread was caked in powder coat.
Got holf of 2 M10x60 bolts to secure the Willwood 4 pot calipers. Installing the brake pads was a breeze, and eveything lined up with the caliper mount points on the Marlin supplied upright.
I repeated the same for the other side.
The 5EXI now has front hub, discs and calipers !!! Excellent

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 21 2010

Painting the driveshafts


Today was a good day to start the next big job, and that was to refurbish the driveshafts. Using a drill with wire brush attachments I cleaned up the driveshafts, removde all the rust from each end, to give them a really good clean. Removed the bad paint from the shaft and cleaned up.
A wipe over with some cleaning spirit and the drive shafts were ready for some paint.
When I installed the engine, some of the engine mounts lost their paint, so I also wire brushed these areas ready for a paint touch up.
The starter motor was also cleaned and ready to be given a new lease of live.
I used Hammerite Smooth black, touched up the engine mounts, and the drive shafts.
For the starter motor I Used some left over VHT paint from the engine block. I did not want the starter motor to paint to burn, so VHT was the safer option. Given they can get hot when running, plus its mounted to the enginer block, so heat transfer would be quite high.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: powertrain

Feb 20 2010

Fitting the accelerator pedal


The Seat had a "Fly-by-Wire" Accelerator and not a cable version. This was important for me to use.
I am using the Marlin supplied MDP pedal box, so I have removed the cable accelerator from that.
Having already mounted the pedal assembly between the front bulkhead chassis, I knew that fitting the accelerator was not going to be straight forward.
The width of the space on the front bulkhead was not enough to mount the accelerator, and coupled with the pedal box mountings it was not going to fit flush if it did.
So having thought about it for the last week. I needed to make a bracket that could support the accelerator pedal, without running the risk of failing due to fatigue. After all this is a Marlin and not a Toyota!
If I made the bracket it would mean that the side panel would also need modifying to fit around the pedal. You would of thought that the pedal box could be moved leftwards a bit, but it cant as the steering column needs to go between the clutch and brake pedal, and it still need to mount to the chassis through the bulkhead.
So I was left with no choice, other than make the bracket, and modify the side panels later.
The brackets main function is to provide a stable mounting surface for the pedal. With cut outs for the pedal box. I could also drill through the bracket, through front bulkhead, and through chassis upright member and use and M6 bolt and nut to firmly fix the pedal to the chassis, works for me!!
Pictures speak a thousand words so see the photos!!

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 15 2010

More on the rear uprights


Ive started to clean the rear uprights, so it is easier to see what needs to be done. First was to remove the old bearing collar from the shaft of the rear drive plates. As it is a compression fit, this was going to be interesting.
I found I could get the bearing moving with a cold chisel and a hammer, once the there was a gap, I could get a crow bar in the gap, and by hitting it with a hammer get enough force to slowly but surley "wiggle" the bearing off the end of the shaft, lots of WD40 to help it along, and after 20 mins or so, the old collar fell off. Repeat the same for the other side drive.
To clean the assembly, I first used a wire brush attachment on a drill, then another drill attachment to finish the polishin, Photos show before after and during of the refurb process.
I measured the diameter of the shaft with digital verner gauge at just over 40mm, the inside of the bearing is just under 40mm, so the amount of material that needs to removed to fit the Rover/Honda bearings is VERY small.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 14 2010

More pedal box fitting


Now the steering column is in, it was time to fit the pedal Box.
I made a template from cardboard as it would be easier to align this instead of the unit itself as space was tight.
The first job is to remove the cable holder for cable clutches, mine is hydralic, so it was out with the hacksaw and angle grinder.
Fitted the balance bar, the rose bearing is a compression fit, so used a 19mm socket to hammer home the bearing into the center of the balance bar hole in the brake pedal. Fitted the two C-Clips in place to stop bar from moving, and put on the brake clevis's. It seems I may need to reduce the length of the master cylinders piston arm, although it may be better to space the master cyclinders from the bulk head, not sure yet, will think about that one for a while.
Next was to work out the height i needed to mount the unit, so I had enough clearance around the steering column for the balance bar, and to check if the pedals met with my feet properly.
Marked out the holes to cut in the front panel for the brake and clutch master cylinders, the mounting points for the pedal assembly.
Then pilot drilled around the lines, to pop out the middle, used dremel and files to round the cut holes off and remove flashes.
Rivetted the pedal assembly in place and fitted the cyclinders with M8x25
bolts (hand tight for now).
Just for the record
Front brake is 0.75
Rear brake is 0.675
Clucth is 0.675

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 13 2010

Front suspension


Ive moved onto fitting the front suspension.
Fit the front lower wishbones BEFORE you fit the side panels. It is easier to align the wishbone bolts without the side panel in place.
Make sure the bolt for the front side lower wishbone mount points forward, (if that make sense) this same bolt is used to bolt on the frame at the fron of the vehicle.
You can then sit this frame over the end of the bolt and put the washer and nut on. Instead of holding this frame, trying to get the bolt through the frame hole and through the lower wishbone joint nightmare.
It also allows you to remove the front frame without removing the bolt from the wishbone mount and loosing alignment of the suspension setup

Once the front is fitted move on to fitting the side panels.
I used the same method to fit the panels as I did to pre drill the floor plan.
Offer up the metal work,
clamp it in place,
mark where the chassis is on the inside of the panel.
Remove the panel.
Mark hole from inside the panel.
Dill holes where you want the rivets with a 1 or 2mm drill.
Refit the side panel, and clamp in place.
The drill the 5mm holes for the Rivets, through the panel and into the chassis.
Remove panel, apply the PU sealent.
and Rivet in place, with 4.8mmx10 rivets.
This time I purchased the scissor action rivet tool, and WOW much easier and safes your knuckles.
Once the panels were in place the top of the suspension can be fitted, straight forward enough.
Add the dampers and springs to the setup.
And fix the upright in place. At first it looks like the uprights are interchangeable, they ARE NOT.
The mounting holes for the upright are slight different, one tapered hole is slight large than the other, which match the wishbone mount.
Fit for both sides.
Next was to attached the steering rack, again the tapered hole on the upright goes one way, looking at the hole it appears the the steering rack control fits from underneath, and not the top.
This surprised me a little, as I would of expected the steering rack to fit from above, you are then reliant on the nut to hold the connection. Wouldn't it be safer to fit the steering rack end from above??
Just in case for whatever reason the nut fell off (It shouldn't) but if it did you loose steering and tracking on the front. Instead of the weight of the steering rack fitting holding it connected.
Im not mechanic but I would of thought this would be more logical. It is what it is. I may try and fit two nuts to the rack for this reason.
So I fitted the steering rack to one side, and then the other. Now I got a problem, I get HUGE amount of toe-out when both sides of the upright are connected.
To get the hubs to appear straight I have a gap of about 30mm before the tie rod reaches the tip of the steering rack.
There is either a peice I am missing to extend the steering rack to reah the uprights, OR the steering rack I have been supplied isnt long enough.
I dont see a way I can have fitted anything in the area incorrectly,the steering rack is a fixed unit. So something has gone! Will have to speak to Mark to see whats happened.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 12 2010

Conversatin with Mark

I've had a chat with Mark at Marlin and we have resolved of the the issues I have had,
The rear uprights are becoming clearer.
The VAG driveshafts to interface with the Rover Bearing supplied. But the VAG drive plate, needs to be modified. It is marginally to big to fit inside the bearing and over the drive plate.
The VAG uses two lambda sensors, one before the CAT, used by the ECU to control mixtures.
One after the CAT used as an indicator to the driver that the CAT is working properly, it does not control the ECU, but just provides feedback. This one is not fitted to the 5EXi.
The gaps between the top and bottoms of all the dampers need to have spaces made, they should be fitted and customised to length to make the dampers vertical to the wishbones (at 90degrees).
Radiator pipework, connectors a plast tubes are being sourced
Intercooler required is from a Gold TDI
Radiator required is from a Rover 25 1600/1800
To fix the steering rack problem (too short) the 5EXi needs extensions on the end to meet the hubs

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 10 2010

Fitting the rear suspension ball joints


I managed to borrow a 52mm Wrench from a friend of a friend, so I can get a spanner onto the bottom wishbone hub monuts.
In some places where the wishbone has been painted after tapping, paint has found its way into the threads. So it is not possible to get the hub monuts in by hand. Im hoping by slowly screwing in with a spanner, in a backwarsd forwards motion, I can get the mounts to cut through the paint to be seated correctly. Care must be used not to cross thread it.
Success, managed to get the lower hub mounts into the wishbones, using the trusty dremel tool with wire brush attachment I removed some additional debris located in the threads. I've loctited them into place, so they are now home permantley.
When fitting the wishesbones to the chasis, I forget to removed the paint from inside the bush mounting points, Ive removed the bushes and used the dremel with fine sanding attachement to clean out the excess, prior to re-assembling them and putting back onto the chassis. Required as long term the paint will come off and clog up the bushes.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension