Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thinking Inside The Box

I took a little time today and hammered out a battery/tool box. I first made a cardboard mock up. After I was satisfied with the fit, I transferred the cardboard pattern to sheet metal. All that I had laying around the shop was a hunk of 16 ga. It's a bit thick, but at the cost of steel these days, I decided to use it. I don't have a brake. so I used the vise, "C" clamps, angle iron and a body hammer to fold it. A few, quick welds and there you are. The bracket for the fuse box had to go away as it interfered with the new box. The fuse panel was mounted to the side of the box along with the flasher. With the full sized car battery there is still plenty of room for tools and parts and like Johnny Cash's Cadillac, it didn't cost me a dime.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boy Genius™ vs. Experience

Another guy that has been through this conversion told me that the angle of my release arm was all wrong and it should be pointing at 7 O' clock and push to 5 O' clock as you look down at it. Being a Boy Genius™, I thought, "Hogwash!" The fulcrum is the same, the pressure plate is the same, the release arm is the same. How can the angle make any difference?? So, another trip to the parts house where I purchase a "long" Chevy throwout bearing. I stick it in and lo and behold, the clutch pulls much easier. Boy Genius™ never took geometry, so I guess there are forces working here that I am unaware of. The other thing that, probably, helped is that the new bearing has a curved face that slides over the fingers of the Belleville spring easier than the flat face of the old bearing. The flat faced bearings are for Long or B&B clutches only.
I noticed that when I shut off the engine, I could hear air rushing into the booster. "This can't be good", sez I. I put a clamp on the hose where it connects to the booster and, again, the clutch pull gets easier.
Another thing that has been pointed out to me is the importance of eliminating as much friction as possible and setting up the booster so it pushes the release arm as straight as possible. These are valuable suggestions.
At this time I have an acceptable clutch pull. I'm still going to look for improvement until I achieve the fabled two finger pull each and every time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Consistant Inconsistancies

Well, today I went out for a short test ride. The clutch just won't work consistantly and it won't disengage enough to shift without clashing the gears. But....it does work, just not as well as I want, soooooooo, I blew it apart again. I need to try a different pressure plate. I put a 12" Crescent wrench on the end of the throwout arm and it took all that I had to pull the clutch. Doesn't seem right to me. I have another pressure plate that I will stick in tomorrow. Fortunately, the mods that I made to the frame allow me to remove the trans and bellhousing without splitting the frame. I can have the clutch exposed in about 30 minutes, so it isn't a huge PITA. I never expected it to work the first time anyway. I've gotten some good advise from several people, so I hope to get it right on the next try. If it takes 5 or 10 more trys, so be it.