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nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/13/21 3:10 p.m.

In reply to matthewmcl :

Good catch, thanks for looking out for me.   Your exactly right should have 2 threads past the fastner.  These are setup bolts that I just grabbed.  I have the next size longer for installation.  


Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/13/21 3:21 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:
nocones said:


​​I'm not sure why but for some reason these where a struggle.  I knew what I wanted to do but for some reason fabrication just fought me the whole way.  I'm talking little errors like welding a tube in and then despite checking it repeatedly before finding it was out of square, drilling holes in two plates and having them off by .050 and stuff like that.  

If you think it's frustrating with your skill set you ought to try it with a lesser set....like mine ! Great work and I look forward to seeing the car one day.

With my drill press if your 2 holes are within .050" you're doing pretty good. Could also be the user...

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/14/21 7:56 a.m.

Harness mounts are DONE!  Fabrication went much smoother last night. 

It's always fun making 6 of the exact same piece because you get to do the "bolt them together and smooth them as 1 thick piece" trick.  


+2 hrs, +$1.72 put me at 298.25 hrs so it's nearly 300 Hr update time.

Next up split the chassis apart so I can finish the rear subframe welding and mount the radiator behind the seats.  

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/14/21 4:15 p.m.
nocones said:

mount the radiator behind the seats.  

Please put a firewall up. There was a guy that burnt the E36 M3 out of himself at a Cleetus and Cars when his mustang radiator blew.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/15/21 8:13 a.m.

Last night was a pretty good effort.  Karplus2 came over and we worked on splitting the chassis and preping the 2.5L to make sure it fits in the chassis.  We also pulled the center diff out of the transmission.   

The Engine *Just* fits through the chassis.  I will likely adjust the vertical 1" tubes running to the rear lower subframe bolts to give a bit more clearance during engine removal.  I was suprised that the 2.5L has a extra set of transmission bolts.  These of course interfered with the Subframe.  I blasted the offending metal out of the way with the plasma cutter and will add some notched plates to finish them off.  This sucked but was at lease a simple solution that didn't require remaking half the subframe.  Clearance for servicing the engine is adequate.  I can pull all 4 sparkplugs in the chassis. 

For the Challenge this year Lazy / Easy radiator mounting wins.  The OEM radiator from the Brighton just fits in between the engine and the roll hoop.  Hose routing should be possible so I will just weld some tabs onto the chassis and leave the radiator there for now.  Next year I will move the radiators to the side pods using the 2 small Geo Radiators but Y plumbing, longer hoses, and 2x the radiator mounts are just unnecessary time sucks right now.  

A few component weights.  2.5L Subaru with Unmodified Transmission less headers but otherwise complete 430lbs.  Transmission center diff and output shaft (Everything removed to make 2WD) -22lbs for a finished drivetrain weight of 408 lbs.  Chassis Weight 275lbs, Rear Subframe/Craddle weight 45lbs.  

302.25 Hours

$1328.82 spent

$500.00 Recouped 

$828.82 Total 

This is Less then the 250 HR update.  Since then I have bought/sold the Outback which was -$150 on the budget.  I also audited my google sheet build log/budget and found I had double counted a few parts and had a few parts on the budget that I am not going to end up using on the car.  I also found a few of my metal lengths below had included estimated future tubes.  The spreadsheet uses a Sumif to calculate actual used for complteted tubes, and has a separate sum for the total including estimated future tubes, I used the wrong sum.  The build Log is the "official" total and uses the $ amount spent on each piece of metal as it is added to the car by day.

Tube / Metal used is now

4130 - 638.75"@ 6.50/ft = $345.99

2x2 - 333-7/8" @ 1.67/ft = $46.46

1x1 tube - 1159-1/2" @ $0.67/ft  = $65.71

4130 Plate - 4.82 sq-ft @ $11.00/sq-ft = $53.06

3/4 x 3/4 tube - 390-1/4" @ $0.69/ft = $27.14

1/2 x 1/2 tube - 69" @ $0.52/ft = $2.99

3/4" x .25 Wall 4130 Tube - 176-1/8" @ $0.50/ft - $7.59

1" x .125 Wall DOM Tube - 433-3/4" @ $1.35/ft - $48.79

.125" MS plate - 3.96 sq-ft @ $6.50/sq-ft - $25.75

18 ga Steel sheet - 7.32 sq-ft @ $2.82/sq-ft - $17.86

.063" Aluminum - 4.67 sq-ft @ $3.38/sq-ft = $15.75

.032" Aluminum - 15.5 sq-ft @ $1.44/sq-ft = $22.27

1" OD Solid MS Rod - 3.5" @ $4.42/ft - $1.29

Total Metal = $667.24

 Estimated Weight of Steel - 364.53 lbs.

Next step since the chassis/engine is put together and access will be the best it will be is going to be Shifter design/routing.  That's after a cleanup..  It got out of hand again.  

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/21/21 9:35 a.m.

Oh shift, this part is hard.

The astute amongst you will have noticed how through no point of this process have I addressed the tiny nub coming off the back of the transmission.  I've been avoiding the shifter mainly because I knew it would be hard.  Mid engined cars seem to have few good options for shifting.   Cables are possibly the "easiest" but you generally take up a substantial amount of width for the actual shifter belcranks in the cabin.  Shafts work reasonably well but unless it's a straight shot you wind up with joints, and new low tolerance joints are challenge budget killers.   Even some OEMs struggle with Mid engined shifters with notable examples of famous sports cars with clunky high maintenance shift linkages. 

So this is my (in progress) solution.  I'm using a 3 piece shaft with 2 u joints and linear motion bearings.  Because of the design of the OEM shifter I don't need to reverse direction to shift, translation is 1/3/5 forward, 2/4/R reverse and select from 1/2 -> 3/4 -> 5/R rotate clockwise.  I'll tackle this in order from front to back.  

At the front I am using a (to be fabricated) shifter stick welded directly to the first shaft section.  This rides on a ~4" section of a linear bearing on the ID of the shaft.  The shaft is 3/4 EMT conduit ($.48/ft), the linear bushing is a short piece of SCH 80 PVC landscape sprinkler pipe.  A short piece of the 5/8 4130 was turned down to the ID of the PVC pipe.  This is rigid mounted to the chassis underneath the main seat side tube.  

Moving back the vertical tube in the chassis was notched to allow the shift shaft to pass through.  The rear bushing for the shift shaft is a 3" piece of another SCH80 landscape riser machined down to fit in a fabricated bracket.  The ID clearance on the pipe is ~.040 on the conduit.  It's not perfect but it doesn't have noticable slop.

The front shaft is welded to the 1st Subaru steering u joint using an adapter machined from 1" solid steel.  The intermediate shaft is more of the same $0.50/ft 4130 the pullrods are made from.  Bolts in the adapters allow for disassembly.

The rear shaft is more conduit with landscape bushings.  Mount brackets are all repurposed support brackets from the Subaru.  

Now is where things get wierd.  The Subaru transmission translation is ~3/8" forward, 3/8" rear for a total travel of 3/4".  Select is ~5* if rotation.  Rotation will be fine on a ~8" long shifter so it can be direct.  Translation however will be to short to comfortably make select motions for 2/3 type shifts.  So that means I need a lever to increase the travel.  I also need to decouple the Translation from select.  Enter more OEM Subaru parts.  I cut the ball off the end of the stock shifter and welded if to the top.  This shifter was attached to the transmission using a piece of bedframe.  A nub on the side engages a collar with 2 very large washers.  This collar is pined to the shifter.  The collar can rotate for select changes and is translated by the nub driving the washers.  At the shaft end a machined stub was made to allow a arm with a piece of 1" tube that can rotate about the shaft but is held perpendicular.  This 1" tube acts as a cup driving the stock ball end on the lever.  It's complicated, it's not all finished welded, it needs a second tab on the angle iron, but it cost about $15 and it works.  

Select will be simply a pair of tabs one welded to the shaft and the other welded to the collar with a short clevis between them.  Translation was the hard part, it's where all the force and play can come in.  Rotation is simple, there is no play in the ujoints, the shifter lever is just welded on, and the clevis will introduce minimal play.  

This took way longer then it should have (~10 hrs) and 2-3 designs to get here.  But overall it works and I am excited.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/21/21 10:15 a.m.

Wow. Very nice. 

I probably would've tried to get someone to sit back there and shift for me.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/21/21 10:23 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

The thought crossed my mind.  2nd gear only would work for the Autox, but not sure how fast a drag pass would be with a top speed of 58 mph.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/21/21 10:46 a.m.

Yeah holy crap that's impressive. Thanks for making my mid-engine swap project look even more daunting!

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/21/21 10:46 a.m.

Been waiting for this part. Bravo!

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/21/21 11:27 a.m.

Wow! I think most of us here would've taken exponentially longer and more attempts. Good work!

tuna55 MegaDork
9/21/21 1:23 p.m.

That looks like a good cheap solution.


I wonder (and always have) if that is a problem Ferrari solved with gated shifters, and more pertinently, if you could solve any slop issues with a gated shifter of your own.

DrMikeCSI New Reader
9/21/21 8:09 p.m.

My brain just exploded. This is unbelievable visualization to figure this out. 

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/24/21 4:42 p.m.

I was away on Training for 4 days.  While I was gone all my spend money to save time parts arrived!

Some J-bends and mufflers, all the AN fitings to connect my $30 1989 F150 fuel pump to my $65 1 gallon Amazon fuel tank, and the remaining hydraulic connections for the brake system.

I'm initially very impressed by the fuel tank.  I got the "polished" one and they did not lie it is very shiny.  

Also shown is some $0 fabric I got from Jo-Ann.  Apparently when you buy clearance fabric you run the chance of it being "Beyond disposal" stock code.  This means that they were supposed to throw it away >3 months ago.  Since I found it on the shelf before they did as a reward I got it for Free!  It may not end up on the 360 but it's definitely going on the seat covers for the Panhard.  

I'm expecting laziness to add about $250 to the budget.  All but about $75 of that will be able to be removed with effort in the future.  Some of the hydraulic stuff like residual pressure valves and proportioning valve may prove to be unecessary but I don't have the time to chance putting it together and finding out I need them, then order them and install them later.  Some of it like the AN/banjo adapters,  will stay forever.

Now back to breathing into a paper bag because there are only 26 days before the car has to be on a trailer headed south..

TurnerX19 UltraDork
9/24/21 9:43 p.m.

That sure looks like a Panhard factory option!

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
9/24/21 11:04 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

I feel that but I very much believe in you, get this berkeleyer done!

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/25/21 11:46 a.m.

Last night I built the select mechanism and the first part of the shifter stalk.  The select mechanism is simply two tabs with a pair of 1/4" rod ends and a turnbuckle.  I made the turnbuckle out of a short section of 5/16 steel tube and 2 1/4-28 nuts (1-LH thread).   I will add a second tab to each of these ends to prevent any rotation in the brackets.

The shifter stalk is 3 pieces of 18 ga welded together and directly welded to the shift shaft.  I added speed holes because..  Why not and welded everything together.  I then assembled it and quite nervously I tried to shift..  And..  IT WORKS!  There is of course some play, but it is easy to find all 5 forward gears and select reverse.  The entire mechanism has a satisfying mechanical directness to it.   It feels like you are directly doing something inside the transmission.   

The only issue with it is I made the stalk a little to far away.  I should have put a bend towards the driver in it.  Long term I will probably re-build it, but I can reach it fine, shorter arm drivers may have issues.  The actual shifter knob (In progress) will bring the shifter back about 3" so I think it will be okay.  

I started on the shifter itself.  The plan is to take a few thicknesses of cedar and glue and pin it to a flat piece of steel that will get welded onto the sheetmetal shifter stalk.   The Cedar is a piece of fence picket ($3.44 for the entire 72" piece, I'm using 2.5" of it).  I didn't have any wood dowels so I did what anyone would do in that situation.  I made them.  From a stick in the yard.  So now my car will have parts made from my Peach Tree.  I think I'll call it Wondershifter.  The shifter is currently drying from the glue layup.  

+3 hrs 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/25/21 11:58 a.m.

This has to be one of the most GRM pics I've ever seen. 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/25/21 12:46 p.m.

What s the FMV of a peach tree stick?  I've been looking for one, but the pandemic is making them about $5,000.00 each.  Did you offer any others for free?  We're they as nice?  



BoxsterSteve New Reader
9/25/21 12:59 p.m.
nocones said:

Also OMG I would never want to do a Heater core in one of these.  That interior image is how far you would have to go to get the heater core out.  It's insane.  Once I pulled the HVAC it just fell out of the housing though.

Ah, heater core. 
That photo brings back memories of the heater core replacement I did back in the day on my Fox Mustang. 
Damn thing had to come that far apart to get the job done. 
l laid out all the pieces on the basement floor in the order they came off and it went back together without so much as a missing bolt or screw. 

Enough of my rambling, your project is awesome to the power of two. 

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/25/21 2:27 p.m.

Ok that went quicker then expected.

The idea behind the shifter was to evoke the throttle from similar age airplanes as those that inspired the planned steering wheel.  So a vertical piece of exposed steel with a grip material on both sides.  The gooseneck shape was to look a bit more like the push pull function of the throttle quadrants.  I still plan to add 1 more coat of poly but the color is done.  The old steering wheel is just on there for position reference.  

I've included a hand model so you can see how the grip looks and to provide scale.  I have normal adult human sized hands.  Not huge not little.  

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) PowerDork
9/25/21 4:35 p.m.

That shifter is beautiful. Nicely done. Wondering if this is the first use of "sticks from the yard: $0" budget line. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/25/21 5:41 p.m.

Wow that turned out really nice! Awesome use of peach tree branch. The metal part of the shifter lever would look really cool shined up and clear coated to match the handle. 

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/26/21 12:36 p.m.

Thanks for the compliments on the shifter.  Since I had all the woodworking stuff out I decided to tackle the steering wheel next.  I'm about 3 hrs in and it's clamped up with wood.  I'm not sure this one is going to turn out as nice.  We will see but it's had some frustrating parts during the wood layup.  The frame is good so worst case it gets wrapped instead of being exposed wood and I try again later.  


DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/26/21 1:29 p.m.

Now you're starting to seriously impress me.

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