Mick Percy's Build Thread

Mick Percy's Build Thread

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Rolling, rolling rolling...

Posted by on in Brakes
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Rawhide references aside, this weekend broaches yet another milestone in the build. For the past 5 or so years the car has sat on axle stands whilst I tinkered about with different suspension setups, but now, after deciding to postpone my plans for the crazy suspension and fitting a stock (ish) IRS setup, it finally stands on it's own four wheels again.

After experiencing a few hiccups over the past few weeks, I must admit to being a little disheartened with the build. The first issue I came across was having to finally admit defeat with the wheels I had chosen and source a set with a greater offset, this was the topic of conversation for my last blog.

Well, since then, I have had more bad news. Last week I dropped off the flywheel, crank, fan etc to the engine balancers to get balanced, only to be told a few days later that that crank had a 5 thou bend in the middle. The crank had come as part of a kit that I bought from a mate, who had in turn bought it from one of his mates.

After a bit of detective work I managed to get hold of the original receipt and called up the supplier. The supplier in turn called up the manufacturer (scat), who said that they would straighten it provided that I paid for the postage. Realising that postage to and from the USA would run into a pretty penny (about $500 worth), I opted to find out how much the guy doing the balancing would charge. He advised me that it was not a good idea to straighten the crank as it was very bent and could still possibly be fatigued enough to break / crack. So with this in mind I ordered another crank, but this time from a local supplier.

The original crank was a scat 4130 'Volkstroker' a budget forged crank with 78.8mm stroke. I decided to go with an AA performance 82mm 4130 forged stroker, mostly as the case I bought is already clearanced to accept it, and it was the same price as the shorter stroke. The crank duly arrived earlier this week and currently is with the engine shop being balanced.

The issue I reported on in my last blog post relating to the clearance between the master cylinder and the steering arm has now been fixed. I purchased some bump steer bushes to allow me to flip the ball joint upside down, only to find out that they were for a late model bug when receiving them. Not one to admit defeat easily, I decided that the only course of action was to turn some more down of my own.

I started off by boring out the existing steering arm to 16mm. I then turned down an insert with a shoulder that could be pressed into the hole. I then drilled the insert out to 10mm and turned a 7.5 degree taper into it so that it fitted the ball joint.

With the insert finished, I pressed it into the steering arm, and TIG welded it in place.

With the steering arm finished, I refitted the steering box, steering arms, steering damper and other steering components, and checked that the tracking was roughly correct and that the steering wheel was aligned centrally.

I also removed the engine and gearbox from the car. I will rebuild the gearbox and add some uprated side plate covers, this will then get refitted along with the new engine.

With the front end finished and engine removed, I finished off fitting up the rear end and bolted some wheels in place. it was then time to let it down off of the jack stands. I rolled the Ghia out into the open and decided to give it a quick wash down. Over time the car has got very dirty, from what I'm not 100% sure, but it was mucky to say the least. A quick wash over with a sponge and bucket of warm water did the trick.

The car is now ready go go off and have the headlining fitted, which will hopefully happen Monday week. Then once this is done I can start refitting the interior.

Having rolled the car out of the garage, another thing I managed to take a look at this weekend is the jacking beam that I bought from ebay. This is to fit into my pit and allow me to work a bit easier. It's probably a bit late for the Ghia - especially considering that brakes and suspension are mostly done, but will no doubt come in very handy in the future. Unfortunately the beam sits a bit too high at the moment, so I will need to add some 'rails' into the side of the pit for it to run along. This will allow me to drop it down, I will set these at a height to allow the top of the jack to be flush with the floor.


  • Michael Percy
    Michael Percy Monday, 15 August 2011

    Gday Dean.

    To confirm - the one that clashed for me was the left side (if you are sitting in the car) - IE the long one, and then only on full lock.

    I only flipped the inner joint as the steering tie rod is so long that it makes hardly any difference to the steering geometry. If you need to flip the shorter rod side then I'd advise to do both ends as you may get an issue with bump steer and possibly ball joint angles - depending on how low your car is.

    I also found that the 944 reservoir still ever so slightly touched the steering rod at full lock with the wheels at full rebound (ie front end up on jack stands). This should be fine with the weight on the wheels as the angle decreases but I forgot to confirm this after I got the car back on the ground. If I think it will still be an issue I will use the VW connectors that you get with a standard dual circuit master cylinder.

    One other thing I still need to confirm is the clearance under the petrol tank. I'll let you know when I get out in the garage this weekend (I'm in the desert at the mo). For me this is not an issue as I can cut / shut / re-profile the underneath of the tank (it hasn't had petrol in it for nearly 30 years), but might be an issue if you got a tank full of petrol. Welding petrol tanks is not an experience I would want to be involved with again. :D

    Fitting the bump steer kit is easy enough but you need access to a machine shop. The bump steer kits are simply a plug that you machine your steering arm out to accept. I think you might also be able to use a superbug ball joint end and simply machine the taper directly in the arm but from the opposite side. I considered this but found that

    1/ The swing on my lathe is to small to get the steering arm on a face plate. So that ruled out turning the tape in my lathe
    2/ A 1 1/2" per foot (7.5 degrees) taper costs about $100. So that ruled out that. I like any excuse for buying tools, but $100 for one hole - lol. Noooooooo.

    You can get the bump steer bushes from ebay for about $10-20, just make sure you get the right ones - lol


  • Michael Percy
    Michael Percy Monday, 15 August 2011

    nice one Mick.
    I have the same issue with the tie rod and dual circuit master cylinder. Do you have to flip both ends or just the one at the steering box?

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