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  • Mick's 70 Lowlight uploaded a new video
    The finished result...
    Sig Erson 1.4 Rocker Setup
    •   General
    •   Monday, 26 June 2017
    Dialling in my rockers setting up the geometry
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  • Got the valve train geometry sorted out today. Had to make up a custom adjustable pushrod for the Sig Erson ratio rockers as they have a cup style end instead of the normal ball end, this unfortunately meant sacrificing a pushrod. The Sig Erson pushrods were too short to use so I decided to cut... Got the valve train geometry sorted out today. Had to make up a custom adjustable pushrod for the Sig Erson ratio rockers as they have a cup style end instead of the normal ball end, this unfortunately meant sacrificing a pushrod. The Sig Erson pushrods were too short to use so I decided to cut one of those up, I had a set of aluminium cut to length pushrods for another engine build so used those instead.

    Setting the pushrod and rocker geometry is a job that requires a little patience to get the best results, and after making up a number of different thickness shims I found the perfect setup. Overall lift is 9.9mm which is 0.389" a definite improvement over stock but not as good as I had hoped given that I'm using a 1.4:1 ratio rocker. Ahh well. Will just have to see how it performs. Really need to get that dyno built so that I can start to verify some of these mods.
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  • Another small but vital part of the puzzle, my Sig Erson pushrods arrived today. This means I can set up my valve geometry this weekend, Yay.
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  • After a four month wait my hood frame, windscreen frame, side screens and hood cover has finally arrived. Happy days. Now I just need to figure out how it mounts in the car. Looking forwards to getting the hood frame installed so that I can make the car weatherproof.
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  • Another small step towards the end goal. I made up a small calliper to measure the thickness of the cylinder head at the second plug location so that I could select the correct length spark plugs. The second plug is a smaller 10mm plug. Next task on the agenda is to make up a spark plug indexing... Another small step towards the end goal. I made up a small calliper to measure the thickness of the cylinder head at the second plug location so that I could select the correct length spark plugs. The second plug is a smaller 10mm plug. Next task on the agenda is to make up a spark plug indexing tool. The idea behind spark plug indexing is to face the electrode bridge away from the chamber to aid in flame travel. Ideally electrode gap wants to point towards the densest part of the charge. The location of the charge is determined by reading the spark ignition point on the plugs (small clean area on the electrode). Alternatively facing the gap towards the exhaust valve is stated to help improve the burn.

    This may be taking things to extremes but as I am running twin plugs I want to make sure that the flame fronts from each plug travel in the same direction and at the same rate. If one is obscured by the electrode bridge it could result in an uneven burn.

    I also want to get into the habit of indexing the plugs as the next incarnation of development is to run a squish piston design which will totally enclose the plug except for a very small burn chamber. In this case indexing the plugs will be very important.
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  • Another piece of the puzzle...
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  • Carried out repairs to the rear moustache bar mounts today. Unfortunately the threads had stripped out, probably when the bus grounded out in the same pot hole that tore through my oil line. Repairing them involved drilling the holes out larger and tapping them to accept helicoils. With the rear... Carried out repairs to the rear moustache bar mounts today. Unfortunately the threads had stripped out, probably when the bus grounded out in the same pot hole that tore through my oil line. Repairing them involved drilling the holes out larger and tapping them to accept helicoils. With the rear bar fitted I made a start on modifying the exhaust to fit properly. Fortunately I've got some stainless pipe of the correct size so it's a simple case of cutting and extending the J Tubes, I can rotate the flanges to line up with the header at the same time. I'm tempted to cut and shut the header so that it sits a bit better too. Will see how I get on tomorrow. More
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  • Finished off the gauges this evening. Scaled the fascias down to fit and printed out a few test prints. I initially tried to print onto transparent water decal paper but found that the ink was not vibrant enough and did not show up that great on the black background. This was a shame as the... Finished off the gauges this evening. Scaled the fascias down to fit and printed out a few test prints. I initially tried to print onto transparent water decal paper but found that the ink was not vibrant enough and did not show up that great on the black background. This was a shame as the transparent decal paper works a lot better then the white.

    So unfortunately I was forced to use the white paper so that the green numerals were visible. This had one unfortunate side effect - that the white edge of the paper was clearly visible in a few areas against the black background.

    One other thing I noticed is that despite having a laser printer the quality is really not that good. It could be down to the way that I'm processing the image but having exported it 1:1 from an SVG program and printing it 1:1 it came out surprisingly pixelated.

    Despite the quality issues I decided to continue on and get the gauges back together as I figured I could touch up the white bits with texta and as I now had the artwork, at some point down the track I could get some vinyl stickers printed up. At least I would have some functional gauges for the time being.

    With the transfers in place they are then 'cooked' in the oven for 10 minutes at 150 degrees. This is to 'set' the transfer. Unfortunately on a few of the transfers the surface bubbled up a little. I'm guessing that this may have been due to water trapped underneath, or maybe they were not in the oven long enough. With no info supplied with the decal paper it's pretty much anyones guess as to why,.

    With the decals installed on the faces I poked and cut the various holes and then reassembled the gauges. Despite the obvious quality issues they don't look too bad (as long as you don't get too close). I need to get the bezels chromed (I may just paint them for the interim) but even with the dodgy looking faces they will do just fine. (and they didn't cost me $1k like the reproduction units you get).
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  • Sanded the faces back last night and offered them up. Pretty stoked with how they are looking so far. Just need to scale the decals and print them out. Not too sure how the green will look over the black face. Guess I will soon find out.
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  • Had plans on getting a bit more done on the bus today but got a bit sidetracked by the Speedster. Did manage to get the exhaust offered up to see how it fits. I opted for an el-cheapo sidewinder in stainless to replace the vintage speed that I had been running previously. Mostly as it's better... Had plans on getting a bit more done on the bus today but got a bit sidetracked by the Speedster. Did manage to get the exhaust offered up to see how it fits. I opted for an el-cheapo sidewinder in stainless to replace the vintage speed that I had been running previously. Mostly as it's better flowing than the VS unit but also as the tail pipe on the VS unit scrapes on my driveway (you can just see it in the banner photo above).

    Another thing I wanted to check out was the fit of the exhaust with the rear moustache bar and also whether the J-pipes that I have would work with the new exhaust. After getting the exhaust loosely fitted it was clear that the angle of the flanges on the J tubes would need to be reorientated as the holes did not line up. The flanges would also need a little persuading to align properly. The moustache bar pretty much fits with no dramas, it slightly fouls the silencer, but nothing that a little clearancing cannot solve.

    One thing that was clear, which is quite unfortunate, is that the system sits quite low. In fact it is level with the moustache bar, which I was actually hoping to replace with a custom made one to give me some more ground clearance (previously the moustache bar was the lowest point). This means that I don't gain any ground clearance by fitting this style of system.

    That said, it looks like the tail pipe sits a lot further forwards so my issue with the tail pipe scraping the driveway should hopefully be resolved.

    I also trial fitted the rear valence to see how the system fitted up behind it. To be honest there is a heap of room behind the valence that that system could tuck up into if it was modified. At this stage I don't think I will do this. I rarely had ground clearance issues as the moustache bar sits 100mm from the ground. It might be something that I look into if I decide to go lower.

    There's a couple of things to sort out - namely the flanges on the J tubes and I also need to make up a bracket to support the rear of the silencer. I also need to weld in a bung for the O2 sensor. As there is a heap of room behind the valence I am tempted to mount it on the top as this is nicely tucked out of the way but I'm not 100% sure if this will clash with the rear valence mountings. I guess I will leave this until after the engine is installed just to be sure.
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  • Made a start on the gauge faces today. I tuned down some bezels for the centre of the gauges. The bezels are to make the 914 gauges look more like the original 356 style of gauges. I made them out of aluminium stock which will polish up nice and easily. I spent a bit of time and cut out the... Made a start on the gauge faces today. I tuned down some bezels for the centre of the gauges. The bezels are to make the 914 gauges look more like the original 356 style of gauges. I made them out of aluminium stock which will polish up nice and easily. I spent a bit of time and cut out the individual odometer and trip counter holes on the speedo bezel. I also stripped and painted the gauge faces. Once the paint has had a chance to dry I will sand back the paint from the rim of the bezels and give it a bit of a polish.
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  • Spent some time having a trial go at putting the engine together. Discovered a few bugs with the new setup that required some fettling to make fit. Made up the inlet manifold for the throttle body, modified the alternator stand for the new larger manifold to fit and made a new bracket to hold... Spent some time having a trial go at putting the engine together. Discovered a few bugs with the new setup that required some fettling to make fit. Made up the inlet manifold for the throttle body, modified the alternator stand for the new larger manifold to fit and made a new bracket to hold the crank sensor. Also removed the distributor drive and made up a plug for the hole. Goodbye distributor and hello coil packs.

    Being twin spark, trying to find a location for two coil packs is a bit of a challenge. Ideally I would like to have one each side behind the fan shourd, but it looks like there may not be enough room on the 1/2 side of the engine. The cool thing about going twin spark is that I can run one pack for each side which enables shorter plug leads.

    Still have a bunch of stuff to do before taking it all apart again for painting including making up the fuel rail tie downs, modifying the fan shroud, making up some coil pack brackets, making up a spacer for the alternator backing plate, trial fitting the exhaust, welding in a bung for the O2 sensor helicoiling the rear engine bar mounting holes and a bunch of other stuff. The list seems to be never ending.
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  • A little more progress, removed the red screen from the kombo gauge to install the 911 temp gauge. The gauge pod and temp insert are a direct swap, the only real difference is that on the 914 the gauges are arrange on top and bottom whereas on the 911 they are side by side. The 356 shares the... A little more progress, removed the red screen from the kombo gauge to install the 911 temp gauge. The gauge pod and temp insert are a direct swap, the only real difference is that on the 914 the gauges are arrange on top and bottom whereas on the 911 they are side by side. The 356 shares the top / bottom orientation and has similar warning light locations so I will use the 914 pod and fascia. One interesting thing that I noticed when I removed the gauge was that hidden behind the fascia at the very top of the gauge face there are numerical temperature graduations. evidently 150 is regarded as too hot (the beginning of the red zone). The 911 style white bars will be replaced with the early style 356 green numerical style when I redo the faces. More
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  • Finished off the gauge faces today, now I just need to print them up and try them out. Also received a 550 style flip top filler cap in the post courtesy of Ebay. Need to make up a new filler neck for the tank and cut a hole in the bonnet to fit this. For some reason, whilst my tank has been... Finished off the gauge faces today, now I just need to print them up and try them out. Also received a 550 style flip top filler cap in the post courtesy of Ebay. Need to make up a new filler neck for the tank and cut a hole in the bonnet to fit this. For some reason, whilst my tank has been converted to a central filler location it does not stand upright (see photos above) not a massive drama to sort and will give me a chance to make up a proper rain tray. The cap is made from aluminium so will polish up alright but to tell the truth I'm kinda digging the patina on it. More
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  •   Mick's 70 Lowlight commented on this post about 3 weeks ago
    Made some more progress on getting the engine back together. Finished off the heads which involved blending the new seats in, fitting the valves with the new heavy duty engle springs and tapping the second spark plug hole. Also found some detonation damage to two of the pistons where the ring... Made some more progress on getting the engine back together. Finished off the heads which involved blending the new seats in, fitting the valves with the new heavy duty engle springs and tapping the second spark plug hole. Also found some detonation damage to two of the pistons where the ring land had become bent pinching the rings. As a result of this I decided to use a set of P&C's from an old doner Type 3 engine I bought for the razor. I took the glaze off with a hone and cleaned the pistons up and fitted a new set of rings. The barrels are a little worn and could ideally do with replacing but I decided to go ahead and fit them as I'm keen to get the bus running again.

    I CC'd the heads at 44cc's and measured the deck at 50 thou, this gives me a CR of 8.7:1 which should do quite nicely. I was ideally aiming for 8.6:1 but rather than stuff about trying to remove 1cc's worth of material from each chamber I decided that near-enough is good-enough.

    I reassembled the engine and took a bit of a stray from my normal assembly procedure as I decided to use some red hylomar to seal the barrels and pushrods. I normally don't seal the pushrod seals and use blue sealer on the barrels but as the engine was a bit leaky from #1 barrel I decided to put a stop to it. Also decided to take a look at the sump strainer to see if there were any metal particles. (none - it was clean as a whistle)

    Next up is to set the valve geometry. I'm fitting a set of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers (as they were cheap). This is about as much as I can do with the stock cam and will be a good test of what you can do on a basically stock 1600. (Previously I was running 1.25:1 CB Performance rockers). With the stock cam I will end up with about 0.500" lift which is a massive increase over stock. I'm interested to see how it performs.

    So the engine specs as it currently stands:

    Stock 1600, case, crank, rods, cam, P&C's
    Reworked stock 1600 twin port heads (dual spark)
    1.5:1 ratio rockers
    Sidewinder exhaust
    Joe Blow AMR500 supercharger kit.

    I'm waiting on a set of pushrods and lash caps before I can set the rocker geometry, hopefully they will be here next week. In the mean time I should start looking at getting the tin wear painted up and fitted.
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  • Started to draft up the images for the replacement gauge fronts, so far I have managed to get the tacho done. The process basically involves scanning the original face to get a basic image showing the locations of the markers. Then drafting a new image using the old markers as a point of... Started to draft up the images for the replacement gauge fronts, so far I have managed to get the tacho done. The process basically involves scanning the original face to get a basic image showing the locations of the markers. Then drafting a new image using the old markers as a point of reference. I've matched the font to one very similar to the original 356 A gauge font and also take a grab of the colours. The end result is an image that looks very similar to the original style gauge but with the correct scaling for the 914 gauge. The centre tacho in the image is the new version, the outer two images are early and late style facias.

    I also managed to pick up a 911 oil combo gauge in trade for a 4 jaw chuck.. This will allow me to run the oil temp gauge in the position that the hand brake warning light normal resides in the 914 gauge. I would really like to run both temperature and the pressure gauge but without a facia from a 3-way gauge this is not possible. I will keep my eyes open, you never know what will turn up.

    I'll draft up the speedo and combo gauge facias in the week and then take a look at whats involved with printing the water slide transfers.
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  • I found a cheap set of early 914 gauges on Ebay that were simply too cheap to pass up. The plan is to give them a bit of an overhaul and update the faces to match the original 356 style. The tacho on the 914 is slightly larger than the other gauges whereas on the 356 they are all the same size.... I found a cheap set of early 914 gauges on Ebay that were simply too cheap to pass up. The plan is to give them a bit of an overhaul and update the faces to match the original 356 style. The tacho on the 914 is slightly larger than the other gauges whereas on the 356 they are all the same size. Having seen 914 gauges fitted to other 356's it doesn't really notice too much. North Hollywood Speedos can convert these to look like 356 gauges but at some around AU$1k it would be cheaper to buy some reproduction gauges. The thing that has really turned me off of getting repro gauges is that the trip meter and odometer is a nastly little LCD screen. Yuk.

    So the plan is to make the centre chrome bezels, draft up some faces and print them onto water slide transfer paper so that I can put them on the repainted gauge fronts. I've already got stuck in to dismantling them and scanning their faces in. Next up is to do some creative stuff in Gimp.

    The only other thing that I need to sort out is the top space in the dual gauge pod is taken up by the handbrake warning light. I want to replace this with a temperature gauge but unfortunately finding one that doesn't cost the earth is not such an easy task.
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  • Mail call. Another piece of the puzzle arrived today. Wideband O2 sensor.
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  • Got another delivery today, a pair of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers. I need to swap out the ball style adjusters for cup style so that I can use a standard push rod. I'll probably stick these on the 1600 when I've got the heads back on. With the port work and a bit more lift it should really... Got another delivery today, a pair of Sig Erson 1.5:1 ratio rockers. I need to swap out the ball style adjusters for cup style so that I can use a standard push rod. I'll probably stick these on the 1600 when I've got the heads back on. With the port work and a bit more lift it should really help liven things up a bit.

    Also fitted the new valve seats to the other head. Cooked up the head on the BBQ and froze the seats in the freezer overnight. A little drifting and the seats were in. I cut the new seats and re-cut the inlet seats to suit the new stainless valves. I also gave the heads a 3 angle valve job. After lapping in the valves I also added a 30 degree cut to the valves up to the lap mark.

    Apart from some final finishing the heads are pretty much done. I still need to cc them so may have some fettling to do to get the CR right. Hopefully I'm not too far away from where I need to be.
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  • Finally got my long awaited order of gaskets and valve guides only to find out that the exhaust valve guides were a non standard size. Guess I should have checked before ordering. I ended up making some new ones instead. I also cut the inlet valve guides down by 10mm and added a 7 degree taper... Finally got my long awaited order of gaskets and valve guides only to find out that the exhaust valve guides were a non standard size. Guess I should have checked before ordering. I ended up making some new ones instead. I also cut the inlet valve guides down by 10mm and added a 7 degree taper to them to help streamline things.

    I also made up the remaining two valve seats and removed the old ones ready for fitting. I started to cut the new seats but ran out of time.
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