I’m sitting here tonight watching one of my favourite movies: 2001 A Space Odyssey. IMHO Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. I’m going to date myself, but I remember watching this at a theatre – granted, I was a kid but there was something very special about this movie.
So, I’m watching this movie tonight and the scene where Bowman and Poole are eating dinner and watching the latest transmission from Earth on their video tablets shows up.
Hmmm… Does this look familiar? Apple iPad anyone???
I mean, damn – this movie was made in 1968 and they (Arthur C Clarke/Stanley Kubrick) were already dreaming up tablets that would display video. So the tablet is in B/W. Who cares? This is brilliant!
In case you don’t know or remember what I am talking about, check it:
So, if you are like me and had a chance to see this at a theatre – please, tell me about your experience. I was a kid in my early teens – it was surreal. I remember the big hoopla about the movie. My parents did not know it, but I remember sneaking out to the local cinema and watching the movie. I thought this was awesome. HAL 9000 made a big impression!
Later came 2010 with Roy Scheider, Bob Balaban, John Lithgow and Helen Mirren… “My God, its full of stars”… Remember that?
bowtie6′s new frame gets a new differential. In order to handle the power of the ECOTEC – remember boost is in the plans – we needed something that would not break. Furthermore, one of my requirements for the new drivetrain is to have full posi-traction (and by this I mean the real deal and not viscous).
In the following gallery, you will see the following:
- The rear axle is a narrowed 8″ Ford. Yes, it might be a little overkill but again, this is all being built so we don’t have any unexpected “failures”. The solid axle in this application will by far surpass the IRS as originally implemented.
- The diff is a Motive full posi-traction unit. It is set up with a 3.80 to 1 ratio – it is a bit tall in first gear with the Solstice’s AISIN gearbox but you have to remember this: I am not building this to be a drag car. With this ratio, the car is extremely quick and nimble at speed. From the setup in my cousin Jim’s TR4, we have determined this rear axle ratio works fantastic with the engine in second, third and fourth gear; with fifth being even more fun at speed.
- You can see in the pictures the special order Moser axles. These were custom made with the correct length in order to handle the narrowed housing.
- The rear axle is held in place as a four point suspension. The control arms are fitted the special Heim ends. These were quite pricey and come with special seals to keep dust and grit out. Why Heim ends? I’ll have an article about this later…
- Finally, take a close look at the driver’s side axle: the rear brake rotor is fitted. Yes, we will be re-using the disc brakes we had previously used.
- Not shown in the pictures is the all new, custom made brake lines. We are using stainless tubing this time and it has all been hand made, and bent just special for this frame. I’ll have a future article about this because the mounts that Jim made are real special.
With the new custom frame finished, it is time to start putting things back together. Yesterday, the front suspension was fully disassembled and I found some interesting surprises. When I first put bowtie6 together, the front suspension was completely overhauled and of course, the a-arm bushings were replaced with what I thought to be high-quality state-of-the-art components. Well, after 15,000 miles I have found the bushings deteriorated and they did so severely.
The bushings mounted on the lower a-arms survived fairly well. I did not take any pictures of them, since they damage there was not as dramatic as the top a-arm bushings. Suffice to say there was a bit of slop and the bottom bolt did not fit tight. The top bushings though, were in very bad shape.
Take a look at the images in the following gallery. Basically these were taken before we removed the worn bushings and as you can tell, there is significant wear. In addition to the bushings actually coming apart, there is quite a bit of deformation in the overall shape of the bushing. Not what I have expected from these bushings, but then again such is life.
For replacements, I have sourced a different brand this time. The new ones come from a high-performance supplier in the UK. The new set was actually quite pricey but the design is far superior. The bushings I replaced were of a two-piece design. The new ones are basically one piece, but they are a bitch to put on. It took two of us, a good vise and a bit of cursing to coerce the new bushings in place. The new bushings are polyurethane and have a little bit more “give”. I’m hoping this might help prevent them from breaking apart as severely as the others did.
The point of all this is for you folks thinking that these type bushings are the final solution – think again! These things do wear out and in my case they did in only 15,000 miles. Of course the high load that the compressed front spring puts on the front suspension is in part responsible for the wear, but nevertheless these bushings do wear out. For you folks running V8′s (LT1, Fords or whatever) keep this in mind: the V8′s weight is much higher than the original TR6 tractor engine or (in my case) the V6.
UPDATE – 05.20.2011 – The car has been sold. New owner has picked it up and currently it is being restored in Atlanta.
Today’s installment takes us to the proverbial “barn find”. Yes the “barn find” is alive and well… You just have to be a) lucky and b) lucky.
The barn find I am talking about here is a 1964 Austin Healey 3000 – the “Big Healey”. This car was found over the weekend by a friend of mine. After some negotiating the car was purchased and brought to my cousin Jim’s shop. The car is 100% complete. The paint you see in the following pictures is all original – it has a very nice patina. The red interior appears to be also original as well as the black carpet.
The part that is interesting is this: the car IS FOR SALE. If you are interested, please drop me a line and I can get you in touch with the owner. However, please don’t pull my chain on this: serious inquiries only. In addition to the car, there is a huge folder full of original sales documents, receipts and period-magazines with articles about the car.
Interested? Send me a message. Here are some pictures:
Today’s story is about an MG Magnette that my cousin Jim Thompson worked on some time ago. Basically Jim worked on some of the body work (mainly the firewall) that needed to be done in order to fit the drivetrain. The engine is a 60 degree V6 fitted with an automatic GM gearbox. The front brakes have been uprated (a bit) however, the rear brakes are still “original” drums. The car was at Jim’s shop for a few tweaks. I had a chance to check it out over the weekend and took a few pictures.
Here is the Magnette from the front. The grill has been modified and a stainless mesh has been used a la Jaguar. Interesting – looks good actually… Nice touch!
However things go south really quick from there… In the next picture you can see what I mean:
Unfortunately, the V6 has had a carburetor installed rather than EFI. Too bad. A lot of work went into this build, but unfortunately the carburetor is very dated and the full potential of the engine cannot be achieved unless you go EFI.
And that’s the way it is…
Today’s entry is not car related. Duh!
One of the things I really like to do (other than working on cars) is cycling. I started doing this back in the 80′s when it was not nearly as popular as it is today. After a long hiatus, I picked this back up once again a few years ago.
Today, the weather was amazing. Temps were crisp, the sun was out and just a perfect day to get on the bike and do some miles. Today was a bit of a recovery ride, yesterday was a bit tiring so I took it easy.
On the way back home, I pulled off the road and took a breather (stop and smell the roses, as the saying goes) at a small church not too far from my home. Sitting on one of the steps I took a glimpse at the tree in the picture. Nothing special, I know. A tree.
I guess my point here is to do something we don’t do much of these days: slow down and observe. Not many feet to the right of the tree above, was an interesting monument. It was a monument erected by one of the local families to pay homage to their ancestors. What made this interesting was that it listed the names and dates of these loved ones and told the story of how the patriarch of the family arrived from Europe back in the early 1800′s.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in a bicycle or a convertible – stop and check these little ‘gems’ out. The monument I mentioned above was a bit of a surprise as was the small cemetery next to the church. It is only a matter of stopping and enjoying what is to be seen on the side of the road.
Till next time, another story from the side of the road…
It is done. Took a few hours of work but the new frame is now fully painted. I used a nice chassis black paint – should be nice and durable. The stuff was not too terribly expensive so I shot a generous amount and now it is only a matter of time for it to fully dry.
Here are a couple of pictures – I had more but they just did not turn out nice enough to post. I’ll have more next time…
Here is the rear section of the frame. These are the rear towers that will hold the coilovers. The axle sits ahead of this, over the frame. The uprights brace should tie all this together nicely – the idea here is not to have any flexing going on.
Next is another shot of rear section of the frame. The tower braces show the tabs where the coilovers will mount and also on the lower side, the ties for the control arms that will hold the rear axle in place.
Finally, the midsection. This is where the transmission will rest. The square sections off the frame will be used to hold the body in place.
I’ll have more pictures of the front suspensions next time…