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Project 3 😮 400


Jessopia74
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  • 1 month later...

Finally getting some time to get back to doing some ‘car’ stuff.

Busy weekend for me with a trip to South Wales to pick up my Monza, but managed on Friday to start on the axle conversion. Some will think I am mad pulling off the 4HA, but I want to use the Commodore GSE axle I have, as it’s more in keeping with original spec. 
 

Already have the lower arms (from a Holden) I got from Australia a couple of years back, just need to check measurements but it looks like I need to move the pick-up hangers back on chassis rail back by approximately 2” 

Just have to figure what I want to do with the 4link boxes now 🤔 They need to be made smaller for sure, perhaps removed completely 🤦‍♂️

Will start to strip old hangers etc off the Commodore axle on Monday

 

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3 hours ago, Paul Barrett said:

Can’t you just lengthen the Holden bottom arms and keep the top arms on the 4 link. 
the commodore ones are way to short in any case to be effective 

Yes for top arms, that is the plan to keep them, makes sense. But the pick-up points can be improved and if I use cranked arms, they can look virtually original. 

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Got a start on getting the original axle brackets removed off the Commodore axle today. What a piss about, the Oxy gas bottle was empty and getting a full one turned out to be a bit of issue as the local depot did not have any MIDI full, so wasted a couple of hours waiting for that 🤦‍♂️ I never knew how long it took to fill a bottle, always thought it would be a 15min task!

Anyway, it’s a quick job to burn off the bulk off the bracket and grinding the welds down when it’s all still hot speeds up the whole process. I am not brave enough to burn the welds off 😂

Sent my basic cad file for one if the mounting blocks I need to machine shop, so hopefully next week I can fab the lower arms with the rod end bearings. Make more sense when I  a mock it all up. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Paul Barrett said:

Bet you wish you’d just hacked at it with a few grinding discs 

After the mess about all day year, but you know when your committed and told ‘not too long’ by counter staff 🙈

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 So busy start to the week for me. Finally got over to the Wirral to collect my seats and omg pictures do not do them justice. Jon done a cracking job indeed. If you’re looking for a retrim I definitely recommend this chap. https://www.1upholstery.co.uk
 

A little progress on the rear axle swap. 

Got the CNC blocks done for mounting into the Holden Commodore lower arms to carry the front M20x1.5 Rosejoints.

 

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Great work👍

Avos are great, plenty of adjustments, played for hours, between settings and tyre pressure. 

Are you running anti roll bar, and stabilising bar one sided? Or Both? 

What calipers and discs are on the plan? 

Bought a wee plasma cutter from Lidl, great wee hobby machine, saved on about ten cutting disks and about 2 hrs. Was used to cut 4mm plate, very impressed. 

Edited by ®evo03
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3 hours ago, ®evo03 said:

Great work👍

Avos are great, plenty of adjustments, played for hours, between settings and tyre pressure. 

Are you running anti roll bar, and stabilising bar one sided? Or Both? 

What calipers and discs are on the plan? 

Bought a wee plasma cutter from Lidl, great wee hobby machine, saved on about ten cutting disks and about 2 hrs. Was used to cut 4mm plate, very impressed. 

Cheers 👍

The shocks was on when I got the car, but I notice one side has a  bent rod 😬 So I probably will need to replace them . Are these even still available? If not it would be Bilsteins 

Was thinking about rear ARB over the weekend, and after a few comments from Simon Powell in this thread, I will not use a rear ARB.

 

I tried to get one of those plasma cutters, all sold out around here, buyers grabbed 4/5 a time apparently and put them on eBay for +£100. had a lot of peoples in the fab shops saying how good they are(external air source).

Probably end up with an Rtech machine, https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/plasma-cutter-r-tech-p30c based on my experience with my MIG. But wanted to try the new Oxy/propane setup I got. It’s different to Oxy/Acetylene for sure. 

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Yes, Avo, great service, parts available. Just watch bottom bush, had to replace both. 

Also run bilsteins, buy, pay, and forget about them, pay for what you get. 

Lidl plasma is air assisted, great wee machine. 

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Bit of progress today. That’s both lower arms finished and axle fully cleaned off ready for brackets. Have mad my measurements, so just got to get the brackets drawn up now and sent for laser cutting.

Not 100% figured the rear bush yet though, it’s bloody hard without the old paperback catalogues with dimensions 🙈

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5 minutes ago, Jonathan Pounsett said:

Interesting 🤔. What car did you search for to find these? Opel Commodore isn’t an option. 

Yeah, I know !  The dimensions is what is what matters to me mostly, but the original link through came off Google search

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 29/03/2023 at 12:58, Paul Barrett said:

I’m keen to see this on the road and the power handling of the commy axle. 
 

looking at options for my commodore and pondering if it will cope with high power V8

Think it will be torque that kills the diff (weakest part ) but should be well upto the task of handling most NA options I will choose, thinking it would be around 300nm maximum 

So quick update on axle fitment. Need to have one of the brackets cganged slightly, the profile I did for the laser cutting was a bit if a guess for the shocker alignment and whilst I cut cut/weld/redrill the bracket to get it there, time/cost/ and having the dxf for the right thing is more important to me so it will be spot on when time comes to get it laser aligned.

‘Good news is the bushes I got do look to be 100% right. I now have a full kit for a std Commodore axle if someone wants to buy just message me. 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Busy with work, but we have got the Lathe wired in finally and had some setting up to do, finding tools etc. I forget how much messing about adjusting the bed can be!  Anyway, making the bushings for the lower arm front mountings, to sit into the rod bearing and centralise it between the chassis hangers. Pleased with the progress so far.

Taking Mrs away over weekend for her birthday, (got to keep her happy🥳), might get chance to mention the LS2 engine purchase I am sorting lol. But hopefully we will be ready to mount the axle next weekend fingers crossed

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Managed to get a few hours today on the car. Workshop looked like a Kaser Quest event at one stage with all the alignment I had going on lol.

Loads of measurements, double checks, lasers and tears 😂 But it’s aligned and all tacked . Top arms & brackets measure up now and fit. Then I can set the angle.

Anyone know if there is an aluminium diff cover for this Commodore axle? Want to keep a watts linkage and using a stronger cover would be preferred to some ugly brackets 

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Edited by Jessopia74
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Little more progress this weekend. Started to reproduce the shape of the top arm boxes that was previously fitted to the car. These are Mk2 escort 4 link kit, so they are now way too much for just 2 top link pickups. Modding them to a far more robust shape and one that will compliment the Floorpan better. Still only a rough mock-up, but got the top arm measurement now, so will have a pair made up (both adjustable so that the diff nose angle can be also set)
Also temp made up Panhard rod (cut &shut) until I can get a watts link bracket made.
Still not decided yet, but think I will do away with the pick-up for it on the diff rear cover alone and fabricate a more robust bracket to carry the center pin for the bracket. Already have a full setup that will mount back on once I can get the pin on the axle. 
Not the best pictures, sorry 

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Edited by Jessopia74
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Chipping away. Few minor mundane things on the to do list (ever growing lol). Hope to get the laser cut plates for the Watts linkage mounting back next week so can mount up properly and top arm turnbuckles ordered too. 

Main task I got done was getting the steering arm ‘design’ sorted. Originals are useless, and getting 400 ones are not cheap. As my steering rack us also sitting a bit lower, I needed to kind if get my own design anyway to keep geometry right otherwise would suffer with terrible bump steer (bad). A bit of cutting, welding and Oxy/Prooane forging to get a shape. I am sure chopping a genuine Opel steering arm is not a popular option, but it will serve a greater good 😎

The longest time was messing getting the angle and measurements right so there is no change to steering during the suspension travel. Even with decent laser lines for reference it took longer than I expected. Anyway next step is to get the rather crude design/template 3D scanned and a design thrown into cad for CNC machine shop -  sounds easy huh 😂 but then the design will be able to be slightly changed back for std steering rack position too. 

 

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Posted (edited)
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Thanks Herman, no funny enough I did consider doing exactly that, or very very similar, but I still needed to drop the ball joint by another 15-20mm based on my lowered steering rack, so it would have meant using one of those ball joint extenders that I am not confident are  good idea. 
Steering a brakes need to be 100% for me as I don’t care what bits DLL off the car (hopefully nothing lol) so long as I can safely steer it and slow it down :D 

 

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