BUILD THREAD “The Juggernaut”

Rktpwrd

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I believe that there is a time and place for every type of work. I'm so glad you've chosen the Juggernaut to display what patience, time and effort can yield. ABSOLUTELY beautiful craftsmanship my friend. Your attention to the smallest of details is astounding - and it shows. Great work D!


I hold off on looking at your updates for weeks so as to see the progress of the build when I finally do start on 4-5 pages of updates, but it's hard to not click on this thread every time I see a post.

Damn............the wait is it worth it.

Wow, thank you Jim! I had no idea you thought that highly of me and my work.
In reality, and I’ve said it before, I’m really only just an enthusiast like any other playing out in his shop and building his dream car. I’m just trying to do the best job I can, and put everything I’ve learned along the way to good use.

I appreciate the kind words more than you know, and hopefully we can get you tuning in to the regular updates rather than waiting till there’s 5+ pages worth to get caught up on!
 
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Rktpwrd

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Tonight’s work was all about ergonomics. More specifically, the best possible location for the E-brake handle.

This is the handle and bracket assembly that sits below the transmission tunnel, with the mounting box I made for it a while back sandwiched in between:

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The box I made for it at the time was intended to be flush welded in, but I’ve since changed my mind on that. More on this in a minute.

Because ergonomics play a pretty important role in having everything within reach while strapped into the car, I began by bolting in the driver’s seat, the hydroboost and pedal box, and the steering column.

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The hydroboost wasn’t 100% necessary to go in, but it was easy to get out of storage and provided the studs to hang the pedal box.

Speaking of installing the hydroboost, I took the opportunity to blow off and have a look at the engine while I was under there. The big 462 Olds is still all there, just patiently waiting for me to get back to her. It’s been some time since anyone has seen under the hood, me included!

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As soon as the seat was in and fastened down, I immediately checked something I’ve been a little concerned about: clearance between the new rear floor kickup, and the back of the seat bottom/track assembly in the rearmost position.

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It’s damn close, no question, but it does indeed clear. Thank gawd. If push comes to shove, I can also always shim the back of the seat up slightly between the seat and base, or maybe even section the front of the base to drop the front a little. So there’s options.

Once I had the main components in, I positioned the E-brake handle where it felt most comfortable, and would clear any major components like the driveshaft safety loop under the floor. It turns out, that was about 1 1/2” back from the joint between the transmission and driveshaft tunnels:

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This position is well clear of the shifter arm and knob, no dangers of hitting one with the other.

Ok, now onto the E-brake handle box. The box and the surrounding area is going to see some repetitive forces applied to them, so after thinking on it for a bit, I decided flush welding in the box might not be the best idea. Not a lot of strength there, and comes with the risk of tearing the weaker sheetmetal beside a weld-hardened spot.

So with that in mind, tonight I whipped up a new box. Basically the same as the old one, but with one important added feature: flanges.
Instead of welding it in flush all the way around the perimeter, the new box will have flanges that overlap the transmission tunnel and be spot welded on. This is more like what the factory would have done anyways, and guaranteed to be a helluva lot stronger.

Old box next to the template for the new one:

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Determine the centerline and location of the hole, then make it so:

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After a little Rktpwrd magic, I had the new box created and test fit in the hole. I’m pleased to report that it fits incredibly well, nice and snug with no movement.

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Pulled it back out, and sandwiched it back between the handle and lower bracket:

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And voilà, test fit in place:

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Looks pretty damn good in there if I do say so myself, and another test of the ergonomics revealed that it’s location is absolutely perfect for me. When I drop my hand off the shifter, it naturally falls right to the E-brake handle. It feels completely natural. Mission accomplished.

Now I just have to punch a couple of plug weld holes in the flanges, and burn it in solid. This is going to be SO much stronger than flush welding it in, especially with all the bends in such a small area.

I love small little projects like these, easy to knock out in a night and fun to do to boot.

That’s all for a couple days guys, we’re taking Olds Cool on a weekend road trip to The Street Machine Weekend in Lethbridge tomorrow, and won’t be back until Sunday night. I’ll try and get some decent pictures and maybe some video for all of you. I’ve been before, and it’s almost always guaranteed to be a good time.

D.
 
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69hurstolds

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Ptth! The factory would have probably stamped the indentation and used 6 or 8 sheet metal screws to bolt that sucker down with a gasket that would leak later on and wet the carpet for years before you noticed. The bracing would be weakly spot welded into place. Then they'd give it a 12.5 month service life until any welds failed, and your warranty would have been expired. If I were to speculate. :)

Speaking of clearances...does the new "insert" method of install put you closer to the driveshaft with the suspension bottomed out? Probably won't be a problem as it's right there near the front U-joint, but just asking. I know how that sh*t can bite you when you weren't looking. I'm sure you already got the cable situation laid out ahead of time, but, well, I was just wondering. On cars with console E-brake handles, GM usually would normally put the cable closer to the passenger side of the tunnel and up further along the tunnel so it would get in the way of something.
 
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Tony1968

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Good lord man. I had to read this twice and look at pictures a dozen times. And I forgot all about the Olds motor. And now I have to go back to refresh my memory as to what trans you have.
 
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Rktpwrd

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Speaking of clearances...does the new "insert" method of install put you closer to the driveshaft with the suspension bottomed out? Probably won't be a problem as it's right there near the front U-joint, but just asking. I know how that sh*t can bite you when you weren't looking. I'm sure you already got the cable situation laid out ahead of time, but, well, I was just wondering. On cars with console E-brake handles, GM usually would normally put the cable closer to the passenger side of the tunnel and up further along the tunnel so it would get in the way of something.

Ooof, waaaay behind on replying to you, my apologies.

Yes, it does put it slightly closer to the driveshaft, but only marginally. I only recessed the handle into the driveshaft tunnel about 3/8” at its deepest point. As you pointed out, it’s really not much of an issue being so close to the transmission tail shaft and front yoke, but it does cut down on the clearance a bit. I might have to compromise on the driveshaft diameter and go with a 3” vs a 3 1/2” to accommodate, but it is what it is. Sometimes concessions have to be made.

Seeing and knowing what I’ve got for clearance on the underside of the tunnel in my application, I honestly can’t see any gains to be had by offsetting the handle to the passenger’s side unless I made a separate “bump out” in the tunnel specifically for the handle. But then that complicates things on the underside as far as attaching the cables is concerned. Check out the following update to see how the cable situation went, and how things look under there now.

Good lord man. I had to read this twice and look at pictures a dozen times. And I forgot all about the Olds motor. And now I have to go back to refresh my memory as to what trans you have.

Tony, the transmission is a T56 6 speed manual out of a ‘94 Camaro. The 455 block is 1976 vintage (the last year they made them), so 18 years difference between the two, and a union that GM never intended. Makes it challenging to unite the two to work together to say the least.
 
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Rktpwrd

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since the last update already, time has really gotten away from me lately.

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work on the car lately, just a few hours here and there for the most part, but as usual, I still have some things to update on.

Since I last updated, the E-brake mount was welded in final, and the handle bolted in securely. That meant I could finally revisit the whole E-brake cable situation. I am using and already had the twin cables to the rear from Lokar, and I bought a third “intermediate” one off Amazon for the connection from the equalizer bracket to the handle. This third cable was able to be trimmed to length, and because it was Lokar as well, the cable housing worked with my existing ends. You’ll notice that this third cable is black where as the others are braided stainless, this is only temporary to make sure everything works first. I have enough braided stainless cable sheathing leftover that I can make it match afterwards.

I had to find a good spot to locate the equalizer bracket first. It turns out that the new floor crossmember I made was a pretty good location for it, but the bracket is so long that I could only mount the back half to it. I marked out the hole locations on the underside of the crossmember, then drilled and installed some nutserts. I still have to make a small sheetmetal bracket that I can spot weld to the underside of the floor to support the front half, but this got me going for now.

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Where it’s bolted to the underside of the floor crossmember:

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Obviously I can’t leave the front unsupported like this. This is where the front sheetmetal bracket will go:

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With that mounted, I was able to proceed with shortening and mounting the cable sheaths, and getting everything installed. Here’s a progressive look at the installation, starting with a really dark and crappy (sorry) picture of the passenger side cable attachment from inside the wheel and moving forward towards the e-brake handle:

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The driveshaft isn’t installed in these pictures naturally, to give me room to work, but once the cable installation was done, I did mock it up and test it through its range of motion to check the clearance. Zero interference issues thankfully.

It took a bit of finagling and adjusting to get both sides to grab and clamp equally. At first only the passenger side would lock up the wheel, while the driver’s side I could still spin by hand. After some adjustments to the driver’s side cable and resetting the tension a few times, I had both sides locking equally. I haven’t yet tested it with the car on the floor and trying to roll it, but as of right now it looks like I finally have a functioning E-brake system for the first time in years!

Major milestone and accomplishment for the car. Now I won’t have to block the wheels anytime it’s on the ground with a 2x4 anymore!

That’s it for this update, going to do another one here right away on a separate subject.

D.
 
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