BUILD THREAD “The Juggernaut”

Clutch

Geezer
Apr 7, 2017
5,056
113
Brick NJ
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.

View attachment 203627

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

View attachment 203628

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

View attachment 203632

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:

View attachment 203624

View attachment 203625

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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.
Nice! I've been toying with different ideas for a hand brake in my 87 but I haven't figured out anything that will work with my stock slightly modified console.
 
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Rktpwrd

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Feb 2, 2015
3,788
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sooooo, the aftermarket strikes again.
Ya gotta love it when shjt pops up unexpectedly and derails your planned progress for the better part of three weeks.
😖

When I had the driver’s seat installed for the ergonomics locating of the E-brake handle, I wanted to reinstall the passenger’s seat as well, well, just because. Good thing I did too, because…

When I’m working on the car, I tend to stop periodically and take small breaks to size things up and plan my next moves. It was during one of these small breaks when I happened to look through the back window of the car at the seats and how they looked in there.

With the small LED light I have temporarily zip tied to the inside of the roof, it provides the perfect level reference for things inside the car. Looking at the seat backs through the back window, the passenger side seat looked absolutely perfect. Nice and straight, headrest perfectly level with the light. The driver’s side however, WTF??
It looked like it was all gangsta leaned out towards the center of the car, like a 300,000 mile hooptie.

Simply unacceptable, especially with the build level I’m striving for.

So, out came the seats, and off came the seat base brackets to figure out WTF was going on. I bolted just the seat base brackets in by themselves, and started taking some measurements with the digital angle gauge. Even though the car isn’t straight and level on the jack stands, I knew I could use the passenger side bracket as a datum point because it looked perfect in there. I zeroed out the gauge on the passenger’s bracket, and wrote the numbers directly on the bracket for comparison to the other side. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this as I was still in investigation mode.

The numbers were however:
Front crossbar side to side: 0 degrees
Rear crossbar side to side: 1.1 degrees. (A bit much, but ok whatever.

Inside crossbar front to back: 3.4 degrees
Outer crossbar front to back: 2.6 degrees

I averaged out the front to back measurements to 3 degrees, about what I figure they should be.

Taking these measurements, I repeated the measurements on the driver’s side bracket, and holy f**k, I did not like what I found!

Back crossbar:

CC6CC023-A2EF-4C1C-BCE4-B067E7291FC4.jpeg


Front crossbar:

FC7AED7E-F282-47CB-988C-417FE13836C9.jpeg


Yep, you’re seeing that right, a 4.6 degree angle inwards across only a foot wide span! No wonder the thing looked gangsta leaned out.

So, what does a 4 1/2 degree difference in angle look like in height compensation? Here I stacked a couple of spacers underneath the level, and it STILL wasn’t enough!!

06080522-E6CD-4FAD-8F50-3A704F31250F.jpeg


Now to be fair, I know I had modified this seat base a little already, but there’s no damn way in hell I introduced a 4 1/2 degree difference in angle with what I did. This could only have come from the manufacturer that way.

Now I couldn’t exactly just modify the inside feet and add that much material without throwing everything else out of whack, so I actually had to cut all 4 feet off the base and start from scratch. I made sure the outer feet were the same height as the passenger’s side, then went about making everything else correct to match using the angle gauge.

Here’s the corrected base tack welded back together using spacers, scabs and anything else I could find:

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Even with cutting all four feet off and starting over, the inside feet were the ones that needed the most modification and height added to them. Here’s a look at the front and rear inside feet from inside the bracket and how much height has to be added to them:

C70841C6-D2B5-4C11-A71E-1F86ECD97B47.jpeg


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Pretty significant.

So after a couple weeks of sporadic work on it, I finally got it all fixed up and put back together. Had to cut several new pieces out of some 3/16” plate I had stashed away in my metal scraps, including a completely new gusset for the front inside foot.

Where did we end up at the end of it all? Not perfect as when it was tacked together due to some distortion from the welding heat, but only out by a couple points of a degree which will never be noticed anyways. I can live with that.

16694632-059D-4F3B-A33F-03592A0A153D.jpeg


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And how about the seats once they were reinstalled? The passenger side as noted is still perfect…

E374D87F-B950-48D1-89DF-60231CB5E7A5.jpeg


…while the driver’s side looks much better, but maybe not quite perfect.

BE8BBA18-A6CB-44D1-AEFB-F830AA5FA93B.jpeg


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I discovered that this is actually somewhat of an optical illusion though, and the numbers don’t lie to back it up.

I put the angle gauge on the driver’s seat in a couple of different locations, and they all confirm the same.
Top of the seat underneath the headrest:

DF65A2E2-633B-48D9-8414-8296FF19ADA0.jpeg


On top of the headrest:

F2E83286-96A9-4AB8-A8FD-2C87ED7963EC.jpeg


On the front of the seat bottom:

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And across the seat bolsters:

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43B52921-1B5A-40F0-A590-E347D64EBBA5.jpeg


Again, out by only a couple points of a degree, nothing that will ever be noticed or felt. Also to be taken with a grain of salt as soft upholstery isn’t the greatest for getting accurate readings from.

After all that cluster f**k to make things right, I took the opportunity to get a couple of pictures of both seats reinstalled and sitting properly. I figured they owed me that at least.

AEED01B7-1A21-4CC1-AE3B-3BA39AD07A42.jpeg


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Frigging aftermarket parts, I wish it was possible to buy something that fits and works the way it’s supposed to the first time.

So now that that unexpected 3 week sidetrack is in the books, maybe now I can finally get back to modifying the tailpipes where they go through the pass-throughs, and come up with some brilliant plan to support the rear of the exhaust system.

Then back onto finishing off the floor.

D.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
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Quality work, as always.

Look at you, whining like a school girl. Of COURSE the General didn't put the seats in level. "Close enough" is likely an actual standard on GM assembly lines.

Check out these seats from the back. Factory lean is already built in. Part of that is the crappy upholstery job they tossed in on these cars, but I believe some of it is the seat mounts. More horrible than yours, most likely. I thought this was a known issue with 2-door G-buckets. I think they knew about it, they just didn't care.

87 442 seat lean.jpg
 
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Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
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Thread starter
Feb 2, 2015
3,788
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Quality work, as always.

Look at you, whining like a school girl. Of COURSE the General didn't put the seats in level. "Close enough" is likely an actual standard on GM assembly lines.

Check out these seats from the back. Factory lean is already built in. Part of that is the crappy upholstery job they tossed in on these cars, but I believe some of it is the seat mounts. More horrible than yours, most likely. I thought this was a known issue with 2-door G-buckets. I think they knew about it, they just didn't care.

View attachment 203676

At least in that picture both headrests appear to have the same angle to them. Not one way out of whack in comparison to the other due to inferior quality aftermarket seat base brackets.
🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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Rktpwrd

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Feb 2, 2015
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Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
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Feb 2, 2015
3,788
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
After finally getting out from under the driver’s side seat mount bracket correction fiasco, I’ve been able to start looking seriously at the exhaust system.

Long story short, it needed some geometry correction work done to it. When Mike and I built it all those years ago, we had done it with the old G Force transmission crossmember, and (unknowingly) with it in the improper location on the frame. When I boxed the frame and factored in the proper driveline and driveshaft U-joint angles, the custom fabricated crossmember ended up being higher than it was when we built the exhaust system.

What that equates to was that the exhaust system wasn’t happy with the tailpipes bolted on and the masking tape spacers holding the pipes centered in the openings. The tailpipes were forcing the rest of the exhaust down at the back and putting a considerable amount of strain on the headers.

As the transmission crossmember goes up, so does the rest of the driveline. And that includes the exhaust system.

With the tailpipes removed and no other support brackets holding it, it was pushing up in the rear causing all sorts of interference issues. The flange for the driver’s side exhaust cutout was pushing up into the floor, and when I made clearance for that, the mufflers were now suddenly too close to the new rear floor pans. It was a bit of a “WTF??” moment until I figured out what was happening and why.

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So, I decided to fix it. Properly. The thing about owning the same car for almost 30 years is that you get to know every square inch like the back of your hand. The downside is that a lot of the work was done by an inexperienced owner.

I marked out some relief cut lines on the 3 1/2” to 3” pipe reducers, then pulled the system to make the cuts. The 3/4” masking tape makes for a clean, straight and highly visible cut line.

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I cut about 7/8” of the diameter around the pipes, then reassembled the whole mess and reinstalled it back into the car. For those that can’t remember what the system looks like, here it is assembled on the floor sans tailpipes and the electric cutouts and turndowns:

E813D016-CD43-4AB8-884D-58141D175948.jpeg


Once the system was bolted back up and supported at the correct height in the rear, my relief cuts had opened up just as planned. I fired up the metal glue gun and threw some tacks in a few places to hold the correct angles.

Forgive my piss poor tack welds, they ain’t the easiest areas to access while working under the car on jackstands.

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No pictures, but I’ve since dropped the system yet again, disassembled it yet again, and welded up the cuts. It doesn’t look like they opened up much, but you’d be surprised. A slight adjustment to the angle here makes a world of difference 5 feet back. Like 2” worth.

Next will be to dress the welds flush and pretty, finish off the bump I put in the floor to clear the cutout flange, then reinstall it yet again. I’m certainly getting my bench pressing exercise dropping and reinstalling this exhaust over and over. Once that correction nonsense is done, then I’ll be onto correcting the tailpipes to match.

All the new floor metal work is looking pretty sporty from underneath the car though!

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Those pictures were taken before the exhaust system angle was corrected, it fits a LOT better now with the intended clearances back to where they should be.

As for the unfinished welds on the underside of the floor, if all goes well, the plan is to buy a rotisserie and put the body on it this winter. That way I can finish off the fuel line plumbing on the frame and get it out for powder coating, and also easily access the underside of the body to finish off the welds.

Anybody have any recommendations for a good rotisserie manufacturer that won’t break the bank? Let me know if you do.

All for now,

D.
 
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Tony1968

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2018
1,909
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NW Indiana
I can't recommend a rotisserie because I don't think one exists that is worthy of the Juggernaut. I say use your skills and design one and send it.
 
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Clutch

Geezer
Apr 7, 2017
5,056
113
Brick NJ
From my research on the subject I would lean towards one that has the option of both wheels and stands. The stands make them more stable when in place working on them. Also in my opinion overkill is best you don't want a cheap one that's going to flex and transfer that flex into the body. I plan to get one for my blasting business and keep it in an enclosed trailer so I want one with large tires.
 
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motorheadmike

Geezer
Nov 18, 2009
8,993
113
Saskatchewan, Truckistan
Is it just an age thing (yes, I called you old) or are you afraid of v-band clamps? Those three bolt flanges are reducing the adjustment you have, and undoubtedly complicating the assembly process.

Have you accounted for the thermal expansion/growth in the system with such tight tolerances. I posted a chart in the my Hellcat build that shows the rates between mild, stainless, and aluminum. This bit me in the *ss a bit using aluminum with over a 1/4" of change through the system.

Additionally, once the system heat cycles a few times it will change shape as materials bind-up and/or relax you may want to add a couple of slip fit connections closer to the tail pipes for future adjustment.

Just my thoughts.

Can't you just make a rotisserie out of a pair of large, wide-base, engine stands?

Alternatively this guy has a cool multi-use rig:
 
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