I need to be able to lift the engine into the chassis, but due to the lowered floor of the work area a standard engine lift won’t work. While I’m at it, it would be nice to be able to lift the entire assembled car off the build table, turn it ninety degrees, move it to the door, and roll it out of the shop. Below is the solution. Sorry there aren’t any plans. The build process was “go to your local metal recycling center, buy some scrap beams, clean them up, cut them as necessary, and weld them together”. I’m getting more comfortable with winging it in the machine shop.
Also shown below is a mount I built to mount an angle grinder on the lathe. Parting-off has always been a problem. I’m just about to make the engine mounts, requiring at least 36 cutoff operations, and I figured I’d better solve the problem. I have a cutoff tool but only purchased a small number of carbide inserts; the inserts wear out really fast and I either have to order more from the US or drive at least an hour to a store that MIGHT have them. This baby works great, giving a clean straight cut. Just have to be careful not to let the abrasive get into the lathe.
Here’s what the overhead beam looked like when I started.
Drilling holes to mount the wheels. Milling machine makes this easy.
Welding the uprights to the wheel supports
Thick steel is so much easier to weld.
Welding the uprights to the overhead beam, upside down. C-channel is temporary, so it doesn’t fall over.
Finished. Trolley and chain hoist bought at Hardware House, Rayong.
So easy, even our spokesmodel can do it.
Test lifting the chassis. Easy!
Building adapter to lift the engine.
First lift of the engine.
While we’re building tools, here’s a holder to mount the angle grinder on the lathe.
Parting off has always been a problem. Not anymore. Plastic is to keep abrasive off lathe.
I was always dreading having to machine steel. I had to do it slowly to keep the temperature down and avoid chatter, even though I use carbide cutter inserts. Then I read somewhere that home hobbyists tend to be afraid to run the lathe & milling machine at high enough RPM to keep the cutting inserts happy, but if they do it will cause the insert to overheat and be cooked in two seconds. I figured I can find the cojones to run my equipment at maximum speed as well as the next guy…
So one day I was browsing at my new favorite store, Hardware House in Rayong, and I saw a gallon container of cutting coolant fluid for sale. I’d had no idea of how to find this stuff in Thailand, or even how to ask for it, so it was pure luck to stumble over it. Or you could call it diligence in going up and down every aisle in Hardware House looking for things I might need. They also had flexible fluid squirters and 12-volt water pumps, so I put together my own fluid cooling system, pictured above. I drive the pump with an automotive battery charger which allows me to reduce the voltage and amperage to get the correct flow, and it works like a charm! Now I can cut steel like I used to cut aluminum.
I found a local place that builds custom radiators for less than I paid for a used one on Ebay in the US.
Custom-built radiator, rear view
Positioning the front upper A-arm mounts
Positioning the rear upper A-arm mounts with jig
Pressing the suspension rocker arm bearings into place with my homemade press
Finished suspension rocker arm
Front shocks, shock mount, and rocker arms test fitted
So I imported this quick-change tool post for my lathe, which appears to be some kind of standard, but a standard that my lathe just doesn’t happen to abide by. I needed a large (~1 1/2″) hole in the bottom of this solid tool-steel block. I tried drilling it with a carbide-insert drill, but after several minutes had made a cut so shallow it could only be felt by dragging a fingernail across it. After watching a few Youtube videos, though, I decided it must be possible and came up with the setup below, a solid carbide end mill slowly enlarging the hole on a rotary table. The mill left an amazingly high-quality finish.
New Aloris quick-change lathe tool post mounted upside-down on the rotary table on the milling machine, being cut with a solid carbide end mill.
Finished hole as cut. Note mirror-like quality from solid-carbide endmill
Aloris quick-change toolpost in place on lathe after modification, a selection of quick-change toolholders in boxes in background.