Starting on the floor

I got the body lined back up on the car so now it is time to start fitting the interior of the car together. First thing is to get the seat area finished so I can sit in the car and test fit the locations of all the dashboard parts. I need a bit more head room in the car so I decided to lower the floor pans an inch from the frame rails. I ran out of square tubing so I didn’t get it totally framed in today. I will finish it as soon as I get some more metal.

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Body lifted 1 inch

After a overly long break from working on the car I finally got time to start back on it. I have most of the major frame work done but there are a few changes I needed to make. I don’t have enough head room in the car the way it is built so I needed to make some room somehow. The easiest way to get more room is to raise the body off the frame. I used 1 inch square steel to raise the body off the frame. It was a pretty simple mod but made enough difference I will have no problems fitting in the car now. The pictures are a bit hard to make sense out of but they are with the car in the air and the floor removed.

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With that change I lowered the car down and checked the headroom. I can now sit in the car straight up without hitting the roof. There isn’t much room around my head but I don’t have to drive it with my head to one side now. The car looks even funnier now with probably 6 inches from the tire to the fender. I will need to get dropped spindles for the front suspension to get it down low enough to look right. The good thing is I can lower the pedals to get them back where they were in relation to the floor and this gives me just enough room under the hood to get the master cylinder reservoir to fit now.

Cheap and Easy DIY Wheel Alignment

After trying many ways of aligning a car and not being satisfied with any of them. I finally tried a variation of an alignment method that works very well and is easy to do.

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Making a Front Spoiler to Improve Aerodynamics

IMG_20121112_165547It is common knowledge that extending the lower lip of the bumper improves mileage by reducing overall drag of the car. So in this post I will show adding a spoiler to the front bumper of a stock 91 Metro. To start with I am using something called Fiber-Edge landscape edging, it is available at a lot of hardware stores like Lowes. It is around $35 a roll and that is enough to do a several cars. I also am using small pieces of angle iron and some self drilling screws to attach it all.

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Finished painting my Astro

After a lot of work removing the stripes and sanding down the paint around the stripes to get it all smooth again the van is now painted.

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Starting to Paint My Astro Van

The interior and drivetrain of the van are all in good shape and don’t really need much work. But the outside has been looking terrible for years. So to make the whole thing much nicer to drive around in it needs to get new paint.

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Gas tank, floor, and radiator installed

Today I worked on getting a few things mounted. I first made a few brackets to mount the gas tank in place. I had to raise it an inch and a half off the frame to clear the shifter rods. It will also need the extra clearance later for the parking brake cables. The tank has a set of straps that go over the top to hold it in place. The radiator was just a matter of bolting it in place since it was already made to fit the opening in the front. I then put the old floor back on so I could take the car to a car show.

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I will be getting the car out of the garage tomorrow to wash it and get it ready to show. It isn’t near complete yet but it is good enough to let everyone see what kind of progress is being made on it.

Shifter installed

Got a working shifter setup installed in the car today. Since the front wheel drive setup had a shift rod running straight out the back it was not that hard to bend a section of pipe to go around the frame and run it forward instead. It works good the way it is. I need to run the brace rod back and mount it somewhere on the engine so the shifter moves back and forth with the engine like it does stock. I will do that after I mount the parking brake handle so I know where it needs to be to clear everything. But for now it shifts gears really well and is in a good position for the driver.

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CV axles installed

I managed to get the CV axles made up and installed today. I ended up using two axles on one side. I just stuck them both in one in the engine and one in the wheel then marked them in the center to know where to cut them both off at. I then used a 4 inch piece of 1/4 inch thick pipe that was drilled out to match the axles. I slid them in the sleeve and put it on the car to make sure it fit. Once it was fit in properly I welded it up solid.

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The rear suspension is complete. I need to go over it a bit and tighten everything down and get the toe adjusted a bit better but at least now it can sit on the wheels and roll without any trouble.

Gas tank finished

Didn’t get a lot of time to work on it today but I at least managed to finish mounting the fuel pump and get it wired up and everything on it working properly.  With the tank assembled I figured I might as well check the clearance on it to see what kind of room I have. With the tank just sitting on the frame it has plenty of room between it and the engine. The tank will actually sit about 4 inches further forward than shown in the picture but I don’t have any brackets made up to hold it so I just had it sitting on the frame.

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The round black sending unit actually sits under the bar to give  you an idea of where it will be sitting. I won’t mount it until after I make the shifter setup. That is probably the next thing I will be working on. The reason I didn’t mount the tank behind the engine is I want to keep that area clear for the electric drive system once I get to that point in the build. I will be using a much larger electric motor and will be needing the extra room to mount it. Plus putting the tank in the back is a bad idea if it gets rear ended.