Getting The Rear End Together

Progress has been slow. Summer is here and its stinkin’ hot in the garage, although cooler than the rest of the house. This week the axles finally showed up, so temporarily assembled bits of the rear end could be more permanantly installed.

We had previously gotten the IRS center section installed. That was a bit of an effort, which can be read about in the last build entry on here. There are finally photos, though. I had also had installed the lower control arms, and one of the upper control arms.  Today I got Jen to help me spread the upper control arm mounts apart on the driver side and got the control arm installed. Once it was installed, it was easy to take the axles and get the spindle assemblies installed as well.

We also installed the fuel tank previously, and since the last post I had installed the fuel level sender and fuel pump in the tank.

Unfortunately I realized after I had all the control arms and shock assemblies installed in the back¬† of the car that with them installed and the tank, I could not get the FFMetal battery box installed as it doesn’t fit from above. Thankfully I realized it before things had been threadlocked and torqued down. After removing the drivers side shock and moving the upper control arm out of the way, I got the FFMetal box at least resting on the IRS center section where I could install it later.

Thankfully I also realized I put it in there backwards before I got everything put back together… except I got everything put back together, so the drivers side bits came back out a second time today so I could flip the battery box around.

So the results of the work…

The IRS Center section installed:

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The drivers side suspension setup with the axles in there. Nothing is firmly bolted down yet because much like the front lower control arms, I can’t fit the washers in with the bushings so I need to spread the mounts a bit or find more thin washers. It may turn out I need to take bits out to run brake lines anyway, so its going to stay just temporarily installed for a while.

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Similarly, the passenger side is installed.

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Gas tank is installed. The filler neck is not installed yet, and there’s another hole in the top I have taped off. Thats a bit of a mystery and I have no idea what part is supposed to go there. I’ll avoid another rant about the parts I’ve gotten so far…

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The troublesome FFMetal battery box is installed. Turns out either there’s a problem with my air riveter or my compressor doesn’t have the pressure for it to handle a 3/16th inch rivet, so the rivets were all done by hand. Three hard squeezes per. It did, in fact, suck.

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After a lot of adjustments and fiddling, I got the (massively overpriced) Dark Water Customs trunk storage box and cockpit storage box assembled and installed. The trunk storage boxes don’t fit properly, but I can adjust them before they get permanently installed to fit as best as possible.

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I started installing the pedal assembly as well up front, so I could start running brake lines. Unfortunately Fortes gave me the wrong master cylinders to go with the brake kit they gave me. Funny they couldn’t match those up right… in either case, it doesn’t make sense to install things without the right parts just to change them out later, and Fortes hasn’t been particularly quick about replacing the wrong parts or getting me the missing parts.

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I have most of the front bits as well, except for the steering parts and the spindle mounting bolts. Its unclear to me if I’m supposed to have them and they’re missing or if they aren’t (for some bizarre reason) included with the front spindle/brake kit Fortes provides. Until I get them there’s just one lonely spindle hanging on the taper bolt on the ball joint, just waiting to bruise a knee on its way to the trash can with the garage lights out…

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I also finally got a computer set up in the garage. This has sped things up quite a bit where looking things up on is concerned.

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So thats where things are right now. I hope this parts issue with Fortes straightens itself out soon. I also have to go through my parts list from Factory Five — I think I may have all the parts now, but haven’t gotten the certificate of origin.

Next steps: get the footbox and cockpit sheet metal drilled and installed as much as feasible.