Bad Ast Project

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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby MI_Ghost » March 29th 2017, 10:00am

If you are not able to find a reducer that size. Look at exhaust tips.
~Ghost
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » March 29th 2017, 12:41pm

MI_Ghost wrote:If you are not able to find a reducer that size. Look at exhaust tips.

Speedway has them for $7.99. Cheap enough but the price gets closer to double with shipping... :(
I know the muffler shop will have 3 1/2" tubing and we can expand one end to make the 4" diameter. The 3 1/2 O.D. will need to be expanded a bit also to make the I.D. 3 1/2 to slip over the adapter. I didn't get to the muffler shop last night, maybe tonight.
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » March 29th 2017, 11:42pm

Took the column parts in to Dave's Muffler Shop in Durand this afternoon. We grabbed a chunk of 3 1/2" pipe and worked with the expander to get it to fit the column parts. It took about 15 minutes to get the sizes right but this will work. It's bit rougher then I envisioned but it will smooth out with a bit of hammer and sander work.
Image

I will use the Astro column cover and spot weld it to the inside of the new shroud. This is the approximate depth required to fit the new shroud to the top of the column.
Image

We made it long so I can fit the bottom then trim the top to length.
Just mocked up on the column I think once this is finished and sprayed satin black it will look very nice.
Image
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 1st 2017, 11:39pm

After some mock up work though I found the "shroud" to be pretty unusable. The expanding left it very unconcentric and trying to smooth it out was next to impossible with simple hand tools. 16ga is nothing to mess with when you can't get enough leverage to work it... I ordered a couple of 4" to 3 1/2" reducers from Speedway. I also bit the bullet and ordered a tubing expander kit from Lisle. This will come in handy for exhaust work anyway and it does have a role in this kind of fab work also.

After dinking around with the shroud mess for a few hours I called it a lost cause. I set up the new, larger adapter plate in the mill and got some work done on that. Making the hole patterns, trimming out the blank and machining it round just like the previous one.
Image

Holes drilled and c'bored.
Image
I'll be milling an angle on the back side of the adapter to reduce the diameter to better match the shift unit.
This is the back side I will be milling. The pencil line is the size of the shifter unit.
Image

Setting up the rotary table in the mill I needed an adapter to locate the plate concentric to the center of the rotary table. I machined this out of a piece of 1" diameter aluminum stock.
Image
The larger end pilots in the center bore of the table and the small end pilots into the center hole of the plate. I used a long bolt and a couple of spacers to mount the plate to the table.
Image

After getting the piece aligned in the mill I tipped the mill head so I could cut the 40 degree angle I needed. Sad to say I could only tip the head about 32 degrees because of the Frankenmills' questionable construction...
Image

I got both back angles milled. Not as steep as I was planning but I think they will work.
Image

Image
I mocked up the adapter plate and I think it will look better then the previous attempt.
Image
It should look great after some cleanup and satin black paint.
Image
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby MI_Ghost » April 2nd 2017, 12:35am

That will go a long way to smooth out the transition and get rid of the robbie the robot effect of the bellows.
Other than cost. Any reason for not turning a billet piece for the column?
~Ghost
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 2nd 2017, 11:19pm

MI_Ghost wrote:That will go a long way to smooth out the transition and get rid of the robbie the robot effect of the bellows.
Other than cost. Any reason for not turning a billet piece for the column?

Yes it will, that is what I wasn't liking about the bellows... A billet piece isn't necessary as it will be painted black to match the rest of the column and it's parts. Besides, on my little machines it would take forever to mill or turn something that big.
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 9th 2017, 11:53pm

A week ago Sunday morning I was in the shop at 9:00am. I worked out there for an hour or so and started not feeling well... Anyway, I got sick Sunday morning and was out of commission until Friday afternoon. You name the symptom and I had it. :( Stomach, chills, sweats, aches (even my hair hurt) and the dreaded I.C.B. (Irritable Colon Blow...). Wednesday thru Friday I couldn't keep anything in that went down. Literally, water would run right thru me. I think I lost about 10lbs. I started feeling better Friday morning and have been on the uptake ever since.
I got out in the shop Saturday and got a lot of work done, trying to make up for the rest of the week I lost.
Here are the reducers I got from Speedway. These look real nice, smooth with a clean, even transition. Compared to the "fabbed" one these will work very well.
Image
The two, side by side... No brainer, right?
Image
I also got the pipe expander kit I ordered off Amazon. This worked very well and was worth the coin. This will get a lot of use in the shop.
Image
Expanding the 4" end to slip over the cover bell that came in the adapter kit. This took about 5 minutes once I got the kit set up.
Image
I didn't have to go far, maybe an eighth of an inch.
Image
Once it was a nice slip fit I slipped it all together on the column. I think this will look much cleaner then that convoluted boot.
Image
Image
Thanks for looking!
Mark
2004 Astro
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 9th 2017, 11:54pm

I got out this morning and finished up the cover. Got it trimmed "almost" to length and mocked up the wheel and paddles.
Cut to length.
Image
With the paddles and steering wheel adapter attached.
Image
Image

With the wheel bolted up.
Image

Image
I think I am going to paint the column and new cover with a satin black. I have to paint the column because there will be an open wound after I remove the shift lever lump...
Image
That's all for this week... Thanks for following!
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby MI_Ghost » April 10th 2017, 1:36am

Much cleaner looking now.
Why not start with a manual shift column. I'm sure a pickup column could be adapted easily.
~Ghost
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby AstroWill » April 10th 2017, 3:27am

Looking great man!
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby Rinny » April 10th 2017, 3:32am

It looks awesome and I love reading this thread..........................It makes me realize I am not as far gone as I think. :rofl: But for real awesome work. I whish I had your skill set............................um wait let me think on that for a while............................. :rofl:
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby icebrrg3rd » April 10th 2017, 5:44pm

MI_Ghost wrote:...Why not start with a manual shift column. I'm sure a pickup column could be adapted easily.


I have the manual steering column from my donor P/U in my basement, I want to do that so it looks more like factory. Only thing is the manual column has a key interlock lever, similar to shifting into PARK to release the key.

All that work for the shifter paddles is making it look nice (just like the rest of the van). So is that a display for what gear you are in?

-Andrew
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby MI_Ghost » April 10th 2017, 8:41pm

icebrrg3rd wrote:
MI_Ghost wrote:...Why not start with a manual shift column. I'm sure a pickup column could be adapted easily.


I have the manual steering column from my donor P/U in my basement, I want to do that so it looks more like factory. Only thing is the manual column has a key interlock lever, similar to shifting into PARK to release the key.

All that work for the shifter paddles is making it look nice (just like the rest of the van). So is that a display for what gear you are in?

-Andrew

That interlock lever is only mechanical inside the column. There are no electronics hooked to it like the brake for shifting out of park and if memory serves me right it is for turning the key to the off position to remove the key to activate the steering wheel interlock.
~Ghost
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 11th 2017, 11:55am

I'll stick with the columns I have. I have two of them, the original column is in the van and has the steering shaft modified for the big universal joint that will be bolting to it. I used this one just to mock the paddle shifter and steering wheel up. I'll pull the original one out to modify the shifter shroud. That's a no brainer, very easy thing to do and I KNOW this column works with no surprises. :)
Mark
And, yes... the column interlock is activated by the key. Old school compared to some of todays stuff but it works and isn't dependent on electronics to do it's job.
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 13th 2017, 12:03am

Moving on to other things...
I dug out the trans and GV unit tonight. I was curious to see how much of a tear up I would have. I designed and built the K member and trans cross member around a 700R4, not figuring on finding a gear vendor unit for as cheap as I did. I took some measurements off the mock-up 700R4, the TH400 trans and the GV unit.
The 700 was 22.31 from the engine face to the trans mount bolts.
The 400 WITH the GV unit measures 27.31 inches to the trans mount bolts.
Subtracting the 22.31 from the 27.31 ='s 5.00 inches. That is how far I have to move the trans cross member rearward to pick up the trans mounting bolts in the gear vendor unit.
I don't have 5 inches in the cross member tabs welded to the chassis BUT I can flip the cross member 180 degree to move the trans mounting tab to the rear. Doing that gets me 3.50 inches. (the tab WAS 1.75 inches in front of the cross member centerline so, flipping it 180 moves it 1.75 inches BEHIND the centerline. 1.75 plus 1.75 is 3.50. So now all I have to move the cross member is 1.50 inches... Easy. And the GV unit fits in the loop comfortably. No changes ! YA HOO!
Image

Image

Image
Now, granted I had planned to use the loop as a driveshaft loop so I will have to think about that one. I may end up moving just the loop...
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 20th 2017, 12:37pm

Well, I got bit by the measure twice cut with an axe bug Saturday afternoon... Working on the front stab bar, I got it designed and detailed and started doing the bends. The tubing is 1.25" x .125 wall 4130 so it is not cheap... I had 6 bends to do and got the first 4 correct. The 5th bend I got out of position by 2.75 inches. I went to the wrong side of the tangent line by that amount so now I have a piece of useless spaghetti standing in the corner...

Anyway I have another 100 dollar piece of tube standing next to the bender so tonight I will give it another shot. I did take the "opportunity" to redesign the bar a bit and make it simpler. Now it just needs 4 bends so, if I can keep my record going I should be able to do this... :)
Pictures will be forthcoming, good AND bad.

My local steel supplier can't get 4130 or 4140 in any tubing sizes smaller then 3 inches... I ordered this from Online Metals Monday morning and it was delivered Tuesday afternoon, not to bad in my book.
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 20th 2017, 12:38pm

Here are some pics of the ruined stab bar...
Everything was looking good as I got these 3 bends completed.
Image
Even the forth bend came out in the right spot. BUT, if you look at the tube where it is exiting the bending die, you can see a silver line wrapping around the tube a couple of inches out from the bender. That is the tangent line where the bend I am doing in the pic NEEDS to be... Heavy sigh.
Image
The new design eliminates the two 90's at each end of the bar. I widened the bar about 2 inches and moved it forward a bit.

I have made some progress though. I got the lower stab bar mounts made that weld to the lower control arm.
Image

Image
This is a piece of 1" x 1/4 wall DOM that I beveled on one side to sit on the arm and provide a good welding surface.
Image
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 20th 2017, 12:40pm

I also go the mounting plates done for the bushings. I made these out of some 1/4" plate trimmed to size and slotted for adjustment. These will weld vertically into the frame. I thought it looked a lot cleaner then big flat plates hanging off the side rails.
Image

Mounting to the angled down tubes. These will weld on once I get the paint cleaned off. The chassis is upside down on the rotisserie so this is the drivers
Image


And this is the passenger
Image
thanks for watching.
Mark
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby sixsix » April 20th 2017, 11:41pm

astroracer wrote: ... Anyway I have another 100 dollar piece of tube standing next to the bender ...

Yup... I'd say we have ALL made ( a few in my case ) those "$100 Mistakes".
LOL - working incorrectly notwithstanding - most of us might never have noticed.

:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

Mike
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Re: Bad Ast Project

Postby astroracer [OP] » April 23rd 2017, 11:28pm

Yea, I consider myself pretty fortunate. I haven't really wasted a lot of material on goof ups like this. I have changed my mind on a few things as I am building them but I think this is the first I have ruined anything while making it...
I took another "stab" at it this weekend... (you see what I did there? :) )
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The new bar bent up with no problems from the operator. I got it bent and trimmed. the end link plates made, the bushing brackets finished up and everything is ready to weld up.
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I got side tracked before I got any welding done. We had a new freezer delivered this morning so I spent some time building a roller frame for it out of a Harbor Freight furniture dolly. Having it on casters makes it easy to move to clean under it, as with anything else in my shop. :)
Mark
2004 Astro
2001 Astro (the wifes)
2000 Monte Carlo SS
2000 Astro Conversion Van
1995 GMC Sierra (the show truck)
1994 Formula V8 Firebird
1988 Astro (the BadAst Project
1956 Chevy Station Wagon
Original Poster [OP]
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astroracer
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: astroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full yearsastroracer has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 527
Topics: 6
Joined: January 2010
Location: Mid-Michigan
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): astroracer
Year: 1988
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: Major renovation

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