Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gearbox tunnel Part 3

Been messing with a load of ideas.

Here is a one test one made from plastic sheet (that came with some perspex).

Decided its poor idea.
I have come a better solution I think.

Having removed all material ready for some kind of tunnel I am left with a pretty big gap.

Well. Why not use the original radio frame to make the tunnel two piece?

The area from the radio frame to the bulkhead can be a pretty much perminant fitting.

If I have the top panel heading up as far as possible at the front to meet the sealing flange under the heater and heading down to meet the radioframe just under the radio slot, I can get the engine out without having to remove the front section and radio frame.

Also the radio frame can be bolted to the dash via a fabricated mount. This mount can also bolt to the top of the dash, the dash is MUCH stiffer than the normal one, so this would tie up the area and stiffen it.

To join the radio frame to the bulkhead I can get some 3/4" solid alloy box section and make a frame. This frame will run around the bulkhead area where the gearbox tunnel would normally seal to via the rubber seal. It can also run along the floorpan to meet the radioframe and seal to the body there. Then two more sections can run from the flange under the heater to the radio frame just below the radio slot. I can cross brace this with some box section. I can then bolt on some sheeting. To seal it up. This radioframe and new framework can be solidly mounted to the chassis via the radio frame, dash via the radioframe and also solidly mounted to the bulkhead via some M8 or 5/16th bolts. I can then just run a beed of sealant between the flanges when fitting. No rubber seal, no leaks and the front of tunnel ties the chassis/bulkhead/dash together in 6 planes.

That will just leave me with a rear section from the frame to the remains of the tunnel hump.

I am not that concerned by the amount of hump I have removed, as its floppy as playdough anyway.

Not quite sure how I am gonna execute this plan. Its gonna be a real pain taking it out and getting it welded elsewhere. So may involve alot of hassle. However it's the best plan I can formulate to add strength and give me a nice neat tunnel.

First task is to test how well new alloy can be welded to the cast alloy radioframe, lucky my cousin has some special welding rods. I will need to pickup another pair of radioframes as this one is not mine and test welding on it. I can bolt the frame together via a series of countersuck head hex bolts also.

The front face of the radio frame is currently arched to fit over the stock gearbox tunnel. Will need to fill that it with new metal and add a solid flange heading out @ 90deg to the frame for the rear tunnel section to mount to.

This has been doing my nut.

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