Sunday, December 28, 2008

Machining the transmission input shaft and other work....

My plan to couple the electric motor to the transmission is to use a pair of Lovejoy connectors. However, the transmission has a splined shaft, whereas the couplers are made to fit on a keyed shaft. The simplest solution is to machine the input shaft to accept the coupler. To do this, I have set up my mini-lather to have a grinder in the place of the cutting tool, as the shaft is hardened steel and cannot be cut using a carbide bit..
I ground down the shaft to the next largest shaft diameter (i.e. 7/8") based on the available coupler sizes.
The machining only required removing about 0.5 mm (0.02 in.) from the main shaft, but most of the spline teeth are now gone with just the roots remaining. (The area machined appears darker here and starts midway down the shaft)
Using the grinder again, this time to cut a keyway down the length of the shaft. Here, I slide the shaft along the grinding wheel until the desired depth is reached, repeating the process after shimming up the sliding surface to get the right width of cut.
Test fitting the coupler with a length of key stock - success. Eventually, the shaft will shortened once I determine the required length, but essentially the length protruding from the coupler in this picture will be cut off.
Meanwhile, it was time to bolt the body back to the frame, so lifting it up one last time...
... and slowly lowering it, using screwdrivers to line up the bolt holes
The original master cylinder for the brakes was frame mounted and located under the driver seat. I decided to switch to a dual reservoir system, mounted on the firewall. The pedal assembly is a recycled part from a what I believe was a Honda (the car was not in a recognizable state), and the master cylinder is a new Mazda truck part.
The heater control assembly, repainted and re-labelled using rub-on decals from Lettraset.
Steering tie rods, reconditioned and fitted with new rubber boots.
A convenient feature of the tie rod ends for this car is that the bottom cap screws out, and thus are adjustable for wear.

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