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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 4:47 pm

Okay so I took this to my painter mate's place.. and it sat there doing nothing. The only work that was done was when I'd come down to "help him" work on it. For some reason, he took on a million other projects and did them first, pushing mine to the back - mine's probably harder.

Anyway, long story short, the time it was away allowed me to focus on and finish the monolithic task of the Piazza.. but said mate has now moved interstate and Abi's back home. He'll be staying with me for a few weeks to do this car - or at least, that's the plan.

I started the brake upgrade. I think these are Ben Wight Stage 1's, but I'm not 100% sure. They use a Gemini caliper with a spacer plate to widen them, and a vented disk. As you can see, I had to make a few little alterations to make them fit properly:

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Also, you guys will probably recognise this:

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
Posts: 1938
Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted Tue May 29, 2012 12:14 am

Right, well I did the other side today, and after some clarification from the very helpful Ben Wight, it turns out these aren't one of his kits, but he did point me in the right direction to source a brake pad locator pin, since they're longer than Gemini items, and one's missing :(

EDIT: Made a new one up. I bought some massive nails that work out to almost exactly the same dimensions as a standard brake pad locating pin, but way longer. After test fitting one, I cut it to size, put it in a vice and drilled a 1/16" hole for the retaining clip - just like stock, but longer. Perfect.

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Anyway, with the front brakes done, I'm thinking of swapping the diff for one I've got lying around (to keep it rolling, since paint's in less than a month now), so I can start on the VL disk brake conversion and get the Altra9 LSD fitted. I have my reservations about the VL handbrake, but I specified "disk brakes" for the Altra9 LSD and I'm guessing they'd be fairly specific to the VL setup. Hopefully with new handbrake shoes and a machine they'll perform upto scratch.

Up next: sourcing the bits for the disk rear end!

...

And here's some "pointless" information on the front disks, as much for my own reference as anyone else's. All measurements are approximate.

Disk diameter: 241mm
Minimum specified thickness: 17mm
Current thickness: 17.3mm, evidence of wear
Estimated original thickness: around 18mm
Rotor height when laid flat on the ground, from rear of disk, to the surface joining the back of the hub: *ROUGHLY* 53mm
The four bolts that hold the wheel hub to the rotor use the Gemini hub's 4x87.5mm PCD, but it looks like the disks came out with a 4x100 PCD to mate to the wheel hub - originally using wider bolts, too.
Seems the Gemini wheel hub is about 23mm thick.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:02 am

Things are really starting to move along!

A few weeks ago I bought a pair of VN rear disc brake setups from the wreckers for $70-ish. Ordered some blank VN rear disks for $290, picked them up and promptly dropped them off at Kent Engineering to have them drilled to 4x100, which is costing me $100. I'm picking them up tomorrow. Then it's simply a matter of dropping the diff off for hot tanking, the fitting of the Altra9 LSD and billet axles, and just a general going-over and replacement of seals etc. I'll paint it gloss black and then it'll be ready to go in - although I still need to get a strengthened torque tube!

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I finally restarted the paint and panel stuff today, my painter Jono came around and we made good progress. He's blocked most of the car, ready for fill, sand and primer, while I ground back all of my welds on the A-pillars and finished with chassis black! Tomorrow it's onto the boot rust.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:12 pm
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:13 am

Brakes back and drilled - test fit looks great!

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And some more rust repairs, this time on the rear window sill. I folded my own replacement section out of sheet metal (vernier reckons about 1.2mm thick, and reads the original at 1.6mm). I had 2mm sheet but didn't like my chances of bending it. I don't have a sheet metal folder or anything so I just used the old "measure, vice, hammer" approach. Took about 45 minutes including scratching my head and measuring up the original bits. I'll be cutting slits (just had a very unfortunate typo involving the letter "c") in the vertical section to allow for the bend, then spot welding it in like the original. It's all a bit experimental but I'm sure it'll work, I'm slowly getting better at backyard metalwork, and regardless I'm having great fun doing it.

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On top of this, I've seam welded the shock towers (whilst they're not load bearing, they still deal with a huge amount of the car's stiffness when you run decent shocks) and stitch welded the seam of the inner guard to firewall. I wouldn't mind doing a bit more, but it's all pending time. I have, however, been told off by an engineer friend for seam welding; the heat fatigue could promote cracking and weakness in the metal, so it's probably counterproductive - stitch welding's the way to go. The welds on the shock towers came out much better than the other stuff you see here, and the stitch welds to the firewall came out beautifully, you'd think they're gasless :D

Watch this space, things are moving along.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:06 am

Lots more progress, the rear window sill is mostly done, I just need to grind it back now, I just started but put it off for more urgent jobs. Conclusion - yes, you can make your own sills from sheet metal with a vice! It's just a very long and tedious way of doing it. Also, just an FYI - you can't remove a Gemini window sill with a cold chisel! You'll just absolutely destroy the metal beneath it... But anyway. I ground mine out, all is well now.

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Also, there were a bunch of rust holes in the very bottom left rear extremity of the car, I don't think I have any before pics but it was always going to be a nasty job. Well, I spent most of today doing it, shaping the metal was annoying, but what was worse was the welder cracking the s*)ts halfway through and deciding it wouldn't feed wire for more than two seconds at a time. FFFFUUUUU. So I'm left with 2/3 of it really well welded, and the remaining third f*#cking hopeless. Oh well. It's basically done, and I'm SO glad it's out of the way.

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I also seam welded the strut towers, done in small sections with reasonable penetration for most of it (again pending the welder cooperating). I ground it back a little then seam sealed it (the grey gunk). This stuff really penetrates in there and finishes to a hard rubbery texture. It can be painted, and apparently looks quite factory when finished. I know Geminis don't place the weight of the car on the shock towers, but with a good shock like a Koni, flex in the towers would still be detrimental. I'm also mindful of metal fatigue, hence doing it in short sections. What else... ahh, stitch welded the joining surface of the firewall and inner guards. The hole in the rear of the boot in these photos is also done.

I bought new front quarter panels off of Ethan, they're very good, but do need one little plate done in the bottom. They're TG items, hence no indicator holes - which will suit the round headlight grille and TF corner indicators I'll be running. They also came with some crazy power aerial. I have no idea if it'll work, or how.

The body's mostly rubbed back and straight with a few bits and bobs to go. The engine bay needs to be rubbed back by hand (what isn't already bare metal), then we can hit the car with primer! We've bought paint and primer, I'm getting pretty excited.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:08 am

Fairly massive update!

The rust repairs are doooone, door sills done, all four doors have been welded on the inner skin, tonnes of work... I have more weldy photos but I'll skip to the awesome stuff. Also, I blocked off the antenna hole, note that for perhaps the first time in my life, I just spot welded it, it's non-structural and I didn't want to warp the panel. The white panels are some donor TG guards (since I'm going amber corner lights on the TE grille and I won't need side indicators).

The car's been primed, guide coat done, blocked back and almost ready for the booth this Wednesday!!! :D :D :D These pics are a good couple of days' work ago, when my painter just started blocking it back, so it's progressed more since then... but nevertheless:

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Mechanically speaking, I'm still waiting on some funds so I can drop the diff off and have my Altra9 LSD fitted, the drift car blew my cash for the last month or so, but this is pretty much next on the list. I'll be sending off my application to modify soon (for the twincam), but still deciding whether to take it through regency with a G161Z to get the defect cleared first... But, meh. I should probably suck it up and go straight for the G180W. Go hard or go home, I want this legal.

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:15 am

PAINTED!

This will be one of my last "rusty bits" updates... I still have to do a few spots in the rear floorpan area, but apart from that it will just be applying POR15/Chassis Black to rust proof stuff.

Here's the pics from the rust repair in the door sills. I wasn't quite as neat as I'd like to be, but they're strong, and at the end of the day, who cares if a bit of bog is used to smooth out a door sill - not as if it's in a thin visible panel that flexes. At least it's all full welded and strong.

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I also stitch welded to strengthen the factory spot welds in the engine bay, couple of pics included. I also put some stitch welds on the factory braces from chassis to trans tunnel (under the brake booster and near the exhaust midpipe), but couldn't do the other ends because I would have caused a massive interior fire :lol:

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Axles lathed down to Gemini hub size - they still have the centring ring for the Commodore discs.

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The paint job... well, if I'm honest, there's quite a few runs, and quite a few knicks under the paint, and it's a bit orange peely... but goddamn! It's shiny as hell, and looks great. Considering the huge amount of work we put in fixing the rust and getting it straight, I'm damn happy to see it like this. The paint job could be better but at the end of the day, I paid around $1500 all up, and my mate had to do a huge amount of panel work just to get the car straight, cover up welds and rust etc. Maybe I'll get it touched up, we'll see how it comes up after a polish later on.

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I've sent away an application to modify, to get the green light to put the twincam in. As soon as that happens, things will start to progress...

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Posted TODAY:

Yesterday I found my best pair of taillights, cleaned them up (with a toothbrush, much to the amusement of some house guests) and made new seals. I used sticky foam strips from Clark Rubber, as advised from our awesome "search" feature :D. I had to be careful when cutting them, but the result is great and I'm confident they will seal. I also fitted the centre garnish, and knocked some door pins into the doors (lubed with high temp bearing grease - overkill? lol). I bolted the bonnet and boot on too, though I haven't lined them up yet. Unfortunately there's already been a few paint casualties, scrapes of edges and rubbing panels, fffuuuu... at least it's easy to touch up (and the paint job needs a loooott of touch ups anyway).

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Still deciding on the bumper. I have a selection of mint chrome ones (most need a clean but are otherwise mint) as well as a fibreglass one from LOK15 (which I'd paint black) or even a standard TG item. I had my heart set on the chrome rear, but now I'm doubting myself, and thinking that black would break up the car quite nicely.

Now I just have to force that damn boot spring lever back into the locator on the driver's side... argh...

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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Car(s): TX SR20DET, TX G200W, Dato 1200 Ute
Wow, I went away for a week and came back to all this progress! It looks fantastic, you must be stoked with where its at. Ive got some news you might be interested in too -I was at the bellett nationals last week and had a play with the efi on a bellett GT with a stock g180w on delco. Ive put some pics and info and the tune here. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3630 even if you go megasquirt, I can confirm the fuel and spark table shape from the g200w seems to transfer to a g180w quite well with just minor offsets for the capacity difference. Would be a good starting point.


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 Post subject: Re: Eli's G180W TE sedan - "Abigail"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Location: Windsor Gardens
Car(s): TX G180W+T, TE G180W, TG G180Z, Piazza 4ZC1T +more
Thanks man! Yeah I'm pretty happy, really excited now. Still a few big money things left like getting the LSD fitted to the diff housing, getting the dash refurbished (cracks fixed), getting some black door trims and getting it through regency.. besides that, I have to figure out which master/prop valve to run for my brakes, and then it's onto the EFI.

That's pretty interesting Antus! I'll have to have a look at that timing spark table! I've got a standard G180W ECU for this one, but I'm not sure if it'll work, and I'll probably have to go aftermarket sooner or later anyway if I upgrade to ITBs. It might even have huge cams, I don't know for sure yet.

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