Monday, 19 September 2016

                 Fitting exhaust side pipes and the side clamps.

As an introduction though, why not go to the Blog overview first.

In the previous post at the end we saw the exhaust header pipes bolted on, and now it is the time to initially trial mount the exhaust side pipes and clamps. When I say initially, you might think, why not simply do it all in one go and wait until the side panels are fitted. My advice is to do it the following way. Firstly, take a look at the above picture, and on the left is shown a clamp set in two halves, and on the right, what we'll see once clamped and bolted up. Disregard the shape of the front part on the right, as this is the item used by the machinist when turning the front halves.

Identify the chassis mounting brackets for the clamps, forward one shown above and rearward one shown below.

Place a strip of 1 inch masking tape on each bracket point shown in the above two pictures.

Notice the block of wood screwed to a piece of 25mm square aluminium box. The block of timber is 110mm high and with the base of the block flush with the floor, this sets the height of the side pipe. Similarly, set another block arrangement close to the rear chassis bracket. You'll have noticed that when sliding the side pipe on to the header pipe, that there is a tendency for it to slope downwards. There is a bit of spring in the pipe and header, and you'll need to gently lift it/force it slightly up to rest upon the blocks. As you are doing this you'll also need to "relax" the header pipe in the exhaust outlet in the cylinder head so that you can turn the pipe as required, enabling it to move close to the chassis and to sit on the blocks. Insert a rear part of the 2 part clamp behind each side pipe, and wrapping a piece of rag around the pipe, gently clamp the pipe to the chassis upright. With a pen draw around the clamp rear. Once done, drill through the top and bottom holes of the clamp rear with a 5mm drill bit. Repeat this for the rear most clamp further down the chassis. When done, release the clamps then remove the side pipe. De-burr the holes in the chassis brackets, front and rear, then temporarily bolt the rear half to the brackets, then drill a 6mm hole through the centre hole of the rear part of the clamp. Remove the rear halves, then oversize the holes by 5.5mm and 6.5mm drill bits respectively, enabling a bit of movement when finally fitting up through the side panels. 

This shot shows a rear part of the clamp fitted. In the final fitment, nylock nuts should be used.

These last two shots show the final result.

Having reached this stage, remember that the main side panel still needs to be fitted. Having done all of the above, the whole lot needs to be removed, and will not be refitted until the side panels are finally fitted. Now, further advice, don't be in a  hurry to finally fit the main side panels, as in the build you need maximum access. You'll find it easier to fit the seats, the wiring loom and other bits and pieces without the LHS side panel on, and likewise, you'll find it easier to fit the reversing gearbox and propshaft without the RHS panel fitted.

Anyway, having said the above, when you've fitted the main side panels permanently, this is the time to refit the exhaust side pipes. Having previously drilled the holes in the chassis brackets for the side pipe clamps, back drill through these holes into the side panels, and my immediate advice at this stage is to hold a scrap piece of aluminium/plywood etc on the outside when drilling through. Once done, bolt everything up accordingly, and don't forget to return to the flanges on the exhaust header pipes and tighten up the screws.

At the start of this exercise, I mentioned about flexing the side pipes/header pipes in order to get them to sit at the right height. Once the engine has been run and the pipes have gone through a heating and cooling stage, they'll naturally form and remain in that position and relax accordingly. I know this from having simply removed the header pipes from my old demonstrator car whilst leaving the side pipes and silencers in position, and simply refitting them.

Of course, you'll need to repeat this exercise on the opposite side, and I'd allow a total of 6 hours, say a whole day for this entire fitment.

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