Project EXI

The building of a Marlin 5EXi kit car, using a Seat Leon 1.8T 20v Donor

Feb 20 2010

Fitting the accelerator pedal


The Seat had a "Fly-by-Wire" Accelerator and not a cable version. This was important for me to use.
I am using the Marlin supplied MDP pedal box, so I have removed the cable accelerator from that.
Having already mounted the pedal assembly between the front bulkhead chassis, I knew that fitting the accelerator was not going to be straight forward.
The width of the space on the front bulkhead was not enough to mount the accelerator, and coupled with the pedal box mountings it was not going to fit flush if it did.
So having thought about it for the last week. I needed to make a bracket that could support the accelerator pedal, without running the risk of failing due to fatigue. After all this is a Marlin and not a Toyota!
If I made the bracket it would mean that the side panel would also need modifying to fit around the pedal. You would of thought that the pedal box could be moved leftwards a bit, but it cant as the steering column needs to go between the clutch and brake pedal, and it still need to mount to the chassis through the bulkhead.
So I was left with no choice, other than make the bracket, and modify the side panels later.
The brackets main function is to provide a stable mounting surface for the pedal. With cut outs for the pedal box. I could also drill through the bracket, through front bulkhead, and through chassis upright member and use and M6 bolt and nut to firmly fix the pedal to the chassis, works for me!!
Pictures speak a thousand words so see the photos!!

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 15 2010

More on the rear uprights


Ive started to clean the rear uprights, so it is easier to see what needs to be done. First was to remove the old bearing collar from the shaft of the rear drive plates. As it is a compression fit, this was going to be interesting.
I found I could get the bearing moving with a cold chisel and a hammer, once the there was a gap, I could get a crow bar in the gap, and by hitting it with a hammer get enough force to slowly but surley "wiggle" the bearing off the end of the shaft, lots of WD40 to help it along, and after 20 mins or so, the old collar fell off. Repeat the same for the other side drive.
To clean the assembly, I first used a wire brush attachment on a drill, then another drill attachment to finish the polishin, Photos show before after and during of the refurb process.
I measured the diameter of the shaft with digital verner gauge at just over 40mm, the inside of the bearing is just under 40mm, so the amount of material that needs to removed to fit the Rover/Honda bearings is VERY small.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 14 2010

More pedal box fitting


Now the steering column is in, it was time to fit the pedal Box.
I made a template from cardboard as it would be easier to align this instead of the unit itself as space was tight.
The first job is to remove the cable holder for cable clutches, mine is hydralic, so it was out with the hacksaw and angle grinder.
Fitted the balance bar, the rose bearing is a compression fit, so used a 19mm socket to hammer home the bearing into the center of the balance bar hole in the brake pedal. Fitted the two C-Clips in place to stop bar from moving, and put on the brake clevis's. It seems I may need to reduce the length of the master cylinders piston arm, although it may be better to space the master cyclinders from the bulk head, not sure yet, will think about that one for a while.
Next was to work out the height i needed to mount the unit, so I had enough clearance around the steering column for the balance bar, and to check if the pedals met with my feet properly.
Marked out the holes to cut in the front panel for the brake and clutch master cylinders, the mounting points for the pedal assembly.
Then pilot drilled around the lines, to pop out the middle, used dremel and files to round the cut holes off and remove flashes.
Rivetted the pedal assembly in place and fitted the cyclinders with M8x25
bolts (hand tight for now).
Just for the record
Front brake is 0.75
Rear brake is 0.675
Clucth is 0.675

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 13 2010

Front suspension


Ive moved onto fitting the front suspension.
Fit the front lower wishbones BEFORE you fit the side panels. It is easier to align the wishbone bolts without the side panel in place.
Make sure the bolt for the front side lower wishbone mount points forward, (if that make sense) this same bolt is used to bolt on the frame at the fron of the vehicle.
You can then sit this frame over the end of the bolt and put the washer and nut on. Instead of holding this frame, trying to get the bolt through the frame hole and through the lower wishbone joint nightmare.
It also allows you to remove the front frame without removing the bolt from the wishbone mount and loosing alignment of the suspension setup

Once the front is fitted move on to fitting the side panels.
I used the same method to fit the panels as I did to pre drill the floor plan.
Offer up the metal work,
clamp it in place,
mark where the chassis is on the inside of the panel.
Remove the panel.
Mark hole from inside the panel.
Dill holes where you want the rivets with a 1 or 2mm drill.
Refit the side panel, and clamp in place.
The drill the 5mm holes for the Rivets, through the panel and into the chassis.
Remove panel, apply the PU sealent.
and Rivet in place, with 4.8mmx10 rivets.
This time I purchased the scissor action rivet tool, and WOW much easier and safes your knuckles.
Once the panels were in place the top of the suspension can be fitted, straight forward enough.
Add the dampers and springs to the setup.
And fix the upright in place. At first it looks like the uprights are interchangeable, they ARE NOT.
The mounting holes for the upright are slight different, one tapered hole is slight large than the other, which match the wishbone mount.
Fit for both sides.
Next was to attached the steering rack, again the tapered hole on the upright goes one way, looking at the hole it appears the the steering rack control fits from underneath, and not the top.
This surprised me a little, as I would of expected the steering rack to fit from above, you are then reliant on the nut to hold the connection. Wouldn't it be safer to fit the steering rack end from above??
Just in case for whatever reason the nut fell off (It shouldn't) but if it did you loose steering and tracking on the front. Instead of the weight of the steering rack fitting holding it connected.
Im not mechanic but I would of thought this would be more logical. It is what it is. I may try and fit two nuts to the rack for this reason.
So I fitted the steering rack to one side, and then the other. Now I got a problem, I get HUGE amount of toe-out when both sides of the upright are connected.
To get the hubs to appear straight I have a gap of about 30mm before the tie rod reaches the tip of the steering rack.
There is either a peice I am missing to extend the steering rack to reah the uprights, OR the steering rack I have been supplied isnt long enough.
I dont see a way I can have fitted anything in the area incorrectly,the steering rack is a fixed unit. So something has gone! Will have to speak to Mark to see whats happened.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 12 2010

Conversatin with Mark

I've had a chat with Mark at Marlin and we have resolved of the the issues I have had,
The rear uprights are becoming clearer.
The VAG driveshafts to interface with the Rover Bearing supplied. But the VAG drive plate, needs to be modified. It is marginally to big to fit inside the bearing and over the drive plate.
The VAG uses two lambda sensors, one before the CAT, used by the ECU to control mixtures.
One after the CAT used as an indicator to the driver that the CAT is working properly, it does not control the ECU, but just provides feedback. This one is not fitted to the 5EXi.
The gaps between the top and bottoms of all the dampers need to have spaces made, they should be fitted and customised to length to make the dampers vertical to the wishbones (at 90degrees).
Radiator pipework, connectors a plast tubes are being sourced
Intercooler required is from a Gold TDI
Radiator required is from a Rover 25 1600/1800
To fix the steering rack problem (too short) the 5EXi needs extensions on the end to meet the hubs

Posted by Steve | Permanent link

Feb 10 2010

Fitting the rear suspension ball joints


I managed to borrow a 52mm Wrench from a friend of a friend, so I can get a spanner onto the bottom wishbone hub monuts.
In some places where the wishbone has been painted after tapping, paint has found its way into the threads. So it is not possible to get the hub monuts in by hand. Im hoping by slowly screwing in with a spanner, in a backwarsd forwards motion, I can get the mounts to cut through the paint to be seated correctly. Care must be used not to cross thread it.
Success, managed to get the lower hub mounts into the wishbones, using the trusty dremel tool with wire brush attachment I removed some additional debris located in the threads. I've loctited them into place, so they are now home permantley.
When fitting the wishesbones to the chasis, I forget to removed the paint from inside the bush mounting points, Ive removed the bushes and used the dremel with fine sanding attachement to clean out the excess, prior to re-assembling them and putting back onto the chassis. Required as long term the paint will come off and clog up the bushes.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 09 2010

Fitting the rear suspension


I got confused with the suspension, but I have figured it out now, as per previous post. With no photos to work from, it can be tricky.
The first problem identified was I had the front top wishbone, on the rear, so i have removed this, and fitted the top rear wishbones.
The geometry of the rear suspension now makes sense. I can see how toe-in/out damber, ride height, are all adjusted!!!!
Ensure that the rear uprigt bearing housing faces OUTWARDS.I have only hand tighten all the bolts, as I expect the hubs to go on and off as bearings and brake get fitted.
I also replaced the steering rack U-clamp and the one I received from Marlin was damaged. so 120p later and a dremel again, its off with the old and on with the new. The new one I got didnt have any nyloc nuts on it, so I have
added these in addition to the nuts supplied, for added security.
IVA POINTER..........
The new U-Clamp is a little longer than the previous, as it is quite close to the fuel tank. In an accident this could puncture the fuel tank. Things like this are examined in the new IVA, so to reduce risk of an IVA failure I will cut off excess thread with the Dremel.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 08 11:06:21 BST 2010

Fitting the steering rack


|073-SteeringRack|Now I have received another delivery I can get on with adding more parts to the build.
Firstly in order to figure out where the pedal box must go, I needed to fit the steering rack. This was straight forward enough, figure out where the steering column is pass through the front bulkhead and make a hole big enough so the steering column can rotate freely. Bolt the two U-Clamps to the chasis to hold the steering rack in place.
I will consider and look into if it is possible to get some kind of gator that the steering colum can sit in, to close the hole up a little bit.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Feb 08 2010

Fitting rear suspension


I moved onto the rear suspension. I received the metal tubes, that fit into the bushes.
Fitting was a bit troublesome, as I didnt have a photo to work from. I have mounted the bottom rear wishbones. Used a fair amount of copper slip in and around the suspension bushes. Banged home the bolt with a rubber mallet, and hand tighten the
locking nuts for now. Be carefull that you get the correct top wishbones, as the fronts will also fit. You need the one with a fixing hole on near the bushes. This accepts the track rods for the rear end. Fitted both of these wishbones.
Then fitted the track rod ends?? Not sure what you call them, one screws into the lower wishbone by the bottom, the other screws into the top wishbone,The hub is the triangluar shapend hub, with the one corner pointing down, andthe other two fixings, one to the top wishbone, and one to the track rod end.
When you fit it all together, I can now see how the camber, toe-in/toe-out can be adjusted. I dont know what setting to make these yet, and it cant be done until the car is on the ground.
I fitted the rear shocks, loosen of the damper spring collar to the bottom of the damper, fitted the spring over, and then wound it up till the spring was held in place.
Interstingly enough it appears that the damper and shock are fitted "Upside down". Dont know if there is an upside or a downside, but what I would consider the top is at the bottom.
Make sure the damper adjuster faces outwards, as this will help you make shock adjustment in the future. The adjuster will be by the top wishbone.
I had to drill out a 13mm hole on the two rear bottom wishbones, I check the front wishbones at the same time, as I had to beg a drill bit from a neighbour, one of these was the right size, the other (front left) needed drililng. Given that the front right was correct size for the bolt, it seems that hole sizes were incorrect at manufacture.
My only query now is there is alot of free play in the top and bottom of the damper on the bolt. Im wondering if there should be a collar to stop this movement.

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: suspension

Jan 31 2010

Understanding the donor wiring


The wiring is coming along.
I've been working out what needs to be done and what wire cross section I need to complete everything.
I've been identifing components in the existing wiring loom from the seat.
removed alot of wires, The ABS controller has gone. The Electric Fan control unit (part numer 1J0 919 506K) has gone.
removed all the cloth cover from the loom, and have indentified most of the connections that need to be made.
The two important areas are both the ECU connections (81 pin and 40) one of which is all the inputs to the ECU, the other is all the outputs from the ECU.
Knowing this makes it a little easier to find the correct connection. My ECU will have its imboliser disabled. So I have also removed the green/black twisted pair wires from the ignition barrel.
The windscreen wiper stalk from the steering column has also gone, Im not planning on using this, a simple rocker switch for the windscreen wiper, and a non locking push to make button will be ample for the washer circuits.
Once the loom cloth has been removed, you will find the wiring loom, will fall into seperate indentifable circuits.
For example the fan control cirucit only remains connected by the battery fuse board, like wise for the ABS circuit.
I have kept most parts intact, in case I need them later.
The power connections on the battery fuse plate, I did cut to be as long as possible, because of the nut that secures them to the plate, these wires can be used to supply power to the Marlin supplied fuse box, and relay circuits.
The airbag has gone from the steering wheel as have its wire and connections. I did find I need the plate that takes these connections to the steering column loom, as this also alows for self cancelling indicators to be fitted.
Ive been in contact with a fellow Marlin Kit Car builder, Ed Allsop, who collected his kit in December, its good to know another builder, building the same kit. Defintly bouncing ideas and sharing information is such as positive in a project like this.
Edd has supplied the photos of the wiring loom in my build photos section and kindly labelled the connectors on them!! (Thanks Ed) This made it easier to indentify bits on my loom
Spoke to Terry at Marlin on Friday, a delivery of my outstanding parts plus some extras is due to be shipped to me on Monday. Once I get this I defintly feel the build will move forwards at a quicker pace than recent months.
I think I should have everything I need now, to get a rolling chassis.
I have yet to source some ehadlights, but these are from a Peugot 106 Angle eyes. Should be able to find this for no more 150. With Daytime running lights, it would be worthwhile having them on the car, as an Ex Biker, headlights make you more visable to other road uses, and being a victim of a SMIDSY, (Sorry Mate I Didnt See You) I am quite keen on the led daytime lights. This month Kit Car Mag, had a controller for Daytime lights (20 from Car Builder Solutions), so this may also be worked into the loom
So watch this space!!

Posted by Steve | Permanent link | File under: ecu, electrical
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