16 Feb 2009

Finished the right-side mount and removed the wood stand, letting the weight of the drivetrain down on the left and right-side mounts. Now, I knew better than to think the OEM mounts don’t deflect so I had jacked up the drivetrain an extra 1/8″ to allow for them to get squished – not enough. The oil pan now sits on the table… it’s supposed to be suspended slightly above the table. It’s not terrible, the engine mount is vertically-oriented so washers can be used to raise it. Also, there’s two more mounts to add and once they take on their share of the weight hopefully the pan will be raised a bit without resorting to washers.

Also added the rear transverse tube behind the drivetrain and engine bay diagonals, all of which define the floor under the drivetrain. The front mount will be done next since it needed the floor tubes in place. After that I’m not sure. Doing the rear mount means starting to built the rear suspension structure, which boxes in the drivetrain and can prevent it from being removed due to the low garage roof interfering with the engine hoist. However, the rear mount does need to be in place before the engine’s pulled, and probably won’t be going back in until it’s built, probably after the chassis is off the table. I might make a wood mockup that mimics exactly where the rear mount is so the drivetrain doesn’t need to be in place.

The¬†Midlana forum is pretty quiet though that’s understandable at this point. There’s a fairly extensive FAQ on there now, and some people have been discussing drivetrain choices.¬† Beta-tester Jim is making faster progress than me due to working on his chassis more; you can see some of his pictures in the build diary. There’s a possibility of another beta-tester coming on-line in March.