Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:05 am


Some weeks back I made this tray for the firewall shelf. It provides a recess for the brake booster to sit in. Yesterday I cut out the firewall shelf to accommodate it.


The brake booster sits down below the firewall shelf by a small amount - barely half an inch. With the tray in place I was able to fit the brake booster.


This booster is a used part and could handle a little cleanup. I've got most of an Eastwood Golden Cad kit left over from when I 'refreshed' the booster on my MGB so I plan to use that to smarten it up a bit.


The master cylinder bolts onto the two studs on the rear of the booster. No surprises there but I can't progress to the next stage because I'm missing a part, the brake pedal linkage that runs from the booster down through the pivot to the pushrod.


I set the brakes aside for a while and worked so more on the dash. I had hammer formed the bottom edge over the former I made earlier, but it really didn't go too well so I resorted to fiberglass cloth and resin to clean up the edge. It's looking much better but there's still work to do contouring the curves.



Once I am happy with the curves I will trim the back edge to give a flange of about an inch. It's not quite there yet. Once the shaping is done I'll make the cutouts for the gauges and switches, then the whole thing will be covered in vinyl.


I moved the car so the back end was hanging out through the basement door. I did this for two reasons: First I had to reinstall the floors using the shop crane to raise the car, and with limited space I needed to get the car at right angles to the crane. Rebekah and I lifted up each side of the car with the shop crane and cleco'd the floors back in so I can put in temporary seating. Also, I wanted to prove to myself that I would be able to get the car out of the basement when it was done.

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Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:46 am

The heim joint for the brake linkage-to-booster arrived so I was able to do some preliminary work on the brake and clutch pedal installation.


The build video suggests tapping the mounting holes in the pedals with a 3/8 fine thread tap. The metal is quite soft and taps easily - no need to drill the holes out first as they will accept the tap easily.


It's the same process for the clutch pedal. By the way, a word to the wise: the socket cap screws that came with my clutch master cylinder kit had some sort of thread locker pre-applied. Once you tighten them up it's the devils own job to loosen them off again. If you're assembling and disassembling I would recommend saving these thread locker bolts for final assembly and using plain socket cap bolts for the interim.


I made up a pedal placement template from an offcut of 1/4" plywood. It's trimmed to the same shape as the inside line of the driver's footwell and I was able to use it as a temporary mounting board for the pedals. Once I am happy with the final pedal placement I will transfer the hole positions from the template to the floor and drill them.


With a bit of trial and error and a lot of spring clamps I came up with this position based on the guidance from the build video which suggests, for Classic R frames, mounting the clutch pedal parallel to the outer frame tube. There so many things to check for when choosing the pedal position that it's a bit of a daunting task but I made sure that each pedal could travel all the way up and down without hitting anything; brake and clutch down at the same time without binding; no interference in the brake pedal linkage; no interference with frame tubes; driver comfort and foot spacing. I probably forgot something important but the point is they travel fully without interfering with anything and I can get the full range of actuation from the driver's seating position. The foot pads on my pedals are adjustable so I did this with the pads in the center position but left room on the clutch pedal for the pad to be moved to its left-most position later if I decide to make that adjustment.


To get these positions I started by assuming that the brake pedal would be more or less centered under the steering shaft. Using that as a reference point I then positioned the clutch pedal. In the photo the brake pedal looks a bit offset to the left but it's just because of the camera position.


Pedal alignment side view. You can see the slight difference in pedal angle on the clutch pedal. The brake pedal pushrod is roughly horizontal. There's a nice clevis that came installed on each of my pedals and I can't help thinking I could modify that to replace the heim joint on the pedal end of the pushrod. I would have taken it off but I can't find my circlip pliers for the moment. If I don't go that route I'll just have to drill the pedal and run the bolt from the kit through it and the pushrod heim. I will make up a spacer though to cleanly match the heim to the pedal.


Bit of a snag on the clutch reservoir location - and I see now why the kit ships with the Wilwood remote reservoir setup. I had hoped not to use it, not because I have any objection to remote-mounting the reservoir but because from what I read they have a tendency to leak (although they can be made to work).

I think there are various reasons why these things leak. I took some measurements off the Wilwood reservoir and the hole at the bottom isn't round, but the mount and O-ring are. You're supposed to heat the plastic reservoir up and then stuff the remote mounting adapter and O-ring into it, presumably so that the reservoir hole will confirm to the shape of the remote mount adapter. The reservoir looks like an injection molded part so there's a parting line that may interfere with its ability to sit well against the mating surface and hold fluid. I also wonder about the rubber hose that runs from the reservoir to the master cylinder. It's marked as "general purpose". I read that brake fluid can sweat through some types of rubber hose. I plan to swap the supplied hose out for a piece of PTFE hose, probably Fragola Series 6000 PTFE braided hose. Summit Racing's web site indicates it is brake fluid compatible. I'll get a piece and make sure I can fit over the barbs on the reservoir kit. I will replace supplied spring clamps with T-bolt clamps, roughly 1 1/2" diameter.

Anyway, the next job in pedal placement is to set up the throttle pedal, and that means taking the firewall shelf off - and that means taking off the brake booster again. D'oh.

-Dave

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by XL22 on Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:39 am

I love the tray for the brake booster. I wish the kit came with that.

On the notch for the steering shaft, it looks like Stalker HQ just forgot to do that b/c mine came pre-notched.

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:40 pm

Yes Brit, I remember looking at the gallery pictures of your steering notch on XL#22 and wondering whether my chassis was different in some way (other than it not being an XL). I would have gone with a semicircular notch but I wasn't confident making that shaped cut. I borrowed your telescoping steering shaft idea btw - I get quite a bit of telescoping movement at the steering wheel end so I think it's working well.

The brake booster location relative to the firewall shelf just troubled me and I wasn't altogether happy leaving the hole for it open, hence the tray. It may need some tweaking to accommodate the gas pedal.

-Dave

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:24 pm

I finished up the brake pedal setup this morning.


A 3/8" hole needs to be drilled to accommodate the pivot bolt.


The heim joint at the pedal end of the pushrod doesn't sit well against the side of the pedal so I made these 3/8" high spacers up out of 3/8" mild steel tubing. They go either side of the pedal on the pivot bolt.


Another thing in the brake system that has been troubling me is the attachment of the pedal linkage heim joint to the booster. The jam nuts I bought were quite thick and there wasn't enough thread for two of them plus the heim and a washer. So I ground one of the nuts down to about 3/16" high to improve the fit.


Installed - you can see it allows the outer nut to properly thread all the way on. I need to replace this outer nut with a nyloc so it doesn't loosen off in use.


The throttle pedal placement needed a lot of trial and error to determine a suitable location. I'm still not sure yet that it's quite correct but the position I selected allows the pedal to travel all the way down without hitting anything (including the inner tunnel panel down in the footwell), and it allows a decent range of travel for the throttle actuator arm all the way out to WOT and back (hopefully).


The build instructions say to put the actuator arm vertical when planning the linkage. When I did that I got a measurement of about 4.5" from the actuator arm to a point near the top of the throttle cable quadrant on the throttle body. I was going to make up a custom linkage with a heims and things but an internet search turned up this Redline item - a heim joint either end and an eye-to-eye distance of 4.5", so practically tailor-made for the job at $25. I ordered one from The Import Experts on eBay.


Fitting the pedal means you have to negotiate the firewall shelf and the fact that you can't see through it. You can just about make out my reference point for mounting from this picture. One corner of the throttle assembly pad is 11 1/2" from the outer frame tube and 4 1/2" from the firewall cross tube. Once I had that dimension I put the firewall shelf back in and drilled the reference hole. The throttle shaft runs parallel to the firewall so with one reference cleco installed it should be easy to figure out the other screw hole locations.

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by XL22 on Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:26 pm

On the throttle assembly that rests on the firewall shelf, consider reinforcing the brackets if they don't line up over a tube, and where the GM pedal attaches to the vertical portion of the firewall shelf. Without reinforcing those areas, you may have noticeable flex in the aluminum sheet metal which makes your throttle modulation less precise.

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:22 pm

Good point, I think I will add some sort of reinforcement to the firewall shelf. One of the mounting pads lines up over a tube, the other doesn't. The setup for the V6 is a bit different to the V8 - there's no GM pedal, just the Northstar throttle body with a mechanical thottle valve which replaces the servo-operated throttle valve that's stock on the L26. The Northstar throttle body has a fairly substantial return spring on it so it takes quite a bit of mechanical effort to open the throttle.

It'll be interesting to see how the throttle pedal movement underfoot feels with a direct linkage rather than a cable.

-Dave

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:50 am

Back from vacation and able to work on all the stuff I was thinking about while I was away.

I finished up the throttle linkage, or at least a version of it that works. I don't know whether I will keep this setup but it does operate as expected.


The heim joints in the Weber linkage will accept a #10 screw but nothing bigger so I drilled a hole in the pedal shaft and tapped it to take a 10-32 x 1 1/2" socket cap screw, spacer and nylon lock nut to act as a pivot pin for the pedal end of the linkage.


A 1/4" long #10 spacer holds the heim off the pedal shaft. I drilled the same sized hole (untapped) in the quadrant on the throttle body and put a spacer each side with a 10-32 socket cap screw and nylon lock nut for the throttle body pivot. This is where my concern with this setup lies - the quadrant is thin-walled plastic and I wonder whether it will hold up to being operated this way because the actuating pressure is on this thin walled part. We'll see. Still to do on this: remove the firewall shelf, install the pedal itself, add some bracing to support the other throttle pedal pad and then cut and reinstall the firewall shelf to fit around it.

With that done I went back to the brake pedal setup again. I had been thinking while I was away about how I would set up the brake light switch. There are really only two options - hydraulic or mechanical. I had planned to put a hydraulically operated switch in but I wimped out at the last minute and came up with a simple mechanical setup which I roughed out using some 3/4" x 1/8" steel bar.


These three pieces are welded together to make a bracket that will hold a mechanical switch in position near the brake booster.


The switch mounts through a 10mm hole on the bracket and the plunger rests on a tab attached to the brake booster. The tab sticks up at a stupid angle because I was winging it and trying to figure out where everything sat relative to everything else.


The switch is a metal bodied item, Standard Motor Products part number SLS-105, normally closed. It comes with one nut but I added a hardware store M10x1.25 nut to allow it to be mounted on the bracket.


The tab holds the switch in the compressed position. It's a normally closed switch so this results in the switch being open when the brake pedal is not actuated.


With the brake pedal activated, the plunger releases and the switch closes activating the brake light relay that's not there yet.

-Dave

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by XL22 on Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:39 am

I dig your brake switch idea. If my fluid pressure sensor gives me trouble, I may try your approach.

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by XL22 on Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:45 am

Let me also add that since I'm not sure how much Scott checks the forums, you might send him your brake switch and booster tray ideas to see if he wants to incorporate those to future kits.

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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:40 am

I'll probably do that in due course, but I want to make sure they're ready for prime time first. I modified both the booster tray and the brake light switch bracket yesterday; had to add clearance around the tray to accomodate the throttle pedal, and I relocated the brake light switch to ensure that the tab won't rotate away from the switch if the input shaft of the brake booster rotates. Pictures to follow.

One thing I did based on your suggestion, Brit, was to put a brace in to support the other side of the throttle pedal where there wasn't a frame tube to hold it. It provides an extra measure of stability to the firewall shelf as well.


A length of 3/4" square tube and two pieces of 3/4" x 1/8" bar cut and bent. I wanted to make this removable in case I needed clearance at engine/transmission installation time, so the bracing section has a bracket each end allowing it to be screwed on and removed later if necessary. There's also a packing piece, not pictured, that ensures that the top of the square section ends up flush with the frame tube (more or less).


The brackets weld on at an angle to match the frame tube orientations. It looks funky but the frame and throttle pedal angles are all over the place in this area.


Assembled brace ready to fit. I'll powder coat it next time I roll out the powder coating setup.


Dry fit with spring clamps...


... and attached to the frame and throttle pedal pad with clecos. I'm only planning to use a single screw each end but I may buckle and make those two screws a bit bigger than the regular sheet metal screws I'm using.

This really firms up the throttle assembly. Fully installed pictures to follow.

-Dave

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1973 Norton Commando MkII Interstate
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Re: Classic R #27 Build - Brake Booster, Dash, Pedals and Steering

Post by comled on Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:53 am

Here are the pictures of the changes I made to the brake light switch. This setup should be more reliable because the switch is actuated by part of the booster, not by a tab bolted to it.




-Dave

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1977 MGB
1973 Norton Commando MkII Interstate
1960 Hammond A100
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