Next on our list of priorities to finish was the steering column and pedals, this would allow us to finish with the roll cage as we have a problem with the driver’s side windscreen pillar reinforcement. The particular work was done over 3 visits to the car as we started with planning which resulted in some machining that had to be done before we could continue.
I started with installing the power steering rack to enable us to get the correct position for the steering shafts. The particular steering column that I decided in using was turning out to be the correct choice as we basically had 2 mounting points to make to get the steering wheel just as we would want it. The first mounting point consists of a bearing within a holder with two circlips to keep the bearing in place that we had machined, this mounting point is just on the inside of the car, next is a holder that we had machined that uses two common sized bearings, this particular holder mounts to the front transversal member of the roll cage on the bottom as per FIA rules.
In order for us to get the steering column short enough; we had to enlarge the flat on the bottom splines in order to move the unit lower and shorten the top slide. The column is mounted in such a way that the universal angles are kept to a minimum as not to add unnecessary friction and wear when turning the steering wheel. Afterwards I made a quick mock install of the steering wheel and quick release unit. Two things became apparent, for one I will need to make or use a commercially available spacer to get the wheel exactly in position; luckily with this configuration I can adjust it as needed. Secondly our worst fears regarding the windscreen pillar reinforcements came true, it is directly next to the position where I feel comfortable with the steering wheel position, we will have to remove it and make a new with a bend in it to get some space between your hand and the reinforcement, luckily for us, under the FIA rules this is allowed.
On my next visit we tackled the pedal box, not such a vital component to finish in order to complete the roll cage, but just one of those things that you want to be done with due to the awkward working position. We started with the left hand bracket, it was decided to mount this to the firewall box that we fitted, knowing that it is very strong and would act as a good mounting point for pedals that very high forces are applied to. The pedal box was clamped in place with the necessary spacers between the steering column and manufacturing started on the bracket, we cut it to the desired shape and fixed it in place and moved on to the right hand side bracket. With the pedal box in place it was allot easier to manufacture the particular bracket due to a very awkward working position. After the initial bracket was manufactured we added some needed gussets and reinforcements plates on the mounting surfaces of the brackets.
I fitted the master cylinders and it was very apparent that I will have to mount the brake fluid reservoirs remotely due to the space constraints, personally I don’t even think hose barbs with flexible rubber hose will work, the only option will be to use some sort of banjo fitting on the masters. With the seats, steering and pedal box in place, we reached a critical milestone for all the mechanical work required on the car, this lifted our spirits and we continued with roll cage extensions to the front strut towers, we measured out the location for the holes, used a hole saw to cut them and also made the plates that will be fixed to the towers. The roll cage extensions will then be foxed to these, allowing a bigger area to apply a force on.
Unfortunately due to other commitments I had to wrap the Datto tightly and put to rest for a four week period. Work will continue on the roll cage during the next visit.
Luckily for me a box or two landed from RAW – Rezlo Auto Works
D2 RX7 Coil Overs – These will be made to fit the Datsun Stub Axles
MSD Ignition Blaster SS Coils, 8.5mm Super Conductor Wires, Silicone Straight Boots
More Pictures – 5 March 2011- Steering Column & Pedal Box
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