Jeff Sexton

Friday, March 04, 2016

More Pocher

When I last posted an update of the Pocher Alfa Romeo Spider project, the main frame and engine were finally joined, and some wires and hoses routed.
Next up is trying to get the steering column in place.

Because of what I'd guess is a significant scale error on the engine sub-assemblies on the right side, the steering gear box really doesn't fit in the frame. A little trim and file alteration here and there and I barely got it in there, with enough room to function. It is significant off though, too far to the right, for the steering column to pass through the firewall.

But the first order of business was that the metal housing, a tube, that goes over the steering rod did not fit into the gear box. Of course it doesn't. I should have checked that.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this.

The tube has pretty thick walls. So I just put it in the lathe and reduced the thickness for a short length at the gear box end so the thinner part will go into the gear box
The reduced bit fits neatly into the gear box and actually looks better.
This detail shows how far off the opening in the firewall is from the steering column housing that needs to pass through.

Again, I moved and adjusted everything involved, cut the opening wider to the outward side, adjusted the dash, and got everything to, barely, fit.
Speaking of the dashboard, here it is, roughly cut and not yet finished, in oak.
And here is the dash with the instruments in place. The dash is just hanging here, on the steering column, not yet fixed in place.

The dashboard is suppose to be held to the frame, visible here behind it, by three screws. I did not make holes in the wood for the screws as I didn't want the screw heads showing. Instead, I used three pins fixed to the back of the wood, that fit snugly into the holes intended for the screws.
The pins have a flat head that glues nicely to the back of the dashboard.

The only thing I forgot is that the dash is not at 90 degrees, but tilted back a little. I just cut shallow angled holes for the head of the pins in the back of the instrument panel, glued to pins with epoxy to the back, and friction fit the three pins into the holes intended for the screws. So far so good!
I have also been checking the fit of the body parts regularly, to be sure the spacing for the hood is still good. It is.

Alterations to the kit have to be made to make sure the hood doesn't turn out to be too short. I used a combination of changes to fix this issue, without moving the engine back, as is generally suggested.

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