Jeff Sexton

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pocher Alfa Update

These photos show the latest work on this 1/8th scale Alfa Romeo.

The front axle was a huge pain. The toe-in of the front wheel on the car is *way* too much. Getting this adjusted involves a careless bent on both sides that is very tricky, and can only be done once without almost certainly breaking the metal parts.

I go one side really. But the other is still angled more than I'd like. I don't think it will be too obvious though.

One of many problems with Pocher kits "out of the box" is that the car is too heavy for the solid plastic leaf springs provided. They just bottom out. Most people support the car with stands when displayed. And I am mostly building this kit "as is" for the most part, without a lot of customization. But since this is a functional issue I am using steel springs.
That's the breaks.
Here, the front end mechanical details are all installed. This includes brakes, suspension and steering. The steering and suspension work well. The front brakes on these cars are notorious however. Mine come really close to being functional. I added and modified a few parts to eliminate the play in the system that usually is the main issue.
The linkage from the pedal to the pads all works now. I think once the rear brakes are in, and everything to adjusted, I stand a good chance of everything at least moving when the pedal is depressed.

Read the whole story here...

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Pocher Stickers

The Pocher kits come with some pretty primitive stickers. Aside from being primitive to begin with, they are also now 40 or 50 years old. The glue on their back is all but gone and they are often faded beyond recognition. You can get new decals for Pocher kits, but I wanted to use the originals. Mine still look OK, and there is just enough "stick" to work, at least for now.

It is recommended that the designs be protected with transparent tape. I think regular tape would be a bad idea, so I used some special archival tape made for repairing rips in books. It is a thick vinyl-like stuff that will not discolor and shields UV. It's inexpensive and works well, even on surfaces that aren't flat.

I put the tape over the sticker and cut it out, and carefully put it in place without using fingers. The stickers get messed up really easily. And of course they barely fit where they are supposed to go, so it's a good idea to cut them out a hair smaller than the die cuts.
Here are a couple stickers on each side of the head. Their metallic quality looks pretty good!
Read all about this project here!

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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