Relocate and Weld

I was able to get a couple more things done on the Subie today. I moved the battery to the trunk (though it’s not installed yet) and moved the Jetta ball from where the A/C compressor is supposed to be to where the battery was at.

To start with I disconnected the battery and moved it to the trunk … wow, that’s surprising :o) As I disconnected the negative lead, I did hear one of the relays click off, which to me tells me the battery is holding a charge (nothing really discharging it). I put it in the trunk, but I’m unsure which side of the vehicle I’m actually going to mount it on … more on that later.

With the battery moved, I took the bolt out of the mount for the Jetta ball. Why do I call it a Jetta ball? Really no clue, other than you can find it in a Jetta and sounds better than a Purge Reservoir or something else. Anyway, it’s in the shape of a ball, so there you go. Once removed I started looking at where it could go and how it was going to fit along with the charcoal canister at the typical battery location. Having put all the work I did into the mount in the first place, I didn’t want to waste the effort.

After looking at where it would be at, I decided I’d put a strip of angle iron down along where the battery mount is at. In order to do this I’d need to lengthen the original mounting tab which I’d drilled the hole through to tighten on a bolt. While it would have probably been cleaner to just cut what was on there away and weld a new piece of metal onto, butt welding a small piece of the same size metal onto the other piece saved me some metal in the end. I don’t have very much of the flat stock left (down to about 18″ now) and I didn’t want to make another trip to the store to purchase more, so I’m trying to be frugal with what I have. Since I have plenty of flux core welding wire (picked up a new roll a couple of weeks ago at Harbor Freight), welding seemed like the best route to go. Definitely not the prettiest route, but I went with it anyway. I measured what I needed to in order to get the right height on the Jetta ball once it was in place. I calculated I’d need about 2 1/2″, so I measured twice, cut once, and welded. I then figured out the length of angle iron I need and cut that out. Measured exactly where I’d want the Jetta ball to end up, marked the angle iron, cleaned both pieces of metal up and welded things together. I think the end product turned out pretty good.

Here’s where the ball will reside when it’s welded into place in the battery space.

To mount the charcoal canister I plan on taking two pieces of flat stock and welding then in a “V” shape onto the angle iron, to allow the canister to sit between the Jetta ball and the engine. The V shape will be just the right size to friction fit the canister down into it. It should work out pretty well in the end. I’ll create a new blog note when the time comes to cover it. I’ve already purchased the hoses and the T-pipe adapter so I can run the coolant lines when I get this completely installed.

I started laying out the cables for the battery. I wanted to show you the cabling and how good they are. I bought a relocation kit from a business on eBay. The company name on eBay is powderperform. As of this blog entry they have a 100% positive feedback with nearly 2400 entries. I mention this because of how pleased I am with what I received. What I was sent was EXACTLY what was on the eBay page I purchased from. I couldn’t ask for a better product.

The product itself was advertised as a Battery Relocation Kit, 16′ long, 2AWG Welding Cable. I have to say, it is exactly that. Here is a comparison of the cable sizes between the stock negative cable which goes from the battery to the engine and the welding cable which will be replacing it.

As you can see, the physical size of the cable is nearly identical. The huge difference comes from how the cable itself is fabricated. When you look directly at the end of the cable, you can tell what I’m talking about.

The core is 100% copper made of fine strands. I couldn’t tell you what the count of the strands are, but can tell you there’s plenty of them. This is great for two reasons. My understanding of how electricity flows in wiring is on the outside of it (this may be wrong, but I’m going with it). With as many strands as this has, this stuff will flow electrons like nobody’s business! The other thing is, all of the strands make this wiring very pliable. Playing with the stock wiring, it is very stiff. This stuff is going to go where ever I want it and won’t put up a fuss doing so. The other ends of the cables are just as good as the wiring itself.

The ends of the cables are professional grade. They look really good. The other thing you can see in the top first image is the ends which come with it, plus shrink wrap to finish them off. The idea here is to get the length cut exactly as you want them, trim back the sheathing, fill the terminator up with solder, melt it down, and stuff the end of the cable into the hot solder to get it to stay put and be well connected. You want to ensure you don’t foget to slide the heatshrink on the cable before you put the end on it, or you’re most likely just going to have to do without. I’ll blog about it when it’s all together so you can see the finished product.

Not everything done today I wanted to get done, but progress is progress. I still need to figure out where/how I’m going to run the positive cable from the back end of the Subie, as well as which side I’m going to put the battery on for sure. The cable seems like it might be about a foot too short to put on the passenger side, so it may end up on the driver’s side. I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but that’s the way the ball bounces when you need to get stuff done.

While you are contemplating your next great build, all I have to say to you is … Be well.

Cut to the Quick

Over the weekend I purchased some new hoses for the cooling system. I then had to order some adapters so it would fit on both sides of the equation. The engine side is 1.5″ and the radiator is 1.25″. I bought two adapters so I could fit the 1.5″ ID hoses onto the radiator. It looks as though it’s going to work, but we’ll see once I get coolant into the engine. I still have to relocate the reservoir ball before I can get the rest hooked up, though. Argh … I’m ahead of myself!

The first thing I did was to put the radiator in place. Then I figured out the basic shape of the hose I’d need to do the job. I then drew a rough shape on a piece of card stock. I then started cutting them down until I got what I wanted for length and basic shape. They turned out like this:

I measured both ends (engine side and radiator side) which I’d need to connect to and wrote the information on the cut pieces of card stock. After I was satisfied with what I had, I took the templates to Autozone to see if I could find something which would work. This is what I came up with.

Upper radiator hose:

Lower radiator hose:

(Yah, cut me some slack … I’d already cut it before I realized I hadn’t taken a picture yet :o)

I told you I had to put an adapter into the radiator side of each hose. Here’s what it looks like with it inside the hose. I hope it will work out when all is said and done … only time will tell if it will work well or not.

Both of them worked out okay, I think. I cut them to fit at the proper points and here is what they look like installed.

Like I said before, I still need to do some relocation of the reservoir. That’s going to be a chore in and of itself. I should get the cables to move the battery later this week and I’ll get it done. As always, I’ll write about it as time allows and things progress. Until then, be well.

Way Too Cool

My son and I had been working on his cooling system (see: Radiation Overload) attempting to get the radiator mounted into the radiator core. At first we were going to put it behind the front brace (the angle iron we affixed in place of the top core support portion). We figured out a little bit later into the build we wouldn’t be able to do this because the radiator would be sitting too close to the engine for the hoses to get run correctly. To deal with this, we decided to place the radiator in front of the angle iron. This allows us to put the electric fans between the radiator and the engine, as well as getting the hoses an easier run between the two.

It’s hard to tell in the following pictures, but there is now a ton of room between the engine and the fans. I’ve already mounted the fans on the radiator, which should work just fine.

While the son was here over Christmas break, I also made the tabs and welded them to the bottom core support. While it’s not a perfect job, the overall effort turned out well. The tabs are solid and support the radiator without an issue.

Here’s what the radiator looks like with the fans attached to it.

I had stated previously I was tapping the angle iron which is being used for the upper core support and had broken the tap trying to make it happen. I went to Lowe’s this morning and picked up a new 1/4-20 tap. This one had the correct drill bit with it (I couldn’t find the tap by itself) so I worked the holes a little bit with the drill, then ran the tap through them which worked rather nicely. Previously I had bought some new rubber snubbers which I was able to mount directly into the mounting tab on top of the radiator. I used some stainless 1/4-20 allen head bolts with flat washers to run through the angle iron. Here’s what the upper part looks like with all of it together.

My son and I mocked up the front end prior to his leaving. We needed to trim up the bumper to allow it to fit. Here’s what the whole shooting match looks like together.

I had previously created a bracket and placed the coolant reservoir in where the A/C compressor used to be on the engine. It was a great fit … unfortunately it isn’t going to work. Even with the extra clearance the JDM hood provides, the VW ball sits about a 1/2″ too high which means it’s going to have to move. I thought I would include a pic of what it looks like installed so you can see part of my handywork.

The alternative we are going to go for is purchasing a battery relocation kit to move the battery to the trunk. This will give us room to put the reservoir and the charcoal canister in its place and low enough so they are both out of the road. Yes, that’ll mean I’ll have to create another bracket or modify this one so it will hold the ball, but so is the life of fabrication. I know Nik Blackhurst from Bad Obsession Motorsport knows this all too well. I just wish I had a smidge of his talents!

Radiation Overload

The son and I did a little work on his car today. I’m still fed up with it not starting, but I was able to verify all of the fuses are in good shape, to include the fusible link. I need to look in a different direction to figure out why it isn’t starting. I still think there are a ton of grounds which I need to add into different areas, then it will probably run like a big dog and I’ll be ready to kick it out of the garage.

Something else we worked on today was getting the radiator put into the front end. We decided to go a little bit different route than we were before. Here’s a picture of the front end as it sits right now:

You’ll notice a big chunk taken out of the front bumper support. The reason for this is we decided we are going to locate the radiator to the front of the piece of angle iron. This will push the radiator forward enough we’ll be able to fit the fans in behind it with room to spare. This will leave them in the puller mode instead of pusher fans. We’ll have to trim the front bumper and the grill won’t fit without heavy modification, but it will work better in the long run. One of the main things it will do is give me more space to put the top radiator hose in place. Before deciding to move it forward, the upper radiator outlet was almost touching the cam belt cover. Where it will be at now will give use plenty of room.

The plan with it is to weld a piece of angle iron (just visible at the top left side of the image) onto the bumper support. This will tie the two sides of the bumper support together while giving us the room we need to make it work. Next, I’ll be welding two tabs along the bottom of the core support where the two shiney spots are at. You can see the metal tabs just below and to the left of the gloves at the top center of the image. After the tabs are welded into place, I’ll need to mark and drill holes in them so I can place the locating pins in the bottom of the radiator into them. I want to get some rubber pieces for the top, but I plan on cutting down the tabs on the top of the radiator, drilling them, then bolting it to the top piece of angle iron. This should leave the radiator very secure and in good shape.

One last thing to look at in the image. If you look really close you’ll see a round object with a blue cap on it. This is the recovery tank for the car. It’s out of some type of VW … a Jetta, IIRC. Where it’s sitting at is where we are going to mount it. It will fit just right in there where the A/C compressor was supposed to be at. I think it will work just awesomely there. I’ll be able to create a bracket to hang it off of right there without too much of an issue. We’ll have to get a T to put into the heater hose line, run hose from the bottom of it back to the heater hose, plus install a small line from the radiator to the small line on the recovery tank. The only prerequisite with the recovery tank is it needs to be higher than the rest of the cooling system. This will make a good home for it.

While the Impreza still isn’t running, it is a little bit closer. I’m have hopes things will continue to progress. I think I can get the welding out of the road tomorrow, at least for the cooling system portion of the build. Things are a little bit closer and I’m happy with the progress.