One of the few things left to do before I can go-cart the cart is to get the hydraulic clutch working. I cut the 3/16″ hose to length and installed the hose end. These are always a pain in the ass, but I think this is the last one I need to do in the car.
After installing it, I filled the reservoir with DOT 4 brake fluid and bled the system. I needed to adjust the clutch pedal to get a little more throw in order to release the clutch. The master cylinder has an adjustment on the pushrod which is easy to reach right now. I hope I never have to adjust them once the body is on the car because all of the access with be from below or through a small access panel in the engine compartment.
The other thing I did today was get the engine running again. It’s been quite awhile since it ran, so I disconnected the ignition coil and cranked until I had oil pressure. When I reconnected the ignition coil, it fired right up and ran great. I let it run for a bit to warm up and then revved it for a bit. The FiTech still doesn’t manage the fuel properly when reducing throttle after revving it, so it tends to die. I’ll need to dig into the config to see how to address this.
In preparation for resuming work on the car, I wanted to improve the tooling I have for metal work. I was fortunate to have a friend give me a Precision Matthews PM-25MV bench top mill he was no longer using. I added a couple of upgrades to the mill including a power feed on the x-axis and a quill stop and quill lock (not pictured).
I also decided to add a lathe to the shop since I’ve already needed a lathe for a few tasks on the car. I don’t have a ton of space, so I picked up a Precision Matthews PM-1022V lathe and mounted it on an identical tool box.
These small lathes have relatively simple gearboxes, so they use a set of change gears that must be swapped to change the feed rate or for any threading operation. I didn’t like the thought of having to mess with that, so I installed an electronic lead screw. This was designed by James Clough but requires a custom installation on each machine. It uses an optical encoder to read the spindle position and then a microcontroller controls a servo to drive the leadscrew.
This lets you switch between forward/reverse, feeding/threading, and inch/mm units at the touch of a button and change the feed rate on the fly as well as simply selecting the threading pitch on the screen (for both SAE and metric threads). This should be a nice upgrade for this little lathe.