Friday, January 30, 2015

Billet not bought

As regular readers will remember we had some problems adapting our Volvo 6-cylinder to the T56 Magnum. But step by step we made them bolt together like a match made in heaven. Or at least a matched made on Ringön where all sorts of strange things can happen, trust me on that. The last thing to finish was the actual flywheel. We made the blank a while back but to make it work with the Tilton triple disc clutch and the cut off ring gear there was some machining to do. The blank was made from a nice shiny, thick, flat stainless steel plate we happened to have. OK the choice of stainless could be questioned, but it was the only thick plate we had on hand.

The final machining was long overdue, so my Warner and Swasey turret lathe had to dig in. The game plan was easy. Take a light skim cut on the face of the flywheel, machine the step for the Tilton pressure plate and machine a step for the ring gear piece.

First I had to make an arbor holding the blank true in my not so true running chuck. Then face off the flywheel. Well that nice, seemingly flat, almost precision ground surface wasn’t flat at all. Nope, but after almost 1 millimeter was shaved off it was OK. After that turn a step for the pressure plate, flip it around facing off the backside and a turn down a step for the ring gear.

Now this wasn’t that hard at all, but machining stainless is tedious. And what was left of our big nice blank? Well a whole lot less. I don’t know what it weighs or what it did weigh before. But let me put it like this, it’s more race than family car now.

Oh scrap! If someone wants to make a wig, I can set you up. Heavy metal style.

In a dark corner of my work shop, a Ford Model B is on the Bridgeport getting milled for a new crankshaft thrust bearing. Maybe I’ll get back to that one day. Both the Bridgeport and the Model B.

I come from a world where billet car parts are frowned upon and for a good reason. But making your own car parts, engine parts, speed parts and so on is always cool. I must say that I’m actually quite proud of what we made here. Made using old machines, still capable of doing a good job. Billet not bought!! But on the other hand there are probably no company out there offering a Volvo flywheel set up for a Tilton clutch.

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