Sunbeam Alpine Project - Status 'n Pix Through November 2002
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Fab and Assembly Status and Pictures

Wow! Has it really been over 2 years since I updated my Alpine's status? Yup, guess it has :(. Well, there was a good reason for that. I knew that in May 2000 we were gonna put our house in Madison, Alabama on the market and I would eventually have to move it. So I packaged everything up and made it ready for transport. Well, the house did not sell as fast as we thought, and then in July 2000, I brought my youngest son (Phillip) to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and get him enrolled. But here I sat, no car...for 6 months! I went back to Madison in December 2000 for Christmas and on the return, brought the car. I was living in a rental with nowhere to work, but, I fiddled with it some. Our Alabama house finally sold in March 2001. I returned to Madison and retrieved the wife and everything that was left there and we all moved into the rental. Still no place to work but no place for a welder to plug in. We bought a 1.25 acre lot in Pahrump, Nevada after several months of looking, then selected a builder. None of his plans fit our ideas so we designed our house and had it built. That took nearly a year. One of the best features is that I now have an 1800 sq ft workshop for my toys. It has enough welder outlets for just about any situation. It has a small office, a 1/2 bath, a room I call the machine shop and another room for parts storage. There is a storage area above the office structures that is very heavy duty. The main high bay is 14 ft and it has a 20 foot wide hand roll up door (12 ft tall) and a standard garage roll up door. Security lights and fire alarm that rings inside the house. Unfortunately, I have also been heavily involved in landscaping so I get to work on the race car when I have time and feel like it.

Ok, so what has been done? Well, I finished the 4 link rear suspension. This included removing the panhard locating bar because I could not get the &*^%$^#% thing to work right! It just would not be adjusted such that it was horizontal over the diff. So, instead I bought a diagonal link, cut it down and it works great! May still need to trim a tad here and there for final alignment, but very, very close. Oh, 4 links are fun all to them selves. Getting four links to be the same and putting the pinion where it is supposed to be is well, shall we say, a pain in the butt. But I solved my problem by making a setting link that was the correct length where it would slip over the bolts at each end of a link...oh it works even though I seem to be at a loss for words... I measured for the drive shaft and it is a measly 27 inches long! Drive shaft is a close fit into the front safety loop, so it will have to be installed before the tranny goes back in permanently. I managed to fab up the instrumentation panel, cut all the holes for the gages and switches ok. I even mounted a monster tach in the panel, which may be a first. I purchased a 10 gallon spun aluminum water tank (well, it was a gas tank but I'm gonna use it for water). I decided I need a bit more water volumn that the Scirroco radiator was going to give me. Hot water will come from the manifold where the old heater pipe was, flow to the tank, return through the two turbos and back to the suck side of the water pump (Mezziers) along with the normal radiator flow. I need to weld on a couple of -10 AN weld bungs for my hoses and tubing for the water plumbing.

I have fabricated a panel where the Ford EEC-IV computer will live. The computer is an A9P. I will install a new control unit called a TwEECer which allows me to change several hundred parameters and then to data log during a run. I also need to locate a place to put the old laptop for data acquisition. The TwEECer allows a lot of control over the engine events, and makes it pretty easy to change parameters as well as having multiple programs to suit the current local conditions. It also has a virtual dashboard which shows the conditions of the engine during the run. The data can be saved and pllayed back to the virtual dashboard.

The driveshaft did not have enough clearance with the rear cross member> I purchased a tubular donut and welded it into the rear cross member for added clearance and safety. I also added 2 additional struts and some bracing to the front ciol over strut mounts. Thos just did not look strong enough for me. I welded in 2 oil return bungs into the Canton pan for turbo oil return. These have to be large to prevent oil back up in the turbo itself.

I have been doing lots of sanding, panel beating and bondo work. I may soon qualify as a bondo expert...nah... When you look at the pictures of the car body itself, then remember that it was sanblasted in 1997, so there was lots of rerust on it. But most of that has been resanded away and it is nearly ready for primer. This is not a RESTORATION project. It is to be just good enough for Land Speed Racing.

Picture Gallery
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Instrument Panel Engine Short Block
Modified Carb Manifold New Rear Safety Loop
Front Strut Mount Mods Roll Cage Mods
Rear End with Links Body Prep
Toy Box!  

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