K20 project off to a good start

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Rodger, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
  2. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Steering wheel wrapped

    When I saw Rob's post about his new Momo Prototipo, http://xwebforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/30201, it got me thinking about what to do about mine. I had found an original X1/9 leather wrapped one from about 1983 on ebay a while ago that I bought. It was in good condition, but still had a few scuffs as well as some normal aging of the leather.

    I looked at a lot of the Momo wheels available as well as sourcing the hub boss. In the end, I decided to look for a place that could wrap my existing one. I guess after 37 years of looking at the stock steering wheel, I was just used to it and I have always liked it. Plus the distance of it from me and the column controls feels perfect to me, so I didn't want to change that. I put the used ebay one on my '79 and took the original one to send off as the one that came on my '81 was not in very good shape.

    I found a place on the internet called Craft Customs in Mesquite, TX that had a lot of good reviews. I sent mine off and got a price of $275, for leather wrapped, with blue contrast stitching. Turn around time was only about two weeks. I was pretty pleased with how it came out. It added just the right amount of thickness to make it feel more modern, similar to the one in my GTI. They did make the sections around the spokes in perforated leather, which I did not ask for, but I like it. The quality is very good. The price was just a bit more than a new Momo wheel plus the boss.
    Steering wheel 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  3. Very nice Rodger

    :)
     
  4. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    thanks for the tip Rodger

    Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing Rodger.

    I've been thinking about my steering wheel, though it is understandably very low on my list of stuff to do.

    A couple of questions:
    1. What did the steering wheel look like before you sent it in? Did you do any cleanup (especially to the inner metal)?
    2. Does the wrapped leather push in further to the inner radius? This would help with any issue with #1.
    3. Can you post photos of the other side and maybe a profile image? I'm interested in how the bevel on the stock one (at least my '76) gets smoothed out.
    Keep posting! I love it.
     
  5. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Answers

    I did not get any pictures of my wheel before I sent it in, but here is a picture of the one off of my '81. Steering wheel 5.JPG

    Here is a picture of the back side of my wrapped one.
    Steering wheel 3.JPG

    Here is a picture of the two together to show how they wrapped it. It looks like they trimmed off the "bevel" of the rubber on the spokes and wrapped the leather over that trimmed edge.
    Steering wheel 6.JPG

    Once I got it back, I noticed that the color on my original black spokes was fading and almost worn through along the edges, so I did refinish the spokes. I did a very light sandpaper with 600 grit, then masked off all of the leather and gave it a few light sprays of a Krylon semi-flat black. Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  6. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    thank you

    Thanks Roger.

    I know it's a pain sometimes to take the photos etc., but it truly does help all of us here, and is a great future reference for lots of people.

    I've been thinking about my steering wheel a bit - always wondered about wrapping and how to make the center looks its best, now I think I have a good plan. Also very cool to know both an internet vendor who does this as well as good photos of what to expect. And I've used a lot of yours and other K20 swapper photos extensively - not sure my project would be as good if I didn't.

    So, thanks! -Darin
     
  7. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Oil pressure sending unit install

    So the K20A2 only has an oil pressure switch sending unit, but I wanted to add an oil pressure gauge. I built my instrument cluster with a European oil pressure gauge instead of the voltmeter, so I picked up a Fiat sending unit to talk to it. This is how I added the Fiat sending unit to the Honda engine while retaining the stock oil pressure switch. I have seen a picture of a custom manifold that MWB made for one of their swaps and Tim (Fiat Monkey) told me that he made a manifold that was mounted in the trunk for his former K20 X.

    I wanted to try and come up with a way to mount the Fiat sender on the engine. Here is a photo of the location I came up with.
    [​IMG]

    This is the mount for the intermediate axle on the rear passenger side of the engine. There is an unused M8 threaded hole on the mount that was used to attach a heat shield in the RSX Type S, but the heat shield is deleted in the X swap as it would interfere with one of the subframe engine mounts.

    Here is a picture of all of the parts I used on this project.
    [​IMG]
    Top row (L to R): Fiat oil pressure gauge sending unit that has an M14 x 1.5 thread, an M14 x 1.5 to AN6 adapter, an AN6 to AN4 adapter.
    Second row: 1/8” BPST oil pressure tee with an 1/8” NPT side port, Honda oil pressure switch.
    Third row: hose clamp, custom mounting bracket made from aluminum stock, 1/8” NPT to AN4 adapter.
    Bottom row: stainless braided hose with AN4 fittings.

    Here is the sending unit mounted below the oil filter with the custom bracket I fabricated held with a hose clamp.
    [​IMG]

    Here is what it looks like below the filter.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the oil pressure tee with the side take off to go to the sending unit.
    [​IMG]

    The stock oil pressure switch and the braided hose connected to the tee.
    [​IMG]

    The final result with everything connected.
    [​IMG]

    I am honestly not too thrilled with the hose clamp idea, but it is the best I could come up with. With everything connected it seems pretty solid. It all tucks nicely under the oil filter with plenty of clearance for the tripod CV joint. It seems to be well away from the heat of the exhaust header. The signal wire is run along the stock wiring harness up and along the top of the valve cover then eventually to a connector near the firewall where I will connect it to the car wiring harness.

    One question I have that someone may be able to answer is what happens to the air that is in the hose and the adapters? Do I need to somehow try to fill the hose and sending unit with oil first or will it take care of itself once the engine is running?
     
    lookforjoe likes this.
  8. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Nice solution!

    Seems like you could fill it from the top hose connection with some oil from a syringe. Holding it all loose and vertical, you could snake a bit of thin wire down to let the oil displace the air bubbles quicker as it seems like it may take time for that dead ended sensor to give up the air.
     
  9. Rod Midkiff

    Rod Midkiff True Classic

    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    It would create no problem at all.

    The air will just compress until it get's to the same psi as the oil.

    The only thing it could possibly bother is you if it bothers you. the gauge will function the same measuring air as it will measuring oil.
     
  10. fiatmonkey

    fiatmonkey Tim Hoover

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    Rodger,

    I did the same block thing but I mounted it off the engine. Originally in the rear trunk, then later moved it to the engine bay firewall.

    Seemed to me it would shake far less and was easier to get to.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I considered mounting it on the body somewhere but thought I would try this. If it shakes loose, then I can just get a longer hose made and follow your lead. Glad to see you're still lurking. :)
     
  12. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Good point! Thanks for reminding me of basic physics that I forgot. :dunce:
     
  13. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Very clean install! I'm familar with the need for multiple adaptors to make stuff work - I had to do similar when making a multitude of data logging sensors fit on my old 500AWHP Volvo wagon :)
     
  14. fiatmonkey

    fiatmonkey Tim Hoover

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    Gotcha. I do have some concerns about the worm style clamp thing and the sender just coming loose. Actually, it looks sort out of place with the rest of the install - everything else just looks really done right.
     
  15. Hose clamp

    I wouldn't have any concerns (I've done something similar myself and it held up well) but if the atheistic are still concerning, why not simply use a right angle with a bracket and screw the sender through the hold with the hose securing it on the other side?

    Dom.
     
  16. Black-Tooth

    Black-Tooth Tony Natoli

    Rodger... lissen ta Dom. nt

    .
     
  17. fiatmonkey

    fiatmonkey Tim Hoover

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    My concern is based in fact. This engine will shake whatever it can loose...
     
  18. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    You could also use a thin rubber strip between the clamp and the sending unit to add "grip."

    You could unwind the hose clamp completely, slip on some heat shrink tubing on the strap part of the clamp, lightly apply heat to snug it up, then re-assemble the hose clamp.
     
  19. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    All great ideas

    Thanks to Tim, Dom, Tony, and Dan for the great feedback and ideas. I thought about doing something like Dom suggested, but the threads on the sender are not that long and I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough protruding from a bracket to provide a secure union with the fitting.

    I was never a fan of the worm gear hose clamp as even when I tightened it firmly, it was still easy to undo. Tim's comments about the vibration convinced me to try something else. I took a page from the Fiat handbook the way the FI fuel filter and pump are mounted on the X1/9. I got some 1/2" stainless band and made a circular clamp that I could bolt together securely. Fiat, like Dan suggested, used a rubber strip under the band of the FI pump and filter to provide extra grip and possibly dissipate some vibration. I took the rubber off of an insulated clamp and used that in a similar way.
    [​IMG]

    I feel a lot better about this solution so it's time to move on to the next thing on the never ending to do list. Thanks again, guys.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    much better...

    Looks a lot better Rodger. I can't really tell from the photos, but the only concern I'd see is that the pressure sender might slightly touch the oil filter band/bracket thus making some rattle/buzzing noise. Again, hard to see from here.

    If that's the case, looks like the easy fix is to re-fab your flat mounting bracket to bring it just a bit lower.
     

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