Performing Honda K24a3/AST5 6spd Conversion

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by lookforjoe, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    I'm starting a new thread, now that I've moved from preparing for the conversion to actually performing it - only took almost a year to get to this point :D

    Preparing thread is HERE. 1st post has links and detailed info on parts / mods for the conversion.

    So, the bay is basically stripped and washed (except clutch & brake lines, not prepared to disconnect those yet)

    I verified my hoist setup works nicely, lifted the rear higher to make it easier to get into the bay

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    Cut the first section along the crossmember first. The pas side end of the cut needs a repair section where the original was rusted through.

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    Removing the pas side eng mount bracket led to this (note I also removed most of the rain pocket where the ign ECU lived at one time, I plan on mounting an AC accumulator there) :

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    I have to make a repair panel for this area

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    AFM and expansion tank brackets removed

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    Basic tools I used: Angle Grinder/Cutter, Sawsall, Spot weld drill, Hammer & Cold Chisel. Eye, Ear & Nose protection.Tried to vacuum debris as I went, to mimize amount of sitting loose metal particles. I taped/masked off the external 1/4 & rear tail section to protect the paint (not shown).
     
    kmead and dllubin like this.
  2. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Was there a previous fiberglass repair in that area? It looks a bit nasty.

    Interesting on the removal of the rain water holder, do you think it has much of a structural function or just to hold the trims and electrical appliances on that side?

    Having the hoist on that secondary adjustable beam will likely pay off in the future as you get offset loads and the car wants to lean to the one side, you will be able to compensate by moving the lift point from left to right.

    Nice prep for what is coming.

    Given all the prep to the engine I am betting this will on the road again before school starts.
     
  3. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Yes, there was fiberglass there.

    I don't see how the 'waffle' area of the rain tray plays any part in structural support. I'm going to try to leave the lower bridge.

    I would like to have it done before school, but I think with all the re-wiring, AC, etc., it will be more like end of Oct (if I'm lucky).

    Today I got a little more done. Tomorrow hopefully test fit the drivetrain.

    Got the large bulkhead opening cut out, used Darwoodious's pics for reference . Still have to trim the right rail.

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    Made a preliminary cut to the left rail, using FiatMonkey's last build for ref, pretty much just removed the existing scalloped area. Probably have to cut the underside back to the outer skin, but I'll wait until I test fit the drivetrain to finish that.

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    Removed the bridge between crossmember & trunk floor. Took hour & 1/2 to remove the dynamat to this point.

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019 at 1:37 AM
    Mechanogeek and kmead like this.
  4. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Forgot to add a pic of the bulkhead being removed - this is how much actually comes off. It's less material than appears when you look at the remainder, as the end sections are more square.

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    Today I didn't get much done. I sectioned the right frame rail, using pics from Darius, I removed a pie cut from the upper & lower edge of the rail, then pushed the outer panel back in & welded it in place. I cut inboard of the outer edge, so I had the rounded edge to pein over the horizontal edge for a little more meat in the weld seam. I just had to weld something, to get a feel for how it's going to go from here :D

    Now the rail essentially runs straight back, instead of bowing inwards. About 1" narrower rail at the rear. Gives room for the pulleys, looking at other's photos.

    (Rodger's)

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    Ground back the welds, looks OK overall

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    Small hole along the bottom towards the rear where I blew through needs fixing
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  5. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Ahh, nice. That's a great idea. One less piece to cut and fit - just bend it in!
     
  6. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Another slow day. Between the rain and working on an old Volvo for a good friend, didn't get much done. I focused on the cross member reinforcement

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    1" square tube .0625" (1/16th) wall. I had bought some 3/16" plate & tube stock, I feel that is just too heavy to use for anything on this job, so I returned it all & bought more .125" plate, angle & .0625" square tube stock for all the reinforcement areas.
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    Have to resolve this with a new top plate
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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 4:00 AM
  7. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Today I stripped the interior as needed, removed the throttle cable & pedal, the shifter assy & rod.
    After that I started fitting the subframe. Had to oversize the forward section outer holes and the stock subframe mount points. I cut the handbrake pulley cover, but I don't think I actually needed to.

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    My forward mount will clear the crossmember once I trim a notch in it

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    After all that, I centered the junction & welded it in place. That was a serious PITA working under the car.

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    Water pipe proximity to subframe - I have to bend them upward a tad.

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    Rear fit
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    Cut out the trunk floor

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 3:36 AM
    sub-zeroil likes this.
  8. sub-zeroil

    sub-zeroil True Classic

    Location:
    hollywood fl
    looking great sir !!!
     
  9. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Thank you! How is yours running, it's on the road now?

    Spent the morning cutting out the remnants of the floor - I had to grind down the vertical lip that was welded to the frame rails and rear panel. It would have made a messy finish.

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    After that I cut the sections for the forward and rear cross bracing, the side lips & test fitted everything. I also raised the floor about half an inch or so, since I don't use the floor insert & to give a little extra room underneath.

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    The vertical lip was cut off the cross brace where the fore/aft lip needs to sit flush
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    Then I started welding the first crossbrace, and tried to seam weld the factory crossmember bracing where it meets the frame rail. That was a mess as the sealer/undercoat weeped out as I was welding, made a real mess.

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    This was a real PITA to weld - I had to stand inside the trunk to weld parts of it. I'm claustrophobic - it didn't sit well with me.
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    Tomorrow I'll move forward with getting the other two braces welded. After that, I'll go back to the lower crossmember repair.

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 1:35 AM
    kmead and nichol01 like this.
  10. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Before I started welding today, I made the repair section for the crossmember. My brake doesn't work for this guage Stainless. I was able to start the bend, but then had to basically hammer the angles.

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    Seam welded the upper inner lip of the control arm mount bracket, and the new panel along the top edge.

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    Have to grind back the top lip, get it nice & smooth

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    Welded the 2nd upper brace to the frame rails, and to the first brace. Seam welding the repair panel in progress below

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    Seam welded the control arm mount bracket lower edge here.

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    Tomorrow I'll get back to the trunk floor.
     
    kmead and dllubin like this.
  11. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Pretty productive work today. Got the trunk floor reinforcements all set. Not going to drill & put rivnuts in until I have the insert panel ready.

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    Didn't want to lift the car from the rear unitl I had at least the PS frame rail closed off, so I worked on that. I cut sections from the removed bulkhead crossmember, I wanted the overlapped weld line to flow to the front edge.

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    Marker dots indicate where I drilled for spot welds
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    Welded the small section first, as that completes the frame rail behind the crossmember, running forward to the right rocker section

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    After that, I added the forward section; I drilled holes that aligned with the remains of the inner brace, (which I flattened in alignment with the new rail position) so I could spot weld the vertical junction for additional support. Top edge is lapped approx 1/8th" over the existing panel - I find it easier to weld the seams with an overlap.

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    Cleaned up the welds & primed

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    Hopefully tomorrow I lift the car & do the first test fit of the drivetrain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019 at 3:04 AM
    dllubin likes this.

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