Now that we're almost finished assembling the engine, I spent a couple of days last week fabricating a new stand so that we can start to assemble the other engine bay systems: coolant, ignition, intake and exhaust. Most of these are mounted to the bodyshell, but if we drop the shell on now then it's much, much harder for you guys to see - not to mention harder for us to film. So I hit on a better solution
Watch the build
I realized that we can mount the engine to the front subframe on top of a wheeled stand. This lets us get to all sides of the engine except the oil pan, but we're finished with that now anyway. For visibillity, it's even better than the engine stand that we have.
So I set about fabricating a wheeled stand to suit the dimensions of the front subframe. It's made from 40mm angle iron and 40mm square section. I'm only a beginner at welding, here's a video from a while back of my very first welds (don't try to learn from it!!!)
Anyway, I massively overengineered the frame and my welding has vastly improved. I managed to melt a small area of vinyl flooring in the studio - so we'll be putting some strategic new metal sheeting down there.
I'll work on the engine and transmission on this front support, and when we're ready to add the diff and propshaft, I'll fabricate up a stand at the same height for the rear subframe. This way we can build the entire drivetrain at eye level, and keep everything really visible.
As we go along, I'll weld on supporting brackets for the parts that normally mount to the engine bay - I'm thinking wire rod and jubilee clips might be my friend here. We'll see how it goes.
If I can make a recommendation - grab yourself a cheap stick welder and play around with welding metal together. It's incredibly satisfying and cheap - actually much cheaper than woodworking, in my experience. You can make and fix a lot of things with a grinder and a stick welder.
I've had quite a few questions from people about why I chose to use an MX5 Miata for the video series. Was it sponsored? Am I an expert with them? Because I love them? The answer is... it just seemed the best choice at the time. Now, with hindsight, I realise it was the best possible choice in the world. Here's the story...
We've been filming and releasing videos every week since getting into the new studio. The course now has 9.5 hours of pro-quality video, fully subtitled and I'm really proud of what we're producing! We're using CGI anywhere it helps understanding, and the general quality and feel of the videos is at an all-time high.
We finished the first episode in the new studio and to celebrate I've put it up on YouTube so you can (hopefully) learn something new and also see the massive improvement in quality that we've made. Also.... shiny new CGI is working!