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Old 03-04-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
subaru_steve
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Default Custom Machining Limits?

So I'm just getting into my new major (2 years of Civil Engineering under my belt), I'm now in Manufacturing Engineering. To date we are doing a lot of manual machining and are working our way into CNC work as well.

Now I'm always looking for a fun project for my car. Something to create weather it be unique by function or unique by look. Either way, what are the limits of a machinist in a general machine shop?

Things I see not being a problem:
- Shifters
- Shifter Assembly (have a prototype made up right now)
- Battery tie down
- Lug nuts (CNC program?)

Things I'm not 100% on:
- Engine Pitch Mount
- Rotors (as long within tolerance, of proper material, to target Rockwell)
- Endlinks
- Other

Some things just seem obvious, like I know I will never be able to build a proper gear set for my transmission, or whatever else that would require extreme precision.

Mostly I just want to hear what machine work you have done for your car. If some of the items I listed should never be machined without all the proper tools let me know, I'm just kinda trying to see what I can attempt to build while the metal is free and the lab is basically open all day
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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So nobody machines parts for their car? haha
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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I used a dremel to carve out a radiator shroud, does that count?
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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depends on the cnc. you talking mill or lathe? also, you say a shifter is no prob, but not an endlink or pitch mount? those two would be much easier then a shifter.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PARANOID56 View Post
depends on the cnc. you talking mill or lathe? also, you say a shifter is no prob, but not an endlink or pitch mount? those two would be much easier then a shifter.
Well I am proficient in manual mill and lathe. And we are being introduced to both mill and lathe CNC. The school I go to is more than well equipped in machinery of various forms to really show us the tools that could exists in the given industry we go into.

The reason I class the pitch mount and endlinks as not sure is I am thinking about potential loads, tension, torsion, element abuse, etc.

A shifter/shifter assembly is used to change gears from inside a car. It's not dealing with rain, snow mud, its not under extreme amounts of force, it just sits there.

I really don't know what kinds of loads each endlinks and pitch mounts undergo but if its small enough of a load and with the right metal, design, and rockwell I can get it to work they sure I'll give them a shot.

This is a glimpse of about 1/4 of the machine shop, its big for a school machine shop!
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru_steve View Post
The reason I class the pitch mount and endlinks as not sure is I am thinking about potential loads, tension, torsion, element abuse, etc.
You know the stock parts are plastic, right?

Buy some poly rods, put them on a lathe and make bushings.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qoncept View Post
You know the stock parts are plastic, right?

Buy some poly rods, put them on a lathe and make bushings.
I know the pitch mount is, but I thought my endlinks were metal? I only ever glimpsed at them but from seeing all the aftermarket ones I might have just assumed they were metal.

For like the endlinks, I hear how Kartboy are tops, whiteline are "eh" and its like, you would think a design as simple as 2 holes and a connecting portion between them would be simple enough but obviously those slight variations in design are what make the difference.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:26 PM   #8
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Are you talking about front endlinks? Yeah, couldn't be much more simple. Not really much to "machine," a piece of aluminum or stainless or even painted mild steel with a couple holes drilled to push bearings in to.

Here are my DIY rear endlinks:


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Old 03-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #9
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Start off by making a license plate delete. Next I would make some underbody braces. Maybe an x-brace.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oguitar View Post
Start off by making a license plate delete. Next I would make some underbody braces. Maybe an x-brace.
I might actually try the license plate delete and battery tie down. I want to have it say something and was waiting to learn EDM first but I think with a 1/4" end mill and dept of cut of .100" I should be able to execute a simple "WRX" wording...
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:03 PM   #11
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how about machining a set of tgv deletes that are all smooth and sexy on the outside with only ports for the injectors and mounts for your own fuel rails?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scby rex View Post
how about machining a set of tgv deletes that are all smooth and sexy on the outside with only ports for the injectors and mounts for your own fuel rails?
The thing is my car is my DD so I can't afford to tear it all apart to take some measurements
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:58 PM   #13
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Pitch-mounts and endlinks would be cake. You could come up with something real nifty if you were using some CAD/CAM software to generate the machine paths, but even with manual G-code it wouldn't be hard to make the basic item, even with some decorative ribs.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_pilot View Post
Pitch-mounts and endlinks would be cake. You could come up with something real nifty if you were using some CAD/CAM software to generate the machine paths, but even with manual G-code it wouldn't be hard to make the basic item, even with some decorative ribs.
Yeah I have a free student version of AutoCAD and am getting some Solidworks from the school. If I can design something simple enough and write the code I could run some prototypes and if all works out sell a few away...just not on here :/
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #15
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you can get tgvs and a manifold for cheap on the forums, then get all your measurments.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:07 PM   #16
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i wouldnt get too deep into machining the tgvs.......they are crap casting with pitting and holes throughout.

Now machining your own intake flanges for a manifold or your own billet tgv setup is a different story.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #17
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I didn't see any pitting in my TGVs. I don't know what aluminum ingots cost but IMO custom machined TGVs would be a huge waste of money.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:47 PM   #18
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wow, you guys have a big shop. The manual shop at my school is about 1/8th of that.

All of that stuff you can do on a manual machine. You'll want to use a CNC machine if you start making parts with radii on the contours and such.

Make your endlinks out of aluminum.

I wouldn't make rotors.

Lug nuts would be a pain on a manual machine.

CNC opens lots of doors that take hours and hours of different setups on a manual machine.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobylazur View Post
wow, you guys have a big shop. The manual shop at my school is about 1/8th of that.

All of that stuff you can do on a manual machine. You'll want to use a CNC machine if you start making parts with radii on the contours and such.

Make your endlinks out of aluminum.

I wouldn't make rotors.

Lug nuts would be a pain on a manual machine.

CNC opens lots of doors that take hours and hours of different setups on a manual machine.
Just from guessing we have:
-Over 30 manual mills
- Between 25-30 manual lathes
- Around 8 wire EDM Machines
- in that shop 3 CNC mills
- 4 CNC lathes
- Heat treatment room
- Full metrology lab
- Then we have another lab that is strictly CNC mills and all the hydraulic robotics.
- And FREE metal (They encourage custom work and practice, so I can get myself a set of endlinks or whatever for free! )

I want to try to make some of the parts on both to start, since I love manual machining but at the same time am trying to grasp simple G/M codes on the CNC.

The lug nuts I wanted to make out of a lathe CNC script, simple thread and some exterior design.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:39 PM   #20
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Lug Nuts. Think about making a set with a matching Key. Truly a set of LOCKING lugs for sure.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subaru_steve View Post
The lug nuts I wanted to make out of a lathe CNC script, simple thread and some exterior design.
Aren't the flats for the wrench smaller than the outside profile of the lug? You could easily profile and thread the part on a lathe, but you'll have to put it on a mill to cut the flats.

Just seems like more work than it's worth. Good for you though if you can make it work.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qoncept View Post
I didn't see any pitting in my TGVs. I don't know what aluminum ingots cost but IMO custom machined TGVs would be a huge waste of money.
Not on the surface but once you start removing material, or even start welding on them you'll see it.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:53 AM   #23
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I ported mine, didn't see any problem. Maybe I got lucky. I really think, even if they do have pits, they're good enough because aluminum is expensive. But since he's getting it for free, why not.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:45 PM   #24
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Battery Tie downs would be quick and easy.. If your wanting to engrave something on the top i would recommend using a 90deg. Engraving Tool. Looks much better than a end mill buried into the material. Usually drop it down about .015-.020 and let it eat! Just do the outlines of the letters instead of the entire letter. Can produce sharp corners and clean lines with no cutter marks.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #25
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If you have access to a waterjet, make use of every minute you can get on it. They're awesome.

Heres a few thing I've made with one...







Other things you could make...
camber plates with dust guards
Adjustable lateral links
Trailing arms
A arm mounts (anti-lift kit)
Catch can with a well thought out mount, (no zip ties or just hanging by hoses!)
Shifter
Coolant overflow tank
Skid plate

Something I've always thought would be cool would be a reinforced jack point or just additional points. Could be bolt on or welded. I always find myself wishing I had a couple more options for where to rest my car on while I'm working on it.
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