Marsupial News

Marsupial logo

Engine Now Mounted

Further construction work is continuing, slowly. The engine mounting and steel framework is basically complete and work is now proceeding to propeller shafts, steering link and frame for the radiator. The gearshift and transfer box linkages are proving to be particularly challenging, since a set of two complex controls need to be brought forward over the cabin from the behind the engine. Mechanical engineer Andrew Cornejo has agreed to design these, based on conceptual sketches from Bruce Armstrong.

Busy day deciding on the placement of seats, and arguing about control linkages
Basic sketch of gearbox modification for forward controls, which will use Bowden cables
Full article and comments

Steelwork Plans Complete

It's taken a long time to get further with the project, since both of the main workers have been tied up with other duties (read: paid work). However, at last the steelwork plans were completed and the floor frame and vertical bulkheads are being assembled. Now that this work is in hand, the task for we MSA volunteers is to get busy with the support equipment for the powerplant: exhaust system, coolant plumbing, electrical and transmission.

Full article and comments

Powerplant Gets Serviced

Much work on the powerplant - a modified 3 litre, diesel engine with 4 x 4 transmission - took place slowly over the past few months. Many components, especially seals, gaskets, clamps and water pipes etc. of the engine were cleaned, inspected, painted and/or replaced. The oil pan was removed, cleaned and painted. A modified oil dump line was fitted and the speedometer cable was removed. The handbrake was dismantled, inspected for wear, tested and replaced. The speedometer cable was removed - it will be replaced with an electronic version. A new triple pulley is to carry a second, 100W alternator and a small airconditioner compressor. Design of the mountings for these devices has been deferred until the powerplant is mounted in the vehicle chassis to ensure a good fit. The powerplant then was transported to the Byfield factory in a special carrier (see below, left). There the unit was positioned in the chassis (below, right) and a plan of which mounting brackets to add, remove or modify was made. Measurements of the powerplant position were then made so that detailed plans for the steel floor frame can be finalised. This floor structure will then be constructed. At the same time oil, coolant and electrical systems associated with the engine must be added to the vehicle, and customised propeller shafts fitted between the transfer case output shafts and the forward and rear differentials.

Powerplant in the carrier, ready for transport
The powerplant is positioned in the vehicle chassis
Full article and comments

Chassis Modifcation Proceeds

Work continues on the chassis modification, which is being strengthened as well as elongated. Before the 3L engine and gearbox is mounted to the chassis, the opportunity to recondition it is being taken (though the engine is in working order). This involves a good deal of hunting for spare parts - some from generic suppliers and some from Toyota dealers. The donor vehicle continues to be stripped of anything useful, including engine mounts, a vacuum reservoir, and electrical parts. The steel carry frame for moving the engine is now finished. While planning construction yesterday, the idea of adding some small wheels arose. The carry frame will only be used once, but parts of it could also be modified into a mobile jig for the cabin body. There are sound logistical reasons for wanting to separate the body from the vehicle chassis, lift and move it about the workshop without distorting it. That also allows work to continue on more than one component of the system at a time. A good deal more work is expected to get the vehicle engine and gearbox fully functional once inside the chassis; this will require all available volunteers at several working weekends if we are to maintain momentum.

Full article and comments

Rover Model Prepared

With clearance from the licensing authorities, work on chassis modification is now under way. Detailed design work in the AutoCad model is now being turned into detailed manufacturing drawings, and these are being distributed to a growing cadre of volunteer mechanics, engineers and materials specialists for realisation into metal and plastic. To better visualize the body shape, a 1/12 scale physical model was built (see photo). Meanwhile, there is plenty of work to do to get the refurbished 3L engine mounted into a steel carry frame and moved over to the Byfield's factory. We have also been shopping for more engine parts: a 3-core radiator and fan assembly, 4WD seats, air compressor, and a second alternator. Work has certainly picked up over the last few weeks and should continue to do so in the warmer months of Spring and Summer.

Bruce at work on the AutoCad model
1/12 scale physical model under construction
Full article and comments

Detailed Design Work Continues

More detailed design work has been done towards vehicle certifications and manufacturing plans. Most of this work is done by project Engineer, Bruce Armstrong. We hope that by having everything planned in detailed from the start, we will save money by cutting down on labour costs due to uncertainty and mistakes. But a lot of precious time is taken up by the need for all this documentation; we must find ways to spend less time describing things and more time actually building them.

Full article and comments

Chassis Moves to Cannington

The Rover chassis was moved from the manager's carport in Fremantle, WA, where it had been undergoing inspection and rebuilding. During its time there, the concept and design work on the pressurised body shell was substantially reworked. An important development was a wooden mockup which helped verify design ideas and dimensions with respect to ergonomic fitting of the human driver to the controls, a complex but vital design issue for any vehicle. Once this was built and tested, measurements from the mockup were transferred into the AutoCAD design package we're using for the plans. Recently the mockup was dismounted and the chassis was shifted to a contractor's workshop in Cannington, where assembly of the real bodywork will shortly begin. This is a major landmark in the construction of the rover.

Night work on chassis, showing the cabin mockup
The chassis is delivered to bodybuilder's workshop
Full article and comments