Front Cross Member modifications

As I am now using a different engine than I originally planned for, I have to make some changes to the front end of the chassis.  The sump on the Sean Hyland 4V engine is a lot deeper than the original standard 2V.  What this means is that it will not sit on the engine mounts without hitting the front cross member.  After considering all the options: - 1. Raise engine high enough to clear the cross member completely, 2. Move engine back to clear cross member, 3. Modify Cross member to provide more clearance or as I eventually decided a combination of moving the engine up slightly and modifying the cross member to improve clearance.

This picture provides a good view of the problem at hand.  You can see that the sump is sitting on the cross member and the engine mounts are still a long way off from where they need to be.



Drastic measures... I cut the top and rear centre section out using a cutting disc on the angle grinder.  This looks like it would have a severe impact on the strength of the cross member, but I will be boxing it all back in and triangulating it.  Even if I didn't it would probably still be plenty strong enough, the cross member is actually about 10mm thick steel.


With the centre cut out I lowered the engine into place to check on clearance and work out how much higher the engine mounts would need to go.



To make things look a little neater I decided to slope the outer edges to make a wedge rather than have straight sides.  Here you can see the cardboard mock up before I cut the steel up.  Notice in the second picture that the longer piece to be added is triangulated this not only makes it look neater but also provides additional strength due to the shape.


Templates used to make the same pieces in the steel plate, all edges were bevelled to provide decent penetration of the weld. 



Fully welded in place ready for grinding flush.



All ground down flush and now ready for the modified engine mounts and then painting again.  You can see the triangulated section in the second picture a lot easier as it is from the side.