07 September 2014

Engine Cover Support Bracket

My design of the engine cover support bracket
Time to tackle that Engine Cover Support Bracket that I have been talking about.  This is a simple design based on the DMC Louvre bracket I mentioned in previous posts.

Preliminary sketches of the bracket
I went through a few designs, but the idea is the same:  Use the existing holes from the Louvre Reinforcement Strip install, design a bracket that will hold the engine cover.  The final piece will be made by CNC from Delrin, while initial prototypes will be made by STL rapid prototyping.

First prototype of the bracket
In order to not waste material, I designed the prototypes with holes and negative spaces.  The important parts are the mounting holes, latch hook, and recess channel.  Note there are many holes and a section missing from the above prototype and design sketches.  More exploration sketches were needed to refine the design.

Second prototype, on top
After the first prototype, I found that I needed thicker channel walls.  Also the latch hook needed to be moved about a quarter inch forward and about a quarter inch shallower.  Adjustments were made in the design and digital model.  I test fitted the latest version, and it seem to fit nicely. Time to make the final-full version.

Comparing first and second prototype with final bracket.
Since I know the second prototype fit, there was no need to print out a third.  The final version went straight to CNC to be cut in Delrin.  You can see in the photo above that the important areas - mounting holes, latch hook, and recess channel - remain unchanged from prototype to final.

I wanted to have the DMC logo featured on both sides.  The initial idea was to have negative area of the D (or C, depending on which side you are looking at) as the hook.  This is different from the DMC Louvre Brace design as the logo is negative and the have a notch cut of the D (or C) to  allow for the engine cover latch.

Notice that my cut out area is not as deep as the 'crotch' of the D.  I have stock louvre struts on my car.  It is recommended that you get longer struts if you install the DMC Louvre Brace.  This raises the louvre and allows the engine cover latch to hook on to the brace.  The DMC Louvre Brace will not work with the shorter stock louvre struts.  If I ever go with longer struts, I could cut a deep notch in my bracket.

Need longer screws to install new bracket
The channel of the bracket makes it too wide for the screws that came with my Louvre Reinforcement Strips.  This means I will need some longer screws.  Since these are in metric, and we do not have a stock of metric screws, I need to pick some up at the hardware store.

Big deal, right?  Well, here is the interesting part.  I figured they would not be over a dollar so, I used my last dollar to purchase the screws.  Yeah, I do not carry that much cash on me.  Anyway, the clerk gave me change.  At first, I thought, "hey, cool quarter".  A Fort McHenry back quarter...not that I know what Fort McHenry is...I guess I could Google it.

Then, I realized that the clerk also gave me a Buffalo nickel.  These nickels were in circulation from 1916-1938 (I Googled that).  I have no idea when this one was made as the front is almost totally worn away.  Only a faint silhouette of the American Indian head and the text was totally worn away.  You can see that the back is quite worn as well.

Installed bracket
Oh, here was I ?  Oh yeah, the bracket.  Installation is pretty straight forward.  I already did the hard work with the measurements and dry fitting the prototypes.

Remove old screws, put bracket in place, replace longer new screws, tighten nuts.  Done

Bracket holding up engine cover
The bracket does its job and holds up the engine cover.  Hey, it works!

Close up of the hook and latch

The new bracket totally negates the Engine Cover Support Slide Block.  Which is okay, since there is no more stress on the slide block and related assembly.  Now the stress from the weight of the engine cover rests on the louvre, struts, and rear quarter panels.  Again, this is acceptable since the louvres are reinforced with the strips.

If needed, I could always remove the bracket and go back to the slide block taking the weight.  For now, I like my new bracket.

View of bracket when louvres are closed.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Can you please let me know if you can make another one of these brackets?

Thank you,