Quantum IV Formula Saab

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Restoration of the Car - Re-assembly

December, 2011
At mid-December, we picked up the chassis at Dynamic Performance Coating in Inverness, using our faithful Dana Barlow built mini-stock trailer we bought at Florida City speedway 40 years ago. We unloaded it, brought it into the shop and set it on sawhorses. Now the fun begins. We have the original instructions from Quantum for the assembly of the kit, and it we will use them to assemble the car, just as though it was 1965 and the kit had just arrived from Quantum. It is clear from the instructions that the kit came with the bellypan already riveted to the chassis, and so before we start with the instructions, we'll rivet on the new bellypan. Then we'll start following the directions.

The chassis arrives at the shop on the mini-stock trailer.

We moved the chassis into the shop. Next step is to rivet on the bellypan.

We layed out the new bellypan on the picnic table, and then put the old one on top. Then using clecos to position the two and keep them aligned, we drilled holes in the new bellypan in exactly the same places as in the original pan. After all holes were drilled, and de-burred, we turned over the chassis, and then positioned the new bellypan in place on the chassis, again using clecos. The original bellypan was riveted to the chassis with full brazier aluminum drive rivets, and we were able to locate exact duplicates at Hanson Rivet and Supply Company in Pacoima, California. Hanson Rivet was great to work with, and they shipped our small order promptly. We used 36 number 38-204-04-13 rivets to attach the bellypan to the chassis square tubing and engine bay motor mount support, and 20 number 38-204-03-13 rivets to attach the bellypan to the sheet metal chassis "L" beams, as they are slightly thinner than the square tubing and motor mount support. All rivets went in the original rivet holes in the chassis, all of which were still in good shape. When the riveting was complete, we turned the chassis back upright. Now we are at the point where the Quantum factory instruction sheet begins, and we will follow it as closely as possible.

The original bellypan was used as a pattern for the new one. Clecos were used to keep the two aligned while rivet holes were drilled in the new pan.

Once the new bellypan was drilled and deburred, we positioned it on the chassis, again using clecos.

We used rivets from Hanson Rivet and Supply to exactly duplicate the original rivets.

The riveting is complete on the bellypan.

We turned the chassis back upright. We now are at the point where the factory assembly instructions begin.

We sent the suspension control arms, coil springs, pedals, and pedal box out to be sandblasted and powdercoated gloss black. We hope to have those parts back before the end of December. While waiting, we cleaned up all the small black parts on the car and painted them all with gloss black Dupont Chroma-One, over Vari-Prime self etching primer.

When the small black parts were dry, we started installing them on the chassis. Then we cleaned up the dashboard, and painted it with flat black lacquer. We installed the instruments, and then laced up the wiring harness and installed it, and also the fuel pump, voltage regular, and coil.

The black parts are all painted and drying in the sun.

The job of lacing all the wiring is done and the dashboard and instruments are installed.

This photo shows what is under the seat.

The engine that came with the car has a standard 850 block and an 850GT head. We don't plan to drive the car very fast, and also plan to keep the car true to Formula S specs, with a single one-barrel carb. Because of that, the current engine is all we want in an an engine, favoring reliability over high speed. Since it runs well as is, we decided not to take it apart. Rather, we simply cleaned it up and painted it. We took apart the gearbox to clean up the mating surfaces between the the bellhousing and gearbox casting to fix the leak there, and to inspect it. We found that the ring and pinion gears are the rare 6:35 SAAB Sport and Rally part #1048 set, and the gearbox has standard SAAB 96 ratios. We'll leave the transmission and bellhousing separate until the we're ready to install them in the car. We'll put fresh Hylomar on the joint between the two at the last minute before installing the engine and gearbox in the car, since the lower four bolts between the two have to pass through the chassis before being tightened.

We got a call from Dynamic Coatings that the wheels and suspension parts were ready to pick up. We plan to use four for the original 45 year old Goodyear racing tires, four for new vintage racing tires and then have one spare. When we got home, we found that UPS had delivered the new OEM Swedish rubber suspension bushings we ordered. Now we have everything we need except for 8 of the stock square head bolts that mount the lower control arm pivot points to the chassis. We have enough parts to install the front front suspension though, so we will start on that, while waiting for the remaining square head bolts to arrive.

We spent a full morning, pressing the new bushings into the pivot points. The job was a bit tricky, and we worked carefully to be careful not to damage any of them as we didn't buy any spares. We put new bushings in both the lower and upper pivot points.

The engine is all painted and ready to install.

We cleaned up the mating surfaces between the bellhousing and gearbox.

The suspension parts, pedal box, and pedals are all cleaned up and ready to install.

We have nine wheels ready to go.

We spent a full morning, pressing the new bushings into the pivot points. The job was a bit tricky, and we worked carefully to be careful not to damage any of them as we didn't buy any spares. We put new factory original bushings in both the lower and upper pivot points.

Pressing one of the bushings into a lower suspension pivot point.


January, 2012
We spent all day New Years Day, assembling the front suspension. We also cleaned up and painted the front brake backing plates and drums. We ordered new front brake shoes and wheel cylinders, and plan to finish the brakes when the parts come in. We also installed the pedal box and pedals. We may have located a nice original top plate for the brake master cylinder. Ours is too rusty to use.

The front suspension is now complete and on the car.

A closeup of the left front suspension.

A closeup of the right front suspension.

The pedal box and pedals.

Zoomed out to show the dash, steering column, pedal box, and shift lever and gate.

The engine bay is ready to go.

We finished installing the rear control arms and springs. We installed new shoes, springs and wheel cylinders in the front end, as these parts are still available. We cleaned up all the rear brake parts, and re-used them. We took all four brake drums to Gary's Automotive in Beverly Hills, and had them lightly turned. The drums were already in good shape, but while we had them off, we wanted to true them up. Gary's did a great job, and the drums are now like new.

The rear control arms and springs are now on the chassis.

The brake drums, rear uprights and axles are now back on the car.

The next job was to install the brake master cylinder and metal brake lines. Our old master cylinder was pretty rusty as were the metal brake lines in the front footwell. To make matters worse, we broke the cast iron casting for the master cylinder trying to get it apart to rebuild it. Luckily, we were able to find an NOS Sonett master cylinder which uses the same main casting. We also found a very nice used early SAAB 96 remote-type master cylinder top plate. We removed the Sonett top cover and replaced it with the SAAB 96 top cover, and then used the return spring, cup, clips and boot holder from our original master cylinder to re-create the original master cylinder. We finished the job by installing an NOS boot over the return spring, cup and clip.

We spent four hours carefully bending new metal brake lines following the original instructions. The metal lines to the rear brakes are described as follows:

"Two 60 long 3/16 brake lines supplied are joined together with connector supplied and are installed along the right side of the chassis, outside of the lower chassis tube. Join to the rear fitting on the tee connection by passing the line through the last triangular chassis opening bending alongside and at the base of the column. Bend line to pass through the large hole in the rear diagonal member. The front end of the 3/16 line is passed through the large hole in the front diagonal member under the steering universal and master cylinder, up to the rear outlet on the cylinder and connected to the cylinder with the single outlet brass banjo fitting supplied."

The metal lines to the front brakes are described in the original instructions as follows:

"The left wheel brake line is 1/4 diameter, 40 long and passes from the left front hose through the large hole in the left diagonal member, bend down to floor and pass under the pedal assembly, then forward through the large hole in the right diagonal member under the master cylinder straight up and connected to the double outlet banjo fitting supplied. The right brake line is attached to top outlet on double banjo and bent down to pass under the steering universal and up to the right brake line".

The instructions don't mention the length of the 1/4" diameter metal brake line from the master cylinder to the right front brake hose, but we found that 20 inches was about the right length to follow the routing instructions. Here are some photos showing how the brake lines are routed to match the original instructions:

The casting and internals are NOS, the cover plate is good used, the boot is NOS, and the used spring and cup under the boot and the boot end holder came from an early SAAB 96. This picture also shows the routing of the right front metal 3/16" brake line from the top of the front banjo fitting on the master cylinder, under the steering column and to the right front rubber brake hose fitting on the aluminum panel at the top of the picture.

This photo along with the previous photo best illustrates how the left front metal 3/16" brake line is formed. It runs from the left front brake hose fitting on the left aluminum panel, out through the big hole in the left triangular brace, under the master cylinder, back through the right big hole, under the master cylinder, and up into the bottom of the front banjo fitting.

This photo shows the routing of the rear 60 inch 1/4" brake line from the back of the rear "T" fitting, through the large hole in the right rear triangular panel.

This photo shows the routing of the rear 60 inch 1/4" brake line through the engine bay and out to the right side of the chassis.

This photo shows how the rear line runs up alongside the right side of the chassis and is joined in the middle to the front 60 inch 1/4" brake line.

After we finished installing the brake lines, we cleaned up the lower body panels. Since most of the body is still in it's original gel-coat, we have decided not to re-finish it, even though some of it has been repaired from minor crash damage sustained when the car was raced in 1965. We set the lower body panels on the picnic table and washed both sides with thinner until they were clean. Afterwards, we installed the lower body panels on the car, and then installed the newly painted wheels, and original 1965 tires, and then carefully lowered the chassis to the ground. The next step is to install the engine and transmission.

The lower side body panels after we cleaned them up.

The chassis is now on the ground ready for installation of the engine and transmission. We now are at the "rolling chassis" stage of the re-assembly.

We spent a few hours re-assembling the transmission and installing the engine and transmission in the car. It took a bit longer then you'd think, because we wanted to be very careful to try to eliminate a potential leak in the gearbox where the rear case mates with the bellhousing case. The next step is to install the engine accessories and get the engine running again.

The engine and gearbox are ready to go into the chassis.

The engine and gearbox are in the chassis and bolted in place.

The wheel alignment is now much closer to correct with the weight of the engine and gearbox in the chassis.

When new, Quantum IV rollover bars and back braces were painted red with yellow under the red. Ours was that way when we got the car, but the red and yellow underneath it was almost all flaked off, and both parts were pretty much bare metal. We also talked with Bob Williams who has an original chassis, and his rollover bar is also red over yellow, so we felt pretty confident that the rollover bar and brace should be red. We mixed up a batch of Dupont Chroma One to match original, and sprayed the rollover bar and back brace. While we were painting, we also painted the swirl pot with gloss black Chroma One.

We painted the rollover bar red over yellow to match the original as closely as possible.

We also painted the rollover bar brace.

The swirl pot is ready to install.

The rollover bar is now red.

We spent a few hours getting the gear shifter working properly, including the gate to prohibit accidental selection of reverse gear. We also re-made the rear shifter arm to neaten up the repairs where it had been broken some time in the past. We also installed the NOS rear axle rubber boots that were obtained throught the generosity of Mike St. Pierre.

The next day we installed the radiator, swirl pot, radiator shroud, and hoses, and then fired up the engine and set the ignition timing. The re-assembly of the car is now complete, although some work still remains to be done.

We finished rebuilding the shifter linkage good as new, and installed NOS rear axle boots.

We installed the radiator and aluminum shroud and water lines.

The re-assembly of the car is now complete.

We filled the hydraulic system and bled the brakes. The brakes seem right with good pedal pressure, and no leaks. We also aligned the chassis, following the assembly instructions. We also built a neat bracket to support two throttle springs.

Next, we tackled the tough job of figuring out how to use the original seat and seat back. If we put the original seat back in what appears to be the position it was designed for, we could barely reach the pedals, and our arms were about 4 inches too short to reach the switches on the dashboard. We also didn't want to drill any new holes in the chassis as part of the seat installation. We decided we needed to move the seat back four inches forward both at the top and at the bottom. We solved the problem, but building a new ledge for the seat bottom using the seat belt mounting tabs to locate it. We then built a bracket to locate the top of the seat back, using the original holes that Clyde made for bolts that supported the seat back. The job came out quite well, and we finally are able to sit comfortably in the car using the original seat. While building and testing the seat, we also realized that we had installed the steering wheel upside down. We considered that possibility when we installed the steering column, but after a lot of study we decided that the center spoke should be down, so that the driver's thumbs could rest on the side spokes. That turned out to be wrong as in that position, the side spokes completely block the view both of the dashboard instruments. At this point, it would be very time consuming to remove the steering column to change the orientation, so we pulled back the steering rack, turned the steering rack, and then re-installed the steering rack.

Lastly, we installed the body and adjusted the mirrors.

We aligned the chassis following the specs in the original instructions.

The bracket for dual throttle springs came out nicely.

We build a new step to locate the seat back four inches forward.

We built a new seat back bracket to locate the seat back four inches forward.

This is what we think is the correct steering wheel position, with the wheels straight ahead.

We installed the body and adjusted the mirrors.

Front view.

When we got the car, the battery was mounted on a homemade tray that sat above the engine bay. The kit is designed with a battery tray in the footwell. Somewhere along the way, the battery mounting hardware was lost, and we didn't have any information or photos of what it should look like. However, there are two holes near the original battery tray, one roughly centered at the bottom front, and one roughly centered at the top front, and there doesn't seem to be any other use for these holes, other than to have something to do with holding the battery. We built and painted a battery hold down strap and installed it in the car. It is our best guess as what would have been an original mounting design.

We formed and painted this battery bracket.

This is how the bracket fits, using existing holes in the chassis.

We layed out, masked and painted the white number balls on the body, using white Dupont Chroma One.

The white balls are painted and drying outside.

We'll let the white balls dry for a couple of days and then install the numbers.

We painted two of the body Lion fasteners white, along with one spare. They will go in the center of the white number balls on either side of the body. We also picked up the number graphics at Sign Express in Lecanto. They did a great job, and at a reasonable price. When we got home, we installed the numbers on the car.

We painted a few of the Lion fasteners white.

The numbers are now on the car. We still have some graphics on order that we'll add when they are ready.

We picked up the graphics and added them to the back of the car, as a tribute to Clyde who was our boyhood hero.

Now that the car is almost finished, our six-week assembly blitz is at an end. We'll still be working on the car, making minor improvements and adjusting things.

If you have a Windows PC, and are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can watch the progress on the GarageCam. To see the video feed, you have to watch and respond to the messages at the top of the browser to allow the Linksys ActiveX control to run. If the video is all black, it just means the lights are off in the shop. Check back the next day during daylight, and we may be working on the car.

Many thanks to Chuck Christ, Ed Todd, Bob Williams, Kevin Karl, Ryan Gamber and Mike St. Pierre who helped supply used correct parts for car or researched questions about originality of various parts used in the work.

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