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larchiefeng

Pocher F40 with Autograph transkit upgrade challenge build

129 posts in this topic

I'm not really sure how this all came about but, thinking back a couple of months ago, it was probably an offhand conversation between myself, Rich and Chas. I have always wanted an Autograph transkit but, never thought that I could afford one. Add to that, the complexity if it and I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of parts. It has over 1500 PE parts alone not counting the over 500 nuts and bolts and various bits and pieces of wire and tubing etc. if you could even get one. This was always my Holy Grail of transkits and model to upgrade. 

 

Having dismissed this as any possibility, I looked at the Tommaso Iuele website and he has a waiting list for a transkit for the F40 and, I put my name on the list. When I purchased my built F40 over a year ago, I thought that when he released it I would have the car for it. As time went on, I put it out of my mind figuring it just wasn't going to happen very soon.

 

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, I heard that Autograph had re-released the transkit in a limited serial number run of 200 and, it had sold out but, they had enough parts to make about 10 more. I looked at the website and even though the price was still high, it wasn't where it had been. I started figuring the exchange rate between the Euro and dollar and it was close to one to one and that, made it even more obtainable. I went back and forth on whether or not to buy it and I finally decided to go for it. I figured that I would just sell off a few of my other Pocher kits and basically trade a kit or two for the transkit. I also thought about keeping it and selling it again at a future time due to the rarity of them.

 

When I started talking about the transkit with the guys Rich made the comment that, he would like one too and, what fun it would be to build the F40's together with the transkits. Since, I had already purchased mine, I went back and looked on the website only to see that, they were sold out. Unbeknownst to me, Rich had purchased one of the last ones and the die was cast!

 

My original plan was start this build with a completely built car but, when I sat down to start taking it apart; I just couldn't take a pretty much perfect car apart. So, I found another one on eBay that was already somewhat taken apart but, complete but, for a broken rear side window and Rich is starting with a new in the

box F40
. So, they will be different in how they are built in the beginning stages. Chas mentioned that, he didn't want to see two red F40's in the build and hoped that, one of us would do a color change. My car isn't bad on the paint but, I was thinking about opening up the louvres in rear bonnet and that would cause the car to have to be repainted if I do that.

 

I received my transkit Tuesday and it's a pretty daunting sight. This is a major piece of work and will take a few days just to sort out the parts and get organized prior to the commencement of activity here. The idea is for us to collaborate as we move through the build process and share ideas, tips and anything of use. We have been talking about this for a few weeks in the lead up to actually receiving the transkits. Frankly, I think that we will need each other to push ourselves through this build. There might be some areas where one of us may not add every bit of detail but, we will do our best to get through these builds.

 

This is my start today with just getting the transkit sorted out and organized to begin work. The first pictures are of the one that, I was going to use and then the one that, I'm going to use. Since, I'm waiting on the car to arrive I'm going to start building some of the subassemblies that are just parts of the transkit. First up will be the shock absorbers.

 

So, those of you guys that, are going along for the ride on these builds will need to grab a comfy chair and lots of popcorn and drinks as this may be a long movie!

 We begin

The original candidate

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The replacement

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The transkit cometh

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There are at least 8 sheets of photo etch parts like the one you see in the picture

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This bag of screws scares me and I don't know what it's for. There are about 10 other bags that have 500 in them and this doesn't have a count so, I guess we'll see what they're for as we go forward. 

IMG_5917_zpsjoxwb6xo.jpg

As you can see this has required a bit of reorganization just to get started and I still have to clear the workbench top and make more room to work before the actual car arrives. This is going to be fun times two! This isn't just one Pocher F40 being upgraded with an Autograph transkit but, two! 

 

 

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Looking forward Larchiefeng, will hopefully learn a lot 

 

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Wayne is a little bit further ahead than I am in terms of organizing.  I am still digging through the box of parts trying to figure out what I got myself into!  My plan is to leave the car in its current red color and not cut open vents in the body.  I may also leave the fully detailed engine outside the car and drop a stock model engine in the car as so much of it is covered up...

 

I am still a few weeks away from kicking the build off in earnest but Wayne is ready.  I hope you all enjoy the adventure!  It's going to be a long one.

 

Rich

 

 

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Yeah it certainly is. I think I'll keep a small build ongoing in addition to this so that when I lose the plot with I I can move on to something I can do. 

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A collaboration like this between you boys will shed many great tips and methods.

As well as two knock-out models. B)

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29 minutes ago, Codger said:

A collaboration like this between you boys will shed many great tips and methods.

As well as two knock-out models. B)

 

My thoughts exactly Mr C....an epic in the making me thinks :)

 

Ron

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What a fantastic idea to build them in tandem.

I booked a seat in the front row, hope you supply the beverages?

 

That extra bag of screws is an item Autograph sells seperately too. I have a vision that they sweep up the spills from the floor in the screws department. Instead of sorting them and putting them back in the right location, they sell them in 5 or 10 gram packages.

 

 

 

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Thanks guys and girls! Yeah, it's going to be a fun build with lots of ups and downs for sure. As a matter of fact, when I was going through all the parts for the shock absorbers which, is the first thing to be built, I found a problem with the shock pistons. Looking at the pictures, it appears that, the two in the middle are the only correct parts.

IMG_5919_zpsirkbxpmr.jpg

 

The one on the right is definitely wrong and the two in the middle look like the only correct parts. I think that Poul may be correct about the watch parts because the piece on the far right is a watch band piece that holds the band into the watch face and the rest of the parts are not spring loaded! Go figure. Anyway, another email to Uli at Autograph. I'm not too happy about having the first assembly being stalled on parts. I'm going to go ahead and get everything cleaned up and painted and at least get the front shocks assembled.

To your point Mr. C, I have already let Rich know what to look for as he goes through his transkit to make sure he has the correct parts. Time to get back to the bench.

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A very disappointing start to the build....and not one I would be happy about given the high cost involved....poor quality control to say the least!

 

Ron

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Yeah, I agree, considering I was ready to roll. Kinda takes a little bit of wind out of your sails. While I'm waiting on an answer I'm going to start rummaging about and see if I can find something as a replacement just in case.

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Sorry Wayne....but no way should you be looking for a substitute part....you have 'consumer rights' on your side...and nothing less than an express replacement is acceptable IMHO.

 

Ron

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That's a bummer. Hope it will be sorted quickly. They do indeed look like whatch band pins. Guess Uli also looks around him to see what can be used from the real world.

Nevertheless, at the price for the transkit, this should not happen.

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I agree and I hope that he will send me the replacement parts that I need in a timely fashion. I've already sent him an email with pictures so, we'll see. It's not like I can go there and make my case in a normal manner. There's a little bit of distance between Southern California and Germany and I'll just have to rely on them to take care of it and, I have no reason not to believe that they won't. I just always prepare for a worst case scenario.

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Posted (edited)

I admit that my dealings with them have always been met with polite responses and helpful attitude.

Hope they get it sorted as a matter of urgency Wayne.

 

Ron

Edited by silver911
spelling
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I've been doing a little work on the shocks without all the parts here but, I did get them painted. I still haven't heard back on the wrong size pistons but, I took an old watch apart and got the watch band pins out of it. Rich sent me a picture showing two about 19 mm long and two a little over 25 mm long. The ones I retrieved were the longer which matched his. That's the good news, and more good news today, I received the F40 kit two days early. 

 

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Started taking apart the front suspension to get the kit parts to start making the shocks and modify the control arms and brake rotors.

 

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OK, now the bad news. I measured the picture in the book against the actual measurements to try and figure out how much of the spring needs to be cut off. The assembled height shows 40 mm and the actual on the picture is 39 mm. Close enough that, I can make the adjustment on the spring. The size of the shock parts are actual in the picture and the cut down spring matches but, the stupid piston is no where close to being correct. We thought that the longer one, at 25 mm is the front one judging by the pictures. As you can see in the pictures, I used the short 19 mm one and it's way too long. 

 

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I'd really rather be posting progress and completed parts than to trying to figure out what is going on with the parts and lack of instructions in the transkit. Add to this frustration is the lack of response from Autograph. I honestly don't think that, having a spring loaded piston really means much with the spring there too. I'm thinking the best way to go is, to add a different, shorter piston and just drill the holes inside the shock body a little deeper than the length of the new piston and let the spring take up any load from the car itself. It's not like this is an actual car that needs shocks. I need to just move on here.

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Problem solving already. The Pocher tradition continues...

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Wow, just had a look through the instructions for this. That is a transkit to end all transkits.

 

I will be following this build for sure.

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Difficult to justify the problems you are having already mate....I know you will overcome them but....really....you shouldn't have to!

I am looking forward to this build....and learning from your solutions.

 

Ron

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So I took a look at the parts and instructions this evening.  I think you are right Wayne and need to drill holes into the shock body so the piston can slide in.  In steps 2 and 3 there is a little note next to the two shock body parts that indicates drill 1.8 mm (I had to zoom in on the PDF to make sense of the graphic).  I put the piston in the caliper and it is ~1.78 mm wide.  That must be how the piston is seated.  I skipped ahead and it looks like both ends of the shock get bolted suspension arms so that will keep the whole assembly together.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I figured that the suspension would hold it together when assembled but, the instructions show assembled shocks lying there which made me wonder how they stayed together. I didn't read that far ahead but, I discovered the 1.8 mm hole on my own after putting the micrometer on the piston shaft. What I did a little differently though was, to drill a 1.1 mm pilot hole fairly deep for the very tip of the piston to fit into. After drilling the 1.1 mm hole I then drilled the 1.8 mm hole for the main body to slip into. So, it's a hole inside of a hole. It works great and gives the shock travel up and down. I did manage to break off one of the 1.1 mm bits inside one of the shocks and I will have to chuck in a bit into the drill press tomorrow and try and recover some of hole depth but, it's going to be OK. The other thing that, I discovered was the, PE pieces that go over the ends of the shocks and slide down the the molded in shoulders wouldn't go on over the paint. I had to sand all the paint off two sections of the shock just to get the parts on. Lastly, the small PE piece that is supposed to slide over the piston wouldn't fit either. I had to use a round rifler file to open the center hole. I will still need to grind down the top of the spring so it seats flat on the top PE piece again, another job for garage power tools tomorrow. Here are the results of all the experimenting and having to figure it all out on my own. Just because a transkit is expensive and loaded with parts doesn't mean that it's going to all fall in place; never assume anything. It just kind of fits with everything that is Pocher!

 

Shock after a couple of hours of fiddling and all my notes as I go along. So, when you ask a question Rich, I have an answer. Lol

 

IMG_5958_zpsbnniznhi.jpg

 

The kit shock, the new shock and the one still to be assembled after some paint removal. The shock is just lying there and I will take it apart and clean up the spring and paint them tomorrow.

 

IMG_5961_zpsa1fzrgcl.jpg

 

A closer shot to show just how much paint that I had to remove. I guess knowing what I know now, it would have been better to paint after assembly or drill out all the PE pieces. I can live with the bare metal inside the springs and I will repaint the ends.

 

IMG_5959_zps3cjqq161.jpg

 

 

Edited by larchiefeng
add text
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Not off to a great start thanks to poor kit but you're overcoming it which is great 👍🏻

Wow the transkit instructions are huge but at least they appear to be well organised and clear. Always a bonus 

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The new shocks look nice. As you said this is still a pocher so never assume the parts fit the first time!  Can you take them apart and repaint the whole thing? Or will you mask off the spring and paint?

 

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Well saved Wayne....but then I had every confidence in you.....and good support from your partner in crime...nice one Rich ;)

 

Any news from Autograph?

 

Ron

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Posted (edited)

Cookie, I'm only a little surprised that, I'm running into issues but, I honestly didn't expect it to start in the very first assembly. Transkits are usually just add on pieces or replacements that add higher level of detail. This transkit entails a certain level of re-engineering the kit to eliminate the toy like look and feel. In the next few sections there is a whole re-engineering of the control arms and hangers and lots of brass and soldering for the modified parts to actually attach. If you notice, the shock ends are completely different than the kit shock ends. The round parts at the end need bolts to pass through for them to hang on the frame like real shock absorbers. The brass brackets and hangers are what need to be added for them to work. The instructions are well illustrated but, a little short on verbiage.

 

Rich, yeah I'm going to clean up the damaged paint work and hand paint the shocks. I want to leave the PE in natural metal for contrast. The pictures I posted were more about the issues I ran into and what I had to do in order to make it work. I made mistakes that, I really didn't think about or anticipate when I painted the shock bodies. Now that, I've made those mistakes hopefully you won't and will learn from my mistakes and yours will go together smoothly. You should probably start on the engine while I work on the chassis that, way we can work out two sets of problems at the same time and not bore everyone with the same stuff. Just a thought.

 

Ron, no word from Autograph and that's a little disappointing. I'm going to send another email today and see what's going on. Thanks for the encouraging words; I'm sure this is only the beginning of some of the issues I expect to encounter on this build.

 

 

Edited by larchiefeng
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