Our Kit Car Page 18

GTM Libra History year 2000 to current date (sidewinderforge.co.uk)

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4th December 2016 - 1.8vvc tie bar failure, also  March 2017 engine mount change & timing belts changed. 

Engine tie Bar failure (torque steady bar)
The tie bar broke at the body end due to being badly rusted/fatigue, the tie bar is a tube with an open end facing forward, water etc has got into the tube & it fractured leaving the forward end touching the ground. It was around 15 years old.
Decisions/discusions about best way forward, repair old (too rusty), buy a replacement part from Westfield* (ha ha no chance), modify a new MGF unit (too differently mounted) or build our own version of the original GTM part.  We chose the latter.
It is apparent that the end fixed to the body needs to flex by a small amount, but the original is a solidly mounted. It was obvious that the rust had flaked where the fixing plate had flexed but it was the tube itself which eventually broke, making the car undriveable.
The engine end metalwork has been kept as original but with a new set of polyurethane rubber (shore A60) top hat bushes (home made) replacing the OE’s rubber.  The tube itself is 25mm dia. stainless and the front plate is mostly 3mm stainless utilising a cut down VW rod end p/n #131415813E which has a solid rubber bush ‘eye’ to allow for flexing at the front end.  Threaded inserts were used to allow it to thread into the tube and be adjustable.
As this was just prior to Xmas 2016 a decision was made to cobble our own version together. The photos "right >>>" show our solution as of 8th Jan 2017. It has been a bit cold to work for long periods in the garage so progress has been a bit slow.
16/01/17 - Unit has now been fitted to the car, awaiting a dry day for a test run, don't want underneath to be wet in case we have to adjust anything.

Following on from the above it was noticed that th RH engine mount looked tired. Can the engine mount be changed without removing the engine from the car? Yes it can but it is a tricky job involving removing the engine timing belt covers. Whilst we were at this stage it became obvious that it would be easy to change the 2 timing belt(s).     Second timing belt is at the gearbox end. As they had been on the engine (bought new in 2001) for 16 years & 36000 miles we thought it would be a good idea. We also changed the alternator belt.


*Who currently own GTM name.


Attached pics of rusted parts & VW part

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Photo Gallery

Failed front end of tie bar

New VW part cut position, right hand portion has a left hand thread.

Origional parts recovered from old, cleaned up ready for assembling into new.

New front end assembly

New rear end assembly

Completed assembly

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