Slow Car Fast
January 7, 2010 - More sheetmetal work today.
I continued to reinforce the shock towers (for lack of a better term), tying them firmly into the chassis. The existing sheetmetal is welded to the outside edge of the upright tube, and the plates tie it in on the inside. I think it'll be strong enough, although I'm still going to put a few bars running across and back to the firewall, depending on fitment. There's also one piece missing that will be added as soon as I know exactly what's going on with the exhaust routing.
I also attached the upper shock mounting points for the front, so I now have a complete front suspension. When the passenger's side shock tower looks like this, I'll basically be done with the front.
entry 247 - tags: sheetmetal, suspension
February 13, 2010 - It's time to start putting some new sheetmetal in the transmission tunnel.
I don't particularly enjoy this part. The driver's footwell was giving me some hassles because it had an odd shape in it - a section pushed outwards. I'm pretty sure this was because the same chassis was used in RHD and LHD configurations, as it gave great footroom if the driver had been a passenger. As it was, it was useless space behind the pedals. Based on my anticipated exhaust routing, I think it'll also be a problem then. So I chopped it off.
By now, the hole has been filled with a flat plate. This makes it much easier to match my new sheetmetal to the straight edge instead of the factory bends, and I'll never miss the space behind the pedals.
entry 282 - tags: packaging, sheetmetal
July 20, 2010 - Welding time!
I've started to panel the engine bay. This will increase the rigidity of the front end, which is my primary goal. You can see the right front corner (on the left in this picture) is done, including some special bulges to clear the control arm. The left rear is also done, leaving a large hole for the headers to pass through. I could make this hole smaller, but then I'd only be able to remove the headers when the engine is out of the car. I can see that particular problem coming back to bite me! For a bit of extra strength, there's also a 1" square tube along the top of the left rear plate.
You can also see the unusually shaped motor mounts, including the one that has to reach over the steering column. Or at least, you could if I'd managed to take the picture in focus.
The engine bay looks pretty awful right now with all the different colors. I also have to admit that some of the welding to the original sheetmetal is not well done. But it'll be strong enough, and a bit of time with the grinder, some seam sealer and a POR-15 paintbrush will make it all look good. First, I have to finish some more patching and a bit more bracing.
entry 356 - tags: engine bay, sheetmetal
July 27, 2010 - More welding.
I was hesitant to add this photo, as it shows some pretty ugly welding. I cut that front plate a bit too short and had to do some filling in with the welder. It's not structural and it'll look fine when ground down, but it sure looks nasty right now. At least the important stuff is good.
Anyhow, the sheetmetal in the engine bay is moving along. I still need to add some reinforcements and patches in various places, as sharp eyes will attest. It's hot, dirty work, but it's pretty rewarding.
entry 357 - tags: sheetmetal