Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Thursday, December 12, 2013

it runs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Radiator and fans

I've fabricated the mounts for the radiator and fans, and it all worked out really well. The radiator is the biggest Griffin one I could fit between the modified chassis rails (I cut off and welded up the flange from the tops of them, to fit a bigger cross flow radiator). The dual fans are Spal high output 12", and the whole unit with the shroud fitted the radiator perfectly.

I riveted little plates with captive nuts onto the inside edge of the  fan shroud... you can bolt the mounts on to the shroud, which sandwiches the radiator with rubber lined clamps, keeping the radiator from touching any metal on the body in order to avoid electrolysis. 

The whole unit is nice and rigid and bolts on via four 8mm bolts (there's captive nuts welded onto the inside of the clamps), making installation and removal real easy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The hood of my car is a lightweight fiberglass race (rough) part that is held on with four latches. When you want access to the engine bay you just lift it off. Now I live in a notoriously windy city, and this thing would be gone if you just removed it and put it down anywhere! So I decided I'd add two pins to the roof, and a hook at the front, so you can latch the hood down securely. Works great! I haven't done the front hook part yet, but when that's done you could drive around with the hood on the roof. Perfect for Beach Hop!

Here's the inside of the roof, showing the plate and captive nut system I'm using to mount the pins. I'll clean and paint this bit up, but it's all covered with the headliner.

This is the in progress mold of my modified bumper. I added the alloy brace to keep the mold rigid.

And here's the fiberglass bumper I made from the finished mold behind it. Not much good for bumping, but it only weighs 1.3kg!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The brackets for the hood pins to bolt to are welded in, so the hood can be latched on. That completes the panel mockup stage of the build! Everything bolts on properly now, no zip ties or vice grips needed! I'll have to add some bumpers under the hood or modify it if I want it to line up with the fenders and header panel. It goes quite flat in the middle. Bending it to make it line up might make it crack quicker over time though...

Made some alloy brackets for the fiberglass bumper. These save a bunch of weight off the nose!

I try and support things I like, so I got a Speedhunters Takata tow strap. I reckon Speedhunters is the best car site on the net, if you don't know it then check it out! I drilled through the top of the front chassis rail support I made and welded on a 12mm nut for the strap to bolt to.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Here's a rough concept image I did to test out some ideas. I've been thinking I might leave the front of the car like this and save a lot of work till later, once it's on the road. It looks badass! I love it. The lights would be the smallest LED ones I can find, and they'd only be clipped on when it gets dark, otherwise being stored in the car leaving the alloy plates bare during the day. The indicators are LEDs in the bumper, and LED park lights are just below the bumper (not illustrated).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hood latches

This evening I installed the Aerocatch hood latches, something I've been looking forward to for ages! They are such nice pieces of hardware, I've had one sitting on my desk at work and desk at home for over a year.

The hood had some rough old circular latches which I removed before measuring up and cutting the holes for the new ones. This beat up old drag race weight hood is pretty rough too!

Done, now to fabricate the mounts for the pins to thread into.

Rough cardboard mockups of the hood-tach and the power steering NACA duct, playing with alignment. I've also cut down/narrowed the front bumper and smoothed it in preparation for molding it for a lightweight fiberglass reproduction.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I love the way the car currently looks from the front. Might have to leave it like this...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fender work

I've been working on the fiberglass fenders, trying to get them to fit nice and even. Turns out it's quite a bit of work! They were just bare skins without any bracing and were really flexy, so I've fabricated some alloy mounts for the front which will also serve as the base for whatever head light setup I end up using.

I cut the rear braces out of my old junk fenders, sand blasted them, drilled and cut them down for a bit of weight savings, and painted them.

With the help of rad weta workmate Joaquin we glassed the braces into the fenders. This was my first time working with fiberglass, and it turned out great. The fenders are nice and rigid now, and I can at last begin to bolt them on to the car properly. It's still gonna be lots of work to get them finished though, getting them to match the door edge, hood edge, valence, header panel, the body lines down the side, and level from side to side has proved to be pretty damn tricky!

I cut the flange off the fiberglass fenders where they bolt to the inner fender as they didn't line up very well and would have needed a lot of work to get right. I replaced them with these alloy 90° pieces, which I drilled and trimmed to fit, and bonded and riveted them on. As far as weight savings go, one of the old stock fenders weighed 14.2kg, and one of these glassed fenders weighs 8.4kg.

The old fenders make nice garage decorations though, and a place to put some of the piles of stickers you get with new parts.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lid Lightening

The deck lid on my car was far from perfect, so I thought I'd experiment with some lightening. I drilled the hinges...

And the underside of the deck lid.

Lots and lots of holes later...  plus I cut out the flat center sections.

Doesn't save a hell of a lot of weight, and this isn't a cut-weight-at-all-costs kind of build, but it looks cool right!

Trunk lock relocation

I relocated the trunk lock to clean up the tail panel. First the stamped key section got cut out...

and the hole filled in.

Then the key section got welded by the gas filler in the license alcove, where it will be hidden by the flip up license plate. I made a new tab to fit the lock shaft, and modified the latch rod to fit. Works great and looks clean.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Roll them lips

Used this sweet little tool to roll the rear wheel lips. This along with the outer wheel house tubs I made allow good clearance for fatty tires.

 Folded nice and tightly back on itself.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Full Metal Jacket

Dressing up the old fish bones.

First time seeing it with all its panels, spoilers (cardboard rear one), and wheels etc...   Looked pretty tough!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roof Roof

Welded the roof on today, and that was the last panel to put on, so I have a complete shell now! First the drip rails were aligned and welded. Cheers Rex for helping me lift the roof on and off a few times! I wiped the copper weld through primer off after and primed and painted the welds.

Roof panel ready for final fitment.

Lots of plug welds later...   It's on for good. I'll be finishing the welds on the drip rail section when the shell is back on the rotisserie, makes for easier, flatter, better welds when you can get gravity helping.

Did a rough zip-tie fit up of the front end panels. Those race weight fiberglass parts are very light, but are super rough and flexible, going to take some work to make them fit nice and be more rigid. I have some plans for the bracing that should keep the fenders very light.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Lots of little jobs the last couple of days, in between fitting the quarters and the roof. The part above is one of the trunk gutters and they were a nice easy job, with a good fit right outa the box, easy access, and horizontal plug welds. A real pleasure compared to some of the shit I've had to do lately!

Welded in. And I didn't even have to wedge myself into the boot to do it, unlike some other recent panels and bits. In this photo you can see I've started planning how the boot mounted stuff will fit, like the battery box and the pelican tool case.

Welds ground and just a light coat of primer for now.

The roof being prepped for it's imminent final fitment. I've coated the inside with Raptor Liner, and scuffed back the edges and epoxy primed as there was a little rust setting in where the E-coat had been scratched.

Here's the drip rails from one side. These go between the roof and roof structure, along the sides of the car. Lots and lots of plug welds, just like everything else! A badass spot welder like the factory used would be handy...