Sunday, February 20, 2011

McArlus Cars - 17

Inching ever closer to a drive!

In the time that I have spent worrying about the driveshafts, I have been taking care of other jobs that needed finishing.
There are a few small and fiddly fibreglassing things that needed taking care of.
Fortunately some of the earlier body modifications were done by Ron at my house, so I was a little more familiar with the stuff than I had been before, which makes it a lot easier to see how a part could be made. By using masking tape, cardboard and plasticene, it becomes easier to visualize the required shapes and make the necessary moulds.
On each top corner of the seat panels, there was a mismatch with where it joins the roll bar and door. I needed to add to the seat panels so that there was less of an unsightly gap, and particularly on the LHS, where the radiator is, so that the radiator is sealed nicely for maximum airflow.
Each of the seat panels also extend all of the way up the sides until they meet the door, on the yellow car this extension piece is aluminium, pop rivetted to the chassis. Since the entire fiberglass panels are removable, in this case they needed to be bolted down so that the spring door catch doesn’t just pull the fiberglass panel out.
By using a couple of riv-nuts into the chassis, I could hold the fibreglass down, but I had to make a couple of fibreglass “bulges” to keep the bolts square to the chassis rail.
While at it I made some large dome shaped aluminium washers to spread the load over the panel. Incidentally, I have screwed a 6mm internal star washer onto the 8mm bolt, so that no well meaning pit crew can accidentally lose on of my custom made washers out at the track!
The rear inner guards are flat panels, made on a piece of glass, as in window, and then bonded into the body. I made the cross stiffening ribs by gluing in some dowel and then glassing over it. This was more difficult than I expected as the fiberglass doesn’t like to take the external bend shape, but eventually I got a pretty good result. 
The battery access panel is simply cut into the panel near where the gearstick is, but rather than simply cutting a hole, I decided to make a small return to give the panel more strength. In addition to that it, by glassing it in with the panel in position, I was able to pull it a little more into shape, as for some reason this panel didn’t fit as well as it should.
Last I talked myself into modifying the back of the seat. This had been made as a big flat panel that isn’t the shape of my back. For ages I have thought I should alter it, but wasn’t sure if the work involved would be worth the gain.
Eventually I did and it is well worth it. By cutting a horizontal slot through the middle of the back and cutting two vertical slots, I made cuts shaped almost like an “H”. To avoid distorting the panel too much as I bent these back I made horizontal relief cuts at the top and bottom of the “H”, without actually cutting all the way through, just enough to bend easily, but still all hold together. I could then bend the seat back to shape and hold it in position with some aluminium tags, making sure it didn’t foul the exhaust or engine.
By beveling all of the cuts, and masking all of the gaps, it is a simple matter of glassing narrow strips of mat over all of the cuts and gaps
The middle of the seat back has now been pushed back by 25mm and the top and bottom stay where they are, giving a slightly curved shape.
The end result is much better to sit in and will allow me to either sit further back, or have some extra padding, either of which will be a good thing.
By the time its trimmed no-one will ever know
LHS seat infill.
RHS seat infill.
LHS door catch.
RHS door catch.
Battery Access.
Rear Inner Guard Front View.
Rear Inner Guard Rear View.
LHS seat back.
RHS seat back.

1 comment:

complete universal lambo door hinge kit said...

Your work is really admirable. Please keep it up. Thanks a lot!