Saturday, May 7, 2011

McArlus Cars - 21 body fit.

The last job to do before lowering the car to the ground was to tidy up the body panels. I wanted to get the fitted properly and secured in place as they would be when the car was finished and painted, so there would just be a matter of refitting all of the nuts and bolts with everything pre aligned.
I first bought and fitted the dzus fasteners that hold the front and rear sections of the body closed. I bought these from an online shop in America, where they are far cheaper than buying them retail in Australia. The place I got them had handy calculating charts that advise on which length spring and fastener to use to suit the various material thicknesses that are to be fastened.
Although I spent a lot of time fitting the body to the chassis and bracing it from underneath, it is amazing how since it has been cut into its various pieces the panel gaps have changed here and there. In the picture you can see pencil lines that I made in various places across the cut lines and despite the fact that all of the bolts and clecos go back into their respective holes, the lines no longer align. Fortunately I cut the body using 1mm thick blades, and I had resisted doing all but the most necessary sanding of the joins, so the was still plenty of scope to even the gaps.
I started by making sure that I had a straight line on one side of each join in the bodywork. I then picked a spot where the gap was biggest, and using a modified old compass as a scribing tool, marked the non straight line of each join and filed and sanded it to fit.
The doors, secured by the “bonnet spring” clasps, open out and down on piano hinge and the front and rear sections hinge forwards and backwards respectively, secured by two dzus fasteners (front) and four on the rear. The two panels that cover most of the engine bay are bolted in with stainless dome head cap screws, and can be removed for major servicing. All of the joins in the panels are supported on both sides, the engine panels by an aluminium support frame and the doors by fiberglass returns on the front and rear body sections.
The windscreen still needs to be fitted, but I’ll detail that when my one is ready.
The end result is pretty good. The gaps are even, although perhaps a little wide, and the bodywork is nice and straight with all of the curves smooth with no kinks or bumps. Its not perfect, I don’t have the patience for that, but certainly, I think, more than good enough for the cars intended use.

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