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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Location: Westminster, MD
No real pictures to post as any progress is small and barely noticeable to most. Some more metal cut out as well as removing the factory outer wheel wells since full tubes will now be installed. This also required the removal of the stock trunk lid hinges and a new Glasstek fiberglass trunk lid purchased.

The rear floor crossmember was removed to make the new rear sheetmetal easier to fabricate. This also entailed removing two body mounts. I needed to fabricate and new smaller plate body mount to weld between the body & frame. The area of the inner rocker where the floor crossmember attached was rusted out on the passenger side. This area needed to be cut out so I could plate it with heavier metal to weld the new body support to. This meant the body needed to be lifted once again to do the repair & plating of the inner rocker. More time lost doing this as well as the time consuming process of repositioning the body again.

All of this cleanup work is done and I'm ready to begin the sheetmetal work this coming weekend. This will be a slow process to come out nice as I have envisioned in my head. The new tubs should be here in the next day or two, so hopefully the next few weeks we'll have the rear sheetmetal mocked up.

This past Friday the new Holeshot wheels arrived as well as the Strange Ultra center section and brake kit. I got the tires mounted up yesterday and last evening mocked up the wheel/tires to verify my calculations for the axle housing width. I filled out the Strange order sheet and we should have the axles ordered in the next day or so.

The next project after the sheetmetal work is to mount the seats, remount the steering column and new pedals, parachute lever, then mount the fiberglass dash and gauges. Once that's done I can do the cage engine compartment bars and remount the front motor plate. The last thing will be installing the door X-bars and gussets. We leave these out till last to make doing the inside work easier by not having to crawl over those bars all the time.

Then the f/g doors & deck lid, etc, etc, etc.

Still a long way to go. Starting to question if I'll have this ready for the beginning of the 2011 season.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:35 pm 
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hey guys,

Not a whole lot to show, but here's this week/weekends progress report.

I'm on the beginning phases of the sheetmetal work. The two rear floor pans are rough fit and cleco'd in place. Next up was to fabricate some mounts for the floor section where the back seat bottom used to be. Being the car is a body on fram construction, but not a back half, I chose to make the floor elevated off the frame like it was from the factory. This creates some extra work in having to make supports to hold the floor up.

Once that was done I began to make supports to hold the vertical portion of the tub. That took some time, but I got that done this evening. Next up is to do the final positioning of these tubs backs and cleco them in place so I can take measurements for the curved template and continue with the tub install. For me, the positioning of the vertical portion of the tube takes a fair amount of time to make sure they are the same height, as well as the same position front to back. If they are not identical, it will show when you fabricate the surrounding sheetmetal pieces.

Once the tubs are done I'll go back and work on the rear floor tunnel section, then the sheetmetal pieces in front of the tubs and the package tray and rear firewall. I'll hold off on the rear trunk floor till I mount the fuel cell, battery & fuel pump.

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Lastly, the new back wheels with a pair of old Hoosier 315 drag radials for mockup.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:31 am 
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Lookin' good!

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:42 pm 
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Well, not as much progress as I'd like to report, but it is what it is.

Saturday I worked on the tub fabrication. The first tub fought me terribly. I simply could not get the tub up inside the car. I'm placing the tub on the centerline of the new inner frame rails, not in line with the stock frame rail inner skin. This means the tub has to go in and over the stock frame to get to the mounts on the new inner rails. This was done so that down the road I could cut the stock frame rail pieces out and gain 1 to 1 1/4" of room and not need to redo the tubs.

Also, the stub I created up at the top to hold the tub was in the way and kept the tub from sliding in place. I had to cut this stub out and sleeve it so it could be welded back in after the tub was in place.

Very frustrating day as the drivers tub was the first one I worked with and the first few attempts at installing it, the tub started to get bent up and dented from that stub. Once I found the problem and solution the tub trimming wasn't too bad, but I did have to take some time to straighten the tub back out and hammer/dolly a few small dents out. The passenger side went in very quick compared to the first side.

The tubs are just cleko'd in place and need to be welded one evening this week.

This morning I installed the #18 lower vertical cage support bars which had been left out intentionally to allow easier fabrication of the rear floor pans. Once these bars were installed I was able to create the cutouts to clear those bars and re-install the rear pans.

The last job of the day was to begin the rear floor sections starting with the piece between the tubs on the interior side. I got that piece made up and am now ready to continue with the couple more pieces behind the main hoop as well as the rear trans tunnel section.

Oh yea, I also took time to put the alignment jig in the TRZ housing and weld the housing ends in place.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Location: Westminster, MD
These next two pics show some of the painstaking and time consuming little jobs that need done on projects such as this. The tubs are installed and welded on the top and forward sections. The tub stops before reaching the rocker panel so an extension needs to be fabricated. The rocker needed to be trimmed back to line up with the larger diameter aftermarket 36" tub. This tub extension finishes off the forward section of the wheel tub as well as capping the end of the rocker.

The next picture is inside the car and shows two pieces of sheetmetal fabricated to create a frame/shelf for the new floor to sit on and attach to. This will make this section of floor transition smoothly from the rear floor pans moving back to between the tubs where the rear firewall will come down.

It's small pieces such as these that eat up alot of time. Keep this in mind when getting quotes from chassis shops for fabrication work. Little detail stuff takes ALOT more time than some of the bigger projects like the tube chassis/cage work. This will become more evident when I post pics of the mounting of the seats, pedals, fuel cell, battery, fuel pump, fiberglass dash, gauge mount, doors, etc.

My goal with this rear sheetmetal is to try and maintain a somewhat stock appearance even though it's clear it's all new metal, but smoother look without all the bumps and dips the stock floor had where the rear seat used to be.

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BTW, since many might not clearly see the two pieces I'm refering to, here is a before picture.

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The last pic shows the TRZ housing cut to length with the housing ends welded on. Total length of the rear wheel to wheel is 52", down from the stock length of 58" (my old rear was 59 1/4" w-w). Housing end to housing end is 47".

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:56 pm 
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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:08 pm 
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I was out of town most of this week, so I didn't get much time to work on the car in the evenings. I did make some progress between last evening and today.

The trans tunnel is complete and I got a head start on the rear firewall and package tray. I hope to be able to finish that up tomorrow. Once that's done I need to get working on mounting the seats as I can't weld any of the floor stuff in till I make the seat mounts which will go through the floor and weld to the tube structure below.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:33 am 
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Location: Clawson, Mi.
Look at you go boy =D> =D> =D> your doing a GREAT job there :-$ I wish I could have you do my chassis over again, you really have a knack for this stuff. Great job again and looking awesome, and real clean.

John

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R.i.p. Doug Cunningham, gone, not forgotten.


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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Well, as usual I was not able to get the rear firewall and package tray done this weekend. I put the rear sail panel trim in place to check the intersection point for the rear firewall and package tray and wound up needing to make a new rear firewall as it needed to be laid back more and dropped down some. Also lose time making several flanges to secure the floor sections to the tubes. These pieces are hidden, but like anything, they take time to make and fit.

I should be able to knock out the remaining 4 pieces on my two evenings this week so I can hopefully move on to the seat mounts on Saturday. I'll leave the trunk sheetmetal go for a while and concentrate on doing the interior stuff like the seats, pedals, dash, etc.

I originally estimated the rebuild to take 200 to 250 hours to complete. Well, I was sure off on that estimate. I haven't kept track of any hours thus far, but can estimate fairly close. I started the work the first week of November and usually average 24 hours per week. It's been 15 weeks since this work began. Now lets drop some hours for Holidays, etc, so my guess is it averages out to 20 hours per week, so right now I'm sitting at approx 300 hours. I'd bet it'll take double that to complete the work.

Work yet to be completed:

- trunk sheetmetal
- mount fuel cell
- mount battery
- mount fuel pump
- front & rear driveshaft loops
- driveshaft enclosure
- mount drivers and passenger seats
- weld all interior sheetmetal already fabricated
- seat belt tabs
- parachute lever and cable
- helmet hook
- mount dash
- relocate/fabricate brake pedal
- relocate/fabricate gas pedal
- fabricate new steering column mount
- mount gauge panel (fixed under removable f/g dash)
- ignition & wiring panel
- fire system install
- door X bars
- forward door bar gussets
- engine compartment bars
- remount motor plate
- mount f/g trunk lid
- fiberglass doors (40 hour job)
- fabricate/mount lexan quarter and rear windows
- rewire the car
- re-plumb the car (fuel & brakes)
- media blast and paint the chassis/cage
- ???

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Well, I had a fairly productive weekend working on the car. I was able to get the under floor seat brackets fabricated & welded. Next up was to weld in all the tabs for the seat belts, then weld all the steel floor sections into place and dress down the plug welds.

The last project completed was to fabricate the interior seat mounts.

I took a couple pics, but they don't really show anything different than has been posted before on the project.

Tomorrow evening I'm gonna work on relocating the steering column, then start on fabricating a new brake pedal, then the gas pedal.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Between one evening this week and today I was able to get the steering column relocated, the brake pedal fabricated as well as the throttle pedal.

The only thing needed to complete both pedals is a positive stop for each, a brake switch bracket and a locating dowel for the steering column.

I'll start on the engine compartment bars tomorrow.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Just awesome work Todd. You are a true craftsman.

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6.7772 @ 101.51 1/8th 10.747 @ 122.24 1/4

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Location: Westminster, MD
Just one more pic from today. I got the engine compartment bars installed. I wound up having to remount the motor plate as cutting out the old forward bars, they sprung and the bolt holes no longer lined up on the motor plate. I got 90% done with remounting the motor plate, but ran out of time to complete the shelf/tabs in which the motor plate rests on when installing the engine.

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:43 pm 
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next quick update.

These smaller projects are getting done fairly quickly which is nice for a change.

The pedals are now completely done. Gas pedal travel stop and toe hook are done as it the rod connecting the pedal to the carb.

The brake pedal is complete including the stop to prevent the pedal rod from falling out of the master cylinder and I also added a gusset to brace the tube up near the top where the pivot and brake rod sleeves are welded through the tube.

Also complete are the MSD mount and wiring control mount board under the dash. I also have the new firewall A/C fill plate fabricated only needing to make the small fill piece to the side where the firewall bars pass through.

The parachute handle is done, as is the fire system knob tab and also the helmet hook.

This morning I took all the rear parts to work and mocked up the rear end and tires. Before doing so I weighed all the components to compare to the 12 bolt the car had prior.

The complete chromoly 9" rear weighs 179 lbs with brakes. The weight is 194 lbs including the control arms which is how I weighed the 12 bolt before shipping it. The 12 bolt & control arms weighed 211 lbs, so this rear setup is 17 lbs lighter than the 12 bolt. Kinda surprised me, but I did take every opportunity to save weight in this rear.

Housing 61 lbs
control arms 15 lbs
center section 61 lbs
axles 34 lbs
brakes 23 lbs

Strange 40 spline gun drilled axles with the ultralight option
Strange Ultra center with light weight case, lightened ring gear and ball bearing pinion support.
TRZ chromoly housing narrowed 6" from stock, 7 1/2" narrower than the 12 bolt.
Strange Pro Race brakes.

Only thing missing in the 9" rear weight calculation is 2 quarts of gear oil.

Tomorrows project is to start fitting the fiberglass dash and work on fitting the side bars on the cage.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Location: Westminster, MD
Last update for the weekend.

main door bars are done. The outer funny car cage bar is done as are the inner and outer helmet bars. The shift light mount is complete and I started rough fitting the VFN fiberglass dash.

I was leaving the door counter X bars out till I got the dash roughed in to see how high I wanted to make the X go in the front.

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